A local’s guide to the best food in New Orleans, that’s not seafood

“Where should I go for seafood when I visit New Orleans?” That’s everyone’s favorite question to ask me when planning a trip. True story: I lived in New Orleans for 4 years and never tried crawfish. Or oysters. Or alligator. Or gumbo. Or jambalaya. Also true story: I believe New Orleans has the best food in the country. I’ve tried and tested the best…  just taken a different approach than most.

The New Orleans food scene might be seafood-centric, but there is so much more to it. My recommendations below will give you the best ways to experience the eclectic NOLA cuisine.


Photo by Satsuma Cafe Facebook

One of my “go-to” insider brunch spots, that most tourists won’t hit, Satsuma is a cute little cafe with Southern vibes in one of my favorite locations in NOLA, the Bywater.

Photo by vxla via Flickr

You can’t come to NOLA and not get the famous beignets. This will cure any sweet tooth. Get the frozen coffee.

Photo by Atchafalaya Food via Instagram

Trendy brunch place with Southern twists on the classics. There’s also a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar that speaks for itself.

Avocado Toast by Willa Jean via Instagram

Resembles a NYC trendy brunch setting but with Southern foods. My favorite is the avocado toast. Get the cookies.

Photo by St.James Cheese Factory via Instagram

When all of your friends are talking about their crawfish po-boys…go to St. James Cheese Company instead. I come here every visit without fail. They are not just grilled cheeses. Get the Gruyere sandwich. You will not be disappointed.

A delicious spread at Shaya Restaurant
Photo by Randy Schmidt Jr.

If I can make one top recommendation, it’s this. Living & visiting Israel too many times, I never thought any Israeli restaurant would compare, but this is it. Get the pita and dips, cauliflower hummus, and falafel. And do not miss the babka. Perfect for brunch or dinner &em-dash; or both.

Domenica Cauliflower with Feta Dip

This is always my first stop. My favorite time to visit is during their daily happy hour, from 4-6pm, when drinks, pizza and appetizers are half off. Do not miss the cauliflower with feta dip and kale chips.

8GW Fins

Photo by GW Fins via Instagram

A fine dining NOLA experience for any dietary needs. I had one of the best whitefish of my life here.


Photo by Luke New Orleans via Instagram

One of my favorite burgers I have ever eaten. Luke’s may be known for their oyster happy hour but their burger is one of the best. It’s better each time I visit. Don’t miss the truffle fries, too.

A seafood grill for someone who doesn’t eat any shellfish? Hear me out. Come to this well-known new spot and split all of the small dishes. None of you will be disappointed or even remember you’re missing shellfish. Get the whole roasted white fish, Brussel sprouts, meatballs, tuna, and chicken skewers.

Rachel Shulman is a seasoned travel blogger specializing in planning in-depth guides for destinations around the world. She has lived in 4 major cities in her 27 years of life (New York, New Orleans, Prague and Tel Aviv) and has traveled to 30+ countries with no intention of stopping soon. She owns From East To West, a travel blog outlining her travels and writing detailed, efficient guides and itineraries for cities and countries as well as reviewing locations, accommodations, restaurants and tips and tricks for traveling.