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25 Classic Restaurants Every New Orleanian Must Try

New Orleans is one of the oldest dining cities in the country, and though it seems there’s always a shiny new restaurant opening (and plenty closing), the city has a deep reverence for the restaurants in and around it that earned it that designation.

Here are some of the greatest of New Orleans’ classic restaurants, all of them decades if not a centuries old. They range from legendary Creole stalwarts in the French Quarter to gritty po-boy joints to hidden gems in quiet neighborhoods, all quintessentially New Orleans. The one thing that is true of all of them is that they still serve excellent food and the city would be less if it lost them.

Yes, the Crescent City is a town full of classics, and it’s nearly impossible to capture the true essence of its dining landscape and heritage in a scant 25 places alone. So let this be a starting point, the places most locals will agree are essential to the storied history of New Orleans’ dining.

Tucked inside the charming Uptown neighborhood known for pleasant Creole cottages and air perfumed with sweet olive and night-blooming jasmine , you’ll find preppy, Perlis-clad Uptowners dining on Clancy’s decadent, fried, cold-smoked, crab-topped soft-shells over white tablecloth topped tables as waiters who still wear tuxedos keep the bourbon flowing. It’s as good a homage to the soft shell as there ever was. Reservations are a must

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