Hottest Restaurants and Bars in New Orleans

Buzz-worthy eats
December 22, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

From big-name chefs to down-home favorites, these are New Orleans' must-hits restaurants.

Briquette
Seafood · Warehouse District · $$$

Contemporary coastal cuisine is the focus of this Warehouse District destination which emphasizes seafood and locally sourced meats, along with craft cocktails and wines. Rustic wood beams, exposed-brick walls lined with arched French doors and a large windowed kitchen create an industrial-chic atmosphere.
Curio
American · French Quarter · $$$

Chef Hayley Vanvleet (Peche, Cochon Butcher) helms this French Quarter bistro, where California-style seafood meets Creole tradition in dishes like steamed coconut-ginger mussels and coriander-spiced blackened redfish, plus wine and cocktails. Originally a 19th-century curio shop, the space channels its eclectic past with colorful artwork, mustard-hued banquettes, black and white floor tiles and a scenic wraparound deck.
Gabrielle Restaurant
Cajun · Treme · $$

The second incarnation of a long-standing Mid-City eatery – the original location shuttered after Hurricane Katrina – this family-run Treme outpost offers sophisticated yet unflashy Cajun fare like braised rabbit, slow-roasted duck and crabmeat-stuffed Gulf fish, plus wine and classic cocktails. The cozy space, with its colorful paintings, polished wood, white tablecloths and simple tile floors, mirrors the menu’s timeless simplicity.
Ted Brennan's Decatur Restaurant
French · French Quarter · $$$

A culinary tribute to the New Orleans of yesteryear, this family-run French Quarter brasserie serves elegant Creole classics like eggs sardou, turtle soup and bananas Foster alongside time-honored cocktails over two spacious stories. Pastel-hued walls, rustic exposed brick, vintage paintings and black-and-white floor tile complete the throwback dining experience.
Saffron nola
Indian · Uptown · $$$

The brick-and-mortar version of a former pop-up, this Uptown eatery blends Indian flavors with local ingredients, resulting in dishes like spicy pork vindaloo, curried gumbo and tamarind shrimp, plus inventive cocktails and wine. The sophisticated interior has a midcentury look with velvet-lined booths, copper accents and cherry woods.
Public Service
Bar · CBD · $$$

Located inside the Central Business District hotel NOPSI, this stylish Southern-inspired eatery draws on regional ingredients for dishes like Gulf Coast crab dip spiked with local beer, tasso ham hushpuppies and crawfish mac 'n' cheese. The copper-topped bar, home to a whiskey-heavy cocktail program, gleams under artful chandeliers, while the beige-toned dining room makes a polished, spacious backdrop.
Maypop
Contemporary Louisiana · CBD · $$$

Southern and Asian cuisines merge at this Michael Gulotta operation in the CBD’s paramount building – a more upscale spin-off of his popular Mid-City joint, Mopho – dishing up fried oysters and wok-tossed ramen alongside handmade pastas and house-cured meats. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the chic, contemporary space with high, wood-paneled ceilings, hanging Edison bulbs and plenty of seating at tables and around the bar.
Central City BBQ
Barbecue · Central City · $$

Locally sourced meats are cooked low and slow at this Central City hangout (from ex Nola Smokehouse pit master) dishing up classic BBQ sandwiches, plates and sides paired with regional beer and specialty drinks. The bright, modern space features light woods, silver hanging lights and colorful chairs, plus a steel-topped bar and playful pig artwork throughout.
Shaya
Israeli · Uptown · $$

Israeli cuisine gets a Southern spin at this Uptown eatery that incorporates Turkish, North African and Greek flavors into dishes like wood-fired Brussels sprouts, hummus with curry-fried cauliflower, and shakshuka with sunchokes, all accompanied by wood-fired pita bread. The chic blue-and-white space boasts marble tables, cushy leather seats and ring chandeliers, capped with an outdoor patio.
Balise
Southern American · CBD · $$

The La Petite Grocery team is behind this CBD bistro (named for a pioneering French settlement) that focuses on Louisiana fare with attention to its European influences. Inside an 1832 townhouse, it also offers cocktails that riff on historic spirits plus old- and new-world wines.