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Getting a handle on New Orleans' array of dining choices is a tall order. The Gambit winter restaurant guide looks at the field and breaks down the options by cuisine. There's everything from burgers and barbecue to tapas and Thai, Caribbean to Mediterranean, sushi to soul food. Peruse each category for restaurants throughout the New Orleans area and find information about menus, hours of operation, reservation policies and more. Dig in.


Prices

Prices indicate the average price of a dinner entree.

$ = $10 and under

$$ = $11-$20

$$$ = $21 and up


AFRICAN

BENNACHIN 1212 Royal St., 522-1230 Bennachin offers spicy dishes, vegetarian choices and a taste of African cooking traditions. The namesake rice dish will be familiar to fans of jambalaya. Okra-based stews and beans over rice showcase ties between African and Creole cooking. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $$

AMERICAN

THE APPLE SEED SHOPPE 201 St. Charles Ave., 529-3442 This haven of healthy foods is tucked away in the food court of the Place St. Charles skyscraper. Grilled turkey on wheat bread and salads topped with cheese, egg, avocado, lettuce and tomato are specialties. Fruit salad and smoothies round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

APPLEBEE'S NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL & BAR Citywide; www.applebees.com Something for everyone is Applebee's approach. There's everything from steaks, ribs and fajitas to salads, burgers, pasta entrees and seafood. Full menus of drinks, desserts and kids items make sure all the bases are covered. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

AUDUBON GOLF CLUBHOUSE 6500 Magazine St., 212-5282; www.auduboninstitute.org The bucolic setting of Audubon Park makes for an appetizing backdrop at breakfast, lunch or tee time. At lunch, the clubhouse chicken salad platter delivers chunky diced chicken breast with pecans and red grapes on a bed of spring mix. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

BENNIGAN'S GRILL AND TAVERN 3434 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-0664; www.bennigans.com Bennigan's offers American pub favorites like grilled burgers and steaks, plus dishes ranging from fish and chips to shrimp tempura to Guinness-glazed chicken and shrimp. Popular appetizers include Buffalo wings and broccoli bites. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THE BUFFET AT HARRAH'S 8 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahsneworleans.com Spread around your newly won largesse (or drown your sorrows) in the overflowing cornucopia that is Harrah's 400-seat, seven-station buffet. From steamed snow crab legs to soul food to pasta, any and every craving will likely find something to sate it. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

BULL'S CORNER 1036 W. Airline Hwy., Laplace, (985) 652-3544; www.bullscorner.com Try the Route 66, a tender 6-oz. filet mignon served with six Gulf shrimp that come either grilled, sauteed or fried. Daily lunch specials include baby-back ribs. Desserts feature bread pudding and Chocolate Overload. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE PONTCHARTRAIN AT TREASURE CHEST CASINO 5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, (800) 298-0711; www.treasurechest.com This buffet offers a nonstop supply of chicken-fried steak, hot tamales, red beans and rice, and spaghetti and meatballs. Sandwiches include Philly cheesesteaks, an Italian panino and chicken quesadillas. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CHATEAU MOANET VOILà 300 Decatur St., 581-2534; www.voilanola.com At Voilà, diners will find everything from fried pickles and crab Rangoon to spicy fries with a variety of toppings to burgers and crawfish pasta. For entrees there are barbecue and Thai-style pork ribs as well as salads topped with grilled shrimp or chicken breast strips. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

CHECKERED PARROT 133 Royal St., 592-1270; www.checkeredparrot.com Cravings for New Orleans-style food are satisfied at the Checkered Parrot with fried or raw oysters and jambalaya. The kitchen's specialty is Tex-Mex fare like quesadillas, taco salads and loaded nachos. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

COPELAND'S CHEESECAKE BISTRO 2001 St. Charles Ave., 593-9955; 4517 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-7620; www.alcopeland.com The Cheesecake Bistro's menu stars Chris Paul's pork tenderloin with chili mashed potatoes and corn relish, and proceeds from the dish go to Al Copeland and Paul's Foundation. Specialty cheesecakes include flavors like bananas Foster, Oreo cookies and cream, and white chocolate macadamia. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

COPELAND'S SOCIAL CITY 701 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-3437; www.copelandssocialcity.com Formerly Sweet Fire & Ice, Social City offers many of Al Copeland's classic dishes. There's no oxygen bar, but the menu includes everything from tweaked Cajun/Creole recipes to steaks, rotisserie chicken and Asian-inspired dishes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

FAIR GROUNDS RACE COURSE 1751 Gentilly Blvd., 944-5515; www.fairgroundsracecourse.com The Grand Buffet at the Fair Grounds offers everything from egg rolls and General Tso's chicken to smothered pork chops, lasagna and fried shrimp or chicken. Dishes are prepared to order at the pasta station. Dessert includes lemon squares, carrot cakes and more. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HARD ROCK CAFE 418 N. Peters St., 529-5617; www.hardrock.com Like its sister restaurants around the world, the local Hard Rock is known for its burgers and sizzling fajita plates. The restaurant also specializes in hickory-smoked ribs, chicken and beef brisket. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HOUSTON'S RESTAURANT 1755 St. Charles Ave., 524-1578; 4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-2301; www.hillstone.com Steaks, sandwiches, barbecued ribs, and seafood from Gulf, Atlantic and Pacific waters make Houston's popular. For something less traditional, try the Thai steak and noodle salad: a marinated steak with fresh noodles, avocado, mango and herbs in Thai dressing. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

PICCADILLY Citywide; www.piccadilly.com Piccadilly's big buffet sports American favorites like meatloaf, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and cornbread alongside local dishes like red beans and rice and shrimp etouffee. Desserts abound from pudding to pie to Jell-O. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

POPEYES Citywide; www.popeyes.com Popeyes is known for its chicken fried with spicy seasoning and savory cups of red beans and rice. There also are combo meals, baskets of chicken strips and sandwiches. Sides include mashed potatoes and gravy, Cajun rice, spicy battered fries and biscuits. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

RAISING CANE'S CHICKEN FINGERS Citywide; www.raisingcanes.com There is no mistaking Cane's focus on chicken fingers. Variety comes in the number you order. Three-, four- and six-piece specials are accompanied by coleslaw, Texas toast, a fountain drink and Cane's signature dipping sauce. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

SEMOLINA 2999 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, (985) 626-8923; 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 37, Metairie, 454-7930; www.semolina.com Semolina's tortellini Reggiano is cheese-filled pasta tossed with plump shrimp, spinach and artichokes and smothered in creamy tomato sauce. Lasagna bolognese features layers of imported pasta mixed with ricotta, fontina and provolone cheeses and meat sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SPUDLY'S SUPER SPUDS 2609 Harvard Ave., Metairie, 455-7783 Spudly's signature is starch, and plenty of it. Try the Nab-a-Crab potato, loaded with crabmeat, cheddar cheese and chives. The Bucking Bronco piles barbecued beef, tangy sauce, Swiss cheese and chives on a spud. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SUN RAY GRILL 619 Pink St., Metairie, 837-0055; 1051 Annunciation St., 566-0021; 2600 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-0053; www.sunraygrill.com Sun Ray's entrees include guava-glazed duck, and chicken roulades wrapped in crispy bacon and served with rum-roasted sweet potatoes and vegetables. The sesame-crusted, sushi-grade ahi tuna is served with coconut rice, pickled ginger, ponzu sauce and cucumber salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THEN, NOW & NEXT RESTAURANT 6401 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-5700; www.fourpointsnola.com Tucked inside the Four Points by Sheraton, this restaurant's eclectic menu features specialties like shrimp fettuccine, grilled tilapia and crab cakes with lemon-butter sauce. There are a number of low-calorie options as well. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

WING ZONE Citywide; www.wingzone.com With 25 sauces to accompany Buffalo wings and chicken fingers (including lemon pepper garlic and nuclear honey teriyaki), the Zone should have just the one for you. There also are battered shrimp, sandwiches or burgers. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

WOW CAFE & WINGERY Citywide; www.wingery.com Order wings and hit the sauce with any one of WOW's selection of Key West citrus, honey barbecue, Thai peanut, various heat levels of Buffalo, coconut curry, sweet and sour, teriyaki and many others. The Wingery also serves wraps, burgers, salads, quesadillas and fajitas. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

ZEA ROTISSERIE AND GRILL 1525 St. Charles Ave., 520-8100; 1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-7733; 1655 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 738-0799; 4450 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-9090; www.zearestaurants.com Zea offers slow-roasted meats from the rotisserie and creative takes on new American and Asian favorites. Thai ribs are St. Louis-style ribs slow cooked with spicy soy and sweet chile glaze with Asian herbs. The bar serves beer specially microbrewed for Zea. Reservation policy varies by location. Lunch and dinner daily. Kenner location serves brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY

5FIFTY5 Marriott Hotel, 555 Canal St., 553-5638 Chef Mark Quitney prepares a wide-ranging menu, from New Orleans classics like traditional seafood gumbo to upscale comfort food like lobster macaroni and cheese. More exotic forays include pan-roasted Hawaiian sea bass and Moroccan spiced duck with spicy harissa. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BOMBAY CLUB 830 Conti St., 586-0972; www.thebombayclub.com Cocktail culture is alive and well at the Bombay Club, where the kitchen produces an array of dishes to gird guests against the roster of martini choices. The Bombay filet is an 8-oz., center-cut steak topped with Stilton cheese. A popular appetizer is the Asian calamari with sweet chili. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CALYPSO PATIO BAR AND GRILL 326 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 875-9676 Calypso offers a taste of the Caribbean. Clusters of Dungeness crab are boiled in the chef's spice mix and served with corn medallions and roasted new potatoes. For appetizers, try the shrimp nachos. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

THE COLUMNS – ALBERTINE'S TEA ROOM 3811 St. Charles Ave., 899-9308; www.thecolumns.com Built in 1883, the Columns is a Gilded Age treasure housing a hotel, bar and restaurant. Drop in for a classic American breakfast or for brunch with Southern flair. The evening bistro menu includes "retro burgers," mini-burgers topped with sauteed onions. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE COUNTRY CLUB 634 Louisa St., 945-0742; www.thecountryclubneworleans.com Surprisingly sophisticated food is on the menu at this clothing-optional swim club and bar. Try the chipotle-lime marinated chicken sandwich with cheddar and bacon or stuffed poblano peppers over corn salad. Housemade ice cream flavors change regularly. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sun. Reservations accepted. Credit cards. $$

DOMINIQUE'S RESTAURANT Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., 522-8800; www.dominiquesrestaurant.com There's a new format at this upscale restaurant, named for its former chef Dominique Macquet. The menu lists four categories of wine characteristics and suggests dishes to complement each flavor profile. All dishes are available as a small plate or full entree. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ELIZABETH'S 601 Gallier St., 944-9272; www.elizabeths-restaurant.com Elizabeth's is known for housemade praline bacon, which appears at brunch and throughout the menu. Sample entrees include fried chicken, fried chicken livers or hanger steak with mushroom and red wine reduction. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

FAZZIO'S 1841 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 624-9704 Fazzio's menu features fettuccine Alfredo topped with crawfish and angel-hair pasta tossed with crabmeat cream sauce. Appetizers include sweet and spicy "bang bang" shrimp and the seared ahi tuna. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

THE GRILL ROOM AT THE WINDSOR COURT 300 Gravier St., 523-6000; www.windsorcourthotel.com The Windsor Court has reverted to using the former name of its elegant restaurant: the Grill Room. Chef Drew Dzejak prepares dishes like grilled foie gras with lobster, carpaccio of Angus beef and bouillabaisse. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

HELIX RESTAURANT & WINE BAR 936 St. Charles Ave., 962-0903; www.helixwb.com Helix complements a short menu of small plates and rustic pizzas with more than 35 wines by the glass. Seared duck breast is served with kale and alligator sausage ragout. Imported Brie is baked in puff pastry and served with lavender honey. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

IRIS 321 N. Peters St., 299-3944; www.irisneworleans.com The address may have changed, but everything else at Iris remains, from Ian Schnoebelen's global menu to Alan Walter's bar potions and even the appetizing mint-green walls. Try Spanish chorizo gnocchi or the poussin (young chicken) with wild mushrooms and Vietnamese greens. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Sat., dinner Mon. and Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

JACMEL INN 903 E. Morris St., Hammond, (985) 542-0043; www.jacmelinn.com Jacmel Inn is known for hand-trimmed steaks and dishes like roast duckling served with glazed sweet potatoes, duck cracklins and blueberry wine gastrique. Diver scallops are served with mushrooms and risotto. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LAGO 900 Harrison Ave., 486-8282; www.lagoneworleans.com Augmented New Orleans seafood dishes like char-broiled oysters topped with stone-ground grits and Parmesan cheese jazz up the menu at Lago. Pork tenderloin is served with root vegetable gratin, caramelized apple and sauteed greens. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., Brunch Sun. Credit Cards. $$$

MELANGE Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal St., 524-1331; www.ritzcarlton.com Melange presents a mixture of its own creations and dishes made famous by notable local restaurants. The Arnaud's shrimp Creole is a tribute to the French-Creole classic, but the seared veal chop is an original dish served with crabmeat hoppin' John. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

NEW CITY GRILLE 2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-8484; www.newcitygrille.net New City Grille mixes Creole favorites with updated classics. Sea scallops are served with rigatoni and a truffle-scented Parmesan cheese sauce. Bourbon-glazed pork loin is stuffed with squash and pine nuts and served with sweet potatoes and sauteed peppers. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

PELLICANO RISTORANTE 4224 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 467-2930; www.pellicanoristorante.com Chef Chris Cody tempts guests with entrees like duck tagliatelle, with a pan-seared breast served over sauteed mushrooms and English peas. Swiss chocolate cake is infused with espresso and served with berries and candied orange zest. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

RALPH'S ON THE PARK 900 City Park Ave., 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.com Situated in a historic building across from City Park, Ralph's offers contemporary Creole and American cuisine. Baked oysters Ralph features plump bivalves nestled on baby spinach, topped with a creamy bechamel with smoked bacon, jalapenos, sweet peppers and tomatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT AMIS 1950 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 893-9100; www.restaurantamis.com This Northshore destination offers refined city fare in a rustic country setting. Balsamic-grilled Cervena venison is paired with pepper-fried oysters and hazelnut glace. The fruits de mer is served with Brie polenta and seafood nage. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

STELLA! 1032 Chartres St., 587-0091; www.restaurantstella.com Chef Scott Boswell prepares his "global modern" cuisine drawing on a world of flavors as well as his Louisiana roots. His menu is always full of surprises, like a recent grilled Hawaiian walu with Louisiana crawfish and candy corn cakes, wilted baby greens and pineapple tomatillo salsa. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BAR & GRILL

13 MONAGHAN 517 Frenchmen St., 942-1345; www.13monaghan.com In the wee hours of the morning, 13 Monaghan serves a menu that's both wallet- and vegetarian-friendly. Tater Tachos are tots topped with nacho condiments. For dedicated healthy eaters, spinach salad with goat cheese at 3 a.m. is a welcome offering. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

ALIBI BAR AND GRILLE 811 Iberville St., 522-9187; www.alibineworleans.com A big, hot serving of cheese fries or chicken fingers from Alibi's kitchen has been the salvation of many a late-night reveler in the French Quarter. Burgers, salads, po-boys and similar inexpensive fare greet revelers and service industry folks at all hours. Delivery available. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

THE AVENUE PUB 1732 St. Charles Ave., 586-9243 The grill is always hot at the Avenue Pub. Stop in for big half-pound burgers, po-boys, BLT sandwiches, chicken wings or a range of bar-food options. Munchies include jalapeno poppers, mini tacos covered in melted cheese, fried mushrooms and meat pies. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

BALCONY BAR & CAFE 3201 Magazine St., 894-8888 The Balcony Bar is known for its huge selection of beers on draft. Tavern fare includes the Balcony burger, a half-pound patty with sauteed onions, mushrooms, green peppers and bacon and jalapenos. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BEACHCORNER BAR & GRILL 4905 Canal St., 488-7357 The bar's trademark burger features 10 ounces of ground sirloin. Choose from a variety of toppings including blue cheese or sauteed mushrooms. For lighter options, try the grilled tuna steak or grilled chicken served in a sandwich or on a salad. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BROOKS SEAHORSE SALOON 1648 Gentilly Blvd., 218-4217 A Jazz Fest favorite, Brooks serves appetizers like cheese sticks, stuffed olives and egg rolls. Half-pound burgers, chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers and Brooks' fish sandwich all come with fries or potato salad. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BRUNO'S TAVERN 7538 Maple St., 861-7615; www.brunostavern.com This popular university neighborhood bar features a lively atmosphere, large-screen TVs and a menu of burgers and sandwiches. Indulgent appetizers include french fries with cheddar cheese and roast beef debris. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BUFFA'S LOUNGE 1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038 The barroom at Buffa's might not be the first place you'd think of for breakfast — unless you've been there all night. The kitchen offers homemade biscuits topped with sausage gravy and build-your-own omelets with up to 10 fillings. At night, the tavern serves salads, Cajun-seasoned steaks, burgers and sandwiches. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Cash only. $

THE BULLDOG 3236 Magazine St., 891-1516; 5135 Canal Blvd., 488-4191; www.draftfreak.com The Bulldog offers bottled and draft beer from around the world. The grill offers some original items like crawfish banditos plus sandwiches and bar food. The fire-damaged Mid-City location is expected to reopen this month. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE NEGRIL 606 Frenchmen St., 944-4744 This Marigny hot spot showcases a mix of roots music and reggae on the improvised stage in front. The grill in the back is open during club hours and serves a limited menu of juicy burgers, tangy barbecue and tender ribs. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAJUN MIKE'S PUB 'N' GRUB 116 Baronne St., 566-0055 Po-boys aren't the only things loading up at this friendly pub. Favorites include panini-pressed versions of chicken Parmesan and the Cuban sandwich. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

COLUMBIA STREET TAPROOM & GRILL 434 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 898-0899; www.columbiastreettaproom.com From the kitchen, there are three-course dinner specials on Thursdays featuring everything from prime rib to seared tuna. The grill offers gourmet burgers and lunch specials like grilled fish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

COOTER BROWN'S 509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104; www.cooterbrowns.com Cooter Brown's offers hundreds of bottled beers and many on tap. There's an oyster bar and a kitchen serving hot and cold sandwiches including spicy Cajun boudin and a crawfish pie po-boy dressed with remoulade. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COPPER MONKEY BAR & GRILL 725 Conti St., 527-0869 Located just off Bourbon Street, the Copper Monkey draws a mix of locals and tourists for cold drinks and hot food served until the wee hours. Reliable tavern fare like burgers and quesadillas are joined by salads, steaks and fried or grilled seafood. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

THE CORNER OYSTER BAR AND GRILL 500 St. Peter St., 522-2999 Both raw and cooked oysters are abundant at this Jackson Square cafe, and the kitchen piles fried seafood into towering combination platters. Burgers and po-boys offer more options. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DECKBAR & GRILLE 1715 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 830-0104 Deckbar's menu boasts tasty bar food like fried pickles alongside entrees ranging from burgers to fried seafood to a fried vegetable platter. The most popular items are brisket and homemade crab balls, which can also be ordered on a platter with salad and fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DINO'S BAR & GRILL 1128 Tchoupitoulas St., 558-0900 This Warehouse District bar offers hearty food at affordable prices. Burgers, chicken Caesar wraps and an Italian chicken sandwich are some of the diverse offerings. The grilled tuna salad uses sushi-grade tuna, which is grilled with feta vinaigrette glaze and served over greens with tomatoes and croutons. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

THE EDGE BAR & GRILL 3400 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 780-2266 Grilled meat is a specialty at the Edge, from steak to ribs. Tuesday and Thursday are steak nights. The grilled tuna is served over angel-hair pasta with vegetables. Popular sandwiches include hot sausage, fried oysters and veal Parmesan. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

ERNST CAFE 600 S. Peters St., 525-8544 For more than a century, Ernst Cafe has been serving downtowners drinks and hearty fare. Burgers, chicken and fried seafood are mainstays. Look for the gumbo du jour and changing specials like ribs. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

F&M PATIO BAR 4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-6784; www.fandmpatiobar.com F&M's grill has a small but satisfying menu to cap a night of reveling. There are golden-brown spicy egg rolls and quesadillas filled with cheese, grilled onions and peppers. The waffle fries are available solo or layered with cheese. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. The grill is cash only. $

FAT HARRY'S 4330 St. Charles Ave., 895-9582 This Uptown watering hole has been sustaining patrons through the day and long into the night for many years. The shrimp po-boy is smothered in remoulade sauce. The Cajun burger, made with a blend of beef and Italian sausage, is a favorite with regulars. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

FOX AND HOUND 1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson, 731-6000; www.trentcorp.com Fox and Hound has 38 brews and a creative menu. The Black Forest sandwich features Bavarian pretzel bread piled high with grilled turkey, smoked bacon and Monterey Jack cheese. Crab cake slider sandwiches, fried pickles and homemade turkey potpie are new items. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

FRIAR TUCK'S BAR & GRILL 5130 Freret St., 891-4080; www.friartucksbar.com Weekly drink specials and sports on the TV have packed drinkers into this Uptown college hangout since the '60s. They stay for hearty bar food like build-your-own nachos and Philly-style cheesesteaks with mushrooms, onions, peppers and Swiss cheese on hoagie rolls. No reservations. Dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

HARBOR BAR & GRILL 3024 17th St., Metairie, 835-6111 Harbor Bar & Grill's big 12-oz. cheeseburger gets even bigger when stacked with extras like chili and bacon. Top a salad of tomato, bacon and artichoke hearts with blackened tuna. Latenighters love the meat pies, and Harbor fries topped with cheddar, diced onions and roast beef gravy. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

HOOTERS 2781 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 393-7177; 4748 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-0160; www.hooterslouisiana.com Hooters offers a menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads and seafood. Wings are served with a choice of sauces and diners opt for heat levels from mild and medium to Three Mile Island or 911. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

IGOR'S BUDDHA BELLY BURGER BAR 4437 Magazine St., 891-6105 This Magazine Street tavern has a rocking jukebox and busy bar and grill, plus a Laundromat and gameroom. The Igor burger features a specially seasoned half-pound patty. The Cajun burger adds a kick of Tabasco and Creole seasonings. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

IGOR'S LOUNGE & GAMEROOM 2133 St. Charles Ave., 568-9811 An ideal place for multi-taskers and late-night revelers alike, this all-hours bar has a mini Laundromat and serves big, fat burgers around the clock. The Cajun burger is a half-pound patty seasoned with Crystal hot sauce and Cajun spices. Other sides and snacks include Cajun cheese fries and jalapeno poppers. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

JIGGERS GRILL 1645 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-3555 Patrons here watch sports on many large-screen TVs while they nosh on burgers and bar favorites. A special house marinade flavors Jiggers' chicken breast sandwich, and the spicy chicken wings are also popular. Lunch specials are served Monday through Friday. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA FINCA 542 Jefferson Davis Pkwy., 512-1993 The most popular options at this Mid-City bar include burgers, but there are also south-of-the-border options like tacos and fajitas. Hot specials include stewed pork, shrimp etouffee, fried fish and New York strip steak. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

LAGER'S INTERNATIONAL ALE HOUSE 3501 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-9923; www.draftfreak.com Catch a game at Lager's, where hearty pub grub accompanies a dizzying selection of domestic and import beer. Menu selections include steak, sandwiches, salads and waffle fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LE BON TEMPS ROULE 4801 Magazine St., 895-2600; www.myspace.com/4801magazine Le Bon Temps' kitchen serves pub fare with a New Orleans kick. Take your pick from burgers, french fries, po-boys and quesadillas. The bar draws crowds for free oysters every Friday. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LEGENDS PATIO BAR & GRILLE 2708 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 887-3877 Pair cocktails and beer with burgers, chicken sandwiches. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LIVE BAIT BAR AND GRILL 200 Old Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 840-0902; www.livebaitnola.com The bar scene may be the lure at Live Bait, but patrons also come to chomp at other bait, savoring favorites like burgers, nachos and chili-cheese potato wedges. Other options include boudin bites, gumbo and red beans and rice. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LUCKY'S LOUNGE 1625 St. Charles Ave., 523-6538; www.luckysnola.com This low frills St. Charles Avenue barroom has a grill that's open late and a menu of burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets and cheese sticks. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

LUCY'S RETIRED SURFERS BAR & RESTAURANT 701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com Todo Santos fish tacos are filled with grouper, shredded cabbage, cheese and the house shrimp sauce. For brunch, the eggs Monterey includes a crab cake topped with two poached eggs with crawfish sauce and hollandaise over a bed of fresh spinach. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

MELIUS BAR & CAFE 1701 Lake Ave., Metairie, 828-9446; www.meliusbar.com Breakfast and weekday specials at this eatery include po-boys, taco plates and the namesake Melius burger. Patrons enjoy the breakfast sandwich of bacon, cheese and egg on thick Texas toast. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri., dinner Sat. Credit cards. $

MID CITY LANES ROCK 'N' BOWL 4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133; www.rockandbowl.com Late-night grill classics at Mid City Lanes complement the retro vibe of the bowling alley's decor. The burgers and cheese fries are available whether you're bowling or dancing to swing, Cajun or zydeco music. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

O'HENRY'S FOOD & SPIRITS 634 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9741; 710 Terry Pkwy., Gretna, 433-4111; 8859 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 461-9840: www.ohenrys.com With peanut shells littering the floor, O'Henry's is the most casual of restaurants. Stop in for burgers with a huge selection of toppings, sandwiches, ravioli and pasta dishes and ribs or steaks. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PAT FANNIE'S 7537 Maple St., 302-2547 For pub food with an Irish flair, dig into Irish Nachos: potato skins loaded with chili and corned beef. The Blarney Stone burger is topped with Swiss cheese, bacon, corned beef hash and a fried egg. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

RED EYE GRILL 852 S. Peters St., 593-9393; 1057 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-6900; www.redeyegrill.net Billed as "The last place you want to be," Red Eye Grill doubles as a lunch spot and late-night munchie fix. After dancing the night away, curb hunger with cheese fries, jalapeno poppers and enormous burgers. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

REF'S SPORTS BAR & GRILL 219 N. Peters St., 565-3087 Breakfast served all day and a lengthy happy hour (from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) are among the finds at this tavern. Ordering is an easy call for fans of chicken wings, which come with dipping sauces like garlic-Parmesan, soy-ginger and "Xtreme challenge." No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Thu.-Sun. Credit cards. $

SIDELINES BAR & GRILL 1229 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-4002 Sidelines satisfies hungry patrons with hearty burgers, appetizers and wraps. Drop by on Thursday for steak night, when filets seasoned with Cajun dry rub and served with creamed potatoes are just $10. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

SPEAKEASY SPORTS BAR & GRILL 4345 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-4069 Speakeasy serves big 10-oz. burgers, sandwiches and bar munchies like jalapeno poppers, chicken quesadillas, chicken wings and egg rolls. There is boiled crawfish (in season) and oysters on Fridays. Entrees include an 8-oz. filet and tuna steak. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

STATION 8801 8801 Oak St., 861-9293 This casual tavern, located in a converted gas station, keeps the good times flowing with inexpensive draft beer. The menu features steaks, burgers, chicken sandwiches and sides like onion rings and sweet-potato fries. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

STINGRAY'S RESTAURANT & GRILL 1303 W. Esplanade, Kenner, 443-4040; www.stringraysseafood.com For sheer seafood variety, it's hard to beat Stingray's. The restaurant's newest, meanest dish is the lobster lagniappe: a 1 lb. crustacean stuffed with crabmeat, topped with spicy cream sauce and served with lobster bisque, boiled corn and potatoes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

TAVERN ON CITRUS 5708 Citrus Ave., Harahan, 218-5186 At Tavern on Citrus, the namesake burger is a daunting 10-oz. beef patty grilled to order. The menu includes salads and pub-grub standards like fried pickles and mozzarella sticks. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

TROPICAL ISLE 600 Bourbon St., 523-1927; www.tropicalisle.com Drinks, live music and island-themed decor set the scene at Tropical Isle, the longtime Bourbon Street nightspot. Head to the bar to order from a casual menu, including burgers, pizza, nachos, sweet potato fries and taco salad. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

VIC'S KANGAROO CAFE 636 Tchoupitoulas St., 524-4329 Reflecting the spirit of the proprietor's native Australia, this friendly pub offers hearty meals like shepherd's pie with Guinness gravy and Ms. Cathy's barbecued beef platter with garlic and cheddar mashed potatoes. The bar serves many Aussie wines and beers. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

WINSTON'S PUB & PATIO 531 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-8705 Winston's Pub is a casual spot to enjoy a large menu of pub standards like beer-battered fish and chips, which are crispy waffle fries. The Forrest Hills burger boasts a half-pound patty. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BARBECUE

ABITA BAR-B-Q 69399 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 892-0205 Abita gets to the meat of the matter with its slow-cooked brisket and pork. Platter options offer slabs of ribs, turkey legs, smoked boudin, half chickens and pork steaks. For side items, there is everything from macaroni and cheese to corn on the cob and baked beans. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

BYWATER RESTAURANT DELI & BBQ 3162 Dauphine St., 944-4445 Pizza and fresh seafood are not token anomalies at this brisket-and-pork emporium. If you're stuck, try the BBQ Piggy, a pulled-pork pie with jalapenos and two cheeses. The lush back patio is a prime destination during pleasant weather. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

CORKY'S RIBS & BAR-B-Q 4243 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-5000; www.corkysbarbq.com This pulled-pork palace features sandwiches topped with coleslaw, dry or wet ribs and a wide variety of burgers, salads, appetizers and sides. The Killer rounds up a slab of ribs and choice of chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey, sausage or fried catfish, plus beans, coleslaw and a roll. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

HILLBILLY BAR-B-Q 208 Tallulah Ave., River Ridge, 738-1508; www.hillbillybbq.com Hickory wood adds flavor to Hillbilly Bar-B-Q's brisket, pulled pork, smoked boudin sausage links and the huge hamburger known as the Belly Buster. Diners can make a baked potato into a meal by adding any of the barbecued meats. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

