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Bluefin tuna crudo from Commons Club
Sam Hanna/Virgin Hotels New Orleans

The Hottest New Restaurants in New Orleans, September 2021

15 brand new spots in town for Louisiana seafood, Spanish tapas, and Japanese hand rolls

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Bluefin tuna crudo from Commons Club
| Sam Hanna/Virgin Hotels New Orleans

As New Orleans continues to open up and settle into the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eater is highlighting the most exciting new restaurants in the city, spots that offer a mix of outdoor seating, indoor dining, delivery, and takeout. From new wine bars with inventive small plates to extravagant hotel restaurants aiming to be the next Commander’s, there’s been a range of openings so far this year. Here are the best new restaurants to check out in New Orleans, arranged geographically as always. And remember, New Orleans has a mandate requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to dine indoors, so arrive prepared.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Yakuza House

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1325 Veterans Memorial Blvd STE A
Metairie, LA 70005
(504) 345-2031
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Yakuza House opened in Metairie in spring 2020, specializing in sandos, hand rolls, and donburi bowls in an adorable and tiny building on Vets Boulevard, one that feels perfect for the intimate nature of the food. Hand rolls are made fresh at the six-seat sushi bar and delivered to customers immediately, along with nigiri and crudo, and on the non-raw side, Japanese sandos with fried chicken cutlet or egg salad and donburi rice bowls. Dishes and proteins will rotate, as chef Huy Pham wants to keep the small menu fresh for customers.

2. Seafood Sally's

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8400 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 766-8736
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Seafood Sally’s is a hotly-anticipated second restaurant from Caitlin Carney and Marcus Jacobs of Marjie’s Grill, serving a menu of oysters, boiled, fried, blackened, and broiled seafood, hot fried chicken sandwiches, and all-you-can-eat crab feasts. Chef Joshua Blue leads the kitchen at the Oak Street space most recently home to La Casita, which now boasts a raw bar, semi-private back room, and outdoor seating.

3. 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant on Oak

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8227 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118

Pythian Market food stall and former Central City restaurant 14 Parishes now has a restaurant serving Jamaican specialties on Oak Street, taking over the former location of pizza chain Mellow Mushroom. The new restaurant is two stories, with bars on both levels; the upstairs loungey area can be rented out for private events, and the bar on the ground floor is focused on rum cocktails. The opening menu includes salmon sliders, a smoked herring board, and traditional Jamaican patties to start; jerk chicken and ribs, a whole red snapper prepared two ways, and curry chicken.

4. The Business Bar

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4525 Freret St
New Orleans, LA 70115

Bringing a bar for those who like to mix work and play to New Orleans, the Business Bar opened at the end of February with cocktails, classic gastropub fare, and a vibrant atmosphere. Owners ​Jade Newman and Jessica Robinson are New Orleans natives that founded the restaurant to fill the void for a place that is conducive for people to get work done while enjoying quality food and drinks, even if it’s early (especially given an increasingly remote work reality). Small plates of truffle fries and fried Brussels sprouts, classic Caesar salads with grilled chicken or shrimp, flatbreads, and tacos are all available for takeout, too.

5. Mister Mao

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4501 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 345-2056
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Get ready for a trip at Mister Mao, Uptown’s brand new tropical roadhouse. Located in the former Dick & Jenny’s on Tchoupitoulas Street, owners Sophina Uong and William Greenwell have transformed the homey building into a bright, funky spot featuring roving carts of small plates, excellent cocktails from the back bar, and fresh, inventive takes on global cuisine. Don’t miss the pani puri, escargot Wellingtons, or octopus aguachile, but be sure to leave room to snag special small plates off the roving carts and to try, ideally, all of the incredible desserts.

Katherine Kimball/ENOLA

6. El Cucuy NOLA

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3507 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 897-5395
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Adding to a seemingly never-ending wave of taco joints to hit New Orleans, the long-awaited heavy metal and South American folklore-themed El Cucuy is now open on Tchoupitoulas. The trompo-style taqueria revolves around a large, shaded dining deck adjacent to the restaurant, and is also open for dine-in and takeout.

