ith Destination Tulane in full swing (and juniors on spring break!), Tulane is seeing thousands of prospective students and their families on campus and in NOLA nearly every day. We get lots of questions like: how is your communications department, how easy is it to get into the classes you want, where should I live this fall, etc. But the most frequent question we get is, "where should we eat?!"
New Orleans is ranked time
again as one of the best food cities in the world, so picking one spot is always tough. So forget Zagat and Michelin, without further ado, the Office of Admission presents to you...The 15 Best Restaurants in New Orleans
This. Will. Change. Your. Life.Photo Cred; bonappetite.comDomenica
: Everyone that knows me, knows that, hands down, this is my top pick for the best restaurant in New Orleans. Chef Alon Shaya has built quite the reputation for himself here in NOLA. Domenica, located in the historic and gorgeous Roosevelt Hotel, serves up some of the best Italian-meets-NOLA (shall we say Italianola?) food in town. Order the cauliflower appetizer and prepare to have your entire existence on earth altered. Then, top it off with their prosciutto pizza. Talk about nom.Shaya
: All I will say about Shaya, (yes, same chef as above) is that there is a reason that it has been named the "Best New Restaurant in America" by Esquire
in 2016, and dozens of other publications. I ate there last week, I literally have no clue how food can possibly taste this good—it's modern Israeli food at it's finest. You will not be disappointed. James Beard distinctions abound at this spot, including a recent nomination for "Rising Star Chef" for one of our graduates Zachary Engel
: This restaurant is an absolute institution in NOLA. With world-famous chef Susan Spicer in the kitchen, it's one of the best in town. The atmosphere is formal, but very comfortable, the service is outstanding and they make you feel very special. The food is excellent, always innovative, and always delicious.Cochon
: Two of Donald Link's three main NOLA restaurants are on our list, and for good reason. Arguably one of the best chefs in the South, (and adorned with many a James Beard award) Link brings a new approach to traditional Cajun and Southern food. Come for the wood-fired oysters appetizer and stay for the short ribs for your main course. Not in the mood for a full sit-down dinner? Head around the corner to Butcher
, the sandwich shop offshoot of Cochon.
Wood-fired oysters at Cochon.Photo Cred: nolacuisine.comAtchafalaya
: Our Assistant Director of Transfer Admission, Erin, recommended this one as her top restaurant. She says, "It has an awesome atmosphere, and I have never had a bad dish!"
Appetizer: Free-Form Crab Ravioli
Entrée: Any of their fish dishes
It's in an unassuming part of town and in a cute little house. There’s often a live jazz band, and you see ALL types of folks passing through: people dolled up for a big event, people dusty from a day of antiquing, big families, and more.
Cute lil' Cafe Atchafalaya Photo Cred: nola.humidbeings.com La Petite Grocery
: Owen, one of our Admission Counselors says this spot, "is my favorite because of the great ambiance (romantic, cozy yet open, a nod to its old existence as a grocery store). The menu is diverse (cheeseburger or lamb) yet everything is amazing from appetizer to dessert." LPG is on Magazine Street not far from Tulane. The head chef Justin Devillier, who you may know from Top Chef, is one of the best in the South.
Appetizer: Blue Crab Beignets
Entree: Turtle Bolognese
Dessert: Butterscotch PuddingMagasin
: This one comes from Neill, our Associate Director of Operations,"A lot of people don’t realize how strong a Vietnamese influence there is in New Orleans. Magasin is my favorite restaurant because all the plates are small enough and cheap enough that you can order a few different things, and anything you get is fresh and light. Vietnamese-style pork is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten, and Magasin does it the best, in my opinion. So of course I recommend ordering lots of grilled pork: Com (rice plate), the spring rolls, and a steamed pork bun. Then finish it off with a Café Sua Da Vietnamese iced coffee." Bonus: a second location
is now open in the CBD!
