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38 Essential Restaurants in New Orleans, Winter 2022

A guide to the city’s defining restaurants spanning cuisines, neighborhoods, and price

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The Eater 38 is our attempt to answer the question, “Can you recommend a restaurant?” It’s a curated list intended to highlight the New Orleans area’s top restaurants while spanning cuisines, neighborhoods, settings, and price points. It aims to represent the city’s current culinary identity, showcasing a mix of po’ boy shops, Creole cafes, and fine dining destinations that make New Orleans one of the most interesting places to eat in America. These are 38 restaurants that are crucial visits for any New Orleans diner.

Each quarter Eater New Orleans updates the Eater 38 with different destinations; eligible restaurants have to have been open for at least a year. Sometimes a great restaurant is removed to make way for another one, in order to keep things new, fresh, and representative, but that doesn’t mean it won’t return sometime in the future.

As COVID-19 persists, many restaurants have had to shut down temporarily, so it’s best to call or check a restaurant’s social media pages before stopping by. As always, the points on this guide are not ranked; rather, they’re organized geographically. If you’re looking for the best new restaurants in New Orleans, turn to the Eater Heatmap.

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.

For all the latest New Orleans dining intel, subscribe to Eater New Orleans' newsletter.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Brigtsen's Restaurant

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723 Dante St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 861-7610
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Frank Brigtsen has been delighting diners at his quiet, upscale Riverbend restaurant since 1986, with now-famous items like the (not fried) seafood platter, paneed (breaded and shallow-fried) rabbit, and Parmesean-crusted Gulf fish topped with crab meat, as well as soups that make New Orleanians wish for cold weather.

Chef Larry’s shrimp and grits
Brigsten’s/Facebook

2. Jamila's Cafe

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7808 Maple St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 866-4366
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The couscous is as legendary as the warm vibes at Jamila’s, perhaps New Orleans’s only Tunisian cafe, located in a small, wood-paneled building Uptown. While the main joy of Tunisia’s is the in-person experience, with Jamila waving from the kitchen as husband Moncef brags about her food to tables, the couscous, excellent lamb chops, and outstanding crawfish, spinach, and zucchini bisque are also available for takeout, and it translates well for at-home consumption. 

3. Barrow’s Catfish

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8300 Earhart Blvd #103
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 265-8995
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New Orleans’s favorite catfish restaurant, Barrow’s (originally called Barrow’s Shady Inn), is still run by two generations of the Barrow family, whose cornmeal dusted fried catfish is light and thin, perfectly seasoned, and served piping hot. Along with catfish and the celebrated potato salad, Barrow’s location on Earhart Boulevard with exposed brick walls and vintage memorabilia serves delicious fried shrimp, gumbo, po’ boys, and more.

Catfish platter from Barrow’s Catfish
Barrow’s Catfish/Facebook

4. Domilise's Po-Boy & Bar

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5240 Annunciation St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 899-9126
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It’s impossible to say any shop has the best po’ boys, but these make a strong claim to that title. Domilise’s doesn’t look like much from the outside; the exterior is adorned only with a handprinted sign. Inside, the counter service only corner spot slings giant po’ boys to locals, politicians, visiting celebrities, and anyone with good taste. They’re relatively pricey for po’ boys, but they’re large and worth every penny — especially the melty roast beef and fried shrimp.

5. Luvi Restaurant

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5236 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 605-3340
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Luvi is continuously one of the most exciting restaurants in New Orleans, a petite and colorful Uptown cottage where chef Hao Gong wows with his mastery of Japanese and Chinese cuisines. Gong, who worked for years at Sake Cafe, nails dishes of raw and nearly raw fish paired with the likes of cucumber and yuzu vinegar and pink dragon fruit, as well as Shanghai comfort food like dumplings, dan dan noodles, and bam bam chicken.