7. Del Sur

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914 Union St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 603-2442
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The current restaurant in the hip and serene Catahoula Hotel, Del Sur, is new from Byron Bradley and David Hargrove, who serve a concise and tasty menu of Afro-Latin cuisine. Dishes include a bright shrimp ceviche served with plaintains, and pimientos rellenos, a stuffed poblano pepper with quinoa, vegetables, and queso that marries traditions of Louisiana food and Latin-Caribbean flavors. The Suspiro De Limeno dessert, with Peruvian caramel meringue, passionfruit gelee, and a pecan Florentine pairs nicely with pisco and other cocktails combining Caribbean, Latin, and African influences.

Pimientos rellenos from Del Sur 
Randy Schmidt/ENOLA

8. Commons Club New Orleans

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550 Baronne St
New Orleans, LA 70113

This downtown restaurant can be found in the new Virgin Hotel New Orleans, who tapped Alex Harrell for the food program, a well-known local chef who’s led the kitchen at SylvainAngeline, and most recently, at the Elysian Bar. The menu of contemporary Southern-American cuisine includes highlights like smoked potato croquettes with trout roe, a steamed corn flan topped with pickled watermelon rind and blue crab, and sourdough cavatelli.

Bluefin tuna crudo
Sam Hanna/Virgin Hotels New Orleans

9. Elizabeth Street Cafe

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1507 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 350-2450
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This spot is the buzzy New Orleans expansion of Austin’s Elizabeth Street Cafe, a popular all-day cafe serving French-Vietnamese pastries for breakfast and Vietnamese specialties for lunch and early dinner, like ginger-chili oil dumplings, banh mi, and chicken laap. Two Austin hospitality veterans partnered with the Hotel Saint Vincent to replicate the cafe at the hotel, as well as to create its other restaurant, San Lorenzo. Elizabeth Street Cafe also serves cocktails and natural wine, coffee and tea, and desserts including strawberry guava jam or lychee raspberry jam beignets, a dark chocolate pot de creme with miso caramel, daily macarons, and a Nutella eclair.

10. Pluck Wine Bar & Restaurant

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722 Girod St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Pluck is a new wine bar in the Warehouse District that, notably, serves food from the former chef at Mimi’s in the Marigny, a now-closed dive bar loved for its excellent late-night tapas menu. Heathcliffe Hailey is now cooking at Pluck, opened by sommelier Skye LaTorre. Hailey serves Spanish-inspired pintxo-like snacks and charcuterie, as well as small plates like fried frog legs, roasted quail, and shrimp pastis.

11. Fritai

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1535 Basin St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 264-7899
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Fritai is the first restaurant for Charly Pierre, whose St. Roch Market food stall became known for Haitian specialties and the fritai sandwich, a playful invention of pulled pork stuffed between two fried plantains with avocado, mango sauce, and pikliz, a spicy relish-like condiment made of cabbage, carrot, and pickle. The sandwich is on the menu at the new restaurant, along with a griot plate of braised and fried pork, avocado, pikliz, colè rice (jasmine cooked with red beans), and Creole sauce (a tomato-based sauce with peppers, onions, and garlic); whole roasted fish; and espageti, or traditional Haitian spaghetti sauteed with smoked herring, epis paste, andouille sausage, and a soft-boiled egg.

The Fritai sandwich 
Fritai/Facebook

12. Peacock Room

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501 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 571-1818
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Peacock Room is the restaurant in the new Kimpton Hotel Fontenot downtown, the the restaurant snagged Chris Lusk, a longtime New Orleans chef who has cooked at Restaurant R’evolution, Cafe Adelaide, and the Caribbean Room, for a menu of dishes like fruits de mer pho made with cashew hoisin, grouper, shrimp ramen, and crab boulettes; chicken and eggplant fricasse with tomato and toasted farro; and black lentil vadouvan curry. The cocktail program is also a standout, curated with hard-to-come-by spirits and cocktails like the Primp and Preen, made with mezcal, white rum, orgeat, fresh citrus and blue curaçao; a Ruby Bridges made with gin, Cynar, citrus, strawberry, and basil; and the Sackcloth and Ashes, with Toki Japanese whisky and Amaro Montenegro (and mysteriously, “umami”).

