- Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
- Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources
Mosca’s–4137 W. US 90 (Italian) Dinner only (Wed-Sat only). Reviewers seem to especially like shrimp Mosca, oysters Mosca, chicken a la grande, and chicken cacciatore (all of these have Italian sauce or seasoning). Established in 1946, it is “out in the middle of nowhere” (or at least it used to be), and it has won a James Beard Award. Map (Dining room is open 8-30-22)
Spahr’s Seafood–3682 US 90 (Seafood) Open Daily. Large modern and clean restaurant overlooking a bayou–it’s not a tourist trap but is known in the area for its catfish chips. Many get the seafood platter with hushpuppies, though, and gumbo and beignets are also recommended. Also in Thibodaux but this location is more scenic. Map (Dining room is open 9-18-22)
Banana Blossom–500 9th St. (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon. Very good Thai food, and seems to pass whatever test (flavor, authenticity, etc.) the reviewers have. Pineapple curry has good reviews (but really everything does). Map (Dining room is open 11-5-21)
Big Ez Seafood–1632 Lafayette St. (Seafood) Open daily except Sun evening. Louisiana style seafood restaurant that is notable because of its Viet-Cajun boil (with shrimp, crab, or crawfish). Also in Kenner. Map (Dining room is open 8-14-22)
Little Chinatown–3800 Williams Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm. The Chinese food here is solid, but the seafood clay pot I had made this one of the most memorable Chinese meals I have had with very fresh and delicious sea food. Map (Dining room is open 11-5-21)
Los Hondureños–2714 Roosevelt Rd. (Honduran) Open daily 7 am to 7 pm. There are several Honduran restaurants in NO and this seems to be one of the best for flavor and being close to the way they serve it in Honduras. Map (Dining room is open 11-5-21)
Gonzo’s BBQ–12325 River Rd. (BBQ) Open Thu & Fri 11:30 to 3:30 or sellout. Specialty is Central Texas style brisket cooked over wood but also has pulled pork and boudin, among other meats. Has Texas and Carolina style sauce, and side dishes include the award winning mac & cheese and corn grits. Has an almost perfect 5.0 star rating on Google Maps. Map (Dining room is open 9-18-22)
Acme Oyster House–3000 Veterans Blvd. (Seafood) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm. Branch of a popular French Quarter restaurant that specializes in oysters. I was told they also have very good red beans and rice. Map (Dining room is open 8-4-21)
Banh Mi Boys–5001 Airline Dr. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun. Serves banh mi but also has po’boys with Vietnamese topping (for a Vietnamese NO food fusion). Map (Dining room is open 8-13-22)
Cafe Du Monde–4700 Veterans Memorial Hwy. (Cafe) Open daily 6 am to 9 pm. I was not able to go to the original location in the French Quarter because one of the people in my party was unable to stand in line for the hour or more that it looked as if it would take to get in. I was unaware at the time, but Cafe du Monde has some branch locations such as this one in Metairie (not very touristy, but reviewers say the world famous beignets are just as good here). Also recommended is the hot chocolate. Map (Dining room is open 11-5-21)
Chef Ron’s Gumbo Shop–2309 N. Causeway Blvd. (Cajun) Closed Sun & Mon. Of course the star here is the gumbo, but other items are popular as well (jambalaya, etc.). Reviews are very good for the food. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)
Colombia Mia–1323 Veterans Memorial Blvd. (Colombian) Closed Mon. Very good reviews for the food (but some negative comments mainly for slow service). Food looks interesting with a good variety of items. Map (Dining room is open 11-5-21)
Drago’s Seafood–3232 N. Arnoult Rd. (Seafood) Closed Sun. Known for its oysters, which are said to be some of the best. Charbroiled oysters are particularly recommended. Shrimp is also said to be good. Reviewers are not impressed with items that are not seafood (steaks, etc.). Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)
Pho Michael–3559 18th St. (Vietnamese) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm. Despite the name, reviewers say the best food here is from the extensive menu of items other than pho. Bun Bo Hue is one of the recommended items. Map (Dining room is open 8-4-21)
Pho NOLA–3320 Transcontinental Dr. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun & Mon). Pho is said to be especially good (made with cinnamon) but also has po’boys so you can eat this with the pho (also has an extensive menu of Vietnamese food). Map (Dining room is open 8-13-22)
