New Orleans’ 31 Best Restaurants

There are few cities where the eatin’ is better. These are the Best Restaurants in New Orleans

Best Restaurants in New Orleans
Flickr/T.Tseng
When it comes to po' boys, Parkway Bakery's offerings are second-to-none.

There are few cities that are as renowned for their food as New Orleans, Louisiana. The Crescent City has a food culture all its own, with insanely delicious po’ boys, hushpuppies, and other specialties that put it on the map lurking around every corner. We’ve rounded up the 31 best restaurants in the city.

New Orleans’ 31 Best Restaurants (Slideshow)

The culinary scene in New Orleans falls under two major umbrellas: Cajun and Creole. Cajun cuisine’s origins lie with the Acadians who were deported by the British from Canada in the 1700s, eventually settling in the southern half of Louisiana. Today, their cuisine is known for its rusticity and dark roux, with popular dishes including gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish boils, and boudin; Cochon and Jacques-Imo’s are perhaps the best-known Cajun restaurants in the city.

On the other end of the spectrum, Creole cuisine is a fusion of everyone who’s ever settled in Louisiana, with influences ranging from French to Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Native American, and African. It tends more toward classical European styles than Cajun, and was favored by the upper-classes. Traditional Creole dishes include oysters Rockefeller, shrimp remoulade, crawfish étouffée, turtle soup, trout meunière, and bread pudding; Commander’s Palace and Antoine’s are two of the more renowned Creole restaurants.

While you can get fantastic Italian food outside of Italy and great French cuisine outside of France, truly great Cajun and Creole fare is hard to come by outside of this region. And while these two culinary styles are certainly the city’s claim to culinary fame, there are world-class restaurants of just about every other stripe to be found there as well.

To assemble our ranking, we  started by compiling restaurants that were included in our own rankings of the 101 Best Restaurants in America and the 50 Best Casual Restaurants in America, and rounded the list out with pre-existing rankings in both print and online from leading culinary authorities. We then scored each restaurant on food quality, level of renown, service, atmosphere, and overall experience.

So grab your Crystal Hot Sauce, loosen your belts, and read on to learn which 31 restaurants are New Orleans’ best.

31) Maurepas Fine Foods
Best Restaurants in New Orleans

Owner and chef Michael Doyle’s belief that Southern food is both inclusive and hip is demonstrated by Maurepas’ often lengthy wait time for a table and the stellar reviews from locals and restaurant critics alike. The chef sources most of his ingredients from local farms and food purveyors, and therefore tends to make vegetables and other produce the stars of the menu — an uncommon occurrence in most Sothern eateries. The spotlight on produce shines bright in dishes such as the strawberry salad with crème fraiche, corn bread gremolata, and molasses vinaigrette, and the truly Southern wilted greens with pickled butter beans, oatmeal gnocchi, and a parmesan broth. As a sign that Doyle doesn’t take himself too seriously, the name “Maurepas” itself is a play on words, as in French Cajun it can be translated to “bad food.” However, judging by his strong local fan base and glowing reviews from out-of-towners, this could not be further from the truth.

30) Boucherie
Best Restaurants in New Orleans

In May 2011, chef Nathanial Zimet was shot three times and critically wounded during an attempted robbery, but the New Orleans culinary community rallied around him; his kitchen staff kept the restaurant open, and some of his customers and colleagues threw financial benefits, local restaurants and breweries donated their goods, and other businesses donated portions of earnings and even servers’ tip to help finance his recovery. This overwhelming show of support speaks to the high regard in which the New Orleans restaurant community holds Zimet and his restaurant, Boucherie. He focuses his staff on technique and execution, which is reflected in a menu that includes fennel-braised pork belly with honey garlic butter pretzel spaetzle and candied fennel seed mustard, Saint Louis-style Niman Ranch ribs with watermelon salad and crispy fried shallots, and applewood smoked scallops with fried green tomato, toasted squash gribiche and smoked scallop white bean sausage. 

Click here for 29 more of the best restaurants in New Orleans. 

Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyersAdditional reporting by Kate Kolenda. 

 

#31. Maurepas Fine Foods
#30. Boucherie
#29. Mother’s
#28. Luke
#27. The Joint
#26. Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse
#25. Mahony’s
#24. MiLa
#23. La Petite Grocery
#22. Gautreau’s
#21. Coquette
#20. Parkway Bakery
#19. Clancy’s
#18. Dooky Chase
#17. Drago’s
#16. Emeril’s
#15. Redfish Grill
#14. Jacques-Imo’s
#13. Bayona
#12. Camellia Grill
#11. Domilese’s
#10. Willie Mae’s Scotch House
#9. SoBou
#8. Root
#7. Herbsaint
#6. Domenica
#5. Cochon
#4. Peche
#3. August
#2. Galatoire’s
#1. Commander’s Palace


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8 Comments

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"truly great Cajun and Creole fare is hard to come by outside of New Orleans"

This one statement proves that this writer doesn't know squat about these subjects !