Curried favor dumplings from Luvi
Luvi Restaurant/Official

6. Charlie's Steak House

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4510 Dryades St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-9323
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Charlie’s is a 1930s-era, working class steakhouse in the Milan neighborhood that’s held onto its status as a New Orleans institution throughout the decades. Its new chef Aaron Burgau has only improved on the restaurant’s old-school service, churning out high-quality steaks and classic sides, with favorites like onion rings, creamed spinach, and potato gratin, in the simple, throwback space. 

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

7. Casamento's Restaurant

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4330 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-9761
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Per tradition, this classic New Orleans restaurant closes during the summer months as it has since it has since its 1919 founding, back when it was difficult to keep oysters cold during hot months. It makes the tiny, old-school spot more of an essential visit the rest of the year, for fresh-shucked raw oysters at the oyster bar; an oyster loaf (like a fried oyster po’ boy, but on toasted, thick, white sandwich bread); and a cold Dixie beer.

Shutterstock

8. Zasu

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127 N Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 267-3233
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Don’t be misled by the quaint little Mid City building that holds Zasu — Sue Zemanick’s restaurant is a powerhouse, delivering a remarkable dining experience every time. Zemanick, who’s appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef and won a James Beard award, and chef de cuisine Jeff McLennan wow with intricate preparation of seasonal Gulf coast products, and while the menu changes, a few dishes have stayed consistent since it opened in 2019: grilled baby octopus with baby potatoes, olives, capers, and red peppers, and gruyere and potato pierogies.

Chris Granger/Zasu

9. La Petite Grocery

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4238 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 891-3377
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No surprise that Justin Devillier’s Uptown gem also has a spot on local, national, and international critically-acclaimed lists, known for dishes like crab beignets and turtle Bolognese. La Petite Grocery is a charmer that doesn’t disappoint for a business lunch or a special dinner occasion.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

10. Saffron

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4128 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 323-2626
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The upscale Indian restaurant’s debut on Magazine Street was years in the making: the Vilkhu family served chef and patriarch Arvinder’s (“Dickey”) modern Indian food to happy diners on the West Bank for five years. Eventually convinced by loyal customers to go all in, the result is a sleek, sexy space with a buzzing energy and dishes that at times fuse Indian and Louisiana cuisines, and others that fuse Northern and Southern Indian. Among the many standouts are the lamb chops, goat masala, any shrimp dish, and the Paneer Pudha, a zucchini lentil pancake with date and mint chutneys.

The dining room at Saffron
Saffron

11. Mosquito Supper Club

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3824 Dryades St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 494-9777
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Melissa Martin’s Mosquito Supper Club honors Louisiana, serving food that’s been passed down through generations in a homey, eclectic space that seems to nurture conversation and shared enjoyment among diners. Beyond the atmosphere, the restaurant celebrates Gulf coast seafood in shrimp okra gumbo, oyster soup, stuffed crab, and other elegant versions of the dishes from Martin’s childhood.

Oyster soup

12. Toups Meatery

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845 N Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 252-4999
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James Beard-nominated chef Isaac Toups surprises and delights with his Bayou St. John restaurant Toups Meatery, while constantly showing up for the citizens of New Orleans — he provided free family meals and delivered goods and food to families in need throughout the pandemic. Toups Meatery offers a chance to get a taste of Cajun country in New Orleans — the real kind, not the tourist version — with cracklins, fresh made sausage, pork chops, charbroiled oysters, and a killer chicken thighs dish.

Toups’ Meatery/Official

13. Piece Of Meat

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3301 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 372-2289
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This butcher shop-meets-restaurant in Mid City is more than a destination for its namesake product; it’s a tribute to the craft. Piece of Meat’s rapid rise to popularity can be attributed to Leighann Smith and Daniel Jackson’s commitment to sustainably-raised meat and old-school butchering, both of which bring a certain energy to the place. The result is a cooler filled with steaks, chops, ribs, brisket, charcuterie, and pates that everyone wants, and a neighborhood shop everyone wants to stop by.

