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A plate with a pan-seared filet of fish topped with lump crabmeat and meuniere sauce.
Pompano meuniere with crabmeat from Galatoire’s.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Taste New Orleans History at These Classic Creole Restaurants

Expect turtle soup, shrimp Clemenceau, and bread pudding

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Pompano meuniere with crabmeat from Galatoire’s.
| Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

New Orleans is arguably the only American city with its own singularly distinctive cuisine. Sure, there are iconic dishes in every food town, from Chicago deep dish (and tavern-style) pizza to Memphis barbecue, but New Orleans has its own special gastronomy that draws hungry diners from all points of the globe. Not to be confused with rustic Cajun cuisine eaten by French Acadians living among swamps, bayous, and prairies, Creole fare was favored by city dwellers in New Orleans. A European-centric history of the cuisine gives outsized credit to French and Spanish immigrants, but the culinary traditions of enslaved Africans and Choctaw Indians were central to the evolution of Creole cooking, and the prevalence of ingredients like mirliton, crawfish, and snapper.

Below are 15 New Orleans restaurants that showcase the best of Creole cuisine, from new school to old, counter-service to fine dining.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The Munch Factory

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Located in Ponchartrain Park in the Joseph M. Bartholomew golf course clubhouse, the Munch Factory offers creatively imagined Creole cuisine along with a wide selection of casual salads, sandwiches, and comfort food. CIA-trained chef Jordan Ruiz and his wife and business partner Alexis, both born and bred in Gentilly, welcome guests with deeply layered gumbo, shrimp and grits, and blackened Gulf fish.

Oysters Gentilly from Munch Factory.
The Munch Factory/Official

Dooky Chase Restaurant

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It’s no wonder Dooky Chase’s remains one of the city’s most legendary fine dining destinations, thanks to the decades of hard work by the “Queen of Creole cuisine,” Leah Chase, who remained in the kitchen until her death at age 96. The Treme institution continues to serve some of the oldest, less-common Creole dishes of the past, like gumbo z’herbes on Holy Thursday, shrimp Clemenceau (a dish of shrimp, potatoes, mushrooms, and peas topped), and chicken Creole.

A table with a white tablecloth has a bowl of gumbo filled with seafood.
Creole gumbo from Dooky Chase’s.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Saint John

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Chefs Eric Cook and Daren Porretto channel the Creole wayback machine at Saint John, the art-filled restaurant in the upper Quarter. The menu dishes retro Creole dishes like crispy chicken Clemenceau, with fresh peas, mushrooms, potatoes, and tasso swimming in a flavorful jus.                

Oysters Saint John.
Randy Schmidt/Saint John

Cafe Sbisa

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Chef-partner Alfred Singleton, who started as a busboy, now commands the kitchen at Cafe Sbisa, the century-old brasserie on Decatur Street. The ambiance is elegant and moody, especially on the balcony seating overlooking the uplit bar. Savor the Louisiana blue crab cakes, fried oysters Sbisa served over creamed spinach with Tabasco hollandaise, and rich turtle soup laced with sherry. 

Antoine's Restaurant

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Antoine’s, owned and operated by fifth-generation kin to founder Antoine Alciatore, opened its doors to serve fine Creole cuisine in 1840. More than 180 years later, this grand dame is still the oldest continuously operating, family-owned restaurant in America. Here, against a warren of Mardi Gras-themed dining rooms and impressive architecture, storied dishes like oysters Rockefeller, eggs Sardou, and the potato clouds of pommes de terre souffles were born.

Inside Antoine's
One of the dining rooms at Antoine’s.
Antoine’s

Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard

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Broussard’s turned 100 in 2020 so naturally, the party is still going on. With executive chef Jimi Setchim steering the French Creole ship, Broussard’s menu offers both traditional and more modern takes on New Orleans classics. His shrimp, foie, and boudin croquettes are a wonder; same for the bronzed redfish with lemon beurre blanc. Courtyard dining is a special option.