Acme Oyster House–724 Iberville St. (Seafood) Open Daily. Known for its oysters, which are said to be some of the best. I got a very good tip that they have some of the best red beans and rice, but I did not get to try time (they are on the list for next time!). There are 3 locations including one in Metairie, but I assume the one in the French Quarter (this one) would be the most interesting. Map (Dining room is open 8-4-21)
Ancora Pizzeria–4508 Freret St. (Pizza) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon). Authentic Neapolitan pizza. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)
Angelo Brocato–214 N. Carrollton Ave. (Desserts) Closed Mon. It probably takes a lot to impress the locals here with desserts, since they seem to be everywhere. People really give good reviews, though, to the coffee, gelato, biscotti, cannoli, and spumoni (which may be the best of all) that are served here. Map (Dining room is open 11-5-21)
Antoine’s–713 Saint Louis St. (French) Dinner Fri & Sat only; lunch Fri-Sun. Reviewers say that sometimes dinner is worth the price, but it is hit-or-miss. Many still like to go for the nostalgia and because usually the food is good (I went there when I was young and it is on my list for a return visit). Birthplace of oysters Rockefeller. Map (Dining room is open 8-4-21)
Ba Mien–13235 Chef Menteur Hwy. (Vietnamese) Lunch only (closed Mon). In the Vietnamese neighborhood. Food from “3 regions” (north, south, & central). The favorite of locals on eater.com and featured on “No Passport Required.” Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa is said to be a good dish. Map (Dining room is open 8-13-22)
Bao & Noodle–2266 St. Claude Ave. (Chinese) Open Fri & Sat only (5 pm to 9 pm). Some may question why they would want to come to New Orleans and eat Chinese food, but for me this was one of the best meals I have had anywhere. Dan dan noodles are a good place to start (it is very spicy). I didn’t get a chance to try the bao, but it looked excellent as well. Map (Takeout only 2-22-22)
Budsi’s Authentic Thai–1760 N. Rampart St. (Thai) Closed Mon. Isan style (northern Thailand) food from a very interesting looking menu and with excellent food according to reviews. Also has a street food menu. Prices are very reasonable. Map (Dining room is open 11-5-21)
Cafe du Monde–800 Decatur St. (Coffee) Open 7:30 am to 10 pm. Known for its coffee and beignets. There is usually a line to get in but there’s no rush to leave once you are inside. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Cafe Minh–4139 Canal St. (Vietnamese) Closed Sat. lunch, Sun, & Mon (and closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm). Upscale Vietnamese. Expensive, but they have items you can’t find elsewhere. It is described as the fanciest Vietnamese restaurant in town. Also has Cajun food. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Casa Borrega–1719 Oretha C. Haley Blvd. (Mexican) Open 6 pm to 10 pm Thu-Sat. Oaxacan style–mole, tamales, etc. They will serve “Tex-Mex” on request. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Commander’s Palace–1403 Washington Ave. (Creole) Dinner daily; lunch Thu-Sun (Sat & Sun are a “Jazz Brunch” with a special menu). This is an organic farm to table restaurant, and one of the most well know places in NO. Expensive, but said to be one of the best meals you will have. Dress code: jackets for men, jeans are discouraged. Le Petit Bleu next door has food to go. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Dong Phuong–14207 Chef Menteur Hwy. (Vietnamese) Open 8 am to 5 pm (closed Tue). In the “Little Vietnam” neighborhood. Lemongrass dishes are good. People say the banh mi is the best in town (has a bakery and is known for its baked goods including king cake). Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Dooky Chase–2301 Orleans Ave. (Creole) Lunch Tue-Fri; Dinner Fri & Sat. This is a civil rights landmark, and is said to be an iconic Creole restaurant. Was on the “No Passport Required” show on NO Vietnamese food because they are using Vietnamese vegetables in some of their recipes. Map (Dining room is open 9-18-22)
