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Best of New Orleans 2014: Restaurants 

click to enlarge david-shirt.jpg

Photo by Lyn Vicknair

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

click to enlarge MoPho - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • MoPho

1. MoPho
514 City Park Ave., (504) 482-6845; www.mophonola.com @mophonola
MoPho's menu, which takes a gourmet approach to traditional Vietnamese dishes, was an immediate hit in its Mid-City neighborhood, and earlier this month the restaurant was nominated as one of Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants. Chef Michael Gulotta (former chef de cuisine at Restaurant August) has constructed a restaurant that's both a casual drop-in spot and a place for a special meal. Make your own pho (pick a broth and add your own ingredients) or go for favorites like crispy lemon grass chicken wings or fried shrimp spring rolls. (If they've roasted a whole pig on the patio, as they often do, don't miss it.) Sandwiches (hot sausage, duck, oysters, and quite a few more) meld hearty po-boy flavors to lighter banh mi tastes. Cocktails are solid, too; the Tamarind Sour melds rye whiskey to tamarind, while the Dragon Lady starts with housemade dragonfruit tequila. Tip: Watch where you park; the adjoining lot can and does tow with ferocious frequency.

2. Pizza Domenica
4933 Magazine St., (504) 301-4978; www.pizzadomenica.com @pizzadomenica

3. Doris Metropolitan
620 St. Charles Ave., (504) 267-3500; www.dorismetropolitan.com @dorismetnola


BEST KENNER RESTAURANT

1. Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar
3203 Williams Blvd., Kenner, (504) 443-6454; www.fishermanscoveseafood.com

2. Kenner Seafood
3140 Loyola Drive, Kenner, (504) 466-4701; www.kennerseafood.net

3. Zea Rotisserie & Grill
Citywide; www.zearestaurants.com @zea_restaurants


BEST METAIRIE RESTAURANT

1. Drago's Seafood Restaurant
3232 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, (504) 888-9254; www.dragosrestaurant.com @dragosseafood

2. Andrea's Restaurant
3100 19th St., Metairie, (504) 834-8583; www.andreasrestaurant.com

3. Cafe B
2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 934-4700; www.cafeb.com @cafebmetairie


BEST NEW ORLEANS RESTAURANT

click to enlarge Commander's Palace - PHOTO COURTESY COMMANDER'S PALACE
  • Photo courtesy Commander's Palace
  • Commander's Palace

1. Commander's Palace
1403 Washington Ave., (504) 899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com @commanders_nola
If there are balloons on every other table, it's because Commander's is as much a party as a restaurant. A warren of individually decorated rooms (the Garden Room is the best) in a turquoise wedding-cake palace, Commander's manages to be both New Orleans classic and completely up-to-date. Chef Tory McPhail, winner of a 2013 James Beard Award, turns rustic ingredients into modern takes on Creole cuisine: lacquered quail, Cajun-inflected gumbo and the freshest fish in town. If you have guests from out of town, let them get dazzled by the service — and ask for a tour of the restaurant (which includes the kitchen) when you're done with your meal. Pro tips: If you're celebrating a special occasion, let the restaurant know when you make your reservation, and if you'd like to meet Lally Brennan or Ti Martin, the restaurateurs who keep Commander's running like a top, ask your server. They enjoy meeting guests.

2. Peche Seafood Grill
800 Magazine St., (504) 522-1744; www.pecherestaurant.com @pechenola

3. Galatoire's
209 Bourbon St., (504) 525-2021; www.galatoires.com @galatoires_no


BEST NORTHSHORE RESTAURANT

1. La Provence
25020 Highway 190, Lacombe, (985) 626-7662; www.laprovencerestaurant.com @chefjohnbesh

2. The Dakota Restaurant
629 N. Highway 190, Covington, (985) 892-3712; www.thedakotarestaurant.com

3. TIE: Del Porto Ristorante
501 E. Boston St., (985) 875-1006; www.delportoristorante.com

3. TIE: Trey Yuen
600 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4476; www.treyyuen.com


BEST WEST BANK RESTAURANT

1. Pho Tau Bay Restaurant
113 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, (504) 368-9846

2. Hoa Hong Nine Roses
1100 Stephens St., Gretna, (504) 366-7665; www.ninerosesrestaurant.com

3. Tan Dinh
1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, (504) 361-8008


BEST BARBECUE RESTAURANT

1. The Joint
701 Mazant St., (504) 949-3232; www.alwayssmokin.com @thejointbbq
The Bywater barbecue joint takes the top spot for a fifth year in a row. In 2012, it moved to its current location on Mazant Street, and its beloved smoker was given a second-line parade on its way to its new home. The Joint's menu is an amalgamation of slow-smoked Southern barbecue, with St. Louis-style pork ribs, Carolina pulled pork, Texas brisket and Louisiana-made chaurice sausage. It returns from its summer break Sept. 6.

