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Fried green tomatoes topped with shrimp remoulade and maque choux.
Saint John shrimp remoulade.
Randy Schmidt/Saint John

The Essential French Quarter Dining Guide

Time-honored Creole cafes, charming cocktail havens, classic po’ boy shops, and decadent fine-dining

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Saint John shrimp remoulade.
| Randy Schmidt/Saint John

The French Quarter is the oldest square mile in New Orleans and home to more restaurants and bars per square block than any other neighborhood. This guide is a varied cross section of restaurants in the Vieux Carre, from historic places that sell iconic dishes (Johnny’s Po-Boys and Brennan’s) to cocktail destinations (Cane & Table and Manolito) to over-the-top special occasion restaurants (R’evolution and Galatoire’s).

Consider this list, arranged geographically as always, a starting point to exploring the Vieux Carre table. Wandering through the Quarter is an enchanting pastime, one guaranteed to uncover surprising and delicious treasures along the way, so don’t be shy about trying them all.

Did we miss your favorite spot in the Quarter? Leave a comment or send an email.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Palm&Pine

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308 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 814-6200
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Palm & Pine has officially established itself in the French Quarter, with its refreshing, ever-changing food offerings, special menus, late night happy hour, and cocktails. Try the crudo, the Oaxacan mole, and any specials.

Carimañolas — pork picadillo stuffed yuca fritters, garlic mayo, cilantro, and mint mojo
Palm & Pine/Facebook

2. Killer PoBoys

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211 Dauphine
New Orleans, LA

Killer Poboys still rocks its original location at the rear of the Erin Rose bar, but the bigger brick and mortar spot on Dauphine (next to the Museum of Death) has an expanded menu and a little more breathing room. The po’ boys range from barbecue chicken confit with coffee barbecue sauce and ranch slaw to seared gulf shrimp with coriander lime sauce, to a black beer debris. Veggie options, like a sweet potato po’ boy black eyed pea and pecan spread and braised greens or a whiskey grilled cheese, are available and awesome — vegetarian or not.

3. Jewel of the South

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1026 St Louis St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 265-8816
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On the quieter, more accessible outskirts of the Quarter, cocktail enthusiasts will be delighted to find an enchanting 19th century Creole cottage that houses this beautiful cocktail bar and restaurant. Have a seat at the bar or on the charming courtyard and sip some of the best cocktails in town — and while the drinks may have top billing due to its cocktail-expert founders, the food is also not to be missed, with tasting menus and other special dinners available from time to time.

Beth D’Addono/Eater NOLA

4. Galatoire's

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209 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA
(504) 525-2021
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The front of the house is as important as the back of the house at this historic restaurant. Locals ask for their waiter by name upon entering the family-run staple that has loon been known for lines down the street for Friday lunch. Should you be lucky enough to get a seat downstairs, don’t be surprised if you’ve shared a drink and a toast with everyone in the dining room before you leave. Word to the wise: Ask your waiter what to order and take that suggestion. Soft shell crab is to die for when it’s in season.

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

5. GW Fins

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808 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA
(504) 581-3467
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Fish is serious business at GW Fins, where chef Michael Nelson is a leading proponent for Gulf-to-plate dining and using the entire fish in innovative ways. The menu changes constantly, based on what fish is fresh and always sustainable, but recent menus can be viewed on the website. The lobster dumplings are little, delicious clouds and are almost always on the menu, as is the scalibut, its famed scallop-encrusted halibut dish.

6. Arnaud's Restaurant

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813 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA
(866) 230-8895
Visit Website

Arnaud’s is known for a few things. 1. It’s a historic restaurant in the French Quarter. 2. Its James Beard Award winning bar, the French 75 bar, dazzles. 3. The souffle potatoes with béarnaise sauce are among the best that can be found, anywhere. What’s not as well-known is that the rest of the restaurant’s dishes also impress. Try the oysters Ohan, which are baked with eggplant and andouille. Whatever you do, end your meal with a fire show and order the cafe brulot.

Josh Brasted

7. Restaurant R'evolution

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777 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA
(504) 553-2277
Visit Website

Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto came together to open this over-the-top, special occasion restaurant in the Quarter. Each glorious, well-appointed room represents a different influence on New Orleans cuisine. Think sheep’s ricotta gnocchi with lobster, caviar, redfish, boudin Scotch eggs. Be warned: R’evolution will raise the bar on what you expect from dining, but it’s expensive so don’t get addicted.

