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In New Orleans, people don't eat to live. They live to eat. And they won't let you forget it.
Whether the competition is for the next big chef, hottest restaurant or heaviest citizens, New Orleans is a top contender. That means other people are talking about the city's food as well.
From Food and Wine's, Best New Chefs to reader polls in other gourmet magazines, New Orleans makes news. But beyond the hype lies the simple truth that just the food is worth the trip.
Below is our list of New Orleans best restaurants!
New Orleans Best Restaurants (area code for all numbers is 504)
(1) Acme Oyster House - 724 Iberville St., 522-5973 $ This award winning oyster bar plus is the first choice of locals. Second location at 3000 Veterans Blvd. 309-4056
(2) Antoine's - 713 St. Louis St., 581-4422 $$$$ Antoine's, creator of Oysters Rockefeller, is our oldest restaurant and a living treasure. You can feel the history as you enjoy a classic New Orleans dining experience. Latest additions-the more casual Hermes Bar and Sunday Brunch
(3) Arnaud's - 813 Bienville St., 523-5433 $$$$ The Grande Dame of the French Quarter offers incomparable shrimp remoulade, a Mardi Gras Museum and jazz in the Richelieu Room
(4) Bacco - 310 Chartres St., 522-2426 $$$ Combine regional ingredients with the flavors of Italy and the restaurant savvy of Ralph Brennan and you have this winner. Home of the 10 cent martini at lunch
(8) Bourbon House - 144 Bourbon St., 522-0111 $$$ Dickie Brennan's latest and very impressive addition to his restaurant empire offers seafood, classic Creole dishes and a great raw bar with an entertaining view of Bourbon Street
(9) Brennans - 417 Royal St., 525-9711 $$$$ This culinary landmark offers its world famous breakfast from morning to afternoon and continues its tradition with Creole delights at dinner
(10) Broussard's - 819 Conti St., 581-3866 $$$ Chef Owner Guenter Preuss brings his remarkable pedigree and years of experience to the table at this lovely Creole institution with Old World charm and a beautiful courtyard
(11) Bubba Gump - 429 Decatur St., 522-5800 $$ Step into the world of Forrest Gump. Casual and family friendly, this fun restaurant offers down home cooking and shrimp every way you can imagine
(13) Court of Two Sisters - 613 Royal St., 522-7261 $$$$ Creole tradition reigns in this longtime favorite. A lovely, picturesque courtyard can be the setting for dinner or daily jazz brunch
(16) Crescent City Brewhouse - 527 Decatur St., 522-0571 $$ There are more reasons to enjoy this spot than the award winning beer. Live music, an oyster bar and casual New Orleans fare with courtyard or balcony dining
(17) Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse - 716 Iberville St., 522-CHOP(2467) $$$$ This handsome restaurant, housed in a former parking lot and included in several top 10 national steakhouse critiques, serves straightforward USDA prime steaks with a New Orleans touch. Also, local seafood dishes and a great bar
(18) French Quarter Pizzari and Bar - 201 Decatur St., 948-EATS(3287) $ This contemporary pizzeria offers an array of pizzas, calzones, pastas, salads, sandwiches and vegetarian options along with live music, pool table and free wifi. Delivery, dine in or take out
(19) GW Fins - 808 Bienville St., 581-FINS(3467) $$$ This ³hot² restaurant has taken the New Orleans obsession with seafood to global heights. Fresh fish flown in daily resulting in a new menu each evening
(23) Gumbo Shop - 630 Saint Peter St., 525-1486 $ As traditional as its name implies, this charming Creole bistro offers all the local requisite dishes, a courtyard, and yes, Creole vegetarian. There is a reason this spot is so popular
(24 )Hard Rock Café - 418 N Peters St., 529-5617 $$ Down home American food seasoned with a healthy dose of Rock n¹ Roll. Balcony dining and private event room
(26) House of Blues and The Parish - 225 Decatur St., 310-4999 $$ New Orleans¹ greatest live showrooms complete with top notch talent, a menu that includes local and southern cooking, and a courtyard. Don¹t miss the slow smoked baby back ribs
(31) Mr. B's Bistro - 201 Royal St., 523-2078 $$$ This lively culinary theater with an open kitchen attracts locals and visitors alike for gumbo ya-ya, BBQ shrimp and other tasty contemporary dishes. The place to ³B² with live piano nightly
(34) Palm Court Café - 1204 Decatur St., 525-0200 $$ New Orleans music legends perform traditional jazz with dinner at this unique Creole café. Satisfy the tummy and the soul-a don¹t miss. Wed-Sun, subject to change
(35) Pelican Club - 312 Exchange Alley off Bienville St., 523-1504 $$$ Tucked away in the French Quarter and often missed by visitors this superb chef owned restaurant infuses international touches with the rich legacy of Louisiana cuisine resulting in an enticing menu
(38) Red Fish Grill - 115 Bourbon St., 598-1200 $$ In a whimsical decor, enjoy this casual approach to fine dining with gulf fish, shell fish and a raw bar. A Ralph Brennan Restaurant
(39) Remoulade - 309 Bourbon St., 523-0377 $ This is the little café that could and does offer all the great Creole foods from muffalettas and oysters to shrimp Creole and crawfish etouffee, from red beans and rice to jambalaya, and so on
(46) Tujaque's - 823 Decatur St., 525-8676 $$$ This treasure dates back to 1856. Historically, you were served the meal of the day. Now, you can enjoy a typical 6 course meal with a choice of entrees nightly. Great bar
(48) Wolfe's - - 1041 Dumaine St., 593-9535 This recently renovated little bistro, long known as Peristyle's, presents bold flavored Louisiana cuisine by celebrated Chef Owner Tom Wolfe. The menu changes seasonally and is always filled with creative surprises
(12) Café Adelaide - 300 Poydras St./Loew's Hotel, 595-3305 $$$ Named for one of the Brennans, this Commander's Palace spin off offers a different twist on creative Creole cuisine. Carry on at the very popular Swizzle Stick Lounge
(15) The Creole Skillet - 200 Julia St., 304-6318 $$ Indigenous Louisiana cooking in a 200 year old setting just steps away from the convention center. This casual little bistro stands tall in the cuisine department with a menu that includes crabmeat cheesecake, filet Rockefeller and pinenut crusted salmon
(20) Gordon Biersch - 200 Poydras St., 552-2739 $$ An impressive glassed-in working brewery, a patio where you can relax with a cold beer, plasma TV's galore at the bar, and a menu of salads, pizzas, pastas, meatloaf, and local fare. What more could you want?