2. VooDoo BBQ & Grill
Citywide; www.voodoobbqandgrill.com @voodoobbq

3. Squeal Bar-B-Q
8400 Oak St., (504) 302-7370; www.squeal-nola.com @squealnola


BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

1. Five Happiness
3605 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 482-3935; www.fivehappiness.com

2. Royal China
600 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 831-9633

3. P.F. Chang's
Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 828-5288; www.pfchangs.com @pfchangs


BEST BURGER RESTAURANT

1. Company Burger
4600 Freret St., (504) 267-0320; www.thecompanyburger.com @companyburger
The reigning king of New Orleans burgerdom tops Best of New Orleans for the third year in a row. Chef Adam Biderman's spartan Freret Street diner's namesake cheeseburger — two house-ground patties, bread and butter pickles, thinly sliced onions and American cheese on a brioche bun — is routinely hailed as one of America's best by national publications.

2. Port of Call
838 Esplanade Ave., (504) 523-0120; www.portofcallnola.com

3. Phil's Grill
748 Camp St., (504) 309-7702; 1640 Hickory Ave., Metairie, (504) 305-1705; 3020 Severn Ave., Metairie, (504) 324-9080; www.phils-grill.com @philsgrill


BEST CAJUN RESTAURANT

1. Cochon Restaurant
930 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 588-2123; www.cochonrestaurant.com @cochondining

2. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen
416 Chartres St., (504) 596-2530; www.chefpaul.com/kpaul @kpaulslakitchen

3. Mulate's
201 Julia St., (504) 522-1492; www.mulates.com @mulates


BEST COFFEE HOUSE

1. PJ's Coffee of New Orleans
Citywide; www.pjscoffee.com @pjscoffee

2. CC's Coffee House
Citywide; www.ccscoffee.com @ccscoffeehouse

3. Mojo Coffee House
1500 Magazine St., (504) 525-2244; 4700 Freret St., (504) 875-2243; www.facebook.com/mojo.on.magazine; www.facebook.com/mojofreret @mojo_coffee


BEST DELI

1. Stein's Market & Deli
2207 Magazine St., (504) 527-0771; www.steinsdeli.net @steinsdeli

2. Martin Wine Cellar
714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, (504) 896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Highway 190, Mandeville, (985) 951-8081; 3500 Magazine St., (504) 894-7420; www.martinwinecellar.com @martin_wine

3. Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 588-7675; www.cochonbutcher.com @cochonbutcher


BEST CREOLE RESTAURANT

click to enlarge Dooky Chase - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Dooky Chase

1. Dooky Chase
2301 Orleans Ave., (504) 821-0600; www.dookychaserestaurant.com
Leah Chase's landmark restaurant is a vital Creole food spot, a living history lesson and a gallery of contemporary African-American art. Much of the New Orleans civil rights movement was planned and discussed over bowls of gumbo and plates of greens here, and Chase herself was the impetus for turning what was a blue-plate special restaurant (the Globe Sandwich Shop) into a place of fine dining for black New Orleanians who couldn't get served at the city's white-tablecloth establishments. Since then, Chase has taught Julia Child how to fry chicken, presidents make campaign stops at her restaurant, and Chase inspired the Walt Disney Company's first African-American princess (Tiana of The Princess and the Frog). Lunch at Dooky Chase on Holy Thursday is an important ritual for many, who come to eat the restaurant's gumbo z'herbes (green gumbo). Making a reservation far in advance is essential. If you've never been to Dooky Chase, a good introduction is the Friday all-you-can-eat lunch buffet ($17.95), which features Chase's fried chicken, gumbo, greens and other soul-kitchen favorites.

