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French Quarter 

ACME OYSTER & SEAFOOD HOUSE
724 Iberville St., 522-5973; www.acmeoyster.com
See "Citywide" listing for a restaurant description.

ALIBI BAR AND GRILL
811 Iberville St., 522-9187
The Alibi gives you plenty of excuses to duck in and sample its pub fare. The kitchen prepares snacks such as cheese sticks and salads, along with heartier fare of burgers, grilled chicken, tuna and po-boys. Delivery available. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

THE ALPINE
620 Chartres St., 523-3005, www.thealpinebistro.com
Mountains and Cajuns don't usually mix, but somehow a restaurant, named after the Alps, features a menu of Creole and Cajun favorites. Their signature dish is New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, and for Cajun food lovers there are plenty of blackened dishes, jambalaya and crawfish etouffee. There are a number of regular menu specials as well. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, breakfast on Sat. and Sun., and brunch on Sun. Credit cards. $$

ANGELI ON DECATUR
1141 Decatur St., 566-0077
This French Quarter eatery is a safe bet for both locals out for a late night and out-of-towners perusing the downtown sights. Watch classic movies projected on the wall or listen to live bands while sampling a menu of specialty pizzas, calzones, pitas, sandwiches and hamburgers. The artichoke and spinach sandwich is a particular favorite. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Delivery available. Cash only. $

ANTOINE'S RESTAURANT
713 St. Louis St., 581-4422; www.antoines.com
While only open on a limited schedule for dinner and brunch, Antoine's has a smaller menu but one full of classics. The main dining rooms remain steeped in grandeur and memorabilia from more than 165 years of service. The crispy potato puffs are still a great accompaniment to signature dishes like the oysters Rockefeller, shrimp remoulade, trout meuniere, baked Alaska and other French-Creole favorites. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon. and Thu.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ARNAUD'S
813 Bienville St., 523-5433; www.arnauds.com
This local institution is one the city's historic Creole restaurants that shaped the cuisine and created classic dishes. The tradition continues in signature items such as shrimp remoulade, frog legs and alligator sausage. Arnaud's has many elegant dining rooms and even a shrine to founder Count Arnaud Casenave's daughter, who reigned as queen of more Mardi Gras krewe balls than any other woman. Reservations recommended. Dinner nightly, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BACCO
310 Chartres St., 522-2426; www.bacco.com
Creole and Italian cuisine meet at Bacco. There's everything from beef carpaccio, with beef tenderloin pounded thin and topped with shaved parmesan cheese, to shrimp and pesto bruschetta to shrimp and lobster ravioli. More on the Creole side, try pan-seared redfish or veal medallions with crabmeat. Desserts feature classics like tiramisu and Bacco's rich chocolate cake with raspberry and a lemon ice box pie. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BAYONA
430 Dauphine St., 525-4455
At Bayona, chef Susan Spicer plucks dishes and ingredients from around the globe and unites them in her unique vision of contemporary Creole cooking. The Creole cottage and courtyard are both beautifully restored settings to enjoy her cuisine. Try the grilled duck breast with pepper jelly glaze redolent with the flavors of rosemary, thyme and shallots with a hint of jalapeno. For dessert, the espresso pots de créme tempts with a rich mix of coffee, cream and vanilla. Reservations. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BEGUE'S AT THE ROYAL SONESTA
300 Bourbon St., 533-2278; www.beguesrestaurant.com
Inside the Royal Sonesta Hotel, Begue's offers a contemporary take on Creole cuisine. The Oysters Begue's feature lightly fried garlic-crusted oysters over leek confit topped with shaved parmesan cheese and presented on the half-shell. The rest of the menu ranges from a selection of steaks to bouillabaisse. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BENNACHIN
1212 Royal St., 522-1230
This French Quarter restaurant serves traditional African cuisine that tastes exotic yet faintly familiar at every bite. Items such as African jambalaya and stewed veggies with chicken are reminiscent of New Orleans dishes, while the jama jama macondo — spinach, fried plantains and coconut rice — is a taste from afar. A small dining room makes for a snug dining experience. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $$

THE BOMBAY CLUB
830 Conti St., 588-0972
The food coming from the Bombay Club's kitchen speaks loud enough to grab your attention away from all those martinis. For appetizers, there's the fried calamari tossed in an Asian sauce. For an entrée, try the filet mignon with the center-cut filet served with a bordelaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue. through Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BOURBON HOUSE SEAFOOD AND OYSTER BAR
144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com
The menu at the Bourbon House gives patrons a selection of authentic New Orleans seafood and Creole entrees in a classic, open-air dining room. One of Dickie Brennan's famed establishments, this fine dining restaurant pleases both conservative and adventurous palates, placing specialty po-boys and wild alligator soup side by side on an ever-evolving menu. Lunch and dinner daily. Reservations recommended. Credit cards. $$$

BRENNAN'S
417 Royal St., 525-9711; brennansneworleans.com
While the dazzling taste and presentation of Brennan's classic dessert of bananas Foster might attract the most attention, there are plenty of other highlights on the menu. Brunch offers traditional poached egg dishes, and dinner brings entrees such as veal topped with crabmeat and hollandaise. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, brunch and dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$$

BROUSSARD'S
819 Conti St., 581-3866; www.broussards.com
This French Quarter institution is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, offering fine dining in unique New Orleans fashion. Three separate dining rooms and a courtyard comprise the seating area where diners enjoy an array of locally inspired dishes. One notable entrée is the crabmeat and mirliton casserole — an offering of crabmeat stuffed mirliton with shrimp and roasted red pepper ragout. Menu changes seasonally. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BUBBA GUMP SHRIMP COMPANY
429 Decatur St., 522-5800
A culinary spin-off from a popular 1994 film, Bubba Gump offers everything from the Run Forrest Run smoothie to Mama Blue's Southern Charmed Fried Shrimp. Complete with friendly service and music playing throughout the two-story dining room, the restaurant offers customers seafood entrees in a perky, family-oriented atmosphere. Memorialize your dinner with a visit to Bubba Gump's gift shop. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

CC'S COFFEEHOUSE
941 Royal St., 581-6996; www.communitycoffee.com
See "Citywide" listing for restaurant description.

