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An old-school Parkway Bakery and Tavern sign hangs on a corner building.
Parkway is one of New Orleans’s best po’ boy shops.
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Where to Eat and Drink in and Around Bayou St. John

The bucolic neighborhood is home to some of New Orleans’s favorite restaurants and bars

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Parkway is one of New Orleans’s best po’ boy shops.
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Walking along Bayou St. John is a particular pleasure, with its bucolic views, dog on parade, and residents gathering for wine and conversation as the sun sets. Once the primary portage between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi, the Bayou now accents a hub of dining, recreation and festival-ing, with the annual Bayou Boogaloo a highlight of the summer season. Whether catering to hungry neighbors or intrepid visitors after a day of festin’ at the Fairgrounds, the restaurants in and around Bayou St. John step up to the plate.

For the purposes of this map, we’re considering Bayou St. John to be bordered loosely by its namesake waterway; Lafitte Avenue; Esplanade Avenue; and Broad Street. A handful of the below spots fall just outside those borders, but are close enough to be included here. If you don’t see your favorite spot to eat or drink in Bayou St. John, leave a comment on social or send Eater a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Santa Fe

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Just a few steps away from Cafe Degas on a stunning stretch of Esplanade Avenue, Santa Fe offers Southwestern fare in a relaxed but lively patio setting. The margaritas are always made from fresh juice, the ceviche is superb and tacos, nachos, and quesadillas will satisfy the craving. Don’t expect a cheap Tex-Mex fix here — two fish tacos are $17 — but portions are large and very shareable, and there’s often live music to accompany dinner. Anybody remember when SF was in the Marigny?

Lola’s paellas and fideuàs (same idea but with angel-hair pasta) are legend in these parts. The tiny dining room is a sweet backdrop for Spanish peasant fare that includes stewed meats, fresh seafood, herb-driven pastas and salads and lots and lots of olive oil and garlic. Housemade sangria and charming sidewalk seating is a bonus.

Outside Lola’s.
Lola’s

Swirl Wine Bar & Market

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Swirl Wine Bar in Bayou St. John has long been a go-to for interesting wine, but they do good eats, in partnership with 1000 Figs next door. Get a falafel sandwich or the smoked chicken salad on on semolino. Or nosh on cheese and veggie plates perfect for sharing at tables out front or at the handful of bar seats.

1000 Figs

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With every plate as pretty as a picture, 1000 Figs dishes sprightly vegetable-forward Mediterranean fare that inspires droves of regulars. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, the falafel feast for two (or three) is revelatory, with lots of crunch and freshness in every bite. Everything is freshly prepared and expertly executed; the dining room has an inviting, living room vibe.

1000 Figs
1000 Figs
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Cafe Degas

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When a pecan tree is growing through the romantic dining room and quail, escargot, and ethereal Iles Flotantes (floating islands) are on the menu, Francophiles who lean towards the rustic will be over the moon. Cafe Degas serves irst-rate French fare includes specialties like steak frites au poivre, mussels with fennel and crispy frites and a bracing salad of crab, grapefruit and mint.

Liuzza's by the Track

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This neighborhood joint, ground zero for bloody marys come Jazz Fest, dishes some of the best gumbo in town. Always an eclectic scene, Liuzza’s by the Track (no relation to the other one) is just as famous for its Worcestershire-fueled barbecue shrimp po’ boy slathered between a hot pistolette. Oh, and the deep-fried garlic oysters are legend.

Don Villavaso on the Bayou

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Don Villavaso on the Bayou is a hot nighttime hangout, hidden right off Esplanade Avenue and popular for its large patio and cigar area out front. It’s great for a post-dinner visit, for catching a Pels or Saints game, and for a premium cigar menu, but it’s also a destination for food — highlights are the charbroiled oysters and any steaks, as well as crawfish Sundays and Friday fish fries.

McHardy's Chicken & Fixin'

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While the 7th Ward gets to claim this quick-serve gem on Broad, it’s close enough to the neighborhood to serve as its essential fried chicken destination. That fried chicken is some of New Orleans’s finest: 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.

Pal's Lounge

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Love the twisted Cheers scene at Pal’s, so friendly and welcoming to all. A dive bar and proud of it, Pal’s consistently hosts some of the best food pop ups in town, with regular appearances from Useful Arts Sausage Co, Tacos Para La Vida, and Daddy Hot Bird. This women-owned neighborhood gem is an integral part of Bayou St.John.

Coco Hut Carribean Restaurant

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Situated just outside off Broad Street on Bayou Road restaurant is this 7th ward institution, serving heaping plates of Jamaican comfort food at reasonable prices. The jerk chicken is glorious, unsurprisingly, as is the goat and snapper; all come in platters for less than $15. Daily specials and a handful of tables out front make this a popular neighborhood lunch destination.

