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Cafe Amelie’s shrimp & grits with corn maque choux
Cafe Amelie/Facebook

Where to Savor Some of New Orleans’s Best Shrimp and Grits

Southern comfort in every bite

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Cafe Amelie’s shrimp & grits with corn maque choux
| Cafe Amelie/Facebook

Shrimp and grits is one of those dishes where every bite matters. It’s as much about the quality of the grits as it is the freshness of the shrimp and the buttery heft of the sauce that binds it all together. And it’s critical to get a bit of everything in every mouthful. The dish has its roots in low country South Carolina, originally a quick go-to breakfast for fishermen and shrimpers to fortify for a day at sea. When Craig Claiborne gushed about the Southern specialty in the Times in 1985, it went from being a humble home cooked day starter to a trendy menu star, with countless variations in the mix. New Orleans chefs make it their own in all kinds of ways, with Gulf shrimp always in the spotlight.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Restaurant des Familles

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Just 30 minutes from downtown on the West Bank, this charming restaurant with scenic views of the historic Bayou des Familles is a gem, a soothing bit of country within easy driving distance. Restaurant des Familles offers a diverse menu, from char-grilled oysters and fried seafood to outstanding turtle soup and grilled redfish served Cajun style topped with alligator sauce piquant. Oh and the bbq shrimp and grits is to die for, served with toasted French bread and cheesy jalapeno-cheddar grits.

BBQ shrimp w/ jalapeno cheddar grits
Restaurant des Familes/Facebook

Atchafalaya

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Atchafalaya is best known for its brunch, when locals and visitors come from all over town to partake in the make-your-own bloody Mary bar. But, the dinner menu features an excellent shrimp and grits, made with andouille, the trinity, and smoked tomatoes. The char on the shrimp is another burst of savory, smoky flavor. It’s open for dinner every night and for brunch from Thursday through Monday.

Shrimp and grits with andouille, Trinity, and smoked tomatoes 
Atchafalaya/Facebook

Jack Rose

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Everything is better with bacon. Which is why the shrimp and grits at Jack Rose is so slammin’. Nibs of bacon add smoky flavor notes to the dish, served atop stone ground al dente grits. Featured on the Sunday brunch menu, the dish is just one of the many reasons to check out this gem in the Ponchartrain Hotel.

Gris-Gris

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Gris-Gris chef Eric Cook dishes a powerful wallop with his version of shrimp and grits, studded with smoky pork sausage and loaded with buttery shrimp atop a mount of al dente stone ground grits. Roasted red peppers and cherry tomatoes add color to one of the most popular items on Cook’s menu. Ask for bread to sop of the gravy’s butter goodness.

Surrey's Café & Juice Bar (Multiple Locations)

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This popular Magazine Street cafe dishes fun and funky breakfast items including bananas foster French toast, migas with eggs and chorizo and a super shrimp and grits. Served in a bowl, Surrey’s S&G is garnished with green onions AND bacon, a ring of toasted French bread driving the carb-fueled delight home. You won’t want to waste a drop of this sauce, promise.

Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard

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Chef Jimi Setchim took over the Broussard’s kitchen just a little more than a year ago, and already he’s earning raves for his flavorful and creative takes on Creole faves. Setchim bathes massive Gulf shrimp in a traditional Worchestshire-fueled barbecue sauce, all atop a mound of creamy stone ground grits. So good.

NOLA Restaurant

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Emeril’s barbecue shrimp is legend at all his restaurants and with good reason. But nola chef de Cuisine Philip Buccieri also has his way with some shrimp and grits, a memorable mash up that includes perfectly seasoned blue corn grits, smoked mushrooms and bits of stewed eggplant and skillet tomatoes. Just another reminder that this sleeper hit in the Quarter on Saint Louis is at the top of its game.

Shrimp and blue corn grits with mushrooms, eggplant, and tomatoes
NOLA Restaurant/Facebook

Hambone

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Chef Luke Hidalgo believes that to be perfect, the grits and shrimp must share the spotlight equally. The former Commander’s sous chef, now chef/owner at Hambone across the lake in Old Mandeville, elevates this dish to ethereal heights by serving garlic confit-infused grits, blackened shrimp and a sauce laced with sauteed collards and seasonal vegetables. Wait there’s more - it’s all bound in a bacon dashi broth that adds a light, Asian note that rings perfectly true.

