Must Eat In New Orleans

Must Eat In New Orleans (Travel Guide)

New Orleans is a food lover’s heaven, with a rich culinary history and a diverse range of dishes to try. From iconic Creole and Cajun specialties to innovative contemporary cuisine, the city offers a foodie paradise that will tantalize your taste buds. In this travel guide, we will explore the must-eat dishes and top dining hotspots in New Orleans that should not be missed.

Key Takeaways:

  • New Orleans is known for its rich culinary heritage and diverse range of dishes.
  • Iconic dishes such as Po’ boys, gumbo, and beignets are a must-try when visiting.
  • The city is home to classic restaurants that have been serving these dishes for decades.
  • Standout restaurants and bars offer exceptional dining experiences and inventive cocktails.
  • Traditional New Orleans dishes like red beans and rice showcase the city’s food culture.

Iconic Dishes and Restaurants

New Orleans is renowned for its iconic dishes that have become culinary symbols of the city. When visiting, there are certain must-try dishes that embody the unique flavors and character of New Orleans cuisine. Be sure to indulge in the famous Po’ boys, a delectable sandwich filled with your choice of seafood or roast beef, served on freshly baked French bread. Another iconic dish is gumbo, a hearty stew that combines meat or seafood with vegetables and spices, creating a rich and flavorful bowl of goodness.

No visit to New Orleans is complete without savoring a plate of hot, fluffy beignets. These deep-fried pastries dusted with powdered sugar are a beloved sweet treat that can be enjoyed any time of day. And of course, you can’t forget about the oysters. Whether raw, chargrilled, or in a sumptuous seafood gumbo, oysters are a staple of New Orleans cuisine.

But it’s not just about the dishes themselves; it’s also the classic restaurants that serve them that make these culinary treasures truly iconic. These establishments have been satisfying hungry patrons with their mouthwatering offerings for decades. Whether you’re looking for a cozy hole-in-the-wall joint or an elegant dining experience, New Orleans has it all. Here are a few iconic restaurants that should be on every food lover’s list:

  • Jacques-Imo’s Café: This quirky spot is known for its flavorful Creole dishes and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Galliano Restaurant: A must-visit for exceptional seafood dishes, including their famous Crawfish Étouffée.
  • Antoine’s: A New Orleans institution since 1840, Antoine’s is the oldest family-run restaurant in the United States, serving up classic Creole cuisine.
  • Commander’s Palace: This elegant Garden District restaurant has been serving award-winning dishes for over a century.

These restaurants, along with many others, have become pillars of the New Orleans food scene. They embody the rich culinary traditions of the city and continue to delight locals and visitors alike with their timeless dishes.

Standout Restaurants and Bars

New Orleans is renowned for its outstanding dining scene, offering a wide array of culinary experiences that cater to every palate. Whether you’re a food connoisseur looking for the best restaurants in New Orleans or a cocktail enthusiast seeking the top bars in the city, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the vibrant streets of New Orleans.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans

Indulge in a remarkable gastronomic journey at the finest restaurants in New Orleans. These establishments boast exceptional cuisine, impeccable service, and an unforgettable dining experience. From traditional Creole and Cajun fare to innovative, contemporary dishes, these restaurants showcase the city’s culinary pride.

  • Commander’s Palace
  • Brennan’s Restaurant
  • Antoine’s Restaurant
  • Galliano Restaurant
  • Arnaud’s

These renowned restaurants have earned their stellar reputations for consistently delivering extraordinary meals, blending classic flavors with modern techniques.

Hottest Restaurants in New Orleans

New Orleans is also home to a dynamic food scene where innovative chefs and talented restaurateurs constantly push the boundaries of culinary creativity. These hotspots are making waves in the city, garnering praise and admiration from locals and tourists alike.

  • Shaya
  • Compère Lapin
  • Maypop
  • Peche Seafood Grill
  • Willie Mae’s Scotch House

Step into these trendy restaurants and immerse yourself in a culinary adventure filled with bold flavors and inventive dishes.

Top Bars and Best Cocktails in New Orleans

When it comes to bars and cocktails, New Orleans knows how to deliver the perfect libation to satisfy any palate. From classic craft cocktails to innovative concoctions, the city’s mixologists are masters at quenching your thirst.