THE JOINT 801 Poland Ave., 949-3232; www.alwayssmokin.com At the Joint, slow-smoked meats like ribs and chicken fall off the bone. Side items include peppery mac and cheese and crisp, vinegary coleslaw. There are homemade dessert specials like lemon pie. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SHANE'S RIB SHACK 1855 Barataria Blvd., Suite E, Marrero, 324-9701; www.shanesribshack.com The Big Daddy is a must-try at Shane's. It's a classic pulled-pork sandwich smothered in house sauce. Ribs, chicken strips and barbecued chicken round out the menu. A lengthy list of side dishes offers something to complete any meal. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SQUEAL BAR-B-Q 8400 Oak St., 302-7370 Pork, brisket and ribs are slow-smoked in-house at Squeal. Order them on platters with original side dishes like roasted corn and cheddar grits. There also are sandwiches of pulled pork and chopped brisket, as well as salad options. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SWEET DADDY'S BBQ 420 Tyler St., Covington, (985) 898-2166; 2534 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 626-0208 Sweet Daddy's does it slow and steady for the kind of flavor that's worth waiting for. The dry-rubbed baby back ribs and herb-scented pulled pork are both roasted and smoked for at least 12 hours. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

TEXAS BAR-B-QUE COMPANY 3320 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 456-2832 This Metairie eatery slow smokes ribs, brisket and pulled pork and piles them high on platters or sandwiches. Try the smoked potato stuffed with tangy barbecued beef and topped with extra sauce, cheese and chives. Steaks, burgers and fried seafood plates round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Mon-Sat. Credit cards. $

UGLY DOG SALOON 401 Andrew Higgins Blvd., 569-8459; www.uglydogsaloon.net Bypass the pool tables and head to the grill for sandwiches, burgers and generous platters of barbecue served with sides like chili beans with sour cream or sweet and spicy coleslaw. The juicy pulled pork is slow-cooked shoulder roast brushed with the saloon's tangy sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

VOODOO BBQ & GRILL 1501 St. Charles Ave., 522-4647; www.voodoobbqandgrill.com Voodoo works its magic with slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork and ribs, using a special blend of spicy seasonings in its mojo sauce. Side dishes include Rattlesnake Beans, corn pudding, coleslaw, Gris Gris Greens and creamy macaroni and cheese. Voodoo also offers burgers and chicken sandwiches. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

WALKER'S SOUTHERN STYLE BAR-B-QUE 10828 Haynes Blvd., 241-8227; www.cochondelaitpoboy.com Walker's cochon de lait po-boy is dressed with cabbage and creamy Cajun sauce. Barbecued ribs, chicken, brisket and smoked sausage come with sides like baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, mustard greens and string beans. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

WHOLE HOG CAFE 639 Loyola Ave., 525-4044; www.wholehogcafe.com At this cafe, eating high on the hog means barbecue sandwiches topped with coleslaw. Entrees include pulled pork, brisket, full and half slabs of ribs, pulled chicken meat and half chickens. The Whole Hog Platter rounds up pork, brisket, three beef ribs, baked beans, coleslaw and dinner rolls. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

BELGIAN

CLEMENTINE'S BELGIAN BISTROT 2505 Whitney Ave., Gretna, 366-3995; www.bistrogallerie.com Share one of the bistrot's four tasty mussel dishes if you're looking for a seafood option other than shrimp and fish. Entree and dessert crêpes are popular here, too. There is a good selection of Belgian beers. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BREWPUB

ABITA BREW PUB 72011 Holly St., Abita Springs, (985) 892-5837; www.abitabrewpub.com Along with daily specials and pub grub like burgers and hot wings, the brew pub gets creative with everything from pecan-crusted catfish and barbecued ribs to fried quail and crawfish pasta. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CRESCENT CITY BREWHOUSE 527 Decatur St., 522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com Crescent City brews German style beers to go with contemporary Louisiana cooking. Tuna Orleans features grilled ahi tuna topped with shrimp, served with portobello mushrooms and tomatoes in lemon beurre blanc. Jambalaya pasta is made to order with shrimp, crawfish, chicken, spicy andouille and linguine. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GORDON BIERSCH 200 Poydras St., 552-2739; www.gordonbiersch.com Half beer garden/half sports bar, Gordon Biersch features outdoor tables and large-screen TVs inside the bar. The bar serves several different styles of house brewed beer. The large and varied menu includes a flatiron steak served on a nest of fries drizzled with zesty homemade steak sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BURGERS

BUD'S BROILER Citywide Bud's keeps it simple with flame-broiled burgers. If you want to get fancy, add grated cheddar, hickory sauce, chili or another beef patty. Other options include a grilled chicken sandwich and hot dogs. For dessert there are apple, peach or cherry pies. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Cash only. $

GROUND PAT'I GRILLE AND BAR 11 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, 367-9512; 1305 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 466-8060 The namesake burger keeps this tavern's menu well grounded, but there's plenty more to choose from: fried catfish, tuna steaks and grilled or fried shrimp. From the grill there are pork chops, rib-eyes, filets and T-bones. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JIMMY BUFFETT'S MARGARITAVILLE CAFE 1104 Decatur St., 592-2565; www.margaritaville.com Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is the only place to go for a Cheeseburger in Paradise. Jimmy likes his with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french-fried potatoes. Naturally, there's a special menu of tropical frozen drinks and top-shelf 'ritas. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

KRYSTAL 116 Bourbon St., 523-4030; www.krystal.com Krystal keeps its menu simple and portable. Scramblers feature stacked breakfast items like eggs, sausage patties, grits and pancakes in a cup. A sack of tiny Krystal burgers is also handy for a meal on the go. No reservations. Open 24-hours. Credit cards. $

LEE'S HAMBURGERS Citywide Chopped onions give Lee's burgers a little extra zing. The drive-through is convenient for days when you can't stand in line but must have the Works, a big cheeseburger dressed and served with onion rings or fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

NEW ORLEANS HAMBURGER AND SEAFOOD COMPANY 817 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-8580; 1005 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson, 734-1122; 6920 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-1272; www.nohsc.com Beyond burgers and po-boys, the menu here includes ribs, grilled salmon, steaks, catfish pecan and crawfish etouffee. The Strawberry Fields salad brings together grilled chicken, fresh sliced strawberries, blue cheese and red onions in poppy seed dressing. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OSCAR'S RESTAURANT & BAR 2027 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-9540 Oscar's half-pound hamburger is challenged in girth only by the overstuffed baked potato at its side. A roast beef po-boy with pulled, home-cooked meat provides a worthy alternative. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and late-night Tue.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PHIL'S GRILL 3020 Severn Ave., Metairie, 324-9080; 4700 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 792-7380; www.phils-grill.com Phil's puts you in the driver's seat. Choose from six kinds of burgers and a selection of breads, toppings and sauces. Sides include fried pickles, fried onion strings, sweet potato fries and others. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PORT OF CALL 838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120; www.portofcallneworleans.com This popular French Quarter bar and grill is known for thick burgers and the signature Monsoon cocktail. The menu also includes steaks and entrees come with a baked potato. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE TIMES GRILL 1827 Front St., Slidell, (985) 639-3335; 1896 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-1161; www.timesgrill.com Although known for burgers (there are a whopping 20 specialty burgers on the menu), Times Grill also offers salads, sandwiches, wraps, and fried seafood in po-boys, baskets and pasta dishes. Tuesday is steak night, and kids eat for free on Wednesday nights. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE

BAYOU COFFEE HOUSE & CAFE 326 N. Jefferson Davis Pkwy., 484-7390; www.bayoucoffeehouse.com Order a full breakfast or snack on sweet treats like brownies and bananas Foster cheesecake. Lunch features salads, panini and burgers. There is a full bar and daiquiris. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Fri.-Wed. Credit cards. $

BEAN GALLERY 637 N. Carrollton Ave., 324-8176 Bean Gallery offers espresso, coffee drinks and thick Turkish coffee. Breakfast includes bagels, croissants and egg sandwiches. For lunch, try the prosciutto and asparagus panini, and finish with gelato for dessert. Free Wi-Fi access is available. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and late-night dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

BECK-N-CALL CAFE 534 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 875-9390 At Beck-N-Call Cafe, a hickory-smoked turkey club comes layered with crisp bacon, Swiss cheese, romaine, tomato and honey mustard on soft honey-wheat bread. Daily specials include crawfish etouffee and homemade lasagna. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

BLACK ORCHID BISTRO 3749 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 832-1444 This bistro offers a full menu during the day, and the bar stays open in the evening with happy-hour specials. Sandwiches, panini, salads and homemade soups are offered at lunch. There are specialty coffee drinks as well. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

BLUE PLATE CAFE 1330 Prytania St., 309-9500 Blue ceramic-tile tables and decorative plates brighten this cute cafe, but the real eye-opener is the food. Lunch features a variety of homemade soups, sandwiches and daily specials like barbecued salmon rubbed with seasonings, grilled and topped with barbecue sauce. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat. Credit cards. $

BLUE TOMATO 4401 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 734-3000 This kitschy cantina features fajitas and carnitas alongside classic burgers, pizza and pasta. Yellowfin tuna steaks and smoked ribs are served with a side of pineapple baked beans and coleslaw. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

BOUCHERIE 8115 Jeannette St., 862-5514; www.boucherie-nola.com If you can't find the Purple Truck, head to its homebase for creative po-boys like duck confit topped with pickled carrots and candied pecans. Or stop in for a dinner of smoked brisket with french fries with garlic butter and Parmesan. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE 59 1931 Hwy. 59, Mandeville, (985) 727-1120; www.cafe59mandeville.com Cafe 59 is known for its eclectic breakfast items like Alexis' Wake-Up Yogurt Banana Split and the giant croissant omelet. Lunchtime's Baja fish taco with grilled catfish is topped with Baja sauce, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro and lime. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAFE BEIGNET 311 Bourbon St., 525-2611; 334B Royal St., 524-5530; 819 Decatur St., 522-9929; www.cafebeignet.com Cafe Beignet's three locations in the French Quarter offer a variety of New Orleans favorites including fresh beignets and crawfish cakes. Cajun hash browns combine andouille sausage, potatoes, bell peppers and red onion and come with French bread and scrambled eggs. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

CAFE D'CAPPUCCINO 4041 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-2299 This busy Kenner cafe's breakfast plate delivers eggs, bacon or sausage, grits and your choice of toast or biscuit. The lunch and dinner menus offer an array of salads and sandwiches like the new grilled chicken Caesar wrap. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE ENVIE 1241 Decatur St., 524-3689; www.myspace.com/envienola Regulars come for casual meals, a quick coffee drink or to linger at one of the sidewalk tables at this cafe near the French Market. The menu includes hot Southern-style breakfasts, bagels and fresh pastries, an array of sandwiches and vegetarian options. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and late-night dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE FLEUR DE LIS 307 Chartres St., 529-9641; www.cafefleurdelis.com Waffles, pancakes and heartier fare like steak and eggs greet the morning crowd at this casual cafe. The Fleur de Lis omelet is packed with crawfish, onions, bell peppers and pepper Jack cheese and topped with crawfish etouffee. Lunch brings a line-up of salads, burgers and panini. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE FRERET 7329 Freret St., 861-7890 Freret's Black and Blue Voodoo burger doesn't stop at just beef and cheese. Piled high on a toasted ciabatta are an 8-oz. patty, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, vegetables and garlic mayo. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Fri.-Wed. Credit cards. $$

CAFE FRESCA 4441 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 887-2010 Cafe Fresca serves homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and specials like the fried chicken club salad with crumbled bacon, avocado, chopped egg, tomatoes and croutons. The Santa Fe mixes marinated grilled chicken breast with mashed avocado, tomato and onion relish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE LATTE II 2324 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-6343; www.cafelatte2.com It's easy to make this cafe part of your regular workday routine. Check out the chicken quesadillas with red onions, black beans and tomatoes served in a wheat tortilla. The chicken salad wrap is filled with homemade chicken salad and fresh vegetables. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFE MADEA'S 731 Common St., 558-3998 This tiny downtown cafe provides customers with huge portions of flavorful soul food staples. Dishes like red beans, gumbo, pork chops in gravy and fried catfish keep regulars coming back. Rib-sticking daily specials include the stuffed bell peppers (Tuesday) and meatloaf with brown gravy, mashed potatoes and string beans or peas (Wednesday). No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFE NAVARRE 800 Navarre Ave., 483-8828 Stop in for omelets and breakfast plates in the morning or for salads, panini, po-boys and burgers at lunch. The Mediterranean omelet is packed with sauteed spinach, artichoke, feta, mozzarella, onion and tomato. Roast beef po-boys are filled with slow-cooked debris. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE RANI 2917 Magazine St., 895-2500; www.caferanimagazine.com Between the Soprano salad with pesto-grilled chicken, the Tandoori tuna steak sandwich, and Redfish Chandeleur with shrimp in Cajun cream sauce, there's something for everyone at this Garden District spot. The Rani Watcher menu offers a sampling of the cafe's lightest options. No reservations. Breakfast Sat., lunch daily, dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFE ROSE NICAUD 632 Frenchmen St., 949-3300 This Marigny cafe gives its patrons a choice between sidewalk seating and comfy armchairs indoors. Linger over espresso drinks, coffee, tea and exotic sodas. Sandwiches, salads and lunch specials like veggie lasagna are on the menu. Housemade quiches change daily. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE ROYALE 3343 Metairie Road., Metairie, 304-8438 Cafe Royale serves a Thai chicken salad on romaine with almonds and spicy peanut and ginger dressings. Tuesday's special is tender veal pot roast served with mashed potatoes, salad and garlic bread. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFFE! CAFFE! 4301 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 885-4845; www.caffecaffe.com An expansive menu offers daily specials including soups, sandwiches, salads, quiche and teas. A favorite is grilled chicken avocado salad featuring romaine lettuce mixed with gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, orange segments, red onions and mango vinaigrette. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFFE LATTE DA 5860 Citrus Blvd., Harahan, 818-0052; www.caffelatteda.com Drop in for breakfast bagels, muffins, one of many special omelets, and of course, coffee. Or stop in for a healthy lunch like the Oriental salad or California turkey wrap. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CAMELLIA CAFE 525 W. Gause Blvd., Slidell, (985) 649-6211; 69455 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 809-6313 This family-friendly spot offers a menu of local favorites, including creamy corn and crab bisque. The fried seafood platter comes piled high with golden-fried shrimp, catfish, oysters, stuffed crabs and stuffed shrimp. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAMPBELL'S COFFEE & TEA 516 S. Tyler St., Covington, (985) 246-6992; www.campbellscoffee.com At this Covington cafe, panini with fillings like roast turkey, ham, artichoke and cheese are served on ciabatta. In addition to specialty coffee drinks, the Mexican coffee-styled Cafe Ole is the signature house drink. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CHARTRES HOUSE CAFE 601 Chartres St., 586-8383; www.chartreshousecafe.com The bar offers very cold cocktails thanks to a system that keeps spirits chilled at five degrees. The kitchen brings the heat with dishes like Tabasco hot wings, eggplant Napoleon topped with spicy crawfish sauce and platters of fried seafood. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CHATEAU COFFEE HOUSE AND CAFE 139 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 286-1777; 3501 Chateau Blvd., Kenner, 465-9444; 701 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 465-1338; East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 888-0601 This local chain of coffeehouses serves pastries as well as a wide range of lunch and dinner items including specialty wraps, burgers, quesadillas, salads and signature sandwiches. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Hours vary by location. Credit cards and checks. $

COFFEA COFFEEHOUSE AND GALLERY 3218 Dauphine St., 342-2484; www.coffeacoffeehouse.com H&H Bagels are flown in from in New York City, but more items are made from scratch at Coffea. Crepes are a perennial favorite. The Florentine with spinach, tomato, egg and sour cream is the most popular. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

COFFEE RANI 234 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 893-6158 At this Northshore cafe, grilled shrimp salad features a bed of mixed greens with raisins, apples and curry dressing. There's also a low-carb menu and Rani Watchers selections, which are rated on a Weight Watchers-like point system. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COME BACK INN 3826 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-1623; 8016 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 467-9316 Daily specials, big sandwiches and children's meals star at this casual cafe. The open-face roast beef dinner comes with mashed potatoes, vegetables and salad. The shrimp, oyster and catfish combination dinner will satisfy big appetites. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily; Williams location is closed Sun. Credit cards. $

COMMON GROUNDS 335 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 227-2200 Check out Common Grounds' regular breakfast specials with boudin sausage and short stacks. For lunch and dinner, you can't go wrong with the artichoke Amelia, a casserole-like dish with artichoke hearts, breadcrumbs, cream and plenty of spices. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

CORNER CAFE 3316 Green Acres Road, Metairie, 454-1008 Corner Cafe offers straightforward hearty meals like pancakes and sausage for breakfast and a good variety of seafood and po-boys for lunch or dinner. Tasty desserts include bread pudding and turtle cheesecake. Reservations accepted. Breakfast Tue.-Sun., lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

COVENANT CAFE 1515 Poydras St., 522-3335; www.covenanthouseno.org Try dishes like Lafayette crab cakes, which are served over crawfish tails in penne pasta with grated Parmesan cheese. Panini-style Ya Ya Chicken is topped with Swiss and cheddar cheeses and honey-mustard dressing. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CREPES A LA CART 1039 Broadway St., 866-2362; www.freewebs.com/crepesalacarte This casual eatery serves all sorts of sweet and savory crepes. The s'mores crepe is filled with melted chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallow. The Italian is stuffed with mozzarella, Roma tomatoes, basil and tomato sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

CROISSANT D'OR 617 Ursulines Ave., 524-4663 The ambiance of this coffee shop offers a virtual field trip to Paris. Sweet or savory pastries, baguette sandwiches with bechamel sauce, quiches, salads and homemade soups provide inexpensive breakfasts and lunches. Sip a cafe au lait by the corner windows or in the interior courtyard. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

ESPRESSO EXPRESS One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., Suite 116, 524-5115 A popular lunch spot for workers in the CBD, Espresso Express rolls out a full line of panini and wraps in addition to daily specials. Quick breakfast options include bagels, cinnamon rolls and other pastries. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

FELLINI'S CAFE 900 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-2155; www.fellinisneworleans.com This Mid-City eatery features a spacious outdoor patio perfect for dining in mild weather. The menu features pastas, sandwiches and pizzas. The chicken portobello lavash roll with spicy red pepper sauce is a favorite. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FLORA GALLERY & COFFEE SHOP 2600 Royal St., 947-8358 This Marigny coffeehouse is surrounded by outdoor plants and filled with art. Various coffee drinks, teas and fresh-squeezed juices complement a small menu that features lentil soup, hard-boiled eggs, vegan pastries, large stuffed burritos and other eclectic offerings. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

FRESCO'S CAFE AND PIZZERIA 7625 Maple St., 862-6363; www.frescocafe.us Fresco's Italian and Mediterranean menu features gourmet pizzas, salads, sandwiches on freshly baked bread, lavash rolls and pasta entrees. Try the cheese tortellini served in gorgonzola cream sauce with ham and broccoli. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FUEL COFFEE HOUSE 4807 Magazine St., 895-5757; www.fuelcoffeehouse.net This coffeehouse offers full breakfast and lunch menus. Kickstart your day with eggs any style. Lunch brings alligator cheesecake, shrimp and grits, and fresh vegetarian soups like split pea or black bean. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

GOOD EARTH MARKET AND Cafe 821 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 674-4329 Good Earth serves an array of natural, organic food with a Creole focus. A savory cochon de lait po-boy is a popular choice. Daily specials range from soups and salads to tacos. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

HICKORY CAFE AND GRILL 1313 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 737-0033 Hickory offers a hot pressed Cuban sandwich made with roasted pork loin, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and Creole mayonnaise. The Uptown chicken sandwich features melted Brie on top of a grilled chicken breast with spinach and tomatoes on a sesame seed bun. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

HOOKAH CAFE 500 Frenchmen St., 943-1101; www.hookah-cafe.com Hookah Cafe offers local as well as Indian and Asian flavors to accompany its namesake water pipes. Nibble from a cheese board or pommes frites with cilantro-jalapeno aioli, or settle in for a full dinner with entrees like the black Angus Chateaubriand. Reservations recommended. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JAZMINE CAFE 614 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9301 Jazmine Cafe offers six different kinds of steaming pho, complete with noodles, fresh herbs and beef, chicken or vegetables. Hot and tangy tamarind fish soup is a popular choice, as are the fresh spring rolls in rice paper stuffed with rare tuna. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

JUJU BAG CAFE AND BARBER SALON 5363 Franklin Ave., 872-0969 This cafe cooks no beef or pork, doesn't fry anything, and serves all its sandwiches on whole wheat. Omelets and waffles are served in the mornings. Healthy options like Caribbean shrimp salad, grilled shrimp sandwiches and a chicken and French onion soup fill the lunch menu. Reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit Cards accepted. $$

KOZ'S 6215 Wilson St., Harahan, 737-3933; www.kozcooks.com The menu at this casual spot boasts filling, bargain-priced renditions of local favorites like fried or grilled redfish, fried chicken plates and garlic-stuffed roast beef. New specials include meatballs and spaghetti, and shrimp Creole. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

LA BOULANGERIE 4600 Magazine St., 269-3777 This French bakery is known for its fresh pastries and flaky croissants, but the menu also features a host of panini, small pizzas and salads. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, early dinner Mon.-Sat. Checks. $

LA DIVINA GELATERIA 621 St. Peter St., 302-2692; 3005 Magazine St., 258-5313; www.ladivinagelateria.com La Divina serves more than just house-made gelati. It also offers breakfast and lunch options, like the muffelino, a panini-style muffuletta made with imported cold cuts on ciabatta. No reservations. Breakfast daily at St. Peter St. location. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA MADELEINE 601 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-8662; 3300 Severn Ave., Suite 201, Metairie, 456-1624; 3434 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, (985) 626-7004; 5171 Citrus Blvd., Suite 2000, Harahan, 818-2450; www.lamadeleine.com There's a French accent to these cafeteria-style cafes. Choose from American or dark French roast coffee while the kitchen prepares potato galettes, salads, savory crepes. The roast turkey sandwich is topped with bacon, provolone and sun-dried tomato pesto sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LAFITTE'S CAFE 6325 Elysian Fields Ave., 284-7878; www.lafittescafe.com Lafitte's is a popular spot for wraps, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Thursday is steak night, but the regular menu includes rib-sticking fare such as fried pickles, chili cheese fries and baskets of fried seafood. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

LAKEVIEW BREW COFFEE CAFE 5606 Canal Blvd., 483-7001 Lakeview Brew serves specialty coffees and a menu of healthy options. The Brew-Rito is a gourmet tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, bell peppers and bacon, ham or sausage. The house club sandwich is layered with smoked turkey, ham, bacon and American cheese on a choice of bread. Reservations accepted. Breakfast daily, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LAUREL STREET BAKERY 5433 Laurel St., 897-0576 Head to Laurel Street for fresh, hot muffins, and while you're there pick up some cakes, quiches and house-made bagels, too. In addition to standard bakery items, the patisserie also offers a sandwich menu. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash and checks. $

LAZY RIVER 600 Decatur St., Suite 101, Jax Brewery Millhouse, 588-2853; www.patobriens.com/lazyriverneworleans.html Catch a refreshing breeze off the river at this Jax Brewery eatery. It's a sister establishment to Pat O'Brien's, so tall Hurricane cocktails are served. Menu highlights include roast beef po-boys, crawfish bread and a muffuletta on foccacia. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LORETTA'S TOO 2101 N. Rampart St., 944-7068; www.lorettaspralines.com This Marigny corner cafe bakes a variety of pastries in-house including blueberry, chocolate chip, lemon poppy seed and carrot "sunrise" muffins. Stop by on Friday afternoons for the weekly fish fry. Regular New Orleans-style lunch specials include fried and baked chicken and stuffed bell peppers. No reservations. Breakfast daily, lunch Fri. Cash only. $

LOUIE & THE REDHEAD LADY 1851 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 626-8101; www.theredheadlady.com The Jambalaya scramble introduces a Louisiana twist to the standard egg breakfast. For seafood lovers with an appetite, there are all-you-can-eat fried shrimp and catfish deals. No reservations. Breakfast and dinner Wed.-Sat., lunch Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

MADDIE'S PLACE 3200 Severn Ave., Suite 108, Metairie, 456-7075; www.maddiesplace.net This European-style coffeehouse serves a host of homemade sandwiches and salads, including the chicken salad wrap with cranberry sauce and the Swiss turkey salad. Beverages include everything from cappuccino to creamy iced chai. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MATTINA BELLA 421 E. Gibson St., Covington, (985) 892-0708 Mornings are made bearable with Mattina Bella's Florentine omelet, three eggs with creamed spinach and artichokes and topped with melted mozzarella. At lunch, the catfish Creole meuniere has a pecan crust and is served with creamy meuniere sauce. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

MORNING CALL 3325 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-4068; www.morningcallcoffeestand.com Morning Call's history dates back more than a century to its origins at the French Market. Now, along with coffee and beignets, the restaurant serves crawfish etouffee, gumbo and corn and crab soup. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Cash only. $

NAPOLEON HOUSE BAR & CAFE 500 Chartres St., 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com Napoleon House features a charming and classic French Quarter atmosphere, specialty drinks like the refreshing Pimm's Cup and relaxing classical music. Its muffuletta is heated to draw out flavors, and other menu items include seafood gumbo, jambalaya, soups, salads and po-boys. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

NEW ORLEANS BREAKFAST & PANCAKE HOUSE 101 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 394-7272; 4301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 281-4510 Dare to start the day with the Big House omelet, packed with four eggs, crispy bacon, sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms and cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Metairie location open 24 hours Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

NEW ORLEANS FOOD AND SPIRITS 208 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 875-0432 Smothered rabbit with white beans and rice is a popular lunch special at this casual cafe. Seafood choices include redfish on weekends. Eggplant is stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat topped with crawfish cream sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Tue., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

OAK STREET CAFE 8140 Oak St., 866-8710; www.oakstreetcafe.com Alongside a bevy of creative breakfast options, Oak Street offers something so simple it's genius: an open-face, Big Sunrise po-boy heaped with scrambled eggs, American cheese, ham, bacon and sausage all smothered in gravy. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Credit cards and checks. $

PARADISE CAFE 3717 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-4141 Home-style cooking is the specialty here, from creamy soups to chunky, freshly baked cookies. Breakfast is made to order, and popular lunch specials include white beans and rice with smoked sausage, chicken salad plates or sandwiches, gumbo and chicken tortilla soup. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Fri., lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

PARKVIEW CAFE AT CITY PARK City Park, 1 Palm Drive, 483-9474 The Parkview Cafe serves pastries and gourmet coffee in the morning and a full lunch menu till early evening. Items include salads, sandwiches, panini, burgers and hot dogs. For dessert there's ice cream. The cafe also serves beer and wine. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

PAUL'S CAFE 100 E. Pine St., Ponchatoula, (985) 386-9581; www.paulscafe.net Stuffed crab with rice and gravy, grilled catfish, and shrimp etouffee are favorite blue plate specials at Paul's Cafe. Homey sides include field peas or cauliflower with melted cheese. A popular weekend favorite is the homemade Ponchatoula strawberry daiquiri, whipped up with New Orleans Rum. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

PUCCINO'S Lakeside Shopping Center Annex, 17th Street at Severn Ave., Metairie, 835-3151; 5200 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-9970; www.lovepuccinos.com Besides coffee and tea, Puccino's serves panini, mini-muffulettas, salads, soups and pastries until midnight daily. For breakfast, try the buttermilk waffle sandwich with two eggs, cheddar cheese and ham or bacon. Beer and wine are available. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

REFUEL COFFEE AND NOSH 8124 Hampson St., 872-0187; www.refuelcafe.com This casual cafe offers counter service for a quick cup of coffee and the kitchen turns out innovative options for breakfast, lunch or brunch. The Prime sandwich tops shaved prime rib with blue cheese aioli, pickled onions, roasted peppers and blue cheese crumbles. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Fri., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RENDEZ VOUS CAFE 3001 General de Gaulle Drive, 367-6013: www.myrendezvouscafe.com Rendez Vous combines Mediterranean dishes like chicken shawarma, shish kebabs, tabbouleh and falafel with sandwiches at lunch and entrees like steak, fried chicken and chicken Alfredo pasta at dinner. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RICCOBONO'S PANOLA STREET CAFE 7801 Panola St., 314-1810 A family-style atmosphere welcomes patrons at this sunny Uptown cafe. Popular morning specials include the crawfish omelet, crab cakes Benedict, huevos rancheros and Belgian waffles. At lunch choose from hamburger steaks, fried catfish and burgers. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

THE RUBY SLIPPER CAFE 139 S. Cortez St., 309-5531; www.therubyslippercafe.net Click your heels three times and remember there's nothing like the home cooking at Ruby Slipper. Eggs Blackstone is a newfangled southern Benedict: poached yolks and hollandaise atop tomato, bacon and home-style biscuits. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

SOUND CAFE 2700 Chartres St., 947-4477 This Faubourg Marigny coffee shop throws its turkey and Brie sandwich for a delightful loop with slices of Granny Smith apple and fresh pesto. A vegan option combines hummus, tomato, cucumber and sprouts on your choice of bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards and checks. $

STAR CAFE 2186 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 674-9920 The Kevin Bacon chicken sandwich features two chicken breasts served on fresh focaccia with tomato-garlic aioli, feta cheese and fresh vegetables. Try the mushroom-Swiss or jalapeno-cheddar burgers or build your own. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

STILL PERKIN' 2727 Prytania St., 899-0335 Still Perkin' is a great place to stake out a corner window spot and drink a fragrant latte while watching the world go by. Lunch menu items include salads, sandwiches, pastries and bagels with house-made blended cream cheeses like tomato basil or chive. Free Wi-Fi is available. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SUCRE 3025 Magazine St., 520-8311; www.shopsucre.com Sucre specializes in sugary confections. The Tiffany tantalizes with layers of chocolate raspberry sponge cake, raspberry mousse and gelee encased in a chocolate dome. The pork tenderloin sandwich is topped with apple and sweet onion chutney, Creole mustard sauce and baby arugula. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SURREY'S CAFE & JUICE BAR 1418 Magazine St., 524-3828; www.surreyscafeandjuicebar.com Fresh-squeezed juice and delectable breakfast entrees make Surrey's a welcome beginning any day of the week. Migas feature shredded cheddar cheese and corn tortillas chips folded into scrambled eggs and sauteed with peppers, onions and tomatoes and topped with pico de gallo. Breakfast, lunch and brunch daily. Cash only. $