(21) Grand Isle - 575 Convention Center Blvd., 520-8530 $$ Period photographs decorate the cypress walls of this already popular new restaurant. Inspired by Louisiana's old fishing village of the same name, this eatery not only offers many seafood dishes, but also uses southern influences for the beef and poultry specialties
(32) Mulate's - 201 Julia St. @ Convention Center Blvd., 522-1492 $$ Experience a taste of Cajun culture at this world famous restaurant with live Cajun music and dancing nightly. Fun and family friendly
(41) Rock-N-Sake Bar & Sushi - 823 Fulton St., 581-SAKE(7253) $$ Regulars have long prized this lively, happening Warehouse District spot for its inventive take on outstanding Japanese cuisine
(43) Sun Ray Grill - 1051 Annunciation St., 566-0021 $$ Just a few blocks from the Convention Center, this warehouse grill offers a remarkably diverse internationally influenced menu including burgers, salads, quesadillas, Singapore rolls, Siamese and Thai ribs. And the latest, Aloha Sushi is now a part of the restaurant
(44) Tommy's Cuisine - 746 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-1103 $$$ A deceptively simple, but magnificently polished menu of Creole Italian cuisine has captured a large local following for this Warehouse District restaurant
(45) Tommy's Wine Bar - 752 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-4790 This spot shares a name and a kitchen with the adjoining Tommy's Cuisine. One can enjoy appetizers and salads to accompany the wine menu and the nightly live piano
(5) Bambu - at Harrah's Casino, 525-3689 $$ This little Pan-Asian hideaway offers Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese fare, along with a sushi bar and an array of fusion dishes. Don¹t miss the spicy garlic beef
(6) Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's - #4 Canal St., 533-6111 $$$$ There was no gamble when chef John Besh opened this upscale steakhouse that included many winning seafood dishes. Best bet, Besh barbequed shrimp
(7) Bon Ton Café - 401 Magazine St., 524-3386 $$$ Mon-Fri. This local favorite is New Orleans¹ oldest Cajun restaurant serving Louisiana Bayou country cooking. 5-course crawfish dinner. Try the house specialty drink-the Rum Ramsey
(28) Luke - 333 St. Charles Ave., Hilton St. Charles. 378-2840 $$ John Besh has done it again with this throwback to an Old World New Orleans Brasserie. Classic French fare and fresh Louisiana seafood meld with German specialties at this popular business district spot
(14) The Crazy Lobster - On Spanish Plaza next to the Ferry Landing 569-3380 $$ It's all here at the Home of the Steamed Seafood Bucket. Enjoy live music, a river view, char-grilled oysters, Cajun and Creole dishes and seafood, boiled, steamed or fried
(22) The Grill Room - 300 Gravier St., 522-1992 $$$$ This world class restaurant retains its status as one of the city's finest with locally influenced contemporary cuisine, a beautiful ambience and unerring presentations
(25) Horinoya - 920 Poydras St., 561-8914, $$ A lovely serene setting for this highly touted Japanese fare. Enjoy appetizers prepared at the table, fabulous sushi, a long list of rolls, and much more.
(27) Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse - - 300 Bourbon St. in the Royal Sonesta Hotel. 586-0300 Stylish décor and hot live Jazz make this swank spot the place to hear the signature sounds of New Orleans. For jazz enthusiasts, this is a don¹t miss.
(29) Mortons, The Steakhouse Canal Place - 365 Canal St., Canal Place, 566-0221 $$$$ Indulge yourself at this famous Chicago style steakhouse offering generous portions of USDA prime aged beef. Don¹t you deserve a Cajun ribeye or maybe a Maine lobster that was flown in this morning?
(30) Mother's - 401 Poydras St., 523-9656 $ This ever crowded cafeteria style eatery is home to great po-boys, daily specials, breakfast all day and the world's best baked ham. Don¹t let the line deter you, it moves quickly
(33) Palace Café - 605 Canal St., 523-1661 $$ The oldest music store in New Orleans has become a lively Grand Café with jazz legend murals and a sweeping view of Canal Street. This Dickie Brennan restaurant is known for its crabmeat cheese cake appetizer and its white chocolate bread pudding.
(40) Restaurant August - 301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777 $$$$ Chef John Besh and his elegant contemporary French restaurant are the darling of food writers across the country. First New Orleans chef to compete and win on Iron Chef
(36) Praline Connection - 524 Frenchman St., 943-3934 $ Serious soul food that is down home delicious at this restaurant that started out as a candy shop