Toula’s Creole Kitchen

Toula’s was recently taken over by new management – with long-term history in the New Orleans culinary scene. They offer Creole staples and a nice little bar – good spot to grab a beer and a yummy snack in the CBD.

109 Tchoupitoulas

Jackie’s Touch of Class

Sean runs the kitchen here at Jackie’s Touch of Class – Thursday is steak night – with a big baked potatoes and savory onions on that steak. Sean also grew up cooking for his family – and he knows his red beans!

919 N. Claiborne Ave


A full service catering company and commissary specializing in high quality cuisine utilizing local and seasonal ingredients – especially sustainable seafood! They have grab-and-go items, holiday gifts, and you can even rent a kitchen! Plus they are located in a super cute old gas station.

2139 Baronne Street

Dunbar’s Creole Cuisine

Dunbar’s pre-Katrina was located on Freret street and was much loved. After the storm, they ended up inside the Loyola University dining hall for a time – and now they have returned to much fanfare and celebration. Poboys, Seafood plates, ribs, and all the comfort food sides you could want – I’m looking at you Mac n’ Cheese!

7834 Earhart Blvd

Café Dauphine

Tucked away in Holy Cross, Café Dauphine is a relaxed, but sophisticated restaurant that specializes in Creole cuisine. Excellent poboys, Seafood plates, and a chargrilled Redfish that is pretty much the bomb. Good to try something new and venture out into another neighborhood – esp. when you can eat well!

5229 Dauphine
(Holy Cross – Lower 9th Ward)

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”

Bywater Bakery

This bakery is relatively new – but a wonderful addition to the culinary scene in New Orleans. Creative and lively sandwiches and lunch offerings in addition to a to-go case of baked goods. There is also a little piano there – often adding to the wonderful atmosphere.


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!

Ray’s on the Ave

Chef Elray “Ray” Holmes has been working in food and local music for years. He is always smiling and very welcoming. Red Beans, fried pork-chops, gumbo, and other creole dishes.

1139 St. Bernard Ave

Roosevelt’s Black Pearl

Mr. Roosevelt runs an amazing little take-out spot. Each day you will find a different assortment of dishes laid out on the line. You grab your spot in line and watch as they fill your to-go container with yumminess. There is no sign on the building – and from the outside it might not look like much – but it’s one of the best meals you can get in New Orleans.

1001 Claiborne Ave


Horn’s is located in the marigny triangle, in a cozy little corner spot with wonderful character. It’s a nice neighborhood spot where you can grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Add a nice bloody mary and start your day right.

1940 Daulphine

Fete au Fete

Currently tucked into the St. Roch Market, Fete Au Fete serves up Louisiana comfort food – Red Beans, crawfish poutine, and pepperjack cheese grits. They do catering too!

2381 St. Claude
(St. Roch Market)

Cake Cafe and Bakery

Steve Himelfarb once roamed office-buildings in New Orleans selling slices of pies and cakes. Many remember this fondly. . .
Today he runs the kitchen most days – serving up breakfast sandwiches and creamy grits to a dedicated flock of regulars. My daughter loves the cinnamon buns and king cakes (apple goat cheese!)

2440 Chartres Street

Half Shell Oyster Bar

Bayou Road has become a really cool area – record shops, used cookbooks, reggae clubs, and chic vintage spots – and you can certainly eat well there too! Half Shell makes one of the best burgers one can get, in addition to oysters, red beans, gumbo, and other classic New Orleans dishes.  You can easily spend an afternoon there.

2517 Bayou Road


Neyow’s is a wonderful neighborhood spot – and the place to go for some oysters. They offer creole cuisine – and daily specials (Monday is red beans!). The place is always packed – so come early. And when the weather is nice, they have a little patio area. Locals spot.

3332 Bienville

Fiorella’s The Original

The Original Fiorella’s Café is a wonderful Gentilly lunch spot . . you can get wonderful comfort food / Louisiana food there. And they are very famous for their fried chicken!   Super local spot.

