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Margherita pizza from Margot’s, opened in early April.
Margot’s/Official

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A Simple Spot for Wood-Fired Pizza and Italian Cocktails Arises, and More New Orleans Restaurant Openings

The newest notable bar and restaurant openings, including a Jamaican-Creole cafe and a Viet-Cajun seafood restaurant

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Not even a pandemic can staunch the flow of new restaurant openings in New Orleans, from pop-ups taking the next step to big-deal hotel restaurants to highly-anticipated arrivals. To keep track of all the new cafes, bakeries, bars, and more, here is Eater’s ongoing roundup of restaurant openings New Orleans diners need to know right now, arranged chronologically. This curated list of notable openings will continue to be updated, so if there’s something we’ve missed, send us an email.

For Eater’s guide to the hottest new restaurants in New Orleans this month, see here.


April

Margot’s

1243 Frenchmen St., Seventh Ward

A new spot for Neopolitan pizza and natural wine made its debut in April, a straightforward, cafe-style restaurant that serves a concise menu of pies, two salads, cocktails, and wine from small producers. The small corner restaurant is simply adorned, with large windows, muted yellow and green walls, wood booths, hanging bulb lights, and a gorgeous bar, where customers can dine in addition to the tables. There’s no sidewalk seating yet, and there’s not much room to wait, but the charred, bubbly pizzas — various meat and Margherita pies, as well few white pies like the Cavoletti, with shaved Brussels sprouts, ricotta cream, and lemon zest — come out of the kitchen fast.

Afrodisiac

5363 Franklin Ave., Gentilly

After nearly 8 years operating their popular Jamaican-Creole food truck Afrodisiac, husband and wife Shaka and Caron Garel have landed a permanent home in Gentilly, bringing a literal bright spot to Franklin Avenue that serves shrimp curry, jerk goat burgers, jerk chicken nachos, crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and more. Colorful and mural-adorned, the full-service restaurant and bar serves lunch, dinner, and cocktails inside the cottage or on the lovely patio Wednesday through Saturday, and lunch only on Sunday.


March

Crawlins Seafood

506 Terry Parkway, Terrytown

The welcome wave of Viet-Cajun options in New Orleans continues with the opening of Crawlins Seafood in March, a Terrytown restaurant from Jimmy and Anthony Nguyen. The West Bank-raised New Orleans natives serve boiled seafood platters — with a Viet-Cajun option — as well as Louisiana staples like po’ boys, red beans and rice, and smothered pork chops.

Froot Orleans

2438 Bell St., Mid City

Mannie King has made the move from vendor to cafe with the new brick-and-mortar version of Froot Orleans, a longtime juice, smoothie and fruit parlor. The mission-driven entrepreneur has been serving his fruit-based creations with his mobile stand, and with a brief stint at Circle Grocery, since 2014, compelled by a desire to bring fresh fruit to the parts of the city that need it most. Now his shop serves custom boards, salads, smoothies, juices, and bowls in a sleek new space next to the popular Leo’s Bread baker. Froot Orleans is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tava

611 O’Keefe Ave., CBD

After years of building a loyal fan base with a pop-up-turned-food hall vendor, Tava, chef Manish Patel opened his first restaurant in late March, bringing a much-needed addition to New Orleans’s options for Indian cuisine and breathing fresh life into the business-heavy neighborhood in between the Warehouse District and CBD. Patel’s contemporary takes on Indian street food with Tava are exceptional, from a Chana salad to kati rolls, but diners can expect even more with the restaurant — new dishes like vegetable pakora and a version of Chicken 65, a spicy chicken dish hugely popular across South India, using chicken wings.

Ginger Roux

1100 Tulane Ave., CBD

Canopy by Hilton just opened in downtown New Orleans, and with it two new dining and drinking options for the CBD neighborhood — Ginger Roux, which the hotel says is Creole and Cantonese-inspired, and the Herbalist, which will serve as a bar, coffee shop, and juice bar. Interestingly, the idea for the restaurant is a nod to the hotel’s location in what used to be the Chinatown district in New Orleans (the Cantonese part). The kitchen is led by Jonathan Hostetler, a local chef who most recently owned a hybrid restaurant and catering business on the Westbank, serving some interesting mashups, dishes like boudin lumpia, gumbo dumplings, General Tso’s alligator, and crawfish etouffee shumai.

Wishing Town Bakery

802 Nashville Ave., Uptown

A second location of Metairie’s inventive cafe and bakery is now open in Orleans Parish as of March, taking over the charming Uptown location of the former Cafe Luna. The wonderful Asian bakery and dim sum destination brings an array of exciting food to the address, from intricate custom cakes and desserts like green tea, durian, and taro crepe cakes; its fruit-covered Wishing Cake; and egg yolk puff pastries, as well as an array of dumplings: scallop and shrimp; crawfish; onion and beef; crispy fried chicken; and char siu tofu pockets.


February

Ciao Tapas Bar & Lounge

4033 Tulane Ave., Mid City

Formerly known as Bar Culture, Ciao is the newest incarnation of the Tulane Avenue building that was once a Mid City gas station, reopened as a tapas bar and lounge in February. Part of the goal of Bar Culture was to create an out-of-town feel with New Orleans flavor, and with Ciao, owner Nicholas Reed is bringing more of the flavor, literally — Chris Malachi is cooking up a new menu of craveable pub food, as well as a brunch menu that puts fresh spins on classics. Still, Ciao holds onto its legacy as a neighborhood nightlife destination with bottle service, hookah, and lots of neon lettering.

