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Five of the Best New Orleans Restaurants

My absolute favorite New Orleans restaurants.

Picture this: you’re in New Orleans. You’ve been exploring the French Quarter. Maybe you were on a history or hauntings tour. Either way, you’ve been racking up that step count and are now ravenous. The very air smells like cajun seasonings. How on earth will you decide where to eat in all this abundance of blackened seafood and andouille?

Behold! My favorite meals to be found in and around the French Quarter!

Boiled crawfish at a restaurant in New Orleans

The French Market Restaurant

(1001 Decatur St)

Follow your nose my friends. If you can’t smell this restaurant a block away you’re doing it wrong.

The French Market Restaurant is smack in the middle of the tourist track, but even the locals swear by it for every Cajun staple you can imagine. A NOLA-native and friend of mine says she ate “the best red beans and rice I’ve ever tasted” at this place. Another friend with ties to the area says it’s the only place she’ll go for a crawfish boil. It’s very popular, so go early or be prepared to wait, but it’s worth it.

The Gumbo Shop (630 St Peter St)

For New Orleans treasures in a gorgeous setting, check out the Gumbo Shop. The location is stunning, and if the weather is nice, ask to sit in the courtyard out back. The menu is full of all the New Orleans staples, some of the best, of course, being the gumbo. It’s also the sort of place to advertise a “crawfish remoulade salad”, which means putting a huge scoop of crawfish remoulade on a layer of plain lettuce as an excuse to eat an entire scoop of remoulade with a fork like the champion you are.

a hand holding muffuletta

Central Grocery (923 Decatur St)

This is the place you want to go for another NOLA classic: the muffuletta. It’s a hearty and flavor-packed sandwich with cured meats and cheese and a delicious marinated olive spread. The absolute best place to get one is Central Grocery, where they craft their sandwiches with ingredients made in-house. Treat this one like a takeaway shop, grab your muffuletta and a drink (and maybe some additional snacks I won’t judge), and take it all to Jackson Square and picnic it up.

Word to the wise, the sandwiches are HUGE. One sandwich per two people is the way to go.

Magazine Pizza (1068 Magazine St)

For the best pizza in the Big Easy, look no further than Magazine Pizza! This hole-in-the-wall corner shop serves absolutely incredible pizzas and calzones. The menu is huge and full of wild topping options, and the calzones are hearty and delicious. Plus, this spot is just steps from the famous World War II Museum, so it's a great place to fuel up before you take on that immersive and massive place.

Cafe Sbisa (1011 Decatur St)

Probably the most upscale restaurant on this list, my travel companions and I found Cafe Sbisa almost by accident when we missed the chance to get in the queue for The French Market Restaurant. But let me tell you, we found ourselves a gem! The menu is chock full of unique craft cocktails and dressed up New Orleans classics. The ginger mint julep I had there has forever ruined me for regular mint juleps. Also, I rarely finish any kind of restaurant portion in one go, but here I ordered the blackened redfish with crab sauce and I licked my entire plate clean. It was that good.

Dat Dog (601 Frenchmen St)

Dat Dog Dat Dog Dat Dog! For the best damn hot dog you’ve ever had in your life, check out whatever Dat Dog location is closest to you. It may be counter-serve but it's truly one of the best restaurants in New Orleans. Every kind of hot dog you can imagine. Toppings you never dreamed of. Build-your-own options if none of their menu specialties appeal to you. They’re truly out of this world and almost too big to properly eat. (Insert your innuendo of choice here, lol!). My personal favorite on this menu is the Rougarou (a spicy alligator sausage covered with peppers, onions, mustard, tomatoes, and bacon) but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

Hungry for the Best Restaurants in New Orleans yet?

Hopefully I’ve whetted your appetite and given you some choices for your French Quarter dining pleasure. Go forth and eat seafood!

blackened shrimp with mashed potatoes and asparagus and a mint julep in New Orleans

Looking for drinks to go along with your meal? Check out this list!

Need more New Orleans tips? Check out This Post on the best things to bring with you on your NOLA adventure!

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Love and Shenanigans,


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