IN ALL PARTS OF the world, going out for a fine meal is a treat. In New Orleans, it is a ritual. Some cities are
known for their skylines, some for their monuments. New Orleans is known for its food.
From rich Creole standards to nouvelle French, food here is sacred, savored-and taken for granted. Natives
don’t expect great food; they depend on it. And while the delights of an expensive meal at Commander’s Palace can
become an out-of-body experience, so can 25-cent oysters at a Bourbon Street bar.
Creole refers to that blending of people from France, Spain and elsewhere who defined the New Orleans culture. It
also refers to the blending of food styles and foods that characterizes New Orleans cuisine. Like gumbo-a murky
mystery of broth, seafood, seasonings and rice-New Orleans and its restaurants (Creole and otherwise) offer a
mouthwatering mingling of all that is delicious.
While it’s true that some of the city’s oldest and finest restaurants are located in the French Quarter, many of the
best ones aren’t. If you can take the time to explore, do. Remember that the “new” in New Orleans doesn’t mean
inferior. A mediocre restaurant here doesn’t last long, and some of the worthiest in town have everything one could
ask for except a history.
The following restaurants are some of our favorites:
Andrew Jackson. Elegant dining in the Quarter. Older and more staid. Creole and continental fare. (221
Antoine’s. The most famous restaurant in New Orleans. Sometimes overrated, but on the whole a delicious
bastion of tradition since it opened in 1840. Creole and continental. (713 St. Louis. 581-4422.)
Arnaud’s. Chandeliers, tile floors, leaded-glass windows and superb food. One of the very best. (813
Begue’s. In the Royal Sonesta Hotel. French and Creole specialties in an attractive room with a view of the
Sonesta’s picturesque courtyard. (300 Bourbon. 586-0300.)
The Blue Room. In the Fairmont Hotel. New Orleans’ premier supper club, featuring big-name entertainers and
late-night Big Band dancing. Good food. (123 University Place. 529-7111.)
Brennan’s. Breakfast here was once the New Orleans tradition. (Now it’s called brunch, but the quality
remains.) The courtyard is beautiful, and the ambiance is just as nice in the evening. (417 Royal. 525-
Broussard’s. Creole and New Orleans cuisine in elegant surroundings. (819 Con-ti. 581-3866.)
Café S’Bisa Located in the French Market near the river. Features an oyster and clam bar, with fish, chops
and steak cooked on an open charcoal grill. (1011 Decatur. 561-8354.)
Cafe Trianon. In Le Pavilion Hotel. A delightful dining room serving breakfast and an attractive luncheon
buffet. (833 Poydras. 581-3111.)
Caribbean Room. In the Pontchartrain Hotel. Award-winning restaurant serving Creole and continental, with a
superior wine cellar. (2031 St. Charles Ave. 524-0581.)
Commander’s Palace. In a beautiful Victorian home in the Garden District. Spacious, elegant and
well-attended. Continental and New Orleans specialties. (1403 Washington Ave. 899-8221.)
Conine Dunbar’s. Creole cuisine served in an antebellum home furnished with antiques of the period. (1617
St. Charles Ave. 525-2957.)
Court of Two Sisters. Local cuisine served by gaslight in a beautiful courtyard. (613 Royal.
Delmonico.A warm restaurant specializing in seafood and New Orleans-style continental since 1895. (1300
St. Charles Ave. 525-4937.)
Dooky Chase.Very popular. Creole-soul food as well as good steaks and seafood. (2301 Orleans Ave.
Galatoire’s.A classic, family-owned restaurant featuring fine New Orleans cuisine. Long line; no credit
cards. (209 Bourbon. 525-2021.)
Jonah’s.In the Hyatt Regency. Excellent seafood, duckling and Creole specialties. Subdued elegance. (500
Poydras Plaza. 561-1234.)
L’Excale.Exquisite nouvelleFrench food served in a beautiful, rose-colored room. Very expensive.
(730 Bienville. 524-3722.)
Le Ruth’s.Internationally acclaimed. French and Creole cuisine served at specified seating times in a small
dining room. (636 Franklin, Gretna. 362-4914.)
Restaurant Jonathan.Continental food with a Creole touch served in an elegant art deco decor. Very popular.
(714 N. Rampart. 586-1930.)
Bon Ton Caté. Soft pink brick walls, a very enthusiastic noise level and some of the very best seafood and
Creole specialties available in town. (401 Magazine. 524-3386.)
Café Maspero. Once a slave exchange. A quaint bar and restaurant that serves, among other things, delicious
hot sandwiches. (601 Decatur. 523-8414.)
Coffee Pot. Shrimp Creole, red beans and rice, Po-boys and seafood are all good here. Very comfortable,
almost hidden next door to Pat O’Brien’s. (714 St. Peter. 523-8215.)