TOUT DE SUITE 347 Verret St., 362-2264 This Algiers Point eatery is most popular for breakfast, but it also offers excellent lunch and early dinner fare. Come here for the creative chicken panini made with applewood-smoked bacon, provolone, basil aioli and grilled peppers. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THE TROLLEY STOP CAFE 1923 St. Charles Ave., 523-0090 Catch breakfast anytime at the Trolley Stop, or stop in for changing daily specials like red beans on Monday, spaghetti on Tuesday and smothered pork chops on Wednesday. There also are seafood options. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner and late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

VIANNE'S TEA SALON & CAFE 544 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 624-5683; www.viannes.com High tea is a three-course affair that consists of house-made scones served with lemon curd, cream and jam, tea sandwiches and canapes and an assortment of mini-desserts. The lunch menu includes items like peanut chicken salad. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

VITALITY JUICE, JAVA & SMOOTHIE BAR 322 Dalwill Drive, Mandeville, (985) 727-3482; 1915 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 737-1901; www.vitalityjuice.com Choose from organic coffees, smoothies, juices, teas, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Popular fruit smoothies include the Spunky Monkey, made with strawberry, orange and banana. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

CAJUN

COCHON 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123; www.cochonrestaurant.com Cochon puts pork to use in a myriad of Cajun and Southern recipes, from large boudin balls to pork ribs with watermelon rind pickles. Entrees include whole fish specials and rabbit and dumplings with braised Mississippi rabbit and vegetable stew baked in a cast iron skillet. The bar has a selection of legal moonshine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

COOP'S PLACE 1109 Decatur St., 525-9053; www.coopsplace.net Late-night hours and a menu thick with convincing Cajun flavor has earned this Decatur Street tavern a loyal following. The jambalaya supreme is loaded with rabbit, sausage, shrimp and smoky tasso. Redfish is blackened in an iron skillet. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MULATE'S CAJUN RESTAURANT 201 Julia St., 522-1492; www.mulates.com At this rustic-styled Warehouse District destination, Cajun bands perform every evening. Original dishes include grilled catfish Mulate's topped with crawfish etouffee. The menu also features chicken and sausage jambalaya, shrimp and corn bisque and crawfish alligator pasta. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CARIBBEAN/CUBAN

BARU BISTRO & TAPAS 3700 Magazine St., 895-2225 Chef Edgar Caro fuses elements from the cuisines of his hometown (Cartagena, Colombia) with those of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Baru offers a variety of tapas as well as entrees like the popular pescado with coconut rice and the lechon Cubano, a slow-roasted shoulder of pork. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BOSWELL'S JAMAICAN GRILL 3521 Tulane Ave., 482-6600 Boswell's specializes in Caribbean favorites like jerk chicken and pork, grilled fish and beef and vegetable patties. The weekday lunch buffet typically includes items like jerk chicken, brown chicken stew, chicken curry, rice and beans and other dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CHURROS CAFE 3100 Kingman St., Metairie, 885-6516 Home of the sweet fried dough stick known as a churro, this Cuban restaurant serves traditional dishes like lechon asado, or slow roasted pork that has been marinated in sour orange juice, garlic and herbs. Or try the sirloin marinated in sour orange juice, garlic, onions and cilantro. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

COCO HUT 2515 Bayou Road, 945-8788 Caribbean flair and spicy appeal make the jerk chicken — grilled dark meat chicken served with rice, peas and plantains — a regular favorite. For seafood, try the grilled red snapper served with salad, vegetables and fried plantains. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Checks. $

LIBORIO CUBAN RESTAURANT 321 Magazine St., 581-9680 Old Havana beckons from the CBD with classic Cuban dishes including ropa viejo, stewed beef brisket and roast pork. Daily specials offer flavorful windows on Cuban cuisine. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHINESE

BEIJING 2222 Clearview Pkwy., Suite B2, Metairie, 885-8881 Beijing offers a wide range of Chinese dishes including vegetarian options, noodle dishes and fried rice. Beijing crispy chicken is a sauteed mix of lightly battered and fried chicken slices with julienned carrots and celery in sweet and spicy brown sauce. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE EAST 4628 Rye St., Metairie, 888-0078; www.cafeeastnola.com Traditional Chinese and southeast Asian recipes get creative treatment at this visually stunning restaurant. New specialties include gyoza dumplings. There is everything from spring rolls to soups to Mongolian beef. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHINA DOLL 830 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 366-8822 China Doll offers Chinese staples like crab rangoons, which are fried wontons filled with cream cheese and crabmeat, as well as sweet-and-sour chicken and wonton soup. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CHINA EXPRESS & SMOOTHIE HOUSE 2424 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 465-0788 Rush into China Express for lunch and dinner combinations and fried rice dishes. One specialty is stir-fried eggplant with shrimp in a traditional light brown sauce. There are also burgers and sandwiches served as po-boys or on a bun. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHINA ORCHID RESTAURANT 704 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-1428 This Riverbend mainstay has been serving affordable American-Chinese dishes to students and neighbors for years. The Empress chow mein has crispy, thin noodles topped with scallops, shrimp, chicken, beef and vegetables in brown sauce, and the spicy General Tso's chicken is a menu mainstay. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CHINA ROSE 3501 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 887-3295 China Rose has an array of Chinese specialties and offers a second menu for those who prefer more authentic Chinese dishes. The Lomi Lomi features jumbo shrimp, pineapple and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, fried golden brown and served on a bed of sauteed vegetables. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CHRISTINA'S EMPRESS OF CHINA 429 Wall Blvd., Gretna, 392-3939; www.empressofchina.net Classic Chinese dishes with a twist are what you'll find at Christina Tsang's restaurant. Try poached salmon served with fresh ginger and scallions. Lunch specials and family-style dinners make Christina's an affordable treat. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

CHUN LEE RESTAURANT 1100 Elmwood Park Blvd., Harahan, 733-8562 Chun Lee has served American-Chinese dishes for 25 years. It also serves vermicelli dishes, plus new beef, chicken and shrimp soups. The Chun Lee special platter includes balamaki, fried shrimp, rumaki shrimp, egg rolls, chicken, ribs, fried wonton and barbecued pork. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DOUBLE DRAGON 8236 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 433-4333 General Tso's chicken is a favorite at Double Dragon. There are many lunch and dinner specials. The large menu includes Szechuan, Mandarin and Cantonese entrees. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FIVE HAPPINESS 3605 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3935; www.fivehappiness.com Daily lunch specials include a choice of soup, shrimp fried rice and fried wonton. For dinner, try the Triple Dragon, a trio of chicken, beef and shrimp simmering in hot garlic sauce. All dishes can be altered for preferred level of spice. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

FONG'S CHINESE RESTAURANT 2101 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-8216 Fong's Four Happiness platter delivers on its promise, with roast pork, chicken, shrimp and beef sharing space with an assortment of Chinese vegetables. Or try honey glazed chicken. Delivery available. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

IMPERIAL GARDEN 3331 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-5691 There are menus for American and more authentically Chinese tastes at Imperial Garden. Besides popular Cantonese dishes there are chef's specials of fried and baked tofu, fried pork with spicy sauce, pork dumplings and more. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JUNG'S GOLDEN DRAGON RESTAURANT 4417 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-6081 Jung's offers generous luncheon specials starting at $5. Empress chow mein combines shrimp, chicken, pork and beef sauteed with fresh Chinese vegetables in brown sauce served over pan-fried noodles. Delivery available. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MANDARIN HOUSE 3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 779-0888 Known for its seafood bar, Mandarin House boasts boiled shrimp, crawfish, king crab and more. Besides Chinese dishes, buffet selections include everything from sushi to dessert. Meat dishes range from barbecued pork to teriyaki chicken. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RED PALACE RESTAURANT 1025 Westbank Expwy., Gretna, 366-7071 This restaurant has all you would expect at a Chinese eatery plus some unique dishes. War sell op, for example, is fried duckling atop a bed of mixed vegetables, Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoots and pea pods topped with shredded ham. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RED STAR CHINESE RESTAURANT 8330 Earhart Blvd., 861-1933; www.redstarchineserestaurant.com Szechuan and Mandarin specialties include sizzling rice soup, Peking duck and spicy seafood dishes like Szechuan shrimp and scallops. The restaurant also has a lighter menu of dishes prepared with no added salt, sugar or cornstarch. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TEA GARDEN 1918 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-9455 Classic Chinese dishes at Tea Garden include favorites such as moo goo gai pan and General Tso's chicken. At just over $10, family dinners such as kung bo shrimp and sweet-and-sour pork are a bargain. Daily lunch specials abound. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TREY YUEN CUISINE OF CHINA 600 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4476; 2100 N. Morrison Blvd., Hammond, (985) 345-6789; www.treyyuen.com There are plenty of favorites like egg rolls, pot stickers, fried wontons and hot-and-sour soup, but the kitchen creates original dishes as well. Try crawfish with spicy lobster sauce, which features crawfish tails, pork, peanut oil, garlic, ginger and egg sauteed in a wok. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

COFFEE & DESSERT

ANGELO BROCATO 214 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-0078; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com Brocato's offers 24 ice cream flavors made fresh with milk, cream, fruit, nuts and nut pastes, as well as Italian ice specialties like spumoni and cassata. Pastries and baked goods include Sicilian cannolis. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

BELLA BREW 2701 Airline Drive, Suite L, Metairie, 846-9930 This coffeehouse and lunch spot offers a mix of coffee drinks, juices, pastries, quiches and salads as well as daily lunch specials. The frozen coffee punch is an ice cream and espresso drink. The lightly spiced shrimp salad rests in half an avocado surrounded by greens, tomato and egg. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

BEN & JERRY'S ICE CREAM 3500 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-5656; www.benjerry.com In addition to ice cream in basic and its signature creative flavor varieties, Ben & Jerry's offers specials like a waffle cone sundae. For something a little lighter, there's the strawberry kiwi smoothie made with non-fat sorbet and fresh fruit. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

BITTERSWEET CONFECTIONS 5331 Canal Blvd., 484-0780; www.bittersweetconfections.com Along with coffee drinks and soft drinks, Bittersweet offers 36 varieties of flavored truffles plus cookies, fudge, s'mores, macaroons, candied orange peels, caramels, sugar-free chocolates and other sweets. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

BLAST SMOOTHIES & ICE CREAM 143 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 302-2956 Blast offers fruit smoothies and a variety of ice cream items from malts, shakes and floats to banana splits and sundaes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE DU MONDE Citywide; www.cafedumonde.com Cafe au lait and beignets made Cafe du Monde world famous. While the original Decatur Street location remains a French Quarter landmark, satellite shops can be found scattered throughout the metro area. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Cash only. $

CAFE LUNA 802 Nashville Ave., 269-2444 Cafe Luna warms customers up with soothing sippers like the gingerbread, chocolate mint and egg nog lattes. Sliced king cake is available during Carnival season. A variety of pastries and panini also are served. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CC'S COFFEEHOUSE Citywide; www.communitycoffee.com This local chain of coffeehouses uses its own roasted blends and both hot and iced specialty drinks. Baked goods include muffins, pastries and bagels. Many locations also have WiFi. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

COFFEE COVE 3431 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 780-9445 Coffee Cove offers a good jolt of caffeine straight up and in specialty drinks. Enjoy a pastry or cookie with a frothy cappuccino in the morning. There' also a full lunch menu of sandwiches, wraps and salads. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

COLD STONE CREAMERY 624 S. Carrollton Ave., 218-8900; www.coldstonecreamery.com The icy marble slabs at this ice cream chain are a canvas for a myriad of flavors. Mix-in items include an exhaustive list of nuts, fruit and candy. The Cheesecake Named Desire is a graham cracker-crusted cheesecake layered with ice cream, raspberry sauce and frosting. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CREOLE CREAMERY 4924 Prytania St., 894-8680; www.creolecreamery.com Warm up your winter with hot chocolate and coffee—or stick to Creole Creamery's frozen confections. Carnival season brings the ice cream king cake complete with lucky baby. The extensive, inventive menu of ice cream selections changes frequently and includes several sublime spins on chocolate. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

FAIR GRINDS COFFEEHOUSE 3133 Ponce de Leon St., 913-9073; www.fairgrinds.com The cafe au lait at Fair Grinds is prepared with scalded milk and chicory coffee. The chai shake offers an exotic, tropical refreshment. Light fare includes locally baked pastries, desserts, breads and ice cream. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash and checks. $

GAMBINO'S BAKERY 300 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 391-0600; 4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-3620; www.gambinos.info Gambino's bakes pies, petits fours and doberge cakes year-round. The Metairie location also serves lunch with options like muffulettas, salads and gourmet soups. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

HAAGEN-DAZS Riverwalk Marketplace, 1 Poydras St., 523-3566 Easier to say than spell, Haagen-Dazs is nonetheless synonymous with luscious ice creams. There also are cold coffee drinks. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

HERSHEY'S ICE CREAM PARLOR 70456 Hwy. 21, Suite 400, Covington, (985) 809-7445 This Covington ice cream parlor has nothing to do with the chocolate maker, but it does churn out its own sweet flavors. The local Hershey's boasts more than a century of experience, producing flavors such as Moose Tracks and Cappuccino Crunch. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA BOUCHERIE COFFEE HOUSE & CAFE 339 Chartres St., 581-6868 The coffee and tea selection is complemented by an array of baked goods at this spacious cafe. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards and checks. $

MAGAZINE PERKS 4332 Magazine St., 899-2911; www.magazineperks.com Enjoy fresh red velvet cake or banana bread with your coffee at this neighborhood gathering place. A selection of light lunch options is available along with the shop's wide range of baked goods. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY 4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-2167; www.marbleslab.com Marble Slab offers a large selection of delicious ice cream flavors and ice cream treats. Flavors include lemon custard, chocolate amaretto, banana rum and butter pecan. Savory snacks include banana splits, apple pie, floats, shakes and malts. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MARIGNY PERKS 2401 Burgundy St., 948-7401; www.marignyperks.com This neighborhood coffeehouse offers plenty of perks, including free Wi-Fi and a dog-friendly atmosphere. Signature desserts include red velvet or cookies and cream cupcakes and banana nut bread. Lunch options include spinach quiche, sandwiches, salads and soup. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

MAURICE FRENCH PASTRIES 3501 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 885-1526; 4951 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 455-0830; www.mauricefrenchpastries.com Maurice's conjures up confectionery delights for any occasion. Stock up on king cakes, breads and pastries, including apple turnovers and croissants. Traditional desserts range from red velvet cake and tiramisu to carrot cake. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

MOJO COFFEE HOUSE 1500 Magazine St., 525-2244; www.myspace.co/mojoco Coffee is king, but this casual coffeehouse also serves an assortment of teas and lemonades. Mojo serves soups, salads and sandwiches, too. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

NOLA BEANS 726 Harrison Ave., 267-0783; www.nolabeans.com Breakfast offerings include coffee and biscuit or croissant sandwiches topped with eggs, cheese, bacon and sausage. For lunch, try the vegetable and provolone sandwich or avocado and turkey with sprouts, tomatoes and Havarti cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch daily, early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

ORANGE COUCH 2339 Royal St., 267-7327 This oddly named, unassuming but stylish corner coffeeshop serves pastries, bagels and quiches from local bakeries. For a sweet treat, try one of the exotic Japanese ice creams like mango or tiramisu. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PJ'S COFFEE OF NEW ORLEANS Citywide; www.pjscoffee.com PJ's offers a full selection of dark to light roast flavors, frozen concoctions for hot days, and a variety of coffee companions from muffins to bagels to chocolates. Wireless Internet is available at most locations. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

ROYAL BLEND 204 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-7779; 621 Royal St., 523-2716; www.royalblendcoffee.com The French Quarter and Metairie locations have different atmospheres, but the shared specialty of both is coffee and a wide range of espresso drinks. Each shop also offers an extensive menu of sandwiches and salads for light meals, plus pastries and desserts for quick bites. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RUE DE LA COURSE 1140 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-4343; 3121 Magazine St., 899-0242 Fresh cupcakes, croissants, muffins and biscotti are among the baked goods at these comfortable coffeeshops. Sandwiches are prepared on a choice of dark black forest or seven-grain bread with meats like roast beef, turkey or chicken salad, a range of toppings and choice of cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

ST. JOHN'S COFFEEHOUSE 535 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 893-5553; www.stjohnscoffeehouse.com Espresso drinks foamed with organic, fair-trade coffee match up perfectly with ice cream treats, pastries, wraps and sandwiches on nutty nine-grain bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash and checks. $

SMOOTHIE KING Citywide; www.smoothieking.com The city's largest smoothie chain has a blend for everybody, from calorie-conscious dieters to beach-ready bodybuilders. Fine-tune your favorite smoothie by adding enhancers like Immune, Energy, Female Balance or Muscle Builder. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

YOU-GURT 7638 Maple St., 304-8432; www.yougurt.net Options are limitless at this do-it-yourself yogurt parlor, where guests can choose from 14 nonfat soft-serve yogurt flavors and dozens of fresh fruit and dry toppings. Sno-balls and lunch options like hummus and chicken quesadillas are on the menu as well. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Z'OTZ COFFEEHOUSE 8210 Oak St., 861-2224 Disembodied doll parts and other macabre wall ornaments create an oddly bohemian ambience at Z'otz. The cafe offers organic, fair-trade coffee, super-sized cookies, vegan baked goods and exotic drinkables like bubble tea and yerba mate. A changing lunch menu includes items like miso soup, stuffed grape leaves and grilled cheese sandwiches. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Cash only. $

CREOLE

ALLEGRO BISTRO 1100 Poydras St., 582-2350 This upscale CBD lunch spot aims high with soups, pastas and sandwiches like the tenderloin and Brie sandwich. Weekly specials include dishes like New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp, featuring peeled shrimp smothered in spicy sauce over garlic mashed potatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

THE ALPINE 620 Chartres St., 523-3005; www.thealpinebistro.com A series of interconnected dining rooms and a large courtyard set the scene at the Alpine, which offers a menu of Creole and Cajun dishes. While standards like jambalaya and etouffee are popular, signature dishes like smoked duck and grilled tuna La Boheme show the kitchen's range. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ANNADELE'S PLANTATION 71495 Chestnut St., Covington, (985) 809-7669; www.annadeles.com Chef Ronald Bonnette focuses on traditional New Orleans Creole cooking. Gulf fish Gabrielle is a sauteed Gulf fish fillet topped with shrimp, sauteed with tomato and herbs in lemon beurre blanc and served with wild rice. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

ANTOINE'S RESTAURANT 713 St. Louis St., 581-4422; www.antoines.com The city's oldest restaurant offers a glimpse of what 19th century French Creole dining might have been like, with a labyrinthine series of dining rooms and a menu as traditional as the architecture. Oysters Rockefeller, pompano, crawfish Cardinal and baked Alaska are signature dishes. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ARNAUD'S RESTAURANT 813 Bienville St., 523-5433; www.arnauds.com Start with a cocktail at the restaurant's French 75 bar, then step into the gilded world of Arnaud's many dining rooms, trimmed in polished woods and beveled glass. The kitchen produces a catalogue of French Creole classics, including shrimp Arnaud, oysters Bienville and pompano en croute. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BON TON CAFE 401 Magazine St., 524-3386; www.thebontoncafe.com Originally founded in the early 1900's, the Bon Ton has been serving Cajun and Creole food continually since its second opening in 1953. The namesake redfish Bon Ton is broiled with lemon butter sauce. The signature Rum Ramsey cocktail is a holdover from the original. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$$

BRENNAN'S RESTAURANT 417 Royal St., 525-9711; www.brennansneworleans.com Long before the first order of bananas Foster is prepared tableside, Brennan's gets to work with eye-opener cocktails like bourbon milk punch at its famously decadent breakfast. In the evenings, classics like the trout amandine and crabs bearnaise shine in traditional Creole style. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BROUSSARD'S RESTAURANT 819 Conti St., 581-3866; www.broussards.com Cognac and citrus brighten the Broussard's Smile, the signature cocktail at this dining institution where French Creole cuisine gets a few updates. Savory saffron-tomato broth unites a catch of shellfish and finfish in the Louisiana bouillabaisse. The veal chop and the wild game grill are popular dishes. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE LYNN 3051 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-9007; www.cafelynn.com The chef's seafood stuffed eggplant is roasted and served with fresh tomato fondue. The crabmeat and cheese cannelloni blend ricotta, goat, Swiss and Romano cheeses baked in homemade pasta with truffle cream sauce and jumbo lump crabmeat. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFE PONTALBA 546 St. Peter St., 522-1180 New Orleans favorites like etouffee, jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and po-boys are the stock in trade of this casual cafe. When the French doors are thrown open, the smell of fried seafood and the sight of busy bartenders mixing drinks draws in customers from Jackson Square. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CANNON'S RESTAURANT 4141 St. Charles Ave., 891-3200; www.cannonsrestaurants.com Cannon's presence on St. Charles Avenue is as familiar as live oaks and streetcars. As cars rumble by, diners enjoy local favorites like the blackened catfish with a grilled crab cake and creamy Creole crawfish sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHAD'S BISTRO 3216 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 838-9935; www.chadsbistro.com Chad's Bistro prepares dishes like chicken Parmesan: an 8-oz. boneless breast grilled or fried and served in an Italian herb sauce over angel hair pasta with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. The new Italian salad features artichoke hearts, salami, cheese, Italian dressing and olive spread. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHARTRES HOUSE CAFE 601 Chartres St., 586-8383; www.chartreshousecafe.com Chartres House offers seafood and New Orleans favorites. The Taste of New Orleans platter includes chicken and andouille gumbo, jambalaya and red beans and rice. The Ultimate Seafood Platter is a big catch of fried shrimp, oysters, catfish and crawfish. Reservations accepted. Lunch dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

COPELAND'S RESTAURANT Citywide; www.alcopeland.com The late Al Copeland's flagship restaurant showcases his most popular Cajun and Creole dishes. Traditional offerings include shrimp Creole and etouffee as well as seafood combinations like crab-stuffed catfish bordelaise. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

COQUETTE 2800 Magazine St., 265-0421; www.coquettenola.com This new Magazine street restaurant serves Creole cuisine with European influences. Try fennel-roasted oysters with country ham and horseradish sauce. The cochon de lait is brushed with fig marinade. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

COURT OF TWO SISTERS 613 Royal St., 522-7261; www.courtoftwosisters.com No matter what day it is, jazz brunch is served at the Court of the Two Sisters. The restaurant also offfers lunch and dinner daily with numerous signature entrees including shrimp and grits, which feature shrimp poached in a Creole meuniere reduction. Reservations recommended. Lunch, brunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE CREOLE SKILLET 200 Julia St., 304-6318; www.thecreoleskillet.com Who says duck and andouille only get down in gumbo? The Skillet's signature entree is a duck breast stuffed with sausage, sauced with Steen's Creole mustard glaze and paired with sweet potatoes and collard greens. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat, late-night Fri.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

DANIEL'S ON THE BAYOU 3443 Esplanade Ave., 940-5939 Chef Daniel Tobar's restaurant serves fine, affordable Creole-Italian fare from deep inside the Esplanade at City Park apartments. A marinated and pan-roasted rack of lamb is served with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and herb demi-glace. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DOOKY CHASE RESTAURANT 2301 Orleans Ave., 821-0535 Chef Leah Chase cooks Creole classics, including stuffed shrimp, fried chicken, stewed okra and rich gumbo thick with seafood and sausage. As her Creole-dining landmark continues to recover from the levee failures, lunch is served in the restaurant and take-out is available until 7 p.m. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

DUNBAR'S CREOLE COOKING Loyola University Broadway Activities Center, 501 Pine St., 861-5451 Although it's tucked away uptown in Loyola's activities center, Dunbar's post-Katrina location is open to the public and serves fried chicken, red beans and rice, smothered chicken and other Crescent City soul-food favorites. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Thu. Credit cards. $

FEELINGS CAFE 2600 Chartres St., 945-2222; www.feelingscafe.com Feelings' dishes are imbued with the same classic New Orleans charm as the Faubourg Marigny building that houses them. The Gulf fish Nicholas is served with grilled shrimp and creamed spinach. The filet is stuffed with blue cheese and topped with mushrooms. Reservations recommended. Dinner Thu.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

FRENCH MARKET RESTAURANT 1001 Decatur St., 525-7879 Anyone who works up an appetite hunting for bargains at the French Market can find plenty of sustenance right nearby. The muffuletta is filled with Italian meats, cheeses and olive salad. Seafood po-boys are stuffed with shrimp, oysters or catfish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FRENCH QUARTER BISTRO AT THE MAISON DUPUY 1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000; www.maisondupuy.com/fqbistro.html Creole and Cajun cooking are blended at this casual restaurant in the Maison Dupuy. Chicken and andouille gumbo offers a rustic accented starter. Pan-seared redfish is served over a crawfish cake with asparagus and lobster beurre blanc. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GALATOIRE'S RESTAURANT 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021; www.galatoires.com Galatoire's is a century-old Creole institution known for seafood dishes like speckled trout meuniere amandine, combining two classic presentations. The signature shrimp remoulade appetizer gets its spicy kick from horseradish, Creole mustard and a touch of paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

GAUTREAU'S RESTRAURANT 1728 Soniat St., 899-7397; www.gautreausrestaurant.com Gautreau's is a secluded dining spot and longtime home to budding kitchen talents. Chef Sue Zemanick's refined touch is behind an ever-changing menu of dishes like pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon and seared red snapper. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

GUMBO SHOP 630 St. Peter St., 525-1486; www.gumboshop.com A lush and breezy courtyard sets the scene for Creole dining. Meals may begin with one of the kitchen's namesake gumbos, like the chicken andouille and okra gumbo. Other dishes include shrimp remoulade, jambalaya, etouffee and po-boys. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

IGNATIUS EATERY & GROCERY 4200 Magazine St., 896-2225 The walls are lined with familiar local brands at this corner grocery-styled restaurant. The roast beef po-boy is served au jus with Leidenheimer French bread. Casual Creole staples like jambalaya fill out the menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

JACQUES-IMO'S Cafe 8324 Oak St., 861-0886 Locals take out-of-town guests to this funky restaurant to get a feel for the New Orleans neighborhood scene and a taste of Creole cuisine. Owner/chef Jack Leonardi prepares entrees like Carpet Bagger Steak: filet mignon stuffed with poached oysters and topped with bleu cheese and oyster-tasso hollandaise. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

JUNIPER 301 Lafitte St., Mandeville, (985) 624-5330; www.juniperrestaurant.net The menu of Creole cuisine constantly evolves at Juniper. An option with Greek accents is the roasted Aegean lamb stuffed with spinach and feta cheese and served with mint demi-glace. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

LA BAYOU 208 Bourbon St., 525-4755; www.labayourestaurant.com La Bayou specializes in seafood dishes like the Creole Crawfish platter, which includes fried tail meat, crawfish cakes and etouffee served with fries and hush puppies. Blackened redfish is seared in an iron skillet and served with jambalaya. Reservations accepted. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LE PARVENU 509 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 471-0534; www.leparvenu.com Chef/owner Dennis Hutley's Oyster Doubloon features a chopped oyster mixture that is cornmeal-crusted, sauteed, topped with lump crabmeat and served with lemon fondue. Lobster Le Parvenu features paneed medallions layered with shrimp and crabmeat. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MANDINA'S RESTAURANT 3800 Canal St., 482-9179; 4240 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 674-9883; www.mandinasrestaurant.com Mandina's offers Creole classics like trout meuniere and amandine. Popular appetizers include stacks of fat onion rings and fried eggplant sticks with marinara sauce. House specialties also include starters like turtle soup with sherry. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $$

MR. B'S BISTRO 201 Royal St., 523-2078; www.mrbsbistro.com Mr. B's barbecued shrimp dish is close to being definitive — served in the shells with a peppery butter bath and French bread for dipping. Pair it with country-style gumbo ya ya (chicken and andouille in smoky roux) for a perfect Louisiana sampler. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MR. ED'S CREOLE GRILLE 5241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-7992; www.mredsno.com Mr. Ed's offers seafood dishes and some Italian accents. Try shrimp beignets with sweet chili glaze or creamy blue crab dip. Eggplant Vincent is a fried eggplant cup filled with crawfish and shrimp and served with pasta. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MOTHER'S RESTAURANT 401 Poydras St., 523-9656; www.mothersrestaurant.net Mother's most popular dishes include stuffed peppers and the savory roast beef debris po-boy. Mother's serves traditional Creole favorites like jambalaya, crawfish etouffee and hearty red beans and rice. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NEW ORLEANS BISTRO 27431 Hwy. 190, Lacombe, (985) 882-7282 The Bistro's menu includes rib-eye steaks, salads, wraps and fish dishes like the redfish Toulouse, a fried fillet topped with shrimp, artichokes and mushrooms in white wine cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

OLD COFFEE POT RESTAURANT 714 St. Peter St., 524-3500 This is one of the few places in town serving calas — fried rice cakes sprinkled with sugar and served for breakfast. Lunch and dinner menus offer more Creole classics, like gumbo, crawfish etouffee and shrimp Creole. Bread pudding is a popular dessert. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OLIVIER'S CREOLE RESTAURANT 204 Decatur St., 525-7734; www.olivierscreole.com Lace curtains and gleaming woodwork give this dining room a homey feel, and recipes come from a long family tradition. The gumbo sampler provides tastes of three varieties and entrees include classic shrimp Creole and Creole rabbit with oyster dressing. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE ORIGINAL PIERRE MASPERO'S 440 Chartres St., 524-8990; www.originalpierremasperos.com Maspero's serves creative dishes like seafood stuffed pistolettes filled with shrimp, crawfish and crabmeat in cheese cream sauce. Crawfish Pierre features tail meat, onions, garlic and red peppers in Chardonnay cream sauce over fettuccine. Reservations accepted. Breakfast Thu.-Mon., Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

PASCAL'S MANALE RESTAURANT 1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877 Manale's is well known for its signature head-on New Orleans barbecued shrimp in buttery, peppery, messy sauce. The rest of the menu features classic upscale Creole and Italian fare. The combination pan roast features oysters, shrimp and crabmeat with a blend of shallots and parsley. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