2. Jacques-Imo's Cafe
8324 Oak St., (504) 861-0886; www.jacques-imos.com

3. Galatoire's
209 Bourbon St., (504) 525-2021; www.galatoires.com@galatoires_no


BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

1. Nirvana
4308 Magazine St., (504) 894-9797; www.insidenirvana.com

2. Taj Mahal
923 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 836-6859; www.facebook.com/tajnola

3. Saffron
505 Gretna Blvd., Suite 6, Gretna, (504) 363-2174; www.saffron-caterers.com


BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

1. Vincent's Italian Cuisine
4411 Chastant St., Metairie, (504) 885-2984; 7839 St. Charles Ave., (504) 866-9313; www.vincentsitaliancuisine.com

2. Venezia
134 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 488-7991; www.facebook.com/venezianeworleans

3. TIE: Domenica
Roosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne St., (504) 648-6020; www.domenicarestaurant.com @chefjohnbesh

3. TIE: Irene's Cuisine
539 St. Philip St., (504) 529-8811


BEST JAPANESE/SUSHI RESTAURANT

1. Sake Cafe
2830 Magazine St., (504) 894-0033; www.sakecafeuptown.us

2. Kyoto Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
4920 Prytania St., (504) 891-3644; www.kyotonola.com

3. Shogun
2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd., (504) 833-7477; www.shogunneworleans.com


BEST KID-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

1. New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company
Citywide; www.nohsc.com @nohsc

2. Reginelli's
Citywide; www.reginellis.com@reginellisnola

3. Chuck E. Cheese's
124 North Shore Blvd., Slidell, (985) 641-4878; 3701 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, (504) 367-1214; 7000 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 454-5959; www.chuckecheese.com@chuckecheese


BEST LATIN AMERICAN RESTAURANT

1. Baru Bistro & Tapas
3700 Magazine St., (504) 895-2225; www.barutapas.com @barutapas

2. Mayas
2027 Magazine St., (504) 309-3401; www.mojitoland.com @mojitoland

3. Mais Arepas
1200 Carondelet St., (504) 523-6247; www.facebook.com/maisarepas @mais_arepas


BEST NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT

click to enlarge Katie's - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Katie's

1. Katie's
3701 Iberville St., (504) 488-6582; www.katiesinmidcity.com @katiesmidcity
Every New Orleans neighborhood should have a place like Katie's in Mid-City, where you can stop in any time — dressed down or dressed up — for a simple burger or pizza, or opt for a more elaborate meal. Destroyed in the floods after Hurricane Katrina, it took Katie's almost five years to get up and running. Seafood beignets, blackberry-jalapeno ribs, catfish meuniere, soft-shell crabs and "The Barge" (an entire loaf of Gendusa bread crammed with fried seafood) are just a few of the items on the extensive menu, but some of the best food is transitory, coming and going on the specials board. There's also a full bar and some sidewalk seating. Food Network personality Guy Fieri spotlighted Katie's on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but it's really none of the three — just an exemplar of what a New Orleans neighborhood restaurant can be.

2. Clancy's
6100 Annunciation St., (504) 895-1111; www.clancysneworleans.com

3. Joey K's Restaurant & Bar
3001 Magazine St., (504) 891-0997; www.joeyksrestaurant.com


BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT

1. Juan's Flying Burrito
2018 Magazine St., (504) 569-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 486-9950; www.juansflyingburrito.com @juansnola

2. El Gato Negro
81 French Market Place, (504) 525-9752; 300 Harrison Ave., (504) 488-0107; 3001 Ormond Blvd., Suite 1, Destrehan, (985) 307-0460; www.elgatonegronola.com

3. Superior Grill
3636 St. Charles Ave., (504) 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.com @superiorgrill


BEST THAI RESTAURANT

1. La Thai
4938 Prytania St., (504) 899-8886; www.lathaiuptown.com @nolathaiuptown

2. Sukho Thai
1913 Royal St., (504) 948-9309; 4519 Magazine St., (504) 373-6471; www.sukhothainola.com @sukhothainola

3. Cafe Equator
2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, (504) 888-4772; www.cafeequator.com


BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

1. Magasin Cafe
4201 Magazine St., (504) 896-7611; www.magasincafe.com @magasincafe

2. Pho Tau Bay Restaurant
113 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, (504) 368-9846

3. Pho Orchid
1401 Airline Drive, Kenner, (504) 301-3368; 2135 St. Charles Ave., (504) 609-3710; 3117 Houma Blvd., Metairie, (504) 457-4188; www.pho-orchid.com @phoorchid