Felix’s. A nationally famous oyster bar, with other seafood as well. (739 Iberville. 522-4440.)
K-Paul’s. An informal restaurant that’s considered one of the best in the city, offering Creole and Cajun
food (some with innovative twists). Famous for its blackened red-fish. (416 Chartres. 524-7394.)
Mosca’s. Standard Italian food as well as oysters, shrimp and chicken with an Italian touch. Considered so
good that locals and visitors alike make the trek to Waggaman to get there. (Off U.S. 90, in Waggaman.
Octi’s Seafood Kitchen. Reasonably priced fried and boiled seafood and seafood Po-boys. 25-cent beer and
15-cent raw oysters from 5-6 p.m. (339 Chartres. 523-4112.)
Pascal’s Manale. Creator of barbecued shrimp. Features Italian cuisine, steaks and seafood. (1838 Napoleon
NIGHTLIFE N’AWLINS STYLE
The Abbey. A Decatur Street dive with lots of New Orleans flavor. (1123 Decatur. 523-9421.)
Andy Capp’s. A dark, dingy pop dance bar frequented by the Uptown crowd. (111 N. Carrollton.
Bonaparte’s Retreat. A real neighborhood bar that’s carefree and popular with Quarter residents. (1007
Café Banquette.A bar and restaurant well-laden with brass, plants and ceiling fans. Good burgers. (3445
Café S’bisa. The downstairs restaurant is the latest place to be seen; the upstairs bar is simply casual and
fun. (1011 Decatur. 561-8345.)
Chart House. A terribly attractive bar and restaurant with a balcony overlooking Jackson Square. (801
Chris Owens Club. This singer/entertainer has been around forever, and her two shows nightly are still the
hottest tickets on the Bourbon strip. (500 Bourbon. 523-6400.)
Columns Hotel. Uptown professionals enjoy this old, elegant watering hole where the attention is on the
drinks. (3811 St. Charles. 899-9308.)
Cooter Brown’s. Small tables and booths, great oysters on the half shell and a wide selection of beer.
(509 S. Carrollton. 865-9166.)
Esplanade Lounge. An elegant, quiet lounge off the hotel’s central marble atrium. Casual dress. (Royal
Orleans Hotel, 621 St. Louis. 529-5333.)
Flagon’s. New Orleans’ best wine bistro, offering an extensive selection of wine by the glass as well as
light food. A very eclectic crowd assembles here. (3222 Magazine. 895-6471.)
Flamingos Café. A campy conglomeration of all that is pink and all that is flamingo. Crazy drinks, good
quiche and too much fun. (1625 St. Charles. 523-6141.)
Kabby’s. The best thing about this cheery bar is the back room, which looks out over the river and the docks
where the steamships anchor. (2 Poydras, in the Hilton annex. 561-0500.)
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. The ultimate New Orleans piano bar, believed to be the former hangout of those
famous pirate brothers, Jean and Pierre Lafitte. (941 Bourbon. 523-0066)
Maple Leaf Bar. Featuring indigenous New Orleans music-ragtime, Dixieland, jazz, blues, Cajun and reggae-7
nights a week. (8316 Oak. 866-9359.)
Menefee’s. A large, multiroom, two-story bar and restaurant that attracts an oddly wide spectrum of people.
(1101 N. Rampart. 566-1414.)
Napoleon House. A great bar bar. Very old, very simple, very comfortable. Famous for its
thirst-quenching Pimm’s Cup cocktail. (500 Chartres. 524-9752.) Nick’s. For a bar that doesn’t have
tables, this place sure is popular. A perfect perch for scoping out the Uptowners, who are always in good number.
(2400 Tulane. 822-9981.)
Pat O’Brien’s. Perhaps the most popular bar.. .anywhere. Famous for its Hurricane drink and for its large,
handsome courtyard. Try to hit it on an off-hour. (718 St. Peter. 525-4823.)
Fete Fountain’s. Where the great clarinetist himself plays Tuesday through Saturday at 10 p.m. (2 Poydras,
Hilton Hotel, third floor. 523-4374.)
Que Sera. A lovely bar with a terrace overlooking St. Charles. Crowded on Wednesdays for three-for-one happy
hour. (3636 St. Charles. 897-2598.)
Rain Forest. It rains here every hour on the hour in the glassed-in forest. Large picture windows afford a
great view of the city. (2 Poydras, in the Hilton Hotel penthouse. 561-0500.)
Snug Harbour. One of the better jazz clubs, though utterly unpretentious. (626 Frenchmen. 949-0696)
Tipitina’s. One of the foremost jazz and live music clubs in the city. (501 Napoleon. 899-9114.)
Tyler’s Beer Garden. Another good jazz club. Specializing in progressive jazz, but not exclusively. (5234