Gulf shrimp etouffee from Mr. B’s.
Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard

Arnaud's

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At 104, Arnaud’s is a Creole heavyweight. Start the experience with an amazing cocktail at the French 75 bar then settle into the stunning tiled dining room, with its glowing chandeliers, flickering candlelight, and tall leaded-glass windows. Feast on shrimp Arnaud in a tangy remoulade sauce, trout amandine, and on and on.

Dessert and a show at Arnaud’s
Arnaud’s

Galatoire's

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Of course, Galatoire’s remains a classic, although holding onto that title is never guaranteed. The most entertaining option is to go for Friday lunch, when a who’s who of the Uptown crowd drink, table-hop, and raise the decibel level noticeably as the afternoon progresses. Just be sure to block out the rest of the day, and get the turtle soup, crab Maison, and crawfish etouffee.

A plate with a pan-seared filet of fish topped with lump crabmeat and meuniere sauce.
Pompano meuniere with crabmeat is a Galatoire’s classic.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Bourbon House

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Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House is an oasis on Bourbon Street, a beacon of fine brown liquor and Creole dishes like seafood and sausage gumbo, Bourbon shrimp and grits, and fried Des Allemands catfish. Those lockers on the side of the restaurant? That’s where serious tipplers store their hooch.

NEW ORLEANS - JUNE 09: Rickey Lee shucks Louisiana oysters from area 7 at the Bourbon House restaurant on June 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Oysters at Bourbon House.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mr. B's Bistro

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A beacon of hospitality and fine Creole cuisine, with some Cajun cooking in the mix, Mr. B’s has been true blue to Louisiana cuisine since Cindy Brennan opened the restaurant in 1979. Signature items include a glossy dark gumbo ya-ya, barbecue shrimp, wood-grilled local fish, and a luscious Creole bread pudding with whiskey sauce.

Palace Café

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Housed in the historic Werlein’s music building at the foot of Canal, Palace Cafe is such a pretty spot, thankfully opened again after Hurricane Ida wreaked some havoc. Another Dickie Brennan spot, Palace Cafe has a nice mix of traditional and modern dishes, from turtle soup and catfish pecan to a decadent crabmeat cheesecake. The crab claws marinated in a Creole vinaigrette wake up the palate to start.

The bar at Palace Cafe.
Brasted/Eater NOLA

Brigtsen's Restaurant

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Prize pupil of legendary chef Paul Prudhomme, Frank Brigtsen, opened this namesake restaurant in a cozy Riverbend shotgun with his wife, Marna, in 1986. Since then, Brigtsen has become one of the most respected chefs in New Orleans with his modern but familiar Creole cuisine, like New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp with calas, a once nearly extinct fried rice ball that street vendors used to sell near the French Market and at Congo Square.

New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp with shrimp calas from Brigsten’s.
Brigtsen’s

Commander's Palace

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Commanding the table since 1893, Commander’s Palace sets the highest of hospitality bars reflecting the late Ella Brennan’s laser-focused attention to detail. This Victorian Creole palace in the Garden District creates memorable experiences at every time of the day, from jazz brunch to a weekday martini lunch to dinner. Chef Meg Bickford brings a deft eye to every plate, paying homage to the past while always looking ahead. Her Creole gumbo is one of the best in town.

Commander’s Palace restaurant on Washington Avenue, a long, shotgun-style building with wood shingles painted in robin egg’s blue with white trim and lined with a blue and white striped awning.
Outside Commander’s Palace.
Shutterstock

Clancy's Restaurant

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A bastion of the Uptown seersucker set, Clancy’s on Annunciation preserves the hallowed halls of tradition with the likes of grilled pompano, sauteed veal liver with crispy onions, and smoked duck with dirty rice. Non-regulars can expect to get the once over, at least until that first martini is shaken and served.