BEST BAR FOOD/GASTROPUB

1. The Bulldog
5135 Canal Blvd., (504) 488-4191; 3236 Magazine St., (504) 891-1516; www.draftfreak.com @bulldog_midcity; @bulldog_uptown

2. The Delachaise
3442 St. Charles Ave., (504) 895-0858; www.thedelachaise.com @thedelachaise

3. Bouligny Tavern
3641 Magazine St., (504) 891-1810; www.boulignytavern.com


BEST PIZZA RESTAURANT

1. Theo's Neighborhood Pizza
1212 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, (504) 733-3803; 4024 Canal St., (504) 302-1133; 4218 Magazine St., (504) 894-8554; www.theospizza.com @theospizzanola

2. Pizza Delicious
617 Piety St., (504) 676-8482; www.pizzadelicious.com @pizzadelicious

3. Reginelli's
Citywide; www.reginellis.com @reginellisnola


BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

1. Peche Seafood Grill
800 Magazine St., (504) 522-1744; www.pecherestaurant.com @pechenola

2. GW Fins
808 Bienville St., (504) 581-3467; www.gwfins.com @gwfins

3. Deanie's Seafood
841 Iberville St., (504) 581-1316; 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie, (504) 831-4141; www.deanies.com @deaniesseafood


BEST SNO-BALL

1. Hansen's Sno-Bliz
4801 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 891-9788; www.snobliz.com @snobliz
Waiting in a long line that rounds the block in the middle of summer might seem like drudgery, but the ice — shaved with the same type of machine Ernest Hansen invented in 1939 and topped with homemade syrups — is well worth it. A collection of faded photographs taken during Hansen's 75-year history gives customers something to while away the time and illustrates the sno-ball stand's most recent accolade: An "American Classic" designation from the James Beard Foundation.

2. Plum Street Snoballs
1300 Burdette St., (504) 866-7996; www.plumstreetsnoball.com

3. Sal's Sno-ball Stand
1823 Metairie Ave., (504) 666-1823


BEST BREAKFAST/BRUNCH SPOT

click to enlarge The Ruby Slipper - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • The Ruby Slipper

1. The Ruby Slipper
2001 Burgundy St., (504) 525-9355; 139 S. Cortez St., (504) 525-9355; 200 Magazine St., (504) 525-9355; 1005 Canal St., (504) 525-9355; www.therubyslippercafe.net @rubyslippercafe
The lingering effects of even the roughest night can be cured with The Ruby Slipper's migas or eggs cochon, and some hair of the dog is offered in the form of sangria, mimosas, bloody marys and more.

2. Surrey's
1418 Magazine St., (504) 524-3828; 4807 Magazine St. (504) 895-5757; www.surreyscafeandjuicebar.com @surreyslaplaya

3. Another Broken Egg
2917 Magazine St., (504) 301-2771; 607 Harrison Ave., (504) 301-4667; www.anotherrokenegg.com @brokeneggcafe


BEST SOUL FOOD RESTAURANT

1. Willie Mae's Scotch House
2401 St. Ann St., (504) 822-9503 www.facebook.com/williemaesscotchhouse

2. L'il Dizzy's Cafe
1500 Esplanade Ave., (504) 569-8997; www.lildizzyscafe.com

3. Praline Connection
542 Frenchmen St., (504) 943-3934; www.pralineconnection.com @pralinenola


BEST STEAKHOUSE

1. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
Harrah's Hotel, 525 Fulton St., (504) 587-7099; 3633 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-3600; www.ruthschris.com @ruthschrisnola

2. Mr. John's Steakhouse
2111 St. Charles Ave., (504) 679-7697; www.mrjohnssteakhouse.com

3. Charlie's Steak House
4510 Dryades St., (504) 895-9323; www.charliessteakhousenola.com


BEST FOOD TRUCK

click to enlarge Taceaux Loceaux - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Taceaux Loceaux

1. Taceaux Loceaux
@TLnola
The New Orleans City Council passed legislation in July 2013 to allow for more mobile food vendors in the city. Taceaux Loceaux has been "locking tires and lighting fires" since 2010, when Alex and Maribeth del Castillo started slinging hefty, creative tacos in picnic-striped paper serving trays. Tacos are loaded with brisket, Korean barbecue, carnitas and other specials, and there also are avocado "fries." Find the truck by following it on Twitter.