8. Bayona

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430 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 525-4455
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One of the most refined options on the list, Bayona has been charming diners since Regina Keever and chef Susan Spicer opened the doors in 1990. Set in a 200-year old Creole cottage in the heart of the Quarter, Bayona drips with romance, but the vibe is casual and inviting. Spicer’s award winning global cuisine and great wine list is perfect for a special lunch or a leisurely dinner on the patio.

Colorado lamb carpaccio from Bayona
CHRIS GRANGER/Official Photo

9. Brennan's

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417 Royal St
New Orleans, LA
(504) 525-9711
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Famous for breakfast, Brennan’s stuns all day long under the leadership of owner Ralph Brennan and head chef Ryan Hacker. Six years ago, the historic restaurant went through a massive, multi-million dollar renovation that extended the bar area and brought the whole place up to date after ownership changed hands. No longer the old dowager of the French Quarter, this restaurant is now relevant and dazzling. But, by all means, try the Bananas Foster. It’s well-known for a reason.

Brennan’s Josh Brasted

10. Irene's

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529 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 529-8811
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Irene’s may be in newish digs on Bienville Street but this family-owned Creole Italian restaurant remains the gold standard for homey, cheesy Italian goodness. Open since 1992, Irene’s is much loved for its lasagne Bolognese and crispy duck St. Philip. Although it now accepts reservations, cutting down on the wait for a table, it’s still fun to have a martini in the piano bar before tucking into a feast.

11. Johnny's Po-Boys

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511 St Louis St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 524-8129

Johnny’s is an unassuming classic, a counter-service spot with red and white checkered tablecloths and humble, paper-wrapped po’ boys. Stop in for a quick lunch and choose from over 30 kinds of sandwiches, like a shrimp and oyster po’boy or a Jack Cheese melt — it also serves a great, classic breakfast.

Johnny’s Po-Boys
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

12. Sylvain

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625 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA
(504) 265-8123
Visit Website

This charming and romantic spot in the French Quarter is known for exceptional ambiance and satisfying, unexpected food, from a Southern fried chicken sandwich to a Champagne and fries special to refined versions of Southern classics. The beauty of this place lies in the unpredictable, and ever-changing, twists weaved throughout the menu — and it’s all good.

13. Manolito

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508 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 603-2740
Visit Website

Manolito is the Havana-inspired bar and cafe opened by a trio of top New Orleans restaurant and bar proprietors, and the vibe and drinks reflect the expertise behind it. Though the main attraction at Manolito would have to be its cocktails, the Cuban menu is worth your attention, as are the weekly pop-ups from Que Pasta and Tacos Para La Vida — birria tacos! One of Manolito’s best signature cocktails is the Jazz Daiquiri — made with Jamaican rum, lime, agave nectar, Creme de Cacao, and coffee beans, but all the drinks are fantastic. This spot is not to be missed.

14. Bennachin

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1212 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 522-1230
Visit Website

If you’re exploring the French Quarter, Bennachin is a welcoming option for comforting Gambian and Cameroonian specialties, many vegetarian-friendly, served in a cozy, funky space with eclectic furniture and colorful art covering the walls. It’s BYOB, but Sidney’s Wine Cellar is a few blocks away.

15. Cafe Sbisa

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1011 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA
(504) 309-7477
Visit Website

Originally opened in 1899, this classic French-Creole restaurant is led by the talented Alfred Singleton, now chef and partner. Cafe Sbisa’s menu is old-school compared to many of the restaurants currently opening in the city, and the crab cakes are some of the best in town. Dinner, brunch, and small plates. Date night alert: this place is an atmospheric stunner, with original wood, intimate balcony and patio dining and a staircase that harks back to a golden age.

16. Saint John

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1117 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 581-8120
Visit Website

Saint John is certainly on the newer side when it comes to French Quarter dining, but we see this two-story restaurant growing into essential status. It’s simply one of the best new representations of contemporary Creole cuisine in the city, with a menu informed by 18th century Creole cookbooks, dishes like slow braised smothered turkey necks, chicken and shrimp maque choux, courtbouillon, whole fish almandine, and pork belly cassoulet. It’s a lovely destination for special occasion dining somewhat off the beaten path.

Randy Schmidt/Saint John

17. Cane & Table

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1113 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 581-1112
Visit Website

With arched windows, a classic long bar, bench seating, and back patio, Cane & Table draws its inspiration from the Caribbean. Happy hour specials offer a chance to sip originals at half the price of the regular menu, and include an old fashioned, daiquiri, and blue Hawaii; beer and shot combos; as well as wine specials; plus a snack menu.