Cafe Amelie

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Beloved for its lush courtyard setting, Cafe Amelie kills it for brunch, with chef Jerry’s Gulf shrimp and grits one of the menu’s best sellers. Bathed in a golden maque choux sauce flavored with knobs of andouille sausage, this dish is offered as a starter, but is ample and rich enough to be an entree.

Shrimp and Grits with corn maque choux
Cafe Amelie/Facebook

Tujague's

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Chef Thomas Robey is upping the game at Tujague’s, the 163-year-old restaurant on Decatur. Robey, who took over the kitchen a year ago, brings an ingredient-driven passion for the classics to the table and no wonder - he was in the kitchen at Commander’s for years. His shrimp and grits is a case in point, buttery barbecue shrimp spiked with Abita Amber beer ladled over Pepper Jack cheese grits. A keeper.

The Ruby Slipper Cafe (Multiple Locations)

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With 11 locations from the French Quarter to the Marigny, Orange Beach and Pensacola, Ruby Slipper does breakfast right and has the lines to prove it. Slurp an excellent Bloody Mary and tuck into the Slipper’s version of shrimp and grits swimming in a beer and rosemary butter sauce over creamy stone ground grits, a biscuit on the side. The grits are so good you might need more, this time with thin fried catfish as a co-star.

New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery

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Chef/owner Steve Himelfarb’s Cake Cafe is another fabulous neighborhood spot, this time in the Marigny. An extensive menu of breakfast and lunch specialties like house-made corned beef hash and local catfish and eggs is joined by a winning version of shrimp and and organic yellow grits puddled with butter. Add eggs for $2.75 and definitely get the biscuit, best enjoyed slathered with house made jam.

Elizabeth's

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Elizabeth’s earns accolades for its praline bacon, bloody Mary’s and Dr. Bob decor, but the shrimp and grits at this Bywater cafe deserve mention. The chef’s version, dubbed the Hangover Helper, arrives swimming in a rich beef broth marbled with smoky tasso over buttery grits. Get the praline bacon on the side just because.

Bywater Bakery

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Owner/baker Chaya Conrad has put down delicious roots in her neighborhood, which has embraced Bywater Bakery on all fronts. Beyond the outstanding cakes (coconut chantilly!), pies and pastries, the bakery’s savory menu includes easy to eat Geaux Cups, a breakfast concoction in a cup that sometimes, although sadly not always, includes a creamy helping of S&G. The toothsome grits are sometimes paired with roast beef debris and bacon and eggs, all wonderful.

Restaurant des Familles

BBQ shrimp w/ jalapeno cheddar grits
Restaurant des Familes/Facebook

Just 30 minutes from downtown on the West Bank, this charming restaurant with scenic views of the historic Bayou des Familles is a gem, a soothing bit of country within easy driving distance. Restaurant des Familles offers a diverse menu, from char-grilled oysters and fried seafood to outstanding turtle soup and grilled redfish served Cajun style topped with alligator sauce piquant. Oh and the bbq shrimp and grits is to die for, served with toasted French bread and cheesy jalapeno-cheddar grits.

BBQ shrimp w/ jalapeno cheddar grits
Restaurant des Familes/Facebook

Atchafalaya

Shrimp and grits with andouille, Trinity, and smoked tomatoes 
Atchafalaya/Facebook

Atchafalaya is best known for its brunch, when locals and visitors come from all over town to partake in the make-your-own bloody Mary bar. But, the dinner menu features an excellent shrimp and grits, made with andouille, the trinity, and smoked tomatoes. The char on the shrimp is another burst of savory, smoky flavor. It’s open for dinner every night and for brunch from Thursday through Monday.

Shrimp and grits with andouille, Trinity, and smoked tomatoes 
Atchafalaya/Facebook

Jack Rose

Everything is better with bacon. Which is why the shrimp and grits at Jack Rose is so slammin’. Nibs of bacon add smoky flavor notes to the dish, served atop stone ground al dente grits. Featured on the Sunday brunch menu, the dish is just one of the many reasons to check out this gem in the Ponchartrain Hotel.

