Where to Eat in New Orleans: Our 8 Favourite Restaurants in the Big Easy
For centuries a range of culinary influences – from French and Spanish to West African and Mexican – have left their mark on the cuisine of New Orleans. Today, the diversity of The Big Easy’s restaurant scene offers a veritable history lesson—and a delicious one, to boot. From classic fine dining to down home Creole gumbo, here are a few of my absolute favourites.
One of New Orleans’ old traditions, the ambience at Galatoire’s transports you to a Parisian brasserie. The food bears a strong French/Creole influence, making this the once favourite restaurant of Tennessee Williams. You may also recognize it as the restaurant of choice for Stella and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. If it’s gumbo you’re after, this is your place.
Commander’s Palace has been a New Orleans landmark since 1880. Known for the award-winning quality of its food and its convivial atmosphere, the history of this famous restaurant offers a glimpse into New Orleans’ storied past and has been the go-to destination for Haute Creole cuisine and whimsical Louisiana charm.
Modern Louisiana Upscale:
The second restaurant of Emeril Lagasse, this French Quarter bistro boasts contemporary Creole cuisine. Not to be missed are the Louisiana crab cakes or the sweet potato casserole. More casual than Lagasse’s other locations, with a very hip atmosphere.
Stylish renovated warehouse serving elevated, pork-focused Cajun fare in a group-friendly setting.
Bacchanal is difficult to describe. In its idiosyncratic current form, it’s a hybrid store, restaurant, bar and live music venue. This backyard party is becoming a popular destination for locals and in-the-know visitors. Get there around sunset.
Neighbourhood Lunch/Po’ boys:
You’ll hear locals sing the praises of this famous local gem for its gumbo. Their Creole Gumbo is the dish du jour, every day, using a native Louisiana recipe packed with freshly cooked seafood, local sausage, 13 spices and a few secret ingredients.
Home of the best muffaletta in New Orleans, where ordering your sandwich is half the experience! There are a few seats in back, but it’s best to order from this little grocery and take it to go. What is a muffaletta? It’s a mythological concoction of round Italian bread, cold cuts, cheeses and olive salad. Be warned: share one sandwich between two people or you’ll be overwhelmed!
Steeped in history, Arnaud’s French 75 was a watering hole of “gentlemen only” in its early days. Today, this historic bar is known as a centerpiece in New Orleans for its craft cocktail movement.