CAFÉ AMELIE
912 Royal St., 412-8965; www.princessofmonaco.com
The landscaped courtyard at this cafe is the picture-perfect setting for al fresco meals while a beautifully renovated carriage house provides dining rooms for those times when New Orleans weather proves uncooperative. In either case, Café Amelie serves blackened lamb chops with mango, Scotch bonnet pepper jelly, pan-seared Louisiana crab cakes with a citrus drizzle and other flavorful fare. Reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun., late-night Fri.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ BEIGNET
311 Bourbon St., 525-2611; 334B Royal St., 524-5530; www.cafebeignet.com
Each of the Café Beignets has its own charm. The Royal Street location shares an adjoining shaded slate patio, perfect for enjoying a morning coffee and pastry or light lunch. The Bourbon Street location in the courtyard of what was Jazz Legends Park features live jazz bands and a more extensive menu. Breakfast is offered all day and lunch features sandwiches and jambalaya and seafood platters. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Dinner Thu.-Sun at the Bourbon Street location only. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ DU MONDE
800 Decatur St., 525-4544; www.cafedumonde.com
See "Citywide" listing for restaurant description.

CAFÉ ENVIE
1241 Decatur St., 524-3689
Café Envie is proof that not all French Quarter coffee shops push beignets or draw large crowds of tourists. An espresso bar and café , this neighborhood favorite serves gourmet coffee and tea, pastries, ready-made sandwiches and desserts in a quiet and friendly atmosphere. Try one of the menu's several breakfast items cooked to order, such as the biscuits with gravy or the three-egg omelet. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ FLEUR-DE-LIS
307 Chartres St., 529-9641
This French Quarter eatery serves an array of Louisiana inspired breakfast and lunch items. If you're up early, consider the Fleur-de-Lis Omelet, three fluffy eggs stuffed with sautéed crawfish tails, pepper jack cheese, green peppers and onions and topped with crawfish sauce. For lunch, muffulettas, burgers and panini sandwiches round out the menu. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ GIOVANNI
117 Decatur St., 527-2154
Reservations recommended. Chef Duke LoCicero crafts his Creole-influenced New World Italian cuisine at his French Quarter restaurant and adjoining martini bar. His signature dishes include oysters Giovanni, which places delicately fried oysters on top of a bed of five sauces ranging from sweet to spicy to savory. LoCicero combines robust flavors in everything from his pasta dishes of ravioli or old world Italian sausage and peppers to his refined filet with brandy, foie gras and green peppercorn sauce. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit Cards. $$$

CAFÉ GUMBOLAYA
1000 N. Peters St., 523-7418; wwwcafegumbolaya.com
For breakfast and lunch, Café Gumbolaya offers a short menu of popular dishes. Start the morning with French toast or a ham and cheese omelet. Lunch starts with chicken and andouille gumbo or shrimp and corn bisque. Besides po-boys and burgers, entrees include red beans and rice, blackened catfish, fried chicken and a seafood platter. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ MASPERO
601 Decatur St., 523-6250
Maspero invites you to dine-in or take-out any of its New Orleans cuisine, with favorites including the fried calamari appetizer, the oyster platter and the Cajun jambalaya with grilled hot sausage. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

CAFE PONTALBA
546 St. Peter St., 522-1180
Along with an enviable address on Jackson Square, this sidewalk café boasts a traditional New Orleans menu with etouffee (shrimp or crawfish), jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and po-boys. Fried seafood ably holds down a corner of the menu, featuring the usual suspects: shrimp, fish and oysters. Starters include blackened ribs and alligator (blackened or fried). No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ ROMA AT TURTLE BAY
1119 Decatur St., 586-0563
See "Citywide" listing for restaurant description.

CARMELO RISTORANTE
541 Decatur St., 586-1414; www.ristorantecarmelo.com
Carmelo's presents traditional Italian dishes from bruschettas with tomato and basil to minestrone soup to veal parmigeana. There's a large selection of pasta dishes plus lasagna and ravioli. Fish specials change regularly. Carmelo's balcony provides great views of the river and the French Quarter. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CENTRAL GROCERY
925 Decatur St., 523-1620
Central Grocery is doing its part in boosting post-Katrina New Orleans by promising a thicker sandwich these days, with the whole loaf now weighing in over one pound for $11.95. All the same original ingredients are still there, tut a vegetarian version exists as well. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CHARTRES HOUSE CAFE
601 Chartres St., 586-8383; www.chartreshousecafe.com
The cozy courtyard and atmosphere give this French Quarter café authenticity and charm. The menu offers a number of New Orleans favorites, including fried seafood, red beans and rice and crawfish etouffee. Crawfish make another appearance in the café 's take on crab cakes — this house specialty comes three to an order topped with crawfish sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CLOVER GRILL
900 Bourbon St., 598-1010; www.clovergrill.com
The Clover Grill — a Bourbon Street scene at all hours of the day and nightéis known as much for its burgers (grilled under a hubcap!) as its energetic and sassy staff. Fire up your day with a breakfast special (two eggs any style, bacon or sausage, hash browns or grits, and toast) or choose the even heartier center-cut pork chop and eggs, plus sides. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