14. Addis Nola

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422 S Broad Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 218-5321
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Addis Nola brings something important to New Orleans’s dining scene; beyond adding to the city’s limited number of options for Ethiopian cuisine, it’s a community hub, a restaurant that consistently shows up for the city while delivering comfort in the form of incredible food. Biruk Alemayehu and her husband Jaime Lobo, along with chef Samuel Shiferaw, offer soul-warming stews; traditional dishes like sambusas and kitfo; and vegan Mondays, starring red lentils, chickpeas, yellow split peas, cabbage with carrots, and more. Keep an eye out for Addis’s pop-up restaurant collaborations, from Vegan Wit’ a Twist to Turkey and the Wolf to Marjie’s Grill.

Veggie combos from Addis Nola
Addis Nola/Facebook

15. Marjie's Grill

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320 S Broad Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 603-2234
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Marjie’s Grill is a casual Mid City neighborhood joint serving some of the most inventive, fun, and satisfying food in town. Herbsaint alumni Marcus Jacobs and Caitlin Carney create dishes based on the flavors of Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos with a Delta twist, like crispy pig knuckles, head-on prawns with a chili dipping sauce, a melty slow grilled beef, vegetable-focused dishes, and seasonal specials, including soft shell crab and latkes, that are not to be missed.

A special soft shell dish from Marjie’s Grill
Marjie’s Grill/Facebook

16. Heard Dat Kitchen

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2520 Felicity St
New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 510-4248
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Jeffrey Heard’s Central City restaurant Heard Dat Kitchen is a favorite of the neighborhood and beyond for comforting, stick-to-your-ribs Creole-style soul dishes named after local landmarks. Heard’s blackened and fried seafood dishes, red beans, a traditional New Orleans combo of grilled cheese and gumbo, and plenty of seafood cream sauces fly out of the shop’s convenient takeout window on Felicity Street.

17. Commander's Palace

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1403 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 899-8221
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The Garden District grand dame of New Orleans-style fine dining has a new head chef, a new takeout-only operation, and has expanded courtyard dining, making it an exciting time to revisit the famed Victorian-era mansion. Ever celebratory, Commander’s still raises the bar for hospitality and service, even if it’s all a bit much at times, while delighting with upscale Creole dishes like turtle soup, lacquered quail, and a not-to-be-missed bread pudding souffle.

18. Cafe Degas

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3127 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 945-5635
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Cafe Degas sits on one of New Orleans’ dramatically tree-lined thoroughfares, Esplanade Avenue in Mid City, just a few blocks from the house Edgar Degas lived in during his several-month stint in the city. Loved by the neighborhood and tourists alike for its friendly staff and magical-feeling atmosphere (thanks to a pecan tree that grows through the dining room), its interior and French bistro food are New Orleans at its best. The dining room, more like an open-air patio, is the perfect setting for enjoying mussels and frites, escargot, French onion soup, and the seasonal soft shell crab dish, at surprisingly reasonable prices.

19. Liuzza's by the Track

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1518 N Lopez St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 218-7888
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A horse-themed, no frills, neighborhood corner joint with friendly service, regulars come here to enjoy frosty goblets of Abita beer, bloody Marys, fried seafood platters, and po’ boys. Known for its gumbo and herbaceous barbecue shrimp po’ boy (actually a pistolette, or hollowed-out roll, rather than typical po’ boy bread), the star of the menu might be the only slightly less recognized garlic oyster po’ boy, stuffed to the brim with fried oysters. Liuzza’s by the Track is near the Fairgrounds, so it makes a good stop before betting on the horses or the way in or out of Jazz Fest.

20. Coquette

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2800 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 265-0421
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Every dish on the frequently-changing menu at Coquette is balanced and beautiful: from fancy-pants fried chicken and smoked beef short rib to complex vegetable dishes like summer squash with miso, Thai chili, and black garlic and charred eggplant with chanterelles. The two-story restaurant is sexy and romantic without trying to be, filled with dark wood and exposed brick on a corner of bustling Magazine Street. Be on the lookout for special dinners like the hugely popular no-menu Tuesdays and summertime fried chicken and Champagne dinners.

