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Breakfast At Brennan’s
Breakfast At Brennan’s
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

32 Iconic French Quarter Dining Experiences

No-fail spots for every dining situation in the Vieux Carre

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Breakfast At Brennan’s
| Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

So you've never been to the French Quarter. First of all, welcome. Second of all, do not just immediately head to Bourbon street. Instead, Eater suggests approaching the Vieux Carre with an eye for the must-visit spots, from the oldest bars in America to hidden tiki oases to some very famous Bourbon Street spots.

This map — the restaurants, dishes, and culinary experiences that help define the French Quarter's identity — should offer a comprehensive starting point for any visitor. It includes the obvious and the over-publicized, but also hidden gems. It’s mostly about dishes and experiences, rather than the restaurant experience as a whole. Head here if you're looking for the French Quarter's essential restaurants.

Did we miss an iconic French Quarter dining experience? Leave a comment or send a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Burger at Port of Call

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What many consider home to the best burger in the city, this Esplanade Ave. destination is a laid-back option for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Kids are welcome and casual dress is encouraged.

Late Night Comfort Food at Verti Marte

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With its chalkboard menu and glass display cases by the counter, just a peek inside foreshadows a hearty meal. Try the po’ boys, but bring a friend— these monstrosities are more than enough for two.

Drink at the Piano in Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

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Supposedly the country’s oldest structure to be used as a bar, Lafitte’s is a space where music, drinks, and colorful history collide. Sidle up to the bar for their take on a hurricane but head to the piano for a serenade by one of the bar's various well-versed crooners (don't forget to tip).

Late Night Burger at Clover Grill

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Taking a seat at one of the ‘50s-style diner stools will propel you back a few decades — add a deliciously steamy, retro burger and you might feel the need to don a poodle skirt (guaranteed: you still won't be the oddest person in the house).

Fried Chicken & Jambalaya at Coop's Place

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Get the flavors of the Old South and the bayou in a single dish at this down-home staple. An order of the “Cajun Fried Chicken” is seasoned with a secret house blend of spices and served with rabbit and sausage jambalaya. If rabbit isn’t your favorite, Coop’s lengthy menu is bound to have something for everyone — just make sure to get there early, as they don’t take reservations.

Frozen Irish Coffee at Molly's at the Market

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Find some of the best Irish Coffee in town at this eclectic dive bar on Decatur Street, which serves up a deliciously frozen version of the classic libation. It’s guaranteed to cool you off and wake you up before more galavanting in the Quarter.

Loretta’s Pralines in The French Market

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As the first African American woman to successfully own and operate her own Praline company in this city, Loretta Harrison has won the hearts of New Orleanians with her charm and with her sweets. Try the melt-in-your-mouth goodies at her French Market location, open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dine Al Fresco at Café Amelie

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Seasonal menus are served in the restaurant’s beautiful French-inspired courtyard that’s brimming with flowers and situated around a stone fountain. Traditional Creole ingredients like andouille and oysters adorn the otherwise classic French offerings, giving a nod to New Orleans’s francophone heritage while reminding you that you sit steps away from the streets of the Quarter.

Muffuletta at Central Grocery Co.

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A staple of Nola cuisine, the classic Muffuletta sandwich boasts briny olive spread and cured meats and this is the place where it all began. The third-generation, family-owned grocery has been serving hungry customers since 1906, and their devotion to quality ingredients and Sicilian tradition has never wavered. Grab one of the sesame loaf sammies— piled high with ham, salami, Provolone, and signature olive salad— and take a stroll down Decatur Street.

Gumbo at Stanley

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Grab a bowl of gumbo filled with Gulf shrimp, oysters, chicken, and andouille sausage from this daytime dining locale conveniently overlooking Jackson Square, open Thursday through Monday. only. It warms the heart.

ENOLA

Absinthe at Pirate's Alley

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The “green fairy of New Orleans” calls this bar home in the Quarter. Following the drink’s long and treacherous history, absinthe was reimagined using Herbsaint and other (legal!) flavorings, resulting in a 55% alcohol mixture that is unique to the city.

Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's

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Revelers have flocked to the doors of this French Quarter bar for nearly eight decades to enjoy the notorious and widely-publicized “Hurricane." A vibrantly enticing shade of crimson, this rum-heavy drink has earned the bar its place among Nola’s French Quarter ranks.

Beignets at Café du Monde

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Though it’s one of the most well-known locales on this list, the powdered sugar-dusted wares found at this Decatur St. classic sets Café du Monde apart from most tourist traps. Take a seat at one of the many formica tables or step up to the to-go window for a bag of pillowy beignets and a cup of chicory coffee — both of which are served in the establishment’s outdoor facade.

Daniel Krieger

Champagne & Fries at Sylvain

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Whether celebrating a big event or just wanting to splurge, the Quarter’s favorite gastropub will do you right. At $90 a serving, this unassuming combo is definitely decadent, and exactly what you didn’t know you wanted.

Steak at Doris Metropolitan

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At this classy Isreali steak house, each piece of beef is selected from private farms and dry aged for 21 days in the restaurant. The result is a gloriously meaty experience that is the perfect addition to a night out in the Quarter.

Oysters Rockefeller & Cafe Brulot at Antoine's Restaurant

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Though it’s hard to go wrong with four distinctly delicious oyster preparations on the menu, in our humble opinion it’s the classic Rockefeller-style mollusks that you won’t want to miss. Along with their Cafe Brulot— Coffee! Brandy! Flambé!— this Saint Louis St. staple is a must if while hitting up the Quarter.

