Taking the streetcar up St. Charles Avenue and strolling through the Garden District and along Magazine Street is one of the great pleasures of New Orleans. Leafy and green, this primarily residential swathe is bordered by Josephine, Magazine, Carandolet, and Delachaise Streets, and is home to slightly fewer restaurants than many neighborhoods in the city. Still, since gawking at turreted Victorians and Greek Revival mansions can work up an appetite, here are the best options for dining in this iconic neighborhood.Read More
Where to Eat in New Orleans’s Garden District
In this New Orleans neighborhood, turtle soup and bread pudding soufflé can be found near pastrami sandwiches and classic diner fare
Slim Goodies Diner
This busy breakfast and lunch spot on Magazine only closes on Christmas and Mardi Gras day. And there’s usually a crowd at Slim Goodies Diner, thanks to its dog-friendly patio, diner-style eats, and central location on Magazine. One of the first spots to reopen after Katrina, the re-population combo of two eggs, grits or hash brown, bacon or sausage, toast or biscuit was the only thing on the menu and it’s still a winner.
Basin Seafood and Spirits
Basin Seafood from chef Edgar Caro, who also owns Baru, spotlights local shrimp and crawfish and downhome New Orleans-style cuisine. Although the menu says it offers “lighter” versions of favorite dishes, crawfish pupusas with cheese, crab beignets, short rib daube, and drum almandine are all dense with flavor.
Red Dog Diner
This homey, charming cafe recently reopened with its extensive list of eclectic and creative comfort food. While most dishes have an Americana feel (deviled eggs, pimento cheese patty melt), there are international touches here and there, like with the Tuscan white bean stew and sausage bolognese. Salads and sandwiches are always a highlight. For something totally different, check out sister restaurant next door, Rum House, which shares chef Terry Savoie but serves Mexican tropical eats.
Miss Shirley’s is what happens when the diminutive chef Shirley Lee can’t retire. Much loved from the many decades she spent in Metairie, she and her daughter collaborated on the city location. There’s almost always a wait so plan to arrive when the doors open or later, past the rush. Dim sum is a specialty and the crabmeat udon noodles are divine. Be warned: The acoustics are ear-splitting.
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Joey K’s is an old-school spot for New Orleans comfort food, served in extreme portions. A mix of fried seafood and Creole Italian dishes, this is the place for chicken fried steak and hamburger “steak” with brown gravy. Check out the daily specials, well priced and hearty like Monday’s white beans with a fried pork chop for $12.50.
The Chicory House
Chef Martha Gilreath is the talented chef and baker behind Chicory House in the Rink on Prytania Street, filling cases with treats like apple brown butter blondies, cereal milk cookies, and candied bacon pecan scones. She bakes fluffy biscuits, and country white bread, thick slices of which are used for sandwiches like the Gayle, with house-smoked Creole ham, crispy andouille, and Grisontaler cheese from St. James Cheese Company. Daily specials might be overnight oats for breakfast and a Cuban for lunch.
What’s to say about this turquoise beacon of hospitality on Washington Avenue? Commander’s Palace, a landmark since 1893, anchors the Garden District restaurant scene and is home to a few of its most iconic dishes, like turtle soup and bread pudding souffle. Under the leadership of the Brennan family’s late matriarch, Ella Brennan, the restaurant launched the careers of kitchen stars including Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, and Frank Brigtsen. With chef Meg Bickford at the helm, refined Creole fare, the best service in town, and an outstanding wine program make Commander’s a memorable experience.
Opened by chef Michael Stoltzfus in 2008, Coquette owes its staying power to gracious Southern hospitality combined with inspired modern Southern cuisine. Chef de cuisine Ian Mitchel presides over a menu that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Onion dip with trout roe and chips is one irresistible snack, same for small plates like grilled octopus with smoked eggplant and ‘nduja, and a platter of milk-poached chicken with artichokes and smoked onion. An $85 chef’s tasting promises surprises.
Poseidon Oyster Sushi Bar
Raw and charbroiled oysters and specialty sushi rolls are a big part of Poseidon’s appeal. The menu runs the gamut from Japanese to Thai and Chinese dishes like General Tso’s Chicken. This is a good spot for friends who don’t all want to eat the same thing. BEsides specialty rolls, nigiri, and sashimi, there is plenty for non-sushi lovers to munch on. There are karaoke rooms in the back available for parties.
Molly's Rise and Shine
Molly’s Rise and Shine, the second restaurant from chef Mason Hereford, does for breakfast what the original, Turkey and the Wolf in the Irish Channel, did for lunch. Biscuits and English muffins are the liferafts for spicy hot chicken, Benton’s country ham, and thick-cut bacon with eggs. Vegetarian and vegan options are solid, like the famed carrot yogurt. Why shouldn’t breakfast have dessert? The homemade pop tarts are the best.
The Rabbit’s Foot
Although Francolini’s pop-up was one way to discover the Rabbit’s Foot, now that the deli is officially open on Tchoupitoulas, there are still gobs of reasons to keep heading to this smartly designed cafe. The owners care about supporting local makers, the coffee program is outstanding, and the menu gets it right, from the outstanding double burger on brioche to the Creole tomato sandwich on Bellegarde bread. The shelves are stocked with so many goodies. There’s a daily non-alcoholic happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.
Stein's Market and Deli
Both the Lower Garden District and Garden District neighborhoods claim this Jewish-Italian gem, even if it technically falls within Garden District borders (at least according to the HDLC). Long famous for its pastrami, New York bagels, and Philly-inspired sandwiches, it’s grown even more famous since deli master Dan Stein appeared on Netflix’s Queer Eye. The fame hasn’t gone to his head — this casual lunch spot can still be counted on for cranky but loveable service and top-notch food.