It shouldn’t come as any surprise that New Orleans is consistently ranked at or near the top among all leading American foodie destinations. Known worldwide for its fabulous Cajun and Creole cuisines native to Louisiana, visitors have more than 1,400 dining establishments to choose from, whether it’s a café serving delectable beignets or it’s an iconic dining institution backed by some of the most famous celebrity chefs on the planet. For the first time visitor or even the repeat traveler, picking a spot to enjoy a great meal in the Big Easy can be a little daunting.

To make things a little simpler, here are carefully selected recommendations to five of the most quintessential restaurants in New Orleans, all of which are guaranteed to provide an exceptional culinary experience.

 

Antoine's is one of the famous Grande Dame restaurants of New Orleans
Antoine’s Restaurant

 

Antoine’s

713 St. Louis St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 581-4422
www.antoines.com

Established in 1840 by French immigrant Antoine Alciatore, Antoine’s is the oldest restaurant in New Orleans and among the oldest family operated restaurants in the U.S. Over its storied history, the beloved French-Creole restaurant has amassed a bevy of high-profile awards, including among Zagat’s Most Popular Restaurants in New Orleans and Bon Appetit’s Top 10 Must-Visit Classic Restaurants. Led by fifth generation family member and CEO Rick Blount and Chef Michael Regua, Antoine’s features 14 lavish dining rooms, including the magnificent Rex Room and is world famous for creating delectable dishes like Oysters Rockefeller, Eggs Sardou, and Pommes de Terre Souffles.

 

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The historic Arnaud's is one of the most popular restaurants in New Orleans
Souffle Potatoes at Arnaud’s

 

Arnaud’s

813 Bienville St.
New Orleans, LA 70122
(504) 523-5433
www.arnaudsrestaurant.com

Celebrating its 100th anniversary just last year, Arnaud’s is one of the four Grand Dames of Creole dining and the largest restaurant in the entire city. Founded in 1918 by French wine salesman Arnaud Cazenave, Arnaud’s has been under the ownership of the Casbarian family for more than 40 years and fourth generation family members Katy and Archie Casbarian now lead the staff, along with their mother Jane and Chef De Cuisine Tommy Digiovanni.

 

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Brennan's is easily a quintessential NOLA restaurant. Try Sunday brunch
Bananas Foster at Brennan’s

 

Brennan’s

417 Royal St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 525-9711
www.brennansneworleans.com

Clearly a New Orleans original, Brennan’s has been enticing customers with its exceptionally delicious cuisine since 1946. Founded by New Orleans native Owen Brennan, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is widely acclaimed for its authentic Creole creations by James Beard nominated Chef Slade Rushing, with such standouts as Louisiana Seafood File Gumbo and Crispy Shrimp Crepes Robuchon. However, Brennan’s is most famous for its decadent dessert creation from 1951, Bananas Foster, prepared right at the table.

 

Commander's Palace is often considered the very best restaurant in New Orleans
Cochon De Lait Eggs Benedict at Commander’s Palace

 

Commander’s Palace

1403 Washington Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 899-8221
www.commanderspalace.com

Often cited as one of America’s finest restaurants, Commander’s Palace is likely the most awarded dining establishment in New Orleans. Located in the historic Garden District, the business dates back to 1893 and is led Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin who last year were the recipients of the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage at the James Beard Awards. In all, Commander’s Palace has received seven of the coveted James Beard Awards, including one for Chef Tory McPhail in 2013 and a Lifetime Achievement Award to the late Ella Brennan, the matriarch of the highly influential Brennan family.

 

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Galatoire’s

209 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 525-2021
www.galatoires.com

Once named the Outstanding Restaurant in America by the James Beard Awards, Galatoire’s, is another one of the grand dame restaurants of New Orleans. Established in 1905 by French immigrant Jean Galatoire, the highly praised namesake restaurant is led by Chef Philip Lopez, a New Orleans native who previously worked at other acclaimed restaurants like John Besh’s Restaurant August, Michel Richard’s Citronelle and most recently Square Root, known as the most expensive restaurant in the city.

 

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About The Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University, U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.