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Spring Restaurant Guide 

Gambit Weekly surveys local restaurants from A to Z

Whether you think of this time of year as spring or crawfish season, it's a good time to dine out. Gambit Weekly's Spring Restaurant Guide surveys the city's dining scene from Cajun and Creole institutions to po-boy and pizza places. With restaurants arranged from A to Z, the guide has the latest news on menu items, hours of operation, reservation policies and more. Enjoy.

Prices

$ = $1-$10
$$ = $11-$20
$$$ = $21-up

II TONY'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
105 Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 831-0999; www.two-tonys.com
A Bucktown institution, Two Tony's serves Italian-Creole cuisine, including specialties like a grilled seafood platter loaded with Gulf shrimp, oysters, battered and fried soft-shell crabs and farm-raised catfish seasoned lightly and grilled with extra virgin olive oil. The menu also features a sauce of the day and offers artichoke-stuffed chicken — garlic, herbs and spices blended with artichoke hearts in a light dressing which is rolled in a boneless chicken breast, fried golden brown and topped with herb cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

7 ON FULTON
701 Convention Center Blvd., 525-7555; www.7onfulton.com

Located inside the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, 7 on Fulton may be the best kept secret on Fulton Street. The menu features creative contemporary Louisiana cooking. Appetizers include pan-seared sweetbreads with shiitake cream and garlic crostini, and braised short rib with blue cheese gratin. For an entrée, try dishes like citrus-braised scallops with watercress puree or pecan-crusted rack of lamb with black currant reduction. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

13 MONAGHAN
517 Frenchmen St., 942-1345; www.13monaghan.com

Healthy eaters need not despair in the wee hours of the morning; 13 Monaghan serves up a menu that's both wallet- and vegetarian-friendly in a late-night world of burgers and cheese fries. Spinach salad with red onion, pecans and goat cheese is a healthy option, though the tater tachos (crispy potato nuggets piled high with Mexican toppings) are hard to resist. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

21 W RESTAURANT
100 Tyler Square, Covington, (985) 892-3982; www.21wrestaurant.com

Creole-Cajun and classical French influences team up for a memorable menu at this Northshore fine-dining destination, which now serves Sunday brunch. Chef Grant Wallace prepares an appetizer of fried rabbit tenderloin topped with a mushroom demi-glace. The baked fresh Gulf fish is stuffed with mirliton, shrimp and tasso dressing, topped with béarnaise and served with asparagus. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat, brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

5FIFTY5
Marriott Hotel, 555 Canal St., 553-5638

The chefs at 5Fifty5 put a sophisticated touch on new and classic dishes. The 555 Slider Sampler of appetizers rounds up a crab cake, prime rib debris, lobster and duck and serves them on housemade rolls. Charbroiled Louisiana oysters are topped with garlic, butter and Parmesan. The lobster mac and cheese is a Maine lobster tail in creamy marscapone and boursine cheese sauce with spinach and grilled crostini. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

A

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. Sandwiches are filled with brisket, pulled pork, sausage and chicken breasts. Platter options offer slabs of ribs, turkey legs, half chickens and pork steaks. For side items, there is everything from macaroni and cheese, cornbread and potato salad to coleslaw, corn on the cob and baked beans. Abita serves bottled beer as well as local Abita and other brews on tap. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

ABITA BREW PUB
72011 Holly St., Abita Springs, (985) 892-5837; www.abitabrewpub.com

Abita Brew Pub, the local brewery's dining branch, is one of the more popular places to finish off a bike ride on the Tammany Trace. Along with daily specials and pub grub like burgers and hot wings, Abita Brew Pub gets creative with everything from pecan-crusted catfish and barbecue ribs to fried quail and crawfish pasta. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

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

Fried, grilled, on the half-shell or spilling out of a dressed loaf of French bread, oysters are a main draw at Acme. Other options include boiled seafood, gumbo and platters of fried seafood. For something more land based, dig into red beans and rice or try the aptly named Ten Napkin roast beef po-boy, which swims in gravy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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. Customers also may pick from daily specials like Wednesday's spaghetti and meatballs, Thursday's fried chicken and Friday's seafood. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

ACROPOLIS
3841 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-9046

Acropolis offers some of the most popular Mediterranean dishes found in Greece and Italy, with an eclectic menu that features pizzas, gyros, lasagna, moussaka, lamb chops and salads. The popular Acropolis salad is a medley of field greens, bacon, tomato, blue cheese, cucumbers, Bermuda onions, kalamata olives and sunflower seeds. No reservations. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ADAM'S CATFISH HOUSE
8523 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 392-0541

Adam's serves catfish in just about every way imaginable. It comes grilled, fried or served atop salad greens tuna salad-style. The whole fish platter is an entrée of three fresh fish on the bone, served with French fries, hush puppies and coleslaw. Adam's also offers a children's menu and appetizers like a fried onion, fried vegetables and fried pickles. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

ADOBE CANTINA
1200 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-2990; 1905 W. Thomas St., Hammond, (985) 419-0027; www.adoberestaurant.com

A Southwestern take on Mexican cuisine makes these cantinas popular destinations for burritos, fajitas and quesadillas. Fish tacos are filled with fresh mahi-mahi. 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. The dessert menu now includes cheesecakes and more traditional Mexican sweets. Reservations accepted Mon.-Thu. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ADOLFO'S
611 Frenchmen St., 948-3800

Above the bustle of Frenchmen Street, this intimate café offers Italian dishes and a variety of seafood. The menu features Italian specialties like eggplant Parmesan and veal piccata. Signature sauces like the Verde — buttery spinach with a nutmeg bite — top chicken, steak and veal. Reservations accepted for four or more. Dinner daily. Checks. $$

ALBASHA GREEK & LEBANESE RESTAURANT
1958 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 867-8292; www.albashabr.com

The Mediterranean mix at Albasha combines Greek and Lebanese favorites. Diners can choose from chicken shawarma, gyro plates of mixed beef or lamb, or lighter fare such as salads topped with feta or tabbouleh. The vegetarian plate is loaded with hummus, baba ghanoush, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, tabbouleh and more. For dessert, there's baklava drizzled with honey and ashta, a phyllo pastry with cream cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ALIBI BAR AND GRILLE
811 Iberville St., 522-9187; www.alibineworleans.com

You can believe it when French Quarter denizens and service industry people say they head to the Alibi for late-night meals. Popular fixes include delectably greasy standards straight from the fryer, like cheese sticks, jalapeño poppers, chicken fingers. Big plates of nachos are suitable for several people to share. There's also a selection of salads, po-boys and burgers. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

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 barbecue 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

Despite a Continental-sounding name, Alpine's Creole and Cajun cuisine sticks close to its bayou origins. Original dishes range from the smoked duck to grilled ahi tuna La Boheme, topped with spicy barbecue shrimp. Standards such as jambalaya, red beans and rice and etouffée are familiar Cajun/Creole options. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch and late-night Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ANATOLE
600 St. Charles Ave., 274-0105

At Anatole, chef Raymond Toups serves a menu of Louisiana seafood and chop-house classics like the aged rib-eye, cognac-flamed filet mignon and center-cut pork chop. Seafood dishes include Grand Isle shrimp and Atlantic salmon. Anatole is also famous for specialty drinks like the Neutral Ground, a frothy concoction of vanilla vodka, coffee liqueur and freshly brewed coffee. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ANDREA'S RESTAURANT
3100 19th St., Metairie, 834-8583; www.andreasrestaurant.com

Chef Andrea Apuzzo combines a mastery of Northern Italian cuisine with fresh local seafood at his namesake restaurnt. For a taste of the Old World, try the Trota Bayou la Fourche, a fillet of speckled trout sautéed in olive oil and served with lump crabmeat in lemon cream sauce. Steaks, beef tenderloin and homemade pastas round out the offerings. A menu of decadent desserts offers everything from chocolate to fresh strawberries. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ANDREW JAEGER'S
4250 Hwy. 22, Suite B, Mandeville, (985) 624-2300; www.andrewjaegers.com

Andrew Jaeger's offers a mix of seafood dishes inspired by Louisiana and Italy. Crawfish etouffée and oysters en brochette wrapped in bacon are favorites. The menu also features steaks and veal entrées, including baby white veal topped with jumbo lump crabmeat in garlic butter sauce. 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. $$$

ANGELI ON DECATUR
1141 Decatur St., 566-0077

The large street-front windows at Angeli give diners a glimpse of the bohemian ambience bustling along Lower Decatur. The menu combines Middle Eastern and Italian cuisines with aplomb, topping pizzas with everything from standard pepperoni to feta, sun-dried tomato, roasted garlic and artichoke hearts. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

ANGELO BROCATO'S
214 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1465; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com

New Orleans' most famous purveyor of ice cream is a Mid-City sweet shop that also provides ice creams and pastries to restaurants all over town. Brocato offers 24 flavors made fresh with milk, cream, fruit, nuts and nut pastes, as well as Italian ice specialties like spumoni or cassata. With spring comes blood-orange ice and Louisiana strawberry ice. Pastries and baked goods include several types of Sicilian cannoli, which are crispy ricotta cheese-filled pastry shells with semi-sweet chocolate chips or dipped in pistachio nuts. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

ANNADELE'S PLANTATION
71495 Chestnut St., Covington, (985) 809-7669; www.annadeles.com

Guests flock to Annadele's for its pretty vistas of the Bogue Falaya River and the restaurant's gourmet menu. Chef Ronald Bonnette focuses on traditional New Orleans Creole cooking. Gulf fish Gabrielle is a sautéed Gulf fish fillet topped with shrimp sautéed with tomato and herbs in light lemon beurre blanc and served with wild rice. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

ANSELMO'S
3401 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 889-1212

Locally inspired seafood entrées share the billing with traditional Italian cuisine at this family-oriented eatery. A house special at Anselmo's is crawfish pasta Adrienne, which is penne pasta tossed with crawfish and mushroom cream sauce. For a dose of straight-up Italian comfort food, order the meatballs and red gravy served over angel hair pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ANTOINE'S RESTAURANT
713 St. Louis St., 581-4422; www.antoines.com

Tradition is always on the menu at Antoine's, the city's oldest restaurant, where the ambience, service style and menu all remain true to its 19th century French-Creole heritage. For an appetizer, the huitres á la Foch rests fried oysters on toast buttered with paté de foie gras and adds Colbert sauce. From the entrée list, the filet de truite aux ecrevisses/crevettes cardinal features grilled or fried trout with crawfish tails and shrimp in white wine sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., Dinner Thu.-Sat. and Mon., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

APPLEBEE'S NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL & BAR
Citywide; www.applebees.com

The extensive menu at Applebee's offers something for just about every taste. There are nachos, burgers, steaks, salads, a kid's menu and Weight Watchers' items. Entrées range from roasted chicken, baby back ribs and fajitas to fried shrimp, pasta dishes and others. Menu combos and specials offer great variety while keeping meals affordable. Several flavored cheesecakes, decadent chocolate brownies, cake and apple pie offer sweet conclusions to a meal. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ARDOISE
4300 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-5566

Since new chef Patricio Gonzalez has taken over Ardoise's kitchen, he's done a total revamp of the menu with an emphasis on gourmet pasta creations, including his signature crabmeat ravioli. Check in regularly for his daily chalkboard schedules, all priced at $10 and under. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ARNAUD'S RESTAURANT
813 Bienville St., 523-5433; www.arnauds.com

For more than 80 years, Arnaud's has served classic French Creole cuisine in highly civilized form just steps from the rumble of Bourbon Street. The restaurant is known for its founder's signature spicy remoulade sauce. Dishes range from baked oysters to redfish and a decadent Sunday brunch. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ASIAN PACIFIC CAFÉ
3125 Esplanade Ave., 945-1919

Now a haven for sushi and plenty of cooked Asian dishes, this onetime Esplanade Avenue cottage beckons diners with intimate table settings on its beautiful deck and side patio. Featured dishes include the Bayou Delight, crawfish and snow crab in a pineapple and mango mixture with special sauce. For sushi, sample the mango blue crab roll, a soybean wrap bundling Romaine lettuce, blue crabmeat chunks, mango and cucumber with sweet chili sauce. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ASIAN SUPER BUFFET
3900 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 712-0899

Asian Super Buffet needs seven buffet lines to set out its array of Chinese dishes such as sweet and sour chicken or beef and broccoli. Special dishes change regularly. American fare like pizza, garlic bread and apple pie increase your options. Mongolian barbecue dishes are cooked to order and allow diners a choice of meat and vegetables. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner buffet all day Sunday. Credit cards. $

ASSUNTA'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT
2631 Hwy. 190, Slidell, (985) 649-9768; www.assuntas.com

Assunta's offers hearty servings of lasagna, eggplant Parmesan and chicken cacciatore while also making a major specialty of local seafood treated to Italian preparations. The frutti di mare is loaded with mussels, clams, shrimp, crawfish, oysters and scallops, all sautéed in olive oil, garlic and diced tomatoes. Spaghetti aglio e olio is augmented with local oysters sautéed in olive oil and garlic. For dessert, there's spumoni, cheesecake and tiramisu. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

ATTIKI BAR & GRILL
230 Decatur St., 587-3756; www.attikineworleans.com

In some Middle Eastern areas, tobacco accompanies the dessert course following an intimate dinner with close friends. Attiki heeds that tradition by offering a selection of flavored tobaccos to enjoy in imported hookah pipes. Regular dining options include Attiki kebabs of marinated tenderloin tips or seafood as well as other Mediterranean dishes and sandwiches. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

AUDUBON GOLF CLUBHOUSE
6500 Magazine St., 212-5282; www.auduboninstitute.org

At breakfast, lunch or tee time, the bucolic setting of Audubon Park makes for an appetizing backdrop. At lunch, the kitchen scores a culinary hole-in-one with a clubhouse chicken salad platter, a combination of chunky diced chicken breast with pecans and red grapes on a bed of spring mix. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

AUGUST MOON
3635 Prytania St., 899-5129; www.augustmoonneworleans.com

From curry to moo shu pork to Szechuan dishes, August Moon offers a wide array of popular Chinese and Vietnamese specialties. The crispy lemongrass shrimp features jumbo shrimp pan seared with onions and minced lemongrass and served with vermicelli and nuoc cham sauce. The extensive menu is broken down into helpful categories such as chef's specialties, Chinese dishes and low-cholesterol items. Brown rice is available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

AUSTIN'S RESTAURANT
5101 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 888-5533; www.austinsno.com

The intimate dining room at Austin's offers charm one might not expect to find when parking in front of the small strip mall where it is located. But once inside, the setting is warm and inviting. Try the pecan-crusted trout, which is served with a meuniere sauce, potatoes and seasonal vegetables. If you're interested in steaks or chops, the veal Austin is panéed baby white veal topped with lump crabmeat, button mushrooms and green onions. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

THE AVENUE PUB
1732 St. Charles Ave., 586-9243

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

B

BABYLON CAFÉ
7724 Maple St., 314-0010

Babylon Café offers an array of familiar Mediterranean dishes including dips and grilled meats. There is hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel and crusty rolls in addition to pita bread. For entrees, order kebabs, gyros, shawarma and vegetarian dishes. Diners are welcome to bring their own wine. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

BACCO
310 Chartres St., 522-2426; www.bacco.com

Bacco combines Creole and Italian flavors in an elegant restaurant inside the chic W Hotel French Quarter. Popular dishes include lobster ravioli, which fills housemade ravioli with lobster and Gulf shrimp and bathes them in a champagne butter sauce. The garlic and rosemary pork tenderloin is hickory grilled and served with wilted escarole, rustic mashed potatoes and a sweet and sour prune sauce. Many of the pastas are made in house. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BALCONY BAR & CAFÉ
3201 Magazine St., 894-8888

The Balcony Bar is known for its huge selection of beers on draft and as a late-night draw for the Uptown party set. Belly up to the kitchen window to order tavern grub like the Balcony burger, a half-pound patty with sautéed onions, mushrooms and green peppers topped with bacon and jalapeños. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. 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 entrées. The menu combines standards from Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cooking, plus specialties like Cantonese barbecued duck and pecan-battered shrimp. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE BAR B Q PLACE
4100 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, 392-0001; ww.thebarbqplace.com

Located on the West Bank, this joint dishes up savory beef brisket, pulled pork and St. Louis style pork ribs, all hand rubbed with tangy seasoning and hardwood smoked for more than 12 hours. Tasty classic sides include baked-cheddar macaroni, Creole mashed potatoes, country-style coleslaw, smoked and baked potatoes and marinated onion loaf. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BARCIA'S GROCERY
3633 Annunciation St., 899-9111

The corner store is a fixture in New Orleans neighborhoods, and Barcia's stands out with its po-boys, club and roast beef sandwiches and hot plate items. Breakfast sandwiches are available in the morning for those on the go. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.- Fri. Cash only. $

BARU BISTRO & TAPAS
3700 Magazine St., 895-2225, www.barubistro.com

Chef Edgar Caro is inspired by his hometown, Cartagena, Colombia, along with influences from Cuba, Puerto Rica and the Caribbean. He's fused those elements to create tapas dishes such as Mazorca, grilled corn with Salao cheese, pink sauce and crunchy potato sticks. His quaint Uptown café also offers entrées like Lechon Cubano, slow-roasted pork shoulder served with coconut rice and ensalada de Papas. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BARU CAFÉ
3235 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 467-5404

Baru Café offers a flavorful tour of Caribbean-style Colombian cooking. A roasted corn salad with fried potato sticks and farmer's cheese is a popular appetizer, as are ceviche and mashed yucca stuffed with beef. The cazuela is a bouillabaisse of clams, mussels and shrimp in a garlic broth. Entrées include a 12-oz. rib-eye steak with chimichurri sauce, highly seasoned tilapia with coconut rice, and spicy Caribbean shrimp. Stop in at lunch for pressed Cuban sandwiches or wraps of grilled garlic shrimp with cheese. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BASIL LEAF
1438 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-9001

A Carrollton area favorite, Basil Leaf turns out elegant Thai fare in a relaxed atmosphere. The whole coconut curry overflows with sea scallops and shrimp sautéed with coconut meat and eggplant in red curry, and it is served in a coconut shell with jasmine rice. Pad Thai is a classic, with spicy rice noodles wok-sautéed with shrimp, chicken, bean sprouts and peanuts. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BAYONA
430 Dauphine St., 525-4455; www.bayona.com

Since 1990, the historic Creole cottage on Dauphine Street has been Susan Spicer's venue from which to introduce New Orleans to fresh, seasonal cuisine with an eclectic global flair. Don't miss the grilled duck breast with a pepper jelly glaze or her renowned goat cheese croutons with mushrooms in Madeira cream. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BAYOU COFFEE HOUSE & CAFÉ
326 N. Jefferson Davis Pkwy., 484-7390; www.bayoucoffeehouse.com

This Bayou St. John coffeeshop offers sweet treats like brownies and bananas Foster cheesecake as well as meal options. The $4 weekday breakfast consists of two eggs, bacon, grits and toast. Lunch features salads and sandwiches, chicken and shrimp pasta, pizzas and wraps as well as daily specials. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Fri.-Wed. Credit cards. $

THE BEACH HOUSE
2401 N. Woodlawn Ave., Metairie, 456-7470

The Beach House has a casual vibe and a mix of burgers, po-boys, steaks and seafood. The lobster dinner features a boiled 1 1/4 pound lobster served with spicy corn and potatoes. The pork chop dinner includes a marinated and grilled 12-oz. chop served with salad, garlic bread and choice of French fries, baked potato or baked sweet potato. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., latenight Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BEACHCORNER BAR & GRILL
4905 Canal St., 488-7357

There's more on the menu, but the classic 10-oz. ground sirloin burger with a hint of garlic is the big catch at Beachcorner. Lighter options include the 8-oz. grilled tuna steak served in a sandwich or on a salad. The grilled chicken salad comes loaded with fresh lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and choice of dressings including low-fat options. Or grab a drink and a basket of fries and watch sports on one of the many TVs. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BEAN GALLERY
637 N. Carrollton Ave., 324-8176

Near City Park, Bean Gallery offers espresso, iced coffee drinks and strong, thick Turkish coffee. Bagels, muffins, croissants and egg sandwiches constitute breakfast, alongside the Italian sausage and egg sandwich with cheddar cheese. For lunch, try the popular turkey and roasted red pepper panini, or the prosciutto and asparagus panini. There is selection of gelato including old favorites like chocolate, pistachio, strawberry and coffee and more exotic flavors. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

BEAR'S RESTAURANT
128 W. 21st Ave., Covington, (985) 892-2373

This Northshore eatery specializes in oversized, overstuffed po-boys that could sate a hungry bear's appetite. The hands-down top seller is the home-cooked roast beef po-boy slathered with gravy or tangy barbecue sauce. Also available are shrimp, chicken and cheeseburger po-boys. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

BECK-N-CALL CAFÉ
534 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 875-9390

At Beck-N-Call Café, 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 etouffée and homemade lasagna. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

BEEBE'S
7224 Pontchartrain Blvd., 302-9657

At the Lakefront, Beebe's offers local seafood and a worldly approach to fine dining with dishes like Gulf shrimp tempura with spicy Thai curry. Soy- and sake-steamed mahi mahi is served with soba noodles, ginger and lemongrass. Sunday's jazz brunch features crepes with Gulf shrimp and blue crab. For a final course, sample from the cheese selection or try a dessert like hot donuts with chicory sauce and Kahlua cream. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

BEEF CONNECTION
501 Gretna Blvd., Gretna, 366-3275

West Bank beefeaters know to go to the Beef Connection for large New York strips, rib-eyes and T-bones. Lunch is a bargain because steaks come with a selection of two sides such as creamy potatoes au gratin or the vegetable of the day. The steakhouse also cooks seafood from grilled salmon or tuna to Maine lobster. Catfish is the special on Fridays. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

BEGUE'S RESTAURANT AT THE ROYAL SONESTA
300 Bourbon St., 553-2278: www.beguesrestaurant.com

Named for Madame Begue, a New Orleans culinary icon from the 19th century, this opulently appointed hotel restaurant features modern interpretations of Creole cooking. Friday's bountiful seafood buffet is a popular attraction. Off the á la carte menu, try classics like sherried turtle soup or something more exotic like the framboise-braised bison rack served with Parmesan potato gratin. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

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 sautéed mix of lightly battered and fried chicken slices with julienned carrots and celery in sweet and spicy brown sauce. General Tso's shrimp features flash-fried jumbo shrimp sautéed with red and green bell peppers, carrots and onions in a tangy sauce. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. 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 espresso drink of ice cream blended with chocolate and topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. 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

The Vermont duo behind Ben & Jerry's mixed up an ice cream lover's dream that's equally rich, sweet and witty. In addition to ice cream in basic flavor varieties, there are specials like the waffle cone sundae filled with any flavor and topped with hot fudge or caramel, whipped cream and a choice of toppings. 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. $

BENNACHIN
1212 Royal St., 522-1230

To taste the links between West African and Creole culinary traditions, head to Bennachin and sample dishes like the African version of jambalaya and okra-based stews. Other representative dishes include a stew of beef and ground nuts served with rice and black-eye pea fritters. Vegetarian options abound and the BYOB policy keeps the tab low. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $$

BENNIGAN'S GRILL AND TAVERN
3010 Holiday Drive, 394-2805; 3434 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-0664; www.bennigans.com

Bennigan's offers American pub favorites like grilled burgers and steaks and dishes ranging from fish and chips to shrimp tempura to Guinness-glazed chicken and shrimp. There's a wide range of appetizers and sampler platters with everything from Buffalo wings or shrimp to broccoli bites. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BESH STEAKHOUSE AT HARRAH'S
4 Canal St., 533-6111; www.harrahs.com

It's high steaks and no risk at chef John Besh's steakhouse in Harrah's Casino. From the amber bar to the bright, open kitchen, the steakhouse sets the stage for decadent meals of generously sized steaks like the 38-oz. cowboy rib-eye and the big New York strip. Gulf seafood dominates the appetizer menu, and there are rustic elements like Jacob's andouille in the gumbo. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BETSY'S PANCAKE HOUSE
2542 Canal St., 822-0213

Betsy's offers fast and affordable breakfast fare in Mid-City. Dig into a short stack of pancakes or try Belgian waffles with bananas, nuts and whipped cream. One of the most reliable deals in town is the breakfast special of eggs, bacon, grits and pancakes for $4. The Western omelet breaks eggs with ham, onion and bell pepper with picante sauce on top. The lunch menu features an array of sandwiches and po-boys. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Sun.-Fri. Credit cards. $

BIG AL'S SEAFOOD
1377 Annunciation St., 265-0324

A historic firehouse is the setting for Big Al's, a purveyor of Louisiana-style seafood dishes. Start with a dozen raw or grilled oysters, then tackle one of Al's overstuffed po-boys, a huge seafood platter or specialties like fried frog legs or alligator, There also is boiled seafood. Catfish lovers should drop in on Wednesdays for Big Al's mid-week all-you-can-eat special. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

BIG DADDY'S SEAFOOD
1023 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 301-1907; www.bigdaddysseafoodllc.com

While this Metairie market specializes in fresh seafood, it also carries prepared foods to go, such as seafood gumbo and stuffed artichoke. Patrons also can order boiled crab, crawfish or shrimp and dine in. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $

BISTRO 38
3838 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 836-5253; www.bistro38restaurant.com

Chef Dominique Macquet serves rustic French cuisine at his Metairie bistro. The 12-oz. rib-eye is prepared with Dijon, parsley and butter and served with wedged potatoes and French green beans. For those in the mood for seafood, Dominique's Louisiana bouillabaisse combines fresh fish, shrimp, oysters and crawfish in a rich seafood broth. For dessert, there are crepes, bananas Foster and chocolate mousse. Lunch features more New Orleans-style salads and sandwiches. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BISTRO AT THE MAISON DE VILLE
733 Toulouse St., 528-9206; www.maisondeville.com

Chef/proprietor Greg Picolo oversees both the intimate kitchen and cozy dining room at the Bistro. Try the duck cassoulet which is duck confit, breast of duck and Italian sausage with cannellini beans. Other dishes include seared foie gras with wild rice, and moules frites, mussels steamed in white wine sauce and served with homemade French fries. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BISTRO DAISY
5831 Magazine St., 899-6987

The cheery brightness of the restaurant's facade suggests its floral namesake, while inside, deep purple walls create an intimate, moodier dining atmosphere. Try the signature Daisy salad, composed of fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, baby arugula, pine nuts and white balsamic vinaigrette. Entrées are equally elaborate, and dishes include crawfish mascarpone ravioli. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

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, paninis, salads and homemade soups are offered at lunch. There's a choice of several daily specials. Popular iced cappuccinos and a host of specialty coffee drinks can handle any coffee fix. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

BLUE PLATE CAFÉ
1330 Prytania St., 309-9500

Blue ceramic-tile tables and decorative plates brighten this cute café, but the real eye-opener is the food. A full breakfast menu offers everything from fluffy, veggie-stuffed omelets to three varieties of pancakes to quiche and breakfast burritos. Lunch features homemade soups and daily specials. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat. Credit cards. $

BLUE TOMATO
4401 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 734-3000

Popular for its eclectic mix of dishes and kitschy decor, this cantina also features Mexican food such as fajitas and carnitas, alongside classic American burgers, pizza and pasta. The menu also includes dishes like yellowfin tuna and smoked ribs served with a side of pineapple baked beans and coleslaw. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

BLUEBIRD CAFÉ
3625 Prytania St., 895-7166

Breakfast staples such as buckwheat pancakes, waffles and eggs taper off into lunchtime menu of burgers, fish sandwiches and salads at this casual café. 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. $

BOMBAY CLUB
830 Conti St., 586-0972; www.thebombayclub.com

With overstuffed leather armchairs, rich wood and stately portraiture, the Bombay club oozes English-manor charm. Icy martinis from the extensive cocktail menu are a perfect prelude to the kitchen's creative offerings. Try the Cajun-grilled sirloin or pancetta-wrapped diver scallops. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BON TON CAFÉ
401 Magazine St., 524-3386; www.thebontoncafe.com