Doson Noodle House–135 N. Carrollton Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun. Serves both Vietnamese and Chinese food, and largely because of this it has mixed reviews (the Vietnamese is better). Pho ga (chicken pho) seems to be the most popular item here. Good lunch place with good prices. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Emeril’s–800 Tchoupitoulas St. (Southern) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon). Expensive, but a memorable meal. The shrimp and the banana cream pie seem to always be a hit with diners. Dress code: Jackets for men are suggested but not required–no shorts allowed. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Galatoire’s–209 Bourbon St. (Creole) Closed Mon & Tue. $$$ (most others are $$$$) Looks like it would be food I would like better than many other places. Souffled potatoes with Bernaise, fish entree, creamed spinach, potatoes brabant, crabmeat sardou. Easier to get a table than other places. Dress code: Jackets required for men after 5 pm–casual options available at Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steaks next door. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Irene’s Cuisine–529 Bienville St. (Italian) 5 pm to 9 pm (closed Sun & Mon). Highest rated Italian in the French Quarter-described as authentic Italian-Creole. Food is upscale–expensive because dinners include lamb chops, duck, oysters, etc. Hard to get in-wait can be 20 min. to an hour (they have a hard time predicting the correct time for you). Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Jacques-Imo’s–8324 Oak St. (Creole) Dinner only (open Thu-Sat only). Expensive, but good food. Loud bar atmosphere. Very busy on weekends. Chicken pontalba is excellent. The menu has a large variety of interesting dishes. Restaurant is casual (no dress code) and is a good place to relax and have fun. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Johnny Sanchez–930 Poydras St. (Mexican) Closed Sat lunch & Sun. Even though it is not traditional Mexican, but “inventive,” the chef has El Paso roots and I believe he is taking a good thing and making it even better (based on his appearances on Masterchef). Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Laksa NOLA–2381 St. Claude Ave. (Burmese) Open 11 am to 8 pm (10 pm on Thu-Sat). Burmese and Malaysian food. Nasi lemak (Malaysian coconut curry) is popular and said to be very good, but some who really want it to be authentic say it is missing sambal (the restaurant says you can have sambal but you have to request it). Several Burmese dishes are available including tea salad. (Note: this is in the St. Roch Market food hall which has various types of cuisine). Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Mr. B’s Bistro–201 Royal St. (Modern American) Closed Mon & Tue. Known for its shrimp, gumbo is very good also. $$$$ (but maybe not as expensive as other high end rests). Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Mona’s Cafe–3901 Banks St. (Lebanese) Open Daily. Serves traditional Lebanese food. With the falafel getting good ratings, this is a good sign to me that they know what they are doing. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Muriel’s–801 Chartres St. (Creole) Dinner only (open daily); Brunch on Sat & Sun. Serves traditional Creole food and it is said to be very good but at a lower price than many of the other French Quarter restaurants. I think the reason might be because much of the menu consists of the more typical everyday dishes rather than the more special occasion ones. Note: Requires proof of vaccination or negative Covid test. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Oceana Grill–739 Conti St. (Cajun) Open daily 8 am to 1 am. Highly rated Cajun food. Shrimp and redfish are recommended. Reviewers say that the daily specials are a special treat. I also heard from locals that this is one of the best places for red beans and rice. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Parkway Tavern–538 Hagan Ave. (Po’Boys) Open 10 am to 6 pm (closed Mon & Tue). Probably the best Po’boys in town, but some say sandwiches are too small (and cost too much). Map (Dining room is open 8-13-22)
Pho Tau Bay–1565 Tulane Ave. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sat & Sun). Some say it is the best & most authentic Vietnamese in New Orleans (and is cheap). Used to be in Gretna but has now moved to downtown NO. Map (Dining room is open 11-28-21)
Willie Mae’s Scotch House–2401 St. Ann St. (Southern) Open 11 am to 5 pm (closed Sun). Reviewers say the fried chicken makes this place worthy of being on a list of places to visit. It is said to be moist and flavorful with a crispy crust. Other main items are said to be good as well (and I think all of them are fried). Side dishes are also highly recommended. Received a James Beard award for food from the Southern US. Map (Dining room is open 11-5-21)
Note: There are many more very good high end restaurants than I can list, but for ones that are here I have tried to include both the good and bad comments about them. I am trying to round out the list with lower priced restaurants that will also give a very good dining experience (at least to those who like the particular type of food being served).
