Eat Right: A Foodie Guide To The New Orleans Dining Scene

Feeling peckish? It’s time to up sticks and head to New Orleans. The city that was cruelly ravaged by Hurricane Katrina a few years back has since revived itself and then some, doubling its dining scene and successfully making a mark for itself on the international map. Now considered one of the best places in the United States in which to chow down, the city is practically bursting with diverse eating choices, giving you the chance to discover the rich regional menu time and time again. Thanks to the influx of new chefs, New Orleans is practically a who’s-who of international dining superstars, each one responsible for tweaking the local palate in some way or another. Buckle up for a tasty ride; stateside dining has never been this exciting before.

Brunch has gained serious traction over the last few years, and now it is one of the most serious events of the foodie day. If you’re jonesing for a little late breakfast food, Arnaud’s is arguably the best place to go in the city. While the menu has all of the brunch classics, it presents each plate with a touch of something a little different. Heavy waffles and syrups are given the European touch, finished off with puddles of fruit compotes. Eggs and bacon are doused in a hollandaise topping, served atop crusty French bread. As if the food wasn’t enough, the entire experience is accompanied by the sounds of The Gumbo Trio, a jazz collective guaranteed to have your toes a-tapping.

Oysters are big business in New Orleans, and while you might find a foodie’s paradise in any number of eating establishments, you would do well to set your sights on Casamento’s. This eating spot has no reservation service, so be prepared to join in line with all the other hungry folk as they gather outside. While the wait might be long, it’s more than worth it; half a dozen oysters start at just $7.50 and they’re as fat and juicy as they come. Better yet, practically everything in the restaurant comes with some sort of oyster accompaniment, giving you a chance to experience the food like never before.

Heading for cocktails is a trip best done in Compère Lapin at the Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery. The bar serves up some of the most expertly mixed cocktails out there, giving you a flavor explosion with every sip. Each cocktail has been carefully concocted by Abigail Gullo, the resident mixologist. Balancing sweet, bitter, and warm flavors in her drinks, Gullo puts on a serious show in Old No. 77, making drink tasting the main dining event.

Music and New Orleans go together like two peas in a pod, and it only makes sense that resident foodies would take the art form under their wing, combining the two acts in perfect synchronicity. While you might be spoiled for musical choice anywhere in the city, Three Muses Maple is a place in which food and harmony come together in the best possible way. Home to subtle, laid back jazz, a trip to this eating spot makes for the perfect occasion to enjoy an evening of sophistication. The food here is substantial, filling up your belly as you let the music wash over you.

Nondescript eating spots have a habit of blowing diners out of the water. Take Mosca’s, for example. Located a cool thirty-minute drive across the river, the eating spot is as unassuming as they come, clad in a tin roof. Inside, however, it’s a much different story. While the décor might be equally as pared back, there is a world of activity going on right inside the kitchen. Seasoning is the name of the game at Mosca’s, with any number of the dishes finished off in the kitchen’s original mix. Whether you like seafood or chicken, it’s of little consequence; food here is simply good, and whatever you choose, you’re guaranteed to remember your meal.

Eating in New Orleans is a mixed bag of treats, made up of any number of dining styles. While these might be among some of the best out there, the scene is changing daily, bringing a brand new eating style to the local plates.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.