The Bon Ton has been a scion on the Creole and Cajun dining scene since 1953. Menu classics include turtle soup, crawfish etouffée and fried crawfish tails with Alzina's special sauce. The namesake redfish Bon Ton is seasoned, seared and then broiled with lemon butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$$

BOURBON HOUSE
144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com

Bourbon House presents fresh local seafood at both the raw bar and in a wide range of Creole dishes. Redfish on the half shell is grilled skin-on and served with a side of lemon-butter sauce. Diners can sweeten the deal by adding optional crabmeat with a Chardonnay broth. From the raw bar, a platter of fruits of the sea include fresh-shucked oysters on the half-shell, boiled Gulf shrimp, marinated crab fingers, roasted calamari and crawfish salad. The bar offers a full range of premium and small batch bourbons. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BRAVO CUCINA ITALIANA
3413 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-8828; www.bravoitalian.com

There's more than just traditional Italian fare to applaud at Bravo. In addition to lasagna, pasta and pizza, this restaurant fires up unique creations such as fried shrimp topped with charred tomato and lemon-butter sauce. Hickory wood-grilled salmon is served with crispy potatoes and lemon-caper butter sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BREAUX MART
315 E. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, 262-0750; 605 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 433-0333; 2904 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-5565; 3233 Magazine St., 262-0750; 9647 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-8146; 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. Side-dish options include macaroni and cheese, dirty rice and candied yams. For dessert, try the apple or peach cobblers. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

BRENNAN'S RESTAURANT
417 Royal St., 525-9711; www.brenn ansneworleans.com

Breakfast is the signature experience at Brennan's, but it serves classic Creole cuisine all the time. Start the day with the brandy milk punch and ease into rich hollandaise-laden courses of poached eggs or veal and crabmeat. For dessert there is the restaurant's original creation, bananas Foster, made tableside. In the evenings, classics like the trout amandine and crabs béarnaise shine in traditional Creole style. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BRICK OVEN CAFÉ
2805 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-2097

Brick Oven Café offers an extensive menu of gourmet pizza, fish, beef, chicken and veal in classic New Orleans-Italian style. The Brick Oven filet is a 10-oz. steak grilled to order and topped with garlic butter. The redfish piccata is a broiled fillet topped with grilled shrimp and crawfish lemon-butter sauce, served with angel hair pasta in marinara sauce. No reservations. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BRIGTSEN'S RESTAURANT
723 Dante St., 861-7610; www.brigtsens.com

Frank and Marna Brigtsen welcome guests into their converted shotgun house for a tour de force of contemporary Louisiana cuisine. House specialties include roast pork tenderloin with sweet potato dirty rice and pork debris sauce, blackened yellowfin tuna with smoked corn sauce, red bean salsa and avocado sour cream and a unique seafood platter without a single fried item. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

THE BROKEN EGG CAFÉ
200 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 624-3388; www.anotherbrokenegg.com

The Broken Egg specializes in big stuffed omelets but has plenty of breakfast options. The Southern Crab Stack piles a crab cake on a grits cake and adds andouille and shrimp cream sauce. Also consider the stuffed French toast: brioche bread laden with pastry cream, fresh berries and whipped cream. For dessert, try the classic bananas Foster bread pudding. Reservations accepted weekdays. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

BROOKLYN PIZZA
4301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-1288

Thin-crust, New York-style pies are the main attraction at Brooklyn Pizza. Assemble your own version with a selection of toppings including pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, black olives, banana peppers, salami and ricotta cheese. Brooklyn offers hero-style sandwiches, all available hot, as well as a hearty Philly cheesesteak, Italian salads and pasta dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

BROOKS SEAHORSE SALOON
1648 Gentilly Blvd., 218-4217

Even though it sits across from the Fair Grounds, Brooks isn't just for after Jazz Fest, serving burgers and sandwiches from lunch through late-night. Appetizers include cheese sticks, stuffed olives and egg rolls. The popular burger is a chargrilled half pound of ground sirloin. The grilled chicken sandwich is a marinated chicken breast dressed and served with a choice of fries or potato salad. Late-nighters can snack on corndogs. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BROTHERS' NEW ORLEANS CAFÉ
1502 Lapalco Blvd., Harvey, 366-1073

For more than 32 years, Brothers' kitchen has turned out signature fried food made with a special batter. But hungry diners shouldn't overlook the generously seasoned hamburger steak. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

BROUSSARD'S RESTAURANT
819 Conti St., 581-3866; www.broussards.com

This French Quarter institution is known for its pretty courtyard, elegant dining rooms and mix of Creole and Continental dishes. Pompano Broussard's combines grilled pompano, scallops and shrimp in a phyllo pastry shell complemented by a mustard-caper sauce. The Louisiana bouillabaisse simmers shrimp, scallops, mussels, fish and oysters in a savory saffron-tomato broth and is garnished with crabmeat and rouille croutons. The veal chop and the wild game grill are popular meat selections. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BRUNO'S TAVERN
7538 Maple St., 861-7615; www.brunostavern.com

For more than seven decades, Bruno's has been a spot for students and neighbors to relax and blow off steam. The tavern's ever-expanding menu is available throughout the day and includes such temptations as Boudreaux cheese fries: sweet potato fries smothered with roast beef debris, gravy and blue cheese, then broiled with golden raisins and spiced pecans. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BUBBA GUMP SHRIMP COMPANY
429 Decatur St., 522-5800; www.bubbagump.com

Drawing on the fame of 1994 hit film Forrest Gump, this whimsical seafood restaurant is decked out in film memorabilia. The references even continue on the menu, where customers find the Run Forrest Run smoothie and the Mama Blue's Southern Charmed Fried Shrimp. Shrimp are served every way imaginable except in a box of chocolates. A gift shop and music from the film's soundtrack playing in the dining room complete the Gump experience. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BUD'S BROILER
Citywide

Bud's is best known for its charcoal-broiled burgers. The topping choices keep it simple: hickory-smoked sauce, grated cheese or another burger patty. The few non-burger options are hot dogs, a chicken breast sandwich on a bun and a broiled fish fillet sandwich. Complete a meal with a side item like onion rings or French fries, which can be spiced up with chili and cheese. For dessert, there are apple, peach and cherry pies. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Cash only. $

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, but the neighborhood spot offers housemade biscuits in sausage gravy and build-your-own omelets with up to 10 fillings. At night the "Border of the Quarter Café" serves up pub grub with a twist, including fresh salads and Cajun-seasoned steaks, plus burgers and sandwiches. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

THE BUFFET AT HARRAH'S
8 Canal Street, at the River, 533-6000; www.harrahsneworleans.com

Harrah's buffet has something for everyone from Pacific Rim dishes to Creole and French fare. Just a few of the offerings include Creole gumbo, Kolby steamship round, smoked salmon and Louisiana's famous turducken. The dessert bar has more than 40 items. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily, Sun. brunch. Credit cards. $$

THE BULLDOG
3236 Magazine St., 891-1516; 5153 Canal Blvd., 488-4191; www.draftfreak.com

Beer would seem like the main food group at the Bulldog with its voluminous menu of brews from the world over, but there is a good selection of solid food. There are chicken sandwiches hot off the grill and more creative bar fare like the Crawfish Bandito, a mixture of crawfish and spices rolled in a tortilla and fried. The chicken and sausage gumbo is served in a bread bowl. Uptown: Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Mid-City: Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

BULL'S CORNER
1036 W. Airline Hwy., Laplace, (985) 652-3544; www.bullscorner.com

The filet Norton, chargrilled filet mignon served on top of marinated portobello mushrooms and topped with Danish blue cheese and garlic butter, is still Bull's signature dish, but the menu offers up plenty to choose from. Daily lunch specials include baby-back ribs, and save room for one of the special desserts such as bread pudding or chocolate overload, which is a hot brownie topped with ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BURGERS GONE WILD
3613 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 838-8311

Despite the name's reference to the famous DVD series, the only provocative thing here is the food. Sautéed onions, Brie, lettuce, tomato and mayo smother the French burger. The Burger Dawg is loaded with chili, cheddar cheese, onions and mayo, and is served on a hot dog bun. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

BUSTER'S PLACE
519 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 809-3880

Named for the proprietor's grandfather, Buster's is a new restaurant that hopes to draw on a familiar name. There is an oyster bar and a menu that ranges from crab and corn bisque, fried crawfish tails and crabmeat-stuffed jalapenos to fried seafood platters, burgers and po-boys. Chicken La Louisianne features two grilled chicken breasts topped with creamy mushroom and crawfish tail sauce served over rice with salad. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

BUSTER'S SOUL FOOD
2135 St. Charles Ave., 522-6602

Buster's Soul Food offers a hearty menu of pork chops, smothered chicken, seafood and alligator sausage po-boys, jambalaya, gumbo and more. Barbecue ribs are a specialty here, but also check out the daily specials. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BYBLOS
1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9773; 3218 Magazine St., 894-1233

Byblos combines a rotisserie with many popular Mediterranean dishes like chicken shawarma and lamb dishes. The drunken halloumi appetizer is Cypriot cheese lightly pan-fried with ouzo, served over tomato slices with garlic aoili. The menu also offers salads. Belly dancers perform Thursday nights at the Uptown restaurant. 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. $

BYWATER BAR-B-QUE
3162 Dauphine St., 944-4445

Chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork aren't the only tempting combinations at this longtime neighborhood hot spot. Specials change daily, and the weekend brunch draws neighborhood regulars for morning meals like fluffy biscuits in rich sausage gravy. Be sure to check out the lush back patio during nice weather. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue. Cash only. $

C

CC'S COFFEEHOUSE
Citywide; www.communitycoffee.com

Whether you're grabbing a cup to go or settling in for awhile, CC's brews a full range of specialty coffee drinks and has all the extras to wake up in the morning or relax during the day. A locally founded chain, Community Coffee serves its own special blends. Sweet options include pastries, muffins and cookies. Many locations also have wireless Internet. No reservations. Hours vary by location. 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.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ 59
1931 Hwy. 59, Mandeville, (985) 727-1120; www.internationalrollsplus.com

Café 59 in Mandeville offers eclectic breakfast offerings like Alexis' Wake-Up Yogurt Banana Split and eggs Benedict Caribbean style. Lunchtime's Baja fish taco with grilled catfish is topped with Baja sauce, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro and lime and served with beans, salsa verde and chips. Dinner features dishes like Asian-Cajun shrimp fried rice and crawfish pasta. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Wed., Fri.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ ADELAIDE AND SWIZZLE STICK BAR
300 Poydras St., 595-3305; www.cafeadelaide.com

Shrimp and tasso corndogs with a five-pepperjelly, pickled okra, chicory greens and Crystal hot sauce butter showcase chef Danny Trace's talent for turning Southern favorites into something new. Other selections reflect a master's approach to fine contemporary Creole cuisine, like the herb roasted bay snapper with blue crab, fire roasted corn, oyster mushrooms and baby spinach. Citrus lacquered mahi mahi is topped with Creole-spiced Louisiana shrimp. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE AMELIE
912 Royal St., 412-8965; www.princessofmonaco.com

A gorgeous courtyard and historic Creole carriage house offer romantic charm at this hidden gem in the heart of the French Quarter. Start a meal with the crab cake thick with local jumbo lump crabmeat and topped with a citrus drizzle. Entrées include dishes like roasted salmon with horseradish cream. Reservations recommended. Breakfast Sat., lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CAFÉ ARABESQUE
127 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-7233; www.cafearabesque.com

Housed in an artfully renovated shotgun house, Arabesque combines a cozy and intimate setting with an eclectic menu of tapas-style small plates and entrées drawing from Middle Eastern, Caribbean and Latin American traditions. Appetizer dips like hummus or baba ghanoush are served alongside New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, Italian-style antipasti and entrées of steak and pasta. The Arabian pancakes with pistachio gelato is a must try. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ ATCHAFALAYA
901 Louisiana Ave., 891-9626; www.cafeatchafalaya.com

Tucked away on the edge of the Garden District, the bright and spacious interior of this café is a pretty spot to enjoy creative Creole cooking. Stuffed flounder features fillets wrapped around Louisiana oyster dressing and is complemented with a spicy sriracha butter sauce. Redfish Barataria is a breaded and pan-seared fillet topped with shrimp, crab and smoked tomato cream, resting on a bed of artichoke and fennel relish. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ BANQUETTE
3445 Prytania St., 891-5773

For a casual lunch or dinner, amble into this comfortably appointed tavern and try the namesake Banquette burger topped with bacon, grilled onions and cheddar cheese. Sandwiches include many familiar po-boy options like roast beef or fried seafood. Shrimp and crawfish Alfredeaux is made with white wine cream sauce and served over penne pasta. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ BEIGNET
311 Bourbon St., 525-2611; 334B Royal St., 524-5530; 819 Decatur St., 522-9929; www.cafebeignet.com

Café Beignet's three locations in the French Quarter offer a variety of New Orleans favorites including fresh beignets and crawfish cakes. Cajun hashbrowns combine andouille sausage, potatoes, bell peppers and red onion, and come with French bread and scrambled eggs. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ D'CAPPUCCINO
4041 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-2299

This busy little café's breakfast plate delivers eggs, bacon or sausage, grits and your choice of toast or biscuit. Dolph's wrap is filled with egg and cheese plus bacon or sausage. The lunch and dinner menus offer an array of wraps, burgers and sandwiches as well as the popular homemade chicken salad. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFÉ DEGAS
3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635; www.cafedegas.com

Whether it's the quintessential French bistro atmosphere, the inviting covered-patio dining area or the daily list of chef's specials, Café Degas draws regulars from across the city. Popular dishes include Dijon-crusted rack of Australian lamb served with hushpuppies and a rosemary demi-glace. Pan-fried sweetbreads are served over citrus-marinated artichokes with Meyer lemon marmalade. Housemade hogshead cheese is served with baby greens, Creole mustard and pickled okra. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ DIBLASI
1801 Stumpf Blvd., Terrytown, 361-3106

Café DiBlasi offers traditional Italian dishes in a casual setting. Popular dishes include osso buco of baby veal shanks roasted in veal broth and served with red sauce. The bracioloni wraps Italian meat and cheeses into a round and simmers it in tomato sauce. The dish is served with pasta and a garden salad. Italian favorites such as lasagna and spaghetti are also available. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ DITALI
2104 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 361-0058

The only requirement to dine at this West Bank Italian eatery is a healthy appetite. Regulars love the chicken Pomodori served with onions, bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes cooked in butter and covered in both Alfredo and marinara sauces. Calzones include meat-heavy options like a mix of pepperoni, ground beef, sausage and Canadian bacon with mozzarella and marinara. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ DU MONDE
Citywide; www.cafedumonde.com

Café du Monde is a landmark built on coffee and donuts. Café au lait with chicory and airy beignets loaded with powdered sugar have made the original location world famous and spawned new coffee stands throughout the area. Even with the relatively recent addition of orange juice and a soda fountain, the brief menu might as well be
written in stone. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Cash only. $

CAFÉ EAST
4628 Rye St., Metairie, 888-0078; www.cafeeastnola.com

Café East takes an upscale and creative approach to many traditional Chinese and southeast Asian recipes. The extensive wine list offers many selections to complement the wide array of flavors on the menu. Dishes range from sesame-seared tuna steaks and honey-walnut shrimp to marinated and wok-seared duck served with ginger-soy glaze and Thai-style red snapper. The menu takes cues from Japan, Mongolia and many Chinese regional cuisines. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ ENVIE
1241 Decatur St., 524-3689; www.myspace.com/envienola

Not far from the French Market, Café Envie is a comfortable spot to sip coffee drinks at an outdoor table or grab a bite to eat. The small menu includes sandwiches, bagels and a changing variety of pastries. Specials include gourmet quiches filled with salmon, Gruyere and crumbled bacon or apple and sausage. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ EQUATOR
2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-4772

Café Equator brings the flavors of the Southern hemisphere to south Louisiana. With house specialties of pad Thai and pad woon sen — clear noodles sautéed with chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, onions and zucchini — culinary paradise is never far away. Reservations recommended for parties of five or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ FLEUR DE LIS
307 Chartres St., 529-9641; www.cafefleurdelis.com

At this sunny French Quarter spot, the classic muffaletta gets a makeover as a hot, crispy pressed panini sandwich. Omelets stuffed with crawfish tails and other inventive takes on New Orleans classics highlight the early-morning menu. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ FRERET
7329 Freret St., 861-7890

Casual and comfortable with plenty of outdoor seating, Café Freret puts its own spin on familiar favorites. Try the muffaleta or bite into the big voodoo burger, a half-pound patty smothered in the house "Bomb" sauce and topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms, bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomato, pickles and Creole mayo. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Fri.-Wed., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ FRESCA
4441 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 887-2010

Stop by Café Fresca for homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and regular specials like the fried chicken club salad with crumbled bacon, avocado, chopped egg, tomatoes and croutons served over a bed of fresh greens. If you're craving a taste of the Southwest, the Santa Fe mixes marinated and chargrilled chicken breast with mashed avocado, tomato and onion relish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFÉ GIOVANNI
117 Decatur St., 527-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com

Chef Duke LoCicero takes an innovative approach with his combinations of Creole flavors and Italian cuisine at his romantic, upscale French Quarter café. His signature oysters Giovanni features lightly battered, fried Louisiana oysters plated with five sauces arranged in a pattern modeled after stained glass. Meanwhile, the quattro formaggio al forno is lightly breaded veal baked to a golden brown, topped with four cheeses and served with penne pasta tossed in the chef's special marinara sauce. The café has a large lounge and martini menu. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

CAFÉ GRANADA
1506 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-1612

The former Fiesta Bistro has refocused its menu on Spanish cuisine. The menu includes a wide range of hot and cold tapas, including many vegetarian choices. Fresh seasonal fish complements the classic paella with shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, chunks of chicken and peas. Another popular dish is the lamb tajine topped with plums. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ LATTE II
2324 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-6343

It's easy to make this café part of your regular workday routine with breakfast in the morning and lunch in the afternoon. 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. $

CAFÉ LUNA
802 Nashville Ave., 269-2444

Pastries and panini sandwiches are served from the small counter inside this cozy coffeehouse. Many Café Luna regulars are partial to a perch on the grand porch overlooking Magazine Street to relax with a book and their choice of coffee drinks or loose-leaf and herbal teas. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ LYNN
3051 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-9007; www.cafelynn.com

Café Lynn serves classic French-Creole cuisine with plenty of local flair in a romantic atmosphere that now extends to Sunday brunch service. The scallops Provencal is a dish of pan-seared sea scallops served with fresh herbs, persillade and pistou, blends of parsley, basil, olive oil and garlic. The restaurant's signature dish is a blend of local seafood stuffed inside roasted eggplant. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ MADEA'S
731 Common St., 558-3998

This tiny downtown café provides customers with huge portions of flavorful soul food staples. Dishes like red beans, jambalaya, gumbo, pork chops in gravy, chicken pot pie and fried catfish keep regulars coming back. Burgers, salads and sandwiches provide other options. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., early dinner Fri. Cash only. $

CAFÉ MASPERO
601 Decatur St., 523-6250

With its dining room windows open to Decatur Street, passersby have always gotten a preview of the café's big platters of seafood, fried shrimp po-boys and local dishes like jambalaya. Try the signature fresh strawberry daiquiri, or warm up with a crock of French onion soup. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

CAFÉ MINH
4139 Canal St., 482-6266
French-Vietnamese fusion dishes are the specialty at Café Minh. Chef Minh Bui's new offering is a grilled veal chop with artichoke au gratin. Be sure to start with the shrimp dumplings, coconut shrimp or crabmeat and sweet corn soup. Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls include shrimp, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and rice noodles wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut-citrus dipping sauce. For dessert, try the poached pear marinated in Shiraz and finished with Saigon cinnamon. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ NAVARRE
800 Navarre Ave., 483-8828

Customers drop by Café Navarre for one of its popular sandwiches. The roast beef po-boy features juicy roast beef debris on Leidenheimer French bread. The Cuban sandwich is a panini-pressed combination of pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles mustard and mayonnaise. It is served with chips or shoestring fries. The Friday special is a po-boy of barbecue shrimp cooked in a very spicy sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. 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-yet-satisfying menu of juicy burgers, tangy barbecue and tender ribs. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ NINO
1510 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-9200

Chef/owner Nino Bongiorno makes everyone feel at home in his casual pizza restaurant. But diners also come for big, affordably priced portions of Italian favorites like chicken or veal Marsala, eggplant parmigiana and pasta with meatballs. Pizza options include thin-crust pizza or thick-crust Sicilian pies. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Checks. $$

CAFÉ PONTALBA
546 St. Peter St., 522-1180

From its perch on the corner of Jackson Square, Café Pontalba offers a menu tour of New Orleans favorites. Dishes like etouffée, jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and po-boys are mainstays. Fried seafood options like shrimp, oysters and catfish also are popular choices. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ PONTCHARTRAIN AT TREASURE CHEST CASINO
5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, (800) 298-0711; www.treasurechest.com

The chips at these tables go for much lower stakes than elsewhere at the Treasure Chest. Stop by the buffet for hot daily specials like chicken-fried steak, hot tamales, red beans and rice or spaghetti and meatballs. Or try one of the daily specials such as barbecue beef brisket. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ RANI
2917 Magazine St., 895-2500

Café Rani's menu has new entreés, including a portobello mushroom and smoked Gouda quesadilla resting on a bed of Caesar salad, and the Soprano salad featuring mixed greens, artichoke hearts, pesto chicken, olive salad, feta cheese and homemade creamy Parmesan dressing. Low-carb items are also available. There's also an array of sandwiches, salads, burgers and pasta dishes. You can dine inside the cool café or take in the New Orleans breeze under the trees on the patio. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ RECONCILE
1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157; www.cafereconcile.com

This Central City café offers hearty Creole cooking served cafeteria style as it helps young people gain experience for productive careers in the restaurant and hospitality industries. The menu changes daily, but some of the regular dishes include smothered pork chops, fried catfish, shrimp etouffée, shrimp Creole and white beans and shrimp. For dessert, try the bananas Foster bread pudding. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ ROMA
Citywide

Café Roma's original location was known for gourmet pies. Now there are several independent Café Romas that offer gourmet pizza as well as salads, pasta dishes and more. Delivery is available from locations in the Lower Garden District, North Causeway Boulevard, Gretna and in the French Quarter. There is a wide variety of toppings. Other menu items vary by location. The Lower Garden Café Roma offers pasta dishes. No reservations. Delivery available from some locations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ ROSE NICAUD
632 Frenchmen St., 949-3300
This Marigny café gives its patrons a choice between sidewalk seating or comfy armchairs indoors while lingering over espresso drinks, coffees and teas. A menu change puts the focus on healthy and nutritious food, including specialty breakfast plates with a variety of quiches and homemade vegetarian lasagna. Sunday supper offers a three-course prix fixe menu. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Sun. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ ROYALE
3343 Metairie Rd., Metairie, 304-8438
Fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner choices make Café Royale a great stop whether you dine in or grab a bite to go. The Thai chicken salad is flavored with almonds and spicy peanut and ginger dressings over romaine lettuce. Tuesday's special is veal pot roast, cooked until tender and served with mashed potatoes, salad and garlic bread. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFFE ANGELINA
5024 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 889-7770
This casual, family-run Italian restaurant serves fresh, homemade foods, including a large selection of salads, soups, sandwiches and dinner entrées. Roast beef Angelina features tender roast beef dressed with lettuce, tomato, onions, sprouts, sweet peppers, avocado and creamy horseradish sauce on ciabatta bread. The muffuletta is a traditional sandwich of imported salami, mortadella, ham, Swiss cheese and olive salad on Italian bread. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFFE! CAFFE!
3900 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 727-4222; 4301 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 885-4845; www.caffecaffe.com
It's not all about coffee at Caffe! Caffe! An expansive menu offers daily specials including soups, sandwiches, salads, quiches 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. $

CAJUN MIKE'S PUB 'N' GRUB
116 Baronne St., 566-0055; www.cajunmikes.com
The sandwiches at this local tavern pack a punch. The namesake Cajun Mike combines roast beef, Swiss, coleslaw and Russian dressing on rye, while the Streetcar Special layers turkey, havarti, cucumbers and tomatoes on sourdough. Check out the "Welfare Wednesdays" happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with bargain-priced drinks and appetizers. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CALAS BISTRO AND WINE CELLAR
910A W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 471-2200; www.calasbistro.com
Named for the sweet, deep-fried rice cakes that used to be a Creole staple, Calas features a tasting menu-style appetizer that combines shrimp, jambalaya and andouille versions of calas, all served with a green onion pepper jelly dipping sauce. The grilled seafood platter includes Gulf fish with roasted tomato and caper buerre blanc, baked oysters Rockefeller, a barbecue shrimp spring roll and crabmeat ravigote. Sweet dessert options include piña colada cheesecake and lemon icebox créme brulée. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CALYPSO PATIO BAR AND GRILL
326 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 875-9676
The cuisine at Calypso brings a distinctly island vibe to New Orleans flavor with appetizers like the beer-battered coconut shrimp and crab cakes with white remoulade. The 12-oz. rib-eye is topped with Argentine chimichurri sauce and served with salad and choice of sides. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAMELLIA CAFÉ
69455 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 809-6313
This family-friendly spot offers up a menu weighted with local favorites, including the creamy corn and crab bisque loaded with shrimp, crabmeat and corn. The fried seafood platter comes piled high with golden-fried shrimp, catfish, oysters, stuffed crabs and stuffed shrimp. The 8-oz. filet mignon is available Monday through Thursday for $14.95. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAMELLIA GRILL
626 S. Carrollton Ave., 309-2679
The counter at Camellia is a popular destination for college students, tourists and families. They all queue up at this landmark diner for inexpensive meals of omelets, sandwiches and hot pie off the grill. The chili cheese omelet may be the ultimate in decadence. For others, Camellia's cool milkshakes, called freezes, are tops. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAMPBELL'S COFFEE & TEA
516 S. Tyler St., Covington, (985) 246-6992
Paninis are a house specialty at this Covington café, with fillings like roast turkey, ham, artichoke and various cheeses. The "muffulini" is a pressed ciabatta bread sandwich filled with olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss, provolone, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. Other specialties include home-baked items like blueberry, carrot and banana-nut muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls with plenty of butter cream icing. Changing soup specials include broccoli and cheese, chicken enchilada or shrimp and corn bisque. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CANNON'S RESTAURANT
4141 St. Charles Ave., 891-3200; www.cannonsrestaurants.com
Cannon's has a stately presence on St. Charles Avenue. Streetcars rumble by while diners enjoy American classic dining with a New Orleans twist like the crab cakes Salvatore served over linguine with crawfish sauce. A post-Katrina menu addition, the Blue Roof burger is topped with melted blue cheese and dressed with all the fixings. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CANSECO'S MARKET
1519 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-5979; 3135 Esplanade Ave., 322-2549
Canseco's Market opened a second location on Esplanade Avenue when it took over the space formerly occupied by Whole Foods. Canseco's stocks fresh produce, meat and fish, and a large selection of cheeses, beer and wine. There is also a deli counter for hot daily specials, sandwiches and sides like pasta and potato salads. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CARMELO RISTORANTE
541 Decatur St., 586-1414; www.ristorantecarmelo.com
With a balcony offering panoramic views of riverfront bustle and a menu of richly sauced pasta, meats and seafood, Carmelo has long been a popular French Quarter destination. Some house specialties include the vitello piccata with white veal in a light lemon butter sauce and the lobster fra diavolo with a whole steamed lobster in spicy marinara with clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari, all served over linguine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

CARMINE'S ITALIAN SEAFOOD & GRILL
4101 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-7904
Carmine's menu pays homage to the intersection of Creole and Italian cooking with dishes combining elements of both traditions. The seafood-stuffed artichoke is a steamed artichoke loaded with shrimp and fish served with dill cream sauce. Veal Bucktown features panéed veal topped with crawfish cream sauce, served over angel hair pasta with red sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CARNAVAL GRILL & BAR & CHURRASCARIA
2501 Canal St., 822-4639
Try steak and other meats roasted on skewers in the Brazilian steakhouse style at this Mid-City restaurant. The lunch buffet features grilled beef, lamb, pork, chicken and sausages. There is also a bar of hot and cold salad items like rice and beans, shrimp stew and fried plantains. Wash it all down with a Brazilian fruit soda. Live music and DJs provide entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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