CLUB 300 JAZZ RESTAURANT & LISTENING ROOM
300 Decatur St., 581-2534; www.neworleansjazzbistro.com
This new club features an excellent sound system in a spacious club with two floors and offers fine dining to boot. The lunch and late night menu is creative, and goes from a burger to a sort of deconstructed burger of filet mignon on a savory crouton with provolone and red peppers. The dinner menu offers many elegant dishes including grilled twin lobster tails and pork loin roasted with fennel. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner and late night dining daily. Credit cards. $$$

COOP'S PLACE
1109 Decatur St., 525-9053; www.coopsplace.com
Perhaps better known as a bar, Coop's has a kitchen that puts out Creole dishes late into the night. The rabbit and sausage jambalaya is a longtime favorite on the menu, served by itself or with a salad. Other dishes include pastas, salads and more. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COPPER MONKEY
725 Conti St., 527-0869
The courtyard at Copper Monkey is a good place to grab a drink or a bucket of ice-cold beers, but there's also a full menu of food including quesadillas, salads, burgers and steaks. The bar is open 24 hours and generally the kitchen is as well. Drop by on Fridays for the crab boil special. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

THE CORNER OYSTER BAR
500 St. Peter St., 522-2999
Freshly shucked oysters are the specialty here, but there's no reason you can't go over to the Crawfish Corner: crawfish sauteed with peppers and onions in a spicy cream sauce with penne pasta. There's also blackened catfish pasta, served over a bed of linguine mixed with veggies and topped with a white wine sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COUNTRY FLAME
620 Iberville St., 522-1138
Country Flame is a blend of cultures on the menu and among the diners. Tourists, workers and locals mingle here to sample some of the affordable fare served in a jovial environment. The menu features dishes from Spain, Mexico and Cuba. Specialties include shrimp fajitas and puerco frito — delicately fried marinated pork served with choice of fried yucca, rice, French fries or tostones. No reservations. Delivery available. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COURT OF TWO SISTERS
613 Royal St., 522-7261; www.courtoftwosisters.com
Although the two sisters have long passed on, the beautiful courtyard remains a romantic and festive place to eat. The jazz brunch buffet offers eggs and omelets made to order, boiled seafood, pastas and salads, and hot entrees — including the local favorite, veal grillades and grits. The dinner menu offers traditional New Orleans fare, including trout meuniere or amandine, shrimp Creole, and veal Oscar. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Tue. and Thu.-Sat., jazz brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CRESCENT CITY BREWHOUSE
527 Decatur St., 522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com
Crescent City Brewhouse makes its own fresh German-style beers on premises, but that isn't the only thing brewing here. The kitchen cooks up contemporary Louisiana cuisine like red fish St. Louis with crawfish tails in a spicy sauce of butter, black pepper and Worcestershire, and the popular crab cakes Decatur made with lump crabmeat topped with remoulade sauce. Reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CROISSANT D'OR
617 Ursulines St., 524-4663
The former location of Angelo Brocato's Ice Cream Parlor now serves his ice cream. But Croissant d'Or is known for its own baked pastries, croissants, quiches and cakes. Croissant sandwiches such as the turkey and Swiss or spinach and Swiss are enhanced with a creamy béchamel sauce. Changing daily soups include regulars such as seafood gumbo, tomato basil and cream of broccoli or spinach. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $

DEJA VU RESTAURANT & BAR
400 Dauphine St., 523-1931; www.dejavurestaurant-bar.com
This 24-hour restaurant keeps 'em coming back with the Déja vu omeletéfeaturing crispy bacon, sausage, ham, peppers, tomatoes and onions, plus cheddar cheese. For a main meal, try the seafood platteréone pound of shrimp, oysters, crawfish, and catfish, along with French fries. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DESIRE OYSTER BAR
300 Bourbon St., 553-2281
If it's seafood you desire, head to this restaurant anchoring the Royal Sonesta Hotel at the corner of Bourbon and Bienville streets. Desire Oyster Bar is proud to serve only Louisiana shrimp. They're sautéed in a spicy cream sauce and served over fried grit cakes for shrimp grits, and also sautéed in a housemade spicy barbecue sauce for New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DICKIE BRENNAN'S STEAKHOUSE
716 Iberville St., 522-CHOP (2467); www.dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com
Diners have a variety of cuts to choose from at this French Quarter a la carte steakhouse. Appetizers include fried oysters with a chipotle Tabasco cream sauce, escargots Orleans (with bacon, fennel and mushrooms in roasted garlic butter), and seared crab cakes. Stand-out sides include onion rings with a Creole dipping sauce and a roasted sweet potato topped with warm pecan butter. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

