(417 Royal Street) A culinary powerhouse since 1947, this place masterfully combined Spanish, French and Creole influences to create some absolutely delicious meals. The dining room is an example of old school glamour, from the paintings on the wall to the chandeliers on the ceiling. This is not exactly the spot you want to come if you are on a tight budget, but if you are willing to pay for the experience, you will not be disappointed! Begin with the roasted oysters or New Orleans BBQ lobster before moving onto one of their specialty entrees. Seafood lovers will want to opt for the blackened redfish or shrimp creole kimchi, while vegetarians will delight in the ravioli paired with basil butter and chevre cheese!
(1403 Washington Avenue) This place has been a landmark in New Orleans since the 1880’s. Today, it is known as one of the best restaurants in the city, having won no less than six James Beard Foundation Awards! Chef Troy McPhail concentrates on creating upscale creole cuisine, all inspired by his “dirt to plate within 100 miles” philosophy. This means that whenever possible, all ingredients are found within a 100-mile radius from the restaurant itself. A favorite spot for brunch, you can pair one of their award-winning Bloody Mary’s with the Louisiana Bayou Brunch, which consists of crabmeat, redfish and shrimp cooked in a sauce made from tomato and saffron served with poached eggs and caviar hollandaise. Dinner here is nothing short of spectacular, with some of the best service you will find anywhere. For a true treat, go all out and opt for the Coolinary menu, which includes a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. Appetizer options include everything from turtle soup to a tempura rock shrimp salad, while entrée choices include a Louis Armstrong tamale made with mushrooms, crabmeat and red bean puree. For desert, be sure to opt for the creole bread pudding souffle, yet keep in mind that this delicious ending must be ordered in advance, as it takes time to prepare.
Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar
(3203 Williams Boulevard) Located near the airport, this spot is a favorite amongst locals and in-the-know tourists. The combination of friendly, warm service in a causal environment coupled with some of the best seafood you will ever have in your life makes this an absolute must-do while in NOLA. They have some of the best po boys in town, ranging from catfish to oyster and soft-shell crab, as well as a shrimp and corn chowder that is absolutely to die for. If you are looking for the best that this place has to offer, opt for its legendary swamp platter. For just under twenty dollars, you will get a plate heaping with fried alligator, crawfish tails and frog legs coupled with a serving of turtle soup and Cajun alligator sausage! While they do have a number of bottled and draught beers available, their lava flow daquiri is the perfect adult addition to any meal here!
Ruby Slipper Café
There are multiple locations throughout the city that you can visit, including the French Quarter and uptown. If you do nothing else while you are in New Orleans, you must make it a point to stop at one of their locations to partake in the best breakfast the city has to offer. Shake off the night before with a mimosa or one of their award-winning Bloody Mary’s before sinking your teeth into a variety of delicious southern soul food. Specialties include the BBQ shrimp and grits and bacon praline pancakes, but there is an assortment of eggs benedict variations to choose from as well. The most popular is the eggs cochon, which uses slow braised pork over biscuits and smothered with hollandaise, but the shrimp boogaloo is a close second. Can’t decide? Opt for the peacemaker, which lets you combine any two benedicts for the ultimate experience!
(4213 Magazine Street) Top-notch Israeli food is not exactly something you would expect to find in New Orleans, but this place gives a welcome respite for those who want a break from the creole and Cajun cuisine that is so plentiful throughout the city. If you are looking for a light yet incredibly flavorful lunch, order the falafel sandwich paired with a side of tabbouleh. If you visit here for dinner, the slow cooked lamb coupled with whipped feta cheese and blueberry tabbouleh is absolutely out of this world!
(845 North Carrollton Avenue) As the name implies, this is certainly not the ideal place to visit if you are looking for vegetarian fare. The emphasis here is on carnivorous cuisine paired with a Cajun flair. Opened in 2012 by Chef Isaac Toups and his wife Amanda, this place brings Toups family recipes onto your table, with over 300 years of history behind the cuisine! If you come for lunch, try the Louisiana crab claws paired with chilis and pineapple, or opt for their signature burger made from a combination of beef and pork topped with pickled squash, bacon, cheddar cheese and an herb aioli. For dinner, ease into your evening by ordering from their extensive wine list, or if your looking for something stronger, they offer everything from whiskey and bourbon to a watermelon martini. You can opt for pork breast lettuce wraps or other small plates, but for bigger appetites, they offer everything from their signature meatery board to a pork chop and dirty rice entrée that you will remember for the rest of your life!