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Best Restaurants in New Orleans - where to Eat and Drink

Where to eat and drink in New Orleans - a guide to the best restaurants, cafes and bars

New Orleans is one of the best cities in the world to eat and there is abundance of restaurants to explore. There are so many good places to eat and a lot of different dishes, snacks and cocktails to try that are iconic to this city. We made it our mission to find the best restaurants and bars in New Orleans.

I've put together where to eat and drink in New Orleans. Here are some of our highlights for restaurants, cafes and bars:

1. Cafe Du Monde

Multiple locations / $

Head here for beignets; an iconic New Orleans 'dougnut'. Pronounced 'ben-yay', these square shaped pieces of dough are deep fried and COVERED in icing sugar. When I say they are covered in icing sugar, I mean a whole bag full, so much that you often see icing sugar across the streets of New Orleans.

You get about 6 doughnuts in a bag and personally I could never eat a whole bag myself, so would recommended sharing them with someone. Don't hang about, eat them whilst they are still hot as this is when they taste best. I don't drink coffee but they are meant to be paired with a cafe au lait.

There are multiple locations across New Orleans and you can get them to go or dine-in.

cafe du monde

2. Cafe Beignet

Multiple locations / $

Another great place for beignets. Apparently locals have a preference to here or Cafe du Monde but we enjoyed both.

There are also multiple locations across New Orleans and you can get them to go or dine-in.

cafe beignet

3. Seaworthy at The Ace Hotel

Warehouse District / $$$

We headed here on our first night in the search of oysters and cocktails and it didn't disappoint. The restaurant is set in a classic Creole building and we loved the dark interiors. The setting is intimate and there aren't many tables in the restaurant, so best to book in advance. The staff were so friendly, welcoming and were keen to tell us about their specialities.

We went for a variety of oysters. Before this I didn't think there was much difference between oysters, but trying to them alongside each other was really interesting as they do have different tastes and come in difference sizes. The staff can help recommend which ones you should go for if you aren't sure. The oysters range from around $1.50 - $3 per oyster and come served on a tray of ice with lemons and sauces.

Alongside cocktails, we also tried the shrimp and ceviche which were great and then followed by the most amazing cheesecake dessert.

seaworthy ace hotel new orleans

4. Ruby Slipper Cafe

Decatur Street (and other locations) / $$

The BEST BREAKFAST in New Orleans, so much that we went there twice (and would have gone more if we were there for longer). The menu is extensive and there is everything from fried chicken, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, omelettes and sandwiches... the list goes on, and all of it is FANTASTIC!

The queues Ruby Slipper Cafes (there's a few across New Orleans) are usually big, but they are worth the wait. Make sure you try the chicken and biscuits (a Southern American classic) and the French toast bites that are dusted with cinnamon and served with cream cheese icing and praline sauce. We went to the Decatur Street one which has seating inside and out.

ruby slipper cafe new orleans

5. Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

Bourbon Street / $$$

Situated on the corner of Bourbon Street, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is one of the oldest bars in America. It is home to two of New Orleans' most iconic cocktails, The Voodoo ( a frozen cocktail made up of bourbon, vodka and grape juice) and The Hurricane (made up of rum and passion fruit syrup). The bar inside is dimly lit, so perfect for an after dinner cocktail or you can sit outside for drinks in the sun.

Some nights they have a piano player in there, who is incredible. Everyone sits around the piano and if you tip him, he will play your request on the piano and sing your song.

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

6. Killer Po'Boys

Near Bourbon Street / $

Essentially a Po'Boy is a long sandwich filled either meat or seafood. There are loads of spots around town that serve this famous New Orleans sandwich. We went to Killer Po'Boys and the setting is very basic but the sandwiches make a great lunch or afternoon snack. We share the pork belly and the seared shrimp ones and both were delicious.

Killer Po'Boys new orleans

7. Cafe Sbisa

Decatur Street, French Quarter / $$$$

Go here to try Creole cuisine; essentially a mix of West African, French, Spanish and Amerindian (Indigenous American). The setting is a dimly lit, formal dining room with tablecloths on tables and a pianist playing in the background. We had loads of different dishes including Turtle Soup (that is in a dark sauce and is very rich and meaty), fried pickles with a Creole remoulade for dipping and a shrimp dish (that was rich and very messy to eat as the shrimps had their shells on).

cafe sbisa new orleans

8. Mother's Restaurant

Central Business District / $$

We went here for a quick breakfast before heading out of town. You can't book so you need to get to Mother's early as the queue is always long. This cafe is 'rustic' and basic, but the food is good. We got pancakes, fruit and tried their famous baked ham (which I probably wouldn't go for again, but you get a lot of it).

Mother's Restaurant, New Orleans
Mother's Restaurant, New Orleans

9. Peche

Warehouse District / $$$

A restaurant with some great fish dishes on the menu. We didn't book a table, but they were more than happy to accommodate us. We waited around 10 minutes and got a table at the bar, which was a great place to eat. We got Oysters, smoked tuna dip, steak tartar and the seafood salad, all were fantastic.

Peche, New Orleans
Peche, New Orleans

10. Any bars on Frenchman Street

French Quarter / $$

Head to Frenchman Street where a lot of the Jazz bars are. We did a bar crawl going from one bar to another and all the jazz music was great, with so much amazing talent.

Frenchman Street, New Orleans
Frenchman Street, New Orleans

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