Belle Epoch

An absinthe bar with Chef Hayley Vanvleet’s luxurious menu melds delectable French flavors and rustic American fare, oftentimes with an unexpected approach.

240 Bourbon St

Blue Giant

A brand new Chinese spot in the LGD – Blue Giant comes from two veterans of Cochon’s kitchen. Comfort food American-Chinese dishes.

1300 Magazine St


A great dive bar – open 24 hours . . . a spot for live music – and they have a nice little restaurant operation too!  Great burgers and of course, red beans on Monday. Buffa’s is also a stop along the Red Beans Parade route!

Café Amelie

One of the nicest courtyard dining experiences in the city! A local favorite – serving Louisiana cuisine – great date spot too!

912 Royal St

Café Reconcile

Café Reconcile is more than just a great lunch spot – they are a vital piece of the social support network in New Orleans. Giving opportunity to young people to train as servers, cooks, and front of staff – then helping them graduate to long-term jobs in the culinary economy of New Orleans. One of my favorite lunch spots!

1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.


Carmo has an eclectic tropical-inspired menu – tucked away in a lovely spot in the middle of the hustle-bustle of the CBD. And they have great music on Saturdays!

527 Julia St

Chef Cedrick Lewis

Last year, at the very first Bean Madness, Chef Cedric was holding down the kitchen at Cornet. . . which was the winning restaurant. Chef Cedric has moved on – but is back in the fold defending his title as the “best red beans in New Orleans”

Chef Nina Compton

James Beard winner and head chef of two wonderful restaurants, both which are can’t-miss meal.

Bywater American Bistro – 2900 Chartres St
Compere Lapin – 535 Tchoupitoulas St

Chef Smitty

Chef Smitty worked at Joey K’s – and was in-charge of their red beans. Now he is competing as his own boss! Let’s see what happens! (Will he end up facing off against Joey K’s??? The Drama!)

Cooter Brown’s

This is one of the best bars in New Orleans. A place to watch the Saints win. My favorite aspect is getting those freshly shucked oysters . . . mmm. . . .

509 South Carollton Ave
(way Uptown)


Really classy place. Seasonal menu. Romantic. . . and a really good deal for lunch. In fact, Coquette is my wife’s #1 favorite lunch spot. Last year they went pretty deep in the Red Beans Tournament too!

2800 Magazine Street

Emily Shaya: Team Best Beans Ever

Emily, who is chef Alon Shaya’s better half, is locally famous for her red bean dinners. She is sharing her secret recipe with us for this year’s tournament! Cheer on the home-chef!

Galaxie Tacos

A new Bywater favorite! Completely homemade tortillas (like seriously from scratch!) and delicious taco offerings mixed with a solid cocktail menu. Best part is the atmosphere in a converted auto-shop.

3060 St Claude Ave

Half-Shell On The Bayou

Mr. Mark has been cooking fine food for many years. He even has a picture hanging of famed Red-Bean-God Buster Holmes up on the wall.

Heard D’at Kitchen

Chef Jeffrey Heard Sr. makes really good food. I can 1000% vouch for that! His kitchen on Felicity Street is completely worth the drive. Excellent plates, can’t recommend it enough!
He might be a dark-horse to win it all!

High Hat Café

Casual neighborhood restaurant – with wonderful southern / Louisiana food. Delta Tamales, BBQ shrimp, fresh seafood, and some amazing deviled eggs. Can’t go wrong at the High Hat.

4500 Freret Street

Joey K’s

They got their po-boys, their seafood platters, and plenty of comfort food . . . but the best thing about Joey K’s – their Red Beans!  Consistent and always wonderful….last year in Bean Madness, they made it to the “Final Fork” – making them the absolute best Red Beans you can get uptown – and one of the best anywhere in the city. Also, I am a fan of a multi-generational family-run business. If you need lunch uptown, Joey K’s will make you happy.

3001 Magazine Street

Katie’s Restaurant

A staple of mid-city, Katie’s Restaurant is a warm and inviting place where the Red Beans take center-stage. A true neighborhood spot you’ll wish you knew about sooner!

Luna Libre

Tex-Ark inspired Tex-Mex. Breakfast tacos too! And plenty of live music in an intimate setting.

3600 St Claude Ave

Ma Momma’s House of Cornbread, Chicken, and Waffles

Ma Momma’s House is home of New Orleans Original Chicken & Waffles. They have the best fried chicken to the bone, hot mouthwatering cornbread and fluffy waffles. As they say, “Come let Ma Momma welcome you home & feed yo’ soul. Momma a be wait’in”.

I would add that I love New Orleans East – and the more time one spends out there, the more you love it – so if you need a reason to go out there, let Ma Momma’s be it J

Marjie’s Grill

A hidden-gem of a restaurant! On Broad Ave – they’ve been cooking some really yummy food lately (and named one of the Nola restaurants to watch!)


This deliciousness is what happens when you combine Vietnamese cuisine with New Orleans cuisine – a mid-city favorite. Great lunch spot!

514 City Park Ave


New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that educates a diverse community of learners to sustain an ever-evolving hospitality industry.

725 Howard Ave


One of the best seafood spots possible!

800 Magazine St

Pee Wee’s Crab Cakes

Charles “Pee Wee” Armstrong serves creole cuisine and delicious crab cakes.

2908 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

Queen Trini Lisa

Lisa hails from Trinidad – and is also the nicest person ever . . . plus, she can cook! For years she has become a favorite in the Bywater area for her Caribbean cuisine. After catering and serving out of a corner-store location for many years, she is now on the move – you can find her wonderful food at the Roux Carre food-stand on Oretha Castle Haley.



Local musician Quintron – supporting his new electronics / instrument repair spot –  front space of the famed spellcaster lounge. Quintron is a red bean connoisseur.

3052 St Claude Ave

Tasty Treat

A food-truck turned restaurant – creole food with one of the best burgers you can find in the city!

1900 N Claiborne Ave


Creative menu, delicious food, neighborhood prices! Thalia is a great spot tucked away in the Lower Garden District – created by the good folks who also run Coquette.

1245 Constance St

Tropicalia Catering

Brazilian food tucked inside the St. Roch Tavern.

1200 St Roch Ave

Welty’s Deli

Welty’s is a family-run deli that came to be just after Katrina, helping rebuild our city. It’s a breakfast spot that also offers a quick. Last year, the Red Beans made it far.

336 Camp Street

Willa Jean

Want an amazing breakfast? Wonderful fresh baked bread?

611 O’Keefe Ave