Wetlands Sake

634 Orange St., LGD

As of February 3, New Orleans has its very first sake brewery, a few blocks down the road from another pioneering local brewery, Urban South. Founded by Nan Wallis and Lindsey Beard, Wetlands Sake is made from Louisiana short grain rice, a special strain produced by LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, given that most rice grown in Louisiana rice is long grain. The sake, which started showing up on the shelves of local grocery stores and other retail shops in Louisiana last year, is served in the taproom; filtered and unfiltered varieties, both dry and fruity flavors — think blueberry lemon, spicy paloma, and sparkling hibiscus. When it opens, the taprooms hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday/Thursday; 4 to 10 p.m. Friday/Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.


January

Queen Trini Lisa

4200 D’Hemecourt St., Mid City

It may be her first restaurant, but Queen Trini Lisa is already well known around these parts for serving specialties from her native Trinidad and Tobago, at food festivals and markets, through her pop-up, and via chef collaborations. Her jerk chicken won the Marley Festival in 2019, and her doubles became highly-sought after she began popping up at Portside Lounge. Queen Trini Lisa opened the doors to her eponymous restaurant in January, serving a concise menu of curry and jerk chicken, island stir fry cabbage, fried fish sandwich on coco bread, and doubles, which is one of several vegan-friendly dishes.

Breakaway’s R & B

2529 Dauphine St., Marigny

The former owners of Green Goddess have opened a new restaurant and bar in the Marigny, in the address formerly home to much-loved Marigny dive bar Lost Love Lounge. Paul and Olivia Artigues are serving New Orleans staples like gumbo, a beef daube sandwich, crawfish etouffee, fried shrimp, and white beans with ham hock — as well as a number of vegan versions of New Orleans classics. The small menu of sno-ball cocktails is especially fun: the Green Goblin, made with absinthe, orange liqueur, and lime over shaved ice; the Pretty Baby with nectar cream and vodka; a mint julep; and a sno-ball version of Cafe Brulot, a cocktail normally made by lighting cognac on fire.

Cypress Cakes

1919 St Claude Ave., Seventh Ward

New Orleans is blessed with a bounty of talented cake bakers, but the city can always use more charming bake shops. Cypress Cakes fills that role, opened in late January by local baker Margo Robert. It’s a very pretty shop, with a long glass case full of Robert’s creations. In addition to cakes by the slice or whole, Cypress Cakes sells cookies, pastries, muffins, cupcakes, and pies, Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bao Mi

2000 Tulane Ave., CBD

How wonderful to have Bao Mi in New Orleans. This new downtown shop specializing in grab and go Vietnamese food — favorites like banh mi, bao, and vermicelli bowls, not to mention the ridiculously good bulgogi fries — opened in January. With a number of longtime Vietnamese restaurants closing in recent years, it’s heartening to see a new, modern Vietnamese option for downtown workers and city residents alike. Find Bao Mi in the Louisiana State University Health Foundation building, Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

B Sweet Bistro & Bakery

704 N. Rampart St., French Quarter

One of the city’s newest king cake purveyors is B Sweet Cakes, a lovely storefront located directly across from Congo Square on the outskirts of the Quarter. Talented chef and baker Brittney Walker opened her shop and restaurant at the beginning of January and quickly took the city by storm, especially her hugely popular king cakes. In addition to her many cake varieties, Walker serves expert New Orleans comfort food: gumbo, red beans, fried catfish, and more.

Thaihey NOLA

308 Decatur St., French Quarter

Husband and wife team Orawin “Nim” Yimchalam and Nathan Greene relocated their hit Baton Rouge Thai restaurant to the French Quarter in January, lured in part by a prime French Quarter address. The warm, welcoming Thaihey NOLA serves a concise menu of modern Thai dishes, including deep fried frog leg marinated in red curry; soup hang waw, or spicy and sour Northeastern Thai oxtail soup; and pumpkin chicken curry. There’s also a separate vegan menu, with starters, noodle, rice, and curry dishes.

Le Chat Noir

715 St Charles Ave, Warehouse District

A former longtime cabaret and lounge, Le Chat Noir is now playing the role of upscale-casual restaurant, the result of a partnership between James Reuter, the owner of Bearcat Cafe, and Gene Todaro, who owns the new restaurant’s building and founded its predecessor, Marcello’s. Chef Seth Temple heads up the kitchen, combining the vegetable-forward influence of Bearcat Cafe with an upscale approach to dinner dishes like heirloom carrots with tofu hummus and chiles; white anchovies with lime and chile; and sun chokes with walnut, preserved lemon, and mint. It’s open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

Banh Mi Boys Uptown

3244 Magazine St., Irish Channel

Also open in December was the first Orleans Parish location of the beloved Banh Mi Boys, Peter Nguyen’s inventive, standout Vietnamese restaurant specializing in banh mi. After years of having to head to Vets Boulevard for his creations, a second shop is now open at 3244 Magazine St., a restaurant formerly occupied by a Reginelli’s. It’s Nguyen’s first time franchising — he partnered with local couple and Banh Mi Boys fanatics Christian Lombardo and his partner Arleth Blanco for the second restaurant, and has even shared his “banh mi bible” with the franchisees. Banh Mi Boys Uptown is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

Pomelo

4113 Magazine St., Uptown

A number of excellent Thai restaurants have opened in New Orleans in the last few years — Budsi’s, Cho Thai, and Thaihey, to name a few. Continuing that trend is chef Aom Srisuk, a Bangkok native who moved to New Orleans in 2018 after years spent working in her family’s Japanese and Thai cafes in Thailand. Srisuk, along with her husband Frankie Weinberg, opened Pomelo in late 2021, serving traditional Thai cuisine based on her family’s way of cooking as well as street food-style noodles and curries. The cafe, which is currently BYOB, is open for lunch Friday through Sunday and for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.


Do you have a restaurant or pop-up tip? Noticed a spot in your neighborhood opening or closing? Let us know.

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