CARROLLTON STATION
8140 Willow St., 865-9190; www.carrolltonstation.com
While singer/songwriters can be heard belting out their country twang at the music hall end of the tavern, Tex-Mex fare takes center stage in the kitchen. Tacos, burritos and quesadillas are popular choices. For those feeling a tad more adventuresome, try the tuna wrap with spicy dipping sauce. No reservations. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CASA GARCIA
800 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 951-8226; 8814 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 464-0354
Diners at this Tex-Mex cantina can go straight for famililar dishes like tamales, tacos and enchiladas or try some of the unique options. La Torta Loca is a south of the border po-boy made with choice of beef, chicken or pork tenderloin dressed with lettuce, tomato and caramelized onions. Chiles rellenos feature two lightly fried poblano peppers with different fillings. One is stuffed with cheese and covered with chili con queso sauce. The other is loaded with seasoned beef and raisins and topped with rich Spanish sauce. No reservations. Metairie: lunch and dinner daily. Mandeville: lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CASABLANCA
3030 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-2209; www.koshernola.com
Casablanca offers a unique variation on the Middle Eastern culinary scene, 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 sautéed onions, prunes and sliced almonds with Moroccan spices. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner Sun.-Thu. Credit cards. $$

CASAMENTO'S
4330 Magazine St., 895-9761; www.casamentosrestaurant.com
In business since 1919, Casamento's is one of the most beloved oyster purveyors in a city where bivalves are serious business. Try them raw on the half shell, in gumbo or on an Oyster Loaf — fried and served on thick slabs of Texas toast. Shrimp, soft-shell crabs and fried crab claws share the spotlight. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Sat. Cash only. $$

CAFÉ EQUATOR
2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-4772

Café Equator brings the flavors of the Southern hemisphere to south Louisiana. With house specialties of pad Thai and pad woon sen — clear noodles sautéed with chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, onions and zucchini — culinary paradise is never far away. Reservations recommended for parties of five or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ FLEUR DE LIS
307 Chartres St., 529-9641; www.cafefleurdelis.com

At this sunny French Quarter spot, the classic muffaletta gets a makeover as a hot, crispy pressed panini sandwich. Omelets stuffed with crawfish tails and other inventive takes on New Orleans classics highlight the early-morning menu. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ FRERET
7329 Freret St., 861-7890

Casual and comfortable with plenty of outdoor seating, Café Freret puts its own spin on familiar favorites. Try the muffaleta or bite into the big voodoo burger, a half-pound patty smothered in the house "Bomb" sauce and topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms, bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomato, pickles and Creole mayo. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Fri.-Wed., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ FRESCA
4441 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 887-2010

Stop by Café Fresca for homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and regular specials like the fried chicken club salad with crumbled bacon, avocado, chopped egg, tomatoes and croutons served over a bed of fresh greens. If you're craving a taste of the Southwest, the Santa Fe mixes marinated and chargrilled chicken breast with mashed avocado, tomato and onion relish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFÉ GIOVANNI
117 Decatur St., 527-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com

Chef Duke LoCicero takes an innovative approach with his combinations of Creole flavors and Italian cuisine at his romantic, upscale French Quarter café. His signature oysters Giovanni features lightly battered, fried Louisiana oysters plated with five sauces arranged in a pattern modeled after stained glass. Meanwhile, the quattro formaggio al forno is lightly breaded veal baked to a golden brown, topped with four cheeses and served with penne pasta tossed in the chef's special marinara sauce. The café has a large lounge and martini menu. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

CAFÉ GRANADA
1506 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-1612

The former Fiesta Bistro has refocused its menu on Spanish cuisine. The menu includes a wide range of hot and cold tapas, including many vegetarian choices. Fresh seasonal fish complements the classic paella with shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, chunks of chicken and peas. Another popular dish is the lamb tajine topped with plums. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ LATTE II
2324 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-6343

It's easy to make this café part of your regular workday routine with breakfast in the morning and lunch in the afternoon. 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. $

CAFÉ LUNA
802 Nashville Ave., 269-2444

Pastries and panini sandwiches are served from the small counter inside this cozy coffeehouse. Many Café Luna regulars are partial to a perch on the grand porch overlooking Magazine Street to relax with a book and their choice of coffee drinks or loose-leaf and herbal teas. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ LYNN
3051 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-9007; www.cafelynn.com

Café Lynn serves classic French-Creole cuisine with plenty of local flair in a romantic atmosphere that now extends to Sunday brunch service. The scallops Provencal is a dish of pan-seared sea scallops served with fresh herbs, persillade and pistou, blends of parsley, basil, olive oil and garlic. The restaurant's signature dish is a blend of local seafood stuffed inside roasted eggplant. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ MADEA'S
731 Common St., 558-3998

This tiny downtown café provides customers with huge portions of flavorful soul food staples. Dishes like red beans, jambalaya, gumbo, pork chops in gravy, chicken pot pie and fried catfish keep regulars coming back. Burgers, salads and sandwiches provide other options. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., early dinner Fri. Cash only. $

CAFÉ MASPERO
601 Decatur St., 523-6250

With its dining room windows open to Decatur Street, passersby have always gotten a preview of the café's big platters of seafood, fried shrimp po-boys and local dishes like jambalaya. Try the signature fresh strawberry daiquiri, or warm up with a crock of French onion soup. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

CAFÉ MINH
4139 Canal St., 482-6266
French-Vietnamese fusion dishes are the specialty at Café Minh. Chef Minh Bui's new offering is a grilled veal chop with artichoke au gratin. Be sure to start with the shrimp dumplings, coconut shrimp or crabmeat and sweet corn soup. Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls include shrimp, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and rice noodles wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut-citrus dipping sauce. For dessert, try the poached pear marinated in Shiraz and finished with Saigon cinnamon. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ NAVARRE
800 Navarre Ave., 483-8828

Customers drop by Café Navarre for one of its popular sandwiches. The roast beef po-boy features juicy roast beef debris on Leidenheimer French bread. The Cuban sandwich is a panini-pressed combination of pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles mustard and mayonnaise. It is served with chips or shoestring fries. The Friday special is a po-boy of barbecue shrimp cooked in a very spicy sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. 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-yet-satisfying menu of juicy burgers, tangy barbecue and tender ribs. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ NINO
1510 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-9200

Chef/owner Nino Bongiorno makes everyone feel at home in his casual pizza restaurant. But diners also come for big, affordably priced portions of Italian favorites like chicken or veal Marsala, eggplant parmigiana and pasta with meatballs. Pizza options include thin-crust pizza or thick-crust Sicilian pies. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Checks. $$

CAFÉ PONTALBA
546 St. Peter St., 522-1180

From its perch on the corner of Jackson Square, Café Pontalba offers a menu tour of New Orleans favorites. Dishes like etouffée, jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and po-boys are mainstays. Fried seafood options like shrimp, oysters and catfish also are popular choices. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ PONTCHARTRAIN AT TREASURE CHEST CASINO
5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, (800) 298-0711; www.treasurechest.com

The chips at these tables go for much lower stakes than elsewhere at the Treasure Chest. Stop by the buffet for hot daily specials like chicken-fried steak, hot tamales, red beans and rice or spaghetti and meatballs. Or try one of the daily specials such as barbecue beef brisket. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ RANI
2917 Magazine St., 895-2500

Café Rani's menu has new entreés, including a portobello mushroom and smoked Gouda quesadilla resting on a bed of Caesar salad, and the Soprano salad featuring mixed greens, artichoke hearts, pesto chicken, olive salad, feta cheese and homemade creamy Parmesan dressing. Low-carb items are also available. There's also an array of sandwiches, salads, burgers and pasta dishes. You can dine inside the cool café or take in the New Orleans breeze under the trees on the patio. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ RECONCILE
1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157; www.cafereconcile.com

This Central City café offers hearty Creole cooking served cafeteria style as it helps young people gain experience for productive careers in the restaurant and hospitality industries. The menu changes daily, but some of the regular dishes include smothered pork chops, fried catfish, shrimp etouffée, shrimp Creole and white beans and shrimp. For dessert, try the bananas Foster bread pudding. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ ROMA
Citywide

Café Roma's original location was known for gourmet pies. Now there are several independent Café Romas that offer gourmet pizza as well as salads, pasta dishes and more. Delivery is available from locations in the Lower Garden District, North Causeway Boulevard, Gretna and in the French Quarter. There is a wide variety of toppings. Other menu items vary by location. The Lower Garden Café Roma offers pasta dishes. No reservations. Delivery available from some locations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFÉ ROSE NICAUD
632 Frenchmen St., 949-3300
This Marigny café gives its patrons a choice between sidewalk seating or comfy armchairs indoors while lingering over espresso drinks, coffees and teas. A menu change puts the focus on healthy and nutritious food, including specialty breakfast plates with a variety of quiches and homemade vegetarian lasagna. Sunday supper offers a three-course prix fixe menu. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Sun. Credit cards. $

CAFÉ ROYALE
3343 Metairie Rd., Metairie, 304-8438
Fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner choices make Café Royale a great stop whether you dine in or grab a bite to go. The Thai chicken salad is flavored with almonds and spicy peanut and ginger dressings over romaine lettuce. Tuesday's special is veal pot roast, cooked until tender and served with mashed potatoes, salad and garlic bread. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFFE ANGELINA
5024 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 889-7770
This casual, family-run Italian restaurant serves fresh, homemade foods, including a large selection of salads, soups, sandwiches and dinner entrées. Roast beef Angelina features tender roast beef dressed with lettuce, tomato, onions, sprouts, sweet peppers, avocado and creamy horseradish sauce on ciabatta bread. The muffuletta is a traditional sandwich of imported salami, mortadella, ham, Swiss cheese and olive salad on Italian bread. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFFE! CAFFE!
3900 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 727-4222; 4301 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 885-4845; www.caffecaffe.com
It's not all about coffee at Caffe! Caffe! An expansive menu offers daily specials including soups, sandwiches, salads, quiches 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. $

CAJUN MIKE'S PUB 'N' GRUB
116 Baronne St., 566-0055; www.cajunmikes.com
The sandwiches at this local tavern pack a punch. The namesake Cajun Mike combines roast beef, Swiss, coleslaw and Russian dressing on rye, while the Streetcar Special layers turkey, havarti, cucumbers and tomatoes on sourdough. Check out the "Welfare Wednesdays" happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with bargain-priced drinks and appetizers. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CALAS BISTRO AND WINE CELLAR
910A W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 471-2200; www.calasbistro.com
Named for the sweet, deep-fried rice cakes that used to be a Creole staple, Calas features a tasting menu-style appetizer that combines shrimp, jambalaya and andouille versions of calas, all served with a green onion pepper jelly dipping sauce. The grilled seafood platter includes Gulf fish with roasted tomato and caper buerre blanc, baked oysters Rockefeller, a barbecue shrimp spring roll and crabmeat ravigote. Sweet dessert options include piña colada cheesecake and lemon icebox créme brulée. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CALYPSO PATIO BAR AND GRILL
326 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 875-9676
The cuisine at Calypso brings a distinctly island vibe to New Orleans flavor with appetizers like the beer-battered coconut shrimp and crab cakes with white remoulade. The 12-oz. rib-eye is topped with Argentine chimichurri sauce and served with salad and choice of sides. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAMELLIA CAFÉ
69455 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 809-6313
This family-friendly spot offers up a menu weighted with local favorites, including the creamy corn and crab bisque loaded with shrimp, crabmeat and corn. The fried seafood platter comes piled high with golden-fried shrimp, catfish, oysters, stuffed crabs and stuffed shrimp. The 8-oz. filet mignon is available Monday through Thursday for $14.95. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAMELLIA GRILL
626 S. Carrollton Ave., 309-2679
The counter at Camellia is a popular destination for college students, tourists and families. They all queue up at this landmark diner for inexpensive meals of omelets, sandwiches and hot pie off the grill. The chili cheese omelet may be the ultimate in decadence. For others, Camellia's cool milkshakes, called freezes, are tops. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAMPBELL'S COFFEE & TEA
516 S. Tyler St., Covington, (985) 246-6992
Paninis are a house specialty at this Covington café, with fillings like roast turkey, ham, artichoke and various cheeses. The "muffulini" is a pressed ciabatta bread sandwich filled with olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss, provolone, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. Other specialties include home-baked items like blueberry, carrot and banana-nut muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls with plenty of butter cream icing. Changing soup specials include broccoli and cheese, chicken enchilada or shrimp and corn bisque. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CANNON'S RESTAURANT
4141 St. Charles Ave., 891-3200; www.cannonsrestaurants.com
Cannon's has a stately presence on St. Charles Avenue. Streetcars rumble by while diners enjoy American classic dining with a New Orleans twist like the crab cakes Salvatore served over linguine with crawfish sauce. A post-Katrina menu addition, the Blue Roof burger is topped with melted blue cheese and dressed with all the fixings. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CANSECO'S MARKET
1519 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-5979; 3135 Esplanade Ave., 322-2549
Canseco's Market opened a second location on Esplanade Avenue when it took over the space formerly occupied by Whole Foods. Canseco's stocks fresh produce, meat and fish, and a large selection of cheeses, beer and wine. There is also a deli counter for hot daily specials, sandwiches and sides like pasta and potato salads. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CARMELO RISTORANTE
541 Decatur St., 586-1414; www.ristorantecarmelo.com
With a balcony offering panoramic views of riverfront bustle and a menu of richly sauced pasta, meats and seafood, Carmelo has long been a popular French Quarter destination. Some house specialties include the vitello piccata with white veal in a light lemon butter sauce and the lobster fra diavolo with a whole steamed lobster in spicy marinara with clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari, all served over linguine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

CARMINE'S ITALIAN SEAFOOD & GRILL
4101 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-7904
Carmine's menu pays homage to the intersection of Creole and Italian cooking with dishes combining elements of both traditions. The seafood-stuffed artichoke is a steamed artichoke loaded with shrimp and fish served with dill cream sauce. Veal Bucktown features panéed veal topped with crawfish cream sauce, served over angel hair pasta with red sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CARNAVAL GRILL & BAR & CHURRASCARIA
2501 Canal St., 822-4639
Try steak and other meats roasted on skewers in the Brazilian steakhouse style at this Mid-City restaurant. The lunch buffet features grilled beef, lamb, pork, chicken and sausages. There is also a bar of hot and cold salad items like rice and beans, shrimp stew and fried plantains. Wash it all down with a Brazilian fruit soda. Live music and DJs provide entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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

CARROLLTON STATION
8140 Willow St., 865-9190; www.carrolltonstation.com
While singer/songwriters can be heard belting out their country twang at the music hall end of the tavern, Tex-Mex fare takes center stage in the kitchen. Tacos, burritos and quesadillas are popular choices. For those feeling a tad more adventuresome, try the tuna wrap with spicy dipping sauce. No reservations. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CASA GARCIA
800 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 951-8226; 8814 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 464-0354
Diners at this Tex-Mex cantina can go straight for famililar dishes like tamales, tacos and enchiladas or try some of the unique options. La Torta Loca is a south of the border po-boy made with choice of beef, chicken or pork tenderloin dressed with lettuce, tomato and caramelized onions. Chiles rellenos feature two lightly fried poblano peppers with different fillings. One is stuffed with cheese and covered with chili con queso sauce. The other is loaded with seasoned beef and raisins and topped with rich Spanish sauce. No reservations. Metairie: lunch and dinner daily. Mandeville: lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CASABLANCA
3030 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-2209; www.koshernola.com
Casablanca offers a unique variation on the Middle Eastern culinary scene, 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 sautéed onions, prunes and sliced almonds with Moroccan spices. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner Sun.-Thu. Credit cards. $$

CASAMENTO'S
4330 Magazine St., 895-9761; www.casamentosrestaurant.com
In business since 1919, Casamento's is one of the most beloved oyster purveyors in a city where bivalves are serious business. Try them raw on the half shell, in gumbo or on an Oyster Loaf — fried and served on thick slabs of Texas toast. Shrimp, soft-shell crabs and fried crab claws share the spotlight. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Sat. Cash only. $$

COME BACK INN
3826 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-1623; 8016 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 467-9316
Daily specials, big sandwiches and children's meals keep regulars coming back to this casual café. The shrimp, oyster and catfish combination dinner is a fitting match for hearty appetites. The muffuletta is made with the kitchen's homemade olive salad. No reservations. Williams Boulevard location: lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. West Metairie location: lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COMMANDER'S PALACE
1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com
Chef Tory McPhail's menu is a vast and ever-changing modern Creole affair. McPhail's "Creole Favorite" prix fixe dinner includes turtle soup with sherry, Creole-spiced Gulf fish served over Creole boiled vegetables with fingerling potatoes, artichokes, charred lemons and brown-butter vinaigrette, and concludes with Commander's signature bread pudding soufflé. Reservations required. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

COMMON GROUNDS
335 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 227-2200
Downtown Gretna's Common Grounds is a casual spot for a meal any time of day. There's everything from eggs and bacon to waffles and bagels in the morning. Later in the day, there's fried seafood and sandwiches, tuna steaks and beef steaks hand-cut in-house. The spacious patio has plenty of room for a relaxing meal during pleasant weather. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

COOP'S PLACE
1109 Decatur St., 525-9053; www.coopsplace.com

This oddly homey tavern has earned a loyal following for hearty Cajun-inspired eats at great prices, often served into the wee hours. Try the chicken Tchoupitoulas, topped with a cream sauce packed with shrimp and studded with spicy andouille bits with a side of juicy green beans smothered in bacon sauce. Creative dishes include duck quesadillas and the rabbit and sausage jambalaya is a mainstay. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COOTER BROWN'S
509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104; www.cooterbrowns.com
Cooter Brown's offers hundreds of beers and two basic food options. There's an oyster bar and a kitchen with a menu of hot and cold sandwiches. The choices include specialties like spicy Cajun boudin and a po-boy stuffed with crawfish pies and dressed with remoulade. University students and Riverbend neighbors settle in with beers and sandwiches to watch the nonstop stream of sporting events on the taverns many flatscreen TVs. No reservations. 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 recently returned to St. Charles Avenue. The specialty cheesecakes still include flavors like bananas Foster, Oreo cookies and cream, white chocolate macadamia, strawberry and fudge brownie. The dining menu rounds up many of the popular dishes from various Copeland restaurants. There is everything from Cajun and Creole dishes to chicken Marsala, Cobb salads and pot roast. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

COPELAND'S RESTAURANT
Citywide; www.alcopeland.com
The late Al Copeland's flagship restaurant showcases his take on many of the most popular Cajun and Creole dishes. There are traditional offerings like shrimp Creole and etouffée as well as seafood combinations like crab-stuffed catfish bordelaise. Pasta dishes include shrimp and tasso over bowtie pasta and chicken Alfredeaux. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

COPPER MONKEY BAR & GRILL
725 Conti St., 527-0869
Swing on in any time, the Copper Monkey is open 24 hours serving up cold drinks and hot food to a mix of Quarter locals and tourists. Quesadillas, salads, burgers and steaks are menu mainstays and some specials include the penne á la Tina with sautéed mushrooms and sliced chicken breast in a creamy red sauce. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

CORKY'S RIBS & BAR-B-Q
4243 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-5000
This pulled-pork palace features sandwiches topped with coleslaw, dry or wet ribs and a wide variety of burgers, salads, appetizers and sides. Even the most ferocious appetite will be sated by The Killer, a slab of ribs and choice of chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey, sausage or fried catfish, plus barbecue beans, coleslaw and a homemade roll. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CORNER CAFÉ
3316 Green Acres Road, Metairie, 454-1008
Corner Café is what you would expect of a neighborhood café. It 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. $

THE CORNER OYSTER BAR AND GRILL
500 St. Peter St., 522-2999
This bar and grill offers a special sampler entrée for patrons that have trouble deciding between gumbo, shrimp Creole, red beans and jambalaya. The grill offers its own specialty dishes, including crawfish chicken, a marinated chicken breast topped with crawfish tails in a thick roux with peppers and mushrooms on a bed of white rice. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COSCINO'S PIZZA ITALIAN RESTAURANT
1817 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 727-4984; www.myspace.com/coscinospizza
Live music and American Idol viewing parties add to the fun at this Northshore pizzeria. Plenty of options on the pizza, pasta and calzone menus bring regulars back time and again. Make up your own pizza with a variety of toppings or order one of the Coscino specialties. The grilled chicken Caesar calzone is new to the menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

The Country Club
634 Louisa St., 945-0742; www.thecountryclubneworleans.com
Chef Miles Prescott's menu is the new attraction at The Country Club. Try appetizing first courses like juniper pork rillette with ciabatta, fig mostarda and fruit, or Low-Country style crawfish dirty rice cakes with lime and aioli. Entrées include braised beef cheeks and jus served over creamy polenta. Drunken scallops are complemented by a plum wine reduction and cream of salsify. There also is a poolside and bar menu available. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sun. Reservations accepted. Credit cards. $$

COUNTRY FLAME
620 Iberville St., 522-1138
The ultra-casual Country Flame offers a surprisingly broad mix of Spanish, Mexican and Cuban dishes. It's a quick and affordable place to enjoy specialties like shredded beef over rice with black beans, pressed Cuban sandwiches, tamales, several types of fajitas, tacos and carne guisada, which is a Spanish version of beef bourguignonne. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COURT OF TWO SISTERS
613 Royal St., 522-7261; www.courtoftwosisters.com
Jazz brunch is a daily affair at the Court of Two Sisters. The seafood omelet is a mix of crawfish, crabmeat, shrimp, onions, red and green peppers and garlic with cream sauce on top. Buffet dishes range from boiled shrimp, pasta salads and hot entrées like grits and grillades to pies, cakes and ice cream. The á la carte dinner menu favors classic dishes like veal Oscar, cutlets of baby white veal crowned with crabmeat, asparagus and hollandaise. Traditional Creole dishes include turtle soup, baked oysters and many others. Reservations recommended. Lunch, brunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

COVENANT CAFÉ
1515 Poydras St., 522-3335; www.covenanthouseno.org
Covenant Café has introduced a luncheon buffet on Thursday and Friday featuring seafood etouffée, blackened catfish, stuffed pork chops and Shrimp Ducky, shrimp and chicken in cream sauce poured over puff pastry. The Blue Mambo panini with grilled chicken breast, blue cheese and purple onion is a popular item. A range of sandwich, wrap and salad options are available with daily soup specials. The café supports Covenant House. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CRABBY JACK'S
428 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 833-2722
Chef Jack Leonardi of Jacques Imo's infuses popular dishes with a little Creole flair at his Jefferson Highway eatery. The duck po-boy uses slow-cooked duck bathed in Jack's famous brown gravy on French bread. Fried green tomatoes come in a po-boy topped with remoulade sauce. Side dishes include jambalaya, dirty rice and potato salad. Delivery available . No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CRAZY JOHNNIE'S STEAKHOUSE
3520 18th St., Metairie, 887-6641; www.crazyjohnnies.net
Johnnie's sanity is evident in his affordable prices and the quality grilled steaks and seafood dishes served at this Metairie steakhouse. Popular dishes include crawfish Johnnie and New Orleans style barbecue shrimp. A house mainstay is the 8-oz. prime filet mignon with garlic butter and signature Crazy potatoes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CREOLE CREAMERY
4924 Prytania St., 894-8680; www.creolecreamery.com
This Uptown ice cream parlor offers nostalgic décor but very modern tastes in the freezer cases. Beyond the large selection of chocolate variations, the menu boasts exotic flavors such as mascarpone with lemon zest and hibiscus with sweet cranberry. The black and gold crunch — French vanilla accented with chicory, Oreos and chocolate chips — is a favorite. Flavors change regularly. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

THE CREOLE SKILLET
200 Julia St., 304-6318; www.thecreoleskillet.com
The Creole Skillet offers contemporary Louisiana cuisine. Signature dishes include Creole mustard-glazed boneless duck breast stuffed with andouille dressing and served with sweet potatoes and collard greens. The blackened 14-oz. rib-eye is topped with Louisiana shrimp bordelaise and served with duck and andouille jambalaya. For seafood, try the pine nut-crusted salmon drizzled with lemon caper butter and accompanied by spinach and herb roasted tomatoes. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CREPES á LA CART
1039 Broadway St., 866-2362; www.crepesalacarts.com
This casual eatery has all your cravings covered with a big selection of sweet and savory crepes. The signature á la Cart crepe is stuffed with grilled chicken, ham, spinach, broccoli, red onions, mushrooms and cheese with a drizzle of honey mustard. The sweet trifle crepe has strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, chocolate chips and angel food cake sprinkled with brown sugar and cream. Breakfast, coffee and frozen drinks are available all day long. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

CRESCENT CITY BREWHOUSE
527 Decatur St., 522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com
Crescent City offers German-style beers brewed on the premises, an oyster bar and contemporary Louisiana cuisine. Redfish St. Louis is pan-seared, topped with fried oysters and smothered in barbecue sauce. The popular crab cakes Decatur are made with lump crabmeat and topped with remoulade sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CRESCENT CITY STEAKHOUSE
1001 N. Broad St., 821-3271; www.crescentcitysteaks.com
The Vojkovich Family has run this Mid-City favorite since 1934. Except for the interruption of Katrina, it's been business as usual. There are curtained booths available for privacy — all the better to gear up for the porterhouse for two. Other steaks include T-bones, New York strips and prime filets, all best accompanied by a signature side order of garlic and parsley bordelaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri. and Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CROISSANT D'OR
617 Ursulines Ave., 524-4663
It's a little bit of Paris in the heart of New Orleans. Croissant d'Or offers demi-baguette sandwiches enhanced with béchamel sauce, quiches, salads and homemade soups. Tantalizing pastries and sweets are a feast for the palate. Enjoy an iced coffee and the warmth of spring sitting in the interior courtyard alongside a soothing fountain. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

CRYSTAL ROOM AT LE PAVILLON
833 Poydras St., 581-3111; www.lepavillonhotel.com
The elegance of this Poydras Street hotel carries into its regal dining room, where hot and cold buffets, cooked-to-order stations and a dessert bar offer a selection of food fit for a king. 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. $$$

CUCOS
1300 Gause Blvd., Slidell, (985) 641-4706; 2000 SW Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 345-2634; 5953 W. Park Ave., Houma, (985) 868-0800
Cucos restaurants offer a long menu of Mexican favorites and a long list of specialty cocktails to go with them. The sound of sizzling fajita plates fills the dining room. 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. $

D

THE DAKOTA RESTAURANT
629 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 892-3712; www.thedakotarestaurant.com
The Dakota is a well-established Northshore destination for updated French and Louisiana cooking and has an excellent wine list. For appetizers, try the popular Brie and crab soup or the more rustic shrimp and grits. The soft-shell crabs and shellfish paella are good bets for seafood. If you're thinking more turf than surf, the Dakota offers a veal beurre noisette in vermouth-brown butter with pine nuts and sweet garlic broccoli rabe. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

DANNY & CLYDE'S
Citywide; www.dannyandclydes.com
Danny & Clyde's offers a quick stop for snacks as well as breakfast, sandwiches and more. The chain made its name with big po-boys, but the menu has many options and even catering platters at some locations. Fried seafood, muffulettas and roast beef are the mainstays. Dinner plates are available, accompanied by a choice of sides like fries, coleslaw and potato salad. Breakfast sandwiches can be served on as small a platform as a biscuit or as large as a po-boy loaf. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

DANTE'S KICTHEN
736 Dante St., 861-3121; www.danteskitchen.com
A charming cottage in Riverbend sets the scene for contemporary Creole dining with a strong emphasis on local ingredients. The crabmeat and Brie French toast is stuffed with Louisiana blue crabmeat and served with onion thyme relish and smoked tomato sauce. The daily roasted Gulf fish is topped with a salad of shaved beets, apples, fennel, goat cheese and micro greens. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

DARRYL'S
2625 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 727-9757; www.poboyman.com
The oyster po-boy is popular at Darryl's, but the roast beef po-boy is so sought after that addicted diners in need of their roast beef fix can order the ingredients and have them shipped to their home on www.Poboyman.com. The specialty 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. Beef for the cheddar cheese burger is ground in-house and grilled to order. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