The bar at Coquette
Bill Addison/Eater

21. Café Reconcile

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1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 568-1157
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One of New Orleans most endearing restaurants (and there are many), Cafe Reconcile doubles as a successful job-training program for teens and young adults. Led by hugely talented local chef Martha Wiggins, the old-school New Orleans soul food, like seafood stuffed peppers and fried catfish, stands on its own, served in a welcoming, art-filled setting in the heart of Central City’s Oretha Castle corridor.

22. Gabrielle Restaurant

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2441 Orleans Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 603-2344
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This pre-Katrina favorite reopened in the Treme neighborhood in September 2017, and its customers returned as loyal as ever. The family-run restaurant serves indulgent takes on Louisiana cuisine in a white tablecloth, elegant setting, known especially for duck breast topped with fried duck skin cracklin’ (and for that matter, any of chef Greg’s duck dishes), barbecue shrimp pie, rabbit belly stuffed with grains, and a peppermint patty dessert.

Gabrielle
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

23. Willie Mae's Scotch House

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2401 St Ann St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 822-9503
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Willie Mae’s juicy, tender, and somehow non-greasy fried chicken is often called the best in town, or even the best in the country. Situated on the edge of Treme, waiting in line for lunch at Willie Mae’s is a memorable experience on its own, with various languages and walks of life co-mingled. The menu of nourishing soul food that also features veal, baked chicken, and mac and cheese, is rounded out by top-notch sides like fried okra and Brussels sprouts.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

24. Dooky Chase Restaurant

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2301 Orleans Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 821-0600
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A Treme landmark, Dooky Chase’s lost its matriarch when founder and food world icon Leah Chase died at 96 in 2019. The ‘Queen of Creole cuisine’ turned Dooky Chase’s into the legendary fine dining establishment it is now, and luckily the new generation is innovating while upholding her legacy. Mrs. Chase’s Paris-trained grandson Edgar Chase is nourishing bodies and souls with gumbo z’herbes, shrimp Clemenceau, and fried chicken in the tradition of Miss Chase.

Gumbo at Dooky Chase’s
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

25. McHardy's Chicken & Fixin'

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1458 N Broad St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 949-0000

McHardy’s is a tiny, quick-serve gem on North Broad Street that’s been serving up some of New Orleans’s finest fried chicken since 2001: peppery, rich, and full of flavor. The sides are just as good as the chicken, especially the fried okra, rice and beans, and mac and cheese. Affordable and always busy, this family-run joint is a bright spot for its warmth and friendliness as much as its food.

26. Stein's Market and Deli

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2207 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 527-0771
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This hybrid Jewish/Italian deli and crowded lunch destination on Magazine Street didn’t make the list due to its warm New Orleans hospitality, so stay alert and try not to hem and haw when it’s time to order. The reward is an affordable sandwich stuffed with perfectly balanced fresh ingredients that is so, so satisfying. Stein’s is famous for its corned beef and pastrami, so a shining example of the shop’s greatness can be found in the Reuben or Rachel.

Stein's
Stein’s
Brasted/Eater NOLA

27. Maïs Arepas

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1200 Carondelet St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 523-6247
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This Central City destination for Colombian cuisine sort of flies under the radar, but for those in the know it’s a frequent visit. Bright, colorful, and lively, Mais Arepas serves festive fresh fruit cocktails, layered Colombian specialties, and of course, a vast menu of savory arepas. Its sauces are also a standout — don’t miss the Maiz de la Rueda served with spicy butter or the salsa rosado.

Bandeja Paisa
Mais Arepas/Facebook

28. Lilly's Café

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1813 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 599-9999
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This bright purple cafe sits on the Lower Garden District stretch of busy Magazine Street near quirky antique and curiosity shops. The interior is simple, clean, and inviting, and the rich pho broth simmered for eight hours imparts a decadence that puts it at the top of the city’s crowded pho list.

