‘Tis the season for sunshine, cool breezes, and and crisp air. Fall is the perfect time for outdoor dining in New Orleans. Treat yourself to a delicious meal in a lovely atmosphere - whether it be a beignet and frozen coffee, or a fancy, five-star brunch.
Here, find our top picks for places to dine outdoors...
It's hard to miss the beautiful patio outside of Bordeaux when driving down Magazine Street. This contemporary French bistro opened in 2019 and serves brunch, lunch and dinner, mainly outdoors. Rotisserie pheasant and chicken are crowd pleasers, as well as the wine list.
A hidden treasure off of Bourbon Street, Longway Tavern exudes the charm of the French Quarter. The open air courtyard invites diners to sit back and relax with their friends or loved ones. The kitchen prepares unique small plates while bartender Liam Deegan creates classic cocktails. They also have a daily happy hour from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., which makes this the perfect spot for an afternoon snack. Enjoy it into the night under their strand of lights.
Although located in the CBD, Copper Vine takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With wine on tap and a menu full of sandwiches and flatbreads, you can happily spend your afternoon or evening on their balcony or in their lush courtyard, which is full of greenery.
Blue Oak serves some of the best barbecue in the city. Their Tuesday special fried chicken sandwich is highly sought after, as is there Sunday biscuits. The outdoor seating makes for the perfect picnic when things get messy.
This French restaurant is quite literally a hidden gem: it has an unsuspecting fence around its exterior. But when you enter, you’ll immediately be in a stunning garden, lit by hanging lights. The wine menu here pays homage to European winemakers who make their wines with a natural approach, without pesticides.The food menu, although seasonally rotating based on what is growing in the N7 garden, and some of the dishes even come right in their beautiful cans (a delicacy in Europe). The outdoor patio is captivating and feels like you’ve stepped away from reality and into a European romance.
Simple yet satisfying, Barracuda is a tiny taco stand that’s gaining a lot of buzz. Their freshly-made tortillas are the cornerstone of their menu. Your choice of tacos or a bowl is finished off with quality wood-grilled meats and veggies. Their large outdoor patio and backyard is ideal for al fresco dining.
Stationed in the former Feelings Cafe, Cru opened in January 2019 in the Marigny neighborhood. Executive Chef Marlon Alexander, who has personally cooked for President Obama and celebrities like Lady Gaga and Kiss, created a menu full of pastas, sandwiches, caviar and steaks. Chef Kelseay Dukae prepares vegan dishes and sushi in the restaurant’s “tree house.” The charming courtyard is perfect for date night, and sometimes features live music.
James Beard Award-winning chef, Alon Shaya, opened his middle-eastern hotspot in 2018 in the Uptown neighborhood. Classic Israeli dishes are given a New Orleans twist like hummus topped with lump blue crab meat. Whether you get a bunch of small plates or indulge in a larger option, you will not be disappointed with your meal. Sit outside and soak in the more residential side of Magazine Street.
On the edge of the Bywater neighborhood you may see a line forming. That’s to enter the gorgeous wine cellar at Bacchanal Wine, a wine bar and garden oasis with live jazz nightly. Pick your bottle and then grab a table in the garden. There you can pop over to a booth to order a full dinner, which will be delivered right to your table by the lovely staff. The menu is influenced by Mediterranean food to compliment whichever wine you sip.
Take in the views of Lake Pontchartrain at this Lakeview seafood and oyster bar. This casual eatery is fun for the whole family and offers a different side to New Orleans dining. You will find traditional boiled seafood such as crawfish and crabs, as well as other classic New Orleans dishes. Take in the afternoon sun or beautiful sunset right along the water.
The outdoor patio at Lilette on Magazine Street is small-but-mighty and romantically lit by twinkling lights. This restaurant serves food that incorporates influences from France and Italy, and has a wine menu to match. The ambiance is dreamy, and Chef John Harris has been a James Beard Award finalist, so you know your taste buds are in good hands. We especially recommend Lilette for a date night or Valentine’s Day. Just interested in grabbing a drink? Their sister restaurant/cocktail lounge Bouligny Tavern is located directly next door and also boasts some lovely outdoor seating options.
For some of the best Mexican food and margaritas in town, look no further than Casa Borrega. The menu is filled with street food and specialties from Mexico City, and the outdoor patio is filled with brightly colored paint, vibrant Latin American artwork, and even live Latin American music. On top of the food and ambiance, Casa Borrega is a green restaurant: it lives in a historically renovated Greek Revival home from the late 1800s, and was rebuilt in 2008 using as many salvaged pieces of buildings from New Orleans, Texas, and Mexico.
Although not technically a restaurant, this Urban Farm typically provides local produce to restaurants around the city, and is open for concerts and events, which are an absolute must-see. Sit among the gardens and enjoy the food and drinks from visiting chefs. The space is lush, intimate and unique. Be sure to check out what they have planned on their event calendar.
Beignets and New Orleans go hand in hand. The famous cafe serves the sugary treat mainly outdoors in the heart of the French Quarter. Wash it down with some frozen cafe au lait. Wether it's breakfast, an afternoon snack or a late night treat, Cafe Du Monde is great for a pick me up and some fresh air.
These are just a few of our picks for the best spots to dine outdoors in New Orleans. For a full list, head here.