DE-NO SEAFOOD
505 Gretna Blvd., Gretna, 362-4608
Now featuring oysters on the half-shell, this family-friendly restaurant is the pride of Dennis and Norean Rojas. The couple offers a variety of seafood platters including shrimp, oyster and catfish as well blackened or grilled redfish, rib-eye steaks and pasta dishes. Try shrimp Alfredo or crawfish Monica served with angel hair pasta. There's also a kids' menu and desserts such as apple cobbler and pecan pie. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DEANIE'S SEAFOOD
841 Iberville, 581-1316; 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie, 834-1225; www.deanies.com
Deanie's giant seafood platter is a bounty of fresh shrimp, oysters, catfish, soft-shell crabs, crawfish balls and French fries and feeds four. Barbecue shrimp is a popular choice with jumbo head-on shrimp sautéed in Deanie's unique blend of seasonings. Other items include po-boys and the Bucktown Boil seafood pizza. No reservations. French Quarter: lunch and dinner daily. Metairie: lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

DECKBAR & GRILLE
1715 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 830-0104
Deckbar has a full menu of tasty bar food to snack on and entrées ranging from fried seafood platters to quesadillas to burgers. Its most popular items are brisket and homemade crab balls, which can also be ordered as a platter with salad and fries. The Mississippi burger is served with grilled onions, mushrooms and cheese. Daily specials include chicken and dumplings, smothered pork chops, meatloaf and pepper steak. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DEJA VU RESTAURANT & BAR
400 Dauphine St., 523-1931; www.dejavunola.com
A late-night service-industry hot spot, Déjá Vu's wee-hours clientele is as varied and colorful as its extensive menu. From three-egg omelets to burgers to steaks, this bustling diner has dishes to satisfy comfort-food cravings at any hour. There's plenty of fried local seafood in po-boys and on platters. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

THE DELACHAISE
3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858; www.thedelachaise.com
The narrow boxcar of a bar Delachaise offers a wide array of distinctive wines, liquor and beer from around the world, and the kitchen matches the selections with its own creative menu. Chef Chris DeBarr serves everything from French fries cooked in duck fat to Mediterranean vegetable dishes, to daily pasta and risotto specials. There are creative small plates, artisanal cheeses and charcuterie boards. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE DELI AT TREASURE CHEST CASINO
5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, (800) 298-0711; www.treasurechest.com
Treasure Chest offers several dining options, and the Deli is the place to grab a good sandwich. There are fried shrimp and hot sausage po-boys as well as hotdogs and hamburgers. Daily specials like red beans and rice, hot tamales and chicken-fried steak change regularly. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DESIRE OYSTER BAR
300 Bourbon St., 553-2281
A flashing sign over the door has long served as an announcement of Bourbon Street's many temptations. A lust for fresh seafood can be more than sated here, whether you like your bivalves raw or barbecued. Turtle soup is prepared the traditional way, but shrimp remoulade is given a twist and is served in a po-boy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DIA ROMA CAFÉ
3712 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-6663
Dia Roma Café uses homemade sauces, and the results are big, delicious meals like spinach lasagna with Alfredo sauce, cheese, onions and secret spices, served with salad and garlic bread. For lunch, try the Dia special sandwich with mozzarella cheese, Genoa salami, ham, pepperoni and grilled onions. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

DICK AND JENNY'S
4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 894-9880; www.dickandjennys.com
There's a reason regulars and curious newcomers alike are willing to brave a no-reservations policy and a possibly lengthy wait at this little bargeboard house on Tchoupitoulas Street. The restaurant's culinary reputation was built on meals that might start with appetizers like fried Louisiana oysters with Southern slaw and New Orleans remoulade and move on to entrées like grilled flank steak with jalapeno bread pudding and black bean relish. The menu also offers a vegetarian plate and children's entrées. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

DICKIE BRENNAN'S STEAKHOUSE
716 Iberville St., 522-2467; www.dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com
Diners have a variety of cuts to choose from at this French Quarter steakhouse. The house filet is an 8-oz. cut served with creamed spinach and Pontalba potatoes. The steak is also topped with flash-fried oysters and finished with a béarnaise sauce. The barbecue rib-eye is a prime 14-oz. steak grilled over an open flame and topped with Abita beer barbecue shrimp and served with garlic mashed potatoes. Stand-out sides include onion rings with Creole dipping sauce and a roasted sweet potato topped with warm pecan butter. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

DIMARTINO'S FAMOUS NEW ORLEANS MUFFULETTAS
1788 Carol Sue Ave., Terrytown, 392-1150; 3900 Gen. DeGaulle Ave., 392-1150; 6641 Westbank Exwy., Marrero, 341-4096; www.dimartinos.com
Muffulettas piled high with sopressetta salami, ham, mortadella, Swiss and provolone cheeses, and housemade olive salad on a seeded loaf are the hallmark of Dimartino's. Other sandwiches include the roast beef po-boy made with slow-cooked beef served on a crusty French bread loaf. 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 DIPLOMAT BAR AND GRILL
535 Tchoupitoulas St., 571-2000; www.thediplomatbarandgrill.com
The Diplomat's menu is a place where local favorites meet Italian dishes, steaks, chops and burgers. The seafood gumbo is prepared with shrimp, oysters and crabmeat. Fried eggplant medallions are topped with lump crabmeat and meuniere sauce. Reservations accepted. Breakfast daily, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DISH ON FIRST
2142 First. St., Slidell, (985) 781-1440
Dish takes a creative approach to contemporary Creole cooking. Crab and crawfish beignets are prepared with Louisiana crawfish tails and lump crabmeat, fried to golden brown and served with Creole mustard and mango chutney. Appetizers include fried asparagus with blue-cheese dip and eggplant medallions complemented by crawfish cream sauce. Marinated and grilled duck breast is cooked to order and can be served on top of a salad or as an entrée with warm mango sauce and a couple of side items. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

DITALI'S PIZZA
8160 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 393-1160
Ditali's specializes in New York-style thin-crust pizza, hearty pasta entrées and succulent sandwiches. Sink your teeth into a Philly-style cheesesteak loaded with peppers, cheese and onions. Or build your own pizza from a variety of toppings. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

DIXIE GYRO
110 Carondelet St., 523-6614
Hot, fragrant beignets in the morning yield to a tasty selection of Middle Eastern classics for lunch at Dixie Gyro. Choose from beef, lamb or chicken sandwiches on pita bread or one of the many vegetarian options like the Greek salad or falafel. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

DOCKSIDE SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR
1820 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 736-9666
Shrimp, catfish and crab are featured at the Dockside, available in a variety of preparations from boiled and spicy to golden-fried. The menu also features rib-eyes, pork chops, fried chicken, seafood platters and daily specials. Sides include sweet potato fries, hushpuppies and Dockside potatoes — boiled, deep-fried red potatoes. The seafood extravaganza platter feeds four. For dessert there's bread pudding, ice cream, pecan pie and cheesecake. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DOMILISE'S PO-BOYS
5240 Annunciation St., 899-9126
Known for its po-boys, Domilise's carries with it a long history of New Orleans-style cooking. Place your order at the counter and get ready for home-cooked roast beef po-boys lavished with gravy and Creole mustard, or shrimp and oysters breaded, fried and sprinkled with hot sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. Cash only. $

DOMINIQUE'S RESTAURANT
1001 Toulouse St., Maison Dupuy Hotel, 522-8800; www.dominiquesrestaurant.com
The classically trained chef Dominique Macquet combines French tradition with exotic global influences in his namesake restaurant's inventive cuisine. Try the island-flavored baby conch ceviche, served with mirliton relish and tamarind-grapeseed oil, or the savory shrimp and roasted butternut squash ravioli. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

DON VICTOR'S FINE LATIN AMERICAN RESTAURANT
3244 Georgia Ave., Kenner, 305-0826; www.donvictorsrestaurant.com
Don Victor's serves food and drinks from all over Latin America. Starters include tostones, or fried plantains, a Peruvian chicken soup with peas and potatoes called chupe do pollo, and several ceviches. Entrées include plantain-crusted chicken with mojito sauce, Argentine-style steaks and bandeja paisa, a platter of finely ground beef, pork skin, sausage and fried egg with rice, beans and cucumber salad. Drink specials include Brazilian caipirinhas and pisco sours made with Peruvian brandy. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DONG PHUONG ORIENTAL BAKERY AND RESTAURANT
14207 Chef Menteur Hwy., 254-0214
Dong Phuong is a centerpiece of the cohesive Vietnamese-American community in eastern New Orleans, where residents drop in throughout the week for fresh, Vietnamese-style French bread, savory pastries and colorful sweets. The banh mi sandwiches from the deli counter are fast, inexpensive and come stuffed with fresh vegetables and meats. In the restaurant area, customers linger over bowls of beef soup or noodle dishes. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

DONNA'S BAR AND GRILL
800 N. Rampart St., 596-6914; www.donnasbarandgrill.com
Donna's mixes up its musical offerings with jazz, brass bands and R&B, and the kitchen keeps things simple with burgers and some daily specials of home-cooked New Orleans-style dishes like red beans and rice served with grilled smoked sausage. The Charlie burger is a half-pound patty grilled to order, dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayo, and served with fries. No reservations. Dinner Thu.-Sun. Cash only. $

DON'S SEAFOOD HUT
4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-1550
Don's has everything under the sea, or at least everything the locals crave. Beyond the requisite fried seafood platters, there's seafood salad with boiled shrimp, crawfish tails and lump crabmeat, a grilled fish of the day, broiled or fried soft-shell crabs and the always-welcome boiled crawfish. Start your meal with one of the savory gumbos or the crawfish bisque. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DOOKY CHASE RESTAURANT
2301 Orleans Ave., 821-0535
This New Orleans Creole soul-food landmark, in business since 1941, returned last fall for takeout and private events thanks to a massive renovation featuring colorful dining rooms and a new bar. Chef Leah Chase still delivers the classic items, including stuffed shrimp, fried chicken and rich Creole gumbo thick with seafood and sausage. Plans to reopen this spring remain in the works. No reservations. Lunch and dinner takeout Tue.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

DORIGNAC'S
710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-8216; www.dorignacs.com
This gourmet emporium is known for its bakery and wide selection of wines as well as its kitchen. Juicy rotisserie chickens offer an easy solution for lunch or dinner. Fresh daily soups, hot wings, sandwiches, quiche and lasagna provide quick meals to go. The cakes, pastries and breads have people crossing town again and again to satisfy a sweet tooth. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

DOSON NOODLE HOUSE
135 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-7283
Among the Chinese and Vietnamese selections on Doson Noodle House's menu, traditional dishes include generous bowls of pho soup served with bean sprouts, herbs and lime wedges, and chicken or shrimp stir-fry dishes with rice or noodles. There also are seasonal whole fish specials and black pepper shrimp, served steamed or fried. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

DOT'S DINER
Citywide
Dot's offers diner-style comfort food, from bottomless cups of coffee at breakfast to lunch and hearty dinner specials like pork chops or bone-in ham steaks. Stop in any time of day for excellent deals on breakfast plates such as the B1 (two eggs, grits and toast). For lunch, there are a variety of popular diner classics, burgers and sandwiches. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

DOUBLE DRAGON
8236 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 433-4333
Seafood is the specialty here, especially in dishes like salt-and-pepper soft-shell crabs or whole deep-fried red snapper served with Hunan sauce. For fowl, General Tso's chicken is a popular choice. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DOUG'S RESTAURANT
348 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 649-1805
Doug's still turns out the same French-Creole dishes that have been drawing regulars for years. Longtime favorites include appetizers like the corn and crab bisque and crabmeat au gratin. The entrée selection is dominated by thick-cut steaks and specialties like fried oysters with sautéed artichokes, mushrooms and lemon pepper sauce. No reservations. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and local checks. $$

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
Drago's is the capital of charbroiled oysters. Its version features oysters shucked and grilled in their own juices and topped with grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses and a sauce of butter, parsley and garlic. There are many other fresh seafood options as well. Try out some of the restaurant's other famous dishes like lobster Marco. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DRY DOCK CAFÉ
133 Delaronde St., 361-8240; www.thedrydockcafe.com
Drop anchor at this West Bank tavern where the kitchen turns out sandwiches, seafood platters, big salads and tempting bar munchies like mini-tacos and potato skins. The half-pound Bestbank burger is loaded with cheese, bacon, mushrooms and sautéed onions. Entrées include crawfish pasta in creamy sauce topped with Parmesan cheese, as well as changing specials like blackened redfish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

DUNBAR'S CREOLE COOKING
Loyola University Broadway Activities Center, 501 Pine St., 861-5451
Plans are still underway to bring this legendary Uptown soul food spot back to Freret Street near its original pre-Katrina home. In the meantime, those with a hankering for Dunbar's famous fried chicken, red beans, gumbo and breakfast pork chops can still get their fill at the restaurant's spot in the activities center at Loyola University, which is open to the public. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Thu. Credit cards. $

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EASY DOGS
307 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 367-1001; www.neworleanseasydogs.com
With more variations on the humble wiener than one would think possible, it's hard to declare any of the tasty frankfurter offerings at this hot dog shack best in show. Try the Gretna Dog, topped with hot or cold sauerkraut, or the Lundi dog, which nestles into its bun under a blanket of red beans and rice. Also on the menu is the Southern snack classic, the Frito pie: a mound of corn chips topped with cheese and chili. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

EAT NEW ORLEANS
900 Dumaine St., 522-7222; www.eatnola.com
The bright dining room at Eat New Orleans is a casual neighborhood spot to enjoy down home standards and gourmet dishes at affordable prices. Appetizers include a refreshing blue cheese and fig torte. For an entrée, try the stuffed bell pepper with Caesar salad. Shrimp and grits are a popular brunch dish. Diners are welcome to bring their own wine. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE EDGE BAR & GRILL
3400 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 780-2266
The Edge Bar & Grill dishes up a full range of sandwiches, steaks and ribs and changing daily lunch specials. Try the grilled tuna served over angel hair pasta with sautéed mushrooms and onions. Popular specials include fried chicken, stuffed peppers and old-fashioned butter beans served with a side of baked macaroni. Sandwiches are stuffed with everything from hot sausage to fried oysters to veal Parmesan. Stop by on Tuesday and Thursday for steak night. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

EL GATO NEGRO
81 French Market Place, 525-9752; www.elgatonegronola.com
The airy, French-café atmosphere still lingers from the previous tenant of this French Market spot, but the menu is as authentic as Mexican dining gets. Chicken, beef and fish fill housemade tortillas and are seasoned with a dash of cilantro and a squeeze of lime. There are always new Mexican specials to try. Kick off any meal with a fresh carrot juice-infused margarita for a surprising take on the classic beverage. No reservations. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ELEVEN79
1179 Annunciation St., 299-1179; www.eleven79.com
Bar specials and an antipasti table at happy hour get things going early at this upscale Italian restaurant on the edge of the Warehouse District. In the dining room, the namesake veal Eleven79 speaks to the menu's sensibilities with tender sautéed veal complemented by roasted peppers, asparagus and mozzarella. Classic pasta dishes include the simple puttanesca and pasta Acciuga with garlic, olive oil, basil, parsley, vermouth, anchovies and capers. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ELIZABETH'S
601 Gallier St., 944-9272; www.elizabeths-restaurant.com
Elizabeth's offers Southern cuisine with a kick. Try the Caribbean seafood stew, a mélange of mussels, shrimp and leeks in spicy coconut broth. The lamb shank is braised with red wine and roasted garlic. The signature praline bacon flavors many dishes. For appetizers, get an order of boudin balls or blue cheese oysters. No reservations. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE EMBERS "ORIGINAL" BOURBON HOUSE
700 Bourbon St., 595-3172; www.emberssteakhouse.com
The crowds on Bourbon Street come and go with passing festivals and seasons, but Embers' kitchen serves up classic steaks, seafood and Italian dishes year-round. Menu offerings range from T-bones, strips and filets to fried shrimp, oysters, crawfish fettucine and veal Parmesan. A popular Cajun platter features fried catfish, red beans and rice, and jambalaya with andouille sausage. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sat.-Sun, dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

EMERIL'S DELMONICO
1300 St. Charles Ave., 525-4937; www.emerils.com
Classic and contemporary merge in perfect harmony at this St. Charles Avenue institution where New Orleanians dined for a century before chef Emeril Lagasse took the helm. Delmonico still exudes the air of old-line tradition. Start a dinner with the sweet-and-sour calamari or a classic Caesar salad prepared tableside. Entrée choices include prime steaks, pan-fried redfish meuniere or amandine, and the Duo of Lamb, featuring a Colorado lamb chop and garlic fennel lamb sausage. Desserts such as traditional bananas Foster and baked Alaska are finished tableside. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

EMERIL'S RESTAURANT
800 Tchoupitoulas St., 528-9393; www.emerils.com
A brush with fame is one draw to the flagship restaurant of New Orleans' best-known celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, and the kitchen lives up to the superstar reputation. The menu showcases the eclectic and well-traveled tastes for which Lagasse is known. Entrée choices include andouille-crusted redfish with Creole meuniére sauce, grilled filet of beef with red onion marmalade, marrow butter and oxtail jus, and duck schnitzel with roasted shallots. The banana cream pie is the restaurant's signature dessert. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

EMPIRE Café
1633 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 951-8686
Empire Café's buffet lays out a variety of regional Chinese dishes with no wait. Best of all, it always costs less than $10. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ERNST CAFÉ
600 S. Peters St., 525-8544
For more than a century, Ernst Café has been serving downtowners drinks and hearty fare. Burgers, chicken and fried seafood are mainstays that make it a busy lunch spot. Look for the gumbo du jour and changing specials like ribs. There's plenty of outdoor seating to take advantage of in pleasant weather. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

ESPRESSO EXPRESS
One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., Suite 116, 524-5115
Located inside One Shell Square, this bustling café draws folks from offices all over the CBD for hot breakfasts and fresh lunch choices. Breakfast tacos, muffins and cinnamon rolls start out the day. At lunch panini-style sandwiches and daily specials take center stage. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

ETOILE
407 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 893-8873
This fancifully designed bistro owned by the artist James Michalopoulos, offers an artful take on modern Louisiana cuisine. The varied menu includes classics such as mussels steamed in white wine and dill, and creative combinations like a pork chop topped with black-eyed peas, fried okra and house Worcestershire. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

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F&M PATIO BAR
4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-6784; www.fandmpatiobar.com
F&M's is a raucous last stop for many late-night revelers whether they come to dance on top of the pool table in front or head to the grill in the back. The limited menu includes burgers, quesadillas and legendary cheese fries, which are waffle-cut fries baked with a blend of three cheeses and topped with green onions. The Gator Quesadilla is stuffed with alligator sausage, grilled onions, peppers, salsa and cheese. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Cash only at the grill. $

FAIR GRINDS COFFEEHOUSE
3133 Ponce de Leon St., 913-9073; www.fairgrinds.com
Tucked away off Esplanade Avenue, Fair Grinds is a quaint coffeehouse offering premium coffees and teas. Light fare includes locally prepared pastries, desserts, breads and ice cream. Sandwiches are also available. There's plenty of outdoor seating to take advantage of during pleasant weather. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash and checks. $

FAT CITY DINER
3555 18th ST., Metairie, 888-4940
Don't expect some waitress named Alice to drop by the table to take an order because at Fat City, diners place their own orders right at the counter. This is a New Orleans-style diner with a plenty of local po-boy favorites — shrimp, oyster and roast beef — seafood platters that are fried or grilled and breakfast plates of eggs with choice of sausage, bacon or ham, grits and toast. Breakfast and Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

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 Cajun burger is an old standby for regulars, blending beef and Italian sausage. The chicken wings are famous among discerning students. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

FAUSTO'S BISTRO
530 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-7121; www.faustosbistro.com

Serving Italian classics and south Louisiana favorites for close to 20 years, Fausto's has attracted a large and loyal following of local diners. One popular choice is Fausto's frutti di mare with crab claws, oysters, mussels, crawfish, shrimp, calamari and fish in a garlic and seafood stock reduction sauce. Another specialty is the veal saltimbocca: tender veal medallions sautéed with fresh mushrooms, Italian herbs, crowned with prosciutto and mozzarella, and flamed in Marsala wine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FAZZIO'S
1841 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 624-9704
Italian and Creole traditions come together with delicious results at Fazzio's. For instance, the fettuccini Alfredo is made with crawfish and angel-hair pasta and topped with crabmeat in cream sauce. Appetizers include the sweet and spicy "bang bang" shrimp and the seared ahi tuna. Signature entrées of chicken or veal are prepared either piccata-, Marsala- or parmigiana-style. There also are steaks and changing daily specials. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FEELING'S CAFE
2600 Chartres St., 945-2222; www.feelingscafe.com
Housed in a historic former home in the picturesque Marigny, Feelings café is both cozy and elegant with an old New Orleans vibe. Try the fried eggplant medallion topped with shrimp, crawfish and sausage in hollandaise sauce over rice. No reservations. Dinner Thu.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

FELIPE'S TAQUERIA
6215 S. Miro St., 309-2776; www.felipesneworleans.com
The service may be as quick as fast food and the prices just as easy on the wallet, but the food at Felipe's is much tastier, thanks to authentic recipes and fresh ingredients. The complimentary salsa bar has a kaleidoscope of spicy options to dress up the tacos, burritos and quesadillas. If the nachos, served with a choice of savory pork carnitas or chopped steak, don't whet the appetite, try one of Felipe's weekly specials. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

FELLINI'S CAFÉ
900 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-2155; fellinisneworleans.com
This Mid-City eatery features a spacious outdoor patio perfect for springtime dining and an array of daily specials. The menu features pastas, sandwiches and pizzas. For a starter, try the spicy tomato dip. Mediterranean kebabs are made with beef, chicken or shrimp and are served with hummus and a small Greek salad. The chicken portobello roll with fresh red pepper sauce is a favorite. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FIESTA LATINA RESTAURANT
1924 Airline Hwy., Kenner, 468-2384; www.fiestalatinarestaurant.com
Pupusas are the house specialty here. The thick corn disks are filled with cheese or crunchy pork and covered with tangy cabbage slaw. The fried tilapia with rice, beans, salad and fried plantains or tortillas will fill up anyone. Don't miss out on traditional desserts like flan and rice pudding. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

FIORELLA'S CAFÉ
45 French Market Place; 1136 Decatur St., 528-9566
The nautical décor at Fiorella's showcases its practiced hand with fried seafood plates and po-boys, although regulars know the real gem is the famous crunchy, but juicy, well-seasoned fried chicken. Southern soul food is served late into the night with sides like potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese and crisp fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

FIRE OF BRAZIL
725 Iberville St., 552-4446; www.fireofbrazil.com
At this South American churascaria-style steakhouse, waiters tote skewers with generous cuts of meat around the dining room, offering beef, chicken, turkey, pork and sausage, which are sliced directly onto your plate. Some of the offerings include linguica, a seasoned pork sausage, and chicken breasts wrapped in bacon. Meals include salads and side dishes from a buffet. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

FIVE HAPPINESS
3605 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3935; www.fivehappiness.com
A Mid-City institution, Five Happiness offers a large selection of regional Chinese cuisines. 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 spice level. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

FLAMING TORCH RESTAURANT
737 Octavia St., 895-0900; www.flamingtorchnola.com
The menu of this romantic neighborhood restaurant is filled with both classic French bistro dishes and creative, original compositions. In addition to traditional dishes like the daube with fine slices of top-round beef braised in red wine for hours with vegetables, it also offers tasty seafood entrées like the oyster la Madrague, pan-fried oysters rolled in grilled eggplant and topped with melted Gruyere. Crevettes sazerac features jumbo shrimp with red bell peppers, herbs, saffron, rye whiskey and beer, served with toasted baguette slices. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

FLORA GALLERY & COFFEE SHOP
2600 Royal St., 947-8358
There's a funky bohemian vibe to this unassuming café as regulars sip espresso drinks, herbal teas and fresh juice while playing chess, check out fliers for arty downtown happenings and catch up on neighborhood gossip. The small kitchen offers an eclectic menu of baked goods and lunch fare that ranges from Tex-Mex to Middle Eastern items. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

FONG'S CHINESE RESTAURANT
2101 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 467-9928
Fong's has long been a popular Kenner destination for Chinese cuisine. Regional dishes use a variety of shrimp, pork, chicken, beef and vegetable ingredients. Staple appetizers include wontons and crab rangoon. The Triple Treats platter includes beef, pork and chicken stir-fry with Chinese vegetables like bok choy, baby corn and snow peas. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FOX AND HOUND
1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson, 731-6000
Fox and Hound has a deep roster of beer and food with 38 brews on tap and an extensive selection of appetizers, sandwiches, pizzas and salads. The Black Forest sandwich is Bavarian pretzelbread piled high with grilled turkey, smoked bacon and Monterey Jack cheese, dressed and spiced with honey mustard. Wall-to-wall flat-screen TVs give every seat in the house a good vantage point. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

FRANK'S RESTAURANT
933 Decatur St., 525-1602; www.franksrestaurantneworleans.com
Opening onto the bustle of lower Decatur Street, Frank's is a casual spot to enjoy traditional Italian dishes and local sandwiches. The muffuletta is always popular, and more elaborate dishes include the crawfish Gagliano with garlic, green onions, fresh sweet basil and other seasonings, all over angel hair pasta. Snapper Jack is a deep-fried fillet smothered in shrimp, crawfish and crab over pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

FRANKY & JOHNNY'S
321 Arabella St., 899-9146; www.frankyandjohnnys.com
Red-checkered tablecloths set the casual vibe at this Uptown tavern. Locals come for boiled crawfish in season and po-boys, fried seafood and gumbo year round. Try the fried bell pepper rings or alligator soup before taking on a fried soft-shell crab, fried chicken or a muffuletta. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

FRENCH MARKET RESTAURANT
1001 Decatur St., 525-7879
Spring is a good time to grab a balcony table at this restaurant at the top of the French Market. During the day, music carries over from street musicians and the smell of boiling seafood wafts from the kitchen. The Bayou platter is a popular option to get a taste of classic local dishes, including red beans and jambalaya. Snag a table on the balcony for a view overlooking the French Market itself. 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
The twin delights promised here are Creole cuisine for which New Orleans is famous and French Quarter ambience that always mesmerizes visitors. For a sample of the kitchen's traditional specialties, try the "Taste of New Orleans" combination meal with portions of jambalaya, crawfish etouffée, gumbo and red beans and rice. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FRESCO'S CAFÉ 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 and fragrant dishes like the peppery portobello mushroom pasta. The chicken Caesar wrap is a popular menu item and many guests start their meal off with a spicy Mediterranean tomato dip comprised of pepper paste, walnuts and feta cheese. Delivery available. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FRIAR TUCK'S BAR & GRILL
5130 Freret St., 891-4080; www.friartucksbar.com
Weekly drink specials and sports on TV keep the good times rolling at this Uptown college hangout. The kitchen offers plenty of choices to make sure drinks have a solid foundation on which to rest. Philly-style cheesesteaks come with mushrooms, onions, peppers and Swiss cheese on hoagie rolls. The fryer churns out a steady supply of waffle fries, sweet potato fries and corn dogs. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FRIENDS COASTAL RESTAURANT
407 St. Tammany St., Madisonville, (985) 845-7303; www.friendscoastal.com
Friends Coastal lives up to its seafaring name. The Cajun Lobster is actually a Maine lobster boiled in savory spices. The seafood lasagna layers sheets of pasta with spinach, Gulf seafood and a béchamel sauce, and the blackened "katfish" is seared in a hot iron skillet and topped with bronzed shrimp, crabmeat and key-lime butter. If your sea legs abandon you, dig into Caribbean jerk chicken or Quesadillas Gigante. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

FUEL COFFEE HOUSE
4807 Magazine St., 895-5757
Breakfast sandwiches of scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese on toasted English muffins provide fuel for the day at this Uptown coffeehouse. In addition to a range of coffee drinks, Fuel also serves fresh vegetarian soups like split pea or black bean. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

