If New Orleans is one of the greatest food cities in the world, the French Quarter is its shining star. The French Quarter is the oldest square mile in New Orleans, boasting historic buildings from the 18th century and an unmatched culinary scene.
The French Quarter has it all. From budget-friendly delis to century-old fine dining establishments, every block is lined with tasty options to satisfy your price point and taste buds. It’s known for its popular Cajun-Creole restaurants, but the French Quarter is home to many more cultures and cuisines.
This is your guide to eating in the French Quarter!
The whole city of New Orleans is bursting with culinary talent, from the Marigny District to the Central Business District. However, no neighborhood is better known for its excellent dining options than the French Quarter.
This iconic Nola neighborhood is home to some of the most well-known, classic dining establishments in the city. Along the streets of the French Quarter, you’ll find New Orleans staples like Brennan’s famous bananas foster and Cafe du Monde’s quintessential beignets.
For fine dining establishments, we recommend making reservations well in advance of your stay so that you secure your spot. Most fine dining spots in the French Quarter require a business casual dress code.
However, our list of tastiest restaurants includes plenty of casual, low-key restaurants with no reservation or dress code required.
We’ve compiled our top 15 tastiest restaurants in the French Quarter to get you started on your Nola food tour!
If you’re looking for a hole-in-the-wall diner spot, Quartermaster Deli’s got you. Right in the heart of the French Quarter on Bourbon Street, the Quartermaster Deli has been serving the local community for over 30 years.
Their menu includes a little bit of everything you would expect from a classic corner deli: some of the best po’boys and specialty sandwiches, breakfast items and build-your-own omelets, BBQ options, and even tasty desserts!
On top of quick deli items, Quartermaster Deli offers grocery items, packaged liquor, and more. It’s a one-stop shop for all of your casual food needs.
It wouldn’t be a New Orleans food round-up if we didn’t mention Cafe du Monde. This iconic beignet shop is open 24/7, 7 days a week, serving just two items: cafe au lait and beignets. It’s located on the riverwalk right across from Jackson Square, making it the perfect spot for a morning treat or late-night snack.
Visitors can choose between an order of three classic beignets or a mountain of finger beignets, a slimmer style of the original version. Order a cup of cafe au lait to go with it, which is coffee with steamed milk added.
The outdoor bistro tables are complete with your very own powdered sugar shaker so that you can garnish your beignets to your liking. Enjoy people-watching in the most popular area of the French Quarter while you indulge in Nola’s most iconic breakfast.
As one of the newer restaurants on the block, Killer Poboys has made a name for itself as a unique specialty sandwich shop. You won’t be disappointed here if you’re looking for a nontraditional spot.
Their menu includes specialty poboys such as Thai BBQ tofu and whiskey grilled cheese poboys. They have an extensive vegetarian menu for those looking to experience the infamous po’boy sandwich without all of the classic meat fillings.
Established in 1968, Verti Marte is a long-time neighborhood staple beloved by locals. Operating as a deli-meets-grocery store, Verti Marte is known for their classic Nola-style poboys and infamous muffuletta sandwich.
But one item on their menu stands out from the rest, their specialty po’boy named “All That Jazz.” It’s a fully-loaded po’boy with turkey, ham, shrimp, and mushrooms, topped with their homemade Wow Sauce. If you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive, on-the-go crowd favorite, this is your spot.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can’t visit the French Quarter without stopping by Loretta’s Authentic Pralines. This local spot has been in business for over 35 years, founded by Loretta herself.
It’s known for offering the most delicious pralines in the city, which is a signature sweet in New Orleans. Some may describe it as a nutty fudge, but there really aren’t words to demonstrate how delicious this unique treat is.
Loretta’s is located inside the French Market near the Riverwalk. In addition to pralines, they offer cookies, pies, and even king cake during Mardi Gras season.
Napoleon House is a New Orleans restaurant steeped with historical significance. Housed in a 200-year-old historic landmark, the building’s first occupant was the mayor of New Orleans from 1812 to 1815. Nearly a century later in 1914, the building was converted into a restaurant and has been a New Orleans staple ever since.
The atmosphere takes you back in time, with classic French Quarter balconies, an outdoor courtyard, and a cozy interior. Napoleon House is known for two items: their famous Pimm’s Cup cocktail and muffuletta sandwich. You don’t want to miss either one when you visit.
If you’re on the hunt for dim sum, Dian Xin is the place to go. This authentic Chinese restaurant in the French Quarter is known for serving delicious dishes from noodles, bao, soups, and beyond. It’s located in a small, unassuming building with a quaint interior, making it the perfect casual lunch or dinner spot.
