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10 Best Food Cities: New Orleans
Bacchanal’s courtyard.
Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

New Orleans’s Essential Outdoor Dining Spots

From kid-friendly patios to romantic hideaways, these are New Orleans’s al fresco powerhouses

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Bacchanal’s courtyard.
| Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Outdoor dining is more important than ever, though it has always been a central pillar of New Orleans food and drink scene, given the city’s affinity for courtyards, balconies, and porches. There’s such an abundance of al fresco options in every New Orleans neighborhood, so let this serve as a selection of some of the finest. A mix of new and old, backyard party vibes and chic sanctuaries, these are some of New Orleans’s best patios and courtyards for outdoor dining.

Don’t miss our other outdoor dining and drinking maps, including covered patios for when it rains, restaurants with heated outdoor dining for cold nights, and the best bar patios.

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Seafood Sally's

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Seafood Sally’s, the second restaurant from Marjie’s Grill owners Caitlin Carney and Marcus Jacobs, was an instant hit upon opening — in no small part due to the restaurant’s outstanding outdoor dining options. There’s a classic New Orleans porch with funky tables and chairs, and a large, pretty patio out front that’s cozy and comfortable. Oh, and the boiled and fried seafood, oysters, picnic sides, and cocktails are all phenomenal, too.

Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

New Orleans’s gold standard of craft cocktail bars, Cure’s outdoor patio on Freret is a tranquil space to recharge over some of the best cocktails in the city. With riffs on the classics, a seasonal menu, and a great outdoor space, Cure draws a solid crowd of neighborhood regulars.

Mosquito Supper Club

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Reserve a spot in the garden at Mosquito Supper Club and imagine yourself sitting along a Louisiana bayou as you slurp raw oysters and scrape the meat off of crab claws. The prix-fixe, modern Cajun meal is best enjoyed outside, on the courtyard previously only used for private events, or on the porch. Note: the restaurant now also offers bites and drinks that can be had at the bar, no commitment necessary.

Barracuda

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Think patio meets margarita garden meets funky picnic space and you’ll get the drift of what Barracuda has going for it. Order food inside and then grab a picnic table out back. The crowd is a fun mix of families with kids, pals, and date-night couples. Oh, and the food is across the board excellent.

Barracuda’s “margarita garden”
Barracuda/Facebook

Blue Oak BBQ

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Blue Oak BBQ’s spacious patio fills up on game days, but then again any day is good for chilling at this popular Mid City spot. The creative kitchen and bar staff are always tempting with specials and happy hour runs from Tuesday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. The smoked wings are always a good idea.

Bayou Beer Garden and Bayou Wine Garden

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Just a block away from the bayou, Bayou Beer Garden and Bayou Wine Garden connect through an always buzzing outdoor patio. Big with the city’s young professional crowd, there are hundreds of local and craft beers on the menu and weekly crawfish boils during the season.

Marjie's Grill

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The ever-chill, ever-delicious Marjie’s also boasts a picture-perfect back patio for a fun evening out. Delve into the likes of smoked eggplant with naam phrik awng sauce, herbs, and fried garlic; crispy pork knuckles tossed with fish sauce and cane syrup; and a cocktail and wine list that can compete with any in town.

Lola’s paellas and fideuàs (same idea but with angel-hair pasta) are legend in these parts. A tiny dining room is a sweet backdrop for Spanish peasant fare, but the charming sidewalk seating accompanied by sangria is beyond dreamy.

Santa Fe

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This Faubourg St. John restaurant draws crowds with simple but tasty New Mexico/Tex-Mex food, great margs and most importantly, its pretty, covered outdoor seating overlooking beautiful and bustling Esplanade.

Copper Vine

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A massive selection of tapped wine and a changing menu of sprightly American cuisine (grilled vegetable flatbread with mozzarella, herb roasted mushroom pasta, steak frites, for example) distinguish this Poydras Street bistro. Copper Vine is such a pretty spot, thanks in large part to its lush outdoor patio, with its live plant wall and glass ceiling.

Copper Vine’s patio
Copper Vine/Facebook

Jewel of the South

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Jewel of the South’s 19th century Creole cottage offers a classy respite from French Quarter chaos, whether inside the elegant, antique-y dining room or the enchanting courtyard out back, strung with lights and tucked away from its busy surroundings. One sip of a cocktail and you’ll want to try them all, but make sure to try Chris Hannah’s classic Brandy Crusta.

Sidecar Patio & Oyster Bar

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If it’s in the name, you know the patio must be a priority. And really, it doesn’t get much better than Sidecar’s patio — pretty, lush, and spacious. Plus, some of the best oysters in town by the piece or dozen, ceviche and tartare, and natural wine.