Dine al fresco at Broussard's

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Chef Neal Swidler has won countless accolades for his execution of classic dishes like turtle soup, Oysters Rockefeller, and barbecue shrimp — all of which taste even better eaten outside in a balmy Nola evening in this century-old restaurant's inviting courtyard.

Killer Po-boys in Erin Rose

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Served from the back bar of the Erin Rose on Conti Street, these po’ boys are internationally-inspired, creative affairs. Ingredients like roasted sweet potato, seared shrimp, and Dark and Stormy-inspired pork belly separate these from their oft tired, bready cousins. While you’re there, try the frozen Irish coffee and compare to Molly’s at the Market (hint: they’re both great).

Pimm's Cup at Napoleon House

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Though Napoleon never actually made it to this Chartres Street bar, that fact doesn’t seem to bother the droves of people who've sought out the shadowy restaurant since 1906, what with its beautiful courtyard and signature refreshments, the Pimm’s Cup cocktail.

Breakfast at Brennan's

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If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Brennan’s is equipping its customers with all the tools they need for success. Traditional dishes like seafood gumbo, eggs sardou and turtle soup are served alongside AM cocktails and chicory coffee in the ornate dining room. After breakfast, explore the Quarter via Royal Street— or go straight home and take a long nap.

Cocktails at Arnaud's French 75 Bar

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The intimate bar attached to the iconic eatery Arnaud's is a great spot for pre or post dinner drinks. The French 75 and Brandy Crusta are exceptionally good here and if you play your cards right, the restaurant may let you into the cool little Mardi Gras museum upstairs.

Order off menu at GW Fins

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The best way to order at this seafood mecca is to call ahead and ask for the fish collar or the smoked fish “ribs," two of chef Michael Nelson's incredible specialties that will change your perspective on seafood entirely.

Death By Gumbo at Restaurant R'evolution

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If classic gumbo isn’t really your speed, try this decadently updated quail version at one of Nola's finest restaurants. Topped with a whole, semi-boneless quail stuffed with oysters and andouille sausage and served over filé rice, this dish is guaranteed to give you a new perspective on Creole classics.

Nick Solares

Lunch at Johnny's Po-Boys

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Red and white checkered tablecloths and humble, paper-wrapped po-boys make this spot one of the Quarter’s most frequented. Stop in for a quick lunch and choose from over 30 kinds of sandwiches.

Grasshopper at Tujague’s

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Visit the country’s third-oldest restaurant in its new home (sadly, its iconic stand-up bar didn’t make the move) where the Grasshopper, the frothy and minty iconic after-dinner drink, was invented way back in the days when locals and politicians played poker dice at this Decatur Street landmark.

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Friday Lunch at Galatoire's

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Shrimp remoulade and pompano with crab meat are must-orders at this jackets-required Bourbon Street grand dame dating back to 1905. Even with less tables and more distance between them, prepare for a dining room that's packed with regulars, rowdiness, and booze.

Raw or Charbroiled Oysters at Felix's

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An unpretentious staple of Nola’s seafood scene, Felix’s small façade on Iberville St. is the perfect place to snag a quick lunch in the Quarter. The fluorescent sign beckons, promising some of the freshest oysters in town— opt for the raw or charbroiled varietals and grab a seat at the bar to enjoy a local beer while your order is shucked right in front of you.

Burlesque Brunch at SoBou

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Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can get your “eggs with a side of legs.” Honoring New Orleans’s history as a burlesque hotspot from the ‘40s through the ‘60s, SoBou pairs gastronomic creations with live jazz and a performance by burlesque dancer Bella Blue. Though the menu changes constantly, this Chartres Street locale never disappoints.

Ride The Carousel Bar

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The famous Carousel Bar & Lounge is a Nola hotspot that’s been spinning for 65 years in the Hotel Monteleone. Step up to the 25-seat revolving bar and check out the broad cocktail menu (we recommend the Sazerac) and then venture out Royal Street for a night of reveling.

Barbecue Shrimp at Mr. B's

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Served in their shells and doused in peppery, buttery gold, the head-on gulf shrimp from this Creole bistro are served with hefty slices of french bread for dipping.

Dinner at Irene's

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Now in its newish digs on Bienville Street, this family-owned Creole Italian restaurant remains the gold standard for homey, cheesy Italian goodness. Grab a martini at the piano bar before tucking into oysters Irene and crabmeat gratin.

Irene’s new Bienville Street location
Irene’s/Facebook

Tiki Drinks at Latitude 29

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Beachbum Berry’s Hawaiian-influenced spot runs on imagination and rum. The elaborate and inventive drink menu includes a killer Mai Tai and the Navy Grog (Sinatra’s go-to tiki drink).

Burger at Port of Call

What many consider home to the best burger in the city, this Esplanade Ave. destination is a laid-back option for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Kids are welcome and casual dress is encouraged.

Late Night Comfort Food at Verti Marte

With its chalkboard menu and glass display cases by the counter, just a peek inside foreshadows a hearty meal. Try the po’ boys, but bring a friend— these monstrosities are more than enough for two.

Drink at the Piano in Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

Supposedly the country’s oldest structure to be used as a bar, Lafitte’s is a space where music, drinks, and colorful history collide. Sidle up to the bar for their take on a hurricane but head to the piano for a serenade by one of the bar's various well-versed crooners (don't forget to tip).

Late Night Burger at Clover Grill

Taking a seat at one of the ‘50s-style diner stools will propel you back a few decades — add a deliciously steamy, retro burger and you might feel the need to don a poodle skirt (guaranteed: you still won't be the oddest person in the house).

Fried Chicken & Jambalaya at Coop's Place