Fruits de mer pho
Peacock Room

13. Miss River

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2 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 434-5100
Visit Website

August 2021 brought the debut of the Four Seasons New Orleans along with Miss River, Alon Shaya’s restaurant in the hotel. Miss River intends to offer the kind of special occasion, luxurious dining experience you might expect from a Four Seasons property, serving modern Louisiana fare like clay pot dirty rice topped with seared duck breast and duck egg yolk; a Louisiana oyster patty with puff pastry and caramelized mushrooms; salt-crusted red whole red snapper; and whole buttermilk fried chicken.

14. Budsi’s Authentic Thai

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1760 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 381-4636
Visit Website

The husband and wife team behind Budsi’s Authentic Thai opened their much-anticipated restaurant of the same name in December 2020 after popping up at Pal’s for years. Chef Budsaba Mason offers a menu of familiar Thai food like drunken noodles and pad thai as well as Isan specialties like waterfall pork, beef and chicken larb, fermented fish, crab som tam, and mango sticky rice.

Budsi’s new restaurant on N. Rampart Street
Budsi’s Authentic Thai/Facebook

15. Anna's

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2601 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 766-8376
Visit Website

Anna’s takes over the space formerly home to Mimi’s in the Marigny, a locals favorite for pool downstairs and creative small plates upstairs. Wisely, the new owners have kept the same idea, and brought in two vets of the New Orleans food and drink world: Anna Giordano (Jewel of the South, Bar Tonique, and Longway Tavern, among others) runs the bar, and chef Chris Hamm (Coquette, Cavan, Sylvain) leads the kitchen. The menu is similarly tapas-like, with highlights including the manchego toast, crispy octopus, and papas bravas; as well as a delicious bistec served with green garlic salsa verde. The cocktail menu is extensive, and the upstairs bar serves an excellent specialty martini, gimlet, and mezcal drink that also features Bonanto aperitif, citrus, orgeat, and soda.

1. Yakuza House

1325 Veterans Memorial Blvd STE A, Metairie, LA 70005

Yakuza House opened in Metairie in spring 2020, specializing in sandos, hand rolls, and donburi bowls in an adorable and tiny building on Vets Boulevard, one that feels perfect for the intimate nature of the food. Hand rolls are made fresh at the six-seat sushi bar and delivered to customers immediately, along with nigiri and crudo, and on the non-raw side, Japanese sandos with fried chicken cutlet or egg salad and donburi rice bowls. Dishes and proteins will rotate, as chef Huy Pham wants to keep the small menu fresh for customers.

1325 Veterans Memorial Blvd STE A
Metairie, LA 70005

2. Seafood Sally's

8400 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Seafood Sally’s is a hotly-anticipated second restaurant from Caitlin Carney and Marcus Jacobs of Marjie’s Grill, serving a menu of oysters, boiled, fried, blackened, and broiled seafood, hot fried chicken sandwiches, and all-you-can-eat crab feasts. Chef Joshua Blue leads the kitchen at the Oak Street space most recently home to La Casita, which now boasts a raw bar, semi-private back room, and outdoor seating.

8400 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118

3. 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant on Oak

8227 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Pythian Market food stall and former Central City restaurant 14 Parishes now has a restaurant serving Jamaican specialties on Oak Street, taking over the former location of pizza chain Mellow Mushroom. The new restaurant is two stories, with bars on both levels; the upstairs loungey area can be rented out for private events, and the bar on the ground floor is focused on rum cocktails. The opening menu includes salmon sliders, a smoked herring board, and traditional Jamaican patties to start; jerk chicken and ribs, a whole red snapper prepared two ways, and curry chicken.

