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The Best Places to Eat in New Orleans

If you like eating, a trip to the Big Easy is a must.

Po-boys, beignets, chicory coffee, gumbo—that’s just a handful of the foods NOLA put on the map. Here’s a few of the best places to eat in New Orleans

Willie Mae’s Scotch House

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Both Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain claim Willie Mae makes the best fried chicken in the country. If those guys say so, I am going to go ahead and trust them! Willie Mae Seaton opened this place in 1957. Today, her great-granddaughter is still at the helm of this legendary 6th Ward restaurant. An order of fried chicken includes three pieces, plus a side, like cornbread, mac and cheese, sweet potato fries or green beans.

Donald Link’s Restaurants

The Best Places to Eat in New Orleans

Donald Link is one of the biggest names in New Orleans cuisine. This James Beard Award-winning chef operates a few restaurants in town. There’s Peche for seafood, and Herbsaint for high-end Italian and French fare shot through a southern lens. The one that tops my list is Cochon, Link’s homage to regional Cajun and southern food. Share wood-fired oysters with chili garlic butter; fried alligator with chili garlic mayonnaise; and smoked pork ribs with watermelon pickles. If a fancier meal is out of your budget, check out Cochon Butcher, a casual shop specializing in charcuterie, sandwiches and southern sides. Eat-in or get your order to-go.

Domilise’s Po-Boys

Who has the best po-boys in town? It’s hard to say. Mother’s typically has a line around the corner, and Stanley does a more high-end version of this NOLA staple. However, Domilise’s holds a special place in the hearts of many. Open since 1918, this no-frills shop serves excellent shrimp, oyster, roast beef, and sausage po-boys on fresh, crispy Leidenheimer bread. The food is great, but it’s really the staff that makes this place special. It’s currently in the hands of third and fourth generation Domilise family members. The bartender has been there over 45 years, and some of the sandwich makers have celebrated 35+ years at the shop. When your turnover rate is nearly non-existent, you must be doing something right!

Coop’s Place

The Best Places to Eat in New Orleans

Open since 1983, this dark and divey French Quarter staple serves some of the best jambalaya in town. Their signature version of the dish incorporates rabbit and sausage simmered with tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and Cajun seasoning. Those wanting extra local flavor may order the Supreme version, complete with shrimp and tasso (aka ham bursting with Cajun flavor).

Dooky Chase

Originally opening in 1941 as a sandwich shop and lottery ticket outlet, Dooky Chase is now regarded as one of the most iconic restaurants in town. Today, this sit-down restaurant is one of the country’s premiere spots for Creole cooking (and one of the first African-American fine dining restaurants). Check out their famous lunch buffet, featuring red beans and rice, hot sausage, gumbo, poor boys, shrimp Clemenceau, and stuffed shrimp. 

Café Du Monde

The Best Places to Eat in New Orleans

No trip to New Orleans is complete without breakfast at Café du Monde. Is it touristy? Yep. But there’s just something about sitting at one of their tiny, little bistro tables and ordering a plate of beignets and café au lait. You’ll leave covered in powdered sugar, buzzing from caffeine, with a big, fat smile on your face.

MoPho

The Best Places to Eat in New Orleans

When you think of New Orleans cuisine, you probably think Cajun or Creole. However, this town is one of the best places in the country for Vietnamese food. Pho Tau Bay and Ba Mien Family Restaurant are some of the classic Vietnamese spots, but for something a little more modern, check out MoPho (not going to lie—I love the name!). Chef Michael Gulotta does Vietnamese cuisine with a Louisiana sensibility. Think pepper jelly-braised Cedar Key clams with smoked pork jowl, mint, crispy shallot and annatto beignets; or punchy bowls of pho (that’s a brothy Vietnamese noodle soup) filled with things like chicken thighs, crispy shallots, grilled greens and a slow poached egg. It might sound a little strange, but these combos work. In fact, Chef Gulotta was recently named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs.

What are your favorite restaurants in New Orleans? Share in the comments!

If you like eating, a trip to the Big Easy is a must. Po-boys, beignets, chicory coffee, gumbo—that’s just a handful of the foods NOLA put on the map. Here’s a few of the best places to eat in New Orleans.
Photos: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

This Post Has 67 Comments

    1. Commander’s Palace, Mr. B’s Bistro & Brennan’a must be on any NOLA list. The fact that Samantha left them off her list AND she cheered for the Astros calls her judgment into question.