FURY'S
724 Martin Behrman Ave., Metairie, 834-5646
This casual neighborhood restaurant features a familiar lineup of Italian and seafood staples such as boiled and fried shrimp, fish dishes, veal parmigiana and stuffed manicotti. There is also fried chicken, red beans on Monday and hot gumbo every day. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

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GW FINS
808 Bienville St., 581-3467; www.gwfins.com
There's always something new on the menu at this upscale seafood establishment as chef Tenney Flynn stocks his kitchen with a wide range of fresh fin fish and shellfish from around the world. The yellowfin tuna is wrapped in Japanese nori, seared and served with ginger and wasabi, and the sautéed red snapper is accompanied by shrimp etouffée, mashed potatoes and lobster butter. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

GALATOIRE'S RESTAURANT
209 Bourbon St., 525-2021; www.galatoires.com
Legendary Friday afternoon lunches at Galatoire's famed 100-year-old first-floor dining room are a veritable who's who of New Orleans' society. Seeing and being seen take second place, though, to chef Brian Landry's touch with tried-and-true specialties like crabmeat a la maison, shrimp remoulade and trout meuniere. Finish a meal with a festive flaming café Brulot. Reservations accepted for the upstairs dining room. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

GALLEY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
2535 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-0955
Boiled seafood is a favorite at Galley, but there's a wide range of other preparations to choose from including fried and blackened items. Creole dishes, seafood-topped jumbo salads and gumbo brimming with shrimp, oysters and okra round out the menu. Galley's Louisiana soft-shell crabs,fFeatured at Jazz Fest, are knock-outs. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

GAMBINO'S BAKERY
300 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 391-0600; 4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-3620; http://gambinos.info
This is a Crescent City institution for those with a serious sweet tooth. Gambino's bakes pies, petit fours and doberge cakes year-round at its Gretna location. The Café at Gambino's in Metairie is an intimate lunchtime haunt, boasting muffulettas, salads and gourmet soups. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

GATTUSO'S DELI
435 Huey P. Long Drive, Gretna, 368-1114; www.gattusosdeli.com
Gattuso's has been a Gretna institution for years, serving burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads and ice cold beer. Boasting six different types of club sandwiches, Gattuso's also offers tasty appetizers including calamari, fried pickles and crab and corn bisque. Featured entrées are baby-back ribs served with watermelon barbecue sauce, spaghetti and meatballs and fried seafood. Side dishes include loaded baked potatoes and sweet potato fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

GAUTREAU'S RESTRAURANT
1728 Soniat St., 899-7397; www.gautreausrestaurant.com
A fine-dining enclave tucked away on an Uptown side street, Gautreau's has been enticing patrons to sample its contemporary Creole cuisine for years. The halibut is crusted with Parmesan and served with chanterelle mushrooms and tomato confit risotto. Grouper is sautéed and served with lobster, gnocchi, asparagus and mushrooms. Desserts range from sorbet to fine cheeses to a vanilla bean créme brulée. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

GELATO PAZZO CAFÉ
8115 Oak St., 304-6908; www.gelatopazzo.com
The café boasts fresh gelatos and Italian country cooking at its best. The grilled shrimp panini features large Gulf shrimp with mixed greens, grilled Roma tomatoes and housemade fresh basil pesto on grilled ciabatta bread. Steak entreés with mushrooms and cheese round out the menu, and diners are welcome to bring their own wine. An array of gelatos in nearly 20 flavors are made with fresh fruit, nuts and imported chocolate. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

GENNARO'S
3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-9226
Locals rely on Gennaro's for its round-the-clock service featuring New Orleans favorites like homemade plate lunches, delectable desserts, po-boys and fried seafood. Pork roast with smothered green beans, corned beef, and hamburger steak served with gravy and potatoes are popular daily specials. The chicken salad croissant is another perennial favorite. No reservations. Open 24 hours 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 fajitas. Flat irons of sizzling beef or chicken arrive at your table with guacamole, pico de gallo and flour tortillas. The shrimp á la Mexicana features butterflied shrimp sautéed in spicy sauce made with tomatoes, onions and sweet peppers. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GIMCHI
3322 N. Turnbull Drive, Metairie, 454-6426
When you hear the name Gimchi think kimchi, the spicy cabbage concoction that is practically the national staple of Korea. This Metairie restaurant specializes in all things Korean, including traditional table-mounted barbecue units where guests can grill their own meats. A full sushi bar adds more options from the Far East. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GIORLANDO'S RESTAURANT
741 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie, 835-8593
Fried seafood platters join Creole- and Italian-inspired entrées and a list of sandwiches at this casual eatery. Shrimp fettuccine and spaghetti with meatballs served with homemade sauce are designed for hearty appetites. Giorlando's over-sized muffuletta is a house favorite and po-boys prepared on crusty French bread are reliable choices, especially the homemade roast beef. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Tue. and Thu.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

GIO'S PIZZA & SPAGHETTI HOUSE
4941 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 885-3515
Gio's offers gourmet pies and pasta dishes at this family friendly restaurant. One popular pizza features roasted eggplant and garlic. Gio's meat combo pizza boasts homemade meatballs and piles of ham, pepperoni and Italian sausage. Classic Italian dishes also are mainstays. Try the cannelloni with chicken, spinach and ground beef stuffed into pasta and covered in cheese. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

GIO'S VILLA VANCHERI
2890 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-2597
Gio's is home to classic Italian dishes. 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 12-oz. veal chop served with a sauce of Italian herbs, capers and white wine and served on a bed of fresh arugula. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

GO-GO GOURMET MARKET & CAFÉ
838 Derbigny St., Gretna, 361-5012
In addition to burgers, Go-Go offers creative dishes like the Bayou burger, a combination of andouille sausage and ground beef topped with Creole mustard sauce. For something a little richer, the Big Blue burger is made with Maytag blue cheese crumbles. On the seafood side, go with grilled yellowfin tuna, served on a bed of organic greens tossed with wasabi vinaigrette. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

GOOD EARTH MARKET AND Café
821 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 674-4329
Good Earth serves an array of natural, organic food with a southern Creole focus. Specialties include the mung bean sprout salad, a veggie focaccia sandwich and whole-wheat tortilla wraps with a variety of fixings. A savory cochon de lait po-boy is also available. Daily specials offer everything from soups and salads to tacos. There's also a full-service bakery. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

GORDON BIERSCH
200 Poydras St., 552-2739; www.gordonbiersch.com
Half beer garden/half sports bar, Gordon Biersch offers outdoor tables and large-screen TVs in the bar. The brewpub serves several of its own beers on draft. There's also a large dining room, and the large menu of hearty dishes like the flatiron steak which is served on a nest of crispy fries drizzled with zesty homemade steak sauce. Gourmet pizzas are made with homemade dough. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GRAND ISLE RESTAURANT
575 Convention Center Blvd., 520-8530; www.grandislerestaurant.com
Though named for Grand Isle, Joel Dondis' restaurant offers seafood and nonseafood options. Shrimp Romesco features fresh shrimp in Romesco sauce with fresh spinach and Manchego cheese croutons. Potted Crab presents Louisiana jumbo lump crabmeat with shallot butter. Savory options include duck po-boys and pot roast. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE GROCERY
2854 St. Charles Ave., 895-9524; www.thegroceryneworleans.com
Pressing decisions await customers at the counter of this Uptown corner deli, which specializes in hot pressed sandwiches. The chicken pesto melt boasts sliced chicken breast, provolone, sun-dried tomato pesto, sautéed onions and Creole mayo on French bread. The Milan special features roast beef on wheat, pressed with onions, garlic horseradish mayo and cheese. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

GROUND PAT'I GRILLE AND BAR
11 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, 367-9512; 1305 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 466-8060
The namesake burger — made with ground chuck and grilled to order over an open flame — keeps these taverns well grounded, but there's plenty more to choose from. The menu offers seafood entrées — fried catfish, tuna steaks, and grilled or fried shrimp — and there's a full selection from the grill that includes pork chops, rib-eyes, filets and T-bones. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GUILLORY'S GROCERY
3708 Derbigny St., Metairie, 833-1390
Homemade hot tamales, jambalaya and rotating daily specials like fried pork chops and red beans and rice with smoked sausage are just a few of the hearty dishes on the deli menu at Guillory's. The deli also offers a long list of po-boys, burgers and salads and is known as the home of the "krispy crunchy chicken." No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

GULFSTREAM RESTAURANT
1755 St. Charles Ave., 524-1578; www.hillstone.com
This stylishly designed St. Charles Avenue restaurant reels in the crowds with a seafood-focused menu, a lively bar scene and live music nightly. Try oysters St. Charles, a combination of fried oysters on a bed of creamed spinach with hot sauce and aioli, or go for an ahi tuna burger. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

GUMBO SHOP
640 St. Peter St., 525-1486; www.gumboshop.com
A lush and breezy courtyard sets the scene at this French Quarter classic. Most meals begin with one of the kitchen's namesake gumbos. While the jambalaya, etouffée and po-boys are popular options, some lesser-known gems include alligator sauce piquant and chicken espagnole simmered in a brown sauce with mushrooms, shallots, wine and garlic. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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HAAGEN-DAZS
Riverwalk Marketplace, 1 Poydras St., 861-2500
Easier to say than spell, Haagen-Dazs is nonetheless synonymous with luscious ice creams. This Riverwalk location also offers a variety of coffee drinks, including rich lattes and frothy cappuccinos. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

HANA JAPANESE RESTAURANT
8116 Hampson St., 865-1634
Hana is known for its comfortable neighborhood vibe and extra-large special rolls. Sushi chefs offer all sorts of combinations of salmon, tuna, snow crab, cucumber, avocado, egg and shrimp tempura. One particularly popular house special is the fried soft-shell crab roll with spicy mayo sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HARBOR BAR & GRILL
3024 17th St., Metairie, 835-6111
Harbor Bar & Grill is a casual hangout for surf and turf. There are soft-shell crabs , boiled crawfish and fried seafood as well as the grill's big 12-oz. cheeseburgers, which get even bigger with extras like chili and bacon. A salad of tomato, bacon and artichoke hearts tossed with greens and topped with blackened tuna is a popular item. Meat pies and Harbor fries topped with cheddar, diced onions and roast beef gravy will satisfy your late night cravings. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

HARBOR SEAFOOD AND OYSTER BAR
3203 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-6454
Seafood draws customers to this busy Kenner restaurant and seafood market. Look for local favorites such as the crabmeat-stuffed eggplant pirogues, seafood gumbo and fresh raw oysters. Wash them down with a beverage from the fully stocked bar. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HARD ROCK CAFÉ
415 N. Peters St., 529-5617; www.hardrock.com
The Hard Rock matches its classic rock vibe with classic American fare, like burgers, hickory-smoked barbecue items and hot fudge sundaes. The Rock Chop, a smoked, center-cut pork chop brushed with maple-mustard glaze is served with cheddar mashed potatoes and Granny Smith-mango chutney. Alternatives include a veggie burger and some salad options. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards $$

HEAVENLY HAM
5300 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-5100; www.heavenlyham.com
One would expect to find a ham sandwich at this Uptown eatery, but there's plenty more to choose from. Smoked turkey, roast beef and ham salad, among other selections, are available 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. $

HENRY'S BAKERY & DELI
2313 St. Claude Ave., 944-2622; 3400 S. Claiborne Ave., 894-8894
Proprietor Dwight Henry has made a name for himself at his old-school bake shops, offering some classic renditions of nearly lost New Orleans pastries. The buttermilk drops sell out very early, but regulars duck in for donuts throughout the day. The deli serves righteous portions of soul food classics at lunch and breakfast every morning. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash only. $

HERBSAINT BAR AND RESTAURANT
701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114; www.herbsaint.com
Donald Link cooks modern Creole cuisine infused with European influences at this casually elegant restaurant. Savor smothered Kurobuta pork belly with hoppin' John and collard greens, or sautéed Louisiana jumbo shrimp with house-cured bacon risotto and salsa verde. The menu also features excellent small plates, including Dijon-horseradish beef short ribs and fried frog legs. The restaurant recently added afternoon service between lunch and dinner during the week. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. 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 Hersheys boast more than a century of experience, producing contemporary flavors such as Moose Tracks and Cappuccino Crunch as well as good, old-fashioned vanilla. And it doesn't have to be your birthday to snag a scoop of the birthday cake flavor. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

HICKORY CHICKORY CAFÉ
1827 Hickory Ave. Suite E, Harahan, 738-2220; www.hickorychickorycafe.com
Families are welcome at Hickory Chickory, which has a home-style menu and a kid-friendly atmosphere, including a "kid fridge" and "kid counter" to eat the popular mini-doughnuts with a range of dipping sauces. Grown-ups will enjoy the café's succulent roast beef sandwich, soups, salads or vegetarian red beans and rice prepared with onions, tomato and bell pepper. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

HILLBILLY BAR-B-Q
208 Tallulah Ave., River Ridge, 738-1508; www.hillbillybbq.com
Hickory wood provides the distinctive flavor for Hillbilly Bar-B-Q's brisket, pulled pork, smoked boudin sausage by the link and the huge hamburger known as the Belly Buster. Diners can order a baked potato on the side or make one a meal by topping it with any of the barbecue meats. There also are smoked chicken halves and a cool chicken salad. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

HIP STIX ASIAN FUSION RESTAURANT & BAR
870 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-2858; www.hipstixasianfusion.com
Journey to the Far East without leaving the Warehouse District. Hip Stix seduces diners with dishes like Siam Street Noodles: stir-fried rice noodles with coconut curry sauce, green onions, julienne bell peppers, bean sprouts and a choice of beef, shrimp, chicken or tofu. Tasty Vietnamese options include the Stir-Fried Beef Vermicelli Bowl with beef marinated in Asian spices and served over vermicelli rice noodles and crisp greens. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

HOA HONG NINE ROSES
1100 Stephens St., Gretna, 366-7665
Diners head to Nine Roses for Vietnamese dishes like sugarcane shrimp and vermicelli bowls with fresh cucumber, mint, cilantro and shredded lettuce with your choice of beef, chicken or pork. Starters include seafood soup and hot and sour soup with okra and pineapple. Some items are cooked at the table like strips of beef that are then wrapped in rice paper with herbs, vegetables and sauces. Nine Roses also offers an extensive selection of vegetarian entrées. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

HOBNOBBER'S CAFÉ
5928 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie 734-8448
This neighborhood eatery offers a signature catfish fillet with crawfish sauce and a creamy corn and crawfish bisque. Red beans and rice on Mondays is a staple for regulars. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

HONEY DEE'S CAFÉ & CATERING
2001 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 464-1991
Honey Dee's is a busy bee, preparing daily specials like the Bourbon Street steak burger, a 12-oz. patty steak charbroiled, smothered in tangy steak sauce, grilled onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese, and served on a 9-inch po-boy roll with French fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Sun.-Fri., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

HOOKAH CAFÉ
500 Frenchmen St., 943-1101; www.hookah-cafe.com
Hookah Café offers local flavors to accompany its namesake water pipes full of aromatic tobacco. The kitchen produces creative contemporary dishes like a Napoleon of fried green tomatoes, shrimp, crawfish and crabmeat topped with butter-cream sauce. The Marigny Bouillabaisse is a mix of drum, shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat and mussels in a sauce of white wine, seafood stock and Dijon mustard with tomatoes, leeks, fennel and garlic confit. Reservations recommended. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

HOOTERS
2781 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 889-0160; 4748 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 393-7177; www.hooters.louisiana.com
Hooters aims to keep its wings hotter than the weather. Order them as hot as you can stand with a choice of mild, medium, Three Mile Island or 911 sauce. Or order up some hot nachos, quesadillas or Buffalo chicken strips while you watch sports or other distractions. A variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads and seafood rounds out the menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HORINOYA
920 Poydras St., 561-8914; www.horinoya.com
Artistic presentations of sushi, hard-to-find delicacies like monkfish liver and Japanese favorites like natto are the hallmarks of this chic downtown Japanese restaurant. Horinoya's lunch, specials are ideal for a quick midday lunch and it also features an extensive menu of raw and cooked cuisine that is worth exploring come dinnertime. Horinoya's menu includes many Japanese ingredients not found in many local sushi restaurants. Reservations accepted for dinner. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

HOSHUN RESTAURANT
1601 St. Charles Ave., 302-9716
Drawing on the cuisines of China, Japan, Vietnam and other south Asian countries, Hoshun offers pho soup and Vietnamese spring rolls, pad Thai, sushi and much more. For entrées, try the General Tso's chicken, Hunan steak, Kung Pao shrimp and other regional Chinese specialties. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HOUMAS HOUSE PLANTATION
40136 Hwy. 942, Darrow, (225) 473-9380; www.houmashouse.com
Located along the river, Houmas House is a stunningly renovated 18th century plantation home. Casual lunches are served at Café Burnside and elegant dinners are served at Latil's Landing. House specialties include appetizers like crab cakes and a bisque of curried pumpkin with crawfish and corn. Many dishes use locally available seafood and produce. The café serves sandwiches and salads. Reservations recommended. Café Burnside: lunch daily. Latil's Landing: dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

HOUSE OF BLUES
225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com
Though the House of Blues has outposts all over the country, the menu at the New Orleans restaurant stays strictly down home. For a main course, try the filé gumbo made with shrimp and smoked turkey, the Creole jambalaya or the pan-seared voodoo shrimp with beer reduction sauce. Southern-style sides like skillet-baked rosemary cornbread with maple butter and white chocolate banana bread pudding for dessert complete a well-rounded feast. Reservations accepted. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

HOUSTON'S RESTAURANT
4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-2301
Steaks, sandwiches, barbecue ribs and seafood from Gulf, Atlantic and Pacific waters make Houston's a popular destination for surf and turf lovers alike. The spinach and artichoke dip is a standout starter. For something a little less traditional, try the Thai steak and noodle salad — a marinated steak with fresh noodles, avocado, mango and fresh herbs in Thai dressing. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

HUGH'S WINE CELLAR
4250 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 626-0066; www.hughswinecellar.com
A menu that includes a large number of soups, salads and sandwiches complements the huge wine selectiong at Hugh's. The paté and cheese plate is a great match for any number of vintage bottles, and the crab brioche is filled with lump crabmeat, dill Havarti and remoulade. Reservations accepted. Lunch and light early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

HUMMINGBIRD GRILL
5708 Citrus Ave., Harahan, 305-1980
Hearty comfort food and a tongue-in-cheek approach are the order of the day at this Harahan diner. The Garbage burger may inspire chuckles with its name, but it delivers with a combination of mushrooms, bacon, cheddar, onion straws, chili and a fried egg on top. The Hummingbird club layers sliced turkey, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, lettuce and tomato on seven-grain bread. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

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IGNATIUS EATERY & GROCERY
4200 Magazine St., 896-2225
Ignatius is a fun eatery with old corner-grocery charm. Cans and boxes of familiar local staple products line the walls of the dining room. The menu of Creole favorites includes seafood gumbo, roast beef po-boys, red beans and rice, jambalaya and bread pudding. Original items include the meatloaf made with boudin sausage. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

IGOR'S LOUNGE
2133 St. Charles Ave., 568-9786

An ideal place for multi-taskers and late-night revelers alike, this all-hours lounge and game room 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, grilled, dressed and served with fries. Other sides and snacks include Cajun cheese fries and jalapeño poppers. No reservations. Open 24 hours. 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. The house Buddha burger is a specially seasoned half-pound patty. The Cajun burger adds a kick of Tabasco, Creole seasonings and an optional dose of pepper-blended spice mix. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

IMPASTATO'S RESTAURANT
3400 16th St., Metairie, 455-1545; www.impastatos.com
Joe Impastato serves up traditional Sicilian dishes and new creations. Old favorites include veal marinara, veal Parmesan and osso buco. Shrimp scampi, trout amandine, Maine lobster and soft-shell crabs are popular seafood entrées. Signature salads are named for famous local figures. 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
You might miss Irene's unassuming corner spot were it not for the scent of roasting garlic emanating from its kitchen. Step inside and try the restaurant's Creole-tinged Italian cooking. The cioppino is an Italian fish stew given a New Orleans spin with redfish, Gulf shrimp, clams and mussels in spicy tomato and fennel broth. Cannelloni al forno is baked pasta stuffed with veal, pork, cheese or eggplant. Reservations accepted for parties of five or more. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

IRIS
8115 Jeannette St., 862-5848; www.irisneworleans.com

Tucked away in the Riverbend, this cozy spot gives classic French fine dining an Asian accent. Start out with mussels steamed in curry, coconut and white wine served with root vegetable chips. The braised Niman Ranch lamb shank is complemented by wild mushrooms, housemade pappardelle, lacinato kale, roasted shallots and basil. The bar mixes an array of creative cocktails with fresh fruit. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ISABELLA'S PIZZERIA
2660 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 674-5700; 70452 Hwy. 21, Covington, (985) 875-7620
Isabella's believes you can't put too much on top of a pizza. The Four Seasons mixes it up with a quarter-pizza each of four different gourmet options. Pasta Cucina is linguine topped with shrimp, crawfish, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, green onions and parsley. For starters, consider spinach, artichoke and shrimp dip with garlic breadsticks. Reservations accepted for large groups. Delivery available. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

ITALIAN PIE
Citywide; www.italianpierestaurants.com
Italian Pie offers all sorts of combos on pizzas and in calzones, and there are many salad, pasta and sandwich options. Specialty pies include the Combination, which has pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, onions, peppers and black olives. The roasted garlic pie comes with chicken or shrimp. The Florentine calzone is stuffed with spinach and artichoke, a mix of cheeses and chicken or shrimp. Italian Pie also offers a small selection of wrap sandwiches. Delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

 

 



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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. It's enough for two, or maybe three if you're watching your weight. There are many broiled and fried seafood options. Every dinner comes with a choice of fries, potato salad or baked macaroni and cheese. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat. and dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JACMEL INN
903 E. Morris St., Hammond, (985) 542-0043; www.jacmelinn.com
A fine-dining destination in Hammond, Jacmel Inn is known for its roast duckling served with sweet potatoes glazed in sugar cane syrup, duck cracklins and blueberry wine gastrique. For a marriage of land and sea, try the diver scallops wrapped in prosciutto and plated with mushrooms and risotto. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JACQUES-IMO'S Café
8324 Oak St., 861-0886; www.jacquesimoscafe.com
A boisterous bar scene, funky murals and a spirited take on Creole cooking make Jacques-Imo's Café a perennial favorite with locals and visitors alike. The alligator sausage cheesecake is one of the café's classics, but from fried chicken to blackened fish to Cajun bouillabaisse, no dish is too down-home or too refined for this kitchen to work into its repertoire. Reservations accepted for five or more. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

JAGERHAUS
833 Conti St., 525-9200
Jagerhaus brings a taste of Bavaria to the French Quarter. The Jager schnitzel is sautéed pork tenderloin served with mushrooms in a light cream sauce and spaetzle on the side. Prague Eggs is originally a Scottish dish that was popularized in the Czech Republic. It's a stuffed schnitzel that fills a roll of pan-fried pork loin with ham and egg, and it is served with potato salad. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

JAMILA'S MEDITERRANEAN TUNISIAN CUISINE
7808 Maple St., 866-4366
This quaint Maple Street café dishes up exotic Tunisian delights like the merguez lamb sausage and zucchini bisque with crawfish. Add a couscous dish or a steaming clay pot of lamb tagine (Moroccan stew) to accent a hearty meal. A belly dancer lends an exotic touch to the venue on Saturday nights. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

J'ANITA'S
1906 Magazine St., 373-5337; www.janitas.com
J'Anita's is making a name for itself with inexpensive breakfasts and a unique fish sandwich. Breakfast is an á la carte assembly of eggs, meats, cheeses and whatever else you want on the plate. Redfish is served on a sandwich with feta cheese, bacon, tomato and Caesar dressing. The lunch menu features slow-smoked pulled pork served with Killer Cajun Coleslaw and a choice of sides. There are also burgers and creative items. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JAZMINE CAFÉ
614 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9301
Even with summer's heat lurking just around the bend, it's hard to say no to a bowl of pho soup with noodles, fresh herbs and meat. A popular variation at Jazmine Café is the hot and tangy tamarind fish soup. The rest of the menu focuses on rice and noodle dishes, fresh spring rolls stuffed with rare tuna and other Vietnamese favorites. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

JASMINE FRENCH RESTAURANT
1768 Front St., Slidell, (985) 645-9700
The French specialties at Jasmine include the chicken Chasseur — sautéed chicken breasts with a sauce of garlic, shallots, sliced mushrooms, diced tomato, tarragon and dry white wine. The crabmeat au gratin starts with a pound of crabmeat cooked with white wine and cream and then broiled with a top layer of bread crumbs and grated cheese. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

JAZZ TACOS
307 Exchange Alley, 872-0015
Familiar fare like tacos and tostadas are done Honduran style at this tiny, family-run operation nestled along a quiet, stone-lined pedestrian alley in the heart of the French Quarter. Enchiladas are made with corn tortillas bulging with beef and topped with tomato sauce and cheese. Fajitas, pupusas, quesadillas and burritos are also popular choices. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Cash only. $
JAZZY PO-BOYS
7908 Earhart Blvd., 866-4266
Jazzy Po-Boys moved but still offers carefully crafted renditions of New Orleans' favorite sandwiches with slow-cooked roast beef, hot sausage and fried seafood among the options. Check out daily plate-lunch specials like smothered pork chops and hearty side dishes. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sun. Cash only. $

JEAN LAFITTE'S RENDEZVOUS
240 Bourbon St., 523-6820; w ww.jeanlafittesrendezvous.com
This bustling eatery serves up treasure troves of seafood and other New Orleans dishes that visitors have come to expect, all within a bead's throw of the Bourbon Street mayhem. Entrées range from zesty New Orleans barbecue shrimp served over garlic mashed potatoes to the Cajun rib-eye, which is seasoned with Cajun spices and blackened in a skillet. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$$

JIGGER'S GRILL
1645 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-3555
This bar and grill has many large-screen TVs around the central bar for patrons to watch sports while they nosh on burgers and bar favorites. A special house marinade flavors Jigger's chicken breast sandwich, and the spicy chicken wings are popular. Daily lunch specials are served Monday through Friday. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JIMMY BUFFETT'S MARGARITAVILLE CAFÉ
1104 Decatur St., 592-2565; www.margaritaville.com
Margaritaville takes its inspiration from Jimmy Buffett's travels. The large, colorful eatery brings together live music and a menu full of Gulf Coast and Southern dishes. The Cheeseburger in Paradise is topped with American cheese and served dressed. Broiled shrimp and andouille sausage top the red beans and rice. The menu collects dishes from ports of call from Texas to the Delta to Key West to the Caribbean. There is also a special menu of tropical and frozen drinks and top-shelf margaritas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JOEY K'S RESTAURANT
3001 Magazine St., 891-0997; www.joeyksrestaurant.com
Creole pot cooking, fried seafood and 18-oz. frozen schooners of beer and margaritas are the usual fare at this popular Uptown restaurant, where neighbors and families gather for inexpensive meals. Choose one of several daily specials from the blackboard: Tuesday touts veal cutlet or stewed chicken with creamed potatoes and green beans, and Friday features all-you-can-eat catfish. No reservations. Breakfast Sat., lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

JOHNNY TRAUTH'S SEAFOOD BISTRO
2121 25th St., Kenner, 471-0808
Johnny Trauth's serves plenty of seafood, especially on Tuesday nights when the restaurant runs an all-you-can-eat special of snowcrab legs. The broiled catfish stuffed with crabmeat is always a popular choice. Or try broiled redfish topped with crabmeat au gratin. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JOHNNY'S PO-BOYS
511 St. Louis St., 524-8129
By starting with pillowy Leidenheimer's French bread, this French Quarter mainstay offers classic New Orleans po-boys. Fillings range from fried seafood to a burger to deliciously messy hot roast beef and gravy that'll melt in your mouth. Early in the day, try the full breakfast menu. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash only. $