8227 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118

4. The Business Bar

4525 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Bringing a bar for those who like to mix work and play to New Orleans, the Business Bar opened at the end of February with cocktails, classic gastropub fare, and a vibrant atmosphere. Owners ​Jade Newman and Jessica Robinson are New Orleans natives that founded the restaurant to fill the void for a place that is conducive for people to get work done while enjoying quality food and drinks, even if it’s early (especially given an increasingly remote work reality). Small plates of truffle fries and fried Brussels sprouts, classic Caesar salads with grilled chicken or shrimp, flatbreads, and tacos are all available for takeout, too.

4525 Freret St
New Orleans, LA 70115

5. Mister Mao

4501 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Katherine Kimball/ENOLA

Get ready for a trip at Mister Mao, Uptown’s brand new tropical roadhouse. Located in the former Dick & Jenny’s on Tchoupitoulas Street, owners Sophina Uong and William Greenwell have transformed the homey building into a bright, funky spot featuring roving carts of small plates, excellent cocktails from the back bar, and fresh, inventive takes on global cuisine. Don’t miss the pani puri, escargot Wellingtons, or octopus aguachile, but be sure to leave room to snag special small plates off the roving carts and to try, ideally, all of the incredible desserts.

4501 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70115

6. El Cucuy NOLA

3507 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Adding to a seemingly never-ending wave of taco joints to hit New Orleans, the long-awaited heavy metal and South American folklore-themed El Cucuy is now open on Tchoupitoulas. The trompo-style taqueria revolves around a large, shaded dining deck adjacent to the restaurant, and is also open for dine-in and takeout.

3507 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70115

7. Del Sur

914 Union St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Pimientos rellenos from Del Sur 
Randy Schmidt/ENOLA

The current restaurant in the hip and serene Catahoula Hotel, Del Sur, is new from Byron Bradley and David Hargrove, who serve a concise and tasty menu of Afro-Latin cuisine. Dishes include a bright shrimp ceviche served with plaintains, and pimientos rellenos, a stuffed poblano pepper with quinoa, vegetables, and queso that marries traditions of Louisiana food and Latin-Caribbean flavors. The Suspiro De Limeno dessert, with Peruvian caramel meringue, passionfruit gelee, and a pecan Florentine pairs nicely with pisco and other cocktails combining Caribbean, Latin, and African influences.

914 Union St
New Orleans, LA 70112

8. Commons Club New Orleans

550 Baronne St, New Orleans, LA 70113
Bluefin tuna crudo
Sam Hanna/Virgin Hotels New Orleans

This downtown restaurant can be found in the new Virgin Hotel New Orleans, who tapped Alex Harrell for the food program, a well-known local chef who’s led the kitchen at SylvainAngeline, and most recently, at the Elysian Bar. The menu of contemporary Southern-American cuisine includes highlights like smoked potato croquettes with trout roe, a steamed corn flan topped with pickled watermelon rind and blue crab, and sourdough cavatelli.

550 Baronne St
New Orleans, LA 70113

9. Elizabeth Street Cafe

1507 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

This spot is the buzzy New Orleans expansion of Austin’s Elizabeth Street Cafe, a popular all-day cafe serving French-Vietnamese pastries for breakfast and Vietnamese specialties for lunch and early dinner, like ginger-chili oil dumplings, banh mi, and chicken laap. Two Austin hospitality veterans partnered with the Hotel Saint Vincent to replicate the cafe at the hotel, as well as to create its other restaurant, San Lorenzo. Elizabeth Street Cafe also serves cocktails and natural wine, coffee and tea, and desserts including strawberry guava jam or lychee raspberry jam beignets, a dark chocolate pot de creme with miso caramel, daily macarons, and a Nutella eclair.

