From food festivals to king cake and big-name restaurant openings, Eater New Orleans’s most-read stories of 2023 signal a hunger to return to normalcy after several years of upheaval. Food hall news captivated readers, if not always their business, and hometown heroes continue to make the biggest splash on New Orleans’s dining scene. Also, sandwiches. Below, we’ve outlined the 10 most-read Eater New Orleans stories of 2023 (other than maps), including closings news, inside looks, and dish recommendations.
In January, Eater looked into the abrupt, ambiguous closures of two of New Orleans’s three food halls, the months-old Hall on Mag and four-year-old Pythian Market, in light of news that Caesars New Orleans was developing its own small, celebrity chef-driven food hall.
Larry Morrow, the entrepreneur behind New Orleans hotspots Morrow’s and Monday, shook up the French Quarter dining scene with the opening of Sun Chong in April, bringing his signature aesthetic and Creole-tinged Korean cuisine to Decatur Street.
New Orleans is known for food festivals, and in recent years, one unique event has captivated hearts and stomachs: NOLA Nite Market. The organizers launched their first-ever Lunar New Year Festival in 2023, ringing in the Year of the Rabbit with some of the area’s best pop-up kitchens in February.
7. After Four Decades as the Face of Creole Cuisine, Emeril Lagasse Is Opening His First French Restaurant
In 2022, Eater New Orleans’s most-read story was about Emeril Lagasse closing his second restaurant in New Orleans. So it fits, then, that the promise of Lagasse opening a brand new restaurant in town would also be big news. Emeril’s Brasserie, the French restaurant at the center of the story, has since opened in Caesars Casino downtown. Take a look inside.
It’s hard to make a splash when it comes to sandwiches in New Orleans, the land of po’ boys, but the opening of Francolini’s in July did just that. The Uptown shop brought an exciting, lesser-found genre of sandwiches to New Orleans: Italian-style deli sandwiches. Diners can find sub rolls and focaccia piled high with prosciutto, mortadella, salami, capicola, soppressata, cutlets, and more on Tchoupitoulas Street.
2023 kicked off with the buzzy opening of the Tell Me Bar, a mysterious natural wine bar hidden away on a residential corner of the LGD. Moody, lush, and hip, readers were eager for a look inside.
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that king cake will rule food news during Carnival season. 2023 was no different, and Dong Phuong is still at the top of the list for many. So it was big news when the bakery sold out of king cake preorders so early on — as was information about where to find them around town without a preorder.
March 2023 brought news of the next chapter in the ongoing story of a historic Warehouse District building. Following the failure of two food halls in the space, Auction House Market and then the Hall on Mag, prolific restaurant group Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts announced plans to open a fifth location of its area chain, Boulevard American Bistro.
This April feature showcased the opening of Hungry Eyes, a first-time dinner and drinks restaurant from acclaimed breakfast and lunch expert Mason Hereford and team. Hereford and Hungry Eyes chef Phil Cenac serve drinking snacks and creative medium plates at the kitschy, ’80s-themed restaurant on Magazine Street that’s full of good vibes.
New Orleanians are hungry for butcher shops. That seems to be the main takeaway from the number of eyes on this story about McCord Butchery, a family-run meat and seafood market, opening in Metairie in February 2023. McCord Butchery is still going strong on Veterans Boulevard, becoming an area favorite for cuts of picanha, teres major, spinalis, bavette, and more.