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Top Ten New Orleans Restaurants

A guide to the top restaurants in New Orleans, home to North America's most unique and distinctive regional cuisine.

Galatoire's Restaurant.

Galatoire's Restaurant. (Photo ©Louis Sahuc)

Galatoire’s – Since 1905, the grande dame of Bourbon Street has been feeding gourmands impeccably – the oysters Rockefeller, oysters en brochette and shrimp remoulade are unequalled. Three private rooms available as a business meeting venue.

NOLA – Nestled in the character-laden French quarter, this lively bistro serves up exuberantly spiced food that never loses sight of its New Orleans roots. Don’t miss the gumbo (perhaps the city’s best!) and, if it’s available, the smoked beef with oysters and oyster mushrooms in tasso cream. Third-floor room seats 72 for private events.

Emeril’s – Emeril Lagasse’s eponymous New Orleans eatery hews to a Creole-based philosophy, with modern touches (the banana cream pie is wicked-rich). Wine Room (private area hosting 10 to 14) and semi-private events room (seating 25 to 88) available for groups. Main restaurant available for buyouts.

Acme Oyster House – Lineups form at 11:00 a.m. at this French Quarter favourite and don’t let up ’til midnight. The reason? Impeccably fresh Louisiana oysters. Main-floor room (140, seated; 200, reception) and second-floor room (50, seated; 100, reception) host private events.

Cuvée – Chef Bob Iacovone’s refined takes on Creole food boast rich textures and light flavours – say, a Napoleon of spiced shrimp and crisp sheets of chayote squash in remoulade sauce. Enhancing the experience is an appealingly understated, white-linen room outfitted in exposed brick.

K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen – Opened in 1979, Paul Prudhomme’s French Quarter foodie magnet helped popularize regional Louisiana cuisine (by inventing blackened redfish, for one). Group options include a climate-controlled courtyard and K’s Parlor, an enclosed private room on the second floor. Can cater anywhere in the world.

Commander’s Palace – Commander’s Palace has, since 1880, been a New Orleans landmark to locals and tourists alike. Currently, it offers a tantalizing mix of creative, modern New Orleans cuisine and haute Creole. The famous turtle soup is first-rate (really!), but bread-pudding soufflé steals the show.

Brennan’s – No trip to New Orleans is complete without Breakfast at Brennan’s – perhaps eggs Sardou and the signature bananas foster, with a mint-julep chaser. Options for private group dining include a glass-enclosed room, main dining room or lush courtyard.

Liuzza’s By the Track – This boisterous neighbourhood diner (formica bar, charmingly cramped tables) serves classics like po’ boy sandwiches piled high with creamy-textured fried oysters drizzled with garlic butter and stuffed into a soft roll – New Orleans on a plate.

Café du Monde – There are now seven New Orleans-area locations specializing in French-style beignets (deep-fried, yeast-dough fritters). But for a jolt of local charm, visit the bustling, 24-hour location in the Decatur Street French Market.

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