PERE ANTOINE 741 Royal St., 581-4478 Pere Antoine serves unique twists on local classics. At breakfast, the jambalaya omelet includes sausage and chicken. For lunch or dinner, try the pasta Rockefeller with oysters, spinach and vegetables tossed with linguine. Reservations recommended. Breakfast Fri.-Sun., lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

PETUNIA'S PLACE 2020 Hwy. 59, Mandeville, (985) 674-3436 Petunia's Place has earned a kid-friendly reputation thanks to a craft area available to keep youngsters occupied while meals are prepared. Parents can order entrees like redfish Julia, a grilled redfish fillet with creamy crawfish sauce. No reservations. Lunch Thu.-Tue., dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $

PRALINE CONNECTION 542 Frenchmen St., 943-3934; www.pralineconnection.com Home-style New Orleans Creole soul food is the attraction at this Frenchmen Street spot. Rib-sticking dishes like red beans and rice, file gumbo, stuffed bell peppers and savory stewed chicken satisfy big appetites. Side dishes include mac and cheese, fried okra and fried pickles. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

STEAMBOAT NATCHEZ Toulouse Street Wharf, 586-8777; www.steamboatnatchez.com When the Natchez heads out for its river cruises, things get cooking in the galley for lunch and dinner service. Some of the dinner options include prime rib au jus with honey horseradish sauce and praline chicken topped with Southern pecan sauce. Reservations recommended. Hours vary with cruise schedule. Credit cards. $$$

T. LEBLANC'S CREOLE KITCHEN 797 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 781-8100 T. LeBlanc's serves a mix of popular Creole and Southern dishes like shrimp-stuffed mirliton and corn and crabmeat bisque. Staples like red bean, and rice with sausage are popular. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Fri. Checks. $$

TUJAGUE'S RESTAURANT 823 Decatur St., 525-8676; www.tujagues.com One of the city's senior restaurants, Tujague's is known for signature dishes like like chicken bonne femme, which is pan-fried garlic chicken served with cottage fries. Another specialty is the slow cooked brisket served with horseradish sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

UPPERLINE RESTAURANT 1413 Upperline St., 891-9822; www.upperline.com Upperline is home to Creole cooking and an impressive collection of proprietor JoAnn Clevenger's eclectic folk art. She invented the city's now-classic fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. Another signature dish is the roast duck served with garlic-port or ginger-peach sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

DELI

ACQUISTAPACE'S SUPERMARKET 125 E. 21st Ave., Covington, (985) 893-7554; www.acquistapace.com Acquistapace is more than just a supermarket. It also offers signature deli sandwiches such as the popular hot roast beef. Daily specials include Thursday's fried chicken special and Friday's seafood option. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

BREAUX MART Citywide; www.breauxmart.com The deli at Breaux Mart offers a wide variety of dishes and changing daily specials. On Wednesdays, fried crispy or lemon-baked catfish are the specials of the day. Other popular dishes include ribs, savory beef brisket and seafood gumbo. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CANSECO'S MARKET 1519 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-5979; 3135 Esplanade Ave., 322-2549 Canseco's stocks fresh produce, meat, fish and a large selection of cheeses, beer and wine. There is also a deli counter for hot daily specials and sandwiches made to order. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CELLARS OF RIVER RIDGE 1801 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 734-8455; www.cellarsrr.com The deli at Cellars offers a large selection of sandwiches, salads, burgers, quesadillas and more. Daily specials range from baked ziti with chicken to stuffed bell peppers to shrimp remoulade. The Asian salad is topped with seared sashimi-grade tuna and sesame vinaigrette. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

DANNY & CLYDE'S Citywide; www.dannyandclydes.com Danny & Clyde's means more than convenience. Grab a super-sized po-boy or other deli sandwich when filling up. Homemade meat pies and breakfast sandwiches are popular as well. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

GUILLORY'S GROCERY 3708 Derbigny St., Metairie, 833-1390 The home of the "krispy krunchy chicken" also does homemade hot tamales, jambalaya and daily specials like fried pork chops and red beans with smoked sausage. The menu features eggplant french fries and seafood "kickers," an appetizer of breaded and fried shrimp and crabmeat.  No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

HUGH'S WINE CELLAR- 4250 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 626-0066; www.hughswinecellar.com A large selection of soups, salads and sandwiches complement the huge wine selection at Hugh's. Try the crab brioche filled with lump crabmeat and dill Havarti topped with remoulade sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

JUST ITALY DELI & ITALIAN MARKET 708 Aris Ave., Metairie, 832-9292; www.justitalydeli.com Try the muffuletta, made with five meats and three cheeses, or homemade Italian sausage served on a sandwich, over pasta with red sauce or even on a salad. For large feasts, order antipasto platters to go a day in advance. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

KOSHER CAJUN NEW YORK DELI & GROCERY 3519 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-2010; www.koshercajun.com Kosher Cajun brings a bit of Manhattan's Lower East Side to Metairie, where matzo ball soup accompanies specials like red beans and rice. The J&N combines hot corned beef and pastrami on New York rye with mustard, horseradish, coleslaw and a barrel pickle on the side. No reservations. Lunch Sun.-Fri., early dinner Mon.-Thu. Credit cards. $

MARDI GRAS ZONE 2700 Royal St., 947-8787; www.mardigraszone.com Besides beads and groceries, Mardi Gras Zone's deli serves sandwiches and po-boys. Hot items include dishes like lasagna, brisket, baked or fried chicken and homemade desserts. Delivery available. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards and checks. $

MARTIN WINE CELLAR BISTRO, DELI & CATERING 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7350; www.martinwine.com Stop by for a bottle of wine and stay for a sandwich or salad. Selections include the Cedric, a roasted chicken breast with Swiss cheese, spinach, tomato and mayo on toasted seven-grain bread. Or try lump crab salad ravigote with minced shallots and lemon ravigote served with steamed artichoke leaves. No reservations. Lunch daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards and personal checks. $

MCALISTER'S DELI 4 Canal Street (Harrah's Casino), 598-1930; 1000 W. Esplanade Ave., Suite A13, Kenner 466-1500; 2701 Airline Hwy., Suite T, Metairie, 830-4030; www.mcalistersdeli.com Sandwiches and sides like fully loaded baked potatoes draw diners to this national chain. The signature Sweetberry chicken sandwich tops a chicken breast with Swiss cheese and cranberry-orange sauce on wheatberry bread. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MR. ROO'S DELI & CATERING 3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-4010 Mr. Roo's offers inexpensive sandwiches and delicious combination plates like grilled shrimp on angel hair pasta with garlic butter sauce. The club wrap is a nice twist on a classic sandwich. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MUFFULETTA'S DELI 3244 Severn Ave., Metairie, 889-1112 The namesake sandwich and classic New Orleans-Italian creation is prepared with layers of mortadella, ham, salami, provolone and olive salad. A house favorite is the club po-boy of ham, turkey, bacon, roast beef and American cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

ROBERT FRESH MARKET 5016 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 885-7005; www.robertfreshmarket.com Robert's gourmet kitchen whips up delicious changing specials including red beans and rice with smoked sausage links and buttermilk fried chicken with three-cheese macaroni. Try one of the homemade soups like minestrone or Caribbean black bean. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

ROUSES Citywide; www.rouses.com Rouses' deli counter includes everything from rotisserie chickens and a hot line with baked items and fried chicken to sushi, sandwiches, coffee drinks and smoothies. There is also a salad bar and a selection of soups. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

ST. JAMES CHEESE COMPANY 5004 Prytania St., 899-4737; www.stjamescheese.com St. James offers more than 100 varieties of fine cheeses as well as cured meats. The menu includes combinations of the above on cheese charcuterie boards and sandwiches and salads. The classic English ploughman's lunch combines a selection of cheeses with green salad and hearty bread. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

SAMMY'S MARKET & DELI 801 Live Oak St., Metairie, 835-0916 Sammy's serves a wide range of hot and cold po-boys, burgers, seafood platters and desserts. Entree choices range from crawfish etouffee and red beans and rice, to meatballs and spaghetti and chicken Parmesan. Off the grill, try the pork chop or catfish platter. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon. -Fri. Credit cards. $

SPITALE'S DELI & CATERING 1229 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-9912 Spitale's serves po-boys, sandwiches, salads, hot plates and changing daily specials. Chicken Parmesan features a breaded, boneless breast of chicken topped with red gravy and Parmesan cheese over angel hair pasta. Seafood platters include fried shrimp, oysters and catfish. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

STEIN'S MARKET & DELI 2207 Magazine St., 527-0771; www.steinsdeli.net The Garden District meets Manhattan at this delicatessen. There's a wide selection of specialty deli meats, which can be bought separately or ordered in sandwiches. The Rachel is hot pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and housemade Russian dressing served on Jewish rye bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

VERTI MARTE 1201 Royal St., 525-4767; www.vertimarte.com Sandwiches and meals to go are offered until midnight at this French Quarter hub. The slab of macaroni and cheese is worth its weight in carbs. Nutritious options include steamed broccoli and green beans. Limited delivery. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner and late-night daily. Credit Cards. $

WELTY'S DELI 336 Camp St., 592-0223 Welty's serves salads with homemade dressings and sandwiches with deli meats piled high. The Reuben layers corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. Lemonades and an array of coffee drinks also are available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and company checks. $

ZARA'S MARKET 4838 Prytania St., 895-0581 Visitors can purchase groceries and pick up sandwiches and hot meals from the market's deli. Monday's red beans and rice with sausage is a regular special. Other favorites include eggplant and veal Parmesan, muffulettas and Italian meatballs on a po-boy or with spaghetti. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DINER

BETSY'S PANCAKE HOUSE 2542 Canal St., 822-0214 Classic breakfast plates with pancakes, waffles, eggs and omelets are what Betsy's is best known for. Lunch features dishes like liver and onions and lima beans with big ham shanks. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Sun.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CADDYSHACK 3217 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 833-1799 Caddyshack is a casual spot for a quick bite or a cool drink. The menu is loaded with sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salads. Daily specials include spaghetti, red beans on Monday and fried seafood platters on Friday. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CLOVER GRILL 900 Bourbon St., 598-1010; www.clovergrill.com Hubcaps cover half-pound burgers as they cook on the grill, reportedly locking in flavor, but nothing can obscure the campy, retro vibe of this Bourbon Street diner. Massive omelets and meaty chili are other specialties. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

DEJA VU RESTAURANT & BAR 400 Dauphine St., 523-1931; www.dejavunola.com This bustling bar and diner has dishes to satisfy comfort-food cravings at any hour, including breakfast food like eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy or corned beef hash. A quick burger may hit the spot late at night. The menu also offers dinner platters including home-style pot roast. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

DOT'S DINER Citywide Dot's offers diner-style comfort food, from bottomless cups of coffee to hearty dinner specials like pork chops or bone-in ham steaks. Stop in any time for bargains on breakfast plates. For lunch, there are burgers, sandwiches and entrees. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

FAT CITY DINER 3555 18th St., Metairie, 888-4940; www.fatcitydiner.com A quintessential American diner, Fat City rewards its customers with ample sized po-boys, grilled or fried seafood platters and an array of ham-and-eggs style breakfast dishes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

FAT HEN GRILL 5708 Citrus Blvd., Harahan, 305-1980; 2244 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Kenner, 287-4912; www.fathengrill.com The Fat Hen Grill features diner fare with Southern flair and serves breakfast all day. The Royal American Womlette features a big omelette baked on a waffle with Nueske's bacon, ham and American cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THE NIGHTHAWK DINER 2529 Dauphine St., 342-2176; www.nighthawkdiner.com The Nighthawk serves hearty bar food that'll please the sober and the sizzled, with hefty burgers and breakfast all day. From 10 p.m. Saturday night until 6 a.m. Sunday morning, a free mimosa accompanies any breakfast entree. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily, 24-hours Fri.-Sat. Cash only. $

ST. CHARLES TAVERN 1433 St. Charles Ave., 523-9823 This 'round-the-clock Lower Garden District spot is popular for breakfast, po-boys, burgers and house specialties. Crab cakes Jean Lafitte are served atop a bed of fettuccine tossed with a sherry and red pepper-infused cream sauce. The white chocolate bread pudding includes chunks of white chocolate and spiced rum sauce. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

SLIM GOODIES DINER 3322 Magazine St., 891-3447 Enjoy Slim Goodies' spin on diner fare in its funky, retro dining room, or ask for a spot on the back patio. Breakfast specialties include the meatless Creole Slammer with hash browns, veggie chili, cheddar cheese, eggs and smoked tempeh. The Jewish Coonass tops potato latkes with spinach, eggs and crawfish etouffee. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Checks. $

STANLEY 547 St. Ann St., 587-0093 Chef Scott Boswell's sandwich shop serves Korean barbecued beef po-boys with kimchi, Reuben sandwiches and creative twists like the eggs Benedict Breaux Bridge with boudin and Creole hollandaise. Sorbets and ice creams are made in house and go in milkshakes and sundaes. No reservations. Brunch, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

STEVE'S DINER 201 St. Charles St. Suite. 210, 522-8198; www.steves-diner.com In the morning, Steve's Diner serves breakfast items like the Full Rooster, combining scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, grits or hash browns and a biscuit. For lunch, try Southern-style, thin strips of catfish fried crispy and served with two sides. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

FONDUE

THE MELTING POT 1820 St. Charles Ave., 525-3225; www.meltingpot.com The Melting Pot offers four-course meals complete with salad and one course each of cheese, meat and dessert fondue. Cheese options include traditional blends as well as modern updates, like creamy spinach and artichoke sauce. The chocolate desserts are decadent. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

FRENCH

BISTRO 38 3838 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 836-5253 Enjoy rustic French cuisine at this Metairie bistro housed in the New Orleans Marriott in Metairie. The Louisiana bouillabaisse combines fish, shrimp, oysters and crawfish in a rich seafood broth. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BISTRO DAISY 5831 Magazine St., 899-6987 Bistro Daisy is bright and cheery on the outside and warm and intimate on the inside. Try poached oysters in mushroom and bacon cream over a caramelized onion crepe with truffle oil. Other entrees include Louisiana crawfish and mascarpone ravioli with leeks, herbs, brandy and an oven-dried tomato cream. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE DEGAS 3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635; www.cafedegas.com Forget sidewalk cafes, dining at this charming Francophile eatery is like picnicking in a Parisian treehouse. Le Foie De Veau sports sauteed calf's liver, bacon and broccoli with a caramelized-onion bordelaise. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CHATEAU DU LAC WINE BISTRO 2037 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-3773; www.chateaudulacbistro.com Chef Jacques Saleun dishes up classic French bistro faire. Start with an appetizer of escargots Bourguignon, which are served in a butter, garlic and herb sauce. Then move on to steak au poivre, a filet mignon served with black pepper sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.- Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CIRO'S CÔTE SUD 7918 Maple St., 866-9551; www.cotesudrestaurant.com On Maple Street's restaurant row, Cote Sud offers pizza and a taste of France. Signature dishes include steak frites with seared hanger steak au jus served with steamed vegetables and double-dipped french fries with Dijon mustard. The mussels also are popular. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon. Checks. $$

FLAMING TORCH RESTAURANT 737 Octavia St., 895-0900; www.flamingtorchnola.com This romantic restaurant features traditional French bistro fare and creative, original compositions. Steak Diane pairs two pan-seared petit filets with mushrooms flamed in brandy and topped with peppercorn cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JASMINE FRENCH RESTAURANT 1768 Front St., Slidell, (985) 645-9700 The French specialties at Jasmine include chicken Chasseur, a sauteed chicken breast served with a sauce of garlic, shallots, sliced mushrooms, diced tomato, tarragon and dry white wine. Crabmeat au gratin is another popular dish. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA CREPE NANOU 1410 Robert St., 899-2670; www.lacrêpenanou.com This charming French bistro offers hot and cold appetizers, meat and poultry dishes and, of course, crepes. Try the crepe Provencale, made with ratatouille and sauteed mushrooms. Sweet crepes are offered for dessert. No reservations. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

LILETTE RESTAURANT 3637 Magazine St., 895-1636; www.liletterestaurant.com Lilette features chef/proprietor John Harris' refined French cooking with Italian and Spanish influences. Popular appetizers include Alaskan king crab claws with passion fruit butter and grilled beet salad with walnuts and goat cheese. Entrees range from grilled hanger steak to fish dishes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LUKE RESTAURANT 333 St. Charles Ave., 378-2840; www.lukeneworleans.com German and French traditions combine to create a distinctive cuisine in Europe's Alsace region. John Besh does it one better by adding a big dose of Louisiana seafood at this modern brasserie. Veal cutlets over spaetzle offer a flavorful trip to old Vienna. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MARTINIQUE BISTRO 5908 Magazine St., 891-8495; www.martiniquebistro.com This cozy bistro offers French cooking with a Caribbean twist. The duck entree combines an oven-roasted breast of duck and confit leg quarter served with stone-ground goat-cheese grits. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MEAUXBAR BISTRO 942 N. Rampart St., 569-9979; www.meauxbar.com Chef Matthew Guidry offers traditional French dishes with creative twists at this stylish bistro. Try the warm goat cheese and caramelized onion tart or pan-fried brook trout over lentils, bacon and wilted spinach. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ORLEANS GRAPEVINE WINE BAR AND BISTRO 720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930; www.orleansgrapevine.com Orleans Grapevine is an urbane oasis just steps from Bourbon Street boasting one of the city's largest selections of wine by the glass. The menu allows you to snack as you sip with dishes like baked Brie. Entrees include bacon-wrapped scallops and double-cut pork chops. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PATOIS 6078 Laurel St., 895-9441 The menu at this cozy neighborhood spot is haute French cuisine spoken with the patois of the Gulf coast. Start with a jumbo lump crab salad with fried sweet potato chips and avocado. Entrees include the half roasted duck with fregula, currants, roasted butternut squash, parsnips and apple cider reduction. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$ 

PETUNIA'S 817 St. Louis St., 522-6440; www.petuniasrestaurant.com An elegant Creole townhouse is home to a decadent menu of sweet and savory crepes. The St. James crepe is loaded with shrimp, crabmeat, vegetables and cheese sauce. The Flaming Dame Nellie Melba crepe combines sliced peaches, ice cream and raspberry brandy sauce. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

GERMAN

JAGER HAUS GERMAN BISTRO & COFFEE SHOP 833 Conti St., 525-9200 It's hard to top traditional German cooking when it comes to hearty, soul-warming comfort food. This intimate cafe serves schnitzel dishes, goulash stew and potato pancakes. The spaetzle potato dumplings are served crispy fried or boiled soft to soak up rich gravies. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GOURMET TO GO

BUTCHER 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-7675: www.cochonbutcher.com Behind the Cajun restaurant Cochon, Chef Donald Link's Butcher offers house-butchered meats to go or on sandwiches and charcuterie boards. Order andouille, boudin, tasso, chorizo, salami and more. The "sWine" bar has a handful of reds and whites by the glass. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHEZ NOUS CHARCUTERIE 5701 Magazine St., 899-7303 No time to cook? Let Chez Nous do the work. This one-stop shop offers wine and packaged gourmet-to-go meals for the individual or the whole family. The kitchen's ever-changing menu fills a complete monthly calendar of tempting choices. Seafood gumbo and quiche are perennial favorites. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

DORIGNAC'S 710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-8216; www.dorignacs.com This gourmet emporium is known for its bakery, wide selection of wines and gourmet deli. Rotisserie chickens make an easy meal to take home. The menu includes soups, hot wings, sandwiches, quiche and lasagna. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

LANGENSTEIN'S 800 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-6682; 1330 Arabella St., 899-9283; www.langensteins.com These neighborhood grocery stores offer deli specialties like muffulettas plus seafood gumbo and crawfish etouffee. The gourmet-to-go selections are available in family-size portions. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

WHOLE FOODS MARKET 3420 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, 888-8225; 5600 Magazine St., 899-9119; www.wholefoods.com The two local locations of this natural foods grocer offer a wide range of gourmet and organic products. Hot and cold food stations serve dishes like citrus-marinated salmon, pasta salads, peppers and marinated olives. There is a large salad bar and many prepared items. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

INDIAN/PAKISTANI

CURRY CORNER 1200 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-9033 Sister restaurant to nearby Sara's, Curry Corner offers moderately priced Indian dishes such as the green curried vegetables, sauteed with herbs, lemongrass and coconut milk. Another option is braised lamb with garlic, cardamom, ginger and spinach. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

JULIE'S LITTLE INDIA KITCHEN AT SCHIRO'S CAFE & BAR 2483 Royal St., 944-6666; www.schiroscafe.com In addition to housing a bar, small grocery market, laundry machines and a guesthouse, Schiro's also features Indian cuisine alongside its more traditional New Orleans menu. Choices include curries, buttery samosas and chicken tikka masala. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

NIRVANA INDIAN CUISINE 4308 Magazine St., 894-9797; www.insidenirvana.com Specialties include butter chicken in a rich tomato sauce and classic yogurt-marinated tandoori chicken. Service is buffet-style for lunch daily and on Thursday and Sunday nights. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SALT & PEPPER 400 Iberville St., 561-6070 It may resemble a pizza joint, and in fact the kitchen does serve pizza and sandwiches, but the real buzz here comes from a menu of Pakistani-style curries and kababs made with halal meats. Try buttery samosas and hot, puffy flat breads. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

TAJ MAHAL INDIAN CUISINE 923 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-6859 Taj Mahal's tandoor oven remains the centerpiece of this restaurant, producing roasted chicken, lamb and shrimp, and an array of delicious naan and stuffed breads. Traditional dishes include tikka masala with marinated chicken finished with tomato gravy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

Tandoori Chicken 2916 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 889-7880 The restaurant spotlights traditional Indian dishes including a variety of curries, masalas, korma with chicken, lamb or shrimp as well as namesake tandoori entrees. The mixed-grill dinner lets diners sample a range of entrees. Lunch and Sunday dinner are served buffet-style. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ITALIAN

ADOLFO'S 611 Frenchmen St., 984-3800 Above the bustle of Frenchmen Street, chef/owner Adolfo Perez Palavicini's intimate cafe offers Italian dishes and a variety of seafood. The catch of the day is pan sauteed with shrimp, crab and Creole sauce. Italian specialties include stuffed cannelloni topped with Creole marinara. Reservations accepted for four or more. Dinner daily. Checks. $$

ANDREA'S RESTAURANT 3100 19th St., Metairie, 834-8583; www.andreasrestaurant.com Chef Andrea Apuzzo is known for his mastery of Northern Italian cuisine. Osso buco Milanese is served with homemade angel hair pasta. Rib-eye pizziola is a thick steak enhanced by a spicy tomato-garlic sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ANSELMO'S 3401 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 889-1212 Locally inspired seafood entrees share the menu with traditional Italian cuisine at this family eatery. Eggplant Napoleon layers fried eggplant medallions with provolone cheese, tops it with a lively crawfish and mushroom cream sauce and serves it over angel hair pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ANTONIO'S RESTAURANT 2112 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 218-5457; www.antoniosrestaurantnola.com Creole Italian specialties range from lobster and crabmeat linguini with roasted garlic sauce to Creole mustard-crusted lamb chops with rosemary demi-glace. There are also flatbread pizzas. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ASSUNTA'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT 2631 Hwy. 190 W., Slidell, (985) 649-9768; www.assuntas.com Assunta's classic Italian dishes include veal shank osso buco cooked with tomatoes, onions and olive oil and served over bowtie pasta. The Fruttie di Mare combines shrimp, crawfish, mussels, clams, oysters, calamari and bay scallops sauteed in olive oil with garlic and served over fusilli pasta. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

BACCO 310 Chartres St., 522-2426; www.bacco.com Located in the W Hotel French Quarter, Bacco boasts a menu of entrees that combine Creole and Italian cooking. The mouth-watering lobster ravioli is stuffed with Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp, tossed in Champagne butter sauce and garnished with caviar. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BRAVO CUCINA ITALIANA 3413 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-8828; www.bravoitalian.com New Italian dishes include pasta Bravo, combing rigatoni with grilled chicken and mushrooms in red pepper cream sauce. Chicken Parmesan Milanese is breaded, Romano-crusted, topped with mozzarella and red sauce and served over pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BRICK OVEN CAFE 2805 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-2097 For gourmet pizza or entrees of fish, beef, chicken and veal in classic New Orleans-Italian style, head to the family-friendly dining room at Brick Oven. Redfish piccata is a broiled fillet topped with crawfish lemon-butter sauce with capers, served with angel hair pasta in marinara sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE DIBLASI 1801 Stumpf Blvd., Terrytown, 361-3106 This traditional Italian eatery offers the signature veal DiBlasi, which is pan-fried breaded veal topped with lump crabmeat and lemon cream sauce and served with salad. Other popular dishes include lasagna. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE DITALI 2104 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 361-0058 Diners keep going back to Ditali for dishes like chicken Pomodori, which is loaded with onions, bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes and covered in two homemade sauces. Meat-filled calzones are also a big hit. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE GIOVANNI 117 Decatur St., 527-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com Chef Duke LoCicero's pioneers his versions of new world Italian cooking. One standout is the appetizer oysters Giovanni, which features fried oysters on a bed of five sauces. There's also a large martini bar for pre-dinner cocktails. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

CAFE NINO 1510 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-9200 This casual Italian spot may look like a no-frills pizza joint, but the menu features Italian home cooking at its best. Try Italian favorites like chicken or veal Marsala, eggplant parmigiana and pasta with meatballs. Pizza options include thick and thin crusts. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Checks. $$

CAFFE ANGELINA 5024 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 889-7770 This family-run restaurant serves a large selection of salads, soups, sandwiches and entrees. Roast beef Angelina dresses tender roast beef with lettuce, tomato, spicy peppers and avocado on ciabatta bread. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CARMINE'S ITALIAN SEAFOOD & GRILL 4101 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-7904 Creole and Italian cooking cross streams to create dishes like the seafood-stuffed artichoke loaded with shrimp and fish in dill cream sauce. Fried green tomatoes are topped with jalapeno honey cream and bronzed shrimp. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

DIA ROMA CAFE 3712 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-6663 Dia Roma Cafe's artichoke pizza is topped with butter, garlic sauce, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese. The Dia special sandwich is stuffed with mozzarella cheese, Genoa salami, ham, pepperoni and grilled onions. New items include lasagna and shrimp Alfredo. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards and checks. $$

ELEVEN79 1179 Annunciation St., 299-1179; www.eleven79.com Eleven79 brings upscale Italian cuisine to the edge of the Warehouse District. Menu standouts include pasta buccatini all'amatriciana and the osso buco cut from the shank, Milanese style. Monday through Thursday, there are happy hours with an antipasto table and early dinner specials. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

FAUSTO'S BISTRO 530 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-7121; www.faustosbistro.com Fausto's prepares traditional pasta dishes and creative dinner entrees. The Fausto's frutti di mare is a sampling of shrimp, crab claws, mussels, calamari, oysters and fish served with seafood reduction sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FRANK'S RESTAURANT 933 Decatur St., 525-1602; www.franksrestaurantneworleans.com A classic New Orleans muffuletta is always on display in the front window of this one-time Italian deli, luring pedestrians in for a taste of the real thing. The menu offers much more than sandwiches, including fried crab claws and blackened rib-eye steaks. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

GELATO PAZZO CAFE 8115 Oak St., 304-6908; www.gelatopazzo.com The cafe boasts fresh gelato and Italian country cooking. Try shrimp sauteed with tomatoes, shallots, garlic and Pernod over linguine or angel hair pasta. The ragu alla Napoletana is beef in savory tomato gravy over rigatoni. The cafe also offers 20 flavors of housemade gelati made with fresh fruit, nuts and imported chocolate. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

GIORLANDO'S RESTAURANT 741 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie, 835-8593 Fried seafood platters join Creole- and Italian-inspired entrees and a list of sandwiches at this casual eatery. The shrimp fettuccine, spaghetti and meatballs, and Giorlando's over-sized muffuletta are all designed for the heartiest of appetites. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Tue. and Thu.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

GIO'S VILLA VANCHERI 2890 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-2597 Gio's osso buco Milanese is a slow-cooked veal shank served over Italian saffron rice or fettuccine. Orecchio di Elefante, or "elephant's ear," is a breaded veal chop served with Italian herbs, capers and white wine sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

IMPASTATO'S RESTAURANT 3400 16th St., Metairie, 455-1545; www.impastatos.com Traditional Sicilian dishes like old favorites include veal marinara, veal Parmesan, shrimp scampi and trout amandine. The salad of asparagus, black olives, tomatoes, artichokes, hearts of palm and crabmeat is named for Saints owners Tom and Grace Benson. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

IRENE'S CUISINE 539 St. Philip St., 529-8811 Baked oysters Irene are topped with a blend of cheese and pancetta. It's one of the signature dishes at this long-time favorite, where Creole flavors liven Italian classics. Mussels marinara and roasted chicken also are popular. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ITALIAN BARREL 430 Barracks St., 569-0198; www.theitalianbarrel.com Northern Italian dishes using imported cured meats and cheeses fill the menu at this cozy cafe near the French Market. Paneed chicken is topped with fontina cheese and lean cured ham. Also try beef lasagna or vegetable filled ravioli and tortellini. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

LA FAMIGLIA 541 Oaklawn Drive, 833-8877 La Famiglia offers a host of pasta, chicken and veal dishes. The signature house veal entree tops veal medallions with wild mushroom brandy cream sauce. Braciolone is made with pounded and breaded veal rolled with egg, pine nuts, raisins and cheese and is served with tomato sauce and pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LA ROSETTA 348 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 649-9003; www.mylarosetta.com This Slidell restaurant serves a range of Italian dishes with some Creole favorites like New Orleans barbecue shrimp. The filet Italiano is an 8-oz. 21-day aged steak served over breaded eggplant. Lamb chops are served with sweet mint sauce with a hint of cloves. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA VITA 3201 Esplanade Ave., 948-0077; www.lavitapizza.com Enjoy casual dining and a menu of pizza and Italian favorites. The vegetarian Villa Franca pizza is topped with portobello mushrooms. Daily specials can range from lamb dishes to bouillabaisse. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LEONARDO TRATTORIA 709 St. Charles Ave., 558-8986 Leonardo serves pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara, rigatoni with fried eggplant and ravioli filled with lobster or duck confit. The chicken and veal are treated to classical Marsala, piccata and parmigiano versions. There also are individual gourmet pizzas and calzones. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MAXIMO'S ITALIAN GRILL 1117 Decatur St., 586-8883; www.maximosgrill.com A seat at the food bar overlooking the open kitchen makes an entertaining perch as chefs cook before your eyes. The lamb chop lollipops with rosemary, garlic and pepper jelly is a popular appetizer. Entrees include the mixed seafood grill with shrimp, scallops and local fish. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$$