DOMINIQUE'S RESTAURANT
1001 Toulouse St., 522-8800; www.dominiquesrestaurant.com
Chef Dominique Macquet melds classical techniques with fine, fresh ingredients and influences from around the globe for a distinctive cuisine at his namesake restaurant in the elegant Maison Dupuy hotel. Exhibit one: the trio of lamb includes a grilled, double cut lamb chop, merguez sausage and lamb confit with goat cheese and three-potato terrine, a spicy ratatouille and lamb jus. For local seafood with a twist, the pan-seared shrimp with green mango chutney and star-anise shrimp and ginger essence is hard to beat. Reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

DONNA'S BAR AND GRILL
800 N. Rampart St., 596-6914; www.donnasbarandgrill.com
A New Orleans legend unto itself, Donna's means many things to many people. The Treme Brass Band on Fri. nights. But beyond the music, the food — including the always-popular barbecue chicken and red beans and rice — has a following of its own. No reservations. Credit cards. Dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $

EAT NEW ORLEANS
900 Dumaine St., 522-7222; www.eatnola.com
The space long known as the Quarter Scene has been transformed into a stylish, fresh-looking corner café serving casual dishes. The well seasoned stuffed peppers bulge with ground sirloin, shrimp and parmesan cheese, and the crawfish pie comes smothered with cheese. Remember to BYOB. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., breakfast and brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE EMBERS "ORIGINAL" BOURBON HOUSE
700 Bourbon St., 595-3172; www.emberssteakhouse.com
This romantic dining room with an enviable address offers a view of Bourbon Street from its wrap-around balcony. Whet your appetite with the Nicholas Oysters — fried and served with a garlic sauce. For a special steak dinner for two, Ember's offers a 48-oz Porterhouse cut, served with baked potatoes, French onion soup, salad and a bottle of wine. Reservations accepted. Dinner nightly, lunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

FIORELLA'S CAFE
45 French Market Place or 1136 Decatur St., 528-9566
Fiorella's has entrances on both the French Market and Decatur Street sides. In between is a super casual restaurant open throughout the day. The kitchen is known for the fried chicken, but drop in for the daily specials and po-boys. No reservations. Breakfast weekends, lunch and dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $

FRANK'S RESTAURANT
933 Decatur St., 525-1602
This family-owned restaurant sticks with the classics that have kept it going for more than 30 years. Try the Snapper Jack, a deep-fried fillet smothered in shrimp, crawfish and crab over pasta. Or try local seafood in all sorts of dishes. There are sandwiches and some Italian pasta dishes as well. Frank's also serves a hefty rib-eye cooked how you like it. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FRENCH MARKET RESTAURANT
1001 Decatur St., 525-7879
The French Market Restaurant offers a bounty of boiled and fried seafood from the Gulf. The Bayou Platter is a popular option to get a taste of everything. Or stick to the homey but traditional version of red beans and rice. Opt for a table on the balcony overlooking the French Market with views of downtown and watch French Quarter life swirl by as a jazz band plays across the street. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GALATOIRE'S RESTAURANT
209 Bourbon St., 525-2021; www.galatoires.com
Jackets are still required at dinner and all day Sunday at this century-old Creole landmark, but for women hats are just a stylish choice. The menu features their classic shrimp remoulade, crabmeat maison and dishes like trout meuniere amandine prepared and presented expertly and without pretension. Reservations accepted for the upstairs dining room. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

GUMBO SHOP
640 St. Peter St., 525-1486
There's a lot more than gumbo to draw diners to the Gumbo Shop. Besides the charming courtyard, there's an extensive menu, daily specials, daiquiris and a list of signature blender drinks. Besides chicken and andouille gumbo and gumbo z'herbes there are samplers such as the Creole platter with shrimp, jambalaya, red beans and rice or crawfish etouffee. Other entrees include pastas like the crawfish in tasso cream over penne. Reservations for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GW FINS
808 Bienville St., 581-FINS (3467); www.gwfins.com
With executive chef and co-owner Tenney Flynn no longer involved in the barbecue business after selling his share in Zydeque, he can now focus solely on what made his first New Orleans restaurant famous: the sea. GW Fins features popular appetizers such as the wood-grilled shrimp and tempting entrees such as the horseradish-crusted drum. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

HAAGEN-DAZS
621 St. Peter St., 523-4001
Of course, Haagen-Dazs offers its own brand of ice cream in a full line of decadent flavors, but it also serves coffees like a barista: coffee, mocha and dulce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

HARD ROCK CAFÉ
415 N. Peters St., 529-5617; www.hardrock.com
Though not without local flair, like Louis Armstrong's silver trumpet hanging on the wall of the Satchmo room Upstairs, most of the memorabilia is from the world-wide pantheon of rock. The menu offers a thick slice of Americana from burgers and barbecue to desserts like apple cobbler and shakes. In between, some local accents like blackened chicken are among Texas chili and spicy southwestern dishes. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards $$

HILLERY'S ON TOULOUSE
827 1/2 Toulouse St. (Hotel St. Marie), 571-2888; www.hotelstmarie.com
Hillery's (sometimes still called Bistro Moise) offers all sorts of homey touches that belie the hotel space. While the oysters verdant are flash fried and served with spinach and Pernod cream, staple dishes like shrimp Creole, chicken grillades, crawfish etouffee and the White Trash Chicken offer hearty contrasts. Desserts include pecan pie, bread pudding and Chocolate Felony Cake, all made in-house. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HOUSE OF BLUES
225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com
To match the juke joint décor, the House of Blues devotes much of its menu to Southern cooking and New Orleans classics. Dig into Tennessee style slow-smoked baby back ribs served with a Jim Beam barbecue sauce with mashed sweet potatoes and turnip greens. The menu also includes fresh salads and seafood dishes. For dessert, there's white chocolate banana bread pudding with Jack Daniels créme anglais. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