2. La Cocinita
www.lacocinitafoodtruck.com@lacocinita

3. Fat Falafel
www.thefatfalafel.com@fatfalafel


BEST WINE LIST

1. Martin Wine Cellar
714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, (504) 896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Highway 190, Mandeville, (985) 951-8081; 3500 Magazine St., (504) 894-7420; www.martinwinecellar.com @martin_wine

2. Bacchanal
600 Poland Ave., (504) 948-9111; www.bacchanawinel.com @bacchanalwine

3. The Delachaise
3442 St. Charles Ave., (504) 895-0858; www.thedelachaise.com @thedelachaise


BEST JUICE BAR/SMOOTHIE BAR

1. Smoothie King
Citywide; www.smoothieking.com @smoothieking

2. Jamba Juice
930 Poydras St., (504) 304-4210; 3341 Magazine St.; www.jambajuice.com @jambajuice`

3. Green Fork
200 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 309-3677; 1400 Prytania St., (504) 267-7672; www.greenforknola.com @greenforknola


BEST MIDDLE EASTERN/MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT

1. Mona's Cafe
504 Frenchmen St., (504) 949-4115; 1120 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 861-8175; 3901 Banks St., (504) 482-7743; 4126 Magazine St., (504) 894-8900; www.monascafeanddeli.com

2. Lebanon's Cafe
1500 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 862-6200; www.lebanonscafe.com

3. Byblos Restaurant
Tulane University, 29 Mcalister Drive, (504) 835-8332; 1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 834-9773; 2020 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 837-9777; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 830-7333; www.byblosrestaurants.com @byblosnola


BEST GOURMET-TO-GO

1. Whole Foods Market
300 N. Broad St., (504) 434-3364; 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-8225; 5600 Magazine St., (504) 899-9119; www.wholefoodsmarket.com @wholefoods

2. Martin Wine Cellar
714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, (504) 896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Highway 190, Mandeville, (985) 951-8081; 3500 Magazine St., (504) 894-7420; www.martinwinecellar.com @martin_wine

3. TIE: Chez Nous
5701 Magazine St., (504) 899-7303; www.gotocheznous.com

3. TIE: Gott Gourmet
3100 Magazine St., (504) 373-6579; www.ggsneworleans.com @ggsdineorama


BEST FROZEN YOGURT

1. Pinkberry
Citywide; www.pinkberry.com @pinkberrynola

2. Yogurtland
4903 Prytania St., (504) 333-6809; www.yogurt-land.com

3. Tutti Frutti
Citywide; www.tfyogurt.com @tfyogurt


BEST GUMBO

click to enlarge Gumbo Shop - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Gumbo Shop

1. Gumbo Shop
630 St. Peter St., (504) 525-1486; www.gumboshop.com
Louisianans know gumbo isn't just a meal, it's a ritual — the family recipes closely held, the meditative and prolonged stirring of the roux, the "Holy Trinity" (chopped celery, bell peppers and onions). So restaurateurs who approach the dish with anything less than total reverence are considered infidels. On the other hand, those who lavish appropriate care on this dish are rewarded with the undying loyalty of the faithful. Case in point: Gumbo Shop, which readers votes Best Gumbo for the 16th consecutive year. Customers can gobble gumbo by the bowl in the restaurant or by the gallon in containers that ship nationwide. And for the most die-hard devotees, the circa-1948 stalwart offers a seafood gumbo recipe that sheds light onto its time-consuming, meticulous preparation process: start cooking "early in the day," the recipe advises. There's a page devoted to the roux alone. Mais oui!

2. Mr. B's Bistro
201 Royal St., (504) 523-2078; www.mrbsbistro.com @mrbsbistro

3. Commander's Palace
1403 Washington Ave., (504) 899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com @commanders_nola


BEST KING CAKE

1. Manny Randazzo King Cakes
3515 N. Hullen St., Metairie, (504) 456-1476; www.randazzokingcake.com @manny_randazzo

2. Haydel's Bakery
4037 Jefferson Highway, (504) 837-0190; www.haydelbakery.com @haydelsbakery

3. Nonna Randazzo's Bakery
925 E. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, (504) 684-0090; www.nonnaskingcakes.com @nonnarandazzos


BEST LATE-NIGHT DINING

1. Camellia Grill
626 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 309-2679 Pieces of pecan pie are crisped in the leftover sizzle of salty cheeseburgers. Pair both cheeseburger and pie with a chocolate freeze, chat it up with the diners sitting at the communal counter next to you and be reborn for your late-night dalliance.

