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!

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.


Beyond having the best outdoor patio / wine-spot / chill zone in history… they also have killer food.

Chef Wayne

Another home-chef! Chef Wayne comes representing an inspiring and important non-profit in New Orleans, The First-72, which helps people returning to society from prison land back home. Making sure the essentials are covered – food, room & board, and help with job-placement. Super important work for our community.

Chef Nini Nguyen

Chef Nini stole our hearts in this past edition of Top Chef: Kentucky. She returns to Nola to throwdown with her take on a classic.

El Pavo Real

Chef Lindsey Mclellan makes amazing Mexican food. Trust me. Go there!
I think the beans will be great too!

Francesca by Katie’s

Longtime neighborhood spot, Katie’s Restaurant, has expanded! Italian-creole food in Lakeview. Pizza’s are the focus, but the beans are on the radar too!

Suis Generis

A really unique, avant-guard spot in Bywater. Suis Generis has a rotating menu that is super eclectic. Inside it’s a warm-cozy spot – perfect for a neighborhood brunch as well.

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!)

Afrodisiac Food Truck

Chef Shaka Garel makes super yummy Caribbean-inspired / Nola food. Find his food truck around town – often at Urban South Brewery on Saturdays too!

Gris Gris

A new spot on Magazine, Gris Gris has quickly gained a reputation for delicious. Really cool vibe inside too! Worth a trip to the garden.

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!

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!)

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

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!


Sammy’s Food Service & Deli

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


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.


Germaine’s Kitchen at Prime Example

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 Irish Channel Bar

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


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


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!


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

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.