5325 Franklin Ave

Sassafras Restaurant

Sassafras is a Creole restaurant that is tucked away in a shopping center next to the Rouses by the Lake. The food is wonderful, as is the vibe inside the restaurant. But my favorite thing is how they host school children on mother’s day. Nothing like seeing a packed-restaurant of kids – that shows you they care!

2501 Leon C Simon Drive


Sammy’s is always packed! And once you get some food from them – you’ll know why it’s a favorite lunch spot of many New Orleanians. Beyond their poboys, the red beans are legit. . . one of the best in the city.

3000 Elysian Fields


Run by 2nd generation po-boy master, Max Gruenig – Koz is a friendly neighborhood spot with very serious poboys and hot-plates. Quick and delicious. The redbeans are no joke too.

The family has been in the poboy business for over 50 years too! Love that!

515 Harrison Ave

Café 615 Home of Da Wabbit

Just over the parish line – Café 615 Home of Da Wabbit is a really well-run restaurant . . . and you can tell by the crowds that are there that people come back over and over. Plus, they may have the best name of any restaurant in New Orleans.

615 Kepler Street


I’ve been enjoying Sarita’s Grill for over a decade – especially the Cuban Pork Platter with rice & beans, yucca chips, and some delicious slow-roasted pork. Great spot for lunch.

4520 Freret Street

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

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.

Casa Borrega

Casa Borrega is a destination on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard offering traditional Mexican cuisine, fine agave spirits and live Latin music. It is a green business housed in an 1891 Greek Revival home. The decor is fun and eclectic and the large colorful patio is often used for private events.

1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
(Central City)

Germaine’s Kitchen

Mrs. Germaine has been cooking Creole Cuisine for decades – and she is especially talented with Yaka-Mein, Gumbo, and Red Beans. You can enjoy her food – and catch some amazing music at Prime Example.

Above Prime Example Jazz Blues and Food Club
1909 Broad Ave
(7th Ward)

Red Rooster

Red Rooster is a hidden gem. You gotta go into the neighborhood, deep in Central City to find it – but once you do – you’ll be happy.

2801 Washington Ave
(Central City)

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


Tracy’s is a really great Irish Bar – and having nice food works too – and outside seating. But it’s a really great bar. If you are in the Irish Channel, best to experience a nola-Irish bar.

3604 Magazine Street

Frankie & Johnny’s

I immediately feel a sense of tradition. They have been around since 1942 and many many people love them as a neighborhood spot. A great place to grab a beer, some food, and meet up with friends. Gives me the warm-n-fuzzies just writing that.

321 Arabella Street
(way Uptown)

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

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


When you first walk in, you may not realize they have a lovely courtyard! Any place with a nice courtyard in the French Quarter is money – – Last year, they also made it pretty far in the first ever Bean Madness – so the Red Beans are legit.

329 Decatur
(French Quarter)

Mena’s Palace

Mena’s Palace is a classic little breakfast and lunch spot that has been around since the 1950s. A wonderful family-friendly spot in a portion of the French Quarter that feels very hustle-bustle.

200 Chartres Street
(French Quarter)


Owned by the family that is famous for helping a young Louis Armstrong (they fed him and gave him his first cornet – thus the name). They are the defending champs of Bean Madness.

700 Bourbon Street
(French Quarter)

The Old Coffee Pot Restaurant

Wonderful lunch spot that feels timeless. I really recommend the Calas – a rice-donut that was brought to New Orleans by West African slaves and was a common street food back in the day.

714 saint peter street
(French Quarter)

Brat’Z Y’all

Brat’z is a unique spot tucked away next to Pizza Delicious in Bywater. They first made their name by dominating the Po-Boy Fest – and turned that success into a beer-hall, pretzel-making (amazing when fresh out the oven), and kraut spot J On a nice day, sit outside and enjoy!