IRENE'S CUISINE
539 St. Philip St., 529-8811
A romantic favorite located at the quiet, lower end of the French Quarter, Irene's perfumes the air around it with the aroma of lusty Italian cooking. San Francisco style cioppino gets a dose of local seafood with redfish and shrimp joining clams and mussels in spicy tomato and fennel broth on a bed of fresh pasta. The cannelloni al forno delivers house-made tubes of pasta stuffed with veal, pork, cheese and eggplant. Reservations for parties of five or more. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JEAN LAFITTE'S RENDEZVOUS
240 Bourbon St., 524-0113
Located above the Old Absinthe House, Lafitte's Bistro is set to reopen as Jean Lafitte's Rendezvous. It has the same elegant interior but the menu has changed slightly to focus more on a mix of seafood and steaks. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JIMMY BUFFETT'S MARGARITAVILLE CAFE
1104 Decatur St., 592-2565; www.margaritaville.com
Jimmy Buffett's French Market oasis is not just for parrot heads, though they'll find the setting very familiar. Tables in the dining room feature Buffett's album covers. But it's better to cover them with dishes following a course from Galveston, Texas, to Jamaica. Gulf Coast cuisine goes from barbecue ribs to gumbo to Jamaican Jerk chicken to shrimp fried in coconut butter. There's live music nightly and a large balcony for dining. Ask about the local VIP card that gives you a 20 percent discount. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JOHNNY'S PO-BOY RESTAURANT
511 St. Louis St., 524-8129
Johnny's has been serving po-boys since 1950 with the slogan, "Even my failures are edible." The shrimp and hot sausage po-boys are favorites among locals and visitors. The roast beef po-boys also are popular because the kitchen uses beef from inside the round and slow cooks the debris, tenderizing it while it bathes in gravy. No reservations. Lunch daily. Cash only. $

K-PAUL'S LOUISIANA KITCHEN
416 Chartres St., 524-7394; www.kpauls.com
Chef Paul Prudhomme's protég — Paul Miller oversees the famous restaurant's boldly flavored south Louisiana cooking. Although the menu changes daily, look for classics like chicken and andouille gumbo or turtle soup. K-Paul's often features Prudhomme's famous blackening technique on fresh Gulf fish. The menu brings together rich flavors and refined techniques whether dishes have rustic or Creole inspirations. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

KRYSTAL116 Bourbon St., 523-4030
Krystal offers burgers, hot dogs and corn dogs around the clock. Meal combos include burgers, cheeseburgers, bacon cheeseburgers, chili-cheese dogs and more. Sides are limited to chili, fries or chili-cheese fries and for dessert, Krystal has hot apple turnovers and lemon pie. No reservations. 24-hours daily. $

LA BOUCHERIE COFFEE HOUSE & CAFÉ
339 Chartres St., 581-6868; www.laboucheriecoffeehouse.com
With a complete line of coffee, espresso and fresh French pastries, it's a good place to start the day, but there's no need to leave after that. Their menu expands to salads and specialty sandwiches for the lunch crowd, and the fully stocked bar can help extend lunch into the late afternoon. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

LA LOUISIANE BAR & BISTRO
725 Iberville St.,378-8200; www.lalouisianerestaurant.com
This historic landmark, which was built in 1837 and has housed numerous restaurants. After a seven-year hiatus, La Louisiane reopened in 2004. The craftsmanship exhibited in the extensive remodeling is matched by the finesse of the menu in such specialties as beef carpaccio, oysters Rockefeller, braised lamb and filet mignon. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat., lunch on Fri. and late night dining on Fri.-Sat. Credit Cards. $$

LANDRY'S
400 N. Peters St., 558-0038; www.landryseafoodrestaurants.com
Landry's offers the full bounty of the sea, including not just Maine lobster but also Alaskan king crab legs. Local dishes include shrimp and andouille or seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffee, shrimp remoulade and baked oysters Rockefeller. A range of fish dishes features everything from salmon and halibut to mahi mahi, redfish, flounder and catfish. The expansive menu also includes salads, many Gulf shrimp entrees, fried seafood platters, pasta, steaks and chicken. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LI'L DIZZY'S CAFÉ
1500 Esplanade Ave., 569-8997
Breakfast at Li'l Dizzy's starts off with eggs, grits and either bacon, sausage patties or ham. Or opt for an omelet like the shrimp and cheese or bacon and cheese versions. Waffles are topped with strawberries or bananas and served with a side of ham, bacon or sausage. Lunch options include po-boys, gumbo and other daily soup selections, a salad bar and plates such as the trout Baquet, pork chops, rib-eye steak or shrimp or catfish platter served with a salad and two sides. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

LOUISIANA BISTRO
337 Dauphine St., 525-3335
The menu changes seasonally at Louisiana Bistro, but for a little spontaneity opt for the "Feed Me" menu and let the chef put together a tasting menu of three to five courses. Entrees on the fall menu include pan-roasted Gulf fish with sizzled crabmeat and lemon-caper beurre blanc, and rabbit Creole, which features a slow-roasted leg of rabbit in a Creole-style tomato sauce over rice. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

