Where to Eat in New Orleans

Chef John Folse at Restaurant R'evolution.
MiLa's take on oysters Rockefeler.
A table at Restaurant R'evolution.

Eat Like a Local

Notable residents share their favorite New Orleans spots.


By Rien Fertel
Photography by Cedric Angeles

Fertel’s Picks | New Orleans-based writer and historian:
  • Pizza Delicious: The once pop-up, now brick-and-mortar joint is my place for New York-style slices, fresh-made pastas, and smart salads. 617 Piety Street; 504/676-8482
  • SoBou: The French Quarter is undergoing a cocktail renaissance. I keep coming back to SoBou, where Abigail Gullo has a way with flavors floral and spicy. The Charbonneau Way is my favorite—rye, maple syrup, lemon juice, Amère Sauvage, absinthe, and thyme—and I love the daily special punches. 310 Chartres Street; 504/552-4095
  • Galatoire’s: To congregate, celebrate, and just plain inebriate, I choose this old-line Creole standard, where the Sazeracs are peerless, the menu hardly ever changes, and, before you know it, dinner has seemingly spanned a lifetime. 209 Bourbon Street; 504/525-2021
Sara Kavanaugh’s Picks | Master sommelier, Windsor Court Hotel:
  • Merchant: Because she must remain close to work to accommodate guests at the 264-suite hotel, Kavanaugh likes to grab an espresso and “the best egg-and-cheese croissant sandwiches outside of Paris” from this ultramodern—and nearby—café. 800 Common Street; 504/571-9580
  • Domenica: Kavanaugh adores the pasta specials and wood-fired pizzas at this spot just around the block from Merchant. 123 Baronne Street; 504/648-6020
  • Restaurant R’evolution: Her choice for a dinner splurge is this French Quarter launch from Louisiana chef John Folse and chef Rick Tramonto of Chicago. With a 10,000-bottle wine cellar and an exhaustive menu that reinterprets Creole and Cajun cuisines, R’evolution is one of the most ambitious restaurants to ever open in New Orleans. 777 Bienville Street; 504/553-2277
Alon Shaya’s Picks | Chef, Domenica at The Roosevelt New Orleans hotel and 2013 James Beard Award finalist:
  • The Company Burger: On his rare days out of the kitchen, Shaya heads for the city’s best burger. Here they serve the American classic, simple and straightforward: two patties, house-made bread-and-butter pickles, American cheese, and red onion slivers on a freshly baked bun. 4600 Freret Street; 504/267-0320
  • Tan Dinh: He’ll often drive across the Mississippi to the Vietnamese restaurant that’s perhaps the city’s premier chef hangout, where he orders grilled pork spring rolls and lemongrass-and-chili-glazed chicken wings. 1705 Lafayette Street, Gretna; 504/361-8008
  • La Petite Grocery: At Shaya’s favorite dinner spot, he says, chef Justin Devillier is making “incredible Southern-inspired food that uses modern techniques with local ingredients better than most in the city,” such as blue crab beignets with malt vinegar aïoli. 4238 Magazine Street; 504/891-3377
Lolis Eric Elie | New Orleans-born writer and cookbook author, story editor for HBO’s Treme and AMC’s Hell on Wheels:
  • MILA: Elie says that at this seasonally driven restaurant from the wife-husband duo of Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing, the deconstructed oysters Rockefeller and barbecued lobster represent the new New Orleans food experience. 817 Common Street; 504/412-2580
  • Killer Poboys: The owners have reinvented the city’s iconic sandwich. Elie frequently pops into this small joint located in the back of the Erin Rose Bar for po’boys stuffed with coriander-lime Gulf shrimp or Moroccan-spiced lamb sausage. 811 Conti Street; 504/252-6745
  • Dooky Chase’s: For classic Creole, Elie favors Dooky Chase’s, where chef-owner Leah Chase has cooked for six decades. Her daily lunch buffet “bridges the gap between Creole home cooking and New Orleans fine dining,” he says, with whole fried catfish, butterbeans and shrimp, and bread pudding. 2301 Orleans Avenue; 504/821-0600
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, November 2013.

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