2. Mimi's in the Marigny
2601 Royal St., (504) 872-9868 @mimismarigny

3. 13
517 Frenchmen St., (504) 942-1345; www.13monaghan.com @13monaghan


BEST MENU FOR VEGANS/VEGETARIANS

1. Seed
1330 Prytania St., (504) 302-2599; www.seedyourhealth.com
After years of dining at restaurants where vegan entrees are an afterthought at best and nonexistent at worst (hello, plain baked potato), New Orleans vegans have a place where the entire menu is their oyster... er, seaweed salad. And what a place. This light-filled, high-ceilinged bistro in the Lower Garden District offers a fresh, clean backdrop for a procession of gorge-worthy comfort food classics (eggplant po-boys, Southern fried tofu nuggets, chocolate chip cookies) made from local, organic ingredients. With gluten-free, soy-free and raw offerings, the plant-based menu is appropriate for a variety of specialized diets. Even staunch carnivores are likely to be won over by the hearty barbecue sandwich and nachos, or at least their health-conscious sides will be. Top off a meal with a raw carrot cupcake and a fresh juice cocktail (almond milk punch blends bourbon, almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup and nutmeg) — gluttony has never been so virtuous.

2. Green Goddess
307 Exchange Place, (504) 301-3347; www. greengoddessrestaurant.com

3. Carmo
527 Julia St., (504) 875-4132; www.cafecarmo.com @carmoneworleans


BEST OUTDOOR DINING

click to enlarge Bacchanal - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Bacchanal

1. Bacchanal
600 Poland Ave., (504) 948-9111; www.bacchanalwine.com @bacchanalwine
The secret's been out for a while — as Bacchanal's frequent standing-room only crowds, celebrity guests and multiple BONO wins will attest. But a visit to the wine shop/gastropub/jazz club still feels like crashing a cool backyard party. There's the clandestine entrance through a weathered wine shop that's feels like a cellar but isn't underground; the overgrown courtyard full of rickety lawn chairs, mismatched tables, tiki torches and strings of white lights; the walk-up kitchen window. Still, they've spruced up the place since going legit with food and music permits: There's a second-floor dining room, craft cocktails, beer and small plates by chef Joaquin Rodas designed to unlock the somewhat esoteric flavors of the shop's Old World European wines. Perhaps best of all, Bacchanal now accepts credit cards, but you'll still want to bring cash to throw in the musicians' tip jar. That's keeping it real.

2. Cafe Amelie
912 Royal St., (504 412-8965; www.cafeamelie.com

3. Velvet Cactus
6300 Argonne Blvd., (504) 301-2083; www.thevelvetcactus.com


BEST PLACE TO GET A DOUGHNUT

1. Blue Dot Donuts
4301 Canal St., (504) 218-4866; 5236 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 941-7675; www.bluedotdonuts.com @bluedotdonuts

2. District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew
2209 Magazine St., (504) 570-6945; www.donutsandsliders.com @districtdonuts

3. Tastee Donuts
Citywide


BEST PLACE TO GET A PO-BOY

1. Parkway Bakery and Tavern
538 Hagan Ave., (504) 482-3047; www.parkwaypoorboys.com @parkwaypoorboys

2. Domilise's Po-Boy and Bar
5420 Annunciation St., (504) 899-9126

3. Bear's Po-boys at Gennaro's
3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 833-9226; www.bearspoboys.com


BEST PLACE FOR DESSERTS

click to enlarge Sucre - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Sucre

1. Sucre
3025 Magazine St., (504) 520-8311; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 834-2277; www.shopsucre.com @sucreneworleans
Sometimes Sucre's macarons seem too pretty to eat, but only sometimes. The pearly cookies, which come in flavors like PB&J, bananas Foster and chicory, are just a corner of the confectioner's menu, which includes dozens of sweets just as easily mistaken for jewelry.