MIMI'S ITALIAN AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 10160 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-6464 Mimi's Creole-inflected traditional Italian cooking includes dishes like panned eggplant layered with jumbo Gulf shrimp and topped with Pecorino Romano. Farm-raised, pan-roasted quail is served with dirty rice, roasted root vegetables and balsamic reduction. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MR. ED'S SEAFOOD AND ITALIAN RESTAURANT 1001 Live Oak St., Metairie, 838-0022; www.mredsno.com Mr. Ed's serves seafood, po-boys, muffulettas, fried chicken and Italian dishes. Entrees include paneed trout topped with crabmeat and jumbo lump crabmeat au gratin. The Pasta Orleans is rigatoni Alfredo with shrimp and crawfish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

MOSCA'S 4137 Hwy. 90 W., Avondale, 436-9942 Mosca's Italian and Creole menu is designed for sharing family style. Try signature dishes like Oysters Mosca, spicy chicken cacciatore, roasted game hen and spaghetti and meatballs. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit Cards. $

NICOLE'S ITALIAN CUISINE 124 Sauve Road, Jefferson, 287-4064 Nicole's serves dishes like lump crab cakes dressed with a special house sauce. Traditional dishes include pasta with Alfredo sauce and lasagna with meaty red gravy. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Fri. and Sunday, dinner Sat. Credit cards. $$ 

OLIVE BRANCH CAFE 1995 Barataria Blvd., Marrero, 348-2008; 3700 Orleans Ave., 302-1220; 5163 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, 393-1107; www.olivebranchcafe.com This laid-back cafe features gourmet pizzas, wraps, sandwiches and pasta entrees. Pasta jambalaya combines a chicken breast, smoked sausage, onions, green peppers and penne pasta in Cajun cream sauce. For something a little lighter, try the chicken Caesar salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

RISTORANTE CARMELO 541 Decatur St., 586-1414; www.ristorantecarmelo.com Ristorante Carmelo marks its 20th anniversary this year. It serves a variety of meat, fish and pasta dishes. One specialty is lobster fra diavolo served with spicy marinara over linguine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RISTORANTE DA PIERO 401 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-8585; www.ristorantedapiero.net Indulge in Italian hospitality at da Piero, where rum, cigars, robust wines and rustic Italian specialties come together. New dishes include homemade lasagna from a Bolognian recipe and pork chops Milanese with risotto. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri. dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

RISTORANTE DEL PORTO 501 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 875-1006; www.delportoristorante.com Fine Italian fare with a homemade touch is the specialty of this romantic cafe in the heart of Covington. The house-made tagliatelle is tossed with Gulf shrimp, sweet corn, local peppers, cherry tomatoes and basil pesto. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RISTORANTE FILIPPO 1917 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 835-4008 The crab salad at Ristorante Filippo features lump crabmeat, olives, marinated artichokes and vinaigrette dressing. The veal chop with risotto, rib-eye a la pizziolla and a grilled pork chop finished with a savory sweet red wine sauce also are popular choices. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SAL N JUDY'S RESTAURANT 27491 Hwy. 190, Lacombe, (985) 882-9443 This Northshore restaurant features dishes like sauteed crab claws with white cream sauce and pan-fried veal with fresh-grated cheese served over pasta. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SALVATORE RISTORANTE 3226 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 455-2433; www.salvatorerestaurant.com Salvatore's Italian and Creole dishes include a juicy, mesquite-grilled petit filet and fried soft-shell crab drizzled with lemon-caper sauce. The osso buco is a veal shank simmered in veal stock and served with fettuccine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

SANDRO'S TRATTORIA 6601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-7784; www.sandrostrattoria.com House specialties include mussels in tomato and garlic sauce served over pasta, and Aunt Vera's lasagna with handmade pasta loaded with meat, cheese and sauce. Complete any meal with a cup of minestrone, lentil or tomato basil soup. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SEMOLINA ITALIAN BISTRO 3226 Magazine St., 895-4260; www.semolina.com This variation on the local pasta chain focuses on Italian dishes. Rosemary Tuscan chicken is a half chicken fire-roasted with rosemary and fennel and served over a bed of sun-dried tomato polenta. Pan-seared salmon is glazed with pistachio citrus aioli and served with sauteed zucchini. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SPECIALTY ITALIAN BISTRO 2330 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-1090 The bistro presents a menu of popular Italian dishes like veal Parmesan which is pan-fried, topped with cheeses and served over capellini pasta. Shrimp scampi are oversized shrimp served over a bed of linguini with garlic bread and salad. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TODARO'S RESTAURANT 2701 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 362-8522; www.todarosrestaurant.com Todaro's features a comfortable dining room and wide-ranging menu. Shrimp Anthony features large shrimp tossed with marinara, bacon and green onions served on angel hair pasta. Homemade Italian classics include spaghetti with Italian sausage and roasted red peppers and onions. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TOMMY'S CUISINE 746 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-1103; www.tommysneworleans.com Italian dishes pick up a local accent and Creole dishes get some worldly flair on Tommy's eclectic menu. Jumbo lump crabmeat is baked in a casserole of fresh herbs and imported cheeses. Lamb chops are seared and served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and rosemary port wine demi-glace. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

TOMMY'S WINE BAR 752 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-4790; www.tommysneworleans.com This sophisticated wine bar offers small plates from the kitchen it shares with Tommy's Cuisine. Dishes include vine-ripened Creole tomatoes with basil, fresh mozzarella or blue cheese, and classic Oysters Bienville, baked with crawfish, shrimp and fresh herbs. No reservations. Light dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

TONY ANGELLO'S 6262 Fleur de Lis Drive, 488-0888 Tony Angello's "Feed Me, Mr. Tony" special represents a sampler platter of the kitchen's nightly offerings. Among the most popular entrees is the eggplant Tina, which tops eggplant medallions with Romano cheese and tomato sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TONY MORAN'S RESTAURANT 240 Bourbon St., 523-4640; www.ruebourbon.com Tony Moran's combines classic Italian favorites and New Orleans seafood with French Quarter ambiance. A towering Napoleon layers breaded eggplant, tomatoes and mozzarella topped with shrimp. The pork chop Valdostana is stuffed with bacon, spinach and mozzarella. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TWO TONY'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 105 Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 831-0999; www.two-tonys.com Two Tony's specializes in Creole-Italian seafood. Grilled amberjack amandine is topped with toasted almonds and Creole meuniere sauce. Shrimp Pasta Mediterranean features grilled shrimp over capers, Roma tomatoes, olives and olive oil tossed with capellini pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

VENEZIA 134 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-7991 This old neighborhood favorite has been serving home-style Italian dishes since the 1950s. A generous antipasto plate starts many a meal here. An array of pastas, seafood dishes and veal specialties keep customers coming back. Reservations accepted. Lunch Wed.-Fri. and Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

VENEZIA II 587 Central Ave., Jefferson, 734-3991 Venezia II, like its sister restaurant, serves casual Italian cuisine such as shrimp scampi, and pizzas loaded with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onion and artichoke hearts. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

VINCENT'S ITALIAN CUISINE 4411 Chastant St., Metairie, 885-2984; 7839 St. Charles Ave., 866-9313; www.vincentsitaliancuisine.com Italian dishes like osso buco and veal picatta are joined by locally inspired dishes like the corn and crab bisque at this Creole-Italian institution. Bracialoni is topround steak stuffed with bacon, artichoke hearts, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JAPANESE/SUSHI

HANA JAPANESE RESTAURANT 8116 Hampson St., 865-1634 Hana is known for its comfortable neighborhood vibe and extra-large specialty rolls prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. A popular house special is the fried soft-shell crab roll with spicy mayo. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HORINOYA 920 Poydras St., 561-8914; www.horinoya.com Horinoya's menu includes Japanese ingredients not found in many local sushi restaurants. Rare delicacies like monkfish liver and Japanese favorites like natto are the hallmarks of its authentic approach. Reservations accepted for dinner. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

KANNO CALIFORNIA SUSHI BAR 3205 Edenborn Ave., Metairie, 455-5730 Kanno creates mouth-watering rolls and delectable dishes. The tuna tartar and smoked salmon neck are popular. Spicy snow crab, lobster tail and wasabi cream sauce come together in the lobster dynamite roll. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

KYOTO 4920 Prytania St., 891-3644 Kyoto is an intimate restaurant with a sushi bar and small dining room. The menu features a full range of Japanese cuisine including tempura, noodle soups and creative sushi rolls. The Sara Roll features spicy shrimp and avocado topped with crunchy bits and chili sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

LITTLE TOKYO 310 N. Carrollton Ave., 485-5658; 1521 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 831-6788; www.littletokyorestaurantnola.com Little Tokyo's sushi bar features an extensive list of nigiri pieces and rolls. The Love Boat for two includes tempura shrimp and vegetables, chicken and beef teriyaki, sashimi, sushi and fresh fruit. Salads, noodle soups, teppanyaki and hibachi dishes also fill the menu. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LITTLE TOKYO 590 Asbury Drive, Mandeville, (985) 727-1532; www.littletokyosushi.com For a local spin on sushi, Northshore diners can look to Little Tokyo. The Mandeville roll is made with whitefish, snow crab, asparagus and roe wrapped in seaweed and fried, served with both chef sauce and eel sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

MEGUMI YAKIMONO AND SUSHI BAR 4700 Hwy. 22, Suites 11 and 12, Mandeville, (985) 845-1644; www.megumirestaurant.net Along with new rolls every week, Megumi offers Japanese-style grilled items from the yakimono grill, which is the Japanese answer to Korean-style barbecue. For a quick Creole fix, try the New Orleans-style crab cakes. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.– Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MIKIMOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT 3301 S. Carrollton Ave., 488-1881; www.mikimotosushi.com Mikimoto offers value-priced sushi pieces and pick-up window service. The sushi bar offers a large variety of raw and cooked fish creations, like the Paradise roll with tempura shrimp and cream cheese topped with mayo, avocado, smelt roe, eel sauce and pink sauce. No reservations. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MIYAKO SEAFOOD & STEAKHOUSE 1403 St. Charles Ave., 410-9997; www.japanesebistro.com With a sushi bar and hibachi grill, combination specials are a good choice at Miyako. The namesake hibachi special includes clear miso soup, a shrimp appetizer, salad with ginger dressing, noodles, vegetables, lobster, shrimp and beef off the grill, and ice cream. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NINJA SUSHI 8433 Oak St., 866-1119; www.ninjasushineworleans.com Ninja offers a wide selection of sushi. The Ninja Roll combines tuna, yellow tail, salmon, shrimp, crabstick, eel, snow crab, smelt roe and four vegetables. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ROCK-N-SAKE OF NEW ORLEANS 823 Fulton St., 581-7253; www.rocknsake.com This urbane sushi restaurant is a hot spot for creative Japanese food. The Fulton Street roll combines tuna, snow crab and avocado drizzled with eel sauce and a dash of sesame seeds. The Killer Scallops are large sea scallops sauteed in garlic butter sauce. No reservations. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFE 126 Lake Drive, Covington, (985) 809-6689; 817 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-8829; 1130 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 733-8879; 4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 779-7253 The New Orleans roll combines spicy crawfish, crunchy tempura bits, avocado, tuna and snow crab topped with tobiko caviar and avocado-eel sauce. The sweet chili crispy fillet is grouper served with sweet chili sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFE UPTOWN 2830 Magazine St., 894-0033 Sake Cafe is a refined and hip spot for inspired Japanese cuisine. Try the pan-seared scallop appetizer with a sake martini. Stand back for the TNT sushi special, which pairs yellowtail and tuna mixed with a layer of tobiko and sushi rice, topped off with a quail egg. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SAPPORO JAPANESE RESTAURANT 5000 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 779-1818 Sapporo's extensive menu includes all the classic sushi specialties, plus signature creations like the Sapporo special roll with snow crab, salmon, tuna, vegetables and special sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SEKISUI SAMURAI 239 Decatur St., 525-9595; www.sekisuiusa.com Elaborate sushi bar appetizers include the Ocean Pyramid with salmon, tuna, avocado, yellowtail and tobiko molded into form. Chicken or steak teriyaki with miso soup, salad and steamed rice offer filling multi-course meals. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SHOGUN JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND STEAKHOUSE 2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-7477 Shogun features a full range of Japanese cuisine from sushi to hibachi-grilled meats and seafood. Table seating is available, but regulars pack the hibachi tables where a colorful array of steak, shrimp, chicken and vegetables are sauteed before diners' eyes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SUSHI BROTHERS 1612 St. Charles Ave., 581-4449; www.sushibrothers.net Sushi Brothers' namesake roll wraps crunchy salmon tempura, cream cheese and avocado inside seaweed, with more salmon and avocado wrapped around the outside. It's topped with the house special sauce. Other Japanese specialties include soba and udon noodles, tempura, grilled meats and teriyaki dishes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TENNOU SUSHI BAR 1818 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 366-3898 Bargain-priced bento boxes draw sushi fanatics to this West Bank restaurant. The New Orleans roll includes crawfish, avocado, snow crab and cream cheese. There's also a full-service kitchen offering cooked fare for diners who prefer teppanyaki-style entrees. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

WASABI 900 Frenchmen St., 943-9433; www.wasabinola.com This Marigny sushi spot specializes in original rolls, like the Rock-n-Crunchy or the French Quarter. Cooked options like chicken and salmon teriyaki, savory udon broth and shrimp shumai dumplings are also popular. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

YUJIN JAPANESE RESTAURANT 323 N. New Hampshire Blvd., Covington, (985) 809-3840 An assortment of Japanese specialties and sushi rolls beckon at Yujin. The Burning Man roll combines spicy tuna, tempura crunch, hot pepper and avocado. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

YUKI IZAKAYA 525 Frenchmen St., phone n.a.; www.myspace.com/yukiizakaya Japanese tavern-style dining has a hip home at this casual hole in the wall, where proprietress Yuki Yamaguchi serves a range of exotic bar snacks. Most dishes are appetizer-size and easy to share, like clams in sake butter or fries with wasabi sauce. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sun. Cash only. $

KOREAN

GIMCHI 3322 N. Turnbull Drive, Metairie, 454-6426 When you hear the name Gimchi think kimchi, the spicy cabbage concoction that is a national staple in Korea. This Metairie restaurant specializes in all things Korean, including table-mounted barbecue units where guests can grill their own meats. A full sushi bar provides more Far Eastern options. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

KOREA HOUSE 3547 18th St., Metairie, 888-0654 Many of Korea House's barbecued beef and meat dishes can be cooked on grills embedded in the tables. For seafood, try the fried whole fish, marinated in soy, garlic and onions, or the kal bi, grilled short ribs marinated in a special house sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

LATIN AMERICAN

CARLOS MENCIA'S SUAVE NUEVO LATINO GRILL 200 Magazine St., 595-3211 Not from the mind but the kitchen of Mencia comes a menu of Latin-American dishes. Texas-style beef fajitas are served with homemade tortillas and the usual accompaniments. Paella marinara is seafood cooked with saffron rice. Delivery available Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

COUNTRY FLAME 620 Iberville St., 522-1138 This ultra-casual cantina lists the standards of a few different Latin-American styles of cooking on a menu with a wide range of options. From Mexican fajitas to Cuban sandwiches to steaks and ribs, the menu is varied but always inexpensive. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DON VICTOR'S FINE LATIN AMERICAN RESTAURANT 3244 Georgia Ave., Kenner, 305-0826; www.donvictorsrestaurant.com Latin-American dishes like camarones de Guatemala (shrimp sauteed in a chirmol sauce of tomatoes and garlic and served with rice and salad) fit nicely beside new Mexican items like chili rellenos, enchiladas and flautas. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat., lunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

FIESTA LATINA RESTAURANT 1924 Airline Hwy., Kenner, 468-2384; www.fiestalatinarestaurant.com New Orleans can always use more fried eggs, tortillas and beans for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, Fiesta serves carne asada with refried beans, salad, rice and fried plantains. There also are pupusas. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

FIRE OF BRAZIL 725 Iberville St., 552-4446; www.fireofbrazil.com The unique service style of the Brazilian churascaria is on display here. Diners pay one price and are visited throughout the meal by waiters presenting skewers of beef, pork, chicken and other meats, which are sliced directly onto their plates. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

JAZZ TACOS 307 Exchange Alley, 872-0015 Tacos, fajitas and similar fare are on the menu, but the kitchen's specialties are Central-American staples like tostadas piled with pickled cabbage, tomato sauce and hearty beans. Pupusas are another highlight, and these small cornmeal patties are stuffed with cheese, pork or both. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

LA CASA GOMEZ 643 Lotus Drive, Mandeville, (985) 624-8667 La Casa Gomez's Cuban sandwich is layered with tender roast pork and layers of ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on pressed French bread. Dishes of roast pork, baca frita and fajita-style platters are also popular. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

MAYA'S RESTAURANT & BAR 2027 Magazine St., 309-3401; www.mojitoland.com Maya's infuses Latin-American dishes with Caribbean influences. The Caribbean pulpo is octopus sauteed in cilantro and garlic sazon coconut sauce. Maya's version of paella features green and white mussels, shrimp, clams, calamari, garlic, peas and tomatoes cooked together and ladled over saffron rice. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MOJO GRILL 1325 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 464-6656 Mojo's Latin-American inspirations come from Mexico and the Caribbean to Argentina. Entrees include Cuban steak and fajitas. Fried shrimp or seafood platters are served with a choice of sides from french fries to steamed yucca and the rice dish congri. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

PUPUSERIA & RESTAURANTE LA MACARENA 8016 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 464-4525; 8120 Hampson St., 862-5252 La Macarena's namesake pupusas are stuffed cornmeal treats that are to some Latin-American cities what the hot dog is to New York. Other options include fresh soups, salads, ceviche, combination platters and seafood options. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Cash and checks. $$

SERRANOS SALSA COMPANY 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-2354; www.serranossalsacompany.com Serranos' West Andes shrimp is sauteed with Caribbean spices. Try the tequila- and lime-marinated Cuban steak, or the mango and scallion swordfish. Side items include mango sweet potatoes, refried pinto beans, chili-lime roasted corn and jalapeno corn pudding. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

VAZQUEZ RESTAURANT 515 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 893-9336 An intimate family atmosphere welcomes diners at Vazquez. Latin dishes such as Cuban sandwiches, fried plantains and black beans and rice with roast pork, keep the kitchen busy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

LOUISIANA CONTEMPORARY

7 ON FULTON 701 Convention Center Blvd., 525-7555; www.7onfulton.com This spacious restaurant tucked away on Fulton Street offers appetizers including Creole tomatoes with goat cheese, anchovies and sherry vinaigrette. For entrees, try the pan-seared tuna with white bean puree and asparagus-crawfish bearnaise. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

ANDREW JAEGER'S 4250 Hwy. 22, Suite B, Mandeville, (985) 624-2300; www.andrewjaegers.com Crawfish etouffee and oysters en brochette wrapped in bacon are favorites here. Italian specialties range from mussels in red sauce to seafood stew. A children's menu is available. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

ATCHAFALAYA 901 Louisiana Ave., 891-9626; www.cafeatchafalaya.com Tucked away on the edge of the Garden District, Atchafalaya is a pretty place to enjoy creative Creole cooking. The menu features entrees like stuffed flounder fillets wrapped around Louisiana oyster dressing, and blackened redfish with Louisiana crabmeat and lemon beurre blanc sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

BAYONA 430 Dauphine St., 525-4455; www.bayona.com Chef Susan Spicer blends contemporary Creole cooking with ingredients and flavors from around the globe. Some mainstay dishes include smoked quail salad with pears, grilled shrimp with black bean cake and peppered lamb loin with goat cheese. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BEEBE'S ON THE LAKE 7224 Pontchartrain Blvd., 302-9657 Beebe's focuses on local seafood. One daily special features a Gulf fish fillet pan seared, topped with crawfish lemon butter and served with roasted potatoes and macque choux. Shrimp are served in a saffron garlic sauce over pasta. Reservations recommended for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

BEGUE'S RESTAURANT AT THE ROYAL SONESTA 300 Bourbon St., 553-2278; www.beguesrestaurant.com A new lunch menu featuring small plates is the latest twist at Begue's. A crisp baby spinach salad with pears, blue cheese and pecans is one light option. Traditional fare includes turtle soup and hearty dishes like filet mignon with truffled fries. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

THE BISTRO AT MAISON DE VILLE 733 Toulouse St., 528-9206; www.hotelmaisondeville.com Whether seated in the intimate dining room or in the lush courtyard, guests can expect a creative touch from chef Greg Picolo. Try dishes such as frog leg grillades and sweetbread fritters. Baby lamb chops are served with blueberry and lavender glaze. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BRIGTSEN'S RESTAURANT 723 Dante St., 861-7610; www.brigtsens.com Frank Brigsten serves his updated Creole and contemporary Louisiana cooking in a pretty, converted-shotgun home. Roast pork tenderloin with sweet potato dirty rice and pork debris is mix of urban and rustic elements. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE ADELAIDE AND SWIZZLE STICK BAR 300 Poydras St., 595-3305; www.cafeadelaide.com Chris Lusk's Biscuit & Gravy — a cracklins biscuit with duck confit and "foie gravy" — spotlights the chef's talent for reinventing old Southern favorites. Another shining example: corn-crusted red grouper with truffled Louisiana crabmeat and grape tomato "raisins." Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE AMELIE 912 Royal St., 412-8965; www.princessofmonaco.com Guests pass through a set of iron gates into the gorgeous courtyard of this historic Creole property, dripping with romantic charm. Roasted oysters, rack of lamb with Scotch bonnet peppers and salmon drizzled with horseradish cream are popular choices. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CHOPS BISTRO AND MARTINI BAR 111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 218-8967; www.chopsbistroandmartinibar.com Located in the lobby of the Heritage Plaza, the bistro is strategically located for business lunches. It also provides an urbane atmosphere for dinner, featuring entrees like blackened redfish, which is served with jalapeno grits and Louisiana macque choux. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CLANCY'S 6118 Annunciation St., 895-1111 Clancy's menu changes frequently, but always features a mix of steaks, chops and local seafood. One popular appetizer features fried oysters with Brie on a bed of wilted spinach. Lemon icebox pie is a popular dessert. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

COMMANDER'S PALACE 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com Chef Tory McPhail has developed Commander's Palace's menu to include increasingly contemporary and even playful, modern Creole dishes. The foie gras "du monde" combines seared foie gras over bourbon-braised fig and foie gras beignets with vanilla-cracked coffee beans, foie gras cafe au lait and chicory coffee mist. Reservations required. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CRYSTAL ROOM AT LE PAVILLON 833 Poydras St., 581-3111; www.lepavillon.com Le Pavillon hotel's dining room epitomizes old-school elegance. At breakfast, order a custom omelet or eggs Benedict. At lunch, choose from healthy salad options, New Orleans specialties and pasta dishes. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

EMERIL'S DELMONICO 1300 St. Charles Ave., 525-4937; www.emerils.com Chef Emeril Lagasse reworks classic dishes at Delmonico. Caesar salad is prepared tableside. Entree choices include prime steaks, pan-fried redfish and a duo of lamb, featuring a Colorado lamb chop and garlic-fennel lamb sausage. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE DAKOTA RESTAURANT 629 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 892-3712; www.thedakotarestaurant.com This elegant Northshore destination combines contemporary French and Louisiana cooking. Brie and crab soup is a modern classic with its creamy base studded with jumbo lump crabmeat. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

DANTE'S KITCHEN 736 Dante St., 861-3121; www.danteskitchen.com A charming cottage in Riverbend sets the scene for contemporary Creole dining. Menu standards include the charcuterie plate with house-made pickles and mustard. Or try the maple-glazed chicken served with a potato-bacon hash cake and a fried farm egg. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

THE DELACHAISE 3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858; www.thedelachaise.com This boxcar-shaped wine bar offers a distinctive selection of wines, liquor and beer from around the world. The kitchen menu ranges from cheese plates and french fries cooked in duck fat to a small selection of entrees. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

DICK AND JENNY'S 4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 894-9880; www.dickandjennys.com Housed in a humble, bargeboard cottage, Dick and Jenny's is a casual spot to enjoy inspired Creole dishes like savory pain perdu with duck confit, apples, Brie and mango chutney. Try the house-smoked filet or the double-cut pork chop with herb risotto. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

DISH ON FIRST 2142 First St., Slidell, (985) 781-1440 Creole, Italian, and Caribbean culinary styles mingle at Dish on First. Try the Cajun chicken pasta with spicy tomato cream sauce or pepper-crusted ahi tuna served with a pineapple-mango sauce. Appetizers include fried asparagus with blue cheese dip. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner and late-night Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

EAT NEW ORLEANS 900 Dumaine St., 522-7222; www.eatnola.com While the dining room is marked by fresh colors and a contemporary design, the menu at this neighborhood spot is focused on casual Southern classics. Smoked beef brisket, fried chicken and stuffed bell peppers are served with salad and a side dish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

EMERIL'S RESTAURANT 800 Tchoupitoulas St., 528-9393; www.emerils.com Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's flagship restaurant lives up to its superstar reputation. Emeril's offers a three-course "Lunch Crunch" menu for $19.50 that includes selections like the ancho-glazed hanger steak and the salmon pastrami. The banana cream pie remains the signature dessert. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

ETOILE 407 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 892-4578; www.etoilebistro.com Artist/owner James Michalopoulos is behind the fanciful design of this Northshore bistro. The menu includes twists on classics like mussels steamed in white wine and spicy dill cream broth served with sweet potato fries. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Thu.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

HERBSAINT BAR AND RESTAURANT 701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114; www.herbsaint.com Donald Link cooks modern Creole cuisine infused with European influences. Savor seared Kurobuta pork belly with white bean pistou or sauteed Louisiana jumbo shrimp with cauliflower popcorn, rice gratin and herb salad. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

HOSTEL RESTAURANT & ULTRA LOUNGE 329 Decatur St., 587-0036; www.hostelnola.com A native of south Louisiana, chef Richard Richardson adds rustic hints to refined contemporary cooking. Try his signature pate or dishes like the dry-rubbed duck breast served with Lyonnaise potatoes and port and duck demi-glace. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

HOUMAS HOUSE PLANTATION 40136 Hwy. 942, Darrow, (225) 473-9380; www.houmashouse.com Houmas House is a renovated 18th-century plantation home. Casual lunches of sandwiches and salads are available at Cafe Burnside. At Latil's Landing, house specialties include bisque of curried pumpkin with crawfish and corn. Reservations recommended. Cafe Burnside: lunch daily. Latil's Landing: dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JANIE BROWN'S RESTAURANT 27207 Hwy. 90, Lacombe, (985) 882-7201 Favorites at Janie Brown's include the trout meuniere and the catfish Michelle, which is topped with crawfish and cream. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

JEAN LAFITTE BISTRO 240 Bourbon St., 523-6820; www.jeanlafittesrendezvous.com Hand-painted murals and chandeliers set an urbane tone in this bistro. The menu blends Creole classics and upscale Italian dishes. Specials include grilled rack of lamb served with a mint demi-glace. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

K-PAUL'S LOUISIANA KITCHEN 416 Chartres St., 524-7394; www.kpauls.com Executive chef Paul Miller upholds the tradition of restaurant founder Paul Prudhomme, while the legendary chef himself continues to develop new recipes for the kitchen's repertoire. The duck and shrimp Dulac has a sauce of leeks, sun-dried tomatoes, shiitake and oyster mushrooms and duck glaze. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA CÔTE BRASSERIE 700 Tchoupitoulas St., 613-2350; www.lacotebrasserie.com Seafood finds an attractive showcase in the Warehouse District Arts Hotel. Salmon is glazed with Tabasco and Steen's cane syrup and served with shrimp and roast mirliton ragout. The chilled La Cote platter features a selection of oysters, ceviches, king crab legs, shrimp and more. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LA PETITE GROCERY 4238 Magazine St., 891-3377; www.lapetitegrocery.com This former corner grocery is a gourmet restaurant serving dishes like roasted Gulf oysters with Piave cheese and fresh herbs to start. For an entree, try pan-fried rabbit or grilled duck breast with turnips, arugula and fig reduction. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA PROVENCE 25020 Hwy. 190 E., Lacombe, (985) 626-7662; www.laprovencerestaurant.com A three-course dinner is available for $30, and some a la carte selections include an assortment of pates and bouillabaisse with shrimp, mussels, clams, grouper, crabmeat and tuna in a fennel-saffron broth. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LAFITTE'S 300 Canal St., 212-3230; 2031 St. Charles Ave., 524-0581; wwwlafittesneworleans.com Lafitte's serves classic New Orleans dishes. Favorites include chicken and sausage gumbo and a Mardi Gras Mambo salad with Kalamata olives, blue cheese and Creole pecans in cane syrup vinaigrette. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LE CITRON BISTRO 1539 Religious St., 566-9051; www.le-citronbistro.com This cozy restaurant is located in the oldest known building above Canal Street. Catfish St. John Baptiste is a fried fillet topped with crabmeat salad and served with fried sweet potato chips, papaya sauce and your choice of squash or collard greens. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sat, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

LOLA RESTAURANT 517 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 892-4992 Located in a historic former train depot, Lola's is a comfortable place to enjoy creative cooking. The redfish Keith is stuffed with local crabmeat and shrimp, baked and served with spinach and Brabant potatoes. Reservations recommended for dinner. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LOUISIANA BISTRO 337 Dauphine St., 525-3335; www.louisianabistro.net The menu changes frequently at this cozy French Quarter bistro, but representative dishes include the jumbo lump crabmeat and panko-crusted asparagus salad and the grilled duck with pecan pesto rice. Request the "feed me" option for a tasting menu of three to five courses. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

