Antoine's shrimp remoulade
Photograph: Werner Krug

The best restaurants in New Orleans' French Quarter

From iconic, century-old restaurants to classic po-boy spots, these are the best restaurants in the French Quarter


New Orleans is home to a slew of renowned restaurants scattered all around the city. If you’re spending the bulk of your time in the French Quarter—a mere square mile jam-packed with historic treasures—you’ll still be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining. The oldest neighborhood in the city is home to some of New Orleans’ most iconic restaurants, from the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the U.S. to new spots that were quickly showered with accolades upon opening. The Quarter boasts special occasion restaurants where you can dress to the nines and receive top-notch service, but you can also find casual spots for a quick bite that are still quintessentially New Orleans. There are even eateries where the cocktails stand out as much as the cuisine. Dive in at the best restaurants in the French Quarter and you’ll be rewarded with a taste of culinary tradition and history. Don’t worry about the calories—you can dance them off at a jazz club afterward.

🍴 The best restaurants in New Orleans
🎷 The best spots to see jazz in New Orleans
🍻 The best bars in New Orleans
📍 The best things to do in New Orleans
🏘️ The best neighborhoods in New Orleans

This guide was updated by New Orleans-based writer Gerrish Lopez. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Best restaurants in New Orleans' French Quarter

1. GW Fins

If you’re looking for quality seafood, this is the place. GW Fins has been serving up the freshest fish in New Orleans since it opened in 2001, and the menu changes daily depending on what was caught that morning. Hope for a few of its classics—lobster dumplings, fried oysters and yellowfin tuna tartare, to name a few—but it’ll all be delicious. 

2. Irene’s

Follow the scent of garlic to this Creole Italian haven on Bienville. Chef and owner Irene DiPietro, who immigrated from Sicily to NOLA, opened her beloved eatery in 1992—it's still a family-run place that dishes out classics like house-made pasta topped with soft-shell crab in cream sauce, duck St. Philip, and lasagne Bolognese. While reservations are now accepted, go early and grab a drink at the piano bar before your meal.


3. Mr. B’s Bistro

If there's one thing that everyone in town agrees on, it's that Mr. B's Bistro has the greatest barbecued Gulf shrimp in the city (and probably on the planet). It takes a bit of work—you'll need to pick off the shells first before you can dip them into the pepper butter sauce. Carnivores love the truffle butter filet, the gumbo ya ya makes people swoon, and everyone saves room for the Creole bread pudding.

4. Galatoire’s

Since 1905, this high-end French-Creole restaurant on Bourbon Street has been the destination of choice of locals and visitors craving a world-class meal. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and the menu has virtually remained unchanged since its inception. Try the redfish meuniere and the crabmeat au gratin, or opt for the andouille gumbo, a city staple. Chef Phillip Lopez has a penchant for winning awards, and if you visit even just once, you'll understand why. 


5. Restaurant R’evolution

Recently reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation, this swanky restaurant in the Royal Sonesta Hotel features classic Creole fare in luxurious environs. The open kitchen lets you watch the magic happen. Death by Gumbo is a must from the indulgent menu, and a wine cellar with more than 10,000 bottles makes for an exceptional pairing menu.

If you’re already swinging by Jackson Square, consider stopping by Muriel's Jackson Square—here, great food has been served since 2001 in a building that dates back to 1718. No matter when you visit, expect classics done perfectly (think stuffed mirliton, crawfish etouffee, and turtle soup) as well as creative takes on old favorites like crawfish and goat cheese crepes, or duck and chaurice sausage hash.


7. Antoine’s

This French Quarter beauty is notable for numerous reasons, not the least of which is its designation as the oldest continually operating restaurant in the U.S. The grand rooms, including the mirrored Rex Room, are visually stunning. The food? Even more so: this is where oysters Rockefeller and eggs Sardou were created, and other delights such as soufflé potatoes are revered. Be sure to finish with Baked Alaska and the flaming café brûlot.

8. Brennan's

This elegant stalwart of French Quarter fine dining is famed for its breakfast, but dazzles at any meal. Locals and tourists alike flock to the iconic pink restaurant for seasonally-driven Creole fare. Bananas Foster was invented here, and is a must for a sweet—and dramatic (it’s flambéed tableside)—finale. Take a moment to visit the lush courtyard and visit the resident turtles.


9. Coop’s Place

For a filling meal at a reasonable price in the Quarter, Coop's is ideal. A Decatur Street staple since 1983, this casual spot appeals to visitors and locals alike (locals tend to hit it up late at night). Try a big bowl of top-notch seafood gumbo, a plate of duck quesadillas, or the signature rabbit jambalaya. A solid range of NOLA favorites are also on the menu like shrimp etouffee, fried shrimp, oysters and catfish, and a whole selection of po'boys. Go for the red beans and rice—with two pork chops—and you won't leave hungry.

