Gallons of gumbo, baskets of beignets and plenty of Po’ boys, here’s why you need to keep it Creole in New Orleans. Indulging in a brand-new cuisine is exciting, exhilarating and is a true sense for your senses and no more so than in New Orleans.
It’s easy to fall in love with the foodie scene in New Orleans, after all there’s so many delectable dishes to try. Of course the Crescent city’s not just limited to creole cuisine but cajun too. In fact, you can see and taste influences from French, Italian, Spanish, African, German, and Indigenous food all over the city.
Whether your go-to new favourite dish is yak-a-mein, jambalaya or a cheeky sno’ ball or two, then you won’t want to miss out on dipping your toe into the culinary adventure that awaits you in New Orleans. They say if you are visiting the Big Easy, go hungry so that you can take advantage of all that this amazing city has to offer and with the food being no exception. From morning through to night, here’s our round up to the best restaurants in New Orleans.
Hold this thought in your head, the sun is rising in a brilliant blue sky, the sound of streetcars reverberate as they ease their way down the French Quarter – morning has broken and it’s time for a traditional New Orleans breakfast.
Whether you are seeking a culinary treat, a leisurely breakfast/brunch or maybe even a hangover cure (after all you are in New Orleans) then if you are looking for the best restaurants in New Orleans for breakfast, you have come to the right place. Some dishes might not be for the faint-hearted – crawfish étouffée hash browns – we are looking at you! But, you can’t start a full-on day in the Big Easy on an empty stomach now can you?
The Ruby Slippers Cafe
Click your heels together three times and say ‘Take me to the Ruby Slippers Cafe’ in New Orleans where you will find a unique twist on typical breakfast and brunch fare.
Choose from an extensive list of amazing dishes like French Toast Bites, Fried Green Tomatoes and Shrimp and Grits. Fans of Bennies will love the lengthy list on offer which includes bayou shrimp, slow-cooked pork debris with poached eggs and crawfish and grits. We also love the breakfast tacos and the biscuits and gravy.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will certainly want to do a deep dive into the sweet pancakes menu where you can try the likes of the bacon praline pancakes and another Southern favourite – the peaches and cream pancakes which comes with a whiskey cream sauce.
Of course, you could throw in an early morning cocktail such as the Ruby Mimosa or a Bloody Mary which is considered to be one of the best in the city. If The Ruby Slippers Cafe is ‘home’ (whilst in New Orleans) then there’s no place like it!
Legend has it that novelist Peter S. Feibleman said that “If you haven’t had breakfast at Brennan’s, you haven’t really been to New Orleans at all” – and that combined with the amazing menu at this elegant eatery, you can see why it’s one of the best restaurants in New Orleans.
This pink-painted award-winning French Quarter institution has been serving guests since 1946 and is regularly packed out. Choose from classic Southern dishes like praline bread pudding and Creole crepes, crab omelettes and bourbon milk punch. Steeped in Creole traditions bolstered with a contemporary New Orleans influence, these breakfasts are practically a NOLO institution and it would be remiss not to try their famed Irish coffee which is the perfect companion to any dish.
Even if you are only in New Orleans for a short time, rest assured it’s going to be a good time, especially when it comes to lunchtime. It’s been said New Orleans is America’s finest lunch town, and with such an incredible range of places to try that are considered to be some of the best restaurants in New Orleans, it’s easy to see why.
The Crescent city always delivers whether you are after shrimp po’ boys on the hop, a classic sandwich with a NOLA twist to be enjoyed amidst exploring the most exciting things to do in the city or simply enjoying a leisurely lunch somewhere beautiful. If finding the best lunch spots is high on your agenda whilst in New Orleans, then you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for relaxed dining where you can find some of the best seafood in the city, head over to Uptown where you can find Seafood Sally’s – a great little seafood joint which is ideal for all the family.
Expect all-you-can-eat crab platters, intriguing Cajun-Viet combos, shrimp and corn salads, wild caught Manchac catfish which are ably supported by the nautical-themed cocktails which includes The Black Pearl and the Beet Ya to the Beach which combines agave gin, fresh pressed beet juice and green pepper – surely one of the healthiest cocktails in the city?!
Another evergreen restaurant in the Big Easy that regularly tops the best restaurants in New Orleans list. The Commander’s Palace in the Garden District is as famous for their twenty-five cent lunch martinis and their turquoise and white building as they are their food which includes bread pudding soufflé, the turtle soup, the gumbo du jour, and their delectable pecan-crusted gulf fish.
Staples aside, the menu has a varied plethora of dishes with a strong French-Creole undercurrent. For those seeking a plant-based option or a lighter selection, the Louisiana Watermelon Salad, and the Asparagus Vichyssoise are great choices, but this restaurant is very much focused on fish and meat dishes with local produce like shrimp, crawfish and catfish all making regular appearances.
You may be interested to know that New Orleans is a town full of foodies who start talking about what they’re going to have for dinner way before lunch is even over. When you have such a stellar selection of eateries to choose from which cater for every whim, taste and budget (as well as regularly topping the best restaurants in New Orleans list) then it’s easy to see why the excitement and indeed the appetite of both the locals and visitors is palpable.
Whether you are eating on the fly in a jam-packed evening of festivities as you take advantage of the best nightlife on offer in New Orleans or your evening meal is sitting centre stage and is THE event of the day, we have got your dinner choices sewn up!
Charlie’s Steak House
If a great steak is high on your ‘must eat’ list, then head on down to Charlie’s Steak House where you will find the oldest steakhouse in the city and not just one of the best steakhouses in NOLA, but one of the best restaurants in New Orleans. This steakhouse in Uptown’s Milan neighbourhood is practically a New Orleans institution and prides itself not only on its food, but its exemplary old-school service.
When it comes to the food, it’s all about the classic sides like onion rings, creamed spinach, and potato gratin which perfectly compliments the expertly-cooked steaks of all varieties.
The Napoleon House
If you love to pair your dining experience with a spot of ghost hunting, then dinner at The Napoleon House is just the ticket. Named after some French fella (!) The man in question never made it to this restaurant and more the pity as when it comes to leading the way for the best restaurants in New Orleans, this beloved landmark is certainly one worth having a (food) revolution about.
As you might expect, this restaurant is over 200-plus-years-old and is chock-full of history. Whilst it’s an obvious draw for tourists, the locals do frequent it thanks to its dishes like muffuletta, red beans and rice and seafood gumbo. It’s casual dining at its best – and what it lacks in variety, it makes up for good comfort food cooked well.
It’s ideal for a quick dinner so that you can ensure you have all the time in the world to enjoy all that New Orleans has to offer. Why not grab a seat in the courtyard and keep an eye out for the ghosts that are said to haunt the place?