‘Tis the season for sunshine, cool breezes, and 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...
St. Roch Market has something for everyone - seriously. The building is a refurbished market from the 1800s that has been filled with local food vendors serving up everything from kale salads to traditional Haitian food. The Mayhaw bar has happy hours, teacher discount specials, and delicious cocktails perfect for sipping on St. Roch’s outdoor patio on St. Claude Avenue.
Dat Dog’s hotdog selection is quite possibly the most diverse ever. The casual, colorful dining spot on Freret Street (with other locations on Magazine Street and Frenchmen Street) has sausage dogs ranging from the “Standard German Wiener” to “Alligator Sausage” and “Vegan Sausage.” Don’t shy away from their loaded fries side order, either. Add any toppings you like, or leave it up to the expert chef to surprise you. Pair it with a local beer, grab an outdoor table, and enjoy.
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.
Sylvain is one of those dark and cozy restaurants in the middle of a bustling epicenter: the French Quarter. You may not be able to tell from the outside, but when you enter, you’ll be able to walk all the way back to a gorgeous French Quarter courtyard, where you can eat and drink in a quintessentially New Orleans atmosphere. The menu and cocktail list are extensive and creative, so grab a reservation fast and request a table in the courtyard.
A James Beard Award-winning cocktail program, a French Quarter outdoor courtyard, and a menu focused on rustic colonial cuisine - what more could you ask for? Summer nights are best spent here eating dishes like Arroz Verde & Roasted Cauliflower with acorn squash, pepitas, and cotija. The rustic vibe of the courtyard will make you want to stay all night.
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.
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.
These are just a few of our picks for the best spots to dine outdoors in New Orleans. For a full list, head here.