St. Rose Tavern–14466 River Rd. (Sandwiches) Closed Sat evening & Sun. Tavern with a large variety of “Poor Boys.” However, reviewers say the roast beef po’ boys may be the best in LA. Map (Dining room is open 9-18-22)
NolaNica–120 Mallard St. (Nicaraguan) Open Mon-Fri 11 am to 3 pm. I am always looking for different cuisines, and NOLA has some that are hard to find in any city (such as Nicaraguan). This restaurant is very highly rated. Some reviewers say the Nola nica burger is a treat, but people from Nicaragua say all their food is spot on. Map (Dining room is open 9-18-22)
Stamp Dat–109 St. Rose Ave. (Soul & Seafood) Closed Sat evening & Sun. Located inside a casino and some say you can smell the smoke from the gaming area. The food, though, is said to be quite good with some of the standouts being the fried shrimp and lemonade that “tastes like your grandmother made it.” Map (Dining room is open 9-18-22)
Victoria’s Latin Restaurant–151 Almedia Rd. (Honduran) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun). Very good reviews. Many inexpensive street food items (tacos, pupusas, etc.) but has plates with a variety of items including plantains (many are seafood plates). Map (Dining room is open 9-18-22)
- For additional explanation of this list see Index
- Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.
No Passport Required (PBS Program) “New Orleans Vietnamese”
Program spotlighted restaurants that had various connections with Vietnamese cuisine:
- Ba Mien–13235 Chef Menteur Hwy. Try the Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa.
- Manchu Food Store–1413 N. Claiborne Ave. Convenience store that has a Vietnamese/African American fusion menu. Wings with bbq sauce are popular (some on-line sources recommend the Asian style yaka mein with the wings).
- Dooky Chase–2301 Orleans Ave. Creole restaurant that is buying locally grown Vietnamese greens and experimenting with using them in their food.
- Pho Nola–3320 Transcontinental Dr., Metairie. Celebrates the French influence in Vietnamese cooking including using cinnamon in the pho.
- Brightsen’s–723 Dante St. Creole restaurant the makes salads out of Vietnamese vegetables, uses Vietnamese squash in its dishes, and is committed to the proposition that if Creole cooking is a mixture of foods from different cultures, why not add Vietnamese to the list.
- Banh Mi Boys–5001 Airline Dr., Metairie. Makes fusion po’boys such as Vietnamese sausage with NO style toppings or NO style shrimp with Vietnamese toppings.
- Drip Affogato Bar–703 Carondelet St. Dessert bar that serves NO coffee with Vietnamese milk and pairs ice cream with coffee.
- T2 at St. Roch Market–2381 St. Claude Ave. Food stall that serves pho, banh mi, etc. in a NO fusion style.
- Dong Phuong Bakery–14207 Chef Menteur Hwy. This is the bakery portion of Dong Phuong Restaurant. Popular for its French bread and king cake (the cake is made with cinnamon and has cream cheese icing).
James Beard Foundation America’s Classics
The following are locally owned restaurants that are distinguished by their timeless appeal, and which serve quality food that represents the character of their communities:
- Avondale: Mosca’s–4137 W. US 90
- New Orleans: Dong Phuong Bakery–14207 Chef Menteur Hwy.
- New Orleans: Hansen’s Sno-Bliz–4801 Tchoupitoulas St.
- New Orleans: Willie Mae’s Scotch House–2401 St. Ann St.
Note About “50 States, 50 Dishes” (Condé Nast)
Condé Nast published an article on Jul. 3, 2018 using various sources to compile a “list of the dishes that capture the hearts, souls, and (oh, yes) stomachs of these 50 states (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico), and where you should order them.” For Louisiana it was the po’ boy sandwich, for which New Orleans has the most places to try them. They come with different meats, and if you get them “dressed” (with veggie fixings and some mayonnaise) you get the full experience. They have a list of the top 12 places to try them, but I think it would be almost impossible to make such a list that is definitive.
Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)
Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For Louisiana it was Vietnamese cuisine based on the large refugee population that settled in New Orleans. They point to Dong Phuong as being a James Beard award winning restaurant under the America’s Classics category.
Going further, they point to the hybrid Vietnamese-Cajun cuisine that originated in Houston but has now spread to Louisiana. This includes the crawfish boil at places such as Big Ez Seafood as well as the now popular Vietnamese influenced po’boy which is served in restaurants such as Banh Mi Boys in Metairie.
Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)