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Food & Drink

GoNOLA Guide to COOLinary New Orleans

Commander's Palace, located in the heart of the Garden District is a classic New Orleans establishment. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

In August, even as the frenzy of summer vacations comes to a close, New Orleans is still not ready to give up the party. COOLinary New Orleans is a month-long celebration of local restaurants, featuring well-priced prix-fixe menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner. There are a lot of options, so it’s tough to know how to prioritize, but we’ve scoped out this year’s offerings and are already planning our meals. Here are our COOLinary recommendations for any food craving.


For people who want to sample the fresh catches from the Gulf of Mexico

Spear-caught Grilled Gulf Cobia (Photo: Paul Broussard)

GW Fins

Executive Chef Tenney Flynn is a nationally recognized expert on Gulf seafood, so he crafts his menu from the fresh fish that comes in daily, loves to highlight natural flavors, and does not over-season. If you’re a seafood lover, there’s simply no way to go wrong at GW Fins.


Seaworthy boasts a wide selection of sustainably harvested and wild caught oysters from the Gulf Coast and around the country. Pair those charbroiled oysters or scallops with a sparkling rose!


For people who don’t consider it a meal unless there’s meat involved

steak charlie's
A steak at Charlie’s Steakhouse (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Charlie’s Steakhouse

Opened in 1932 in Uptown New Orleans, Charlie’s Steakhouse was run by Charlie Petrossi and his family for three generations. Meat-lovers will drool over sizzling New York Strips and ribeyes in this welcoming setting.


Boucherie refers to the celebration around the slaughtering of meat that took place in Cajun communities as a way to evenly distribute resources. The restaurant Boucherie is located in New Orleans’s Carrollton neighborhood and all meats are smoked, cured, aged, and prepared in house.

New Orleans Classics

For people who prefer white tablecloth elegance

Antoine’s Baked Alaska (Photo: Justen Williams)


Opened in 1840, Antoine’s is the oldest family-run restaurant in the United States. In traditional Creole style, this New Orleans French Quarter establishment is known for its gumbo and shrimp dishes.


Also in the French Quarter is Arnaud’s, which has been a Creole fine dining destination since 1918. In addition to its food, Arnaud’s is known for its renowned French 75 Bar, which serves the city’s best take on its namesake cocktail.

Ralph’s on the Park

With choice view of City Park’s famous oak trees, Ralph’s on the Park serves up traditional New Orleans fare plus global takes on locally sourced meat, seafood, and produce. This is a great spot to sample turtle soup or turkey and andouille gumbo.

Off the Beaten Path

For people who want to eat where the locals eat

Patois Brunch
Breakfast tacos at Patois featuring produce from Paradigm Gardens (Photo: Ann Marshall Tilton)


Beloved neighborhood restaurant Gabrielle reopened its doors in 2017 following a prolonged closure due to Hurricane Katrina. It’s a family-owned business serving Cajun food with a New Orleans flair. This cozy local favorite is situated in the Tremé neighborhood.


Patois can be found among beautiful Uptown homes near Audubon Park. The restaurant has a cozy vibe with a menu that showcases local produce sourced from Paradigm Gardens, an urban farm in Central City.

Bywater American Bistro

Chef Nina Compton of top chef fame dreamed up this inviting neighborhood bistro. Bywater American Bistro combines Louisiana and Caribbean flavors for a unique meal in a laid-back Bywater space by the Mississippi River.

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