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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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Upperline Restaurant, New Orleans

This Uptown eatery—an art-packed casual room with a stellar, homey menu—never fails to make you feel like family. The friendly, convivial vibe...more

Editors' Pick
Stanley, New Orleans

Chef Scott Boswell's French Quarter breakfast/lunch spot fills an important niche in a city with few outstanding morning options. If you've ever been...more

Editors' Pick
Riomar, New Orleans

New Orleans might seem like an unlikely place to sample Spanish cuisine, but local chef Adolfo Garcia combines his local pedigree and Panamanian heritage to...more

Editors' Pick
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Restaurant August, New Orleans

Chef John Besh never seems to sleep. In addition to running three restaurants and competing recently in the Food Network's Iron Chef competition, he's planning...more

Editors' Pick
Patois, New Orleans

For fans of the HBO series Treme, this Uptown establishment might seem more than vaguely familiar, since it's the setting for Desautels restaurant on the...more

Editors' Pick
Parkway Bakery and Tavern, New Orleans

This twice-reborn Mid-City barroom is a testament to the staying power of New Orleans's po'boy culture. You'll find pitch-perfect examples here of the city's...more

Editors' Pick
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MiLa, New Orleans

The husband/wife chef team of Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing made their names in New York City (Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar, Alain Ducasse) before...more

Editors' Pick
Mahony's Poboy Shop, New Orleans

When owner/chef Ben Wicks decided to leave the fine-dining world, he dedicated himself to New Orleans's signature sandwich—the glorious overstuffed...more

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Iris, New Orleans

After a few years of plying their trade on a tiny Uptown side street, chef Ian Schnoebelen and co-owner Laurie Casebonne moved their award-winning operation to...more

Editors' Pick
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Herbsaint, New Orleans

Chef Donald Link started his local empire with this gem of a bistro in the Central Business District. His trademark small plates balance substance with finesse,...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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