Bayona, set in an 18th-century Creole cottage, has been charming diners since Regina Keever and chef Susan Spicer opened the doors in 1990. Bayona drips with romance, but the vibe is casual and inviting. Pair chef Spicer’s award-winning global cuisine with one of the most serene patios for fine dining in New Orleans.

Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard

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This century-old restaurant, though bought by huge local restaurant group Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts in 2013, remains true to its French-Creole history dating back to 1920. Causal but special, the restaurant’s lush courtyard is legendary, with umbrella-topped tables lined by pretty bistro chairs.

Vyoone’s Restaurant

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Vyoone’s is one of the Warehouse District’s best-kept secrets, a romantic French-meets-Creole spot oozing with ambience. Love the walk to the charming patio through an enchanting brick hallway covered in a seemingly impossible number of string lights.

Brennan's

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This quintessential French Quarter courtyard is home to a champagne-based happy hour every Thursday to Monday, 9 a.m. to 6p.m. with a special menu, bubbly discounts, and champagne sabering at 5 p.m. on Fridays.

The Court of Two Sisters

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A go-to for weddings and private parties, the Court of Two Sisters is also known for its ample jazz buffet and stunning outdoor dining area. Its Creole Louisiana fare, while not reinventing the wheel, is solid, a old-school cocktails are solid. There are seemingly endless nooks and crannies to discover on the courtyard, a lovely setting. Did we mention its haunted?

Cane and Table

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Cane and Table delivers super cocktails on lower Decatur, along with a vegetable-forward menu that is best enjoyed in one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the Quarter. Done up in tropical oasis meets tiki, this is the spot to enjoy the likes of avocado salad, tuna ala plancha, and garlic soup with sourdough croutons.

Bratz Y'all! Bistro • Bakery • Biergarten

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Schnitzel hanging over the plate, German beer and wine on tap, fresh baked pretzels, all kinds of sausages and a roomy area for kids to roam. That’s the gist of this friendly spot in the Bywater next door to Pizza D. Bratz Ya’ll has a few indoor high tops, but try for a seat at the communal picnic tables, where Fido is welcome and the vibe is beyond chill.

The patio at Bratz Y’all
Bratz Y’all/Facebook

Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits

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Head out back at Bacchanal, after choosing a bottle of wine and cheeses and meats for what might just be one of the tastiest cheese platters in town. Welcome to the funkiest yard party in Bywater, where there’s live music on the patio, bright Mediterranean small plates on deck, and good vibes all around.

Bacchanal’s outdoor courtyard
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Kitchen Table Cafe

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This homespun comfort food cafe in Arabi is swell on all counts, from the pork chop special (orange glazed grilled bone-in chop with whipped potatoes and roasted vegetables) to homemade desserts and welcoming service. Kitchen Table also has a lovely outside space, where live music sometimes takes the stage and folks relax and visit.

Seafood Sally's

Seafood Sally’s, the second restaurant from Marjie’s Grill owners Caitlin Carney and Marcus Jacobs, was an instant hit upon opening — in no small part due to the restaurant’s outstanding outdoor dining options. There’s a classic New Orleans porch with funky tables and chairs, and a large, pretty patio out front that’s cozy and comfortable. Oh, and the boiled and fried seafood, oysters, picnic sides, and cocktails are all phenomenal, too.

Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Cure

New Orleans’s gold standard of craft cocktail bars, Cure’s outdoor patio on Freret is a tranquil space to recharge over some of the best cocktails in the city. With riffs on the classics, a seasonal menu, and a great outdoor space, Cure draws a solid crowd of neighborhood regulars.

Mosquito Supper Club

Reserve a spot in the garden at Mosquito Supper Club and imagine yourself sitting along a Louisiana bayou as you slurp raw oysters and scrape the meat off of crab claws. The prix-fixe, modern Cajun meal is best enjoyed outside, on the courtyard previously only used for private events, or on the porch. Note: the restaurant now also offers bites and drinks that can be had at the bar, no commitment necessary.

Barracuda

Think patio meets margarita garden meets funky picnic space and you’ll get the drift of what Barracuda has going for it. Order food inside and then grab a picnic table out back. The crowd is a fun mix of families with kids, pals, and date-night couples. Oh, and the food is across the board excellent.

Barracuda’s “margarita garden”
Barracuda/Facebook

Blue Oak BBQ

Blue Oak BBQ’s spacious patio fills up on game days, but then again any day is good for chilling at this popular Mid City spot. The creative kitchen and bar staff are always tempting with specials and happy hour runs from Tuesday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. The smoked wings are always a good idea.

Bayou Beer Garden and Bayou Wine Garden

Just a block away from the bayou, Bayou Beer Garden and Bayou Wine Garden connect through an always buzzing outdoor patio. Big with the city’s young professional crowd, there are hundreds of local and craft beers on the menu and weekly crawfish boils during the season.

