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Inside a crowded main floor dining room at Galatoire’s for Friday lunch in 2015.
Friday lunch at Galatoire’s.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

New Orleans's Essential Lunch Restaurants

The Crescent City's must-try midday meals

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Friday lunch at Galatoire’s.
| Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

It’s been said that New Orleans is America’s finest lunch town, and it’s no wonder, really — restaurants here take the midday meal seriously. A great number of lunch hubs have opened in New Orleans over the past decade — especially sandwich shops — but the city is still home to many classic midday spots for a more leisurely meal. Here, a swanky, booze-filled Friday lunch remains an institution, but it's just as appealing to saddle up to a counter or bar for a shrimp po' boy, muffuletta, or banh mi.

These essential lunch spots are places worth visiting whether from out of town or local — they include great options for everything from business meetings to midday meet-ups with pals, celebratory meals to damn good sandwiches. As hours are ever-changing right now, be sure to call or visit restaurant social media pages before stopping by.

Don't see an essential lunch spot that should be on the list? Hit the tipline and tell us about it.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Domilise's Po-Boys

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5240 Annunciation St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 899-9126

Domilise's is a po' boy institution dating back to 1918, and what many consider the classic po' boy operation in New Orleans. It's an incredibly delicious hole-in-the-wall experience, where you can't go wrong with a fried shrimp or oyster, dressed.

2. St. James Cheese Company

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5004 Prytania St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 899-4737
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This cheese shop has dominated the casual lunch game since opening in 2007 with a menu of sandwiches featuring cheeses from French brie (on a baguette with ham) to Rogue River's Smokey Blue (with thin sliced roast beef), not too mention a Ploughman's Lunch of cheeses, paté, chutney, a green salad, and bread. Both locations also offer some of the best entree salads in town.

St. James’s ham and brie
St. James Cheese Company

3. Pascal's Manale

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1838 Napoleon Ave
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-4877
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This birthplace of New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, Pascal’s Manale opened in 1913. Today, it’s a lunchtime destination for its friendly oyster bar, laid back attitude, and old-school atmosphere.

Barbecued shrimp served with Leidenheimer French bread 
Pascal Manale’s/Facebook

4. Casamento's Restaurant

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4330 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-9761
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At the narrow, bustling Casamento’s, oyster-shuckers have been holding court since 1919, when this family-owned oyster classic opened. Besides raw oysters, Casamento’s is best known for its oyster loaf (like a fried oyster po’ boy, but on toasted, thick, white sandwich bread); and its Creole style gumbo, lighter in color and flavor and filled with tomatoes and okra.

Casamento’s

5. Toups Meatery

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Carrollton
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 252-4999
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If meat is what you're after, head to this casual Cajun eatery in Mid City from chef Isaac Toups, where the chef's lunch (boudin, burger, and a beer) will set you back about $23 but the house signatures, like confit chicken thigh and the double cut pork chop with dirty rice, are not to be overlooked. The patio makes for an especially pleasant lunch setting.

Toups’s chef’s lunch (boudin, burger, and a beer)
Toups Meatery

6. Parkway Bakery & Tavern

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538 Hagan Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 482-3047
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This Bayou St. John po' boy staple is a favorite among locals and tourists in the know. The fried shrimp is a classic, but it's the Thanksgiving po' boy that has locals lining up around the block on Wednesdays in November. Bonus: An excellent Reuben and gumbo.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

7. Commander's Palace

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1403 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 899-8221
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This Garden District beauty made famous by renowned restaurateur Ella Brennan has been known known for its twenty-five cent lunch martinis since introducing the promotion in the 1990s. For food, chef Meg Bickford offers an affordable three-course prix-fixe special for about $40 or so, featuring the restaurant’s most famous dishes: turtle soup, lacquered quail, and bread pudding soufflé.

8. Liuzza's by the Track

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1518 N Lopez St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 218-7888
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This horse tracks-adjacent neighborhood bar got its start in 1936, later evolving into a quintessential lunch restaurant and the unofficial gathering place for Jazz Fest. It’s best known for the garlic oyster po’ boy and barbecue shrimp po’ boy, both offering slight twists on the classics.

9. Willie Mae's Scotch House

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2401 Saint Ann St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 822-9503

Show up. Wait in line. They'll tell you when a table is ready, and when it is, you'll eat some of the best fried chicken in existence. Don't overlook those peas either.