Pagoda Cafe

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This funky spot on Bayou Road is a gem pure and simple. Pagoda Cafe serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week, with a sweet little dog-friendly outdoor patio perfect for picnicking. Try the breakfast tacos and the savory pastry for sure and definitely get their version of a veggie banh mi. That’s fried lemongrass tofu on Dong Phuong french bread, dressed with mayo, cucumbers and a fresh slaw with peanut satay dressing. Spot on.

Mayhew Bakery

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Mayhew is Bayou St. John’s newest bakery, a neighborhood spot through and through from former Brennan’s baker Kelly Mayhew. His creations are endless — sweets like lemon cream cheese brioche, sweet potato cream cheese bars, and pumpkin muffins; breads, croissants, breakfast and baguette sandwiches, German pretzels, and pizza for savory options, including French bread pizza, Detroit-style, round, NY-style pies, and most recently Sicilian.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern

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Parkway has defined po’ boys in New Orleans for the better part of a century and no wonder. Every flavor is savory bliss, but the juicy roast beef is at least a four-napkin meal, dressed of course with lettuce, tomato, mayo and pickle. Thank goodness Jay Nix reopened the place in 2003 after a decade of darkness when the original owners closed up shop. Thanks Jay and pass the napkins.

Sweet Soulfood

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Sweet Soulfood helped kick off the vegan soul food movement in the city, doing a public service with its menu of New Orleans comfort dishes done vegan. A changing weekly menu features the likes of gumbo and red beans, stuffed bell peppers greens and mac and cheese, nacho salad, cornbread, and bread pudding. Yes, all of it vegan.

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. The copious menu covers the likes of tacos, sandwiches, dips — there’s even a lamb French onion pot pie with Swiss sure to satisfy.

Piece Of Meat

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What began as a butcher shop and sandwich spot has grown into a full-service restaurant and bar emphasizing steak, sides, and cocktails. Still, it’s retained its original charm — slightly edgy and earnest, but coursing with creativity — take the beef fat candles that are part of the new dinner service, served with grilled bread. A gorgeous bar and small dining room is complemented by nice patio seating, which is first-come, first-serve.

Dishes from the dinner menu at Piece of Meat.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Neyow's Creole Café

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Chef/proprietor Tanya Dubuclet serves New Orleans homestyle cooking at Neyow’s Creole Cafe, something that isn’t as easy to find in restaurants as it used to be. Her file gumbo is a perfect place to start, prepared with shrimp, crabs, smoked sausage, ham, and seasoning and served over white rice.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Norma's Sweets Bakery

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Just a touch outside the neighborhood is the wonderful Norma’s Sweets Bakery, a one-stop shop for fresh empanadas, Cubans, chimitacos, Honduran breads, sweet pastries, and serves as a marketplace of pre-packaged Central American goods. During Carnival season, the guava cream cheese king cake is one of the best in town.

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Santa Fe

Just a few steps away from Cafe Degas on a stunning stretch of Esplanade Avenue, Santa Fe offers Southwestern fare in a relaxed but lively patio setting. The margaritas are always made from fresh juice, the ceviche is superb and tacos, nachos, and quesadillas will satisfy the craving. Don’t expect a cheap Tex-Mex fix here — two fish tacos are $17 — but portions are large and very shareable, and there’s often live music to accompany dinner. Anybody remember when SF was in the Marigny?

Lola's

Outside Lola’s.
Lola’s

Lola’s paellas and fideuàs (same idea but with angel-hair pasta) are legend in these parts. The tiny dining room is a sweet backdrop for Spanish peasant fare that includes stewed meats, fresh seafood, herb-driven pastas and salads and lots and lots of olive oil and garlic. Housemade sangria and charming sidewalk seating is a bonus.

Outside Lola’s.
Lola’s

Swirl Wine Bar & Market

Swirl Wine Bar in Bayou St. John has long been a go-to for interesting wine, but they do good eats, in partnership with 1000 Figs next door. Get a falafel sandwich or the smoked chicken salad on on semolino. Or nosh on cheese and veggie plates perfect for sharing at tables out front or at the handful of bar seats.

1000 Figs

1000 Figs
1000 Figs
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

With every plate as pretty as a picture, 1000 Figs dishes sprightly vegetable-forward Mediterranean fare that inspires droves of regulars. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, the falafel feast for two (or three) is revelatory, with lots of crunch and freshness in every bite. Everything is freshly prepared and expertly executed; the dining room has an inviting, living room vibe.

1000 Figs
1000 Figs
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Cafe Degas

When a pecan tree is growing through the romantic dining room and quail, escargot, and ethereal Iles Flotantes (floating islands) are on the menu, Francophiles who lean towards the rustic will be over the moon. Cafe Degas serves irst-rate French fare includes specialties like steak frites au poivre, mussels with fennel and crispy frites and a bracing salad of crab, grapefruit and mint.