Marjie's Grill

The ever-chill, ever-delicious Marjie’s also boasts a picture-perfect back patio for a fun evening out. Delve into the likes of smoked eggplant with naam phrik awng sauce, herbs, and fried garlic; crispy pork knuckles tossed with fish sauce and cane syrup; and a cocktail and wine list that can compete with any in town.

Lola's

Lola’s paellas and fideuàs (same idea but with angel-hair pasta) are legend in these parts. A tiny dining room is a sweet backdrop for Spanish peasant fare, but the charming sidewalk seating accompanied by sangria is beyond dreamy.

Santa Fe

This Faubourg St. John restaurant draws crowds with simple but tasty New Mexico/Tex-Mex food, great margs and most importantly, its pretty, covered outdoor seating overlooking beautiful and bustling Esplanade.

Copper Vine

A massive selection of tapped wine and a changing menu of sprightly American cuisine (grilled vegetable flatbread with mozzarella, herb roasted mushroom pasta, steak frites, for example) distinguish this Poydras Street bistro. Copper Vine is such a pretty spot, thanks in large part to its lush outdoor patio, with its live plant wall and glass ceiling.

Copper Vine’s patio
Copper Vine/Facebook

Jewel of the South

Jewel of the South’s 19th century Creole cottage offers a classy respite from French Quarter chaos, whether inside the elegant, antique-y dining room or the enchanting courtyard out back, strung with lights and tucked away from its busy surroundings. One sip of a cocktail and you’ll want to try them all, but make sure to try Chris Hannah’s classic Brandy Crusta.

Sidecar Patio & Oyster Bar

If it’s in the name, you know the patio must be a priority. And really, it doesn’t get much better than Sidecar’s patio — pretty, lush, and spacious. Plus, some of the best oysters in town by the piece or dozen, ceviche and tartare, and natural wine.

Bayona

Bayona, set in an 18th-century Creole cottage, has been charming diners since Regina Keever and chef Susan Spicer opened the doors in 1990. Bayona drips with romance, but the vibe is casual and inviting. Pair chef Spicer’s award-winning global cuisine with one of the most serene patios for fine dining in New Orleans.

Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard

This century-old restaurant, though bought by huge local restaurant group Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts in 2013, remains true to its French-Creole history dating back to 1920. Causal but special, the restaurant’s lush courtyard is legendary, with umbrella-topped tables lined by pretty bistro chairs.

Vyoone’s Restaurant

Vyoone’s is one of the Warehouse District’s best-kept secrets, a romantic French-meets-Creole spot oozing with ambience. Love the walk to the charming patio through an enchanting brick hallway covered in a seemingly impossible number of string lights.

Related Maps

Brennan's

This quintessential French Quarter courtyard is home to a champagne-based happy hour every Thursday to Monday, 9 a.m. to 6p.m. with a special menu, bubbly discounts, and champagne sabering at 5 p.m. on Fridays.

The Court of Two Sisters

A go-to for weddings and private parties, the Court of Two Sisters is also known for its ample jazz buffet and stunning outdoor dining area. Its Creole Louisiana fare, while not reinventing the wheel, is solid, a old-school cocktails are solid. There are seemingly endless nooks and crannies to discover on the courtyard, a lovely setting. Did we mention its haunted?

Cane and Table

Cane and Table delivers super cocktails on lower Decatur, along with a vegetable-forward menu that is best enjoyed in one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the Quarter. Done up in tropical oasis meets tiki, this is the spot to enjoy the likes of avocado salad, tuna ala plancha, and garlic soup with sourdough croutons.

Bratz Y'all! Bistro • Bakery • Biergarten

Schnitzel hanging over the plate, German beer and wine on tap, fresh baked pretzels, all kinds of sausages and a roomy area for kids to roam. That’s the gist of this friendly spot in the Bywater next door to Pizza D. Bratz Ya’ll has a few indoor high tops, but try for a seat at the communal picnic tables, where Fido is welcome and the vibe is beyond chill.

The patio at Bratz Y’all
Bratz Y’all/Facebook

Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits

Head out back at Bacchanal, after choosing a bottle of wine and cheeses and meats for what might just be one of the tastiest cheese platters in town. Welcome to the funkiest yard party in Bywater, where there’s live music on the patio, bright Mediterranean small plates on deck, and good vibes all around.

Bacchanal’s outdoor courtyard
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Kitchen Table Cafe

This homespun comfort food cafe in Arabi is swell on all counts, from the pork chop special (orange glazed grilled bone-in chop with whipped potatoes and roasted vegetables) to homemade desserts and welcoming service. Kitchen Table also has a lovely outside space, where live music sometimes takes the stage and folks relax and visit.

Related Maps