Greetings from New Orleans! With so many renowned options for world-class dining in the Big Easy, it can be a daunting task to decide where to eat. Oh yeah, it’s also Mardi Gras season, where the city swells with more than one million party-going visitors leading up to Fat Tuesday.
With the help of Yelp NOLA’s community manager Morgan F., we sorted through a Yelp data list of top businesses in the Restaurants and Food categories in New Orleans and handpicked several hidden gems off the beaten path. Read on for top picks when you need a little respite from the around-the-clock melee on Bourbon Street. Click here to save and follow this bookmark collection on the Yelp app. Let the good times roll!
1. Fharmacy Nola Expect classic American comfort food alongside Vietnamese flair at the hands of chefs Nhat Nguyen and Bobby Nguyen. “Everything was delicious – boudin egg rolls to vegetarian ratatouille bruschetta to lemongrass wings, their kitchen has a command of a wide variety of techniques.” – Eli C.
2. Paladar 511
This Marigny gem specializes in local, seasonal cuisine, the menu features pizza, pastas, and rotating selection of small plates and sides. “The Panna Cotta was the table’s favorite! It was lightly sweet and balanced well with the tart passion fruit.” – Leslie L.
3. 1000 Figs Explore an array of Middle Eastern staples sourced with local ingredients plus a unique selection of beer and wine. “I will always thank Figs for introducing me to burrata and will get it every time. It’s so good and they keep it simple.” – Cesar R.
4. Jamila’s Mediterranean Tunisian Cuisine A blend of Tunisian and Creole flavors served up in a friendly environment with plenty of local flair. “This place is not just for food. It is the entire experience which you must come by and check out!” – Jiwon H.
5. Carmo Carmo specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes, melding tropical cuisines from across the globe. “We both ordered the plain banquette breads, which are Armenian flatbreads with scallions and we had the vegan cheese. Whoa – the bread was oh so delicious!” – Sheri C.
6. Brigtsen’s Restaurant Chef Frank Brigsten’s restaurant focuses on contemporary Louisiana cuisine, emphasizing on seasonal seafood. “I chose the oyster chowder to start. Think about the best New England clam chowder then multiply by 100… Herby, creamy and packed with oysters.” – Douglas W.
7. Parkway Bakery & Tavern If you’re looking for one of the best po’ boys in New Orleans, this might be your spot. With more than 100 years in business, they’re doing something right. “Homemade french bread, fantastic roast beef po’ boys, fried oyster goodness on Mondays… and even some solid vegetarian options.” – Matt R.
8. Surrey’s Café & Juice Bar Come for the fresh-squeezed juices, stay for the expansive menu of breakfast and lunch favorites, surrounded by the quaint setting of the Lower Garden District. “Don’t forget to try the fresh-squeezed juice here. My favorite is the strawberry lemonade.” – Christina C.
9. Blue Oak BBQ Opened in 2012, Blue Oak is a classic Southern BBQ joint that serves up plates, sandwiches, and decedent sides. “Thinking of making BBQ chicken or Brussels sprouts? Don’t. The best on the planet is right here.” – Golden R.
10. Crabby Jack’s This is the spot for Cajun favorites, from overstuffed sandwiches to po’ boys to seafood to fried chicken. “I decided to order the blackened fish with dirty rice and it was phenomenal. The fish was well-seasoned and moist. Dirty rice was just out of this world.” – Rana F.
11. Cafe Sbisa Cafe Sbisa’s elegant atmosphere pairs well with their menu of classic New Orleans fare sourced with local seafood and produce. “We sat at the bar in front of a renaissance-esque style painting with sexy, decadent vibes. I truly felt like I stepped into Paris in late 1800s.” – Ivana D.
12. The Appetite Repair Shop With chef-driven meals made fresh, the Appetite Repair Shop is a go-to to-go spot in Algiers Point. “The chef is very talented and rotates dishes from all over the world to augment a regular menu. The Crack-A-Roony and Cheese is amazing… Bring your own bags to carry your food away and plan to get there well before posted closing time as they run out food often.” – Mark W.
13. Dong Phuong Despite a location on the edge of town, a trip to Dong Phuong is always worth it if you seek a top-notch banh mi or some of the best king cake around. “Excellent bakery and po’ boy bread. Many local restaurants use this highly coveted bread so if you come for a meal, bring some bread home…” – Kate B.
14. Cherry Espresso Bar Cherry offers expertly prepared coffee and expresso drinks alongside scrumptious breakfast and lunch items in a modern cafe setting “They offer breakfast in the morning; which I frequent on Saturday mornings. I highly recommend the French Toast! If you’re not in the mood for anything too sweet the breakfast tacos are very good as well.” – Benjamin G.
15. Clesi’s Crawfish & Catering Clesi’s is naturally all about the crawfish. Stop by to see what’s boiling and don’t forget to BYOB. “The crawfish were excellent! Perfect amount of salt and spice. The potato, corn, and sausage had also absorbed that good flavor.” – Christopher J.