All around deliciousness from MagasinPhoto cred: foodographer.netPatois
: Nestled in a cute uptown neighborhood not far from Tulane, Patois serves up some of the best French food in town. Perfect for a cozy or romantic dinner off the traditional tourist path.Peche
: The second of Donald Link's restaurant in our top 15 list. Peche won best the James Beard award for "Best New Restaurant" in the country
Peche is home to some of the best seafood in town. Try anything from the raw bar and then spend some time exploring the CBD
, New Orleans' hottest neighborhood right now. I also recommend getting affogado from Drip
when you are ready for dessert.
Peche Seafood GrillPhoto Cred: bestofneworleans.comLuke
: Luke is arguably the best of the John Besh spots in town. Rachael, one of our Admission Counselors covering the Long Island territory, recommends you get the Chappapeela Pork Schnitzel and Raw Oysters. She loves Luke because "it's great for people who want to eat downtown, but not necessarily in the Quarter. It’s walkable to tons of attractions, and the place is always packed. So many times, I've met friends for 50 cent oyster happy hour here and ended up staying through dinner and dessert! The brasserie-style restaurant is just the right amount of relaxed."
Great food and great views at LukePhoto Cred: nola.eater.comRoot
: Root is something totally different, and Lindsey, our Assistant Director of Admission, calls it her favorite restaurant in town. "Root is for adventurous eaters with global tastebuds. Start with the housemade charcuterie, like the juniper cured duck prosciutto and “face” bacon, move onto the cohiba smoked scallops (served in a cigar box!), and end with a satsuma olive oil cake topped with buttermilk ice cream. Parents, the cocktail menu will have you singing New Orleans’ and Root’s praises in no time."
Scallops served in a smoking cigar box? Sounds like Root to me!Photo Cred: Root
: A delectable Caribbean and Creole inspired restaurant on the bottom floor of the ultra-hip Old No. 77 hotel in the Warehouse District. This restaurant is currently one of the most praised in the city. It was named "Best Restaurant of 2016" by The Times-Picayune
and Chef Nina Compton is one of Food & Wine magazines “Best New Chefs” and is currently a finalist for a James Beard Award for "Best Chef". Rebecca, one of our Admission Counselors, says “I have absolutely loved everything I have eaten at Compère Lapin. It has quickly become one of my favorite spots in the city!”. If you’re looking for a high dining experience with a casual atmosphere and delicious food—this restaurant can’t be missed!
Nina Compton from Compere Lapin. You might recognize her from Top Chef! (photo: Old 77 Hotel)Dante's Kitchen
: We love this spot by the Riverbend. The entire menu is incredible, and each seating area has a bit of a different ambiance. I highly recommend their chicken under a brick, and they also bring delicious spoonbread to every table before the meal. They do a great brunch as well.Pizza Delicious
: There is no better pizza here in New Orleans than at Pizza Delicious. Founded by two Tulane graduates from New York who wanted to bring Big Apple style pizza to the Big Easy, this great spot is located in the Bywater, one of NOLA's coolest neighborhoods. I recommend getting your pizza to-go and climbing the rusty rainbow bridge over to Crescent Park to eat overlooking the city skyline and the Mississippi River.Satsuma
: I had to make sure I got a student opinion our list, so I asked Shelby Strattan (B '18) for her best restaurant choice! I happen to agree, Satsuma is exceptional. Shelby says; "If you're looking for some zesty, healthy flavors near campus, try out Satsuma Cafe! This breakfast and lunch place is located on Maple Street in an area populated with coffees shops and boutique stores. They offer options ranging from fresh pressed juices to the most savory homemade pancakes. They also offer constantly changing daily specials. Personally, my favorite order is the three egg scramble with the most delectable and fluffy biscuit known to New Orleans. Check out this student hot spot—you'll want to be here every morning for breakfast!" There is also a location down in the Bywater if you are up to explore the city.
There you have it, folks! Your definitive list. Can't pick just one? You just might have to enroll here at Tulane to spend the next four years trying all fifteen.
Satsuma on Maple