Gris-Gris

Gris-Gris chef Eric Cook dishes a powerful wallop with his version of shrimp and grits, studded with smoky pork sausage and loaded with buttery shrimp atop a mount of al dente stone ground grits. Roasted red peppers and cherry tomatoes add color to one of the most popular items on Cook’s menu. Ask for bread to sop of the gravy’s butter goodness.

Surrey's Café & Juice Bar (Multiple Locations)

This popular Magazine Street cafe dishes fun and funky breakfast items including bananas foster French toast, migas with eggs and chorizo and a super shrimp and grits. Served in a bowl, Surrey’s S&G is garnished with green onions AND bacon, a ring of toasted French bread driving the carb-fueled delight home. You won’t want to waste a drop of this sauce, promise.

Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard

Chef Jimi Setchim took over the Broussard’s kitchen just a little more than a year ago, and already he’s earning raves for his flavorful and creative takes on Creole faves. Setchim bathes massive Gulf shrimp in a traditional Worchestshire-fueled barbecue sauce, all atop a mound of creamy stone ground grits. So good.

NOLA Restaurant

Shrimp and blue corn grits with mushrooms, eggplant, and tomatoes
NOLA Restaurant/Facebook

Emeril’s barbecue shrimp is legend at all his restaurants and with good reason. But nola chef de Cuisine Philip Buccieri also has his way with some shrimp and grits, a memorable mash up that includes perfectly seasoned blue corn grits, smoked mushrooms and bits of stewed eggplant and skillet tomatoes. Just another reminder that this sleeper hit in the Quarter on Saint Louis is at the top of its game.

Shrimp and blue corn grits with mushrooms, eggplant, and tomatoes
NOLA Restaurant/Facebook

Hambone

Chef Luke Hidalgo believes that to be perfect, the grits and shrimp must share the spotlight equally. The former Commander’s sous chef, now chef/owner at Hambone across the lake in Old Mandeville, elevates this dish to ethereal heights by serving garlic confit-infused grits, blackened shrimp and a sauce laced with sauteed collards and seasonal vegetables. Wait there’s more - it’s all bound in a bacon dashi broth that adds a light, Asian note that rings perfectly true.

Cafe Amelie

Shrimp and Grits with corn maque choux
Cafe Amelie/Facebook

Beloved for its lush courtyard setting, Cafe Amelie kills it for brunch, with chef Jerry’s Gulf shrimp and grits one of the menu’s best sellers. Bathed in a golden maque choux sauce flavored with knobs of andouille sausage, this dish is offered as a starter, but is ample and rich enough to be an entree.

Shrimp and Grits with corn maque choux
Cafe Amelie/Facebook

Tujague's

Chef Thomas Robey is upping the game at Tujague’s, the 163-year-old restaurant on Decatur. Robey, who took over the kitchen a year ago, brings an ingredient-driven passion for the classics to the table and no wonder - he was in the kitchen at Commander’s for years. His shrimp and grits is a case in point, buttery barbecue shrimp spiked with Abita Amber beer ladled over Pepper Jack cheese grits. A keeper.

The Ruby Slipper Cafe (Multiple Locations)

With 11 locations from the French Quarter to the Marigny, Orange Beach and Pensacola, Ruby Slipper does breakfast right and has the lines to prove it. Slurp an excellent Bloody Mary and tuck into the Slipper’s version of shrimp and grits swimming in a beer and rosemary butter sauce over creamy stone ground grits, a biscuit on the side. The grits are so good you might need more, this time with thin fried catfish as a co-star.

New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery

Chef/owner Steve Himelfarb’s Cake Cafe is another fabulous neighborhood spot, this time in the Marigny. An extensive menu of breakfast and lunch specialties like house-made corned beef hash and local catfish and eggs is joined by a winning version of shrimp and and organic yellow grits puddled with butter. Add eggs for $2.75 and definitely get the biscuit, best enjoyed slathered with house made jam.

Elizabeth's

Elizabeth’s earns accolades for its praline bacon, bloody Mary’s and Dr. Bob decor, but the shrimp and grits at this Bywater cafe deserve mention. The chef’s version, dubbed the Hangover Helper, arrives swimming in a rich beef broth marbled with smoky tasso over buttery grits. Get the praline bacon on the side just because.

Bywater Bakery