Experience the lively atmosphere and expert mixology skills at these top bars in New Orleans:

Bar Specialty Cocktails
Cure French 75
Tales & Spirits Sazerac
Bar Tonique Vieux Carré
Carousel Bar Ramos Gin Fizz
Tropical Isle Hand Grenade

Immerse yourself in the lively ambience of these bars while sipping on expertly crafted cocktails that showcase the vibrant spirit of New Orleans.

From culinary excellence at the best restaurants in New Orleans to innovative mixology at the hottest bars, the city’s dining and drinking establishments provide an unforgettable experience for food and cocktail enthusiasts. Explore the vibrant culinary scene and indulge in the flavors that make New Orleans one of the top culinary destinations in the world.

Traditional New Orleans Dishes

When it comes to experiencing the true essence of New Orleans cuisine, you cannot miss out on the traditional dishes that have been passed down through generations. These classic dishes embody the rich flavors and cultural influences of Creole and Cajun cuisine, making them an integral part of the city’s food culture.

Let’s dive into some of the must-try traditional New Orleans dishes that will transport your taste buds to the heart of the city:

1. Red Beans and Rice

A staple in New Orleans cuisine, red beans and rice represent a delicious combination of flavors and textures. This comforting dish is made with kidney beans simmered with onions, bell peppers, celery, and seasoned with Creole spices, served alongside perfectly cooked rice. It’s a classic dish that brings people together and is often enjoyed on Mondays as a traditional way to use leftover Sunday ham.

2. Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a mouthwatering one-pot wonder that showcases the diverse influences of New Orleans cuisine. This hearty rice dish features a blend of flavors from Creole and Cajun traditions, combining ingredients such as sausage, chicken, shrimp, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. The result is a symphony of savory goodness that will leave you craving for more.

3. Étouffée

Étouffée, meaning “smothered” in French, is a luscious dish made with shellfish, such as shrimp or crawfish, cooked in a flavorful roux-based sauce. The dish is traditionally served over a bed of steamed rice, allowing you to savor the delicate flavors and spices that define this Creole specialty.

4. Gumbo

Gumbo is a beloved New Orleans dish that embodies the melting pot of flavors and cultural influences in the city. This hearty soup features a combination of meats or seafood, vegetables, and a thick roux, resulting in a complex and satisfying flavor profile. Gumbo is often served with rice, allowing you to soak up every bit of its deliciousness.

5. Po’ Boys

No visit to New Orleans would be complete without indulging in a Po’ Boy sandwich. This iconic dish consists of French bread filled with fried seafood, such as shrimp, oysters, or catfish, dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mayonnaise. It’s a delicious handheld delight that showcases the city’s love for seafood.

Immerse yourself in the flavors of New Orleans by savoring these classic dishes that have stood the test of time. Whether you’re exploring the spicy depths of a bowl of gumbo or delighting in the rich and smoky flavors of jambalaya, each bite will transport you to the vibrant streets and lively kitchens of this culinary paradise.

Sweet Treats and Desserts

No visit to New Orleans is complete without indulging in the city’s sweet treats and desserts. From pralines and beignets to bananas Foster and bread pudding, New Orleans is a paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth. In this section, we will explore the best dessert shops and sweet treats that you must try during your visit to the city.

If you have a craving for something sugary, New Orleans has got you covered. Here are some of the must-try desserts in the city:

1. Beignets:

A trip to New Orleans would not be complete without trying the famous beignets. These deep-fried, pillowy pieces of dough drenched in powdered sugar are a beloved local delicacy. You can find them at the renowned Café du Monde, where they have been serving these delicious treats since 1862.

2. Pralines:

Indulge in the rich and decadent pralines that New Orleans is known for. These sweet confections made with pecans, sugar, and cream are a melt-in-your-mouth delight. Head to Southern Candymakers or Leah’s Pralines to satisfy your praline cravings.

3. Bananas Foster:

Another iconic dessert from New Orleans is Bananas Foster. This delectable treat consists of bananas cooked in a caramel rum sauce and served over vanilla ice cream. It’s a dessert that will truly melt your heart. Give it a try at Brennan’s, where it was invented in the 1950s.

