Address: 2301 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
New Orleans is one of the very few cities in the world where travelers get to experience an abundance of multi-culturalism around every nook and corner. From the gorgeous architectural style of the French Quarter to the city's vibrant music scene, there are significant French, Creole, African, and American influences that make New Orleans, unlike any other place you might have visited. Adding to the city's ever-growing charm is the region's rich gastronomic offerings, available through some of the best restaurants in the country.
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Dooky Chase is a culinary institution in New Orleans, and the backbone of this establishment was the always smiling Leah Chase, until her sad demise in 1919. Started in 1941, Dooky Chase has been the center for Creole food in the city from the very beginning, serving mouth-watering creations with myriad flavors and local ingredients. Equally popular with the rich and famous, as it is with the locals and tourists, the restaurant has been a favorite eating joint for people like Ray Charles and Barack Obama.
The restaurant's celebration of African-American art, proudly displayed on the walls, gives it a lively charisma. Whereas its specialties, from the daily-changing lunch buffet and fried chicken to stuffed shrimp, gumbo, and po'boys continue to make it the place in New Orleans for a memorable meal.
Address: 2301 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
If it is eccentric New Orleans you are looking for, Piece of Meat is the place the explore. A butcher shop and restaurant, this little nose-to-mouth serving eatery, is a labor of love started in 2016 by Rev. Dr. Daniel Jackson and Leighann Smith. The establishment has a very neighborly appeal to it, with tables to sit outside on a sunny day. The menu, though, is chock-a-block full of orgasmic meaty delights. There are the house favorites, boudin egg rolls, and the smoked brisket sandwich, as well as the buffalo jojos that go really well with a bloody mary. For something truly exceptional, check if they are serving the absolutely divine poke belly Cubano, a gourmet treat not to be missed.
Address: 3301 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Compère Lapin takes a very grounded approach to food, excusing itself from the drama that is now a significant part of the industry, and focusing on traditions and the sanctity of ingredients. Under the leadership of Chef Nina Compton, the dishes at Compère Lapin merge different styles and cuisines, from Caribbean and French to NOLA and Italian, to create distinct flavors that have a familiar New Orleans taste to them.
The interiors are no different, the bare-brick walls and furniture give the restaurant a casual aura. In contrast, the presentation of the food is that of a fine-dining restaurant. Lunch and dinner menus include classics like curried goat, marinated shrimp, conch croquettes, cow heel soup, and the absolute must-have jerk chicken. The restaurant is typically in demand on most days, especially during Mardi Gras, and therefore, it's recommended that you make a booking in advance.
Address: 535 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The name might have you thinking you've found a restaurant from the world of Harry Potter, and while that is not true, Drago's Metairie is still quite magical. Drago's specialty is its exquisite seafood, pocket-friendly prices, warm service, and a family-oriented atmosphere. Ideal for large gatherings, there's a feel-good vibe to the place that allows customers to get messy with their food comfortably.
Although the menu is quite extensive, they are known mainly for the legendary charbroiled oysters, conceived in 1993 and now an essential eat when in New Orleans. Some of the other dishes worth trying at Drago's include the shrimp and corn bisque, Dr. Pepper gator rice bowl, and their perfectly cooked Maine lobster.
Address: 3232 N Arnoult Rd, Metairie, LA 70002
Carrying forward the international appeal so evident across New Orleans is N7, a French restaurant that infuses hints of Japanese cuisine into its creations. Started by Chef Yuki Yamaguchi and Aaron Walker, there's a rustic ambiance to N7 that is ideal for an intimate dinner or a drink session with friends. There's ample history to the place, it was a tire shop earlier, that gives N7 a unique personality. The outdoor courtyard seating further adds to its allure. The menu here is quite eclectic, served in small plates, with baby octopus and seared scallops on the one hand, and escargot tempura and soy sauce crème brûlée on the other.
Address: 1117 Montegut St, New Orleans, LA 70117
It's an out-and-out family affair at Saffron Nola where the purity and passion for food that the Vikhu family holds reflect through their cross-cultural creations magnificently. The coming together of Indian and local NOLA cuisine is quite simply a match made in heaven. However, the restaurant takes a more polished route to showcase the diversity of Indian cuisine that starts with sophisticated interiors and leads on to presentations that allow guests to feast with their eyes.
Most Indian classics are listed in the menu here, with the Bombay shrimp, and lasooni chicken being two tasty bites to start any meal. For the mains, go with the pork vindaloo or the duck confit masala, and you'll leave Saffron Nola a happy person.
Address: 4128 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
It's quite simply a sin to visit New Orleans and not indulge in a comforting, juicy, flavorful po-boy. Iconic to the area, and soul-satisfying, the best place to have a po-boy in the city is undoubtedly the now hundred-year-old Domilise's. The restaurant is the kind of local establishment that strips away any façade to focus solely on what they are cooking.
If nothing else, the yellow-colored building with a small handmade sign out front will tell you that Domilise's doesn't need to advertise, its po-boys speak for its brilliance. As for what to eat, you can close your eyes and pick one of their specials, the roast beef with Swiss cheese or the ever-popular cheeseburger are popular choices for a shortcut to gastronomic nirvana.
Address: 5240 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Eating in New Orleans is a dream come true for most gourmands. Intense flavors, fresh ingredients, and age-old recipes give the local food scene an unmatched quality, that residents and restaurants celebrate with pride and enthusiasm. The real joy of dining in New Orleans is in appreciating the mashup of different cuisines, and how, over decades, they have become an essential part of New Orleans' rich culture.