29. Herbsaint

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701 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 524-4114
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Herbsaint first introduced New Orleans to the now-prolific restaurateur Donald Link. Since then, Link has opened several more excellent restaurants — Pêche, Cochon, and Cochon Butcher, and most recently, Gianna — and helped build a new generation of New Orleans culinary leaders along the way. The French and Italian Herbsaint remains one of the most consistent, refined restaurants in New Orleans, with the bonus of romantic outdoor seating along the downtown portion of the St. Charles streetcar line.

Duck confit with dirty rice and citrus gastrique
Herbsaint/Facebook

30. GW Fins

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808 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 581-3467
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GW Fins celebrates everything seasonal, fresh, and from the water, with chef Michael Nelson constantly churning out specials, and specialties, that convey the love and care brought to each dish. The white linen French Quarter restaurant’s dedication to its product — lobster, fish collars, sheepshead, sea bass, and more — and its diners make GW Fins a standout.

31. Arnaud's

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813 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 523-5433
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Of the many historic, defining French Quarter restaurants, Arnaud’s has much to offer: Its James Beard Award-winning bar, the French 75, iconic dishes like the souffle potatoes with béarnaise sauce, and an ornate, dazzling setting that’s tough to beat, even in the Quarter. Also try the oysters Ohan, which are baked with eggplant and andouille, and be sure to end your meal with a fire show and order the cafe brulot.

The cafe brulot experience at Arnaud’s
Brasted/Eater NOLA

32. Li'l Dizzy's Cafe

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1500 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 766-8687
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New Orleans nearly lost this Treme institution during the pandemic, but a third generation of Baquets came through to reopen the family-owned favorite. Li’l Dizzy’s serves grilled catfish and grits, gumbo, po’ boys, and top-notch fried chicken in a fun, low-key corner building on Esplanade Avenue; walls covered in New Orleans, Saints, and Baquet family memorabilia.

Fried chicken and Southern greens 
Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

33. Vyoone’s

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412 Girod St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 518-6007
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Go to Vyoone’s for the great atmosphere, beautiful decor, excellent food, and warm hospitality — the Warehouse District hidden gems excels in all areas. A local’s favorite for special occasion dinners, group dining, and private parties, it’s equally ideal for a date, especially if you scan snag a seat in the secluded, intimate courtyard. On the contemporary French-meets-Creole menu, try the escargot, French onion soup, and soft shell entree with maque choux and crawfish cream sauce if available.

Soft shell crab Benedict special from Vyoone’s
Vyoone’s

34. Compère Lapin

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535 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 599-2119
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Compère Lapin is the debut restaurant from famed chef Nina Compton and it remains one of New Orleans’s most original restaurants. Compton’s food blends inspirations from the Caribbean with French technique and a whole lot of creativity. While its menu changes often, Compere is known for a mix of shareable small plates that usually includes a dirty rice arancini served with sour orange mojo, crispy pig ears, and conch fritters; entrees like curried goat and spiced chicken with Jollof rice and chow chow, and unbeatable cocktails. This is the place for a celebratory night with friends or family.

The entrance to Compere Lapin
Brasted/Eater NOLA

35. Tân Định

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1705 Lafayette St
Gretna, LA 70053
(504) 361-8008
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Tan Dinh is not New Orleans’s only good Vietnamese restaurant located in a strip mall, but it is the one most universally-loved by East Bank and West Bank residents alike. Everything here is excellent, but regulars swear by specialties like the goat curry and lemongrass chicken wings. Few New Orleanians either haven’t tried it or has a bad word to say about this Gretna gem.

