Last year, we rounded up the best dishes to try in 2019. Well, a new year calls for new flavors. Below are some of the most outstanding dishes from some of the city’s buzziest restaurants to try in 2020. From Asian to Creole, meat to vegetables, and old favorites to newcomers, the creativity has been taken to a whole new (delicious) level. Have a foodie vacation and start tasting.
1. Slow Roasted Duck from Gabrielle
Located in the Treme, Gabrielle was a beloved pre-Katrina establishment that finally reopened in 2017, bringing with it many of their signature dishes as well as a few newcomers. One of our favorites? The roasted duck, which comes with crimini mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and shoestring potatoes, all covered in orange-sherry sauce.
2. Oaxacan Mole from Palm & Pine
This newish French Quarter spot serves exciting takes on Southern and Latin American favorites. The Oaxacan mole features a braised duck tamal with cocoa-chile crusted breast, sweet plantains and chimichurri, smothered in the traditional chocolate mole sauce.
3. Soup Dumplings from Dian Xin
Dian Xin has remained one of the most talked-about spots in town since its opening in January 2019. The casual Chinese restaurant has especially gained popularity with their soup dumplings, which are particularly welcoming during the chillier months.
4. Souffle Potatoes from Arnaud's
As one of the city’s oldest restaurants, Arnaud’s exudes French Quarter ambiance and remains a classic dining destination. These puffed up, fancier versions of french fries are perfectly salted and served with béarnaise sauce. They make an excellent starter, but are an equally great bar snack if you’re grabbing a drink in Arnaud's French 75 Bar.
5. Maiz de la Rueda from Mais Arepas
This small eatery is located off the beaten path in Central City, just two blocks from St. Charles Avenue. They offer some of the best Latin American cuisine in the city, and their maiz de la Rueda-grilled corn topped with spicy butter, salsa rosado and cotija-is spectacular.
6. Housemade Spaghetti from Herbsaint
James Beard Award-Winning restaurant, Herbsaint, has been a go-to in the New Orleans fine dining scene for many years. One of their most notable small plates is the spaghetti served with guanciale and a deep-fried poached farm egg.
7. Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich from Blue Oak BBQ
Blue Oak is regularly praised in the local barbecue scene. This highly Instagrammable and much-beloved sandwich is only available on Tuesdays, making it even more desirable. Another stellar option is their spicy chicken biscuit, which is only offered on Sundays.
8. Chargrilled Oysters from Neyow's
Neyow's has remained a popular spot over the years for creole flair, but their chargrilled oysters are always a crowd-pleaser. This classic dish features grilled oysters on the half shell with butter, cheese, garlic, and herbs.
9. Saltine Crusted Grouper from Zasu
Saltines get the high-brow treatment they've been waiting for on this delectable fish entree. It is one of the most ordered things on the menu for a reason. Served on top of a bed of sauteed greens and crawfish, it is absolutely delicious.
10. Charred Okra from Paladar 511
Head down to the Bywater neighborhood for a stellar meal in a trendy spot. On the dinner menu, find the charred okra with Calabrian chili, cherry tomatoes, mint, yogurt, and breadcrumbs. This is certainly a unique way to spice up the southern vegetable.
11. Goute Platter from Galatoire's
Galatoire's is a dining institution in New Orleans, especially for Friday lunch. No matter when you dine, you will see a goute platter at almost every table. It is the perfect starter for a group and includes shrimp remoulade, fried oysters and crab maison.
12. Jerk Chicken Rice from Bywater American Bistro
Bywater American Bistro is an award-winning neighborhood restaurant from Top Chef alum Nina Compton. Their menu features Caribbean-inspired Louisiana cuisine such as the jerk chicken rice with butter beans and crispy habanero.
13. Vegan Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies from Levee Baking Co.
The handcrafted pastries a Levee Baking Co. will cure your sugar cravings, and if it’s vegan, it has to be healthy, right? The salt on top of the cookies gives them the extra kick that we didn't know we needed.
14. Seafood Paella from Costera
Spanish dishes meet Gulf seafood at this Uptown hotspot. The paella is prepared for a minimum of two people and includes shrimp, clams, calamari, blue crab and chorizo.
15. Crabmeat Gratin from Irene's
Nestled in the French Quarter, Irene’s is a quaint Italian restaurant with a touch of New Orleans flavor. This appetizer consists of jumbo lump crabmeat baked in a casserole of swiss and brie cheeses.
16. Creole Bread Pudding Souffle from Commander’s Palace
When dining in New Orleans, Commander's Palace is always on everyone's bucket list. Their famous bread pudding is the perfect end to any meal. It is finished tableside with warm whiskey cream.
17. Bourbon Street Love from Heard Dat Kitchen
Bourbon Street Love is an original creation by Chef Jeffrey Heard of the Central City-based Heard Dat Kitchen. The signature dish includes freshly fried chicken over mac and cheese and topped with Crawdat Sauce and potato salad.
18. Boudin Eggrolls from Piece of Meat
This Mid City butcher shop doubles as a restaurant and serves high-end meats, noteworthy sandwiches, and comforting sides. The boudin egg rolls include pepper jack cheese and come with a sriracha dipping sauce.
19. Bolognese Gemelli from Thalia
Thalia is the more casual little sister to Coquette, the highly acclaimed Garden District fine-dining destination. Here you'll find comforting dishes, nightly specials (like schnitzel on Tuesdays and steak night on Saturdays). One of the most talked-about dishes though is their housemade Gemelli, which is tossed with a bolognese and then dotted with creamy ricotta.
20. Pecan Pie from Brigtsen's
Chef Frank Brigtsen has won numerous awards since opening his own restaurant in 1986. The menu remains topnotch, but their pecan pie is a local favorite. You can even order one for your Thanksgiving table.