When in New Orleans for the first time, or even if you’re a frequent visitor, you can be easily dragged in by the hundreds of tourist trap restaurants in the French Quarter. Much to the surprise of many, the best restaurants in New Orleans actually reside outside of the city. If you’re willing to venture out a bit for some real home cooking, here are 10 underrated restaurants to try out!
1. DiMartino’s Muffulettas
If you look at any New Orleans travel guides, you’ll see that a visit to Central Grocery for a muffuletta is a must. If you’re willing to take a journey to the Westbank, the west bank of the Mississippi that is, you can find an even better authentic muffuletta at DiMartino’s. The owner was born to a family of street vendors that contributed to muffulettas during their origin and still follows their recipe today.
2. Da Wabbit
Cafe 615, Home of Da Wabbit is best known to Westbank locals. Located in Gretna, this restaurant is a favorite for those who want a fine dining experience without the price. They serve all types of seafood, salads, and even burgers and filet mignon. Not to mention the portions are huge!
Meauxbar is actually located in the French Quarter but is often overlooked for the many other infamous spots around it. This restaurant has phenomenal drinks, but it also serves up amazing dishes. They aren’t your typical Cajun and Creole dishes, but they’re definitely worth checking out if you’re willing to spend.
4. Yo Mama’s
Another classic of New Orleans restaurants and also located in the French Quarter, Yo Mama’s is recently opened after an ownership change, but they still employ a lot of the same cooks and waitstaff. They are mostly known for their ridiculously yummy burgers, but you could also get classics like a nice bowl of seafood gumbo.
Cochon is the French word for pig, and that’s exactly what this restaurant is best at. Located slightly off the beaten path down the infamous Tchoupitoulas street, Cochon uses all locally sourced pork and seafood to create affordable but fantastic New Orleans dishes. There is also an accessible bar, because what’s New Orleans without alcohol at every meal.
6. Katie’s Restaurant and Bar
Although Katie’s was featured on Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives, it is a very overlook restaurant in Mid City New Orleans. This restaurant is still family owned to this day and serves up classic Gulf Coast dishes for a great price. Katie’s is located just a blocks walk from the Canal streetcar line so you can kill two New Orleans must do’s with one stone.
7. Kenner Seafood
Kenner Seafood has just about any famous New Orleans dish you can imagine and is probably the most affordable on this list. They pride themselves on being “where the locals eat,” and this couldn’t be truer. This restaurant is located in, you guessed it, Kenner, and is about a 20-minute drive from downtown. If you aren’t willing to drive out there on any normal day, make this a stop on your way to or from the New Orleans airport because it is located right outside.
This restaurant is loved by locals of the Westbank and is located along Highway 90 in Westwego. Just as the name sounds, this restaurant is filled with Italian influences and serves awesome combinations of seafood meets Italian. Mosca’s is mostly served family style and is perfect for large parties and get-togethers. They are only open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner and they encourage you to make a reservation, so make sure to plan your visit wisely.
Drago’s is the “home of the original charbroiled oyster” and they do not disappoint! There is a location in both Metairie and New Orleans, so making your way there shouldn’t be a problem. If oysters aren’t your thing, Drago’s serves up just about anything you can imagine. They also have an extensive gluten-free menu for those with dietary restrictions.
10. High Hat Cafe
Located slight Southwest of the city, High Hat Cafe is known for its amazing farm-raised catfish plates. This restaurant also serves up any and all traditional New Orleans dishes such as gumbo and shrimp po-boys. You can also try an amber beer from the Abita Brewery, something New Orleans locals will rave about.