10. Bayona

Opened by chef Susan Spicer in 1990, Bayona is a bonafide institution alongside the city’s other grande dames. Her first—and best—restaurant features a changing menu of Mediterranean-influenced Southern dishes. Signatures like veal sweetbreads, oyster gratin, sautéed redfish, and peppered lamb are regularly appearing on the menu. The creamy garlic soup, while perhaps not the best choice on date night, is also a must-try.


11. Doris Metropolitan

This steakhouse standout, no doubt a splurge, is a top spot for a special night out. All the meats are USDA Prime and dry aged in house. Don’t miss the "falls off the bone" entrée, cooked for 24 hours and served with smoked tomato au jus for a heady culinary experience. The most surprising part? There are plenty of delicious non-meat options, too, like artichoke flower salad, ten green salad, and a smoky charred eggplant dish.

12. Central Grocery

Temporarily closed due to ongoing repairs following Hurricane Ida

You’ve heard of a muffuletta, and here’s where to get the original. Central Grocery, founded in 1906, was the first to create the massive sandwich, a 9-inch Sicilian sesame loaf stuffed with stacks of meats, cheeses, and olive salad. Go east by ordering a half sandwich (or a whole if you’ve got friends with you) and take it to the riverfront for a picnic. You’ll want to save some for later—the muffuletta is even better after it sits a while, allowing the olive salad oil to soak into the bread.


13. Palm and Pine

Palm and Pine on Rampart Street, at the top edge of the Quarter, brings an eclectic menu of Southern dishes to the table that includes a mix of fare from the US as well as Mexico and Central America. Dive into Corner Store Crudo or their hugely popular goat curry and follow it up with Texas BBQ shrimp or the chicken-fried Texas quail. Out and about late on the weekend? Palm & Pine has you covered from 11pm-1apm with a Late Nite menu on Fridays and Saturdays featuring a spicy chicken sandwich, curry crab beignets and a quarter pounder.

14. Arnaud’s

Located just off Bourbon Street, Arnaud’s has been a go-to destination for classic Creole cuisine since 1918. The historic restaurant brings formal service to the table, and its assortment of elegant dining rooms draws locals and visitors alike for special occasion dining. Start with a pre-dinner cocktail at the award-winning French 75 Bar, then dive into classics like soufflé potatoes and shrimp remoulade. Afterward, visit the free Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum upstairs, featuring lavish Mardi Gras costumes, vintage photographs, Carnival masks, and more.


15. Sylvain

This restaurant and bar resides in a cozy 1700s carriage house just a block from Jackson Square. Both rustic and raucous, Sylvain attracts a mix of locals and out-of-towners for chic cocktails and good times revolving around a menu of updated Southern fare. Try pan-roasted Gulf fish, a classic burger made with Wagyu beef, crab and dumplings, cast iron cornbread or—if you’re feeling fancy—the Champagne and fries.

16. Bennachin

This colorful, funky spot has been a top option for both vegetarians and meat-eaters for decades. Showcasing the cuisine of Cameroon and Gambia, you’ll find authentic dishes speckled with West African flavors—needless to say, the menu stands out among the many traditional Creole offerings in the Quarter. Try specialties ranging from black-eyed pea fritters to beef and peanut stew, plus a range of excellent seafood dishes. Don’t miss the fish pie or the Banana Tropicana dessert.


17. Napoleon House

Napoleon House has been a staple of the French Quarter food scene since 1914. It's known for its version of the muffuletta — served warm, it’s made with layers of ham, Genoa salami, Swiss, provolone cheeses, and a house-made olive salad. Pair it with the famous Pimm's Cup cocktail and you don't need anything else. Have you already had your fill of muffuletta? Try the jambalaya or the grilled alligator sausage po'boy for a truly authentic French Quarter culinary experience. Sit in the courtyard if you can, or in the main dining room to watch the crowds go by on Chartres Street.

18. Jewel of the South

Opened by Chris Hannah, one of the city’s most esteemed bartenders, this modern cocktail and dining destination is tucked into a Creole cottage that dates back to the 1830s. While the cocktails are a big draw, dining here is an equally impressive experience. Enjoy modern American plates in the cozy interior or pick a spot in the lush courtyard outside.


19. Mona Lisa

When an Italian restaurant has been in the same spot for over 30 years, you know there's something great coming out of the kitchen. That's the story of Mona Lisa on Royal Street, where reasonably priced classics make your mouth water just by the smell alone. The lasagna is legendary (made with meat or a vegetarian version with spinach and artichokes), the pizzas are perfect for sharing, and the shrimp scampi is perfectly prepared.

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