Cane & Table [Official Photo]

18. Dian Xin

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1218 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 266-2828

Dian Xin has met the French Quarter’s need for excellent, traditional dim sum. From the original owners of Little Chinatown in Kenner, Diane Ceng and her family operare this simple but popular kitchen on Decatur Street with a two-page menu of bao, soups, chive cakes, jianbing, and shu mai, a solid neighborhood comfort food destination.

Xiao Long Baos at Dian Xin
Dian Xin/Yelp

1. Palm&Pine

308 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Carimañolas — pork picadillo stuffed yuca fritters, garlic mayo, cilantro, and mint mojo
Palm & Pine/Facebook

Palm & Pine has officially established itself in the French Quarter, with its refreshing, ever-changing food offerings, special menus, late night happy hour, and cocktails. Try the crudo, the Oaxacan mole, and any specials.

308 N Rampart St
New Orleans, LA 70112

2. Killer PoBoys

211 Dauphine, New Orleans, LA

Killer Poboys still rocks its original location at the rear of the Erin Rose bar, but the bigger brick and mortar spot on Dauphine (next to the Museum of Death) has an expanded menu and a little more breathing room. The po’ boys range from barbecue chicken confit with coffee barbecue sauce and ranch slaw to seared gulf shrimp with coriander lime sauce, to a black beer debris. Veggie options, like a sweet potato po’ boy black eyed pea and pecan spread and braised greens or a whiskey grilled cheese, are available and awesome — vegetarian or not.

211 Dauphine
New Orleans, LA

3. Jewel of the South

1026 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Beth D’Addono/Eater NOLA

On the quieter, more accessible outskirts of the Quarter, cocktail enthusiasts will be delighted to find an enchanting 19th century Creole cottage that houses this beautiful cocktail bar and restaurant. Have a seat at the bar or on the charming courtyard and sip some of the best cocktails in town — and while the drinks may have top billing due to its cocktail-expert founders, the food is also not to be missed, with tasting menus and other special dinners available from time to time.

1026 St Louis St
New Orleans, LA 70112

4. Galatoire's

209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA
Inside a crowded main floor dining room at Galatoire’s for Friday lunch in 2015. Josh Brasted

The front of the house is as important as the back of the house at this historic restaurant. Locals ask for their waiter by name upon entering the family-run staple that has loon been known for lines down the street for Friday lunch. Should you be lucky enough to get a seat downstairs, don’t be surprised if you’ve shared a drink and a toast with everyone in the dining room before you leave. Word to the wise: Ask your waiter what to order and take that suggestion. Soft shell crab is to die for when it’s in season.

209 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA

5. GW Fins

808 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA

Fish is serious business at GW Fins, where chef Michael Nelson is a leading proponent for Gulf-to-plate dining and using the entire fish in innovative ways. The menu changes constantly, based on what fish is fresh and always sustainable, but recent menus can be viewed on the website. The lobster dumplings are little, delicious clouds and are almost always on the menu, as is the scalibut, its famed scallop-encrusted halibut dish.

808 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA

6. Arnaud's Restaurant

813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA
Josh Brasted

Arnaud’s is known for a few things. 1. It’s a historic restaurant in the French Quarter. 2. Its James Beard Award winning bar, the French 75 bar, dazzles. 3. The souffle potatoes with béarnaise sauce are among the best that can be found, anywhere. What’s not as well-known is that the rest of the restaurant’s dishes also impress. Try the oysters Ohan, which are baked with eggplant and andouille. Whatever you do, end your meal with a fire show and order the cafe brulot.

813 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA

7. Restaurant R'evolution

777 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA

Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto came together to open this over-the-top, special occasion restaurant in the Quarter. Each glorious, well-appointed room represents a different influence on New Orleans cuisine. Think sheep’s ricotta gnocchi with lobster, caviar, redfish, boudin Scotch eggs. Be warned: R’evolution will raise the bar on what you expect from dining, but it’s expensive so don’t get addicted.

777 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA

8. Bayona

430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Colorado lamb carpaccio from Bayona
CHRIS GRANGER/Official Photo

One of the most refined options on the list, Bayona has been charming diners since Regina Keever and chef Susan Spicer opened the doors in 1990. Set in a 200-year old Creole cottage in the heart of the Quarter, Bayona drips with romance, but the vibe is casual and inviting. Spicer’s award winning global cuisine and great wine list is perfect for a special lunch or a leisurely dinner on the patio.