THE JOINT
801 Poland Ave., 949-3232; www.alwayssmokin.com
"Always smoking" is the motto of this homegrown barbecue operation, and the outdoor smoker perfumes both the backyard dining area and the block. Pull up a picnic-table bench indoor or outdoors for tender beef brisket or sweet, smoky pork ribs with a choice of classic sides, including spicy mac and cheese, coleslaw and baked beans. Check for homemade dessert specials like lemon pie. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. 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 and burritos and fajita platters. Pork and slaw tacos combine barbecue tang with south-of-the-border bite. Veggie burritos on wheat tortillas are a meatless favorite. Spinach tortillas are also available. Try a blueberry mojito with chips and salsa while waiting on one of the rotating daily specials. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

JUKEBOX CAJUN DINER
2560 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-1112
Patty melts, BLTs and fried or grilled shrimp are favorite dishes on the diner-inspired menu. Lunch specials include white beans and rice with pork chops or chicken. Those who arrive before noon have their choice of breakfast fare like made-to-order omelets, pancakes or waffles topped with strawberries and whipped cream. The diner hosts "Cruise Night," a classic car show, on the third Saturday of every month. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

JUNG'S GOLDEN DRAGON RESTAURANT
4417 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-6081
Jung's offers generous luncheon specials combining fried or steamed rice plus an egg roll or fried wonton starting at $5. Jung's offers dishes like Empress chow mien, which includes shrimp, chicken, pork and beef sautéed with fresh Chinese vegetables in brown sauce served over crispy pan-fried noodles. The shrimp with honey pecans is Gulf shrimp sautéed with Chinese vegetables in a sweet brown sauce and garnished with crispy honey pecans. Delivery available. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards.$

JUNIPER
301 Lafitte St., Mandeville, (985) 624-5330; www.juniperrestaurant.net
Creole cuisine is always an evolving work at Juniper, where the menu is constantly being enhanced and customized. The filet Juniper is accompanied by a crab and crawfish cake and Creole hollandaise. Quail stuffed with crawfish and andouille is served with Jack Daniels cane syrup and grits. The fried eggplant pirogue carries shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish tails all simmered in garlic cream and topped with choron sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JUST ITALY DELI & MARKET
708 Aris Ave., Metairie, 832-9292; www.justitalydeli.com
The best offerings of the deli case go into a long list of owner John Bellini's custom-designed paninis and a gourmet muffuletta made with five meats and three cheeses. Try the homemade Italian sausage on a sandwich, over pasta with red sauce or even on a salad. Order antipasti platters a day in advance for memorable feasts for large gatherings. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

 



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K-PAUL'S LOUISIANA KITCHEN
416 Chartres St., 524-7394; www.kpauls.com
Chef Paul Prudomme has passed the torch on to his protege Paul Miller at K-Paul's, and it remains a popular destination for bold south Louisiana cooking. Some of the more famous dishes include turtle soup, gumbo with housemade andouille, and blackened Louisiana drum prepared in a cast-iron skillet and served with fresh Louisiana crab meat, chipotle compound butter, potatoes and vegetables. More creative fare includes the restaurant's version of an eggplant pirogue — seasoned, battered and deep-fried eggplant stuffed with julienne beef and fresh Louisiana shrimp in a special pork and veal sauce with chicory coffee. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

K.Y.'S OLD TOWNE BICYCLE SHOP
2267 Carey St., Slidell, (985) 641-1911
Prepared with slow-roasted beef cooked in house, sliced thin and dressed to order, the roast beef po-boy is reason enough to head to K.Y.'s Old Towne Bicycle Shop. There also are burgers and fresh grilled seafood from the Gulf such as amberjack, yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi, available on sandwiches and platters. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

KABBY'S SPORTS EDITION GRILL
Hilton Riverside Hotel, 2 Poydras St., 561-0500
Signed jerseys, memorabilia and big-screen TVs line the walls of this sprawling sports bar off the lobby of the Hilton. A wide variety of bar food, burgers and sandwiches accompany the bar's full lineup of specialty cocktails. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

KANNO CALIFORNIA SUSHI BAR
3205 Edenborn Ave., Metairie, 455-5730
Japanese-born chef "Elvis" dreams up creative specialty rolls and uses the restaurant's signature Fantasy Sauce at the sushi bar he owns and runs with his wife, Lin. Spicy snow crab, lobster tail meat and wasabi cream sauce come together in the lobster dynamite roll. The lighter South Beach roll has tuna, crab and avocado but no rice. The spicy soft-shell crab soup is popular. Lin makes homemade chocolates for dessert. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

KEITH YOUNG'S STEAKHOUSE
165 Hwy. 21, Madisonville, (985) 845-9940; www.keithyoungs.net
Emphasizing consistency and simplicity, Keith Young's menu reflects the sign hung outside its doors: "Steaks — Chops — Gulf fish." Some popular menu items are the 14-oz. strip steak and generously portioned filet mignon. Seafood options include crab cakes and fried oysters. All main dishes are served with traditional steakhouse side items. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

KENNER SEAFOOD INC.
3140 Loyola Drive, Kenner, 466-4701; www.kennerseafood.net
Kenner Seafood is both a market for fresh and boiled seafood and a restaurant. For those dining in, there are raw oyster specials on Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday and Thursday specials feature fried jumbo shrimp with choice of any side item for $10.95. Entrees include grilled, fried or blackened fish from a choice of redfish, grouper, tilapia and catfish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

THANH THANH
4024 Behrman Hwy., Gretna, 368-5694
In addition to the popular beef pho noodle soup at Thanh Thanh, you'll find five different types of Vietnamese spring rolls with fillings like shrimp, beef, pork and vegetables. Pho Ga, a rice noodle soup with chicken in an aromatic broth, is served with a basket of fresh basil, bean sprouts, jalapeño slices and limes. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner 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. Among other Vietnamese mainstays are rice and noodle soups and vermicelli dishes. The Bo 7 Mon is a seven-course feast of Vietnamese-style beef dishes. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

KING BUFFET
601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-4383
A variety of Asian cuisines are represented on the buffet at this restaurant. Chinese standards comprise the greatest number of dishes with regulars like beef with broccoli and sweet-and-sour chicken. There also are dishes from Thailand, some Japanese specialties and plenty of sweet desserts. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

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

KOREA HOUSE
3540 18th St., Metairie, 888-0654
Tucked away in an unassuming strip off of Severn Avenue in Metairie is a wealth of Korean cuisine. The menu includes seafood dishes and beef that is cooked on grills embedded in the tables. The kitchen offers fried whole fish marinated in soy, garlic and onions as well as specials like the Kal Bi, grilled short ribs marinated in a special house sauce. Dol Sot Bibimbob is a dish of beef and vegetables over rice served in a hot stone pot. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Tue. and Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

KOSHER CAJUN NEW YORK DELI & GROCERY
3519 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-2010; www.koshercajun.com
Kosher Cajun brings New York-style delicatessen sandwiches and other specialties to Metairie. Basics like matzo ball soup are always on hand. The J&N combines hot corned beef and pastrami on New York rye bread with deli mustard, horseradish and coleslaw and is served with a barrel pickle on the side. Deli side dishes include potato latkes and knishes of potato, sweet potato and broccoli. Entrées include grilled chicken breasts, lamb chops and steaks. No reservations. Lunch Sun.-Fri., early dinner Mon.-Thu. Credit Cards. $$

KOZ'S
6215 Wilson St., Harahan, 737-3933; www.kozcooks.com
While Koz's is earning a reputation for its po-boys, the menu at this casual spot offers many other filling, bargain-priced renditions of local favorites. Fried or grilled redfish, fried chicken plates and garlic-stuffed roast beef are among the most popular options. Plates come with a choice of side dishes like baked macaroni and cheese, chili cheese fries, mashed potatoes, onion rings, coleslaw or potato salad. Drop in for the Saturday-only special of barbecue ham po-boys. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

KRYSTAL
116 Bourbon St., 523-4030; www.krystal.com
After a long night on Bourbon Street, grab a sack of tiny, oniony Krystal burgers before you head home. Or drop in any time for a meal combo. The Scrambler specials are breakfast items piled in a cup, and there are conventional options like sausage, egg, bacon pancakes on hand to end a long night or begin the day. No reservations. Open 24-hours. 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, soups with thick udon noodles and creative handrolls from the sushi bar. The Sara Roll features spicy shrimp and avocado topped with crunchy bits and chili sauce. The ceviche roll wraps fresh vegetables and sprouts in fresh whitefish and tops it with lime cilantro sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

 

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LA BOCA
857 Fulton St., 525-8205; www.labocasteaks.com
For a taste of a chic Buenos Aires steakhouse, head over to this Warehouse District Argentine-style hotspot. Various meat dishes are served with piquant chimichurri sauce. Other menu favorites include potato ñoqui with pancetta and peas, and sides like crispy fries and grilled provolone cheese with herbs and olives. No reservations. Dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA BOUCHERIE COFFEE HOUSE & CAFÉ
339 Chartres St., 581-6868
This coffeehouse and café strings together a host of interconnecting rooms, and there's always a quiet corner to relax with a coffee and newspaper. A good selection of coffees and teas is complemented by an array of sweets. Lunchtime brings daily specials, salads, soups and sandwiches like the Conti Club, which layers house-roasted turkey breast, smoked bacon, Swiss and cheddar cheese on wheat bread. The popular Italian meatloaf sandwich is the special on Wednesdays. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Breakfast Sat.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

LA BOULANGERIE
4600 Magazine St., 269-3777
Fresh baked breads and French pastries are the hallmark of La Boulangerie, one of the city's most popular bakeries. It's known for flaky croissants. The menu offers a host of panini sandwiches, small pizzas and salads. It's a little bit of France on Magazine Street. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, early dinner Mon.-Sat. Checks. $
LA CARRETA
107 Carrolwood Drive, LaPlace, (985) 651-9991; 108 NW Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 419-9990; www.carretarestaurant.com
La Carreta features a menu full of popular Mexican dishes like queso dip, quesadillas, fajitas, carnitas, enchiladas, chiles rellenos and spicy shrimp. The La Carreta Dinner is a big round-up of meat with a beef burrito, beef enchilada, beef taco and bean chalupa. There is also a good selection of specialty margaritas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA CASA GOMEZ
643 Lotus Drive, Mandeville, (985) 624-8667
La Casa Gomez offers a mix of Latin American dishes and sandwiches. Its classic Cuban sandwich is made with tender roast pork and layers of ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on French bread. Dishes of grilled meats and onions as well as fajita-style platters, are equally popular. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $
LA COTE BRASSERIE
700 Tchoupitoulas St., 613-2350; www.lacotebrasserie.com
The lobby of the Warehouse District Renaissance Arts Hotel flows gracefully into this seafood restaurant, where the contemporary art theme continues in the design of the exposed stainless-steel kitchen, dining area and marble bar. Chilled seafood tasting platters are a specialty. For entrées, try the pan-seared salmon glazed with Tabasco and Steen's cane syrup and served on a bed of roasted mirliton and shrimp ragout. Sautéed redfish is served over stone-ground grits with crab and leek confit. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LA CREPE NANOU
1410 Robert St., 899-2670; www.lacrepenanou.com
La Crepe Nanou offers classic bistro cuisine and a Francophile touch in dining rooms that seem to be pulled straight from a Parisian restaurant. Classic mussels are steamed in white wine with garlic and fresh herbs and served in a big bowl. Fondue makes a great starter to share. Entrées include savory crepes, steak, roasted chicken and whole fish off the grill with a sauce of capers and lemon butter. No reservations. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit Cards. $$

LA DIVINA GELATERIA
3005 Magazine St., 258-5313; www.ladivinagelateria.com
Gelato and sorbets are made fresh daily from local ingredients like strawberries and citrus and imported items like Sicilian pistachios and French chocolate. Try the popular créme brulée gelato or the plum Beaujolais sorbet. If you need a quick bite, panini choices include prosciutto and chevre cheese with spicy pepper sauce and tuna with artichoke and purple olive tapanade, both served on ciabatta bread. 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 and ham sandwiches, but there are also south-of-the-border options like tacos and fajitas. Hot specials include stewed pork, shrimp etouffée, fried fish and New York strip steak. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

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 convenient cafeteria-style cafés. There are always American and dark French roast coffees to choose from. The bakery prepares breakfast pastries, potato galettes, salads and sandwiches like the croque monsieur. The tomato-basil soup is a popular hot item. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

LA PENICHE RESTAURANT
1940 Dauphine St., 943-1460
Late-night hours, Marigny neighborhood color and a combination of diner fare classics and local New Orleans dishes have long made this corner café a standby. The seafood platter combines fried shrimp, oysters, catfish and soft-shell crab with a potato and salad. The house version of eggs Benedict assembles poached eggs, Canadian bacon, grilled tomatoes and hollandaise sauce on top of an English muffin. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

LA PETITE GROCERY
4238 Magazine St., 891-3377; www.lapetitegrocery.com
La Petite offers an elegant setting for contemporary cooking in what used to be a corner grocery. The gratin of blue crab is blue crab baked in Brie cream. Crispy duck breast is served with caramelized turnips, dandelion greens and lavender-scented duck jus. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA PROVENCE
25020 Hwy. 190 E., Lacombe, (985) 626-7662; www.laprovencerestaurant.com
Long a dining destination drawing patrons from across the region, La Provence has a new owner in restaurateur John Besh, a new chef in French master Rene Bajeux and a menu that changes frequently to take advantage of the best seasonal ingredients. A three-course dinner is available for $30 while some á la carte selections include an assortment of patés, diver scallop carpaccio 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. $$$

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. Pollo La Rosetta is a boneless breast of chicken stuffed with spinach, mozzarella cheese, ham and sweet basil, topped with a mushroom and basil cream sauce. Lamb chops are grilled to order and served with sweet mint sauce with a hint of cloves. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA THAI CUISINE
4938 Prytania St., 899-8886
La Thai moved to Uptown but still serves a mix of traditional and innovative Thai dishes. Entrées include panko-crusted Chilean sea bass with spicy coconut green curry, jumbo lump crabmeat, sautéed veggies and jasmine rice. Traditional Thai dishes are turned out with a masterful hand, including pad Thai, pan-seared scallops, and panang curry with shrimp, chicken or crawfish. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

LA VITA
3201 Esplanade Ave., 948-0077; www.lavitapizza.com
Enjoy casual dining and a menu of pizza and Italian favorites including calzones, panini sandwiches and pasta dishes. La Vita features extra-large salads that are perfect for sharing. Daily specials can range from lamb dishes to bouillabaisse. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

La Vita DEL FORNO
801 Frenchmen St., 944-6854
The wood-burning oven at La Vita del Forno turns out crisp, thin-crust pizzas in old-school Italian style. Try the classic pizza Margherita, topped with fresh basil, mozzarella and tomato, or choose from the variety of salads, sandwiches and pastas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
LAFITTE'S CAFÉ
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, featuring a 12-oz. rib-eye and two side dishes. The menu includes rib-sticking appetizers such as fried pickles and chili cheese fries and baskets of fried seafood. There's also free wireless Internet. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat-Sun. Credit cards. $

LAFITTE'S REAL NEW ORLEANS
300 Canal St., 212-3230
Lafitte's puts a familiar name on contemporary Louisiana cooking. The Royal Street rib-eye is a 12-oz. steak served with classic maitre d'hotel butter and sides of sweet corn macque choux and rosemary roasted potatoes. The salmon salad rests a spice-rubbed, grilled fillet over greens mixed with carrots, squash, red onions, red bell peppers and dressed with Dijon vinaigrette. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LAGER'S INTERNATIONAL ALE HOUSE
3501 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-9923; www.draftfreak.com
Hearty pub grub accompanies the dizzying selection of beers from around the world at Lager's. For a starter, try the meat pies, waffle fries, wings, crawfish spring rolls, gumbo, or potato and bacon soup. Bigger appetites will be satisfied with sandwiches, salads and entrées including a 16-oz. rib-eye, grilled tuna, Thai spare ribs and, of course, Guinness stew made with beef, potatoes, carrots, onions and celery. Fried catfish is the special every Friday. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Lago
900 Harrison Ave., 486-8282; www.lagoneworleans.com
Whet your appetite at this Lakeside dining establishment with one of Lago's specialty appetizers such as the Prince Edward Island mussels sautéed in white wine and herb butter and served with toast points. Other appetizers include the shrimp and crab martini with Gulf shrimp, lump crab and tomato confit with horseradish oil and avocado puree. The duck and tasso wontons with pepper jelly have an Asian accent. For entrées, there is housemade butternut squash ravioli served with hazelnut brown butter and crispy sage. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Tue.- Sun. $$$

LAKEVIEW BREW COFFEE CAFÉ
5606 Canal Blvd., 483-7001
Lakeview Brew offers a wide selection of specialty coffee drinks and an original menu of healthy options. Pastries and baked goods are available for breakfast. The lunch menu includes soups, gourmet salads and sandwiches on croissants, in an herb wrap or as a pressed panini. The Brew Roasted Veggie is filled with grilled red and yellow peppers, zucchini, squash, spinach, red onions, mushrooms and Romano cheese. Besides coffee there are drinks like hot or iced chai tea, hot chocolate and others. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LAKEVIEW HARBOR
911 Harrison Ave., 486-4887; www.lakeview-harbor.com
Dining choices at Lakeview Harbor include steaks, seafood and chicken, not to mention meal-size, loaded baked potatoes. The popular cheeseburgers can satisfy any appetite. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LANDRY'S
400 N. Peters St., 558-0038; 8000 Lakeshore Drive, 283-1010; www.landrysseafoodhouse.com
This family-friendly national seafood chain offers a bounty of local seafood as well as Maine lobster and crab legs from Pacific waters. Try the bacon-wrapped shrimp en brochette with seafood stuffing, Jack cheese and jalapeños, or pick your own fresh lobster from the tank. The Lakefront location has a large deck overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LANGENSTEIN'S
800 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-6682; 1330 Arabella St., 899-9283; www.langensteins.com
In addition to premium cuts of all varieties of meats and gourmet specialty items, Langenstein's offers sandwiches and prepared dishes. Deli specialties include muffulettas, seafood gumbo and crawfish etouffée. The gourmet-to-go selections are available in family-size portions. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LAUREL STREET BAKERY
5433 Laurel St., 897-0576
Home to the "hottest muffins in town," this patisserie serves a variety of classic bakery fare: bagels (boiled and baked daily), cinnamon rolls, quiche, scones and quick breads including zucchini and banana. Cakes are prepared for all occasions. Lunch choices include sandwiches such as ham and cheddar on a homemade croissant. Outdoor seating is available for sunny days. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash and checks. $

LAURENTINO'S RESTAURANT
4410 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 779-9393
Among the more than 20 tapas plates available at Laurentino's are Pamplona chorizo in garlic sauce and samfaina, a roasted eggplant casserole. The paella Valenciana is rice cooked in a saffron broth with shrimp, mussels, calamari, chicken, andouille sausage and fresh vegetables. A popular meat dish is the lamb chilindron stewed Castilian style with vegetables, Mediterranean herbs, hot peppers and Spanish wine, and served with saffron rice. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat., lunch and early dinner Sun. Credit cards. $$

LAZY RIVER
600 Decatur St., Suite 101, Jax Brewery Millhouse, 588-2853; www.patobriens.com/lazyriverneworleans.html
Enjoy the river and a spring breeze on the terrace while sipping a Pat O'Brien hurricane and sampling the daily gumbo. Feast on crawfish bread, spicy meat pies or a muffuletta on focaccia bread. Po-boy options include oyster, shrimp, catfish, roast beef and barbecue brisket stuffed inside crisp French bread. No reservations. Lunch daily, early dinner Fri.-Sat., breakfast Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

LE BON TEMPS ROULE
4801 Magazine St., 895-2600
This Uptown bar, pool hall and music joint also provides fuel for the late-night tank. The tavern kitchen in back offers burgers, po-boys and quesadillas among its specialties. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LE CITRON BISTRO
1539 Religious St., 566-9051
Housed in one of Uptown's oldest buildings, the bistro combines flavors of the past with a nod to the present in entrées like the General Ripley, a soft-shell crab over a filet of beef with a horseradish Creole mustard sauce. The classic New Orleans dish pampano en papillote features pompano cooked in parchment paper and served with vegetables. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sat, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

LE PARVENU
509 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 471-0534
Chef/owner Dennis Hutley loves to prepare innovative Creole cuisine, and the menu changes often at his Kenner restaurant. One of Hutley's culinary inventions is the oyster doubloon, a sautéed corn-crusted oyster flattened into a disk and topped with lump crabmeat and lemon-butter sauce. For dessert, try the warm lemon crepe topped with citrus sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LEBANON'S CAFÉ
1500 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-6200; www.lebanonscafe.com
Check the specials board at this Carrollton Avenue café for unexpected 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 and tabbouleh. Lebanon's also offers lamb chops and hearty steaks straight off the grill. Diners are welcome to bring their own wine. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LEE'S HAMBURGERS
Citywide
Chopped onions give Lee's burgers a little extra zing. So even though you can get quick service, it's still got homemade appeal. 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. $

LEGENDS PATIO BAR & GRILLE
2708 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 887-3877; www.legendsbarandgrill.com
Legends offers a limited menu of burgers, chicken sandwiches and other bar food, along with cocktails and frosty beers. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LIBORIO'S CUBAN RESTAURANT
321 Magazine St., 581-9680
A taste of Cuba and the ambience of an old Havana café await behind the door of this CBD institution. Daily specials include Monday's Cuban beef hash with garlic, raisins and tomato sauce and Friday's seafood paella. Classic Cuban dishes include ropa viejo, stewed beef brisket and roasted pork. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

LI'L DIZZY'S CAFÉ
610 Poydras St., 212-5656; 1500 Esplanade Ave., 569-8997
The Creole soul-food legacy of the Baquet family continues to win new fans and delight old friends at Li'l Dizzy's two locations. For breakfast, try the waffles topped with strawberries or bananas and served with a side of ham, bacon or sausage. The lunch-time crowd can expect po-boys, Creole gumbo with two types of sausage and plates such as trout Baquet gilded with butter and topped with crabmeat. The Poydras location also features different daily specials. Reservations accepted. Poydras location: breakfast and lunch daily, brunch Sun. Esplanade location: breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $
LILETTE RESTAURANT
3637 Magazine St., 895-1636; www.liletterestaurant.com
Lilette features chef/proprietor John Harris' refined French cooking combined with Italian and Spanish influences. For an appetizer, try the fresh hearts of palm salad, grilled beets with goat cheese and walnuts or tuna carpaccio with mint and olives. For an entrée, Kurobuta pork belly is marinated, roasted and served with a salad of cucumber, tomato and basil, and a parsley crouton. Changing seafood dishes include fish such as cod, grouper and yellowfin tuna. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LITTLE TOKYO
310 N. Carrollton Ave., 485-5658; 1521 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 831-6788
Little Tokyo's large sushi bar features an extensive list of nigiri pieces and rolls. There's nothing little about the restaurant's signature Love Boat for two, which includes tempura shrimp and vegetables, chicken and beef teriyaki, sashimi, sushi and fresh fruit. Salads, noodle soups and cooked dishes offer diners plenty of alternatives to sushi. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

LITTLE TOKYO
590 Asbury Dr., Mandeville, (985) 727-1532; www.littletokyosushi.com
For a local spin on sushi, Northshore diners might look to Little Tokyo. The Mandeville roll is made with whitefish, snow crab, asparagus and roe wrapped up in seaweed and fried, with sides of chef sauce and eel sauce. The Twinny roll bundles tuna, fried shrimp, yellowtail, avocado and snow crab. For a little heat, try the Tamaguchi roll with spicy salmon and snow crab wrapped in soy paper. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LIUZZA'S BY THE TRACK
1518 N. Lopez St., 218-7888
Creole gumbo and sandwiches add flavor to this neighborhood bar. Try the po-boys made with garlic oysters, barbecue shrimp, hot sausage, fried catfish or roast beef. The Reuben is another popular sandwich. The bar is open on Sundays but the kitchen isn't. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LIUZZA'S RESTAURANT AND BAR
3636 Bienville St., 482-9120; www.liuzzas.com
A popular Mid-City neighborhood restaurant, Liuzza's is known for home-cooked lasagna and the Frenchuletta, Liuzza's version of the muffuletta. It comes with grilled meats, melted cheese and housemade olive salad. Crawfish Telemachus is another local favorite with spicy crawfish tails in cream sauce over angel hair pasta. Appetizers include fried pickles, thick onion rings and a host of other options that go great with frosty schooners of draft beer. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $$

LIVE BAIT BAR AND GRILL
200 Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 840-0902; www.livebaitnola.com
The rocking bar scene may be the lure at Live Bait, but the kitchen turns out hearty pub grub as well. Barroom fare includes staples like burgers, nachos and chili-cheese potato wedges, plus po-boys, ribs and salads. Local favorites include gumbo and red beans and rice. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LOLA RESTAURANT
517 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 892-4992
Set inside a historic train depot building, Lola prepares informal but carefully made meals. The Cobb salad or any one of the pressed focaccia sandwiches are good lunchtime options. Come for dinner on Friday or Saturday and you'll be treated to specials like oysters Rockefeller, crab cakes and baked trout with seafood stuffing. Reservations recommended for dinner. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LOLA'S
3312 Esplanade Ave., 488-6946
Generous meat or seafood paellas anchor the menu at this lively neighborhood Spanish restaurant. Other popular offerings include tuna, trout, roast duck and rack of lamb. Starters include ceviche and mushrooms in garlic. Lola's wine menu includes selections from Spain and California, but diners may bring their own bottles (with a $5 corkage fee). No reservations. Dinner daily. Cash and checks. $$

LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE
69368 Hwy. 21, Covington, (985) 875-1100; www.longhornsteakhouse.com
If the simple taste of filet mignon served with sizzling butter isn't enough for you, try Longhorn's versions wrapped in hickory-smoked bacon or topped with pungent blue cheese. More traditional options like the rib-eye, New York strip and prime rib are equally popular. Fish, shrimp and chicken dishes round out the entrees and Longhorn offers a separate children's menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LORETTA'S TOO/HE-BREW
2101 N. Rampart St., 944-7068; www.lorettaspralines.com
This Marigny corner café bakes a variety of pastries in-house, including blueberry, chocolate-chip, lemon poppy seed and signature carrot "sunrise" muffins. Stop by on Friday afternoons for New Orleans-style lunch specials like fried and baked chicken, stuffed bell peppers and seafood plates. No reservations. Breakfast daily, lunch Fri. Cash only. $
LOUIE & THE REDHEADED LADY
1851 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 626-8101; www.theredheadlady.com
Southern comfort food and Italian classics share the bill at this friendly, affordable eatery. For seafood lovers with an appetite, there's all-you-can-eat fried shrimp and catfish deals. Veal and eggplant Parmesan dishes are served in the traditional fashion — battered, fried crispy, doused in marinara, topped with mozzarella and served over angel hair pasta. No reservations. Breakfast and dinner Wed.-Sat., lunch Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

LOUISIANA BISTRO
337 Dauphine St., 525-3335; www.louisianabistro.net
Louisiana Bistro showcases contemporary Louisiana cuisine with a twist. Though the menu changes frequently, some popular dishes include the Creole surf-and-turf combining pan-seared filet mignon with crawfish scampi, and alligator tenderloin scallopini served with wine and caper veloute. Crab-stuffed rainbow trout is complemented by jalapeño hollandaise. Baby-back ribs come with down-home sides of bourbon mashed sweet potatoes and greens. Just say, "Feed me," to order the chef's tasting menu. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$
LOUISIANA PIZZA KITCHEN
95 French Market Place, 522-9500; 615 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-5900; www.louisianapizzakitchen.com.
Louisiana Pizza Kitchen is a casual hotspot for gourmet pizza and pasta, and a perfect stoop for people-watching at its French Market location, which also offers an impressive wine list. The Four Seasons Pizza combines artichoke hearts, mushrooms, snow peas, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. The chicken roulade is a chicken breast stuffed with andouille sausage and crawfish dressing served over fettuccine and topped with creamy tomato and basil sauce. There also is a large selection of salads, pita wraps, calzones and pasta dishes. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LUCY'S RETIRED SURFERS BAR & RESTAURANT
701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com
Spirits run high at this quirky downtown hangout. Spicy Riptide chicken wings are served wet with sauce or dry with a rub of seasoning. The menu offers burgers and Southwestern-style Baja rolls with chicken, avocado, black beans, cheese and salsa. Lucy's also serves seafood, sandwiches and salads and offers daily drink and wing specials. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