1507 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130

10. Pluck Wine Bar & Restaurant

722 Girod St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Pluck is a new wine bar in the Warehouse District that, notably, serves food from the former chef at Mimi’s in the Marigny, a now-closed dive bar loved for its excellent late-night tapas menu. Heathcliffe Hailey is now cooking at Pluck, opened by sommelier Skye LaTorre. Hailey serves Spanish-inspired pintxo-like snacks and charcuterie, as well as small plates like fried frog legs, roasted quail, and shrimp pastis.

722 Girod St
New Orleans, LA 70130

11. Fritai

1535 Basin St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The Fritai sandwich 
Fritai/Facebook

Fritai is the first restaurant for Charly Pierre, whose St. Roch Market food stall became known for Haitian specialties and the fritai sandwich, a playful invention of pulled pork stuffed between two fried plantains with avocado, mango sauce, and pikliz, a spicy relish-like condiment made of cabbage, carrot, and pickle. The sandwich is on the menu at the new restaurant, along with a griot plate of braised and fried pork, avocado, pikliz, colè rice (jasmine cooked with red beans), and Creole sauce (a tomato-based sauce with peppers, onions, and garlic); whole roasted fish; and espageti, or traditional Haitian spaghetti sauteed with smoked herring, epis paste, andouille sausage, and a soft-boiled egg.

1535 Basin St
New Orleans, LA 70116

12. Peacock Room

501 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Fruits de mer pho
Peacock Room

Peacock Room is the restaurant in the new Kimpton Hotel Fontenot downtown, the the restaurant snagged Chris Lusk, a longtime New Orleans chef who has cooked at Restaurant R’evolution, Cafe Adelaide, and the Caribbean Room, for a menu of dishes like fruits de mer pho made with cashew hoisin, grouper, shrimp ramen, and crab boulettes; chicken and eggplant fricasse with tomato and toasted farro; and black lentil vadouvan curry. The cocktail program is also a standout, curated with hard-to-come-by spirits and cocktails like the Primp and Preen, made with mezcal, white rum, orgeat, fresh citrus and blue curaçao; a Ruby Bridges made with gin, Cynar, citrus, strawberry, and basil; and the Sackcloth and Ashes, with Toki Japanese whisky and Amaro Montenegro (and mysteriously, “umami”).

501 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130

13. Miss River

2 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

August 2021 brought the debut of the Four Seasons New Orleans along with Miss River, Alon Shaya’s restaurant in the hotel. Miss River intends to offer the kind of special occasion, luxurious dining experience you might expect from a Four Seasons property, serving modern Louisiana fare like clay pot dirty rice topped with seared duck breast and duck egg yolk; a Louisiana oyster patty with puff pastry and caramelized mushrooms; salt-crusted red whole red snapper; and whole buttermilk fried chicken.

2 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70130

14. Budsi’s Authentic Thai

1760 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Budsi’s new restaurant on N. Rampart Street
Budsi’s Authentic Thai/Facebook

The husband and wife team behind Budsi’s Authentic Thai opened their much-anticipated restaurant of the same name in December 2020 after popping up at Pal’s for years. Chef Budsaba Mason offers a menu of familiar Thai food like drunken noodles and pad thai as well as Isan specialties like waterfall pork, beef and chicken larb, fermented fish, crab som tam, and mango sticky rice.

1760 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70116

15. Anna's

2601 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Anna’s takes over the space formerly home to Mimi’s in the Marigny, a locals favorite for pool downstairs and creative small plates upstairs. Wisely, the new owners have kept the same idea, and brought in two vets of the New Orleans food and drink world: Anna Giordano (Jewel of the South, Bar Tonique, and Longway Tavern, among others) runs the bar, and chef Chris Hamm (Coquette, Cavan, Sylvain) leads the kitchen. The menu is similarly tapas-like, with highlights including the manchego toast, crispy octopus, and papas bravas; as well as a delicious bistec served with green garlic salsa verde. The cocktail menu is extensive, and the upstairs bar serves an excellent specialty martini, gimlet, and mezcal drink that also features Bonanto aperitif, citrus, orgeat, and soda.

2601 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70117

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