10. Dooky Chase Restaurant

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2301 Orleans Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 821-0600
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The buffet at this Treme landmark is legendary (when it’s available, per COVID safety protocols), and one of the best ways to experience the late Leah Chase’s iconic restaurant. Try it all at once — gumbo, fried chicken, fried catfish, greens, lima beans — or order from the new takeout menu, which also includes daily family meals, which covers gumbo, salads, po’ boys, and more.

11. Stein's Market and Deli

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2207 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 527-0771
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A majority of Stein’s customers know their order before they go in, lest they get skipped over in line. There’s not much seating at this sandwich icon — a few more tables are outside on Magazine — but most people grab and go anyways, eager to savor a Rachel, Reuben, and any of the other fantastic sandwiches in the privacy of their own home (or car).

Stein's
Stein’s
Brasted/Eater NOLA

12. Turkey And The Wolf

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739 Jackson Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130

This nationally-acclaimed sandwich spot in the LGD might be New Orleans’s best lunch destination to open in the past decade. Distinctive and incredible eats like hogshead cheese tacos, a fried bologna sandwich, any specials, and perhaps best of all, the collard green melt — slow cooked collards, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and cherry pepper dressing served hot on rye — make this an essential lunch visit for locals and tourists alike.

13. Lilly's Cafe

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1813 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 599-9999

This LGD staple is where numerous locals go to get their lunchtime pho fill. Many consider the broth here to be the best in town, but the menu is also home to numerous Vietnamese classics that won't break the bank.

14. Galatoire's

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209 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 525-2021
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This Bourbon Street landmark is famous for its Friday lunch, where the drinks are strong and the menu is bursting with classics — oysters Rockefeller, eggs Sardou, Galatoire Goute, pompano with crabmeat. Show up early to snag a table (and bring a jacket, gentlemen).

Friday lunch at Galatoire’s
Bill Addison/Eater

15. Bayona

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430 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 525-4455
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Head to this Susan Spicer classic in the Quarter for a leisurely Saturday lunch on the intimate back patio, when themed, four-course prix fixe menus — wine pairings included — are a relatively affordable $65. The regular lunch menu is also available Friday and Saturday.

16. Li'l Dizzy's Cafe

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1500 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 766-8687
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Stepping into Li’l Dizzy’s at lunchtime is likely to brighten your day, when you’re greeted with a bustling dining room, friendly owners, and happy customers. Choose from fried catfish and chicken, gumbo and red beans, and po’boys, all high quality and affordable.

Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

17. Cochon Butcher

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930 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 588-7675
Visit Website

It's hard to go wrong at this Cochon annex, where Link Group shows off its incredible charcuterie skills and even more incredible sandwiches. The muffuletta is one of the best in town, but it's hard to go wrong with anything from a Cubano to a serving of boudin.

Butcher’s buckboard bacon melt
Bill Addison/Eater

1. Domilise's Po-Boys

5240 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Domilise's is a po' boy institution dating back to 1918, and what many consider the classic po' boy operation in New Orleans. It's an incredibly delicious hole-in-the-wall experience, where you can't go wrong with a fried shrimp or oyster, dressed.

5240 Annunciation St
New Orleans, LA 70115

2. St. James Cheese Company

5004 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 70115
St. James’s ham and brie
St. James Cheese Company

This cheese shop has dominated the casual lunch game since opening in 2007 with a menu of sandwiches featuring cheeses from French brie (on a baguette with ham) to Rogue River's Smokey Blue (with thin sliced roast beef), not too mention a Ploughman's Lunch of cheeses, paté, chutney, a green salad, and bread. Both locations also offer some of the best entree salads in town.

5004 Prytania St
New Orleans, LA 70115

3. Pascal's Manale

1838 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115
Barbecued shrimp served with Leidenheimer French bread 
Pascal Manale’s/Facebook

This birthplace of New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, Pascal’s Manale opened in 1913. Today, it’s a lunchtime destination for its friendly oyster bar, laid back attitude, and old-school atmosphere.

1838 Napoleon Ave
New Orleans, LA 70115

4. Casamento's Restaurant

4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Casamento’s

At the narrow, bustling Casamento’s, oyster-shuckers have been holding court since 1919, when this family-owned oyster classic opened. Besides raw oysters, Casamento’s is best known for its oyster loaf (like a fried oyster po’ boy, but on toasted, thick, white sandwich bread); and its Creole style gumbo, lighter in color and flavor and filled with tomatoes and okra.

4330 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

5. Toups Meatery

Carrollton, New Orleans, LA 70119
Toups’s chef’s lunch (boudin, burger, and a beer)
Toups Meatery

If meat is what you're after, head to this casual Cajun eatery in Mid City from chef Isaac Toups, where the chef's lunch (boudin, burger, and a beer) will set you back about $23 but the house signatures, like confit chicken thigh and the double cut pork chop with dirty rice, are not to be overlooked. The patio makes for an especially pleasant lunch setting.