LÜKE 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 serious dose of Louisiana seafood at his latest restaurant. Chef Jared Tees presides over the daily menu of housemade German-style sausage, sauerkraut, veal, steak au poivre and cassoulet. There also are platters of chilled raw seafood, redfish court-boullion and Gulf shrimp. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

M
MADDIE'S PLACE
3200 Severn Ave., Suite 108, Metairie, 456-7075
Diners head to Maddie's for its chicken salad made with grilled breast meat, eggs and mayo, also available in a sandwich. This European-style coffeehouse serves a host of homemade sandwiches and salads, including the Swiss turkey salad with Romaine and spring mix, smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, alfalfa sprouts, cranberries and walnuts dressed with raspberry vinaigrette. Beverages include everything from cappuccino to iced chai. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Fri. 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 classic po-boys that includes shrimp, roast beef, Italian sausage, hot sausage, catfish, oyster and veal cutlet. In the morning, there are many breakfast options like omelets, breakfast burritos and combination plates. Lunch service extends through late afternoon. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

MANDARIN HOUSE
3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 779-0888
There are roughly 300 items offered at the buffet at Mandarin house. The restaurant is known for its seafood bar, which boasts boiled shrimp, crawfish, king crab and more. Besides Chinese dishes the choices include everything from sushi to dessert. Meat dishes range from barbecued pork to teriyaki chicken. Cakes, cookies and fresh fruit satisfy the sweet tooth for dessert. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MANDINA'S RESTAURANT
3800 Canal St., 482-9179; 4240 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 674-9883; www.mandinasrestaurant.com
Mandina's offers its Creole classics on both sides of the lake. Stacks of fat onion rings are popular appetizers. House specialties also include starters like turtle soup with sherry, and the standby entrée is the trout meuniere with a thick brown sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $$

MANGO MANGO
201 Bourbon St.; 236 Bourbon St.; 333 Bourbon St.; 400 Bourbon St.; 524-0114; www.mangodaiquiris.com
Churning daiquiris in all colors draw crowds into Mango Mango locations on Bourbon Street but there also are solid food options. Pizza slices and hot pretzels provide fuel for a night on the town. The drink menu ranges from the namesake mango daiquiri to blue raspberry to the potent 190 Antifreeze. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

MANO'S PO-BOYS
6943 Saints Drive, Metairie, 734-0922
Mano's offers a full line-up of po-boy options from traditional selections to veal Parmesan, chicken Deluxe, BLT and meatballs. Hot lunch plates change daily from red beans with pork chops or smoked sausage on Monday and stuffed bell peppers on Wednesday to all sorts of fried seafood options on Friday. Start your day with big biscuits with egg and ham, bacon or sausage. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MAPLE STREET CAFÉ
7623 Maple St., 314-9003; www.maplecafe.net
For a fresh take on Mediterranean cuisine, stop by this intimate café in the heart of the Maple Street shopping and nightlife scene. The oysters amandine with white wine lemon butter makes an intriguing starter. The lemon chicken entrée is a popular dish of breaded chicken topped with lemon zest and served over fettuccini Alfredo. There also are daily fish specials. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY
4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-2167; www.marbleslabcreamery.com
Marble Slab is named for the cool marble slab used to blend ingredients. The ice cream parlor offers a very large selection of flavors and mix-ins like bits of cookies, candy, nuts, fruit, marshmallows and more. One popular flavor is the cheesecake ice cream with fresh strawberries. Or try the sweet cream ice cream with crushed Oreos. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MARIGNY PERKS
2401 Burgundy St., 948-7401; www.marignyperks.com
This neighborhood coffeehouse offers many perks to its Marigny regulars. With free Wi-Fi and a dog-friendly atmosphere, patrons feel right at home as they sip coffee, surf the Web and enjoy one of the shop's signature desserts like red velvet or Cookies & Cream cupcakes, or the banana nut bread. The menu includes spinach quiche, sandwiches, salads and soup. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

MARK TWAIN'S PIZZA LANDING
2035 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-8032; www.marktwainspizza.com
In tribute to the restaurant's namesake, this Metairie pizza parlor offers a pie inspired by one of Twain's classics, Innocents Abroad. The restaurant's signature crust is brushed with garlic butter and piled high with Genoa salami, fresh tomatoes, quartered artichokes and Italian sausage with basil. The place also offers sandwiches and po-boys including roast beef that's seasoned with garlic and freshly ground black pepper, then slow-cooked for six hours in the oven. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

Market Wego
100 Westbank Expwy., Westwego, 436-9966
Located in the Westwego Shrimp Lot, Market Wego specializes in boiled and fried seafood in addition to po-boys. Try one with freshly made green onion sausage patties hot off the grill and dressed on French bread. The fried catfish platter features deep-fried catfish fillets on top of French bread and is served with fried fresh okra and French fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MARTIN WINE CELLAR BISTRO, DELI & CATERING
714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7350; www.martinwine.com
One of the area's largest wine retailers also lures customers in for deli sandwiches, burgers and more ambitious bistro-style cooking in a casual setting. Don't miss salad selections like the coriander-crusted seared tuna served with a fresh cilantro, lime and avocado relish or the lump crab salad ravigote, which is Louisiana lump crabmeat minced with shallots, herbs and lemon ravigote, served on steamed fresh artichoke leaves. No reservations. Lunch daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MARTINIQUE BISTRO
5908 Magazine St., 891-8495; www.martiniquebistro.com
Spring weather is prime time for the lush, walled patio at this unique Uptown bistro blending French cuisine with Creole and Caribbean influences. Appetizers include Louisiana blue crab cake with mango, lime and chipotle vinaigrette. Some tempting entrees are the seared sea scallops with leeks, garlic and bacon in a whiskey cream sauce and the sautéed drum with satsuma and jumbo lump crab hollandaise. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MAT & NADDIE'S
937 Leonidas St., 861-9600; www.matandnaddies.com
This beautifully converted Riverbend shotgun home features several intimate and connected dining rooms inside and a spacious deck outside overlooking the levee. The kitchen creates intricate dishes like grilled venison medallions baked with Gruyere spaetzle and served with blanched carrots, green beans and a cream-laced caraway veloute sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon. and Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MATTINA BELLA
421 E. Gibson St., Covington, (985) 892-0708
Mornings are made just a little more bearable with eye-openers like Mattina Bella's Florentine omelet, prepared with three eggs, stuffed 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. $

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. Owner/chef Jean-Luc Albin crafts a classic profiterole — a glazed pastry puff with chocolate ice cream and whipped cream on top. Fresh tarts and traditional English trifles of mixed fruit, fresh cream, custard and cake are popular choices as well. Traditional desserts include red velvet cake, tiramisu and carrot cake. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

MAXIMO'S ITALIAN GRILL
1117 Decatur St., 586-8883
Chef Paul Cattoche is cooking again in the open kitchen at Maximo's. Diners can grab a table or sit at the marble-top bar and watch as dishes are prepared before their eyes. The menu includes favorites like crawfish Diablo, a penne pasta dish with crawfish tails in garlic and green onion cream sauce. The menu ranges from crab claws bordelaise and angel hair Marsala to roasted whole fish, osso buco, rack of lamb and veal Fontina. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$$

MAYA'S RESTAURANT & BAR
2027 Magazine St., 309-3401; www.mojitoland.com
A Latin American restaurant with a Caribbean influence, Maya's prepares almost all of its food to order, even the guacamole. An exception to this is the lechon-roasted pork. It's marinated overnight in bitter orange juice and garlic mojo sauce, slow roasted and served with ranchero black beans over white rice. Another house favorite is Maya's-style paella, which comes with a bounty of seafood — green and white mussels, shrimp, prawns, clams and calamari — garlic, peas and tomatoes all cooked together and generously ladled over saffron rice. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

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 Patriot sandwich loads up turkey and Swiss on wheat berry bread with orange and cranberry sauce while the Big Nasty is an open-face mess of roast beef with gravy and melted cheeses. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MEAUXBAR BISTRO
942 N. Rampart St., 569-9979; www.meauxbar.com
This intimate corner café combines French bistro classics, Louisiana ingredients and some Asian touches for a creative and appealing cuisine all its own. First courses range from salad lyonnaise to mussels in red curry broth to boudin blanc served with sugarcane Creole mustard sauce. The nightly menu may include options like classic steak frites with sauce au poivre, saffron fish stew, or whole trout in lemon caper beurre blanc. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.- Sat. Credit cards. $$

MEGUMI YAKIMONO AND SUSHI BAR
4700 Hwy. 22, Suite 11, Mandeville, (985) 845-1644; www.megumirestaurant.net
Besides sushi, Megumi offers Japanese-style grilled items. The yakimono grill is not common in local restaurants but is the Japanese answer to Korean-style barbecue. Skewers of marinated meat, seafood or vegetables are carefully cooked on Megumi's special grill. There's also a noodle menu, numerous teriyaki dinners, and, for a quick Creole fix, New Orleans-style crab cakes. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MÉLANGE
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal St., 524-1331; www.ritzcarlton.com
Melange created a menu by combining classic creations from the city's most popular restaurants with its own original dishes. The trio of crab combines crabmeat imperial, a crab cake with remoulade sauce, a Napoleon of crabmeat with microgreens and truffle French fries. In the morning, try jumbo lump crab cakes Benedict with Creole hollandaise sauce and hash-brown potatoes, grilled tomato and asparagus. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Thu.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MELIUS BAR & CAFÉ
1701 Lake Ave., Metairie, 828-9446
Breakfast and weekday specials are the hallmark of this eatery. Popular items include a ham and Swiss po-boy, the Melius burger and the taco plate, a special on Thursdays. Patrons enjoy the breakfast sandwich with bacon, cheese and egg on thick Texas toast. Drink specials are available on weekends. No reservations. Breakfast and dinner Mon.-Sat., lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

THE MELTING POT
1820 St. Charles Ave., 525-3225; www.meltingpot.com
The Melting Pot offers fondue and more. There are Mediterranean-inspired dishes like garlic and herb chicken and balsamic sirloin. Traditional cheese fondue is a rich blend of Gruyere and Emmenthaler cheeses enhanced with white wine, minced garlic, lemon juice, herbs and brandy, served with three kinds of bread, apples and vegetables. For dessert, the chocolate fondue is perfect for dipping chunks of fruit. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MICHABELLE INN & RESTAURANT
1106 Holly St., Hammond, (985) 419-0550; www.michabelle.com
Michabelle is a country inn and restaurant that offers a prix fixe menu. Entrées include uncommon seafood options like frogs' legs and grey snapper. On the meat side, there may be beef tenderloin or rack of lamb. Dessert is not included in the set meal, but dishes like Grand Marnier cheesecake and fresh strawberries Romanoff are available for $5 extra. Reservations required. Dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$$

MICHAUL'S LIVE MUSIC RESTAURANT
840 St. Charles Ave., 522-517; www.michauls.com
Michaul's reopened with a wider mix of food and music than it had before Katrina. Besides Cajun music, the bandstand now hosts all sorts of local bands after dinner. The menu includes old favorites like seafood gumbo and crawfish etouffée. From New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp to alligator sauce piquant, there's a range of Creole and Cajun dishes. Reservations accepted. Dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MID CITY LANES ROCK 'N' BOWL
4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133; www.rocknbowl.com
Late-night grill classics at Mid-City Lanes complement the retro vibe of the bowling alley's décor. The burgers and cheese fries are available whether you're bowling or dancing to swing bands, Cajun or zydeco music. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $
MIDDENDORF'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
75 Manchac Way, Manchac, (985) 386-6666; www.middendorfsrestaurant.com
Chef Horst Pfeifer has kept Middendorf's focused on what it's known for: fried thin-sliced catfish. The Middendorf's special is still fried catfish with hush puppies and tartar sauce. The menu also includes crawfish cakes, fried shrimp and oysters, barbecue oysters, broiled whole flounder, fried or broiled chicken, steaks and sandwiches. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

MIKE SERIO'S PO-BOYS & DELI
133 St. Charles Ave., 523-2668
Mike Serio's has local flavor and color. Po-boys fill the menu at Mike Serio's, but LSU sports dominate the décor. The sandwich shop has served roast beef po-boys, fried seafood and plate lunches amid the purple and gold trappings for years. The muffuletta is a particular specialty, and daily lunch offerings include jambalaya or spaghetti and meatballs. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MIKIMOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT
3301 S. Carrollton Ave., 488-1881; www.mikimotosushi.com
Mikimoto is Mid-City's can do sushi spot, offering value-priced pieces and pick-up window service. The sushi bar offers a large variety of raw and cooked fish creations, like the Bayou roll with seaweed salad and cucumber rolled in rice and wrapped with tuna tataki and whitefish. No reservations. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MILA
817 Common St., 412-2580; www.milaneworleans.com
After making names for themselves at their Abita Springs restaurant Longbranch, husband-and-wife duo Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing have brought their creative, cosmopolitan interpretation of Southern cuisine to the CBD. Signature dishes include oysters Rockefeller "deconstructed," pig cheeks with langoustine and New Orleans-style barbecue lobster. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MILANO'S PIZZA
3002 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 780-7500
Milano's magic lies in its gourmet dough, a canvas for a tasty series of options like the chicken Alfredo pizza and the artichoke pie, which has garlic sauce, feta, mushrooms, onion and artichokes. Milano's Mardi Gras pizza is topped with bisque sauce, Gulf shrimp, mozzarella, green onions and fresh tomatoes. Milano's also makes specialty subs, calzones, chicken wings, tenders and salads as well as macaroni and cheese combining penne pasta and four cheeses. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MIMI'S IN THE MARIGNY
2601 Royal St., 872-9868
Mimi's tapas menu is good for a nibble or a multi-course meal of Castilian snacks. Try a variety of hot and cold offerings, from the rich and savory mushroom Manchego toast to dessert-worthy honeyed goat cheese croquetas. Other small plates include ceviche, Spanish cheeses and cured meats, empanadas and shrimp and calamari dishes. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$
MIMI'S ITALIAN AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
10160 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-6464
A meal at Mimi's can be traditional, with Italian dishes like veal Parmesan over angel hair pasta, or diners also can sample the kitchen's unique creations. For instance, the balsamic and honey-glazed duck is served with blueberry gastrique, sweet potatoes and tasso. For dessert, try the lemon coconut ice cream sandwich. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MR. B'S BISTRO
201 Royal St., 523-2078; www.mrbsbistro.com
Mr. B's combines traditional and creative Creole cooking and is known for its shell-on version of New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp in peppery sauce. The country-style Gumbo Ya Ya with chicken and andouille in a smoky roux is another popular dish. Dinner entrées range from Gulf fish cooked on a wood grill to filet mignon to duck risotto. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$
MR. ED'S SEAFOOD AND ITALIAN RESTAURANT
1001 Live Oak St., Metairie, 838-0022; www.mredsno.com
Mr. Ed's serves seafood, po-boys, muffulettas, fried chicken and Italian dishes. Entrees include panéed trout topped with crabmeat and jumbo lump crabmeat au gratin. Stuffed artichokes, bell peppers and eggplant casserole with crabmeat and shrimp are longtime favorites. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

MR. GYROS
3620 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 833-9228; www.mrgyrosnola.com
As one might expect from its name, Mr. Gyros specializes in the classic Greek lamb and beef mixture, serving it up as a plate, as a stew or as a sandwich with steak fries on the side. The menu includes much more, however, including homemade spanakopita, Grecian pizza, calamari and mousaka, a dish of baked eggplant and ground lamb. There are pasta specials, fish specials and two soups to choose from every day. For dessert, try tiramisu, strawberry cake or baklava. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MR. JOHN'S RISTORANTE
2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7697; www.mrjohnssteakhouse.com
Half of the menu at Mr. John's reads like that of a classic New Orleans steakhouse, and the other half offers a tour of northern Italian specialties. From shrimp scampi to crabmeat-stuffed ravioli to grilled seafood dishes, the kitchen satisfies a wide range of cravings. When it comes to steaks, Mr. John's broils strips, filets, rib-eyes and other cuts to order and serves them sizzling with butter. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MR. POOR BOY
10202 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-1170
Mr. Poor Boy serves sandwiches and daily hot-plate specials. Po-boy choices feature the popular home-cooked roast beef as well as salami, different types of sausage, meatball and fried seafood. Or dig into dishes like red beans and rice, 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. $

MR. ROO'S DELI & CATERING
3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-4010
Filling and offbeat seafood plates of grilled catfish, shrimp and oysters with garlic butter sauce are the hallmarks of Mr. Roo's menu. The homemade remoulade sauce is put to good use in a salad with boiled shrimp, greens, cheddar cheese, egg and tomato. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MIYAKO SEAFOOD & STEAKHOUSE
1403 St. Charles Ave., 410-9997; www.japanesebistro.com
Head to Miyako for Japanese surf-and-turf combos. Patrons can reserve a seat at the hibachi grill for a dramatic cooking presentation of specials like Hibachi Miyako which comes with Japanese clear soup, house salad with ginger-carrot dressing, mixed vegetables, hibachi noodles, filet mignon, shrimp and lobster. The sushi bar offers a similarly comprehensive selection of fish and handrolls. The Ichiban Roll Combo includes miso soup, house salad, a dragon roll, double spicy roll and California roll. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MOCHACCINO'S
1005 Lee Road, Covington, (985) 809-1111; www.mochaccinos.com
Regular and flavored coffees, pastries and a menu of sandwiches and light entrées offer a wide range of options at Mochaccino's. Italian pasta salad is piled high with rotini and strips of salami and provolone for those who don't consider dessert a food group. There are also wraps and panini sandwiches like the Philly cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

MOJO COFFEE HOUSE
1500 Magazine St., 525-2244
This corner spot is keeping the neighborhood coffee shop scene alive and well in the Lower Garden District by brewing good mojo daily. Sidewalk tables make for fine social sipping and Mojo offers bubble teas and a variety of limeades and lemonades in addition to coffee and an assortment of fresh baked goods. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

MONA LISA RESTAURANT
1212 Royal St., 522-6746
A French Quarter favorite for more than 20 years, Mona Lisa serves pizza and pasta in a cozy café setting. Specialty pizzas include barbecue chicken; the Mediterranean, with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, black olives and garlic; and the Hawaiian, with pineapple and ham. Also popular are eggplant Parmesan, penne veal and pasta bolognese. Reservations accepted for six or more. Lunch daily and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
MONA'S CAFÉ
504 Frenchmen St., 949-4115; 1120 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-8175; 3901 Banks St., 482-7743; 4126 Magazine St., 894-9800
Since opening a single grocery/restaurant in Mid-City, Mona's has grown in popularity and now has several cafés across the city. The menu of affordable Middle Eastern food includes gyro sandwiches and platters, falafel, and kebabs of chicken, lamb and beef. Soups and salads include a hearty lentil soup, tabbouleh, and a yogurt and cucumber salad. The small plates include safeiha, essentially a small pizza of pita bread topped with ground beef and lamb, tomatoes, onions, parsley and spices. Dips include hummus and baba ghanoush. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $
MONSTER PO-BOYS
1814 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-9183
You can imagine what the draw is at this Mandeville eatery, but giant, overstuffed po-boys are hardly the only things offered. Lunch specials like lasagna, roast beef, fried veal and shrimp rotini cater to hearty appetites. If you stick with the namesake, housemade roast beef, meatballs and fresh seafood are among the most popular options. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MOONLIGHT CAFÉ
1921 Sophie Wright Place, 561-1255
The nighttime is still the right time for late meals at Moonlight. Check out the Mud Spud, potato skins loaded with pulled pork and melted cheese, or the Deep South Salad with field greens, dried blueberries, avocado, spiced pecans and homemade sweet tea dressing. There also are sandwiches, burgers and meat entrées straight from the slow cooker or smoker. For breakfast, try grillades and grits or biscuits smothered in gravy. No reservations. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch, dinner and late-night Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

MORNING CALL
3325 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-4068; www.morningcallcoffeestand.com
While Morning Call has served coffee and beignets in Metairie since 1974, its history goes back more than a century to its origins at the French Market. But it still serves the same rich chicory coffee and sugar-coated airy beignets it always has. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Cash only. $

MORTON'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
702 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-4970; www.mortonsseafood.com
Located on the Tchefuncte river, Morton's is a Madisonville landmark. Its "seafood boats" — hollowed bread loaves stuffed with shrimp, oysters or catfish — are a house specialty. The charbroiled fresh catch changes daily. Fried seafood and creamy pasta dishes are balanced out on the menu by a few heart-healthy items such as Morton's signature salads. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards and checks. $$

MORTON'S STEAKHOUSE
Canal Place, 365 Canal St., 566-0221; www.mortons.com
Morton's has a reputation for big cuts of USDA prime beef. The Cajun rib-eye steak is a 16-oz. cut marinated for 60 hours in Cajun seasonings. Maine lobsters are flown in daily and are split down the middle of the tail, baked and served with drawn butter. Other steakhouse favorites range from iceberg salads with blue cheese dressing and Caesar salads to big porterhouses or New York strips. For dessert, there's a chocolate, lemon, raspberry or Grand Marnier soufflé. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MO'S PIZZA
1112 Avenue H, Westwego, 341-9650; www.mospizza.net
The pizzas at Mo's measure almost 21 inches across, and the options are as sizeable as the pizza is wide. Meat lovers enjoy the meat pizza loaded with pepperoni, sausage, meatballs and ham. The supreme adds olives and vegetables to the mix. Mo's lasagna towers with five layers of meat, ricotta cheese and red sauce and is served with toasted garlic bread. Other options include weekday specials and sandwiches like the muffuletta and the hot sausage po-boy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.- Sat. Credit cards. $

MOSCA'S
4137 Hwy. 90 W, Avondale, 436-9942
Mosca's Italian and Creole cooking draws diners to its bright dining rooms for family-style meals of signature dishes like oysters Mosca, spicy chicken cacciatore, roasted game hen and spaghetti and meatballs. Reservations accepted except on Saturday. Dinner Tue.- Sat. Cash only. $

MOTHER'S RESTAURANT
401 Poydras St., 523-9656; www.mothersrestaurant.net
Mother's built its reputation on roast beef debris and other meats cooked for its po-boys. Mother's versions come dressed with shredded cabbage instead of lettuce, Creole or yellow mustard and pickles. The house special sandwich is the Ferdi, with baked ham and debris. Mothers also serves breakfast and Creole dishes like jambalaya, crawfish etouffée and hearty red beans and rice. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MUFFULETTA'S DELI
3244 Severn Ave., Metairie, 889-1112
The namesake sandwich and classic Italian-New Orleans creation is prepared with layers of mortadella, ham, salami, provolone and olive salad. Muffaletta's roast beef po-boy features homemade shredded roast beef and gravy. Another house favorite is the club po-boy, filled with ham, turkey, bacon, roast beef and American cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $.
MULATE'S CAJUN RESTAURANT
201 Julia St., 522-1492; www.mulates.com
Cajun dining and dancing are a spicy combination at this rustic-style Warehouse District destination. As Cajun bands perform for the evening crowd, the kitchen dishes out classic and innovative dishes like grilled catfish Mulate's topped with crawfish etouffée, chicken and sausage jambalaya, blackened fish, crabmeat au gratin and platters of grilled and fried seafood. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MURIEL'S JACKSON SQUARE
801 Chartres St., 568-1885; www.muriels.com
This picturesque restaurant on the corner of Jackson Square is a pretty spot to enjoy contemporary Louisiana cuisine. The restaurant recently announced that chef Gus Martin has taken over the kitchen. He has more than 25 years of experience modernizing Creole cuisine at local fine-dining restaurants. Muriel's has a good wine selection to complement its food. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$
N
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 and sweet-and-tart margaritas. Mama's Nachos are a pile of corn tortillas with a choice of chicken, ground beef, steak or pork loaded with black olives, jalapeños, sour cream, fresh pico de gallo and melted Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses. The grilled 8-oz. salmon steak is rubbed with sugar and spices, grilled, topped with mango salsa and served with Spanish rice, black or refried beans and tortilla chips. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

NAPOLEON HOUSE
500 Chartres St., 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com
Napoleon House is iconic with its charming French Quarter atmosphere, specialty drinks like the refreshing Pimm's Cup, and its preference for classical music. Its version of the muffuletta is heated to draw out its flavor. The ratatouille calzone combines roasted seasonal vegetables in Dijon vinaigrette. Sandwiches include po-boys of roast beef, corned beef and pastrami, as well as a variety of vegetarian paninis. No reservations. Lunch daily. Credit cards. $$

NATZ Café
2101 Paris Road, Chalmette, 278-1998
Natz Café offers salads, wraps and daily specials. The Izzy salad is piled with ham, turkey, bacon, tomato and mixed greens with honey-mustard aioli. Or the Izzy can be made into a wrap. The equally popular Flour Power salad features mixed greens, goat cheese, fresh sliced strawberries, candied pecans and homemade balsamic vinaigrette. The café is still in the Flour Power family, offering Flour Power cakes, pastries and king cakes year-round. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

N'AWLINS FLAVA CAFÉ
830 N. Rampart St., 324-6420; www.nawlinsflavacafe.com
Get your taste buds ready for a menu that offers a selection of Creole, Cajun and soul food dishes. There's pecan-crusted salmon, redfish courtbouillon stuffed with crabmeat and baked in red sauce, smothered pork chops, hog maws and oxtails in brown gravy. If that's not enough, check out the chitlins, collard greens, seasoned rice and cornbread. Delivery available in the French Quarter. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

NEW CITY GRILLE
2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-8484; www.newcitygrille.net
Mixing Creole favorites with updated classics gives the menu at New City Grille its flavorful twist. Shrimp remoulade, jumbo lump crab cakes and oysters en brochette are familiar appetizers. Burgers, salads and sandwiches make appearances on the menu, as do more elaborate options like a spice-rubbed rib-eye, crawfish spring rolls and redfish topped with jumbo lump crabmeat. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

NEW ORLEANS BISTRO
27431 Hwy. 190, Lacombe, (985) 882-7282
Traditional Creole cuisine is at the heart of the menu at this Northshore restaurant. House specialties include redfish Toulouse with a fried fillet topped with artichokes, mushrooms and shrimp in white wine cream sauce. Stuffed shrimp Creolaise features golden-fried Louisiana shrimp stuffed with white lump crabmeat. There are also staples such as rib-eye steaks, salads, wraps and the spicy Voodoo Shrimp appetizer. Reservations recommended on weekends. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

NEW ORLEANS BREAKFAST & PANCAKE HOUSE
101 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 394-7272; 4301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 281-4510
These comfortable cafés are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start the day with the Big House omelet made with four eggs, 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 CAKE CAFÉ & BAKERY
2440 Chartres St., 943-0010
This cozy bakery offers its own home-baked goods and full breakfast and lunch menus. Bagels, bread, cakes, Danishes and pastries are made on the premises. Creative takes on old favorites include an apple goat cheese king cake. For breakfast, try an omelet of spinach, bacon and Brie. Lunch sandwich options include fresh roasted turkey with roasted sweet red pepper aioli on a choice of house-baked bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. 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 café. Seafood choices offer a boatload of dining options. Voodoo rolls are stuffed with crawfish and cheese, flash fried and served with Creole honey mustard. Entrées include a fried seafood sampler platter and crab cakes Pontchartrain. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Tue., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

THE NEW ORLEANS GRILL AT THE WINDSOR COURT
300 Gravier St., 523-6000; www.windsorcourthotel.com
The Windsor Court is always an elegant spot to enjoy a refined meal. The New Orleans Grill features a mix of contemporary French and Louisiana cooking. The wine cellar is well stocked for any occasion. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