With two locations in the French Quarter, its an easy, convenient neighborhood option when you’re ready to veer off the traditional Nola cuisine.
New restaurants pop up in the French Quarter often, but Palm & Pine has established itself as a contender over the last few years due to its incredible seasonal food and cocktail menus. Offering a fresh take on flavors from the South (including the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America), Palm & Pine is approachable yet sophisticated in its offerings.
Its atmosphere is as vibrant as its food. Palm & Pine is the perfect place to enjoy drinks, appetizers, or your entire meal! They even offer a Late Night Menu and Happy Hour every Friday and Saturday night from 11 pm to 1 am.
Bennachin Restaurant is a long-time local favorite in the French Quarter. Serving authentic West African cuisine, Bennachin offers a variety of dishes bursting with flavor and seasonality. It is a vegan-friendly restaurant with plenty of options for carnivore lovers as well.
Located on Royal Street in a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere, this is the ideal neighborhood spot to dive into African cuisine for lunch or dinner.
Evangeline will give you exactly what you came to New Orleans to experience: Authentic Creole cuisine in a no-fuss atmosphere. Working closely with local markets and fishermen, Evangeline delivers fresh ingredients from the Gulf that stand out among the many seafood spots in Nola.
Their menu features Louisiana classics like fried alligator, crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, and jambalaya. Evangeline is known for its courtyard seating and laid-back atmosphere, making it a picture-worthy spot on a beautiful Nola day.
When it comes to excellence, it’s very difficult to compete with GW Fins. Known for paying respect to Gulf Coast ingredients through its sourcing and butchering techniques, GW Fins prides itself on being one of the finest seafood establishments in Nola.
Its menu features a large seafood selection, including its signature dry-aged fish dishes and an extensive wine list. The atmosphere is elegant yet approachable, welcoming locals and visitors to delight in what makes Southern coastal cuisine so special.
Reservations are recommended; bar seating is available first come, first served. The dress code is business casual.
The Brennan family and New Orleans cuisine go hand-in-hand. Owning 13 restaurants across the city, the Brennan family is known for delivering quality meals and dining experiences time and time again. Opened in 1946, Brennan’s is the original Brennan family restaurant and remains one of the most popular Nola spots to this day.
Their Creole menu is stacked with staples, such as seafood gumbo and Gulf shrimp amandine. However, they are famous for two things: their delicious Eggs Benedict brunch items and creating the original dessert, the Bananas Foster.
This fine-dining spot is perfect for any special occasion or date night. Reservations are required and open 30 days in advance. We recommend booking as soon as possible if you plan to visit, as they fill up quickly.
If you’re looking for a fine-dining spot that veers away from traditional Cajun food, Irene’s has you covered. This beloved Italian restaurant has been a local favorite since it opened in 1992.
The atmosphere is quaint, romantic, and just quintessentially Italian. Their menu offers classic Italian dishes that boast fresh, seasonal ingredients and delicious flavors. They are also known for their extensive Italian wine list and house-made desserts, such as the infamous flaming Baked Alaska.
It’s a dining experience that transports you to Italy for the night, right in the heart of the French Quarter. Reservations are highly recommended.
Known as one of New Orleans’ oldest restaurants, Antoine’s has been serving the French Quarter community since 1840. Their French-Creole menu features Louisiana seafood, classic French entrees, and a delicious spread of desserts, such as Antoine’s Pecan Bread Pudding.
Antoine’s is known for its delicious cocktail list featuring Nola favorites like the French 75 and Sazerac. They even offer a bottomless beverage menu at their Jazz Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Reservations are highly recommended, and the dress code is business casual.
Galatoire’s reputation precedes itself. Having won multiple culinary awards, including Best Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation, Galatoire’s has been known for delivering French-Creole cuisine with excellence since 1905.
We can’t think of a more celebratory atmosphere than Galatoire’s. Located on Bourbon Street, it offers a reprieve from the bustling street for guests looking to step back in time in their elegant dining room. Galatoire’s is known for classic menu items such as Oyster Rockefeller, Turtle Soup, and Shrimp Remoulade.
Reservations are recommended, and business casual is required.
Pro Tip: If you want a true New Orleans experience, there is nothing more iconic than Galatoire’s Friday lunch. A weekly tradition since its opening, Galatoire’s offers cocktails, seafood platters, and a second-line parade every Friday during lunch. No reservations are taken, and guests are known to line up at 7 am to secure their spot!
No matter what type of atmosphere or cuisine you are looking for, you can find it in the French Quarter! For the most central location, look to Book Nola for the ultimate vacation home rental to call home for your stay in the Big Easy!
Featured Image Credit: Andrey Bayda