MAPLE STREET CAFE 7623 Maple St., 314-9003; www.maplecafe.net One of the most popular dishes at this Southern Italian-meets-New Orleans cafe is the breaded chicken breast with lemon zest over fettuccine Alfredo. Fresh seafood gets elegant treatment in dishes like the shrimp in phyllo with a white wine-lemon butter sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MARIGNY BRASSERIE 640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472: www.marignybrasserie.com Chef Miles Prescott has just moved into this corner bistro. Eclectic dishes like sun-dried tomato-braised rabbit over housemade pappardelle and duck confit with roasted beets and goat cheese are on the slowly changing menu. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MAT & NADDIE'S 937 Leonidas St., 861-9600; www.matandnaddies.com This converted Riverbend shotgun features two intimate dining rooms and a spacious deck overlooking the levee. Fried free-range chicken breast is served with a wild rice and pecan Belgian waffle and a gruyere mornay. The Moroccan-braised lamb shank is served with olives, dried apricots and toasted almond cous cous. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon. and Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MICHABELLE INN & RESTAURANT 1106 Holly St., Hammond, (985) 419-0550; www.michabelle.com This country inn and restaurant offers a prix fixe menu with uncommon seafood options like frog legs and gray snapper. Dessert is not included in the set meal, but dishes such as cherries jubilee and fresh strawberries Romanoff are available for $5 extra. Reservations required. Dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$$

MIKE'S AMERICAN GRILL 4300 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-5566 Chef Michael Uddo takes a wide-open approach at his new restaurant, offering creative small plates, steaks off the grill, entrees like trout with crabmeat and avocado, and sides like Rockefeller casserole. Brunch features frittatas, egg dishes, salads and more. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. $$

MILA 817 Common St., 412-2580; www.milaneworleans.com Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing take an inventive approach to Southern cuisine at their CBD restaurant. Seasonal ingredients and fresh local produce star in dishes like oysters Rockefeller Deconstructed, prepared with bacon chips and licorice root. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MURIEL'S JACKSON SQUARE 801 Chartres St., 568-1885; www.muriels.com Muriel's serves a contemporary Creole menu in a picturesque setting on the corner of Jackson Square. One popular appetizer is the shrimp and goat cheese crepe topped with a buttery sauce. For an entree, a wood-grilled double-cut pork chop topped with apple glaze. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

NOLA RESTAURANT 534 St. Louis St., 522-6652; www.emerils.com Chef Emeril Lagasse offers rustic accents in a chic environment at his French Quarter digs. Ms. Hay's stuffed chicken wings is a popular appetizer. For an entree, try garlic-crusted Texas redfish. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

NUVOLARI'S 246 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 626-5619; www.nuvolaris.com Nuvolari's combines Italian influences with contemporary Louisiana cooking. Pan-roasted mahi-mahi comes with blackened tomatoes and pan-fried potatoes. Rigatoni with spicy sausage and shrimp features baby spinach, marinara and Grana Radano cheese. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OCEANA GRILL 739 Conti St., 975-7818; www.oceanagrill.com Start a meal with a dozen raw oysters before moving on to anything from burgers to ambitious seafood dishes. La Boheme features a grilled ahi tuna steak topped with New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp. Reservations recommended. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

O'DONNELL'S RESTAURANT 131 S.W. Railroad Ave., Ponchatoula, (985) 386-4077; www.odonnells-restaurant.com Louisiana flavors and a casual fine-dining approach are the calling cards at O'Donnell's. Marinated and grilled leg of lamb is served with portobello mushrooms and truffled Cabernet glace. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ONE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 8132 Hampson St., 301-9061; www.one-sl.com Dine at a table or take a seat overlooking the open kitchen at this Riverbend cafe. The menu changes frequently, but recent favorites have included hearty, stewed country ribs served with potato and truffle croquettes. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

PAILLARD'S RESTAURANT 717 Orleans St., 523-2222 ext. 6001; www.bourbonorleans.com This flagship restaurant at the Bourbon Orleans hotel offers regional Southern cooking and Creole dishes. The roasted filet is served with truffled whipped potatoes and red wine sauce. Try the bananas Foster bread pudding for dessert. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

PALACE CAFE 605 Canal St., 523-1661; www.palacecafe.com Palace Cafe chef Darin Nesbit's signature dishes include oyster loaf of corn-fried oysters on grilled ciabatta with melted St. Andre cheese and sherry cream sauce. Crispy, braised pork shank is served with blueberries, crispy sweet potatoes, Gorgonzola, bacon and blueberry-chicory barbecue sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

PALMETTOS ON THE BAYOU 1901 Bayou Lane, Slidell, (985) 643-0050; www.palmettosonthebayou.net Palmettos offers seafood dishes like soft-shell crab amandine and grilled amberjack topped with barbecued shrimp. Eggplant Palmettos features crispy eggplant topped with shrimp, crab and seafood sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat., brunch and early dinner Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

PAT O'BRIEN'S COURTYARD RESTAURANT 624 Bourbon St., 525-4823; www.patobriens.com The kitchen at Pat O'Brien's strives to ensure guests don't take on the bar's potent cocktails on an empty stomach. Cancun shrimp are battered in pina colada mix and coconut flakes and served with fruit salsa. The muffuletta features Italian meats, cheese and homemade olive salad on focaccia bread. No reservations. Lunch Wed.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PELICAN CLUB 312 Exchange Place, 523-1504; www.pelicanclub.com Stroll down picturesque Exchange Place to this elegant haven for contemporary Creole dining. Some of chef Richard Hughes' signature dishes include panned Gulf fish topped with crawfish etouffee and jalapeno hollandaise. Seared tuna topped with seared scallops. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE RED MAPLE RESTAURANT 1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935; www.theredmaple.com Redfish Pontchartrain is a tried and true winner at this West Bank restaurant staple. Pan-seared redfish fillets are topped with jumbo lump crabmeat, mushrooms and sherry cream sauce and served with oven-roasted potatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT AUGUST 301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777; www.rest-august.com Celebrated local chef and occasional Food Network personality John Besh frequently changes up his menu to showcase the flavors of local, seasonal ingredients. Signature dishes include housemade gnocchi with blue crab and truffles. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT CUVEE 322 Magazine St., 587-9001; www.restaurantcuvee.com Chef Robert Iacovone serves a menu of creative takes on Louisiana and Southern cooking. A playful "chicken and waffles" dish is a version of coq au vin blanc with pancetta. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Thu., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT CYPRESS 4426 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 885-6885; www.restaurantcypress.com Cypress features a menu of contemporary Louisiana fare with a twist. Try items like roasted garlic soup and rabbit piquant. Duck confit spring rolls with cream cheese and caramelized onions are a signature dish. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RIB ROOM 621 St. Louis St., 529-7045; www.omniroyalorleans.com The stately and spacious setting of the Rib Room is an old New Orleans favorite for everything from power lunches to family gatherings over brunch. Crab cakes with remoulade and ravigote are a popular starter. Entrees include slow-roasted prime rib and rotisserie chicken. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

RIVERBEND BISTRO 8001-B W. St. Bernard Hwy., Arabi, 277-6996 This seafood and Italian restaurant has pleased palates in St. Bernard Parish since 2006. The menu ranges from fried seafood dishes to prime Angus steaks to New Orleans favorites like the eggplant Napoleon. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ROUX BISTRO 500 Canal St., 595-5506; www.sheratonneworleans.com Located in the Sheraton Hotel, this bistro offers contemporary Louisiana cooking. Mornings feature continental breakfasts. Entrees include Louisiana-style cassoulet made with red beans, duck confit and duck sausage. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

ROYAL HOUSE RESTAURANT 441 Royal St., 528-2601; www.royalhouserestaurant.com Royal House's creative seafood dishes include oysters Royale, a half-dozen oysters topped with creamy shrimp and crawfish stuffing. Baked seafood tortellini features tri-colored cheese tortellini, shrimp and scallops in cream sauce topped with a crust of golden-brown breadcrumbs. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SUGAR HOUSE 315 Julia St., Embassy Suites, 525-1993 Sugar House pays homage to Louisiana's sugar trade with dishes like sauteed trout with candied lemon. Steaks like New York strips are served with Creole butter. For dessert, try the bananas Foster cheesecake. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

VERANDA AT THE HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL 444 St. Charles Ave., 585-4383 The Sunday jazz brunch draws a crowd for live jazz, flowing bubbly, carving stations, made-to-order omelets and rich desserts like Miss Dorothy's famous bread pudding. The dinner menu combines Southern charm and Continental flair. Reservations recommended. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

VIZARD'S 5015 Magazine St., 895-2246 Best bets at Kevin Vizard's intimate Uptown restaurant include the Vizard's Cut, a buttery rib-eye cap seared and served with Creole bordelaise. The distinctive Black and Blue dessert is a bittersweet mini chocolate cake inset with a nugget of Maytag blue cheese. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

WATER STREET BISTRO 804 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-3855 This cozy cafe invites guests to linger on its picturesque front porch. They can dig into entrees like Mediterranean-inspired linguine with Gulf shrimp, spiked with the sharp, salty flavors of olives, capers and feta. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

WOLFE'S IN THE WAREHOUSE 859 Convention Center Blvd., 613-2882; www.wolfesinthewarehouse.com Chef Tom Wolfe prepares bold-flavored contemporary Louisiana cooking at his refined bistro. The signature Duck-Duck-Goose special combines preparations of duck and foie gras. Housemade chicken sausage is served with olive ragout, sweet potato fries and aioli. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri. Brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

WOLFE'S RESTAURANT 1041 Dumaine St., 593-9535; www.wolfesrestaurant.com Wolfe's offers small plates at the bar and a three-course prix fix special Tuesday through Thursday. Entrees include dishes like duck leg confit on dried cherry and candied pecan risotto with asparagus, blue cheese and satsuma beurre-blanc. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ZOE RESTAURANT W Hotel, 333 Poydras St., 207-5018 The contemporary-chic ambience of the W Hotel effortlessly extends into its elegant, restaurant Zoë. The tapas menu features dishes like fried eggs with chorizo and potatoes and tomato salad with sherry vinaigrette and blue cheese. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MEDITERRANEAN/MIDDLE EASTERN

ACROPOLIS 3841 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-9046 Acropolis offers some of the most popular Mediterranean dishes found in Greece and Italy. The eclectic menu includes pizzas, gyros, lasagna, moussaka, lamb chops and salads. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ALBASHA GREEK & LEBANESE RESTAURANT 1958 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 867-8292; www.albashabr.com Diners can choose from chicken shawarma, gyro plates of mixed beef or lamb, or lighter fare such as salads topped with feta or tabbouleh. For dessert, there's baklava drizzled with honey and ashta, a phyllo pastry with cream cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ATTIKI BAR & GRILL 230 Decatur St., 587-3756; www.attikineworleans.com Attiki is a casual tavern offering Middle Eastern dishea including hummus, shish kebabs, falafel sandwiches and entrees like rack of lamb. Or try the soft-shell crab meuniere with sauteed vegetables and garlic potatoes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

BABYLON CAFE 7724 Maple St., 314-0010 Babylon Cafe offers an array of familiar Mediterranean dishes including hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel and crusty rolls in addition to pita bread. For entrees, try kebabs, gyros, shawarma and vegetarian dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

BYBLOS 1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9773; 3218 Magazine St., 894-1233 Byblos offers meats cooked on the rotisserie and many popular Mediterranean dishes like chicken shawarma. The drunken halloumi appetizer is Cypriot cheese lightly pan-fried with ouzo and served over tomato slices with garlic aoili. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BYBLOS MARKET 2020 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-9777 This quick-serve deli is a popular lunch spot for affordable Middle Eastern fare. Sandwiches and kabobs are prepared to order from meats roasting on spits. Fresh salads, stuffed dolmas and platters of meat with hummus and pita make complete meals. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CASABLANCA 3030 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-2209; www.koshernola.com Casablanca offers a unique variation on Middle Eastern cuisine, blending traditional American fare like split-pea soup and coleslaw with an array of Moroccan options. A favorite is the Tanzia Fassi, a dish of baked lamb with sauteed onions, prunes and sliced almonds with Moroccan spices. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner Sun.-Thu. Credit cards. $$

CLEOPATRA MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE 2701 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 361-1113; www.cleopatramediterraneancuisine.com Cleopatra serves Mediterranean favorites. The Kebab Sultani combines skewers of charbroiled steak, chicken and kafta (seasoned ground beef with onion and parsley). The vegetarian plate includes cous cous, hummus, baba ghanoush, vegetarian dolmeh and tabbouleh. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DIXIE GYRO 110 Carondelet St., 523-6614 Dixie Gyro serves tasty Middle Eastern lunch classics like falafel, hummus and lamb or chicken gyros to the CBD lunch crowd. At breakfast time, sugary, fluffy beignets are a popular item. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

JAMILA'S MEDITERRANEAN TUNISIAN CUISINE 7808 Maple St., 866-4366 This quaint Maple Street cafe dishes up French-Tunisian delights like merguez lamb sausage and zucchini bisque with crawfish. A steaming clay pot of lamb tagine (Moroccan stew) or mustard-crusted salmon filet make a hearty and exotic meals. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

LEBANON'S CAFE 1500 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-6200; www.lebanonscafe.com Check the specials board for dishes like Indian-style samosas or a platter of musaha with beef, cheese, tomato sauce and vegetables over basmati rice. The regular menu features Middle Eastern standards like kebabs, falafel sandwiches, shawarma and tabbouleh plus spicy grilled lamb and beef. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MR. GYROS 3620 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 833-9228 Mr. Gyros' menu includes homemade spanakopita, Grecian pizza, calamari and mousaka, a dish of baked eggplant and ground lamb. Daily homemade soup choices might include tomato basil and chicken and artichoke. For dessert, try tiramisu, strawberry cake or baklava. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MONA'S CAFE 504 Frenchmen St., 949-4115; 1120 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-8175; 3901 Banks St., 482-7743; 4126 Magazine St., 894-9800 Since opening as a grocer and restaurant in Mid-City, Mona's has expanded to cafes across the city. The affordable Middle Eastern menu includes gyro sandwiches and platters, falafel and kebabs of chicken, lamb and beef served with hummus and salad. Soups and salads include a hearty lentil soup, tabbouleh, and yogurt and cucumber salad. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PHOENICIA RESTAURANT 4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-9950 Phoenicia serves a wide variety of classic Middle Eastern fare like spicy shrimp, chicken or beef kebabs, kibbe and grape leaves. Vegetarian options include falafel, tabbouleh salad, creamy lebna and baba ghanoush. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PYRAMIDS CAFE 3151 Calhoun St., 861-9602 Pyramids serves Mediterranean cuisine to the Uptown crowd, including favorites like falafel, hummus and baba ghanoush. Try a grilled lamb gyro or chicken shawarma in a pita sandwich or on an platter. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MEXICAN/SOUTHWESTERN

ADOBE CANTINA & SALSA 1905 W. Thomas St., Hammond, (985) 419-0027; www.adoberestaurant.com A Southwestern take on Mexican cuisine makes this cantina a popular destination. The chimichangas, essentially fried burritos, are stuffed with steak, ground beef or chicken and served with rice, beans, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CARRETA'S GRILL 1340 Lindberg Drive, Slidell, (985) 847-0020; 2320 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-6696 Margaritas and queso and chips start meals at this Mexican restaurant. Classics such as burritos, tacos, enchiladas and fajitas are available à la carte or on combo plates. The spicy shrimp will tantalize your tongue long after you head home. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CASA GARCIA 800 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 951-8226; 8814 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 464-0354 This Tex-Mex cantina offers familiar dishes like tamales, tacos and enchiladas and some of unique options. La Torta Loca is a south of the border po-boy made with your choice of beef, chicken or pork tenderloin dressed with lettuce, tomato and caramelized onions. No reservations. Metairie: Lunch and dinner daily. Mandeville: Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHEVY'S FRESH MEX 1201 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 368-2100; 3330 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-7788; www.chevys.com Chevy's is a festive spot for California-Mexican dishes complemented by an array of specialty margaritas. Fajitas come with mesquite-grilled chicken, beef, shrimp or vegetables. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CUCOS 1300 Gause Blvd., Slidell, (985) 641-4706; 2000 S.W. Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 345-2634; 5953 W. Park Ave., Houma, (985) 868-0800 Cucos restaurants offer a long list of Mexican favorites and a menu of specialty cocktails. Many diners choose combination platters like El Presidente, which comes with beef and cheese enchiladas, a burrito, a taco and rice and beans. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

EL GATO NEGRO 81 French Market Place, 525-9752; www.elgatonegronola.com Standard Mexican dishes like enchiladas, burritos and fajitas are a stock in trade of this cafe by the French Market. Ambitious fare includes the combination plate of bronzed grouper, scallops and jumbo shrimp finished with a spicy chipotle salsa. No reservations. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FELIPE'S TAQUERIA 301 N. Peters St., 267-4406; 6215 S. Miro St., 309-2776; www.felipesneworleans.com These taquerias feature complimentary salsa bars full of spicy options. Menu items include al pastor (marinated pork) tacos in corn tortillas filled with pineapple, spices and onion. Super burritos are filed with a choice of meat, pinto beans, rice, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

GEORGE'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT 1461 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4342 George's is a comfortable spot to enjoy Mexican favorites like sizzling beef or chicken fajitas. The shrimp à la Mexicana features shrimp sauteed in spicy sauce made with tomatoes, onions and sweet peppers. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JUAN'S FLYING BURRITO 2018 Magazine St., 569-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave.,486-9950; www.juansflyingburrito.com Juan's offers Tex-Mex favorites including big stuffed quesadillas, burritos and fajita platters. The veggie punk burrito is a meatless favorite. Rotating daily specials range from crawfish enchiladas to blackened redfish tacos. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA CARRETA 107 Carrolwood Drive, LaPlace, (985) 651-9991; 108 N.W. Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 419-9990; 1200 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-2990; www.carretarestaurant.com La Carreta features a menu full of popular Mexican dishes like fajitas, carnitas, enchiladas, chiles rellenos and spicy shrimp. The La Carreta Dinner combines a beef burrito, beef enchilada, beef taco and bean chalupa. There is a large menu of specialty margaritas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

NACHO MAMA'S MEXICAN GRILL 1000 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 736-1188; 3242 Magazine St., 899-0031; www.nachomamasneworleans.com Nacho Mama's serves Tex-Mex favorites. Sizzling steak fajitas feature skirt steak with peppers, onions, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, jalapenos and two cheeses. The new chicken fajita sandwich tops a brioche bun with chicken, sauteed onions and peppers and melted cheese. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SI SENOR AT COSIMO'S 1201 Burgundy St., 522-9715 The Tex-Mex grill at the rear of this watering hole can take care of a case of the munchies or provide a full-fledged meal. Nachos are piled high with cheese, beans, hot peppers and a choice of meats. Gourmet burritos are packed to bursting. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner and late-night dining daily. Credit cards. $

SUPERIOR BAR & GRILL 3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.com Superior Grill offers the Superior parillada mixta for two: a platter of mesquite-grilled beef and chicken fajitas, shrimp and baby back ribs. Weekend brunch options include huevos rancheros and Bloody Marys. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat. and Sun. Credit cards. $$

TACOS SAN MIGUEL 2120 N. Claiborne Ave., 940-1883; 3517 20th St., Metairie, 267-4027 These taquerias have a very large selection of meats including several pork options to fill burritos and tacos. Authentic Mexican dishes include cow tongue and stewed pork skins. There's even a poblano burger. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TAQUERIA CHILANGOS 2723 Roosevelt Blvd., Kenner, 469-5599; www.taqueriachilangos.com Taqueria Chilangos's gourmet fare is complimented by an expanded menu of Mexican favorites like chile rellenos, burritos, tacos and brisket. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TAQUERIA CORONA 1827 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 738-6722; 3535 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-5088; 5932 Magazine St., 897-3974 Taqueria Corona's cozy cantinas offer margaritas, fried fish tacos, cebolitas (grilled green onions) and shrimp and cheese-filled flautas among other specialties. Try the Mexican pizza or big California-style burritos. The flauta dulce is a deep-fried banana pastry. No reservations. Lunch Mon.–Fri, and dinner Mon-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TAQUERIA GUERRERO MEXICO 208 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-6959 An inexpensive lineup of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas have made this a popular Mid-City lunch spot. There's a big-screen TV constantly screening Mexican soap operas or soccer, but diners tend to pay closer attention to chips and spicy dips. The menu also offers fajitas and pupusas. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TAQUERIA RIO GRANDE 3320 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 888-6791 Rio Grande serves everything from huevos rancheros in the morning to lunch and dinner options like enchiladas, burritos and tortas with choice of fillings. For those who can't decide, there's the parrillada mixta, a grilled platter of fajita-style steak, chicken and shrimp. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TOMATILLO'S MEXICAN JOINT 437 Esplanade Ave., 945-9997 Tomatillo's offers a big mix of Mexican and Southwestern favorites from tortilla soup to fajitas and combination plates with enchiladas and more. Try the spicy rib-eye. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun, Brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MUSIC AND FOOD

CHECK POINT CHARLIE 501 Esplanade Ave., 281-4847 Check Point Charlie is the place to grab a drink, a burger and listen to music while you do a load of laundry. Try the spicy Cajun burger, grilled chicken sandwich or other bar-food standards like cheese fries. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

HANDSOME WILLY'S PATIO BAR 218 S. Robertson St., 525-0377: www.handsomewillys.com Handsome Willy's offers creative tweaks on familiar dishes. Dirty Red Beans are served with hot Italian sausage. Sicilian Smashing Pork features pork loin slow-cooked in garlic marinara. No reservations. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner daily, late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

PALM COURT JAZZ CAFE 1204 Decatur St., 525-0200; www.palmcourtjazzcafe.com Live traditional New Orleans jazz and traditional New Orleans cooking find common ground at this restaurant and music hall. Shrimp ambrosia features a fennel and Pernod cream sauce. Creole pasta combines shrimp, oysters, sausage and chicken. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SNUG HARBOR JAZZ BISTRO 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696; www.snugjazz.com No need to listen to some of city's best jazz music on an empty stomach. The bistro offers varied menu of seafood, steaks, chicken entrees and burgers like the steak burger, a half-pound Angus beef burger served with an Idaho baked potato with your choice of toppings. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily, lunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SWEET LORRAINE'S JAZZ CLUB 1931 St. Claude Ave., 945-9654; www.sweetlorrainesjazzclub.com Sweet Lorraine's doesn't just cook up hot jazz. It also serves up a wide range of entrees like the blackened-catfish fillet topped with sauteed mushrooms and served over spinach. There also are burgers, sandwiches and salads. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

NEIGHBORHOOD

ADAM'S CATFISH HOUSE 8523 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 392-0541 As its name implies, Adam's serves up plenty of tasty catfish, either grilled or fried. There also are hamburgers, chicken dishes, pork chops and steaks on the menu. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

THE BEACH HOUSE 2401 N. Woodlawn Ave., Metairie, 456-7470 The Beach House offers a mix of burgers, po-boys and steaks. A boiled 1 lb. lobster is served with spicy corn and potatoes. The grilled 12-oz. pork chop is served with french fries, a baked potato or sweet potato. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BIG SHIRLEY'S OF NEW ORLEANS 1434 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-5858 Breakfasts at Big Shirley's range from fruit and yogurt to Belgian waffles topped with pecans, strawberries or blueberries to omelets made with sausage, seafood or vegetables. A small selection of po-boys are served at lunch. No reservations. Breakfast Tue.-Sun., lunch Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $

BLUEBIRD CAFE 3625 Prytania St., 895-7166 Breakfast staples such as buckwheat pancakes, waffles and eggs taper off into a lunchtime menu of burgers, fish sandwiches and salads at this casual cafe. The popular huevos rancheros piles up corn tortillas, black beans and fried eggs with ranchero sauce, cheese and salsa. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Sun. Cash only. $

BROTHERS OLE' NEW ORLEANS CAFE 1502 Lapalco Blvd., Harvey, 366-1073 The neighborhood cafe is known for its specially seasoned fried seafood. Menu items include a hearty homemade oyster and artichoke soup. For dessert, the bread pudding is topped with rich praline sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE BAMBOO 435 Esplanade Ave., 940-5546; www.cafebamboo.com Cafe Bamboo's mix of Caribbean and soul food influenced vegetarian fare even stretches into vegan territory with collard green eggrolls. Try tofu and wheat glutten in reinvented soul food dishes. There also are Thai curry rice bowls and pasta dishes. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAFE RECONCILE 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157; www.cafereconcile.org Helping to rebuild Central City by training young adults in the restaurant and hospitality industry, the cafe offers a steady lunch menu of soul food entrees, Creole dishes and daily specials like creamy crawfish pasta with salad. Don't miss the bananas Foster bread pudding for dessert. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAMELLIA GRILL 626 S. Carrollton Ave., 309-2679 The Camellia Grill is practically a landmark. Generations of New Orleanians have taken a seat at its counter to enjoy chocolate freezes, chili-cheese omelets, cheeseburgers with grilled onions and hot pecan pie off the flattop grill. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CHICKEN SUE'S 203 W. Harrison Ave., 371-5546 Chicken Sue's specialty is, of course, fried chicken cooked to order. But the menu includes everything from hot tamales to stuffed artichokes. Eggplant fries are an offbeat side order. There is homemade king cake during Carnival. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., early dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CHICKIE WAH WAH 2828 Canal St., 304-4714; www.chickiewahwah.com The nighttime bar and music club is open for lunch with sandwich choices like pulled pork dressed with tangy coleslaw. Sour orange marinated pork is pressed on French bread with sliced ham and pickles in the Cuban sandwich. Sides include fries, chili, beans and soup. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Cash only. $

DAISY DUKES 121 Chartres St., 561-5171; www.daisydukesrestaurant.com Stop into Daisy Dukes for breakfast anytime or sandwiches and platters. The Cajun omelet is made with hot sausage, cheese, onion, parsley and tomato. The blackened catfish platter is served with white mushroom sauce and roasted potatoes. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $$

DRY DOCK CAFE 133 Delaronde St., 361-8240; www.thedrydockcafe.com Located at the Algiers ferry landing, this locals bar serves a mixture of bar food and entrees. The Best Bank burger tops an 8-oz. patty with grilled onions, mushrooms, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Crawfish Maureenica tosses crawfish tails with pasta in Parmesan cream sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

FIORELLA'S CAFE 1136 Decatur St., 553-2155 Comfort food of New Orleans, Southern and Italian varieties get equal time at this old school eatery. Lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, liver and onions, fried pickles, po-boys and gumbo are among the many choices on the inexpensive menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

FRANKY & JOHNNY'S 321 Arabella St., 899-9146; www.frankyandjohnnys.com Alligator, crawfish and shrimp pies are classic starters at Franky & Johnny's. This casual Uptown eatery offers classic New Orleans po-boys and muffulettas, and modestly priced dinner entrees including fried seafood platters and pork chops. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

FURY'S 724 Martin Behrman Ave., Metairie, 834-5646 This casual neighborhood restaurant features Italian and seafood staples such as boiled and fried shrimp, fish dishes, veal parmigiana and stuffed manicotti. There also are dishes like fried chicken, gumbo and peppers stuffed with crabmeat, shrimp and eggplant. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

GATTUSO'S NEIGHBORHOOD BAR & RESTAURANT 435 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 368-1114; www.gattusosdeli.com This Gretna restaurant offers an extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads. The "sloppy" roast beef po-boy is filled with slow-cooked cuts dripping with housemade gravy and is topped with melted Swiss cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

GOTT GOURMET CAFE 3100 Magazine St., 373-6579; www.gottgourmetcafe.com Try creative twists on classics like the cochon de lait Cuban panino filled with slow-braised pork, Dr Pepper-cured ham, Gruyere cheese and ancho-honey slaw. The Smothered Pearl features fried oysters topped with cheese, chili, pickle, slaw and aioli. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sun., Dinner Tue.-Sat., breakfast Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

JACK DEMPSEY'S 738 Poland Ave., 943-9914 Jack Dempsey's is a heavyweight when it comes to seafood. The Jack Dempsey seafood platter serves a training-table feast of gumbo, shrimp, oysters, catfish, redfish and crawfish pies, plus two side items. Dinners come with a choice of fries, potato salad or baked macaroni and cheese. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Sat. and dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

J'ANITA'S 1906 Magazine St., 373-5337; www.janitas.com J'Anita's offers creative dishes at reasonable prices. Try the swamp grill: a sandwich made with barbecued pork and brisket and topped with homemade coleslaw and bourbon-and-whiskey sauce. The fish sandwich is topped with bacon, tomato and Caesar dressing. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JOE SEPIE'S CAFE 4402 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 324-5613 Casual Creole and Italian dishes fill the menu at Joe Sepie's. Try angel hair pasta with red sauce or fettuccine Alfredo topped with breaded veal or grilled chicken. Po-boys are filled with everything from fried shrimp or catfish to meatballs or Italian sausage. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $

JOEY K'S RESTAURANT 3001 Magazine St., 891-0997; www.joeyksrestaurant.com Daily specials are scrawled on the blackboard at Joey K's, and they're well worth trying. Sample the shrimp Magazine, a dish with sauteed shrimp, artichoke hearts and ham over angel hair pasta. All-you-can-eat catfish combos are available nightly. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JOHNNY & JACKIE'S CAFE & GRILL 326 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 362-8690 This cafe features a long list of po-boys plus some entrees. The special combo po-boy features sliced roast beef cooked in brown gravy plus ham, Swiss and American cheeses. The seafood platter combines shrimp, oysters and catfish plus fries and a salad. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

K.Y.'S OLD TOWNE BICYCLE SHOP 2267 Carey St., Slidell, (985) 641-1911 K.Y.'s Old Towne Bicycle Shop slow-roasts beef in house for its po-boys. Burgers and grilled Gulf seafood served on sandwiches and platters round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

LA PENICHE RESTAURANT 1940 Dauphine St., 943-1460 A combination of diner classics and New Orleans dishes make this Marigny corner cafe a popular spot, especially in the wee hours. Burgers, fried seafood and breakfast served all day and night are popular with midnight revelers and morning brunchers alike. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

LAKEVIEW HARBOR 911 Harrison Ave., 486-4887; www.lakeview-harbor.com Dining choices at Lakeview Harbor include steaks, seafood, chicken and big hamburgers. The loaded baked potato is almost a meal by itself. The menu also includes stuffed crab, marinated crab claws and marinated tuna salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LIUZZA'S BY THE TRACK 1518 N. Lopez St., 218-7888 The Creole gumbo is a good bet at this corner bar with an impressive menu. The barbecued shrimp po-boy features shrimp in rich butter and pepper sauce poured into a hollowed-out pistolette. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LIUZZA'S RESTAURANT AND BAR 3636 Bienville St., 482-9120; www.liuzzas.com Liuzza's is known for home-cooked lasagna and the Frenchuletta, its version of the muffuletta. The pasta spinach Lougia is an entree of pasta, fresh bread spinach cooked in chicken stock and grilled chicken, sauteed shrimp or Italian sausage. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $$