Cơm nếp vịt nướng chao (roasted duck served with a sweet crispy rice patty
Bill Addison/Eater

36. The Original Fiorellas' Cafe

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5325 Franklin Ave
New Orleans, LA 70122
(504) 309-0352
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Fiorella’s may be best known for its award-winning fried chicken, but the decades-old family business that’s now headquartered in Gentilly offers much more. The old-school counter service shop is one of few area red sauce joints, and here the red sauce is sweet indeed, served over meatballs, veal, and chicken parmesan. Po’boys and Creole-leaning daily specials, like butter beans and rice and shrimp Creole, round out the quintessential New Orleans offerings.

The Original Fiorellas’ Cafe
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

37. Saint Germain

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3054 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 218-8729
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Saint Germain is a standout in two ways: for wine and snacks in the backyard, or for a special tasting menu in the tiny dining room. Both menus offer Parisian-inspired dishes with uncommon ingredients featuring modern techniques, in ways that are visually appealing and hugely satisfying. Like on the snacks side, where vegetable crudités are rolled in crispy wild rice or caramelized whey is mixed with olive oil, and in the dining room, where a prix-fixe tasting menu that changes monthly highlights ingredients like white asparagus, venison, and geoduck.

Kaluga caviar, slow cooked yolk, pomme puree, and onion chips
Saint Germain/Instagram

38. Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits

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600 Poland Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 948-9111
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Bacchanal, a Bywater wine shop known for its amazing courtyard and live music, offers a seasonal menu of exquisite, affordable small plates like salt cod fritters, grilled sardines, and littleneck clams. There’s also a cocktail bar that offers indoor seating for when the backyard is simply too packed to accommodate. Bacchanal matured into a hotspot following Hurricane Katrina, and despite its current must-do status with tourists, remains an important part of the neighborhood.

Bacchanal’s courtyard
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

1. Brigtsen's Restaurant

723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118
Chef Larry’s shrimp and grits
Brigsten’s/Facebook

Frank Brigtsen has been delighting diners at his quiet, upscale Riverbend restaurant since 1986, with now-famous items like the (not fried) seafood platter, paneed (breaded and shallow-fried) rabbit, and Parmesean-crusted Gulf fish topped with crab meat, as well as soups that make New Orleanians wish for cold weather.

723 Dante St
New Orleans, LA 70118

2. Jamila's Cafe

7808 Maple St, New Orleans, LA 70118

The couscous is as legendary as the warm vibes at Jamila’s, perhaps New Orleans’s only Tunisian cafe, located in a small, wood-paneled building Uptown. While the main joy of Tunisia’s is the in-person experience, with Jamila waving from the kitchen as husband Moncef brags about her food to tables, the couscous, excellent lamb chops, and outstanding crawfish, spinach, and zucchini bisque are also available for takeout, and it translates well for at-home consumption. 

7808 Maple St
New Orleans, LA 70118

3. Barrow’s Catfish

8300 Earhart Blvd #103, New Orleans, LA 70118
Catfish platter from Barrow’s Catfish
Barrow’s Catfish/Facebook

New Orleans’s favorite catfish restaurant, Barrow’s (originally called Barrow’s Shady Inn), is still run by two generations of the Barrow family, whose cornmeal dusted fried catfish is light and thin, perfectly seasoned, and served piping hot. Along with catfish and the celebrated potato salad, Barrow’s location on Earhart Boulevard with exposed brick walls and vintage memorabilia serves delicious fried shrimp, gumbo, po’ boys, and more.

8300 Earhart Blvd #103
New Orleans, LA 70118

4. Domilise's Po-Boy & Bar

5240 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70115

It’s impossible to say any shop has the best po’ boys, but these make a strong claim to that title. Domilise’s doesn’t look like much from the outside; the exterior is adorned only with a handprinted sign. Inside, the counter service only corner spot slings giant po’ boys to locals, politicians, visiting celebrities, and anyone with good taste. They’re relatively pricey for po’ boys, but they’re large and worth every penny — especially the melty roast beef and fried shrimp.

5240 Annunciation St
New Orleans, LA 70115

5. Luvi Restaurant

5236 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115