Restaurants in New Orleans
Known for its use of Cajun pepper, tropical fruits, and spices, dining out in New Orleans is an exciting sensory experience. Creole cuisine is a melting pot, incorporating French, Spanish, Mediterranean, Caribbean and African flavours, as well as hearty comfort food from the Deep South.
Travellers will find the world-famous French Quarter, mostly geared towards tourists and this is where just about any and every kind of Creole restaurant is found, particularly on the famous Bourbon Street. Restaurants serve mouth-watering arrays of jambalaya, red beans and rice, gumbo and Cajun crawfish, amongst other local favourites.
Those with a sweet tooth are in for a treat in New Orleans, where the desserts are as sticky as they come. Favourites include pecan pie, while pralines and Bananas Foster are staples on most restaurant menus.
Don't forget an order of deep-fried beignets with your coffee. Nor should you miss the cocktail menus in New Orleans, particularly as they sport the trademark, notorious cocktail called the 'Hurricane'.
New Orleans has its own special take on the sandwich, which comes in two varieties. Po'boys, served on a round French loaf and packed to the rafters with beef, oysters, shrimp, gravy and all the trimmings. Muffalettas are huge Italian loaves stuffed with cold meats and olive salad.
A classic old restaurant in New Orleans, grand Arnaud's offers a taste of history along with its ambitious menu. Arnaud's glitters with chandeliers, leaded windows and a mosaic floor, all look over by a portrait of the founder, Count Arnaud Cazenave. The eatery consists of 13 buildings in the French Quarter, including a brasserie, bistro, grill bar and banqueting halls. The main restaurant requires formal attire as one needs to look their best when sampling its celebrated fish dishes, as well as traditional favourites like filet mignon. Open daily for and brunch on Sundays.
Address: 813 Bienville Street, French Quarter
Telephone: 504 523 5433
An institution on Bourbon Street, Galatoire's has been serving up French-Creole specialities since 1905 and still uses many of the original recipes. Starched white linen and shiny crystal set the tone in this establishment where tradition reigns and New Orleans fine dining shows off. Locals and visitors return again and again, usually to enjoy the fresh local seafood. Galatoire's requires business casual dress for lunch, and jackets for men starting at 5pm. No shorts or t-shirts. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Address: 209 Bourbon Street, French Quarter
Telephone: 504 525 2021
The sounds of jazz music and the beautiful skyline of downtown New Orleans provide a wonderful backdrop for a moonlight dinner cruise. Upon the mighty Mississippi River, diners sit aboard the Steamboat Natchez. The cost of the two hour cruise includes a traditional southern buffet dinner. A Sunday brunch option at 11am is also available, with a mouth-watering buffet menu. Cruises depart from the Toulouse Street Wharf, opposite Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter.
Address: 600 Decatur Street, Suite 308
Telephone: 504 586 8777
Along the historic Saint Charles Avenue, Herbsaint respects its location's culinary history. The name gives a clue to the seasoning of this French and Louisianian blend of fine dining, along with more rural and rustic aspects of Italian cooking. An esteemed, award-winning chef and menu of classic dishes betray the restaurants' casual atmosphere, and an extensive French wine selection puts a classy spin on the delicious gumbo dishes. Reservations are advisable.
Address: 701 St. Charles Avenue
Telephone: 504 524 4114
Parkway Bakery and Tavern
Founded in 1911, Parkway Bakery and Tavern is an institution with more than a century of New Orleans pedigree. It's not fine dining, it's better. The po'boy is a New Orleans classic fried sandwhich packed with so many ingredients it's better to try one than read about it. Parkway is the best and oldest place to grab a po'boy mouthful, and the shrimp and beef options have been voted the top po'boys in New Orleans. Parkway also doubles as a fun place to grab a beer. Note that Parkway is closed on Tuesdays.
Address: 538 Hagan Avenue
Telephone: 504 482 3047
An institution nearing its centenary year, Casamento's is one of the many jewels in the Big Easy's culinary crown. Much like the menu's delicious oysters, the rugged exterior of the restaurant betrays just how great this oyster bar really is. One of the oldest oyster bars in town, Casamento's serves them every-which-way, although the best way is to line up a big serving of fresh ones on the counter. Cheap prices and reliably tasty shellfish make it a favourite for locals. The restaurant is closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, as well as in June, July, and August.
Address: 4330 Magazine St.
Telephone: 504 895 9761
Mulate's is the original Cajun restaurant, featuring authentic Cajun cuisine that embraces the small town cultures dotted along southern Louisiana's bayous. Be sure to try the Zydeco Gumbo and don't miss the homemade bread pudding. Live Cajun music and dancing each night attracts many New Orleans visitors. Even Bob Dylan stopped by when he was in town. This restaurant and bar is open for lunch and till late at night. While not required, prospective diners should make reservations.
Address: 201 Julia Street
Telephone: 504 522 1492
Ralph's on the Park
Ralph's on the Park offers food fresh from the farms and waters of Louisiana, with a side helping of splendid City Park views. Their shrimp rémoulade is a favourite, creamy and not a bit spicy, and the filet mignon brings mutterings of 'buttery, so buttery…' to mind. The chocolate Kahlúa mousse or Creole cream cheese ice cream on peach cobbler wraps things up nicely. Ralph's is open for dinners and Sunday brunch.
Address: 900 City Park Ave
Telephone: 504 488 1000
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