LOUISIANA PIZZA KITCHEN
95 French Market Place 522-9500
Yes you can get a great wood-oven pizza like a crawfish etouffee pie, or a more traditional margarita with fresh roma tomatoes and mozzarella, but there also is a nice assortment of salads, pasta dishes and wraps. Wines aren't limited to the basics — Pizza Kitchen offers 24 by the glass and roughly 150 different bottles. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MAMA ROSA'S SLICE OF ITALY
616 N. Rampart St., 523-5546
Although sandwiches and pasta dishes are on the menu, pizza is always the top pick at Mama Rosa's. Build your own pie with your choice of toppings, or go for house specialties like the Mama Everything: pepperoni, Italian sausage, onions, black olives and mushrooms. No reservations. Delivery available. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

MANGO MANGO
201 Bourbon St.; 236 Bourbon St.; 333 Bourbon St.; 400 Bourbon St.; 524-0114
As either a first or last stop on a night on Bourbon Street, Mango Mango offers pizza by the slice and hot soft pretzels to fortify or soak up a night of revelry. It's also a good place to grab a big daiquiri before strolling down the strip. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late night daily. Credit cards. $

MEAUXBAR BISTRO
942 N. Rampart 569-9979
Tucked away on North Rampart Street, this relative newcomer to the French Quarter is a cozy bistro with an eclectic menu. Starters include ginger crawfish dumplings with sesame dipping sauce and a roasted beet salad. For an entree, go classic brasserie with steak frites, or simplify things further with a burger served on brioche with fries on the side. Cool off for dessert with some homemade ice cream. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

MONA LISA RESTAURANT
1212 Royal St., 522-6765
This long-time French Quarter favorite offers pizza and pasta dishes. Specialty pizzas include the barbecue chicken pizza, and Mediterranean (spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, black olives, garlic) or Hawaiian (pineapple and ham) versions, plus a white pizza with garlic. The Mona Lisa special features pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, onions, mushrooms, green peppers and black olives with optional anchovies and jalapenos. The Mardi Gras pasta mixes shrimp and sausage in a creamy red sauce served over linguine. Reservations for parties of six or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MORTON'S OF CHICAGO
One Canal Place, 365 Canal St., 566-0221; www.mortons.com
Morton's is, of course, known for generous portions of USDA prime beef. Enjoy 24- or 48-ounce porterhouse steaks, massive New York strips and rib-eyes, or double rib lamb chops. Classic surf complements include Maine lobster cocktail or jumbo lump crabmeat cocktail, crab cakes and lobster bisque. Complete a decadent meal by choosing from a range of side dishes like Lyonnaise potatoes or sautéed fresh spinach and mushrooms and desserts like créme brulee or warm chocolate cake. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MURIEL'S JACKSON SQUARE
801 Chartres St., 568-1885; www.muriels.com
With its pretty downstairs dining room and elegant upstairs complete with Storyville-esque lounge, Muriel's offers great views inside and out onto Jackson Square. Under new chef Guy Sockrider, the kitchen continues to prepare contemporary Creole dishes like wood-grilled barbecue shrimp, crawfish and goat cheese crepes, and pecan-crusted puppy drum. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, lunch Fri.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

NAPOLEON HOUSE
500 Chartres St., 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com
This charming spot is an ideal place to sip a Pimm's Cup, or enjoy house specialties such as the muffuletta. There's also a number of po-boys, salads, appetizers, jambalaya and gumbo. Reservations accepted. Lunch Fri.-Wed. Credit cards. $

NOLA RESTAURANT
534 St. Louis St., 522-6652; www.emerils.com
Alternately light and airy and cozy and dark, NOLA's atmosphere is reflected in the diversity of menu options. Signature starters include Emeril's barbecued Gulf shrimp with rosemary biscuits and a Caesar salad with focaccia croutons. Entrees include comforting fried chicken with bourbon mashed sweet potatoes and hickory-roasted duck with whiskey-caramel glaze. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

OCEANA GRILL
739 Conti St., 525-6002; www.oceanagrill.com The bounty of the sea is featured at Oceana. Appetizers range from crab cakes to seafood gumbo and oysters on the half-shell. Entrees include fried seafood platters and New Orleans dishes like crawfish etouffee and barbecue shrimp. House specialties include sautéed redfish topped with crawfish and mushrooms in cream sauce and ahi tuna pan-seared and topped with barbecue shrimp. Lunch also offers po-boys and burgers. Reservations recommended. Lunch and diner daily. Credit cards. $$

OLD COFFEE POT
714 St. Peter St., 524-3500
Breakfast dishes at this French Quarter café include callas (sweet rice fritters) and eggs Jonathan (Benedict-style with ham, tomatoes, and shrimp and topped with spicy Hollandaise). Dinner options include jambalaya, fried seafood (including a popcorn shrimp salad), and nightly specials. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch, Wed.-Mon., and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $

OLIVIER'S CREOLE RESTAURANT
204 Decatur St., 525-7734The Creole rabbit with oyster dressing is a perennial favorite at Olivier's. Starters include a gumbo sampler (three kinds) and new potatoes with caviar. For dessert, try either the homemade bread pudding or cobbler. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ORLEANS GRAPEVINE WINE BAR AND BISTRO
720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930; www.orleansgrapevine.com
Locals and visitors in the know duck into this casual yet sophisticated wine bar just behind St. Louis Cathedral not only for its wide selection of wines by the glass or the bottle but also for its bistro cuisine. The double-cut pork chop comes in a generous 14 oz. serving with a hash of sweet potato and wild boar sausage and a sweet and sour orange-pepper glaze. The bouillabaisse combines Gulf fish, mussels, shrimp and crawfish in a heady lobster broth with tarragon garlic bread for dipping. No reservations. Dinner nightly. Credit cards. $$$