Carrollton
New Orleans, LA 70119

6. Parkway Bakery & Tavern

538 Hagan Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

This Bayou St. John po' boy staple is a favorite among locals and tourists in the know. The fried shrimp is a classic, but it's the Thanksgiving po' boy that has locals lining up around the block on Wednesdays in November. Bonus: An excellent Reuben and gumbo.

538 Hagan Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

7. Commander's Palace

1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

This Garden District beauty made famous by renowned restaurateur Ella Brennan has been known known for its twenty-five cent lunch martinis since introducing the promotion in the 1990s. For food, chef Meg Bickford offers an affordable three-course prix-fixe special for about $40 or so, featuring the restaurant’s most famous dishes: turtle soup, lacquered quail, and bread pudding soufflé.

1403 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130

8. Liuzza's by the Track

1518 N Lopez St, New Orleans, LA 70119

This horse tracks-adjacent neighborhood bar got its start in 1936, later evolving into a quintessential lunch restaurant and the unofficial gathering place for Jazz Fest. It’s best known for the garlic oyster po’ boy and barbecue shrimp po’ boy, both offering slight twists on the classics.

1518 N Lopez St
New Orleans, LA 70119

9. Willie Mae's Scotch House

2401 Saint Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Show up. Wait in line. They'll tell you when a table is ready, and when it is, you'll eat some of the best fried chicken in existence. Don't overlook those peas either.

2401 Saint Ann St
New Orleans, LA 70119

10. Dooky Chase Restaurant

2301 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

The buffet at this Treme landmark is legendary (when it’s available, per COVID safety protocols), and one of the best ways to experience the late Leah Chase’s iconic restaurant. Try it all at once — gumbo, fried chicken, fried catfish, greens, lima beans — or order from the new takeout menu, which also includes daily family meals, which covers gumbo, salads, po’ boys, and more.

2301 Orleans Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

11. Stein's Market and Deli

2207 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Stein's
Stein’s
Brasted/Eater NOLA

A majority of Stein’s customers know their order before they go in, lest they get skipped over in line. There’s not much seating at this sandwich icon — a few more tables are outside on Magazine — but most people grab and go anyways, eager to savor a Rachel, Reuben, and any of the other fantastic sandwiches in the privacy of their own home (or car).

2207 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130

12. Turkey And The Wolf

739 Jackson Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

This nationally-acclaimed sandwich spot in the LGD might be New Orleans’s best lunch destination to open in the past decade. Distinctive and incredible eats like hogshead cheese tacos, a fried bologna sandwich, any specials, and perhaps best of all, the collard green melt — slow cooked collards, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and cherry pepper dressing served hot on rye — make this an essential lunch visit for locals and tourists alike.

739 Jackson Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130

13. Lilly's Cafe

1813 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

This LGD staple is where numerous locals go to get their lunchtime pho fill. Many consider the broth here to be the best in town, but the menu is also home to numerous Vietnamese classics that won't break the bank.

1813 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130

14. Galatoire's

209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Friday lunch at Galatoire’s
Bill Addison/Eater

This Bourbon Street landmark is famous for its Friday lunch, where the drinks are strong and the menu is bursting with classics — oysters Rockefeller, eggs Sardou, Galatoire Goute, pompano with crabmeat. Show up early to snag a table (and bring a jacket, gentlemen).

209 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA 70130

15. Bayona

430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Head to this Susan Spicer classic in the Quarter for a leisurely Saturday lunch on the intimate back patio, when themed, four-course prix fixe menus — wine pairings included — are a relatively affordable $65. The regular lunch menu is also available Friday and Saturday.

430 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70112

Related Maps

16. Li'l Dizzy's Cafe

1500 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116
Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

Stepping into Li’l Dizzy’s at lunchtime is likely to brighten your day, when you’re greeted with a bustling dining room, friendly owners, and happy customers. Choose from fried catfish and chicken, gumbo and red beans, and po’boys, all high quality and affordable.

1500 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70116

17. Cochon Butcher

930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Butcher’s buckboard bacon melt
Bill Addison/Eater

It's hard to go wrong at this Cochon annex, where Link Group shows off its incredible charcuterie skills and even more incredible sandwiches. The muffuletta is one of the best in town, but it's hard to go wrong with anything from a Cubano to a serving of boudin.

930 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Related Maps