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Bayou St. John
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Where to Eat in and Around Bayou St. John

18 delicious restaurants within walking distance of the neighborhood’s namesake waterway

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Bayou St. John
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How cool is it that there’s a bayou smack-dab in the middle of New Orleans? Bayou St. John is a particular pleasure, with its bucolic views, dogs 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.

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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

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 — for instance, the beef fat candles served with grilled bread that are part of the new dinner service. A gorgeous bar and small dining room are complemented by nice patio seating, which is first-come, first-serve.

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

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. It’s as close as it gets to the bayou, so grab your order and some frozens or beer to go and pick a spot by the water to enjoy.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

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 Tacos Para La Vida and Get Your Mom & Dim Sum. This women-owned neighborhood gem is an integral part of Bayou St.John.

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 pasta, and lots and lots of olive oil and garlic. Housemade sangria and charming sidewalk seating are a bonus.

Outside Lola’s.
Lola’s

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, but portions are large and very shareable, and there’s often live music to accompany dinner. Does anybody remember when SF was in the Marigny?

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

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 semolina. Or nosh on cheese and vegetable plates perfect for sharing at tables out front or at the handful of bar seats. Or grab a bottle and take it down to the banks of the bayou.

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 first-rate French fare including specialties like steak frites au poivre, mussels with fennel and crispy frites, and a bracing salad of crab, grapefruit, and mint.

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.

Liuzza's by the Track

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This neighborhood joint, ground zero for bloody marys during 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.

Crescent City Steak House

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Locally owned, famous for aged steaks sizzling with butter and seven different potato side dishes, Crescent City Steaks is a true New Orleans experience. The Bayou St. John-adjacent eatery is one of the oldest on the map, opened in 1934. Throwback private curtain booths, private rooms, and the option to rent it out entirely make it a neighborhood event destination.

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 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.

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 go-to 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.

Addis Nola

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Now in new, grander digs on Bayou Road, Addis Nola is a cherished addition to New Orleans dining. The inviting spot from Dr. Biruk Alemayehu, Prince Lobo, and chef Jaimito “Jaime” Lobo features a coffee ceremony stage, elegant artwork, and warming stews; sambusas and kitfo; and whole fried red snapper. Visit on vegan Monday and try a platter with a taste of everything, starring lentils, split peas, collard greens, mushrooms, sweet potato wot, and shiro.

Coco Hut Carribean Restaurant

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Situated just 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 every day but Monday, 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.

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Neyow's Creole Café

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

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.

Piece Of Meat

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 — for instance, the beef fat candles served with grilled bread that are part of the new dinner service. A gorgeous bar and small dining room are complemented by nice patio seating, which is first-come, first-serve.

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

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. It’s as close as it gets to the bayou, so grab your order and some frozens or beer to go and pick a spot by the water to enjoy.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

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 Tacos Para La Vida and Get Your Mom & Dim Sum. This women-owned neighborhood gem is an integral part of Bayou St.John.

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 pasta, and lots and lots of olive oil and garlic. Housemade sangria and charming sidewalk seating are a bonus.

Outside Lola’s.
Lola’s

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, but portions are large and very shareable, and there’s often live music to accompany dinner. Does anybody remember when SF was in the Marigny?

1000 Figs

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

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 semolina. Or nosh on cheese and vegetable plates perfect for sharing at tables out front or at the handful of bar seats. Or grab a bottle and take it down to the banks of the bayou.

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 first-rate French fare including specialties like steak frites au poivre, mussels with fennel and crispy frites, and a bracing salad of crab, grapefruit, and mint.

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.

Liuzza's by the Track

This neighborhood joint, ground zero for bloody marys during 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.

Crescent City Steak House

Locally owned, famous for aged steaks sizzling with butter and seven different potato side dishes, Crescent City Steaks is a true New Orleans experience. The Bayou St. John-adjacent eatery is one of the oldest on the map, opened in 1934. Throwback private curtain booths, private rooms, and the option to rent it out entirely make it a neighborhood event destination.

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 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.

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 go-to 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.

Related Maps

Addis Nola

Now in new, grander digs on Bayou Road, Addis Nola is a cherished addition to New Orleans dining. The inviting spot from Dr. Biruk Alemayehu, Prince Lobo, and chef Jaimito “Jaime” Lobo features a coffee ceremony stage, elegant artwork, and warming stews; sambusas and kitfo; and whole fried red snapper. Visit on vegan Monday and try a platter with a taste of everything, starring lentils, split peas, collard greens, mushrooms, sweet potato wot, and shiro.

Coco Hut Carribean Restaurant

Situated just 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 every day but Monday, 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.

Related Maps