NOLA, there’s nothing like it. The traditions, the people and of course, the food. This culinary hot spot is in a league of its own. The flavors here will follow you home and pull you back. The fresh ingredients and the mixing pot of world flavors is unique to New Orleans. Whether you’re in the mood for authentic creole cuisine or seafood pulled straight from the gulf, you’ll have a bounty of options to chose from, an overwhelming amount of options. I hope this list helps narrow you list for your next trip to The Big Easy!
Commander's Palace is a landmark in New Orleans since 1893. Located in the Garden District next to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, you'll be treated to upscale creole cuisine. You get to choose from an a la carte menu or a tasting menu. The dish may include options like: Cast Iron Seared Gulf Yellowfin Tuna, New Orleans Barbecued Gulf Shrimp, and Filet Mignon of Black Angus Beef.
Herbsaint is an upscale restaurant located steps from Lafayette Square. The restaurant, which serves a seasonal French-Southern menu, features an open dining room as well as some outdoor seating. The exceptional menu includes dishes such as: grilled chicken with summer succotash and polenta, grilled zabuton steak and louisiana jumbo shrimp with stewed peppers, coconut milk and basmati rice.
GW Fins, which is located on Bienville Street right off bourbon St, is a stylish option which serves top notch seafood dishes in an updated warehouse space. The restaurant is so devoted to the best seafood, once they have the locally sourced fish from the Gulf of Mexico, they prepare the protein on special refrigerated tables. That's so cool! Literally! The menu has dishes such as: whole black seabass, softshell crabs, local drum or blackened swordfish. The menu also includes options such as pork chops, chicken breast and Gnocchi.
August provides contemporary Creole meals in its Central Business District location. The intimate interior features high ceilings and chandeliers. Included in the menu are: flounder Pontchartrain, blackened yellowfin tuna and lacquered duckling with elote grits.
Emeril's New Orleans
If you love Emeril Lagasse, head to his flagship restaurant in the warehouse district. The upscale environment will make for a perfect evening with friends and/or family. The menu focuses on contemporary New Orleans cuisine,
Located in the French quarter, Antoine's has been welcoming diners since 1840, and is recognized as the oldest family run restaurant in the US. The exterior of the building includes wrought details, while the interior provides an upscale environment. The restaurant is family friendly and has a kids menu featuring steak kabob, mac & cheese, fried shrimp and chicken fingers. The adult menu includes dishes like: Poulet Coq au Vin (braised chicken thighs), Créole de Légumes Grillés (sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, and carrots, infused in a créole sauce served over onion rice) or Filet de Gulf Poisson Pontchartrain (Grilled gulf fish with lump crabmeat sautéed in butter).
Brennan's is a family-friendly fine-dining establishment that focuses on Creole cuisine. The large street-side windows allow light to flood the colorful dining room. The children's menu has grilled cheese, grilled chicken, cheese ravioli or fried gulf shrimp. For adults, you can enjoy grilled prime ribeye, blackened redfish and gulf fish amandine.
Muriel's Jackson Square
Located in the French quarter, this restaurant is where casual meets fine dining. From the hardwood floors to the bright table linens, Muriel's a fantastic spot for creole cuisine. The menu includes: Muriel's vegetable curry, duck breast jambalaya and wood grilled filet of beef. The restaurant also offers a gluten free menu.
Oceana Grill is located at the corner of Bourbon and Conti Streets and offers Creole and Louisiana cuisines. It is a great casual option in the city and a perfect spot for kids. Head here for breakfast, lunch or dinner for some amazing food. Try many of the classics like fried catfish, ribs, po-boys and crawfish etouffee. They also have several steak, vegetarian and pasta dishes.
Steamboat Natchez Dinner Cruise
I love a good dinner cruise! The steamboat Natchez takes you back in time to a romantic era. Step aboard the beautifully historic steamboat and unparalleled views of New Orleans while enjoying a cocktail. You're able to sit inside or out, and you'll be able to take a stroll and explore the ship as the night goes. You can your family will enjoy a dinner buffet with chicken and sausage gumbo, steamboat round, bayou seafood pasta, pork loin and paddlewheel primavera. After dinner, hit the dance floor and enjoy some live New Orleans swing style music before the magical night ends.
Dining with a View
Located on the southern shores of Lake Ponchatrain (the New Orleans side), is Landry's seafood. This restaurant is a nice option for family and views. The large menu will satisfy picky eaters of all ages while you look out over the lake. The menu includes oysters, gumbo, etouffee, ribs, steak, pasta and more! The kids menu is one of the best in the city.
While you won't get any waterfront views from downtown New Orleans, for the more adventurous, you drive across Lake Pontchatrain to The Lakehouse. From this dining hotspot, you'll be able to kick back and enjoy the waterfront lake views. The house is an upscale meeting place to enjoy the outdoor seating and the tastes of the local ingredients. Enjoy plates like a bouillabaisse, veal osso bucco, grilled 14 oz ribeye and fried soft shell crab.
Palmetto's on the Bayou
Looking for a great experience outside of the city, check out Palmetto's on the Bayou. This off the beaten path destination (located in Slidell) is a spot popular for wedding events, but also serves Louisiana classics. The restaurant sits along a small river and offers views of the woodsy and swampy area. The dishes served include oyster fettucine, filet mignon, double cut pork chops, prime new York strip and shrimp and grits.