Clancy’s famous fried oysters with brie.
Bill Addison/Eater

The Munch Factory

Oysters Gentilly from Munch Factory.
The Munch Factory/Official

Located in Ponchartrain Park in the Joseph M. Bartholomew golf course clubhouse, the Munch Factory offers creatively imagined Creole cuisine along with a wide selection of casual salads, sandwiches, and comfort food. CIA-trained chef Jordan Ruiz and his wife and business partner Alexis, both born and bred in Gentilly, welcome guests with deeply layered gumbo, shrimp and grits, and blackened Gulf fish.

Oysters Gentilly from Munch Factory.
The Munch Factory/Official

Dooky Chase Restaurant

A table with a white tablecloth has a bowl of gumbo filled with seafood.
Creole gumbo from Dooky Chase’s.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

It’s no wonder Dooky Chase’s remains one of the city’s most legendary fine dining destinations, thanks to the decades of hard work by the “Queen of Creole cuisine,” Leah Chase, who remained in the kitchen until her death at age 96. The Treme institution continues to serve some of the oldest, less-common Creole dishes of the past, like gumbo z’herbes on Holy Thursday, shrimp Clemenceau (a dish of shrimp, potatoes, mushrooms, and peas topped), and chicken Creole.

A table with a white tablecloth has a bowl of gumbo filled with seafood.
Creole gumbo from Dooky Chase’s.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Saint John

Oysters Saint John.
Randy Schmidt/Saint John

Chefs Eric Cook and Daren Porretto channel the Creole wayback machine at Saint John, the art-filled restaurant in the upper Quarter. The menu dishes retro Creole dishes like crispy chicken Clemenceau, with fresh peas, mushrooms, potatoes, and tasso swimming in a flavorful jus.                

Oysters Saint John.
Randy Schmidt/Saint John

Cafe Sbisa

Chef-partner Alfred Singleton, who started as a busboy, now commands the kitchen at Cafe Sbisa, the century-old brasserie on Decatur Street. The ambiance is elegant and moody, especially on the balcony seating overlooking the uplit bar. Savor the Louisiana blue crab cakes, fried oysters Sbisa served over creamed spinach with Tabasco hollandaise, and rich turtle soup laced with sherry. 

Antoine's Restaurant

Inside Antoine's
One of the dining rooms at Antoine’s.
Antoine’s

Antoine’s, owned and operated by fifth-generation kin to founder Antoine Alciatore, opened its doors to serve fine Creole cuisine in 1840. More than 180 years later, this grand dame is still the oldest continuously operating, family-owned restaurant in America. Here, against a warren of Mardi Gras-themed dining rooms and impressive architecture, storied dishes like oysters Rockefeller, eggs Sardou, and the potato clouds of pommes de terre souffles were born.

Inside Antoine's
One of the dining rooms at Antoine’s.
Antoine’s

Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard

Gulf shrimp etouffee from Mr. B’s.
Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard

Broussard’s turned 100 in 2020 so naturally, the party is still going on. With executive chef Jimi Setchim steering the French Creole ship, Broussard’s menu offers both traditional and more modern takes on New Orleans classics. His shrimp, foie, and boudin croquettes are a wonder; same for the bronzed redfish with lemon beurre blanc. Courtyard dining is a special option.

Gulf shrimp etouffee from Mr. B’s.
Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard

Arnaud's

Dessert and a show at Arnaud’s
Arnaud’s

At 104, Arnaud’s is a Creole heavyweight. Start the experience with an amazing cocktail at the French 75 bar then settle into the stunning tiled dining room, with its glowing chandeliers, flickering candlelight, and tall leaded-glass windows. Feast on shrimp Arnaud in a tangy remoulade sauce, trout amandine, and on and on.

