But if it’s your first time visiting the city, you might want to make a reservation for one of the old-school restaurants that date back to the earliest days of the city. Expect white tablecloth service, dress codes, and incredible meals. While there are many more, here are a few of our favorites.
Looking for more classic New Orleans restaurants? Eater has a great guide.
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Arnaud’s Restaurant was founded by Arnaud Cazenave in 1918 and is famous for its classic Creole cuisine, with signature dishes including Shrimp Arnaud, Oysters Bienville, and Pompano Pontchartrain. The restaurant is also renowned for its elegant atmosphere and Sunday jazz brunch. Reservations are available.
Arnaud’s also has a Mardi Gras Museum with vintage Mardi Gras costumes and memorabilia, and the French 75 bar, the James Beard award-winning space associated with the famous cocktail and originally only open to men.
Antoine’s Restaurant is known for its French-Creole cuisine and is one of the oldest family-run restaurants in the United States. It was established in 1840 by Antoine Alciatore, a French immigrant, and is famous for its elegant dining rooms, each with a distinct theme and historical significance, including Mardi Gras royalty. There’s also an impressive wine cellar with bottles that survived Hurricane Katrina and plenty of celebrity guest photos.
The menu at Antoine’s features classic Creole dishes, including Oysters Rockefeller, Pompano en Papillote, and the signature dish, Eggs Sardou, but the puffed potatoes and Baked Alaska can’t be missed. The restaurant has also been passed down through generations of the Alciatore family and much of its staff is multi-generational. Reservations are offered.
Brennan’s Restaurant was established in 1946 by Owen Brennan in the French Quarter. It quickly gained a reputation for its elegant dining experience and high-quality Creole dishes, with its pink and mint-hued dining room. Reservations are available.
The James Beard award-winning menu features classic Creole dishes like Bananas Foster, Eggs Hussarde, and Turtle Soup. It’s also a popular stop for breakfast for both locals and visitors, who can enjoy eggs benedict with a Sazerac, one of the city’s well-known cocktails.
Broussard’s was established in 1920 by Joseph Broussard in the heart of the French Quarter. The restaurant is known for its Creole-inspired menu, offering a blend of French, Spanish, and African influences.
Menu highlights include Oysters Bienville, Gulf Fish Pontchartrain, and the Broussard’s Crepe, which can be enjoyed in the lush courtyard or the upscale dining room, where live music is often offered. Reservations are available.
Commander’s Palace Restaurant
Commander’s Palace dates back to 1880 when it was established by Emile Commander. The restaurant has undergone several changes in ownership over the years but has maintained its reputation as a culinary institution with chefs like Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, and Tory McPhail.
The Garden District eatery is painted in its signature shade of “Commander’s Blue” and has won many awards over the years for its modern Creole fare. Favorite dishes include Creole gumbo, pecan-crusted fish, and bread pudding souffle. Don’t miss the Jazz Brunch, but make a reservation and read up on the dress code before you go.
Dooky Chase’s Restaurant
Dooky Chase’s was originally opened as a sandwich shop in 1939 by Emily and Dooky Chase Sr. Over the years, under the leadership of Leah Chase, Dooky Chase became a gathering place for African-American artists, musicians, and civil rights leaders during the segregation era. Chase’s work earned the restaurant a James Beard Award in 2016, with Creole dishes like gumbo, fried chicken, and red beans and rice.
The restaurant also reopened after extensive damage during Hurricane Katrina. Chase passed away in 2019 but diners can still enjoy her dishes alongside work by Black artists like Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, and Romare Bearden. Reservations are available.
Established in 1905 by Jean Galatoire, Galatoire’s Restaurant has become an institution in the city, known for its traditional French Creole dishes and has remained a family-owned establishment for generations. Until recently, no reservations were offered, but you should still expect to wait for a table in the main dining room.
The restaurant is famous for its classic Creole cuisine, offering a menu that includes dishes such as Oysters Rockefeller, Shrimp Étouffée, and Pompano Meunière, especially during Friday lunch. There’s also a dress code and men are required to wear jackets for dinner.
Pascal’s Manale Restaurant
Pascal’s Manale was established in 1913 by Frank Manale, and it has been a fixture in the Uptown neighborhood ever since. It’s famous for its creation of barbecue shrimp, cooked in a tangy, peppery, and buttery sauce that is served with French bread for dipping.
In addition to its Creole offerings, Pascal’s Manale reflects the Italian culinary heritage with pasta and other dishes. The restaurant also has an oyster bar with fresh oysters and Gulf seafood. Reservations are available.