New Orleans is known as the ultimate dining destination, and with hundreds of restaurants in Orleans Parish alone, you may get overwhelmed with where to go. Whether it's a special occasion, an important client dinner, a milestone celebration, or just a chance to indulge, here's our list of restaurants worth splurging on. Knowledgeable waitstaff, extensive cocktail lists, and delectable dishes make these dining establishments five stars.
One of the most famous dining establishments in New Orleans, Commander’s is loved by both visitors and locals. With many James Beard Awards, as well as many other accolades, the restaurant became a culinary legend under the late Ella Brennan and has carried on to continued success under Ella’s daughter Ti and her niece Lally.
Located in downtown New Orleans, this Japanese restaurant has an extraordinary twist – they don’t have a menu. That’s because Yo Nashi specializes in omakase, a multi-course meal consisting of eight to 10 dishes selected by the chef. This allows for the use of only the finest, freshest seasonal ingredients and ensures that each dining experience is truly one of a kind. Feeling less splurge-y? Check out their new happy hour, running Thursday – Monday from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., which features half-price beer and sake by the glass, as well as a selection of a-la-carte dishes for those wanting to experience a smaller version of the full omakase experience.
James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Devillier opened Justine in 2019 and hit the ball out of the park. This authentic French brasserie has a contemporary twist with nods to New Orleans. The atmosphere is inviting and fun, making it ideal for a lively celebration, and the food is delicious.
Nothing says luxury quite like The Four Seasons, and Miss River is perfect for a fancy night out on the town. Chef Alon Shaya (also of Saba) created what he calls "a love letter to Louisiana" in Miss River's menu, which features fresh Gulf seafood and other ingredients native to the pelican state. It's full of stunners you'll want to share, from the Grand Plateau to the carved whole buttermilk-fried chicken and the salt-crusted red snapper.
Also located in the Four Seasons, Louisiana-native Chef Donald Link’s Chemin à la Mer epitomizes the idea of a meal with a view. Alongside its gorgeous interior and unique marble bar, the restaurant boasts a panoramic window with a view of the Mississippi River. This view is only complimented by Link’s culinary experience, which combines the many culinary influences of Louisiana with French techniques and Caribbean flavors to create a truly special meal. Best of all, Chemin à la Mer serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is also home to an oyster bar.
If looking for upscale seafood, GW Fins is the place. The menu changes daily to ensure freshness and seasonality. Since 2001, the restaurant has received many accolades, including yearly Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence. Don’t skip the bread!
LUVI’s menu ranges from dumplings and noodles to a raw bar, but the real star of the show is the “Feed Me” menu, a selection of the restaurant’s daily best by Chef Hao. Add a wine or sake pairing and you’re in for a treat.
Authentic Italian with a Creole influence can be found on the edge of the French Quarter at Italian Barrel. The pastas, cheese, and charcuterie are outstanding. The restaurant is small and dimly lit, making for an intimate setting.
In a historic 19th century French-Creole building, you will find rich interiors, beautiful chandeliers, and attentive service. The two-story wine room is a major draw for wine connoisseurs. The unique menu offers tastings and a la carte options.
Drawing from his Senegalese roots, Eater Chef of the Year (2021) and James Beard-nominee Chef Serigne Mbaye gives the flavors of home to guests of Dakar. The seven-course pescatarian tasting menu ($150 a person) is offered Wednesday-Saturday with one seating at 7 p.m., and guests can expect an intimate dining experience lasting between two to three hours long. You'll want to secure a reservation well in advance as bookings tend to fill up quickly.
For French fare in a picturesque setting, head to Vyoone’s in the Warehouse District. This Black-owned, woman-owned restaurant was named one the best restaurants of 2018 by New Orleans Magazine and one of the Hottest New Orleans Restaurants of Fall 2019 by WHEREYAT. Sip wine and French onion soup in the courtyard that illuminates come night.
This is not your average steakhouse. The highest quality of in-house, dry-aged prime beef is paired with Mediterranean dishes and excellent spirits. The meat hanging in the window on Chartres Street will catch your eye and promises a good night.
Located in the Garden District, Coquette is both chic and inventive. Frequently offering special no-menu dinners and fun brunches, they’re a local favorite.
James Beard Award-winner Chef Frank Brigtsen and his wife opened the restaurant in 1986 in a shotgun house in the Riverbend. Nestled off the beaten path, the bistro is small and homey, but stellar in food and service. It reflects true Southern hospitality.
Award-winning Chef John Folse offers imaginative Cajun dishes in a modern setting. The main dining room and the wine room have a fancier feel, but you will have an excellent meal no matter where you sit.
Contemporary international cuisine is served in an over 200-year-old Creole cottage from award-winning chef Susan Spicer. The food is served in an enticing presentation and the ambiance of the restaurant is classic New Orleans.
*Reservations are strongly recommended. Please note the dress code when making reservations, as many of these restaurants encourage coats for men and discourage jeans.