Dessert and a show at Arnaud’s
Arnaud’s

Galatoire's

A plate with a pan-seared filet of fish topped with lump crabmeat and meuniere sauce.
Pompano meuniere with crabmeat is a Galatoire’s classic.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Of course, Galatoire’s remains a classic, although holding onto that title is never guaranteed. The most entertaining option is to go for Friday lunch, when a who’s who of the Uptown crowd drink, table-hop, and raise the decibel level noticeably as the afternoon progresses. Just be sure to block out the rest of the day, and get the turtle soup, crab Maison, and crawfish etouffee.

A plate with a pan-seared filet of fish topped with lump crabmeat and meuniere sauce.
Pompano meuniere with crabmeat is a Galatoire’s classic.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Bourbon House

NEW ORLEANS - JUNE 09: Rickey Lee shucks Louisiana oysters from area 7 at the Bourbon House restaurant on June 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Oysters at Bourbon House.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House is an oasis on Bourbon Street, a beacon of fine brown liquor and Creole dishes like seafood and sausage gumbo, Bourbon shrimp and grits, and fried Des Allemands catfish. Those lockers on the side of the restaurant? That’s where serious tipplers store their hooch.

NEW ORLEANS - JUNE 09: Rickey Lee shucks Louisiana oysters from area 7 at the Bourbon House restaurant on June 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Oysters at Bourbon House.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mr. B's Bistro

A beacon of hospitality and fine Creole cuisine, with some Cajun cooking in the mix, Mr. B’s has been true blue to Louisiana cuisine since Cindy Brennan opened the restaurant in 1979. Signature items include a glossy dark gumbo ya-ya, barbecue shrimp, wood-grilled local fish, and a luscious Creole bread pudding with whiskey sauce.

Palace Café

The bar at Palace Cafe.
Brasted/Eater NOLA

Housed in the historic Werlein’s music building at the foot of Canal, Palace Cafe is such a pretty spot, thankfully opened again after Hurricane Ida wreaked some havoc. Another Dickie Brennan spot, Palace Cafe has a nice mix of traditional and modern dishes, from turtle soup and catfish pecan to a decadent crabmeat cheesecake. The crab claws marinated in a Creole vinaigrette wake up the palate to start.

The bar at Palace Cafe.
Brasted/Eater NOLA

Brigtsen's Restaurant

New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp with shrimp calas from Brigsten’s.
Brigtsen’s

Prize pupil of legendary chef Paul Prudhomme, Frank Brigtsen, opened this namesake restaurant in a cozy Riverbend shotgun with his wife, Marna, in 1986. Since then, Brigtsen has become one of the most respected chefs in New Orleans with his modern but familiar Creole cuisine, like New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp with calas, a once nearly extinct fried rice ball that street vendors used to sell near the French Market and at Congo Square.

New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp with shrimp calas from Brigsten’s.
Brigtsen’s

Commander's Palace

Commander’s Palace restaurant on Washington Avenue, a long, shotgun-style building with wood shingles painted in robin egg’s blue with white trim and lined with a blue and white striped awning.
Outside Commander’s Palace.
Shutterstock

Commanding the table since 1893, Commander’s Palace sets the highest of hospitality bars reflecting the late Ella Brennan’s laser-focused attention to detail. This Victorian Creole palace in the Garden District creates memorable experiences at every time of the day, from jazz brunch to a weekday martini lunch to dinner. Chef Meg Bickford brings a deft eye to every plate, paying homage to the past while always looking ahead. Her Creole gumbo is one of the best in town.

Commander’s Palace restaurant on Washington Avenue, a long, shotgun-style building with wood shingles painted in robin egg’s blue with white trim and lined with a blue and white striped awning.
Outside Commander’s Palace.
Shutterstock

Clancy's Restaurant

Clancy’s famous fried oysters with brie.
Bill Addison/Eater

A bastion of the Uptown seersucker set, Clancy’s on Annunciation preserves the hallowed halls of tradition with the likes of grilled pompano, sauteed veal liver with crispy onions, and smoked duck with dirty rice. Non-regulars can expect to get the once over, at least until that first martini is shaken and served.

Clancy’s famous fried oysters with brie.
Bill Addison/Eater

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