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The Best Places to Eat in New Orleans

New Orleans is known for a lot of things. Its party atmosphere, history, culture, and food. Whether attending a Mardi Gras parade, Jazz Fest, the Essence Festival, or Southern Decadence—there's no place like the Crescent City. The food plays a big part in what makes NOLA unique. So, where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to the Tastemaker Lists. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. From Cajun dishes like Crawfish Etouffee, shrimp and grits, gumbo, muffulettas, Po Boys, and red beans and rice, New Orleans specializes in it all. Find the freshest seafood and most tender steaks at these iconic New Orleans restaurants.

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The OpenTable Team
12 Restaurants
Updated February 26, 2020
Restaurants:Ye Olde College Inn, Meril, Mr. John's Steakhouse
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Creole, Contemporary American, Steakhouse
Neighborhoods:Carrollton, Warehouse District, Garden District
A photo of Ye Olde College Inn restaurant

Ye Olde College Inn

$$$$
Creole
Carrollton
4.7
1415 reviews
This restaurant has been around since 1933, although it was originally known as College Inn. They serve farm-to-table food from their own farm located right next door, so you know you're getting the freshest possible ingredients. One of their iconic menu items won Best of Show in the First Annual Po-Boy Festival: the Fried Green Tomato Shrimp Remoulade Po-Boy. Another award winner is their unique dessert offering like the Fried Bread Pudding Po-Boy. It's a Po-Boy, but sweet instead of savory. You'll want to make reservations for Ye Olde College Inn. And don't forget to bring your appetite for farm-fresh goodness, and maybe even a Po-Boy.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Meril restaurant

Meril

$$$$
Contemporary American
Warehouse District
4.7
5153 reviews
If you're not familiar with Emeril Lagasse, then you're in for a real treat. He's an icon himself and his food is top-notch, award-winning fare. Emeril owns many restaurants. In fact, with 12 restaurants and many awards, Meril's is the perfect spot to experience Emeril's best dishes, including plenty of creole fare. One of the iconic dishes available at Meril's is Fettuccine Nero. This dish is fettuccine with jumbo lump crab meat, Calabrian chiles, arugula, and toasted almonds. There is even a gluten-free option for this dish. If you desire a meat dish instead of seafood, try the Candied Pork Ribs.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Mr. John's Steakhouse restaurant

Mr. John's Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
Garden District
4.8
2609 reviews
Critics call Mr. John's Steakhouse the best steakhouse in the city and there is a good reason for that. At this elegant, yet relaxed, steakhouse you'll find a dining experience like no other. Desi, Paul, and Rodney bring a combined experience of over 50 years. Superior food, superior service, and superior steaks. For an icon of a dish, try out any one of their USDA Prime steaks. Mr. John's Steaks are carefully selected and aged for tenderness then seared to perfection at 1800° in their Montague broiler. Choose filet mignon, petite filet, New York strip, ribeye, or cowboy steak. They also have a porterhouse for two if you're brave enough and hungry enough.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of ANNUNCIATION restaurant

ANNUNCIATION

$$$$
Creole
Warehouse District
4.5
1616 reviews
Located in New Orleans’ bustling Warehouse District, an unforgettable dining experience awaits. Annunciation serves modern Creole and Southern cuisine with an impressive cocktail menu and spectacular food choices. Annunciation is an experience where there are many iconic dishes. Creative menu choices include crispy oysters with spinach and brie, sweetbreads with grits, and Marsala Veal Annunciation with housemade pasta covered with Alfredo. For an iconic dish with New Orleans flair, try the seasonal offering of Sesame Crusted Yellowfin Tuna that comes with creole fried rice, sweet potato habanero, and steel sauce. The ambiance at Annunciation is a luxurious, upscale bistro with savory food choices.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Channing Tatum's Saints & Sinners restaurant

Channing Tatum's Saints & Sinners

$$$$
Creole / Cajun / Southern
French Quarter
3.8
541 reviews
This is a restaurant whose theme is "fun, not fine dining." Found in the former Red Light District, its catchy slogan is just a fraction of what Channing Tatum's Saints & Sinners is all about. Not only is the food memorable, but it also uses its venue and profits to help charity organizations. The food is pure New Orleans fare. Find menu choices like BBQ Shrimp and Grits and Blackened Gulf Fish and, for or one of the more memorable items, try the Miss Lulu’s Classic Jambalaya. It's classic jambalaya with all the flavors: rice, chicken, Andouille sausage and many more secret ingredients. Deliciousness awaits.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans restaurant

The Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans

$$$$
Steakhouse
French Quarter
4.4
1522 reviews
Located right in the French Quarter, The Rib Room at the Omni has been a mainstay for literary greats, politicians, and locals alike. This restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to create amazing food and has an elegant atmosphere. With a namesake like The Rib Room, you'd be remiss if you didn't try their meat offerings. Check out the Breaux Bridge Honey Comb Crusted Rack of Lamb that comes with brûlée bourbon, roasted sweet potato, sautéed kale, and caramelized rosemary lamb reduction. On every menu section, there is something to delight your taste buds. From pan-seared scallops to crispy frog legs. The taste is all New Orleans and each dish is iconic and worth the experience.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Pelican Club restaurant

The Pelican Club

$$$$
Creole / Cajun / Southern
French Quarter
4.6
3638 reviews
This is a place where you'll find authentic Creole-Cajun cuisine and down-to-earth Southern dishes in an elegant, yet comfortable setting. In fact, The Pelican Club states that you'll be comfortable in either a ball gown or blue jeans. The decor is impressive and the food is exceptional. It's hard to choose one dish that is better than the rest, but the Pelican Club offers a prix fixe menu, which is an excellent place to start. For a menu offering that is pure New Orleans, check out the Louisiana Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Spaghetti Fino. It's in a creamy sauce with corn, with onions, lemon, Parmesan, basil, and buttered focaccia breadcrumbs.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of GW Fins restaurant

GW Fins

$$$$
Seafood
French Quarter
4.8
16457 reviews
Here is a restaurant with an ever-changing menu. Chef Tenney Flynn has become known as one of the country’s foremost seafood authorities and he has earned the namesake “the fishmonger czar of the South” from The Wall Street Journal. He is a nationally recognized expert on Gulf seafood and it shows in his food at GW Fins. The fish is a daily catch, so the menu changes daily as well. If you happen to see it, try the American Red Snapper. If that's not on the menu for the day, the Parmesan Crusted Sheepshead is a mouthwatering choice. Every fish used comes deemed sustainable and you won't find fresher fish than at GW Fins. Fresh fish plus a recognized Gulf seafood expert equals an iconic dining experience.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Pascal's Manale restaurant

Pascal's Manale

$$$$
Italian
Uptown
4.6
2643 reviews
For one century, Manale has specialized in seafood, as well as traditional Italian dishes and thick juicy steaks. Pascal’s Manale is renowned for its raw oyster bar and its famous BBQ Shrimp and traditional Italian cuisine. If you plan to check out Pascal's Manale, and you should, then get their most famous and iconic dish, the Original Pascal's Barbeque Shrimp, which is the house specialty. It made them a huge name in the culinary world and is perfect for those who love fresh shrimp with a New Orleans flair. Prepared in a spicy and tangy sauce, it is a must-have while in New Orleans.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Ruth's Chris Steak House - New Orleans restaurant

Ruth's Chris Steak House - New Orleans

$$$$
Steakhouse
Central Business District
4.5
2570 reviews
A national treasure, Ruth's Chris Steak House got its start in New Orleans. At Ruth's Chris, each cut of USDA Prime beef arrives cooked to perfection and sizzling on a 500-degree plate — just the way Ruth liked it. If dining with someone special, you simply must try the Porterhouse for Two. It is 40 ounces of prime beef cooked the way the original owner prepared it back in the day. Choose from signature sides like sweet potato casserole, lobster mac and cheese, and creamed spinach. In fact, the sides are as delicious as the steak. Don't let the fact that Ruth's Chris is a chain deter you from going because the food is some of the best you'll ever experience and the service makes you feel like royalty.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Mr. B's Bistro restaurant

Mr. B's Bistro

$$$$
Creole
French Quarter
4.7
4545 reviews
For regional specialties in a casual bistro setting, try Mr. B's Bistro, which has been a star among New Orleans since 1979. Serving Louisiana fare, their reputation is impeccable and their food feels like home. Mr. B’s creates signature items such as Gumbo Ya Ya, their super-dark roux and spicy chicken brings the fans, and the andouille gumbo is a mainstay. The Barbequed Shrimp has a Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce with garlic and black pepper and is lip-smacking good. Try the wood-grilled local fish and Creole Bread Pudding with Irish whiskey sauce as a couple of their iconic dishes. But definitely try the Gumbo Ya Ya. It's the quintessential iconic New Orleans dish.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Grand Isle Restaurant restaurant

Grand Isle Restaurant

$$$$
Seafood
Warehouse District
4.5
937 reviews
With a laidback attitude, Grand Isle Restaurant's food is nothing but. The cuisine is quintessential Creole and the drinks flow with unique cocktails and cold brews. There are quite a few favorites from locals. Choose the Fried Shrimp Po Boy or the Fisherman's Stew made with gulf fish, shrimp, calamari, oysters, Creole seafood broth, and brown rice for a must-try iconic dish. The Grand Isle Restaurant is in the Central Business District and well worth the drive to experience some of the best food in all of Louisiana.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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