And, the locals #1 BEST restaurant, Muriels' isn't even on this list, while garbage places like Domilise were included.

I suggest you speak with Marcelle Bienvenu before embarrassing yourself further !

leVieux

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Replace Mothers with La Boca and the list will be totally legit.

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How could you not include The Coffee Pot. Best food in NOLA

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Your overall knowledge when is comes to the differences between Cajun and Creole cuisine is really lacking. Dishes such as bread pudding and crawfish étouffée are more Cajun in origin than Creole in particular the latter of the two. First off I appreciate you explanation of the differences between the 2 cuisines and when it comes to restaurants whether in New Orleans or other parts of the state the lines between the two cooking styles at the stoves of our great chef are often blurred.
But the line that set me off and really showed your glaring lack of knowledge for the cultural significance of the cuisine of the region is the comment "truly great Cajun and Creole fare is hard to come by outside of New Orleans".
Well Dan if you travel down I10 West a short 2 hours from the Crescent City you would stumble upon the birthplace of Cajun Cuisine with the heart of the region being Lafayette La. On your way you will even pass through the small bayou town of Breaux Bridge La. - the Crawfish Capital of the World which for the record is the place where the first pot of crawfish étouffée was stirred.
Perhaps you meant to write "the state" but if not it really shows your narrow line of sight when it comes to the cuisine of the region. It's a mistake commonly made when it comes to defining the unique way we live and eat....automatically assuming that New Orleans is the epicenter of ALL things Cajun & Creole.
And as far as your listing of the best restaurants how you could put such stalwarts of the New Orleans restaurant scene such as Clancy's, La Petite Grocery and Emeril's to name a few behind Camellia Grill, Domilese’s or Willie Mae’s Scotch House? I love these restaurants but they don't belong in the same category as the aforementioned much like a lot of those ranked. These rankings really call into question the credibility of your survey. Aww heck...perhaps the calculator you used to total the scores had faulty batteries.
And Dan I don't mean to cast aspersions on YOUR credibility but really....how does being "a professional singer, a professional talent booker, and a professional blogger who is now be a professional eater" give you the culinary cred to comment at all on one of the greatest food regions and one of the best restaurant cities in the world?
Happy Eating!

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Your overall knowledge when is comes to the differences between Cajun and Creole cuisine is really lacking. Dishes such as bread pudding and crawfish étouffée are more Cajun in origin than Creole in particular the latter of the two. First off I appreciate you explanation of the differences between the 2 cuisines and when it comes to restaurants whether in New Orleans or other parts of the state the lines between the two cooking styles at the stoves of our great chef are often blurred.
But the line that set me off and really showed your glaring lack of knowledge for the cultural significance of the cuisine of the region is the comment "truly great Cajun and Creole fare is hard to come by outside of New Orleans".
Well Dan if you travel down I10 West a short 2 hours from the Crescent City you would stumble upon the birthplace of Cajun Cuisine with the heart of the region being Lafayette La. On your way you will even pass through the small bayou town of Breaux Bridge La. - the Crawfish Capital of the World which for the record is the place where the first pot of crawfish étouffée was stirred.
Perhaps you meant to write "the state" but if not it really shows your narrow line of sight when it comes to the cuisine of the region. It's a mistake commonly made when it comes to defining the unique way we live and eat....automatically assuming that New Orleans is the epicenter of ALL things Cajun & Creole.
And as far as your listing of the best restaurants how you could put such stalwarts of the New Orleans restaurant scene such as Clancy's, La Petite Grocery and Emeril's to name a few behind Camellia Grill, Domilese’s or Willie Mae’s Scotch House? I love all 3 of these restaurants but they don't even belong in the same survey as the aforementioned much like a lot of the others in the survey! These rankings really call into question the credibility of your survey. Aww heck...perhaps the calculator you used to total the scores had faulty batteries.
And Dan I don't mean to cast aspersions on YOUR credibility but really....how does being "a professional singer, a professional talent booker, and a professional blogger who is now be a professional eater" give you the culinary cred to comment at all on one of the greatest food regions and one of the best restaurant cities in the world?
Happy Eating!

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"While you can get fantastic Italian food outside of Italy and great French cuisine outside of France, truly great Cajun and Creole fare is hard to come by outside of New Orleans."

I hope you meant outside of South Louisiana because most Cajun cuisine is found outside of New Orleans. There are great places to eat Cajun cuisine within the city, but the real deal is in places such as Lafayette, its won culinary hub.

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Thanks for share~
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Strictly speaking it isn't in New Orleans. But one of the best restaurants in the area is Sal and Judy's in Lacombe, Louisiana, on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

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