PALACE CAFÉ
605 Canal St., 523-1661; www.palacecafe.com
Located in the beautiful Weirlein building, Palace Café is an elegant stand-out among the t-shirt and camera shops on Canal Street. Chef Darin Nesbitt's menu features contemporary Creole cuisine, including a silky crabmeat cheesecake, horseradish fried oysters, and the savory Palace potato pie (pork debris layered with spinach, mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese, finished with onion gravy). Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

PALM COURT JAZZ CAFÉ
1204 Decatur St., 525-0200; www.palmcourtcafe.com
Have a relaxing dinner with live jazz at this French Quarter restaurant. Starters include a traditional gumbo with chicken, andouille and okra. Equally traditional fare like shrimp Creole is popular and there is bread pudding for dessert. Reservations accepted. Dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

PELICAN CLUB
615 Bienville St./312 Exchange Place, 523-1504; www.pelicanclub.com
Tucked away on a French Quarter side street, this elegant restaurant boasts three romantic dining rooms and a hearty Continental menu. Start with the seafood "Martini" — a fanciful send-up of the cocktail, featuring Maine lobster, lump crabmeat, avocado, tomatoes and jicama salad. Entrees include a Colorado rack of lamb with a port-balsamic demi-glace and the trio of duckling (leg confit, grilled breast, and barbecued duck, served with a orange and cane vinegar sauce). Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

PERISTYLE
1041 Dumaine St., 593-9535
Although Anne Kearney-Sand and Tom Wolfe both worked in Emeril Lagasse's kitchen, their styles diverge. Since Wolfe took over Peristyle, he's beefed up the menu's boldness where Kearney was known for restraint, and he's made the restaurant his own. Wolfe favors bold and exciting combinations whether he is rethinking classical dishes, adapting rustic ones or matching new flavors. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

PETUNIA'S
817 St. Louis St., 522-6440; www.petuniasrestaurant.com
Breakfast includes pain perdu, white cloud omelets, and Cajun sausage (andouille and boudin) with eggs, as well as a series of crepes named after saints (Marie, Michael, Peter and James) all with your choice of ham or chicken and available for lunch as well. Reservations recommended for dinner. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Thu.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

PORT OF CALL
838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120; www.portofcallneworleans.com
It's the burgers, baby, and the baked potatoes; that's why there's a line out the door. Fortunately, there also is a bar and this is a go-cup town, so waiting is not a hardship. It's a great spot to prep for an afternoon or a night of bar hopping in the French Quarter. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RALPH & KACOO'S
519 Toulouse St., 522-5226; www.ralphandkacoos.com
Ralph & Kacoo's original restaurant in the French Quarter serves local specialties such as shrimp remoulade, seafood gumbo, and grilled redfish Atchafalaya topped with crawfish etouffee. Entrees include delicately grilled mahi mahi and certified black angus steaks. Reservations accepted for large groups. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

RED FISH GRILL
115 Bourbon St., 598-1200; www.redfishgrill.com
This seafood venue by the Ralph Brennan restaurant group is replete with fresh options, including several types of Gulf fish per night. Executive chef Greg Collier rounds out the menu with traditional fare like shrimp remoulade as an appetizer and pecan crusted catfish for dinner. Landlubbers welcome with rosemary and garlic chicken and stuffed pork medallions. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

RIB ROOM
621 St. Louis St., 529-7045
With its white linens and lovely lighting, the Rib Room promises an elegant dining experience. Bayou turtle soup, seafood gumbo, shrimp remoulade and pan-seared redfish meuniere ensure that the meal will be a distinctly New Orleanian one. Slow roasted meats, including prime rib and rotisserie chicken, are house specialties. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

ROTOLO'S PIZZERIA
201 Decatur St., 948-EATS (3287)
Favorites here include the Vieux Carre sandwich (toasted French bread with a seafood cream sauce, roasted corn, and cheese) and the Specialty Pizza, topped with fresh baby leaf spinach, artichoke hearts and feta cheese. No reservations. Delivery available. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

ROUX BISTRO
500 Canal St. (Sheraton New Orleans Hotel), 595-5506; www.sheratonneworleans.com
Relax on the gallery and enjoy the view along with house favorites like the seafood pasta served on angel hair tossed in a parmesan cream sauce or try the spice-rubbed and grilled filet mignon with caramelized shallots. Low-carb options also available. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ROYAL BLEND
621 Royal St., 523-2716
Royal Blend offers plenty of ways to get your java fix. There's an original food menu as well, highlighted by the baked potato salad and the chicken salad sandwich with bacon and avocado. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

SALT 'N' PEPPER
400 Iberville St., 561-6070
Tucked away on a side street close to the river, this unassuming corner joint cooks up wonderfully aromatic meals from Pakistani and Indian cuisines. The biryani is a plate of long grain basmati rice cooked with saffron, Indian spices and your choice of chicken, beef or goat. The kebabs are marinated in a spicy mix of garlic, chiles and black and white pepper. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SARAFINA'S
81 French Market Place, 522-3121
A bright, welcoming café in a vintage warehouse space, Sarafina's serves a crowd of both Quarter denizens and folks visiting the French Market just outside its doors. Build your own sandwich from the café 's selection of meats, cheeses and veggies on a bagel, croissant or French bread, or go for large salads like one made with generous amounts of andouille sausage, tomatoes, red onion and blue cheese over romaine lettuce. A full menu of coffee drinks featuring beans from Illy and a variety of baked goods and sweets make a stop here rewarding any time. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