  1. Back in the old days when I spent a lot of time there, the old standards were the mandatory venue. These days, I would be totally lost.

    1. How can CD be a huge disappointment, it’s beignets and cafe au lait? When people make these types of comments I wish they would back them up, sheesh.

  2. Favorite places to eat are the local spots…Gumbo Shop for crawfish etouffe…Deanie’s Seafood…Mother’s….Tujaque’s…so many great places!

  3. Must agree with your list. I would add Commander’s Palace for lunch. A highlight of our fabulous meal at Dookey Chase was meeting Mrs. Chase in the back kitchen cleaning greens. What a legend.

  4. Court of the Two Sisters for dinner, Muriel`s for Sunday jazz brunch, Green Goddess for lunch, the Pirate Bar for absinthe.

  5. Coulis near Touro Med for Breakfast or Lunch ( say HI to Heather for me) ; also Deanies, Port O Call, and Central Grocery for Lunch; August , Atchafalya, Dick and Jennys, Brigtsens, G W Fins, Tommys, Herbsaint, Cochon, Bangkok Thai, K Pauls, and Lilette offer a plethora of fine meals from an array of cuisines . Sadly, I hear that Stella, Martinique, and and Olympias are no more. Olympias’ osso bucco was legend; and as I hear Chef Eric LaBouchere is no longer at Martinique, but is still in the area – I would certainly look him up wherever he is holding forth. Acme and Bourbon House have excellent oysters, but my favorite for them is Dragos, especially the chargrilled.

  6. Love Cafe Maspero for lunch! Redfish Grill and NOLA for dinner. And cafe du monde–but not for breakfast–late night is best! No matter where else we go we always hit these spots.

  7. I love Royal House, Vieux Carre Pizza, Chartres House, Sukho Thai (on Fridays they have a martini special…must try!)

  8. Made it to Cafe du Monde, and Coop’s. Had a great dinner there. Also recommend Kingfish. Have to go back to try Willie Mays, and Cochon.

  9. Parkway Bakery and Tavern for po boys. Try the surf and turf and smothered fries. Old Gentily Spice Kitchen is way off the beaten path, but had the best food we ate in all of New Orleans. We had the fried catfish and shrimp and the smothered pork chops with cabbage. Both were fantastic.

  10. When we spend a weekend in New Orleans, We always include a visit to Irene’s. We love the food, the waiters are outstanding and very entertaining The lamb is outstanding.

  11. Elizabeth’s for brunch and funk, Peche for contemporary cuisine, Casamento’s for charbroiled oysters and a soft shell crab loaf that will make you cry, Galatoire’s for Old Line French Quarter restaurant with that living-in-a-Tennessee-Williams-play feeling, and Commander’s Palace for a fine Creole dining experience and impeccable service.

  12. She mentioned Coops for jambalaya. Any other recommendations? We’re going to NOLA in May and my hubby can eat jambalaya morning, noon and night!!

  13. Court of two sisters made our whole trip. Plan at least two hours and be hungry. Loved the quiet jazz band.

  14. Israeli food in Nola? You bet. Shaya —fantastic small plates to share and non-stop wood oven-baked pita bread. We also love Luke’s for the raw bar and Acadian flavors. Best bread pudding in town too. A hidden gem in the Quarter for coffee and croissants is Croissant D’Or. Great way to start your day.

  15. Best Po-Boys: Johnny’s
    Best Breakfast: Brennan’s for Eggs Benedict & Bloody Mary
    Best Muffaletta: Central Grocery
    Best oysters: Antoine’s
    Best Beignet & Chicory coffee: Cafe DuMonde ( but a hectic place)

  16. Agree with most of the above. Just want to add “The Bon Ton Cafe” as a hidden long-running family-kept jewel, that my family has loved since the late 1940’s, at 401 Magazine, near Poydras.

  17. Cafe du Monde is the best any time of day
    Domilises is off the beaten path but they have the best poboys
    Gumbo Shop in the Quarter
    Pat O’Briens for a Hurricane
    YUMMY ????

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The Best Places To Eat In New Orleans
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