LOUISIANA PIZZA KITCHEN UPTOWN 615 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-5900; www.lpkuptown.com. Louisiana Pizza Kitchen offers gourmet pizza, calzones, pasta, sandwiches and more. Roasted duck pizza is topped with Roma tomatoes, grapes, mushrooms and mozzarella. The roasted lamb wrap is dressed with garlic-mint vinaigrette, feta, tomato and onions. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

NEW ORLEANS CAKE CAFE & BAKERY 2440 Chartres St., 943-0010 This cozy Marigny cafe offers hearty breakfasts all day with items like fresh-baked bagels and breads and specialty omelets. Stick around for lunch and try the grilled tuna sandwich topped with teriyaki, wasabi and Asian slaw. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

P & G RESTAURANT 345 Baronne St., 525-9678 This busy downtown lunch spot features po-boys stuffed with fried seafood, lunch plates with fried shrimp and catfish platters and red beans and rice. Specials include veal Parmesan, stewed chicken and lasagna. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

R & O'S PIZZA PLACE 216 Old Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 831-1248 Everything from pizza and pasta soaked in red gravy to po-boys, fried seafood platters and hot tamales can be found at R&O's. Fries smothered in brown gravy and roast beef debris are a savory treat. Try the veal Parmesan or Italian roast beef po-boy. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Tue. and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RICCOBONO'S PEPPERMILL RESTAURANT 3524 Severn Ave., Metairie, 455-2266 Crab cake Benedict features two poached eggs draped over blue crab cakes topped with hollandaise. The lunch menu features hearty entrees like roast pork with a baked sweet potato. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RIVERSHACK TAVERN 3449 River Road, Jefferson, 834-4938; www.therivershacktavern.com Rivershack offers good eats, good music and good times in a raucous honky-tonk atmosphere. Start out with a cold beer and a shack-a-tizer like alligator sausage or fried green tomatoes. Then move on to a burger, deli-style sandwich or po-boy of slow-roasted beef dripping with gravy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ROCKY & CARLO'S RESTAURANT AND BAR 613 W. St. Bernard Hwy., Chalmette, 279-8323 Creole-Italian eatery mixes it up with onion ring appetizers, stuffed peppers, veal cutlet Parmesan and fried chicken. Lenten observers can order peppers stuffed with seafood and substitute shrimp or eggplant in entrees. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SHIMMY SHACK 1855 Dock St., Harahan, 729-4442 The Shack is a casual spot for burgers made with ground beef or beef mixed with hot sausage to make Lil Hotties. Or try blackened catfish served over spicy shrimp and creamy cheddar cheese grits. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SMILIE'S RESTAURANT 5725 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan, 733-3000; www.smiliesrestaurant.com Smilie's offers specialties like beef brisket, baked eggplant Parmesan and Louisiana crab cakes. Seafood St. Charles tops broiled or fried trout with crabmeat mushroom sauce and shrimp and oyster sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

SOUTHSIDE CAFE 3154 Pontchartrain Drive, Slidell, (985) 643-6133; www.southsidecafe.net Southside Cafe serves New Orleans classics and sandwiches like the popular Reuben, filled with Angus beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing. The seafood muffuletta is stuffed with fried or grilled shrimp, oysters, catfish and topped with olive salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

STEP BROTHERS LOUNGE & RESTAURANT 4971 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 889-9856 Burgers and po-boys top the menu, but Step Brothers also features cheese sticks, jalapeno poppers, egg rolls, chicken tenders and wings. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and latenight daily. Credit cards. $

TED'S FROSTOP 3100 Calhoun St., 861-3615 The signature Lot-o-Burger is as good as ever, and can't help but evoke a certain nostalgia for the carhops and jukeboxes of the '50s. Order a milkshake with plate lunches like baked chicken, fried seafood or pork chops with red beans and rice. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

WAYNE JACOB'S SMOKEHOUSE & RESTAURANT 769 W. 5th St., Laplace, (985) 652-9990 The aroma of Wayne Jacob's andouille seasons the air around this well-known smokehouse. Inside, the kitchen serves dishes like baby-back ribs rubbed with sweet and spicy seasoning, and burgers combining ground beef and sausage. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Fri.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

YE OLDE COLLEGE INN 3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683; www.collegeinn1933.com This Uptown landmark is known for seafood po-boys, burgers and veal dishes. The fried green tomato po-boy is topped with shrimp remoulade. Daily specials include dishes like the broiled redfish topped with lump crabmeat and amandine sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ZEKE'S 1517 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-1133; www.eatatzekes.com Entrees like bratwurst and onions with warm German potato salad or sauerkraut add a Teutonic flair to Zeke's menu. Regular items include hamburger steak, fried crab claws, po-boys and oysters. Zeke's also features daily specials. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

PAN-ASIAN

ASIAN SUPER BUFFET  3900 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 712-0899 Seven buffet lines accommodate an array of Chinese dishes like as sweet-and-sour chicken and beef and broccoli. Mongolian barbecue dishes are cooked to order and allow diners a choice of meat and vegetables. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch daily, dinner Sun. Credit cards. $

AUGUST MOON 3635 Prytania St., 899-5129; www.augustmoonneworleans.com August Moon's crispy lemongrass shrimp dish features shrimp wok-sauteed with onions and minced lemongrass and served with vermicelli and nuoc cham sauce. Other offerings include a wide array of Chinese and Vietnamese specialties from curry to mu shu pork. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

BAMBU AT HARRAH'S CASINO 4 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahs.com Bambu has a winning combination of Asian-inspired specialties from sushi to hot entrees, combining Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisines. House specialties include a spicy Hunan-style stir-fried grouper and honey-wasabi glazed shrimp. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DOSON NOODLE HOUSE 135 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-7283 Doson features a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes on its menu. There are always bowls of pho noodle soup served with herbs. Chicken or shrimp stir-fry dishes come with a choice of rice or noodles. Lunch Mon.-Sat.,dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

HIPSTIX ASIAN KITCHEN 870 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-2858; www.hipstixasiankitchen.com Hipstix draws on a wide range of Asian cuisines. There is everything from marinated and grilled Korean-style short ribs served with kimchi to homemade crab rangoons stuffed with crabmeat and cream cheese. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

HOSHUN RESTAURANT 1601 St. Charles Ave., 302-9716 Hoshun draws on the cuisines of China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. The menu features everything from pho soup and Vietnamese spring rolls to pad Thai, sushi and fried calamari. Boneless duck with pumpkin seeds and plum is an exotic option. Reservations accepted. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

KIM SON 349 Whitney Ave., Gretna, 366-2489 Kim Son is a Vietnamese restaurant that also offers Chinese cuisine, particularly Cantonese and Szechuan dishes. A seasonal favorite is the soft-baked crab with scallops, which is served with onions and cracked black pepper. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

KING BUFFET 601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-4383; www.kingbuffet.net King Buffet offers everything from Chinese standards like beef with broccoli and sweet-and-sour chicken to Japanese and Thai dishes. Other options include fried chicken and boiled crab or jumbo shrimp. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

OKI NAGO 2712 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 780-8588; www.okinago.com Oki Nago's buffet features a wide variety of Japanese, Chinese and Korean dishes including cold noodle salads, shrimp dishes, breaded and fried meats and tempura. A large selection of rolls and sushi are also available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

PANASIA 500 St. Charles Ave., 525-4555 Panasia blends Thai, Vietnamese and American cuisine. Favorites include pad Thai, Thai-style curries and spicy soups and Vietnamese vermicelli noodle dishes. A marinated and grilled pork chop is served with a horseradish sauce, sauteed mushrooms, onions, rice and salad. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon.-Fri. and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SARA'S 724 Dublin St., 861-0565; www.sarasrestaurant.com Sara's offers a taste of the Far East and Asian subcontinent. Korean barbecued beef features grilled strips of tenderloin marinated with tangy spices. Other favorites include sesame-crusted salmon and Muscovy duck served with port and plum wine reduction. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

SOUTH SEAS ASIAN CUISINE 1714 Hwy. 190 West, Slidell, (985) 646-1205 Chinese-American dishes and a full sushi bar double the Asian dining options at South Seas. Peking duck stars among Chinese entree offerings. The Spartan roll is made with tempura shrimp, cream cheese, snow crab, tuna and avocado and drizzled with eel sauce and sesame seeds. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PIZZA

ANGELI ON DECATUR 1141 Decatur St., 566-0077 A mix of Italian and Middle Eastern food and a dose of Bohemian ambience make for eclectic meals at Angeli. Pastas, wraps and dips are popular standbys. Lucifer's special pizza is topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, red onions and jalapenos. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

BROOKLYN PIZZA 4301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-1288; www.eatbrooklyn.net Assemble your own version of the thin-crust, New York-style pies with a selection of toppings including pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, black olives, banana peppers, salami and ricotta cheese. Brooklyn also offers hero-style sandwiches and other Italian dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE ROMA UPTOWN 1901 Sophie Wright Place, 524-2419; www.caferomauptown.com Cafe Roma's gourmet pies include a margherita pizza with sliced tomato, basil, garlic, oregano, olive oil, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Shrimp linguine is tossed with mushrooms, spinach, garlic and white wine sauce. No reservations. Delivery available. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

CLUB DECATUR 240 Decatur St., 581-6969 Late-night revelers and service industry workers find common ground near the pizza counter at this corner bar, queuing up for a quick slice or a whole pie. There is also a menu of sandwiches. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

COSCINO'S PIZZA ITALIAN RESTAURANT 1817 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 727-4984; www.myspace.com/coscinospizza Coscino's makes New York-style, hand-tossed pies. The Danni special is topped with grilled chicken, jalapenos, Canadian bacon and pineapple. Entrees include pasta, calzones and chicken, veal or eggplant Parmesan. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

DIA ROMA CAFE 3712 Williams Blvd., Suite O, Kenner, 443-6663 Dia Roma offers a mix of pizza and Italian dishes. The spinach pie is topped with garlic butter sauce, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, chopped spinach and feta cheese. The chicken Alfredo dinner includes garlic cheese bread, chicken over angel hair pasta with Alfredo sauce and salad. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DITALI'S PIZZA 8160 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 393-1160 This classic pizza joint is the simplified sister to Cafe Ditali. In addition to its special thin-crust pies, Ditali's Pizza serves favorites from the cafe's menu, like Philly sandwiches and chicken Parmesan. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FRENCH QUARTER PIZZERIA & BAR 201 Decatur St., 948-3287; www.frenchquarterpizza.com The pizzeria offers a lunchtime all-you-can-eat buffet with pizzas, salads, pastas, soup, chicken wings, red beans, spinach dip and desserts. Daily lunch specials start at $5.99. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

GIO'S PIZZA & SPAGHETTI HOUSE 4941 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 885-3515 Gio's bakes gourmet pies and pasta dishes. Veal Parmesan is breaded, fried and topped with provolone cheese and served with a side of pasta, salad and garlic bread. Thin-crust pizzas are made with hand-tossed dough. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ISABELLA'S PIZZERIA 2660 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 674-5700; 70452 Hwy. 21, Covington, (985) 875-7620 The Four Seasons Pizza combines a quarter each of four different gourmet options. Pasta Cucina is linguine topped with shrimp, crawfish, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, green onions and parsley. Delivery available. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

ITALIAN PIE Citywide; www.italianpierestaurants.com Italian Pie takes a host of classic toppings and uses them on pizzas and salads, and inside calzones and sandwiches. There also are pasta dishes. Specialties include the roasted garlic pie topped with chicken or shrimp. Delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

LOUISIANA PIZZA KITCHEN 95 French Market Place, 522-9500; www.louisianapizzakitchen.com. Just off the French Market, the Pizza Kitchen is a casual spot for gourmet pizza and pasta. The jambalaya pizza is a cheese pizza with spicy sauce, shrimp, andouille and chicken. There also is a large selection of salads, pita wraps, calzones and pasta dishes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MANGO MANGO 201 Bourbon St.; 236 Bourbon St.; 333 Bourbon St.; 400 Bourbon St.; 524-0114; www.mangodaiquiris.com Mango Mango locations are marked by bright lights and colorful churning daiquiris. Two quick food options include hot pretzels and pizza slices with pepperoni, sausage or mushrooms. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

MARK TWAIN'S PIZZA LANDING 2035 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-8032; www.marktwainspizza.com Mark Twain's offers a menu of gourmet pies plus salads, sandwiches, po-boys and chicken wings. The Innocent's Abroad pie features Genoa salami, tomato, artichoke and Italian sausage and is sprinkled with basil. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MILANO'S PIZZA 3002 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 780-7500 Milano's makes pizzas, specialty subs, calzones, chicken wings, tenders and salads as well as macaroni and cheese with penne pasta and four cheeses. The artichoke pie is loaded with garlic sauce, feta, mushrooms, onion and artichokes. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MONA LISA RESTAURANT 1212 Royal St., 522-6746 Various renditions of the namesake painting adorn the walls at this long-time French Quarter cafe. Eggplant Parmesan is a house favorite. The Mediterranean pizza is topped with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, black olives and garlic. No reservations. Lunch Thu.-Mon., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MO'S PIZZA 1112 Avenue H, Westwego, 341-9650; www.mospizza.net Mo's serves pizza by the pie or slice, po-boys, sandwiches, pastas and hot entrees like lasagna. Popular sandwiches include the muffuletta. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

NEW YORK PIZZA 5201 Magazine St., 891-2376 New York Pizza offers thin-crust pies whole and by the slice. The Queen's pizza is topped with white sauce and loaded with spinach, mushrooms, artichokes and feta cheese. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PAPA JOHN'S PIZZA Citywide; www.papajohns.com Papa John's delivers pies topped with the usual suspects as well as specialty pies like an Italian meat trio, barbecued chicken and bacon, Hawaiian barbecue, spinach Alfredo and the Works. Sides include garlic Parmesan breadsticks, wings in spicy Buffalo or mild barbecue sauce and chicken strips. Delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PEPPERONI'S CAFE 8123 Hampson St., 865-0336 For late risers, Pepperoni's offers a breakfast pizza with egg, mushrooms, onions and peppers. Specialty pies include a four cheese conglomeration. The shrimp pasta mixes Gulf shrimp with basil in Alfredo cream sauce over fettuccine. The menu also includes calzones, po-boys, wraps and salads. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PIZZA FLORENCE 4445 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-7888; www.pizzaflorence.net Pizza Florence tops pies with a variety of options including marinated and grilled chicken and Alfredo sauce. The meatball wrap is packed with marinara and mozzarella and baked until the outside is crunchy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PIZZA HUT Citywide; www.pizzahut.com After years spent reconfiguring the sizes, shapes and crusts (thick, thin, stuffed) of pies, Pizza Hut has expanded its offerings to include a calzone-like P'zone and pasta dishes. Some locations serve chicken wings. Delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PIZZA MAN OF COVINGTON 1248 N. Collins Blvd., Covington, (985) 892-9874 Pizza Man's mix of traditional and unconventional pie toppings includes prosciutto, andouille sausage, crabmeat, eggplant and pesto. The Our Special pie features pepperoni, house-made Italian sausage and lightly blanched green peppers. No reservations. Dinner daily. Checks. $$

PIZZA MILANO 5226 Elysian Fields Ave., 250-9290 Milano offers everything from gourmet pies, calzones and pasta dishes to burgers and sandwiches. The Milano Supreme is topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, onion, olives and tomato. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

REGINELLI'S PIZZERIA 741 State St., 899-1414; 817 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 712-6868; 874 Harrison Ave., 488-0133; 3244 Magazine St., 895-7272; 5608 Citrus Blvd., Elmwood, 818-0111; www.reginellis.com Reginelli's serves pizza, salads and sandwiches that blend Italian flavors with those of Italy's Mediterranean neighbors. A popular salad features marinated chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens with green apples, gorgonzola, Roma tomatoes and roasted pecans tossed in a balsamic citrus vinaigrette. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ROCKY'S GOURMET PIZZA 3222 Magazine St., 891-5152 Amid the decor of salvaged New Orleans architectural elements, Rocky's serves pizzas like the Wild Tchoupitoulas, which has red sauce, pepperoni, sausage, red peppers and jalapenos. Sandwiches include the grilled chicken breast panino with mozzarella, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions and garlic mayo all stuffed in pita bread. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ROMA PIZZERIA 3441 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 674-3300 Roma Pizzeria bakes a savory, crisp-crust pizza and Sicilian-style deep-dish crust in its stone-deck ovens. One popular pie is the Supreme, loaded with pepperoni, crumbled Italian sausage, onions, green peppers, mushrooms and mozzarella. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

ROMAN PIZZA 7329 Cohn St., 866-1166; www.eatromanpizza.com This university neighborhood pizzeria offers everything from pizza, salads and sandwiches to pasta dishes. The Juan and Deen's pie combines pepperoni, jalapenos and extra cheese. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

SLICE 1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437; www.slicepizzeria.com Slice offers its own PGA tour — that's a prosciutto, gorgonzola and arugula pizza. Wednesday night features a wine-paired three-course prix fixe special of an off-menu appetizer, entree and dessert. Specialty pies include the shrimp and andouille. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THAT'S AMORE 4421 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 454-5885; www.thatsamorepizzaonline.com Whether you love New York City thin or Chicago thick crust, That's Amore has the pie to suit. Toppings beyond the usual suspects include pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach-artichoke. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

THEO'S PIZZA 4218 Magazine St., 894-8554; www.theospizza.com Theo's dishes up pies on its special crust as well as toasted sandwiches and salads. The Eccentric specialty pizza packs garlic, chicken, spinach, peppers, jalapenos, yellow squash, spicy tomatoes and Parmesan, mozzarella and feta cheeses. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

WAREHOUSE DISTRICT PIZZA 1068 Magazine St., 529-1466 Diners at Warehouse District Pizza have their choice of 10- and 14-inch pies with either a traditional red sauce or the house's spicy sauce and a wide array of deliciously oddball toppings like duck, pheasant sausage and barbecued chicken. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun, dinner on Mon. Credit cards. $$

WIT'S INN 141 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1600; www.witsinn.com This neighborhood tavern serves pizzas and a full range of salads and sandwiches. The Wit's Works is a pizza loaded with everything from sausage, ham and black olives to artichoke hearts. Corn and crab bisque is served in a hollowed out bread bowl. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

WORLD'S HEALTHIEST PIZZA 6307 S. Miro St., 865-0244; 8120 Hampson St., 865-0221; www.worldshealthiestpizza.com World's Healthiest makes pies with a special fiber-rich, probiotic multi-grain crust the proprietors say can make eating pizza an exercise in better health. Toppings include all the usual suspects. Breadsticks are also made with the same high-fiber recipe. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SANDIWCHES & PO-BOYS>

BEAR'S RESTAURANT 128 W. 21st Ave., Covington, (985) 892-2373 Bear's specializes in big sandwiches, and has served arm-sized po-boys for 30 years. The hot roast beef po-boy is a perennial favorite. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAFE MASPERO 601 Decatur St., 523-6250 It's common to see a line of hungry patrons waiting for a table at this inexpensive eatery. It is known for overstuffed deli sandwiches and burgers. Both conventional and vegetarian muffulettas are offered. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

CENTRAL GROCERY 925 Decatur St., 523-1620 One of the city's classic emporiums of imported Italian foodstuffs, Central Grocery is famous for a distinctly New Orleans creation: the muffuletta, practically the only sandwich made at the store. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CHEESESTEAK BISTRO 528 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 875-9793 Cheesesteak Bistro is a hoagie haven, turning out sandwiches like roast beef po-boy dripping gravy. The Cheesesteak Deluxe comes dressed with green peppers, onions, mushrooms and mayo. Side dishes include salads and baked potatoes. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CHOW DOWN! 500 Poydras St., basement, 272-0932 This sandwich shop offers extras like chicken and andouille gumbo and some entrees. Joanie's Eggplant Casserole features baked eggplant and sausage. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CRABBY JACK'S 428 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 833-2722 Chef/owner Jack Leonardi runs a busy lunch counter offering a mix of po-boys and lunch plates. The slow-roasted duck po-boy is dressed with lettuce, tomato and pickle. Fried green tomatoes are also served in a sandwich. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DARRYL'S 2625 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 727-9757; www.poboyman.com The roast beef po-boy features home-cooked beef sliced thin, piled high, lathered in gravy and dressed to order. Seafood items such as catfish and shrimp are also popular. Burger patties are made with beef ground in-house. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

DIMARTINO'S FAMOUS NEW ORLEANS MUFFULETTAS 1788 Carol Sue Ave., Terrytown, 392-1150; 3900 Gen. DeGaulle Ave., 392-1150; 6641 Westbank Expwy., Marrero, 341-4096; www.dimartinos.com DiMartino's is known for muffulettas but also serves popular roast beef sandwiches made with slow-cooked meat on either French bread or a seeded bun. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DOMILISE'S PO-BOYS 5240 Annunciation St., 899-9126 Everyone in New Orleans has a favorite po-boy joint, and Domilise's appears on many locals' shortlists. Tender roast beef po-boys are slathered with gravy and Creole mustard. Seafood options of fried shrimp, oysters and catfish are also popular. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. Cash only. $

THE GROCERY 2854 St. Charles Ave., 895-9524; www.thegroceryneworleans.com This Uptown corner deli specializes in hot-pressed sandwiches and homemade soups. Try the chicken and sausage gumbo or the mushroom and brie soup. The popular Cuban sandwich features roasted pork tenderloin with ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. The muffuletta boasts homemade olive salad. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

HEAVENLY HAM 5300 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-5100; www.heavenlyham.com Heavenly Ham makes sandwiches with the namesake ham, smoked turkey, roast beef and ham salad on croissants, whole grain or French bread. Box lunches come complete with a drink and a cookie. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

GENNARO'S 3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-9226 Gennaro's serves New Orleans favorites like po-boys, fried seafood and chicken and sausage gumbo. Specials include corned beef, pork roast with smothered green beans, and hamburger steak with gravy and potatoes. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

JAM'S PO-BOYS & CATERING 612 Sena Drive, Metairie, 833-5882 Head to Jam's for home cooked roast beef in gravy or any number of sandwich, salad and pasta options. The seafood-stuffed eggplant boat is a half eggplant fried and filled with seafood dressing. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

JOHNNY'S PO-BOYS 511 St. Louis St., 524-8129; www.johnnyspoboy.com You can usually find a seat inside this bustling lunch spot, but it's also fun to pick up a sandwich and head to the river for a po-boy picnic. Hot sausage patties, home-cooked roast beef, country-fried steaks and seafood muffulettas are specialties. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash only. $

KRANTZ'S SEAFOOD & PO-BOYS 1023 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 301-1907; www.bigdaddysseafoodllc.com At Krantz's, sandwiches include homemade roast beef served on Leidenheimer bread. Popular dishes include stuffed artichokes and daily lunch specials like the veal cutlet and hamburger steak with mashed potatoes. Reservations for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

LAKEVIEW DELI 872 Harrison Ave., 304-8501 Lakeview Deli serves hot roast beef po-boys with gravy, barbecued beef po-boys and crab cakes in a sandwich. The Baltimore features fried oysters, bacon and Swiss cheese. There also are burgers and specials like red beans and rice on Monday. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LENNY'S SUB SHOP 4038 Pontchartrain Drive, (985) 643-9424; www.lennys.com Philly-style cheesesteaks are prepared with seven ounces of sirloin cooked to order. Or try the chicken cheesesteak or regular Philly served as a salad. Cold subs are made with a variety of Italian cured meats and salami. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MAGAZINE PO-BOY SHOP 2368 Magazine St., 522-3107 On the edge of the Garden District, this po-boy shop offers a long list of sandwich fillings including sausage, veal and seafood options. In the morning, try a bacon, egg and cheese po-boy. Barbecued country ribs are slow cooked and served with homemade potato salad. No reservations. Breakfast through late lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

MAHONEY'S PO-BOY SHOP 3454 Magazine St., 899-3374 Mahoney's is the place to try a po-boy with a twist. The fried chicken liver po-boy is dressed with coleslaw. Fried oysters are topped with bacon and cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MANO'S PO-BOYS 6943 Saints Drive, Metairie, 734-0922 Hot lunch plates change daily from red beans with pork chops, smoked sausage and stuffed bell peppers to many fried seafood options. Start your day with big biscuits topped with egg and ham, bacon or sausage. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MARKET WEGO 100 Westbank Expwy., Westwego, 436-9966; www.marketwego.com Located in the Westwego Shrimp Lot, Market Wego is all about po-boys. Fried seafood po-boys are house specialties. Sandwiches with green onion sausage patties are another option. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MIKE SERIO'S PO-BOYS & DELI 133 St. Charles Ave., 523-2668 This downtown sandwich shop serves classic po-boys and plate lunches like jambalaya and spaghetti and meatballs. Load up on carbs with the french fry po-boy. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MILK BAR 3445 Prytania St., 891-9361 The Milk Bar recently re-opened inside of the bar at Cafe Prytania. Cleverly named and inventive sandwiches are served hot from the oven on either ciabatta bread or po-boy loaves. There also are smoothies and milkshakes. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MR. POOR BOY 10202 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-1170 Mr. Poor Boy serves daily hot-plate specials and po-boys stuffed with home-cooked roast beef, sausage, meatballs and fried seafood. Regular specials include catfish platters, chicken-fried steak, stewed chicken with rice and gravy and gumbo on Friday. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

MONSTER PO-BOYS 1814 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-9183 In addition to overstuffed po-boys, Monster serves lunch specials like lasagna, fried veal and shrimp with rotini pasta. Popular items include house-made roast beef, meatballs and fresh seafood. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

PARASOL'S RESTAURANT & BAR 2533 Constance St., 899-2054; www.parasols.com This neighborhood pub is an institution for both St. Patrick's Day and po-boys. Roast beef po-boys dripping with gravy are a favorite. There also are fried shrimp and oyster plates and bar snacks like tangy fried pickles and boudin balls. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PARKWAY BAKERY & TAVERN 538 Hagan Ave., 482-3047 Parkway Bakery & Tavern is home to one of the most popular roast beef po-boys in town. Other choices include meatballs, catfish, corned beef, shrimp, oysters and Thanksgiving, with cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. Jambalaya, fries and chips are side options. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

PARRAN'S PO BOYS 3939 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-3416 Parran's offers a varied menu of New Orleans-style plate lunches like seafood pasta, paneed veal and red beans and rice. The seafood muffuletta brings together shrimp and olive salad. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat, dinner Sat. Credit cards. $$

PITA PIT 5800 Magazine St., 899-4141; www.pitapit.com The selection of fillings and toppings extends far beyond Mediterranean options at the Pita Pit. Besides hummus and baba ghanoush, there's avocado, fresh spinach and jalapenos and sauces like tzatiki, barbecue and ancho chipotle. There also are breakfast pitas. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

QUIZNOS Citywide; www.quiznos.com Quiznos offers a full range of toasted subs as well as specialty items like mesquite-grilled meats, smoky barbecue sauce and guacamole on the turkey and bacon sub. Green options include include Cobb and chicken Caesar salads. Some locations serve breakfast. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

RADOSTA'S FAMOUS PO-BOYS 249 Aris Ave., Metairie, 831-1537 Everything at this family establishment is homemade, from the spicy meatballs and hot Italian sausage to the roast beef and gravy on the po-boys. Other sandwiches on the menu include po-boys filled with fried seafood like shrimp, oysters and soft-shell crab. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RAG'S OLD FASHIONED PO-BOYS 4960 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 792-1744; www.ragsmandeville.com In addition to po-boys, daily specials include blackened catfish and shrimp Parmesan. Go for the loaded-up Super Serious Seafood Platter, but save room for silky Creole cream cheesecake. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

ROLY POLY SANDWICHES One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., 561-9800; 3020 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 872-0957; 3960 Florida St., Suite D, Mandeville, (985) 626-4892; 5409 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8373;  www.rolypoly.com This chain of wrap shops offers many healthy options. Unique creations include the Peachtree Melt with baked ham, Swiss, Brie, peaches, pepper relish and fresh dill horseradish sauce. The menu has grown to include salads and a wider selection of soups. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

SAM'S POBOYS 260 Brooklyn Ave., Jefferson, 835-0689 Drop into Sam's for the po-boys filled with fried shrimp or catfish or the breaded veal cutlet sandwich. The chicken Parmesan po-boy features a fried chicken breast topped with provolone cheese and homemade red sauce. Side items include french fries and potato salad. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Cash only. $

SHORT STOP PO-BOYS 119 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 885-4572 The seafood gumbo at Short Stop is made with okra, shrimp and crabmeat and simmered in a thick roux. For a twist on a conventional seafood po-boy, try the fried crawfish tails. For dessert, have a Hubig's Pie. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

SOUTHERN PO-BOYS 720 Claiborne Drive, Jefferson, 835-3035 Southern's sandwiches are packed with everything from roast beef with gravy to fried shrimp or oysters, chicken-fried steak or veal. For an entree platter try fried soft-shell crabs atop fettuccine with white wine cream sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Fri. Cash only. $

SUBWAY Citywide; www.subway.com The "Five Dollar Footlong" jingle is catchy, but head to Subway for classic sandwiches like Italian cold-cut subs or the Veggie Delight with cheese and fresh vegetables. Toasted subs include the chicken bacon ranch, meatball marinara and Subway Melt. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

SEAFOOD

ACME OYSTER & SEAFOOD HOUSE 724 Iberville St., 522-5973; 1202 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 246-6155; 3000 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 309-4056; www.acmeoyster.com Step up to Acme's oyster bar for a cold dozen on the half-shell or take a seat and enjoy a full menu of seafood options. The kitchen also offers dishes like gumbo or red beans served in bread bowls. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BOURBON HOUSE 144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com Bourbon House serves local seafood at both the raw bar and in a wide range of Creole dishes. The Plateux de Fruits de Mer features a selection of oysters on the half-shell with local caviar, baked Gulf shrimp, mussels, crab and seasonal seafood. Redfish on the half shell is grilled skin-on and served with lemon-butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BUBBA GUMP SHRIMP COMPANY 429 Decatur St., 522-5800; www.bubbagump.com Fried and boiled seafood are some of the stars at this theme restaurant inspired by the film Forrest Gump. The menu is heavy on fried shrimp dishes and movie references, like the Run, Forrest, Run smoothie and Bubba's Far Out Dip with spinach and artichokes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BUSTER'S PLACE 519 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 809-3880 Buster's features an oyster bar and a menu including crab and corn bisque, fried crawfish tails, crabmeat-stuffed jalapenos, fried seafood platters, burgers and po-boys. Crawfish fettuccine combines crawfish tails, mushrooms and green onions in cream sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch daily, dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