SEKISUI SAMURAI SUSHI
239 Decatur St., 525-9595; www.sekisuisamurai.com
The French Quarter may not be known for sushi, but don't tell Sekisui. Guests can expect authentic Japanese cuisine and, of course, sushi. The chefs put their own New Orleans spin on with specialty rolls like the Decatur, which has cilantro, crawfish and crunchies inside with seared white tuna and fresh chopped garlic on the outside. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SIDEBAR CAFÉ
620 Conti St., 681-0911
Sidebar is a nice little dining secret hidden in the French Quarter's Exchange Alley. The Napoleon entrée — fresh salmon or tuna with sliced avocadoes and a plum sauce on a bed of greens — or the fish tacos with mahi mahi are just two of the satisfying entrees. Kids are welcome, and encouraged to display their artistic talents for drawing with chalk on the sidewalks. It's a great place to enjoy a seasonal crawfish boil. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SUBWAY
112 Royal St., 522-0992; 237 St. Peters St., 568-0165; www.subway.com
See "Citywide" listing for restaurant description.

STANLEY!
1031 Decatur St., 593-0006; www.restaurantstanley.com
This casual concept from the chef of the fine-dining restaurant Stella! around the corner cut its teeth in the first weeks after Katrina, making news for opening under extraordinary circumstances. Now, the restaurant is building a reputation for its creative spin on local favorites, like a po-boy made with Korean-style barbecue beef and spicy kimchee or the eggs Benedict po-boy with poached eggs, smoked bacon and Creole hollandaise. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

STEAMBOAT NATCHEZ
Toulouse Street wharf 586-8777; www.steamboatnatchez.com
Take a river cruise on this authentic steamboat and enjoy the view, the Creole cuisine, wine and jazz. Popular items include the pecan-crusted chicken and red beans with rice. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

STELLA!
1032 Chartres St., 587-0091; www.restaurantstella.com
Kind strangers and diners can always depend on award-winning local chef Scott Boswell's culinary art. Although the dining choices change frequently, a recent menu offered "A Fall Preview," with roasted Washington state squab and seared Hudson Valley foie gras with braised local greens, heirloom baby butternut squash, and Lady Creamer & Purple Hull pea cassoulet. Plus there's a full range of exotic and tasty desserts. Reservations recommended. Dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$$

TIRAMISU CAFÉ AND GRILL
115 Chartres St., 592-9444
Nothing completes a meal of Italian food better than the chocolate-laced goodness of tiramisu. But before you dig into the namesake dessert, try dishes such as meatballs, chicken parmesan or linguini pescatore, a mix of shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari with fresh herbs, white wine and garlic in a light tomato-based sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

TONY MORAN'S RESTAURANT
240 Bourbon St., 523-4640; www.ruebourbon.com
The well-appointed dining room and northern Italian cuisine at Tony Moran's can seem like a world away from the swirl and color of Bourbon Street just outside. The spell is completed with dishes like calamari in spicy tomato sauce, mussels simmered with garlic, classic minestrone soup, roasted Cornish hen, osso buco Milanaise and stuffed, double-cut pork chops on the bone. Reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

TUJAGUE'S RESTAURANT
823 Decatur St., 525-8676; www.tujagues.com
Celebrating its 150th birthday this year, Tujague's provides a Creole dining experience and a history lesson all in one visit. The restaurant's famous five-course table d'hote dinner service starts with shrimp remoulade then moves on to soup before introducing the house specialty, brisket of beef. Entrée choices include crawfish Bayou Teche served over fried eggplant with crabmeat dressing or chicken bonne femme smothered in garlic and parsley. Dessert and coffee follow. Reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

VERTI MARTE
1201 Royal St., 525-4767
A last stop in the French Quarter for some jambalaya or a shrimp po-boy is still the deli counter at Verti Marte. Or get their sandwiches and daily specials delivered in the Quarter and Marigny. Some of the daily entrée specials include chicken Creole, Cajun red beans with a pork chop or smoked sausage, barbecue of brisket or ribs, lasagna and other dishes. Sides include salads, macaroni and cheese and more. Verti Marte also has a selection of wines and a freezer full of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Limited delivery. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit Cards. $

ZÖE RESTAURANT
333 Poydras St., 207-5018
Located in the second floor of the sleek, stylish downtown W Hotel, Zöe Restaurant features innovative New Orleans cuisine from chef Roberto Bustillo, winner of the 2006 gold Fleur de Lis award at the New Orleans Food and Wine Experience. Though the menu changes frequently, the chef's style blends Old-World French techniques with local ingredients for dishes like "Gulf coast crustacean shooters" and seared sea scallops. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

ZYDEQUE
808 Iberville St., 565-5520
A taste of the country invites hungry patrons to take a break from the bustle of the upper Quarter for Louisiana-style barbecue. Slabs of ribs are a specialty, while mixed plates offer combinations of cochon de lait (pulled pork), chicken, andouille sausage or beef brisket. Try the debris gumbo served with a dollop of potato salad or a green salad layered with barbecue meats. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

click to enlarge Donna Carlson presents steak sandwiches at Crazy - Johnnies Steakhouse. - TRACIE MORRIS SCHAEFER
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