Liuzza's by the Track

This neighborhood joint, ground zero for bloody marys come Jazz Fest, dishes some of the best gumbo in town. Always an eclectic scene, Liuzza’s by the Track (no relation to the other one) is just as famous for its Worcestershire-fueled barbecue shrimp po’ boy slathered between a hot pistolette. Oh, and the deep-fried garlic oysters are legend.

Don Villavaso on the Bayou

Don Villavaso on the Bayou is a hot nighttime hangout, hidden right off Esplanade Avenue and popular for its large patio and cigar area out front. It’s great for a post-dinner visit, for catching a Pels or Saints game, and for a premium cigar menu, but it’s also a destination for food — highlights are the charbroiled oysters and any steaks, as well as crawfish Sundays and Friday fish fries.

McHardy's Chicken & Fixin'

While the 7th Ward gets to claim this quick-serve gem on Broad, it’s close enough to the neighborhood to serve as its essential fried chicken destination. That fried chicken is some of New Orleans’s finest: 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.

Pal's Lounge

Love the twisted Cheers scene at Pal’s, so friendly and welcoming to all. A dive bar and proud of it, Pal’s consistently hosts some of the best food pop ups in town, with regular appearances from Useful Arts Sausage Co, Tacos Para La Vida, and Daddy Hot Bird. This women-owned neighborhood gem is an integral part of Bayou St.John.

Coco Hut Carribean Restaurant

Situated just outside off Broad Street on Bayou Road restaurant is this 7th ward institution, serving heaping plates of Jamaican comfort food at reasonable prices. The jerk chicken is glorious, unsurprisingly, as is the goat and snapper; all come in platters for less than $15. Daily specials and a handful of tables out front make this a popular neighborhood lunch destination.

Pagoda Cafe

This funky spot on Bayou Road is a gem pure and simple. Pagoda Cafe serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week, with a sweet little dog-friendly outdoor patio perfect for picnicking. Try the breakfast tacos and the savory pastry for sure and definitely get their version of a veggie banh mi. That’s fried lemongrass tofu on Dong Phuong french bread, dressed with mayo, cucumbers and a fresh slaw with peanut satay dressing. Spot on.

Mayhew Bakery

Mayhew is Bayou St. John’s newest bakery, a neighborhood spot through and through from former Brennan’s baker Kelly Mayhew. His creations are endless — sweets like lemon cream cheese brioche, sweet potato cream cheese bars, and pumpkin muffins; breads, croissants, breakfast and baguette sandwiches, German pretzels, and pizza for savory options, including French bread pizza, Detroit-style, round, NY-style pies, and most recently Sicilian.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern

Parkway has defined po’ boys in New Orleans for the better part of a century and no wonder. Every flavor is savory bliss, but the juicy roast beef is at least a four-napkin meal, dressed of course with lettuce, tomato, mayo and pickle. Thank goodness Jay Nix reopened the place in 2003 after a decade of darkness when the original owners closed up shop. Thanks Jay and pass the napkins.

Sweet Soulfood

Sweet Soulfood helped kick off the vegan soul food movement in the city, doing a public service with its menu of New Orleans comfort dishes done vegan. A changing weekly menu features the likes of gumbo and red beans, stuffed bell peppers greens and mac and cheese, nacho salad, cornbread, and bread pudding. Yes, all of it vegan.

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. The copious menu covers the likes of tacos, sandwiches, dips — there’s even a lamb French onion pot pie with Swiss sure to satisfy.

Related Maps

Piece Of Meat

Dishes from the dinner menu at Piece of Meat.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

What began as a butcher shop and sandwich spot has grown into a full-service restaurant and bar emphasizing steak, sides, and cocktails. Still, it’s retained its original charm — slightly edgy and earnest, but coursing with creativity — take the beef fat candles that are part of the new dinner service, served with grilled bread. A gorgeous bar and small dining room is complemented by nice patio seating, which is first-come, first-serve.

Dishes from the dinner menu at Piece of Meat.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Neyow's Creole Café

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Chef/proprietor Tanya Dubuclet serves New Orleans homestyle cooking at Neyow’s Creole Cafe, something that isn’t as easy to find in restaurants as it used to be. Her file gumbo is a perfect place to start, prepared with shrimp, crabs, smoked sausage, ham, and seasoning and served over white rice.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Norma's Sweets Bakery

Just a touch outside the neighborhood is the wonderful Norma’s Sweets Bakery, a one-stop shop for fresh empanadas, Cubans, chimitacos, Honduran breads, sweet pastries, and serves as a marketplace of pre-packaged Central American goods. During Carnival season, the guava cream cheese king cake is one of the best in town.

Related Maps