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New Orleans restaurants

New Orleans's storied restaurant scene will make you forget the traditional three-meal system. You'll need to eat way more than that in order to even scratch the surface of everything the Big Easy's restaurants have to offer. So go ahead, indulge in a plate of sugar-dusted fried beignets with mid-morning coffee and a dozen raw oysters before dinner. It's all part of eating your way around the city.

New Orleans remains a staunch restaurant town, and you won't have to go too far to find a solid recommendation for a transcendent meal, whether you're looking to spend three bucks a plate or three-hundred. From the humblest po'boy (an overstuffed French bread sandwich) at Parkway Bakery and Tavern to cutting-edge interpretations of local cuisine at restaurants like MiLA, you're likely to have at least one life-changing meal.

Seafood lovers should familiarize themselves with the bounty of the nearby Gulf of Mexico meal by meal. Delicate, flaky fish like pompano, black drum, and red snapper swim in nearby waters and form the core of a centuries-old Creole culinary tradition. Plump shrimp pulled from local waters and tasty crawfish from swampy southwest Louisiana find their way to the table boiled or cooked into spicy gumbos and butter-rich étouffée. Pristine lump meat from the local blue crab makes its way into every course but dessert.

Since New Orleans is a global destination for foodie types, it always helps to make dining reservations in advance, especially during big events like Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest. Hot tickets like Cochon might require a little "wait at the bar" time, but that's not always a bad thing, is it? Peak hours for evening dining are in the range of 7 to 8 pm, so swing by early or late if you've got your heart set on a particular restaurant. And contrary to what you'd expect, most of the city's kitchens don't keep cooking into the wee hours, so it's good practice to dine before 10 pm and hit the clubs afterward.

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Hotel Photo
Bourbon House Seafood & Oyster Bar, New Orleans

This informal yet stylish space shows that it's possible to eat on Bourbon Street without giving in to the hard-drinking stigma associated with the city's...more

Editors' Pick
Brigtsen's Restaurant, New Orleans

It's hard to avoid being swept up in the convivial vibe while dining at this Uptown "house bistro." The tablecloths are white, but waitresses bring a...more

Editors' Pick
Casamento's Restaurant, New Orleans

"A couple of dozen raw and a couple of beers to wash 'em down" used to be standard after-work fare in New Orleans's working-class neighborhoods, where shuckers...more

Editors' Pick
Clancy's, New Orleans

Buried in the maze of the side streets in Uptown's Riverbend neighborhood, Clancy's is one of the more unassuming restaurants in the city, which seems to suit...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Cochon, New Orleans

Donald Link of Herbsaint fame opened this Warehouse District restaurant in the spring of 2006, and it's been one of the city's enduring "hot tickets" ever...more

Editors' Pick
Commander's Palace, New Orleans

If you doubt the concept of "elegant excess," book a long weekday lunch at Commander's, in the relaxed Garden District. The legendary flagship of the Brennan's...more

Editors' Pick
Dick and Jenny's, New Orleans

You just can't get any homier than this renovated Creole cottage steps from the landmark Tipitina's nightclub. With hand-painted plates on the wall and...more

Editors' Pick
Galatoire's, New Orleans

For locals, Friday lunch at this sophisticated Creole standby is a weekly tradition; for visitors, it should be a once-in-a-lifetime culinary event. With its...more

Editors' Pick
Gautreau's, New Orleans

Although you might not expect it from a TV-savvy celebrity chef, almost everything about Sue Zeminack tends toward utter understatement. After many accolades...more

Editors' Pick
Green Goddess, New Orleans

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, yet worlds away from the main tourist drags, this pedestrian-only, back-alley spot seems both blessed and cursed in...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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