New Orleans is known for its French Quarter, but New Orleans restaurants make a name for themselves on the culinary stage. New Orleans restaurants cover a wide range of international cuisines, especially Creole and Cajun. There are many popular New Orleans restaurants serving some of the best seafood that should be on every NOLA tourist’s to-dine-at list when visiting this charming city.
Keen to check out one of these New Orleans seafood restaurants? The Daily Meal has compiled a list of the five best seafood restaurants in New Orleans for your next NOLA getaway. In order to assemble this list, The Daily Meal referred to New Orleans seafood restaurants that made the cut for The Daily Meal’s New Orleans’ 31 Best Restaurants as well as the New Orleans seafood restaurants that were featured on The Daily Meal’s America’s 21 Best Oyster Bars.
If you’re visiting New Orleans, and you love seafood, then be sure to dine at one of these five New Orleans seafood restaurants.
Chef and co-owner Michael Stoltzfus puts together a regionally-sourced menu that changes with the seasons and includes fried gulf shrimp with chili jam, horseradish, and scallions; and striped bass served with heirloom tomato, cashew, and butter lettuce. Both the chef and his restaurant have received accolades from the critics, including a 27 out of 30 in the Zagat Guide, inclusion in The Times-Picayune’s “New Orleans' Top 10 Restaurants” for 2012 and 2013, a spot on Southern Living’s “100 Best Places to Eat Now” in January 2014. If that’s still not enough to convince you, Stoltzfus was named Chef of the Year in 2013 by New Orleans Magazine.
It’s rare that one food item puts a restaurant on the map, but at Drago’s, which has one location in Metairie and another in the Hilton Riverside, it’s all about the charbroiled oysters. The menu claims that this is “the single best bite of food in New Orleans.” Freshly shucked Gulf oysters hit a ripping hot grill before being topped with a thick butter-based sauce kicked up with garlic, Pecorino, cayenne, white pepper, lemon juice, and parsley, and it all combines into a buttery flavorbomb for the ages.
Red Fish Grill
Ralph Brennan’s casual seafood spot has made a name for itself as one of the best places in town to sample fine Gulf seafood. Start with the seafood sampler of BBQ blue crab claws, Gulf shrimp and tasso fritters, and Creole marinated Gulf shrimp, then go for the signature wood-grilled redfish, served with tasso and wild mushroom, Pontabla potatoes, sautéed Louisiana jumbo lump crabmeat, and lemon butter sauce. There is also fresh local redfish, pompano, amberjack, catfish, shrimp, and other seafood that can be simply grilled with salt and pepper. At Red Fish Grill, it’s really all about the fish.
Peche Seafood Grill
Peche currently sits at number four on the New Orleans’ 31 Best Restaurants list. Named one of Bon Appetit’s Top 50 New Restaurants in 2013 and the home of James Beard Award winner for Best Chef — South Ryan Prewitt, the restaurant is centered around a coal-burning open hearth. The daily whole grilled fish — whatever it is — is always a smart choice, but the traditional classics, like smothered catfish, shrimp, and corn bisque, and the seafood platter, certainly shouldn’t get overlooked.
At Galatoire’s, diners can find an immense menu of dishes including turtle soup au sherry, oysters en brochette, seafood okra gumbo, a variety of seasonal fish and shellfish, and black bottom pecan pie for dessert. Anyone can get good cooking here, but go with a regular if you can; that way you'll be guaranteed good service (regulars have their "regular" waiters) and maybe a taste of something not on the menu.