For more information and updates about how New Orleans is addressing the Covid-19 outbreak – including restaurants that are currently open for takeout and delivery – please visit
No, thanks

Get the LOCAL Perspective!

Find hidden gems and get insider information on NOLA’s best restaurants, bars, attractions, and events every week.


Dressing for Dinner in New Orleans

Slow Southern Style’s Christy Lorio tackles the problem of what to wear to restaurants in New Orleans, which can range from casual to formal in the French Quarter.

It happens all the time, in every city. You are on vacation and pass by an incredible looking restaurant. You study the menu, drooling over your options, but then you realize you only brought jeans and everyone inside is wearing dresses or suits. D’oh !

Be Prepared for Dinner in the Big Easy

It’s never a bad idea to come prepared vs. having to go out shopping for something for dinner. It would be a shame to miss out on a great meal because you forgot to pack the proper attire.  Some of the grand dame restaurants, such as Arnaud’s, require jackets for men.

You don’t have to bring a suit, but a sport coat and dress pants will suffice. Men should pack a few dress shirts and a tie, and for women, a little black dress won’t do you wrong. If you are planning a few fancy meals, strategize your vacation wardrobe to avoid over packing and paying extra for heavy luggage.

One pair of pants can get you through several dinners so long as you bring dress shirts that work with them. For ladies, adding accessories to a dress can bring it from daytime drinking to night time noshing in no time. Throw on some jewelry and heels and you’re done.

Crack the Code

Of course, not all NOLA restaurants have a dress code, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if you are unsure. Check out the website for clues on the code,  even if it is only implied. Or you can be retro and call them on the phone.

Do the entree prices creep into the $30 range? Best to err on the side of over dressed. Does the website scream sophisticated or casual? If you’re still unsure, passing by the night before isn’t a bad idea to get a glimpse at what the patrons are wearing.

The Art of Eating in New Orleans

Fine dining is an art form, one that should be experienced the way it was meant to be – dressed to the nines and ready for a night of revelry. I always take advantage of dining in a nice restaurant and get dressed up accordingly.

Look y’all, we live in a time where pajama jeans are a legit product being sold because jeans aren’t casual and comfortable enough to wear out in public.  Take some pride in your appearance. Your server will probably thank you.

So what do you get excited about dressing up for?

Looking for places to shop for new duds in New Orleans? Check out this post on Vintage New Orleans, this one on Lili Boutique, and this one on Fairy.

Book Your Trip