2. Angelo Brocato
214 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 486-0078; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com

3. Creole Creamery
4924 Prytania St., (504) 894-8680; 6260 Vicksburg St., (504) 482-2924; www.creolecreamery.com @creolecreamery


BEST PLACE TO GET GLUTEN-FREE ITEMS

1. Whole Foods Market
300 N. Broad St., (504) 434-3364; 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-8225; 5600 Magazine St., (504) 899-9119; www.wholefoodsmarket.com @wholefoods

2. The PeaceBaker
6601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-9094; www.thepeacebaker.com @thepeacebaker

3. Fare: Food for Health
4838 Magazine St., (504) 302-9171; www.facebook.com/farefoodforhealth @fare_food


BEST PLACE TO GET ICE CREAM/GELATO

1. Angelo Brocato
214 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 486-0078; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com

2. Creole Creamery
4924 Prytania St., (504) 894-8680; 6260 Vicksburg St., (504) 482-2924; www.creolecreamery.com @creolecreamery

3. Sucre
3025 Magazine St., (504) 520-8311; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 834-2277; www.shopsucre.com @sucreneworleans


BEST BUFFET

1. Harrah's New Orleans
228 Poydras St., (800) 427-7247; www.harrahsneworleans.com @harrahsnola

2. Nirvana
4308 Magazine St., (504) 894-9797; www.insidenirvana.com

3. The Court of Two Sisters
613 Royal St., (504) 522-7261; www.courtoftwosisters.com


BEST CHEF

1. John Besh

2. Donald Link

3. Susan Spicer


BEST PLACE TO GET A SANDWICH

click to enlarge Stein's Market and Deli - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Stein's Market and Deli

1. Stein's Market and Deli
2207 Magazine St., (504) 527-0771; www.steinsdeli.net @steinsdeli
The grumpiest bear in all the land of deli meat, Dan Stein opened this Jewish and Italian deli in 2007, and it's a perennial favorite of Best of New Orleans voters. The Philly native's aromatic, beer-lined Garden District deli offers expert-level hoagies, Reubens, pastrami sandwiches and other oversized odes to meat.

2. TIE: Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 588-7675; www.cochonbutcher.com @cochonbutcher

2. TIE: St. James Cheese Company
5004 Prytania St., (504) 899-4737; www.stjamescheese.com @stjamescheese

3. Milk Bar
710 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 309-3310; 1514 Delachaise St., (504) 891-9361


BEST PLACE TO GET KALE

1. Whole Foods Market
300 N. Broad St., (504) 434-3364; 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-8225; 5600 Magazine St., (504) 899-9119; www.wholefoodsmarket.com @wholefoods

2. Rouses Markets
Citywide; www.shop.rouses.com @rousesmarkets

3. Hollygrove Market
8301 Olive St., (504) 483-7037; www.hollygrovemarket.com @hgmf


BEST MUFFULETTA

1. Central Grocery
923 Decatur St., (504) 523-1620; www.centralgroceryneworleans.com @centralgrocery
There are a million kinds of po-boys, but only one kind of real muffuletta — Italian ham and salami, mortadella and/or provolone, served with olive salad on a round seeded bun. Nevertheless, they all somehow taste different. Why? Who knows. If location has something to do with it, it would explain the eternal popularity of the muff from Central Grocery. You pick up a premade sandwich wrapped in paper (a quarter? a half? a whole?) and pay for it at a time-warp Italian grocery counter, waiting in line with tourists, half of whom seem to be buying one for the plane ride home. Then comes the question: where to enjoy it? On a bench in Jackson Square with a cold beer? On the levee overlooking the river with a Barq's? Either way you'll be juggling the sandwich, trying to keep the big chunks of olives from falling out and, likely, picking them up off your lap and popping them in your mouth. Yeah, it's that good.

2. DiMartino's
1788 Carol Sue Ave., Terrytown, (504) 392-7589; 3900 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, (504) 367-0227; 6641 Westbank Expressway, Marrero, (504) 341-4096; www.dimartinos.com

3. Napoleon House
500 Chartres St., (504) 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com


BEST RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW

1. Landry's Seafood
8000 Lakeshore Drive, (504) 283-1010; www.landrysseafood.com

2. Galvez Restaurant
914 N. Peters St., (504) 595-3400; www.galvezrestaurant.com

3. Ralph's on the Park
900 City Park Ave., (504) 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.com @ralphsonthepark

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