CASAMENTO'S 4330 Magazine St., 895-9761; www.casamentosrestaurant.com A neighborhood institution in 1919, Casamento's serves oysters on the half shell and seafood dishes. The oyster loaf is a sandwich of fried oysters on thick toast. Other seafood choices include shrimp, soft-shell crabs and fried crab claws. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Sat. Local checks. $$

CATE STREET SEAFOOD STATION 308 S. Cate St., Hammond, (985) 340-3891 Cate Street answers offers a variety of steak, seafood and pasta options. The sushi bar makes the house special roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, snow crab, seaweed and asparagus in soy paper, with tempura batter and a trio of sauces on top. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri. Credit cards. $$

DE-NO SEAFOOD 505 Gretna Blvd., Gretna, 362-4608 The Rojas family's West Bank eatery offers a variety of seafood platters featuring shrimp, catfish and blackened or grilled redfish. There also are rib-eye steaks and pasta plates. Smoky charbroiled oysters are a popular appetizer. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DEANIE'S RESTAURANT & BAR 7350 Hayne Blvd., 248-6700 As soon as Deanie's seafood gets off one boat, it gets back onboard another: sweet-baked breads filled with fried shrimp, oysters and catfish. Got a first mate? Order the Showboat for two. Other choices include chicken Parmesan with pasta in red sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

DEANIE'S SEAFOOD 841 Iberville St., 581-1316; 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie, 831-4141; www.deanies.com The giant seafood platter is a bounty of fresh shrimp, oysters, catfish, soft-shell crabs and crawfish-dressing balls. Deanie's always offers seasonal boiled seafood options. No reservations. Bucktown: Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. French Quarter: lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DESIRE OYSTER BAR 300 Bourbon St., 553-2281 It's the bar named Desire, but kind strangers come in for the seafood. The menu includes Gulf seafood, raw and grilled oysters, turtle soup, gumbo and po-boys. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DOCKSIDE SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR 1820 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 736-9666 Grilled oysters are the newest edition to Dockside's menu of shrimp, catfish and crab dishes. Steak and chicken entrees are served with side items like hushpuppies and Dockside's special red potatoes, which are first boiled then deep-fried. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DON'S SEAFOOD HUT 4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-1550; www.donsseafoodmetairie.com Don's fresh Louisiana seafood is served in bisques, gumbos and salads. The grilled fish of the day and fried seafood platters are always popular entree choices. Try the new bacon-wrapped shrimp and oysters en brochette with Cajun sweet-and-sour sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DRAGO'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras St., 584-3911; 3232 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 888-9254; www.dragosrestaurant.com Charbroiled oysters — grilled and topped with Parmesan and Romano cheeses and garlicky butter sauce — lure diners to these restaurants. Drago's features other specialties like Fleur de lis Shrimp, which are fried and served with spicy red pepper aioli. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FELIX'S RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR 739 Iberville St., 522-4440; www.felixs.com The oyster bar is often the first stop for visitors to this French Quarter stalwart, where the cold dozens are shucked fresh. The kitchen offers a classic lineup of New Orleans dishes like oysters Rockefeller or Bienville, fried shrimp po-boys, crawfish etouffee and jambalaya. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FRIENDS COASTAL RESTAURANT 407 St. Tammany St., Madisonville, (985) 845-7303; www.friendscoastal.com Friends Coastal's Cajun lobster is a Maine lobster boiled in bayou spices. If your sea legs abandon you, dig into Caribbean jerk chicken or Quesadillas Gigante. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

GW FINS 808 Bienville St., 581-3467; www.gwfins.com Chef Tenney Flynn buys fish daily — some of it flown in from farthest corners of the oceans — and writes his menu nightly. Fish from local waters include lemonfish and pompano. Lobster dumplings filled with white fish and lobster mousseline. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

GALLEY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 2535 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-0955 Boiled seafood is a favorite at Galley, but don't pass up Creole dishes, seafood-topped jumbo salads or the gumbo brimming with shrimp. Pecan catfish is smothered in crawfish etouffee. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

GRAND ISLE RESTAURANT 575 Convention Center Blvd., 520-8530; www.grandislerestaurant.com Named for the Louisiana fishing community, Grand Isle specializes in seafood from the Gulf and bayous. Try the fish of the day with compound chili butter and potato hash. Meat options include the Grand Isle hamburger and duck po-boy. Reservations recommended. Lunch specials Mon-Friday. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HARBOR SEAFOOD AND OYSTER BAR 3203 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-6454; www.fishermanscoverseafood.com Harbor Seafood is a market and restaurant offering dishes like crabmeat-stuffed eggplant, seafood gumbo and raw oysters. New menu items include shrimp pasta salad and blackened catfish Randolph served with Cajun corn and dinner bread. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

IRON POT SEAFOOD & STEAKHOUSE 2722 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-1112; www.ironpotseafoodandsteakhouse.com Iron Pot serves New Orleans po-boys and entrees like chicken- and shrimp-stuffed peppers. The dinner menu also features T-bone steaks, full and half racks of ribs and salmon with Cajun Alfredo sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JAN'S CAJUN RESTAURANT 4831 Jean Lafitte Blvd., Lafitte, 689-2748 Jan's offers seafood platters served with a mix of fried seafood plus french fries and salad. Stuffed shrimp are filled with crabmeat dressing and also served with fries and salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JOHNNY TRAUTH'S SEAFOOD BISTRO 2121 25th St., Kenner, 471-0808; www.johnnytrauthsseafoodbistro.com Tuesday nights features Johnny Trauth's all-you-can-eat snow crab leg special. The menu also includes baby back ribs, shrimp fettuccine and a seafood platter. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

KENNER SEAFOOD INC. 3140 Loyola Drive, Kenner, 466-4701; www.kennerseafood.net Whether in the restaurant or the market, check out Kenner Seafood's new char-grilled oysters and Dungeness crab. Entrees include a choice of fish like redfish, grouper, tilapia or catfish served grilled, fried or blackened. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

KJEAN SEAFOOD 236 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-7503 Kjean is a Mid-City seafood market and restaurant. Fried shrimp, oysters and catfish are available in po-boys or on platters. There also are stuffed crab plates and soft-shell crabs. The sandwich list offers burgers, hot or cold ham or roast beef, and meatballs on French bread or a bun. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. $

LANDRY'S 400 N. Peters St., 558-0038; 8000 Lakeshore Drive, 283-1010; www.landrysseafoodhouse.com Landry's offers a great variety of seafood. Blackened catfish fillets are topped with crawfish tails sauteed with capers in lemon butter and served over dirty rice. Shrimp Fresca are Parmesan-crusted shrimp topped with crabmeat and served over angel hair pasta with Creole green beans. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MORTON'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 702 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-4970; www.mortonsseafood.com Morton's seafood boats — hollowed bread loaves stuffed with shrimp, oysters or catfish — are a house specialty. Morton's also prepares salads. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards and checks. $$

N'TINI'S 2891 Hwy. 190, Suite D, Mandeville, (985) 626-5566; www.ntinis.com N'Tini's offers a mix of seafood and steaks. The soft-shell crab is topped with crabmeat. Beef tournedos feature two 6-oz. filets atop fried eggplant medallions. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ORLEANS SEAFOOD 3301 S. Claiborne Ave., 821-5007 Inside Orleans Seafood lies a flavorful array of soul food and Chinese cuisine including gumbo, po-boys and local seafood dishes. Asian specialties like General Tso's chicken, pepper steak and shrimp and broccoli can be adjusted for preferred levels of spicy heat. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

PONTCHARTRAIN POINT WEST END 8536 Pontchartrain Blvd., 282-4233 Pontchartrain Point is a family-oriented seafood house. Creole crab cakes are served over penne pasta tossed in spicy cream sauce. Redfish Pontchartrain features a filet topped with crabmeat, mushrooms, green onions and lemon-butter cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

QUARTER VIEW RESTAURANT 613 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 887-3456 Quarter View serves hot boiled local seafood and fresh Maine lobster. Grilled oysters with garlic butter sauce are served with French bread for mopping the plate clean. The fried seafood platter is a big catch of shrimp, oysters, fish, stuffed crab and soft-shell crab. No reservations. Dinner daily Credit cards. $$

RALPH & KACOO'S 519 Toulouse St., 522-5226; www.ralphandkacoos.com This French Quarter seafood emporium offers a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. One special is redfish amandine topped with almonds and drizzled with lemon chardonnay butter. A children's menu is available. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

RED FISH GRILL 115 Bourbon St., 598-1200; www.redfishgrill.com Before wading into the thick of Bourbon Street reveling, stop into Red Fish Grill for oysters on the half shell or seafood specialties including several namesake redfish entrees. Barbeque Oysters are flash fried and tossed in Crystal barbecue sauce and served with house-made blue cheese dressing. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT DES FAMILLES 7163 Barataria Blvd., Crown Point, 689-7834; www.restaurantdesfamilles.com This seafood house on the edge of Jean Lafitte National Park specializes in dishes like Shrimp Diane, featuring shrimp in spicy garlic butter with mushrooms and green onions served over angel hair pasta. Pasta Lafitte combines crabmeat and shrimp in spicy cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

RICK'S CATFISH CABIN 78461 Hwy. 437, Covington, (985) 893-7274 The humble catfish is elevated to star status on Rick's menu. Regular and jumbo size seafood platters include catfish, fried jumbo shrimp, oysters, stuffed crab and stuffed shrimp plus french fries, hushpuppies, coleslaw and tartar sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Checks. $$

RUSSELL'S MARINA GRILL 8555 Pontchartrain Blvd., 282-9980 Mornings at Russell's start with classic dishes like eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce and old standards like scrambled eggs, grits and ham. At lunchtime, try the seared ahi tuna served with spicy plum sauce and sweet potato fries. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

SALTWATER GRILL 710 S. Carrollton Ave., 324-6640; www.saltwatergrillnola.com Blocks away from its old home, Saltwater Grill still serves a raft of seafood dishes in a family-friendly atmosphere. The crawfish and spinach boat carries Louisiana tails, chopped spinach and Parmesan cheese in a French bread bowl. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SEAFOOD GALLEY AND DELI 509 Tyler St., Covington, (985) 892-3287 Shrimp, oysters, catfish, crab and crawfish are served in po-boys and on platters. Lunch specials include popular dishes like red beans and rice, meatballs and spaghetti, chicken-fried steak and meatloaf. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

SEITHER'S SEAFOOD 279 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 738-1116; www.seitherseafood.com Seither's offers an array of seasonal seafood. The boiled seafood platter weighs in with a pound of crawfish, a pound and a half of shrimp, six crabs, corn and potatoes, The fried seafood platter combines shrimp, oysters, fish and soft-shell crab. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SMITTY'S SEAFOOD 2000 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-1647 Smitty's offers everything from gumbo to big seafood platters loaded with shrimp, oysters, catfish, stuffed soft-shell crab and choice of fries, vegetable or potato salad. There also are pasta dishes and salads. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

VOLEO'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 5134 Nunez St., Lafitte, 689-2482; www.voleosrestaurant.com Flounder Lafitte features a fillet rolled with crawfish, pecan, crabmeat dressing and provolone cheese topped with crawfish sauce. The Big Boy seafood platter for two includes shrimp, oysters, crawfish, fish, crab claws, stuffed shrimp, frog legs and soft-shell crab when available. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon. and Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ZIMMER'S SEAFOOD 4915 St. Anthony Ave., 282-7150 This Gentilly restaurant is mostly a carry-out place known for its fried and boiled seafood. The generously piled seafood combination platter features shrimp, fish and oysters with crinkle-cut fries, side salad and bread from John Gendusa's Bakery next door. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards, checks. $

SOUL FOOD>

BUSTER'S SOUL FOOD 2135 St. Charles Ave., 522-6602 Buster's Soul Food offers a taste of down-home cooking on the edge of the Garden District. Mix-and-match platters offer combinations of meats like smothered pork chops, smothered chicken and alligator sausage. Side items include mustard greens, jambalaya, corn bread, fries or macaroni and cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DONNA'S BAR AND GRILL 800 N. Rampart St., 596-6914; www.donnasbarandgrill.com Donna's kitchen fuels you so your feet won't fail you while dancing to the bar's musical lineup of jazz and brass bands. The grill keeps it simple with hearty offerings of barbecued ribs, red bean and rice, fried fish on Fridays and a variety of specials. No reservations. Dinner Thu.-Mon. Cash only. $

HOUSE OF BLUES 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com Southern dishes highlight the menu at the House of Blues' restaurant. Try dishes like smoked chicken with Jim Beam barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables. The Gospel Brunch features a Southern-style buffet set out in the club room. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

LI'L DIZZY'S CAFE 610 Poydras St., 212-5656; 1500 Esplanade Ave., 569-8997 The Baquet family serves its Creole soul food to Treme neighbors and downtown visitors alike. The list of favorites includes trout Baquet, shrimp grillades, fried chicken, po-boys and Creole file gumbo with sausage. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

TWO SISTERS RESTAURANT 223 N. Derbigny St., 524-0056 New Orleans-style soul food and down-home cooking are the hallmarks of this long-time breakfast and lunch joint just off Canal Street. Chitlins are a featured dish on Wednesdays, Thursdays bring stuffed peppers and shrimp and okra with oxtails, and gumbo is a Friday special. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE 2401 St. Ann St., 822-9503 Willie Mae Seaton's granddaughter Kerry Seaton keeps the tradition alive at this iconic restaurant. Seaton's fried chicken is renowned, but the menu also includes daily specials like red beans and butter beans, smothered veal, stewed chicken, fried catfish and trout. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

STEAKHOUSE

AUSTIN'S RESTAURANT & STEAKHOUSE 5101 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 888-5533; www.austinsno.com Austin's pecan-crusted trout is served with meuniere sauce, potatoes and seasonal vegetables. New specials include flash-fried frog legs and entrees like lobster remoulade, and crabmeat-stuffed salmon. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BEEF CONNECTION 501 Gretna Blvd., Gretna, 366-3275 Carnivores know to meet at Beef Connection, a West Bank eatery that serves T-bones, rib-eyes and New York strip steaks. The lunch menu includes daily specials and steak entrees come with sides. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

BESH STEAKHOUSE AT HARRAH'S 4 Canal St., 533-6111; www.harrahs.com Whether it's the casino vibe or traditional steakhouse largesse, John Besh's menu features big cuts like the 38-oz. rib-eye cowboy steak and 30-day-aged New York strip. There are also dishes with local seafood. Abita Amber onion rings and produce from Louisiana farms. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

CHARLIE'S STEAKHOUSE 4510 Dryades St., 895-9705; www.charliessteakhousenola.com Even with a new owner, Charlie's continues its traditional approach to steaks. Options include the T-bone in three sizes and the filet. For side items there are onion rings and potatoes au gratin. Angelo Brocato's spumoni is available for dessert. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CRAZY JOHNNIE'S STEAKHOUSE 3520 18th St., Metairie, 887-6641; www.crazyjohnnies.net Johnnie's sanity is evident in its affordable prices and menu of grilled steaks and seafood dishes. Popular dishes include crawfish Johnnie and the mainstay 8 1/2-oz. prime filet mignon with garlic butter and Crazy potatoes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CRESCENT CITY STEAKS 1001 N. Broad St., 821-3271; www.crescentcitysteaks.com Crescent City steaks serves T-bones, New York strips and prime filets, all best accompanied by a signature side order of garlic and parsley bordelaise. The curtained privacy booths are a throwback to old New Orleans dining. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri. and Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

DICKIE BRENNAN'S STEAKHOUSE 716 Iberville St., 522-2467; www.dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com Dickie Brennan's combines surf and turf on some of its signature dishes. The 8-oz. house filet is served with flash-fried oysters, bearnaise sauce, creamed spinach and Pontalba potatoes. The seared jumbo lump Louisiana crab cake is served with roasted garlic and lemon aioli on green tomato relish and salsa verde. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE EMBERS "ORIGINAL" BOURBON HOUSE 700 Bourbon St., 595-3172; www.emberssteakhouse.com The Embers offers a full range of steaks, seafood and Italian dishes. Popular entrees include crawfish fettucine and the Cajun sampler platter. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sat.-Sun, dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

KEITH YOUNG'S STEAKHOUSE 165 Hwy. 21, Madisonville, (985) 845-9940; www.keithyoungs.net Keith Young's menu reflects the sign hung outside its doors: "Steaks — Chops — Gulf fish." Some popular menu items are the 14-oz. New York strip and the generously portioned filet mignon. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

LA BOCA 857 Fulton St., 525-8205; www.labocasteaks.com This Argentinean steakhouse brings a taste of Buenos Aires to the Warehouse District. Favorites include the Gaucho plate, a sampler of chorizo, meat skewers, empanadas and sweetbreads. Another popular appetizer is grilled cheese with herbs and olive oil. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE 69368 Hwy. 21, Covington, (985) 875-1100; www.longhornsteakhouse.com If filet mignon served with sizzling butter isn't decadent enough, try Longhorn's versions wrapped in hickory-smoked bacon or topped with pungent blue cheese. Fish, shrimp and chicken dishes round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MR. JOHN'S STEAK HOUSE 2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7697; www.mrjohnssteakhouse.com The menu at Mr. John's ranges from Italian-inspired dishes to steaks. The cowboy steak is a large cut of aged beef seared in a high-heat broiler and topped with butter. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MORTON'S STEAKHOUSE Canal Place, 365 Canal St., 566-0221; www.mortons.com Morton's is a Chicago steakhouse offering big steaks and chops. Many diners begin with iceberg salad topped blue cheese or seafood appetizers. Steaks are USDA prime beef and range in size from the relatively modest filet to the enormous porterhouse. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

O'BRIEN'S GRILLE 2020 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-7229 O'brien's offers a solid menu of steaks, but has entrees for seafood lovers. The potato-crusted fillet of mahi mahi is pan fried and served with roasted vegetables and Creole beurre blanc sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE 60 Park Place Drive, Covington, (985) 893-0505; 830 E. I-10 Service Road, Slidell, (985) 649-4329; 1601 Barataria Blvd., Marrero, 341-5544; 2746 Severn Ave., Metairie, 455-6850; www.outback.com This steakhouse chain serves beef the Australian way. Many dishes are familiar even if the names aren't, like the Bloomin' Onion or the Kookaburra chicken wings bathed in hot sauce. Entrees range from the 6-oz. steak with two sides to the Alice Spring quesadillas. No reservations. Dinner daily, lunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE Harrah's Hotel, 228 Poydras St., 587-7099; 3633 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-3600; www.ruthschris.com Ruth's Chris serves steakhouse favorites like USDA prime New York Strip sizzling in butter. The Chop Salad combines spinach, iceberg and radicchio lettuces, mushrooms, green olives, bacon, egg, hearts of palm and blue cheese in lemon-basil dressing with fried onions on top. Reservations recommended. At Harrah's: Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Metairie: Lunch Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

SAMMY'S STEAK AND LOBSTER 627 Bourbon St., 525-8442 The patio at Sammy's offers a view if not a respite from Bourbon Street. Hurricane-style cocktails flow from the bar, and the menu features surf-and-turf combos like the rib-eye steak and crabmeat-stuffed half lobster. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SHULA'S STEAK HOUSE 614 Canal St., 586-7211; www.shulas.com Former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula has two links to New Orleans: a Super Bowl win and his steakhouse. The restaurant's game plan matches martinis and massive steaks like the 48-oz. porterhouse and 32-oz. prime rib. Other entrees include the Florida red snapper, mahi mahi and twin lobster tails. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

STAR STEAK & LOBSTER HOUSE 237 Decatur St., 525-6151; www.starsteak.com For nearly three decades, Star has served steaks and seafood. Menu choices include the house special 16-oz. prime rib and the seafood-stuffed filet mignon served with red wine mushroom sauce. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE STEAK KNIFE RESTAURANT & BAR 888 Harrison Ave., 488-8981; www.steakkniferestaurant.com Every neighborhood deserves its own steakhouse, and The Steak Knife is Lakeview's. There is a good variety of char-grilled steaks and seafood. Entrees include veal osso buco served with fettuccine Alfredo. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

YOUNG'S RESTAURANT 850 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 643-9331 Entrees range from a petite filet with grilled quail to a 14-oz. rib-eye at Young's, an old-fashioned steakhouse where meat is hand cut in house. Steaks here are served with salad and a baked potato. Seafood options include yellowfin tuna and several shrimp dishes. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

TAPAS/SPANISH

CAFE GRANADA 1506 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-1612 Cafe Granada's Castilian and Mediterranean-focused menu includes a wide range of hot and cold tapas, including many vegetarian choices. The classic paella is made with seasonal fish, shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, chunks of chicken and peas. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LOLA'S 3312 Esplanade Ave., 488-6946 Generous meat and seafood paellas anchor the menu at this lively neighborhood restaurant. Vegetarian options include portobello stuffed with a Castillian mix of eggplant, pimento, onions, squash, garlic and tomatoes. Starters include ceviche, garlic soup and calamari salad. No reservations. Dinner daily. Cash and checks. $$

MIMI'S IN THE MARIGNY 2601 Royal St., 872-9868; www.mimisinthemarigny.com Mimi's tapas menu is a sophisticated complement to a bohemian bar scene. Hot and cold offerings include Spanish cheeses and cured meats, garlicky shrimp grilled in their shells and dessert-worthy honeyed goat cheese croquettas. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RAMBLA 217 Camp St., 587-7720; www.ramblanola.com New Orleans' newest tapas restaurant is Rambla in the International House Hotel. Patatas Bravas feature crispy Yukon gold potatoes seasoned with allioli. Medjool dates are stuffed with almonds and blue cheese, wrapped in bacon and roasted. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RIOMAR 800 S. Peters St., 525-3474; www.riomarseafood.com Rio Mar offers a Spanish and pan-Latin perspective on the bounty of the sea. Ceviche selections include Ecuadorian, Panamanian and Peruvian takes on the refreshing seafood dish. Entrees include the five-hour roast pork with black beans, avocado and cabbage salad. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

VEGA TAPAS CAFE 2051 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-2007; www.vegatapascafe.com Creative tapas dishes include Creole tomato gazpacho or apple and Brie salad with cider vinaigrette. The smoked Gulf shrimp with candied pecans, sweet potatoes and cinnamon-cider vinaigrette is also popular. Hot dishes include scallops wrapped in cured pork loin and empanadilla de cohinillo. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THAI

BASIL LEAF 1438 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-9001 A Carrollton area favorite, Basil Leaf prepares Thai fare in a relaxed atmosphere. The whole coconut curry overflows with sea scallops and shrimp sauteed with coconut meat and eggplant in red curry, served in a coconut shell with jasmine rice. There are popular noodle dishes like pad Thai. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE EQUATOR 2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-4772 Cafe Equator brings the flavors of southeast Asia to south Louisiana. Try house specialties like pad Thai and pad woon sen, a dish of clear noodles sauteed with chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, onions and zucchini. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LA THAI UPTOWN 4938 Prytania St., 899-8886; www.lathaiuptown.com This Uptown eatery offers Thai favorites and innovative Thai-inspired entrees. Traditional pad Thai is a popular choice. Specials include crab served three ways, which includes a crab cake, fried soft-shell crab and jumbo lump crabmeat salad. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SINGHA THAI 413 Carondelet St., 581-2205 Popular Thai dishes like tom yum koong soup with shrimp and lemongrass and pad Thai draw a downtown lunch crowd. The cafe also is open for dinner and serves many rice and noodle dishes with beef, chicken or shrimp. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

SUKHO THAI 1913 Royal St., 948-9309; www.sukhothai-nola.com This Marigny triangle Thai eatery tempts diners with an extensive selection of authentic dishes prepared to preferred level of spice. Curry options include red, green, yellow Kaffir lime and pineapple. Tom yum is a hot-and-sour soup with shrimp or fish and button mushrooms and lemongrass. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

VIETNAMESE

CAFE MINH 4139 Canal St., 482-6266 French-Vietnamese fusion dishes are specialties at Cafe Minh. Vietnamese spring rolls bundle shrimp, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and rice noodles in rice paper and are served with peanut-citrus dipping sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DONG PHUONG ORIENTAL BAKERY AND RESTAURANT 14207 Chef Menteur Hwy., 254-0296 This restaurant, market and general culinary center in the middle of eastern New Orleans' Vietnamese-American community is popular for banh mi sandwiches, bowls of pho soup and noodle dishes. Reservations for large parties. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

HOA HONG/9 ROSES 1100 Stephens St., Gretna, 366-7665 Entrees prepared tableside are a big hit at 9 Roses. Order the barbecue beef kabobs and watch your meal as it's made. Freshly wrapped spring rolls and heaping bowls of vermicelli-noodle soup are also popular choices. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

PHO TAU BAY 113 Westbank Expwy., Gretna, 368-9846 Pho Tau Bay offers more than 20 varieties of savory pho soup. The big soup, a type of pho, is the restaurant's most popular choice. It's served with six preparations of beef, vermicelli noodles and a plate of peppers and herbs for seasoning. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

TAN DINH 1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, 361-8008 In addition to an array of beef- and chicken-broth soups with vermicelli noodles, Tan Dinh serves simple-yet-elegant dishes with sticky rice. The marinated and roasted duck is a popular choice. A meal here isn't complete without a dense and creamy Vietnamese iced coffee. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

THANH THANH 131 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 368-8678 Thanh Thanh prepares five different types of Vietnamese spring rolls with fillings like shrimp, beef, pork and vegetables. While most of the menu is Vietnamese fare, the restaurant also offers some Thai options like Mama's Pad Thai. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge cover_story-1.jpg
click to enlarge Diners share dishes family-style at Mosca's (4137 Hwy. 90 W., Avondale, 436-9942). - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
click to enlarge Chef Richard Richardson cuts his signature pate at Hostel New Orleans & Ultra Lounge (329 Decatur St., 587-0036; www.hostelnola.com). - PHOTO BY EUGENIA UHL
click to enlarge Chef Dennis Hutley prepares contemporary Louisiana cooking at Le Parvenu (509 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 471-0534). - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Chef Dennis Hutley prepares contemporary Louisiana cooking at Le Parvenu (509 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 471-0534).
click to enlarge Pita Pit (5800 Magazine St., 899-4141; www.pitapit.com) offers pita sandwiches with a large selection of Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean fillings. - PHOTO BY EUGENIA UHL
click to enlarge Proprietor Jake Hosoglu takes a pie out of the oven at Pizza Milano (5226 Elysian Fields Ave., 250-9290). - PHOTO BY EUGENIA UHL
  • Photo by Eugenia Uhl
  • Proprietor Jake Hosoglu takes a pie out of the oven at Pizza Milano (5226 Elysian Fields Ave., 250-9290).
click to enlarge Patrons order sandwiches and gourmet items at Martin Wine Cellar's deli counter (714 Elmeer St., Metairie, 896-7350; www.martinwine.com). - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
click to enlarge .com/">www.cafebamboo.com).Chef Minh Bui serves chilled seafood at Cafe Minh (4139 Canal St., 482-6266). - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • .com/">www.cafebamboo.com).Chef Minh Bui serves chilled seafood at Cafe Minh (4139 Canal St., 482-6266).
click to enlarge Chateau Moanet Voilà (300 Decatur St., 581-2534; www.voilanola.com) is a combined entertainment hall and restaurant serving everything from cheese fries to steak and lobster. - PHOTO BY EUGENIA UHL
  • Photo by Eugenia Uhl
  • Chateau Moanet Voilà (300 Decatur St., 581-2534; www.voilanola.com) is a combined entertainment hall and restaurant serving everything from cheese fries to steak and lobster.
click to enlarge Mindy Browne serves racks of ribs and other barbecue items at Sweet Daddy's (420 Tyler St., Covington, 985-898-2166; 2534 Florida St., Mandeville, 985-626-0208). - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Mindy Browne serves racks of ribs and other barbecue items at Sweet Daddy's (420 Tyler St., Covington, 985-898-2166; 2534 Florida St., Mandeville, 985-626-0208).
click to enlarge Diners enjoy down-home cooking at the House of Blues (225 Decatur St., 310-4999; <a href="http://www.hob - PHOTO BY EUGENIA UHL
click to enlarge Alice Brulet, Shannon Snyder, Josh Pastor and Laura Theriot get ready for dinner service at Mr. Ed's Creole Grill (5241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-7992; www.mredsno.com). - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Alice Brulet, Shannon Snyder, Josh Pastor and Laura Theriot get ready for dinner service at Mr. Ed's Creole Grill (5241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-7992; www.mredsno.com).
click to enlarge Chef Drew Dzejak presides over the kitchen at the elegant Grill Room at the Windsor Court (300 Gravier St., 523-6000; www.windsorcourthotel.com). - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
click to enlarge Chef Aiji prepares creative vegetarian and vegan dishes like collard green egg rolls at Cafe Bamboo (435 Esplanade Ave., 940-5546; <a href="http://www.cafebamboo - PHOTO BY EUGENIA UHL
click to enlarge Lacie Haefele serves breakfast to diners at Riccobono's Panola Street Caf&eacute; (7801 Panola St., 314-1810). - PHOTO BY EUGENIA UHL
  • Photo by Eugenia Uhl
  • Lacie Haefele serves breakfast to diners at Riccobono's Panola Street Café (7801 Panola St., 314-1810).
click to enlarge Proprietor Justin Doyle and chef Lillie Johnson serve creative small plates and a large selection of wines by the glass at Helix Restaurant &amp; Wine Bar (936 St. Charles Ave., 962-0903; www.helixwb.com). - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Proprietor Justin Doyle and chef Lillie Johnson serve creative small plates and a large selection of wines by the glass at Helix Restaurant & Wine Bar (936 St. Charles Ave., 962-0903; www.helixwb.com).
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