Praline Connection

Located on Frenchman, Praline Connection is a classic creole restaurant that specializes in all those good creole versions of New Orleans cuisine – gumbo File, Red Beans, etouffee, and my favorite. . . . fried okra! Good place to take visitors so they can get a taste of everything and leave with a praline 🙂

Three Muses

Usually crowded – so make a reservation! Three Muses on Frenchman St. has all the magical ingredients one needs: great live music, cocktails, and yummy food. Plus it’s co-owned by a musician, Mrs. Sophie Lee – go support a local musician!

Kitchen Witch

It’s really a cookbook store – but Philippe, one of the owners can also cook up a storm. As a cookbook store though, I love this place. Lots of vintage and gently-used books, you can always go there and find 5 or 6 options on whatever genre or cuisine you are looking for! They have nice evening pop-up events as well, tacos, paella – it’s a nice spot on Bayou Road near Broad.

Polly’s Bywater Cafe

Pollys – A new spot in the Bywater! Comfort food with a creole/cajun lean – open wednesday through sunday – – – and you can grab a meatloaf sandwich! what’s not to love!

Bonne Terre Louisiana Pop Up

A new operation, Bonne Terre brings Louisiana cuisine to the pop-up stage. I love an up-and-coming young chef! Can’t wait to see this operation expanding and hopefully one day having a restaurant J

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

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!

Deanies on Hayne

Another reason to visit the East, Deanies on Hayne is a family-run spot that serves a wonderful lunch. With a focus on the seafood, Deanies on Hayne has comfort-food and is a good spot to get some oysters. Feels like a neighborhood secret and there is usually a good amount of people (never seen it empty!). Bring people there and you’ll feel like you’re “in the know”.

Chef D’s Café

Chef D’z just opened up a few weeks ago – and judging from the crowds that are there, I’d recommend this spot without hesitation. And of course, I love a restaurant that rocks a Monday red beans special! Located at 424 S Broad (they have easy parking too!).

chefdzcafe on Facebook


Pirogue’s is a nice little bar on Broad and Bayou Road – a neighborhood spot where you can also grab a meal. Also conveniently located on the route of our second parade, The Dead Beans Parade.

Avery’s (1)

Named after their adorable daughter, this family-run restaurant makes a wonderful lunch spot. Poboys, daily specials… and of course, wonderful red beans (They made it to the championship match in our first “Bean Madness”). Avery’s on Tulane is a cant-miss lunch.

Martin Wine Deli

What else makes my favorite wine / alcohol store “my favorite” ? How about a killer deli operation. . . Martin Wine on Baronne is the perfect shopping / eating activity. I love to stock up on my favorite whiskey (Noah’s Mill) and lots of Malbec . . .then grab a snack!

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.



Down the Bayou opened up last year, and it seems like the perfect date-night spot. Modern with heavy touches of Louisiana. A new way to experience many of the ingredients and flavors of Louisiana. Plus I like their use of Spanish moss in the décor!


One of my wife’s favorites – Boucherie is magical. A classy, high-end dining experience that is reasonably priced, southern-to-the-core, and leaves you feeling happy every time. One of my favorite places to send a visitor too! Usually packed, so make a reservation 🙂

MOMO Ramen & Poke

They are taking over a wonderful spot on the riverbend – where Batture used to be. And every Red Beans tournament needs a wildcard – so we figured a new ramen and Poke place fit the bill ! Can’t wait to try it once they open 🙂


This is a cool spot – a little grocery with specialty items + a Louisiana chef in the kitchen making daily specials J Sandwiches, soups, and to-do prepared foods like Chicken Pot Pie, Lasagna, and Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas! Nothing like placing an order and then wandering around the aisles for something new.

Maple Street Cafe

Located on the commercial strip of Maple Street that feels like the 1950s (in a good way), Maple Street Café is a lovely little spot. Casual and charming.

Deanie’s Seafood

A classic spot that has legitimately good red beans (they made it to the Great 8 last year!). Deanies is my favorite of the long-standing French Quarter restaurants – and a very good place to take a larger crowd (when the fam. visits).