430 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70112

9. Brennan's

417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA
Brennan’s Josh Brasted

Famous for breakfast, Brennan’s stuns all day long under the leadership of owner Ralph Brennan and head chef Ryan Hacker. Six years ago, the historic restaurant went through a massive, multi-million dollar renovation that extended the bar area and brought the whole place up to date after ownership changed hands. No longer the old dowager of the French Quarter, this restaurant is now relevant and dazzling. But, by all means, try the Bananas Foster. It’s well-known for a reason.

417 Royal St
New Orleans, LA

10. Irene's

529 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Irene’s may be in newish digs on Bienville Street but this family-owned Creole Italian restaurant remains the gold standard for homey, cheesy Italian goodness. Open since 1992, Irene’s is much loved for its lasagne Bolognese and crispy duck St. Philip. Although it now accepts reservations, cutting down on the wait for a table, it’s still fun to have a martini in the piano bar before tucking into a feast.

529 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA 70130

11. Johnny's Po-Boys

511 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Johnny’s Po-Boys
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Johnny’s is an unassuming classic, a counter-service spot with red and white checkered tablecloths and humble, paper-wrapped po’ boys. Stop in for a quick lunch and choose from over 30 kinds of sandwiches, like a shrimp and oyster po’boy or a Jack Cheese melt — it also serves a great, classic breakfast.

511 St Louis St
New Orleans, LA 70130

12. Sylvain

625 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA

This charming and romantic spot in the French Quarter is known for exceptional ambiance and satisfying, unexpected food, from a Southern fried chicken sandwich to a Champagne and fries special to refined versions of Southern classics. The beauty of this place lies in the unpredictable, and ever-changing, twists weaved throughout the menu — and it’s all good.

625 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA

13. Manolito

508 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Manolito is the Havana-inspired bar and cafe opened by a trio of top New Orleans restaurant and bar proprietors, and the vibe and drinks reflect the expertise behind it. Though the main attraction at Manolito would have to be its cocktails, the Cuban menu is worth your attention, as are the weekly pop-ups from Que Pasta and Tacos Para La Vida — birria tacos! One of Manolito’s best signature cocktails is the Jazz Daiquiri — made with Jamaican rum, lime, agave nectar, Creme de Cacao, and coffee beans, but all the drinks are fantastic. This spot is not to be missed.

508 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA 70116

14. Bennachin

1212 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

If you’re exploring the French Quarter, Bennachin is a welcoming option for comforting Gambian and Cameroonian specialties, many vegetarian-friendly, served in a cozy, funky space with eclectic furniture and colorful art covering the walls. It’s BYOB, but Sidney’s Wine Cellar is a few blocks away.

1212 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116

15. Cafe Sbisa

1011 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA

Originally opened in 1899, this classic French-Creole restaurant is led by the talented Alfred Singleton, now chef and partner. Cafe Sbisa’s menu is old-school compared to many of the restaurants currently opening in the city, and the crab cakes are some of the best in town. Dinner, brunch, and small plates. Date night alert: this place is an atmospheric stunner, with original wood, intimate balcony and patio dining and a staircase that harks back to a golden age.

1011 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA

Related Maps

16. Saint John

1117 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Randy Schmidt/Saint John

Saint John is certainly on the newer side when it comes to French Quarter dining, but we see this two-story restaurant growing into essential status. It’s simply one of the best new representations of contemporary Creole cuisine in the city, with a menu informed by 18th century Creole cookbooks, dishes like slow braised smothered turkey necks, chicken and shrimp maque choux, courtbouillon, whole fish almandine, and pork belly cassoulet. It’s a lovely destination for special occasion dining somewhat off the beaten path.

1117 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

17. Cane & Table

1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Cane & Table [Official Photo]

With arched windows, a classic long bar, bench seating, and back patio, Cane & Table draws its inspiration from the Caribbean. Happy hour specials offer a chance to sip originals at half the price of the regular menu, and include an old fashioned, daiquiri, and blue Hawaii; beer and shot combos; as well as wine specials; plus a snack menu.

1113 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

18. Dian Xin

1218 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Xiao Long Baos at Dian Xin
Dian Xin/Yelp

Dian Xin has met the French Quarter’s need for excellent, traditional dim sum. From the original owners of Little Chinatown in Kenner, Diane Ceng and her family operare this simple but popular kitchen on Decatur Street with a two-page menu of bao, soups, chive cakes, jianbing, and shu mai, a solid neighborhood comfort food destination.

1218 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Related Maps