4. Bread Pudding:

New Orleans is famous for its bread pudding, a comforting dessert made with day-old French bread, eggs, milk, and a touch of cinnamon. It is usually served warm with a decadent sauce, such as rum or whiskey sauce. Commander’s Palace is a popular restaurant known for their delectable bread pudding.

These are just a few of the many sweet treats and desserts that New Orleans has to offer. Make sure to leave room for dessert during your visit to the city and satisfy your sweet tooth with these delectable delights.

Brunch and Breakfast Spots

New Orleans is famous for its brunch and breakfast offerings. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Creole brunch or an innovative and eclectic menu, the city has something to satisfy every craving. Start your day off right by indulging in the best brunch and breakfast spots that New Orleans has to offer.

1. The Ruby Slipper Cafe

A local favorite, The Ruby Slipper Cafe is known for its creative twists on classic breakfast dishes. Enjoy mouthwatering brunch options like Eggs Cochon, Bananas Foster pain perdu, and Benedicts with a New Orleans twist. With multiple locations across the city, you can easily find a Ruby Slipper Cafe to satisfy your brunch cravings.

2. Willa Jean

Willa Jean is a trendy bakery and brunch spot located in the heart of the Central Business District. Indulge in their mouthwatering pastries like the famous biscuits, as well as savory dishes like the cornbread eggs benedict. Don’t forget to pair your meal with their delicious coffee creations.

3. Brennan’s

A New Orleans institution, Brennan’s is renowned for its elegant and iconic Creole cuisine. Their famous breakfast dishes include classics like Eggs Hussarde and Bananas Foster. Enjoy a beautiful brunch experience in their stunning courtyard and savor the rich flavors of New Orleans.

4. District Donuts

If you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, District Donuts has you covered. This local hotspot offers a wide range of unique and delicious breakfast options, including their famous made-to-order donuts and mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches. Don’t miss out on their rotating seasonal flavors.

5. Elizabeth’s

For a taste of true New Orleans comfort food, head to Elizabeth’s. This neighborhood gem in the Bywater area serves up hearty Southern brunch dishes that will leave you satisfied. From their famous praline bacon to their decadent breakfast po’ boys, Elizabeth’s is a must-visit for brunch enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring the brunch and breakfast scene in New Orleans is a must. From traditional favorites to innovative creations, the city offers a culinary experience like no other. Make sure to check out these top brunch and breakfast spots to start your day off right in the Big Easy.


In conclusion, New Orleans is a must-visit destination for food lovers. The city’s vibrant culinary scene offers a wide range of dishes and dining experiences that will leave you wanting more. Whether you’re craving classic Creole and Cajun specialties or exploring the latest food trends, New Orleans has it all.

With its diverse range of restaurants, from fine dining establishments to funky bars, New Orleans is truly a foodie paradise that caters to every palate. The city’s culinary delights showcase the unique flavors and influences of Creole and Cajun cuisine, creating a culinary journey that is both exciting and delicious.

Don’t miss out on the chance to indulge in the top dishes and must-try restaurants that New Orleans has to offer. Plan your foodie adventure in this dining hotspots New Orleans and prepare to be amazed by the tasty treats that await you. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler, New Orleans promises to satisfy your cravings and leave you with unforgettable dining experiences.


What are some must-eat dishes in New Orleans?

Some must-eat dishes in New Orleans include Po’ boys, gumbo, beignets, and oysters.

Which restaurants in New Orleans serve iconic dishes?

Some restaurants in New Orleans that serve iconic dishes include Acme Oyster House, Pascal’s Manale, and Commander’s Palace.

Where can I find the best restaurants in New Orleans?

The best restaurants in New Orleans can be found in various neighborhoods such as the French Quarter, Uptown, and the Garden District.

What are some standout restaurants and bars in New Orleans?

Some standout restaurants and bars in New Orleans include Brennan’s, Cochon, and Cure.

What are some traditional dishes in New Orleans?

Traditional dishes in New Orleans include red beans and rice, jambalaya, and étouffée.

Where can I find the best desserts in New Orleans?

The best desserts in New Orleans can be found at places like Café du Monde, Brennan’s, and Sucré.

Which brunch spots in New Orleans are worth trying?

Some brunch spots in New Orleans that are worth trying are Elizabeth’s, Willa Jean, and Ruby Slipper Café.

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