NEW ORLEANS HAMBURGER AND SEAFOOD COMPANY
817 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-3382; 1005 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson, 734-1122; 6920 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-1272; www.nohsc.com
It's hamburger, seafood and a contemporary menu that includes entrées like barbecue ribs, grilled salmon, steaks, catfish pecan and crawfish etouffée. True to its burgers-and-seafood roots, there are still old favorites like half-pound burgers and the original one-handed barbecue shrimp po-boy. On the garden side is the Strawberry Fields salad with grilled chicken, fresh sliced strawberries, blue cheese and red onions in poppy seed dressing. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NEW YORK PIZZA
5201 Magazine St., 891-2376
New York Pizza serves up thin-crust pies with a wide variety of toppings. The Super Big Apple pizza piles on almost every ingredient in the kitchen. The Queen's pizza pairs spinach, artichoke, mushrooms and feta with a white olive oil-based sauce. Grab it to go or enjoy the Magazine foot traffic at one of the sidewalk tables. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
NILE CAFÉ
3100 Magazine St., 897-0920
To see for yourself what sets this Magazine Street restaurant apart from its peers, start with the red lentil soup or the baba ghanoush dip. A delectable blend of seasonings spices up the kebabs and the other grilled meat plates. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NINJA SUSHI
8433 Oak St., 866-1119
Guests wait in Ninja's ground-level bar before heading to the spacious dining room upstairs for meals. Fresh cuts of maguro, salmon and snapper issue forth from the long sushi bar, and the kitchen produces a full array of soups and cooked Japanese dishes, including broiled neck of yellowtail and ice cream balls in rice paper wrappers. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

NIRVANA INDIAN CUISINE
4308 Magazine St., 894-9797; www.insidenirvana.com
The lunch buffet is a consistent draw at this Uptown go-to for curry and naan, though at night the á la carte menu offers many more options. Specialties include butter chicken, a roasted chicken breast in a tomato and butter sauce. The Saag paneer is a dish of curried spinach made with Indian cheese. For dessert, try rice pudding or saffron kulfi and Indian-style ice cream. Reservations recommended for five or more. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

NOLA RESTAURANT
534 St. Louis St., 522-6652; www.emerils.com
With its French Quarter address, central elevator and three floors, NOLA may be the most urbane setting for celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's cooking, but the cuisine has plenty of rustic accents. Appetizers include crispy veal sweetbreads and roasted clams with apple-smoked bacon in beer broth and focaccia bread. Entrées include garlic-crusted Texas redfish and grilled pork porterhouse with brown-sugar-glazed sweet potatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

N'TINI'S
2891 Hwy. 190, Suite D, Mandeville, (985) 626-5566
Straightforward seafood and steak are given a facelift at N'Tini's with New Orleans-accented versions of classic dishes. The popular soft-shell crab comes topped with crabmeat, and the beef tournedos feature two 6-oz. filets atop fried eggplant medallions. Match one of N'Tini's martinis with the crab cake Napoleon, two crab cakes and eggplant topped with lobster meat in a brandy cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

NUVOLARI'S
246 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 626-5619; www.nuvolaris.com
Originally a country store dating back to the 1930s, Nuvolari's long ago evolved into a showcase for refined, Louisiana-influenced Italian cuisine. The menu changes regularly, and Nuvolari's deep wine list can match the variety. Try the redfish (with citrus meuniere, haricots verts and jumbo lump crabmeat) or the osso buco. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

O
OAK STREET CAFÉ
8140 Oak St., 866-8710; www.oakstreetcafe.com
Local musicians set the tone for a laid-back atmosphere at this Uptown eatery. A breakfast specialty is eggs Beauregard, a Southern twist on eggs Benedict featuring sausage on a fluffy biscuit smothered in a light sausage gravy. The Creole spinach egg nest serves poached eggs on a bed of spinach and cream cheese over English muffin halves. Po-boys, wraps and daily specials are offered for lunch. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash only. $

OBEE'S SOUP, SALAD AND SUBS
920 Gravier St., 589-0077; www.nolaobees.com
Obee's is a reliable, quick stop for breakfast or lunch. Grab a breakfast bagel with your choice of meat, eggs and cheese in the morning. The lunch menu offers panini-pressed cheese sandwiches and gumbo, French onion soup and Creole tomato bisque. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

OCEANA GRILL
739 Conti St., 525-6002; www.oceanagrill.com
Seafood is the specialty at this colorful café just off Bourbon Street. The redfish Amer is topped with a crawfish cream sauce, and the chef's La Boheme special tops grilled ahi tuna with New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp. Order fried catfish, shrimp or oysters in po-boys or on platters with jambalaya and a vegetable on the side. Try the smoked duck or garlic filet mignon for meatier meals. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$
O'DONNELL'S RESTAURANT
131 S.W. Railroad Ave., Ponchatoula, (985) 386-4077; www.odonnells-restaurant.com
Tiny Ponchatoula offers big flavors at O'Donnell's. Louisiana favorites include crab cakes, soft-shell crab and shrimp pasta. There are also creative dishes with international accents like beef spring rolls and panzanella salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers and bread. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

O'HENRY'S FOOD & SPIRITS
Citywide; www.ohenrys.com
With its floor covered in crushed peanut shells, O'Henry's always exudes a casual vibe. There are plenty of burgers, sandwiches and fried fish dishes on the menu. Pasta selections strike a local note with the restaurant's version of crawfish Monica, made with crawfish tails in spicy cream sauce. There also are a few spicy and exotic accents, like the Thai shrimp wrap and Cajun Chicken Melt. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OKI NAGO
2712 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 780-8588; www.okinago.com
Oki Nago's buffet has a wide variety of new and traditional Japanese dishes including cold noodle salads, pickle salads, shrimp dishes, breaded and fried meats prepared katsu-style, yakimeshi, which is a Japanese version of fried rice, and a host of other popular dishes. Domburimono dishes feature bowls of rice topped with meat or omelets. There also is a large selection of rolls and sushi from the sushi bar. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

OLD COFFEE POT RESTAURANT
714 St. Peter St., 524-3500;
Breakfast at this longtime French Quarter establishment features standard morning fare and original dishes like eggs Jonathan, a variation on eggs Benedict that adds tomato and shrimp. One of the house specialties is an order of the traditional Creole rice cakes called calas, a breakfast treat sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with syrup. Lunch and dinner offer an array of fried local seafood and crowd pleasers like gumbo, crawfish etouffée, shrimp Creole, bread pudding and bourbon pecan pie. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
OLIVE BRANCH CAFÉ
1995 Barataria Blvd., Marrero, 348-2008; 5163 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, Algiers, 393-1107; www.olivebranchcafe.com
Gourmet pizzas, pastas, salads and sandwiches are offered at this duo of casual West Bank cafés. All your favorite pizza toppings are available, or for something a little different try the muffuletta sub or the tomato basil wrap sandwich. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

OLIVIER'S CREOLE RESTAURANT
204 Decatur St., 525-7734; www.olivierscreole.com
The proud traditions of Creole cooking are on elegant, edible display at Olivier's. Entrées include classic shrimp Creole and crawfish etouffée. The Creole rabbit with oyster dressing is a perennial favorite. Popular starters are the sampler of three different gumbos and new potatoes with caviar. For dessert, try homemade bread pudding or fruit cobbler. Reservations recommended. Dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$
ONE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
8132 Hampson St., 301-9061; www.one-sl.com
Intimate and cosmopolitan sums up the vibe at this Riverbend café. There are seats perched on the edge of the open kitchen, and bar patrons get a good view of chef Scott Snodgrass' work as well. The menu changes frequently, but some popular dishes include stewed country ribs in a red wine demi-glace, pan-fried rainbow trout, and orechiette pasta with wild mushrooms and roasted tomatoes. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ORLEANS GRAPEVINE WINE BAR AND BISTRO
720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930; www.orleansgrapevine.com
This urbane hideaway is practically hidden behind St. Louis Cathedral, but plenty of locals and visitors alike seek it out for creative bistro cuisine and one of the city's largest selections of wine by the glass. Dig into a double-cut pork chop served with sweet potato and wild boar sausage hash on the side, or sample a plate of sautéed calamari served with sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives and green onions in a Dijon-vermouth beurre blanc. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

ORLEANS SEAFOOD
3301 S. Claiborne Ave., 821-5007
Don't let the outside facade fool you. Inside Orleans Seafood lies a flavorful array of soul food and Chinese cuisine including gumbo, po-boys and local seafood dishes. Asian specialties include General Tso's chicken, pepper steak, and shrimp and broccoli, and dishes can be adjusted for preferred levels of spicy heat. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

OSCAR'S RESTAURANT & BAR
2027 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-9540
Best known for juicy burgers and overstuffed baked potatoes, Oscar's is also renowned for its version of a local favorite sandwich. The Oscarletta combines olive salad, Italian salami, mortadella, ham, and Swiss and Monterey jack cheeses on French bread. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner daily, late-night Fri.-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
Outback recently marked its 20th anniversary serving steaks to Yanks, but it's not losing its Aussie lingo. The fried, or Bloomin', onion has plenty of crispy straws to feed a table full of hungry folks. The Kookaburra wings, bathed in hot sauce, look suspiciously like the Buffalo variety. For entrées, the portions are ample at the steakhouse chain, whether you order a slow-roasted sirloin or a fillet of fish crowned with lobster and crab. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

P
P & G RESTAURANT
345 Baronne St., 525-9678
There's no line at this bustling downtown diner, so step up and order a big po-boy stuffed with seafood. Daily lunch specials include fried shrimp or catfish platters and red beans and rice. The fried seafood combination platter is a lunch challenge that's not for the faint of appetite. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

PJ'S COFFEE & WINEBAR
5359 Mounes St., Harahan, 731-2905; www.gourmet-ideas.com
This enhanced coffeeshop has all of the specialty coffees of the PJ's chain, plus a selection of beers and wines from around the world. Bagels, muffins or other baked goods coupled with a fresh cup of hot coffee are a pleasant way to start your morning. Panini, soups, salads and small tapas-style dishes pair nicely with a drink in the evening. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $
PJ'S COFFEE OF NEW ORLEANS
Citywide; www.pjscoffee.com
A New Orleans original, the PJ's Coffee chain offers coffee, baked goods and local flavor at locations throughout the city. Some of the choices include blueberry muffins, cranberry muffins and croissants in the morning. Popular sweet options include carrot cake, bourbon pecan pie and lemon squares. Many locations offer wireless Internet connections. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PAILLARD'S RESTAURANT
717 Orleans Ave., 523-2222 ext. 6001; www.bourbonorleans.com
The signature restaurant at the Bourbon Orleans hotel, Paillard's serves a combination of down-home Southern cooking and contemporary Louisiana cuisine. Dishes range from the gumbo of the day to Asian-accented seared ahi tuna with sesame glaze over cucumber salad. Steamed mussels are given a boost by andouille sausage in a fresh herb and wine broth. Braised lamb shank with rosemary jus is served with tabbouleh and grilled squash. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$
PALACE Café
605 Canal St., 523-1661; www.palacecafe.com
Palace Café is an elegant standout among the bustle on lower Canal Street. Sidewalk café seating offers a pleasant al fresco dining option in warm spring weather. Chef Darin Nesbit's menu features contemporary Creole cuisine including stuffed rabbit, crabmeat cheesecake and Gulf fish dishes. One of the café's signature dishes is the pepper-crusted duck breast fanned out over citrus confit salad and topped with seared Hudson Valley foie gras. Crawfish appears in many seasonal spring dishes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

PALM COURT JAZZ CAFÉ
1204 Decatur St., 525-0200; www.palmcourtjazzcafe.com
Palm Court offers traditional New Orleans jazz by some of the city's senior musicians in a supper-club setting. The Creole cuisine features starters like gumbo with chicken, andouille and okra and traditional dishes like shrimp Creole. The chicken sardou is served on a bed of creamed spinach over artichokes with oyster sauce. Or try the shrimp ambrosia cooked in fennel and served over spinach pasta. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

PALMETTOS ON THE BAYOU
1901 Bayou Lane, Slidell, (985) 643-0050; www.palmettosonthebayou.net
The deck is a perfect place to dine overlooking the cypress-lined bayou that creates so much of the only-in-Louisiana ambience of Palmettos. Specialty dishes include Palmettos' shrimp pasta flavored with roasted garlic, tomato and artichoke hearts. Eggplant Palmettos tops crispy eggplant with shrimp- and crab-laden seafood sauce. Steaks, fish and other Louisiana specialties complete the menu. Live jazz livens things up on Friday nights. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. 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. Vietnamese vermicelli noodle dishes and rice plates also are available. A marinated and grilled pork chop is served with a horseradish sauce, sautéed mushrooms, onions, rice and salad. More Louisiana-inspired dishes include the seafood, shrimp or fish platters. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

PAPA JOHN'S PIZZA
Citywide; www.papajohns.com
Papa John's added a little local flavor recently with a Cajun pizza topped with shrimp. The delivery chain also offers other specialty pies, appetizers and meal deals. Specialty pies include an Italian meat trio, barbecue chicken and bacon, Hawaiian barbecue, spinach Alfredo and the Works. Sides include garlic Parmesan breadsticks, cheese sticks, wings in a spicy Buffalo or mild barbecue sauce and chicken strips. Online ordering, take out and delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PARADISE CAFÉ
3717 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-4141
It's breakfast made to order and home-style entreés for lunch at Paradise Café. The regulars ask for barbecued brisket, avocado stuffed with chicken salad, chicken quesadillas, white beans and rice served with smoked sausage or pork chops. Round out a meal with a cup of cream of artichoke soup. Daily specials are available. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Fri., lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

PARASOL'S RESTAURANT & BAR
2533 Constance St., 899-2054; www.parasols.com
This Irish Channel pub is known for inexpensive drinks and roast beef po-boys dripping with gravy and tender bits of meat. Crispy fried oysters and shrimp are served as plates or po-boys, as are some unexpected bar snacks like 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. But there are plenty of po-boy choices including meatball, catfish, corned beef, shrimp and oyster. There are also local renditions of jambalaya and, for dessert, bread pudding made fresh each day. The bar out front doesn't detract from the family vibe, with diners eating upstairs and out on the side patio. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $
PARRAN'S PO BOYS
3939 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-3416
Parran's runs the gamut, offering club sandwiches, chuck burgers and po-boys such as shrimp, oyster, and ham and cheese. The menu at this self-proclaimed "home of the seafood muffuletta" also boasts po-boys you won't find in most places, such as tuna steak, grilled Genoa salami and prime rib. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat, dinner Fri. Credit cards. $$

PASCAL'S MANALE RESTAURANT
1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877
Although it is known for creating New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp and having a popular raw oyster bar in the front, this almost century-old restaurant has always featured a mix of Creole and Italian dishes, especially with seafood. Pascal's barbecue shrimp are served head-on and doused in spicy, tangy sauce. The combination pan roast features oysters, shrimp and crabmeat with a blend of shallots, parsley and seasoning. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

PAT O'BRIEN'S COURTYARD RESTAURANT
624 Bourbon St., 525-4823; www.patobriens.com
Pat O'Brien's is well known for its hurricane cocktail, courtyard setting and rollicking piano bar, and it also has a restaurant. The kitchen cooks classic Creole and contemporary dishes. Choices include traditional dishes like shrimp Creole and crawfish etouffée. There are also grilled fish entrées and penne pasta topped with Gulf shrimp. Recently added items include a focaccia muffaletta and short ribs. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
PATOIS
6078 Laurel St., 895-9441
Nestled at the corner of Laurel and Webster streets, Patois fuses the elegance of an upscale restaurant with the warmth and ease of a neighborhood bar. The airy, front-and-center bar is open seven nights a week for casual cocktails. The dinner menu abounds with distinctive flavors from panéed Mississippi rabbit to boudin-stuffed smoked pork chop to Portuguese seafood stew. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

PAUL'S CAFÉ
100 E. Pine St., Ponchatoula, (985) 386-9581; www.paulscafe.net
It's a special slice of Ponchatoula life at Paul's Café. Home-style breakfast and over-stuffed po-boys are popular with locals. Blue plate specials include red beans and rice with smoked sausage and other Louisiana cuisine. A popular weekend favorite is a strawberry daiquiri with New Orleans Rum. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

PELICAN CLUB
312 Exchange Place, 523-1504; www.pelicanclub.com
Elegant dining rooms and a stately bar greet guests at this contemporary Creole restaurant. A popular starter is the seafood martini, a fresh mix of Maine lobster, jumbo lump crabmeat and Gulf shrimp with a jicama salad and eight-herb ravigote all served in a martini glass. The Louisiana cioppino stew brims with shrimp, mussels, Gulf fish and scallops and is served with a side of linguine in a basil-tomato sauce. The trio of duck entrée includes portions of duck confit, barbecue duck and duck breast with dirty rice and warm cranberry orange port sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

PELLICANO RISTORANTE
4224 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 467-2930; www.pellicanoristorante.com
Under executive chef Chris Cody, Pellicano's menu is a melting pot of exotic ingredients. Entrees include fennel pollen-dusted grouper served with white truffle essence mashed potatoes, grilled zucchini and roasted tomato-thyme vinaigrette. For dessert, temptations include Kona coffee-infused Belgian chocolate flourless cake and hazelnut crusted Meyer lemon cheesecake with blackberry sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

PEPPERONI'S CAFÉ
8123 Hampson St., 865-0336
Pepperoni's is a popular Riverbend spot for pizza and sandwiches. The shrimp pasta tosses Gulf shrimp with basil in Alfredo cream sauce and serves them over fettuccini. Specialty pies include a Hawaiian, a Meat Lover's and Super Vegetarian as well as a four-cheese pizza and a breakfast pizza with egg, mushrooms, onions and peppers. There are also calzones, po-boys, wraps and salads. The Express Lunch special is $6.99 for an entrée and side. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Pere Antoine
741 Royal Street, 581-4478
In the heart of the French Quarter, this casual restaurant offers its take on Creole and Cajun cuisines. The Cajun crawfish pie entrée features two pies stuffed with spicy crawfish tails, deep fried, served on a bed of rice and topped with etouffée. St. Nona's Catch is the restaurant's daily fish special, which is served on crisp eggplant medallions and topped with crabmeat with lemon butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Breakfast Fri.-Sun., lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

PERISTYLE RESTAURANT
1041 Dumaine St., 593-9535; www.peristylerestaurant.com
Chef Tom Wolfe infuses French and Louisiana cooking with bold flavors at this elegant restaurant. Crispy veal sweetbreads are lightly pan fried and set on a confit leek fricassee with fennel and garlic reduction. The Gulf fish amandine comes piled with toasted almonds, wilted leek-potato hash and garlic-sautéed Louisiana greens. Try dishes like the chicken consomé appetizer with torn herbs, or slow roasted cane-syrup-glazed duck. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$
PETUNIA'S
817 St. Louis St., 522-6440; www.petuniasrestaurant.com
This cozy Quarter café specializes in enormous crepes named after saints (Marie, Michael, Peter and James), each offering a choice of meats, sauces, cheeses and vegetables. The menu boasts many Cajun dishes from jambalaya to blackened steak, plus a few offbeat creations like the shrimp Barataria in a smothering curry and dill sauce over rice. Reservations recommended for dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

PETUNIA'S PLACE
2020 Hwy. 59, Mandeville, (985) 674-3436
The very kid-friendly Petunia's Place maintains a perpetual holiday spirit with a craft area for small diners to make seasonal decorations for the restaurant's ever-present "festivity tree." Start a meal with the signature hand-battered onion rings served with Petunia's dipping sauce. Entrees include redfish Julia, a grilled redfish fillet with creamy crawfish sauce served with garlic butter pasta. Petunia's recently graduated from counter service only to full sit-down table service. No reservations. Lunch Thu.-Tue., dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $

PHIL'S GRILL
3020 Severn Ave., Metairie, 324-9080; www.phils-grill.com
Phil's Grill invites patrons to build their own burgers from a long menu of options including 10 cheeses, six choices of bread and 18 toppings. Try Angus beef or hot sausage-blended patties or portobello burgers. Sides include fried pickles, fried onion strings, sweet potato fries and others. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PHO TAU BAY
113 Westbank Expwy., Gretna, 368-9846
Pho Tau Bay may be the area's reigning king of pho, offering more than 20 different beef broth soups with various accompaniments ranging from sliced beef to pork. Seafood can also be added to soups. The huge menu lists everything from fresh spring rolls made with rice paper and served with peanut sauce to vermicelli salads topped with your choice of shrimp, pork, tofu or egg rolls. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PHOENICIA RESTAURANT
4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-9950
Choose from a wide selection of Middle Eastern dishes like spicy shrimp, chicken or beef kebabs, lamb chops, grape leaves or several vegetarian options. Appetizers and dips include hummus, baba ghanoush and tabbouleh. For a decidedly eclectic twist on conventional Middle Eastern fare, try the Salmon kebabs and falafel with halloumi cheese. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PICCADILLY
Citywide; www.piccadilly.com
Piccadilly made its name with hearty Southern fare, but there are New Orleans favorites as well. The buffet features crawfish etouffée alongside American staples like meatloaf, fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, and a colorful, sugary array of pies, cakes and Jell-O. The cafeterias offer entire meals for take out as well. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $
PIZZA FLORENCE
4445 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-7888; www.pizzaflorence.net
Pizza Florence serves all sorts of sandwiches, wraps, salads and gourmet pies. Seafood pasta features shrimp and crawfish tossed with penne pasta in a creamy Alfredo sauce. The chicken feta wrap combines a marinated chicken breast with roasted red peppers, red onions and feta cheese. Gourmet pies include barbecued chicken, garlic shrimp, Hawaiian and chicken Alfredo pizzas. There are also salads, many toasted sandwiches and a kids menu. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PIZZA HUT
Citywide; www.pizzahut.com
Pizza Hut offers a variety of crusts from thick and soft to thin and crispy. Topping selections range from classics like pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms and olives to bacon, pineapple, banana peppers, anchovies, jalapeños and chicken. The Meat Lovers pie is loaded with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, bacon and ground beef. The Shrimp Supreme is studded with seasoned shrimp, fresh mushrooms, onion and green peppers. Extras include breadsticks, cheese sticks and cinnamon sticks. Delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PIZZA MAN OF COVINGTON
1248 N. Collins Blvd., Covington, (985) 892-9874
Pizza Man likes to keep its diners guessing with the daily addition of an ingredient that can't be found on the regular menu. Build your own pie with toppings like prosciutto, andouille sausage, crabmeat, eggplant and pesto. The Wow pizza combines crabmeat, artichoke hearts, fresh garlic and Romano cheese. The Our Special features pepperoni, housemade Italian sausage and lightly blanched green peppers. No reservations. Dinner daily. Checks. $$

PONTCHARTRAIN POINT WEST END
8536 Pontchartrain Blvd., 282-4233
A traditional New Orleans seafood house situated near the lake, Pontchartrain Point is a family-oriented eatery serving big portions of local favorites. The Creole crab cakes are served over penne pasta in a spicy cream sauce. Redfish Pontchartrain is a fillet of redfish topped with lump crabmeat, mushrooms and green onions in lemon-butter sauce and served with the vegetable of the day. Spring brings a host of specials, including boiled seafood on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, breakfast Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

PORT OF CALL
838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120; www.portofcallneworleans.com
Port of Call's thick burgers are the reason patrons cluster outside waiting for a table. Pick a few toppings, decide what you want on your baked potato and then ready yourself for the daunting dining challenge of actually clearing your plate. The kitchen also prepares steaks. There's seating at the bar where you can wait with a specialty drink like the Typhoon. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

POPEYES
Citywide; www.popeyes.com
A New Orleans original, Popeyes fries boldly seasoned chicken and complements it with sides like smoky red beans and rice. Fried chicken is available in both mild and spicy versions for combo meals, in baskets of chicken strips and on sandwiches. Sides include mashed potatoes and gravy, Cajun rice, spicy battered fries and mac and cheese. Some locations serve fried shrimp as well. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PRALINE CONNECTION
542 Frenchmen St., 943-3934; www.pralineconnection.com
Praline Connection serves downhome New Orleans Creole soul food. Rib-sticking dishes like red beans and rice, filé gumbo, jambalaya, stuffed bell peppers and savory stewed chicken satisfy big appetites. Other local favorites include home-style meatloaf, stuffed crab, crawfish and shrimp etouffée, fried chicken, fried okra, fried pickles and alligator sausage. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PUCCINO'S
Lakeside Shopping Center Annex, 17th Street at Severn Avenue, Metairie, 835-3151; 5200 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-9970; www.lovepuccinos.com
Beyond coffee drinks like the signature Frozen Puccino — a malted coffee and ice cream concoction — and other coffee and tea creations, Puccino's serves sandwiches, salads, soups and pastries. The breakfast menu features omelets, fritattas and Puccino's buttermilk waffle sandwich with two eggs, cheddar cheese and ham or bacon. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PUPUSERIA & RESTAURANTE LA MACARENA
8016 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 464-4525
La Macarena's menu is always evolving. Try its slate of tacos with fillings of jalapeño, Argentine chorizo and filet mignon. Namesake pupusas are stuffed cornmeal treats that are to some Latin American cities what the hot dog is to New York. There also are seafood dishes and soups. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Cash and checks. $$

PYRAMIDS CAFÉ
3151 Calhoun St., 861-9602; www.pyramidscafe.net
Order your chicken, lamb and beef kebabs as a sandwich at Pyramids, or as the centerpiece of hearty meals complemented with hummus, salad and pita bread. Those who can't decide should order the Pyramid platter for a sample of hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, grape leaves, falafel, kibbe and lebna. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

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QUARTER VIEW RESTAURANT
613 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 887-3456
Offering boiled shrimp, crawfish and fresh Maine lobster, Quarter View specializes in all the fruits of the sea. The fried, boneless fillet of trout is stuffed with crabmeat dressing and topped with Cajun crawfish cream sauce. Grilled oysters with garlic-butter sauce are served with French bread for mopping the plate clean. Quarter View's platter of fried seafood includes shrimp, oysters, fish, stuffed crab and soft-shell crab. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

QUIZNOS
Citywide; www.quiznos.com
A fast-growing national franchise, Quiznos offers a full range of Italian-style subs as well as newer twists like mesquite-accented meats, smoky barbecue sauce, and guacamole on its turkey and bacon sub. The menu includes everything from BLTs to honey-mustard chicken and bacon sandwiches to cheese melts. Getting away from the bread, Quiznos offers many items in salad versions alongside Cobb and chicken Caesar salads. Breakfast items are available at some locations. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

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R & O'S PIZZA PLACE
216 Old Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 831-1248
R&O's serves everything from pizza and traditional Italian fare to po-boys, boiled crawfish, fried seafood platters and the restaurant's famous hot tamales. The fries, smothered in a brown gravy and roast beef debris, are a regular favorite. Try the veal Parmesan or Italian roast beef po-boy. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Tue. and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RADOSTA'S FAMOUS PO-BOYS
249 Aris Ave., Metairie, 831-1537
Owned by brothers Mark, John and Wayne Radosta, everything at this family establishment is homemade, from the hot Italian sausage and meatballs to the roast beef and gravy po-boys. Other po-boy options include fried shrimp, oyster, catfish and soft-shell crab. Radosta's cooler is now stocked with 75 imported and domestic beers. 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
Rag's has everything that a good po-boy shop should: classics including roast beef, soft-shell crab, shrimp and potato with gravy. But don't miss out on house specials like shrimp Parmesan — fried shrimp over angel hair pasta with provolone and Parmesan cheese and marinara sauce. The Friday special is Catfish Lafitte, a fillet of catfish over pasta with a crawfish cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

RAGUSA'S SICILIAN DELI
3363 Severn Ave., Metairie, 454-2723
A deli and bar with a full pizza menu, Ragusa's may be best known for its artichoke soup and artichoke bread. Specialty pizzas include the Hellbelly topped with hot sausage, jalapeños and pepperjack cheese and the Mangia, which comes with olive salad, salami, ham and provolone. Po-boys, sandwiches and daily lunch specials are also available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

RAISING CANE'S CHICKEN FINGERS
Citywide; www.raisingcanes.com
Chicken fingers keep expanding their reach in the local restaurant scene. Raising Cane's is named for the founder's golden Labrador retriever, but the menu is all about poultry. The Caniac Combo is a six-piece order complemented by coleslaw, fries, two sauces, Texas toast and a drink. Boxed meals are available in many sizes, and there are tailgate packs and party platters of 100 chicken fingers as well. No reservations. Hours vary by location. 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, grilled redfish Atchafalaya topped with crawfish etouffée and alligator served blackened or fried. Entrées include delicately grilled mahi mahi and certified Black Angus steaks. Po-boys are a lunch staple. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

RALPH'S ON THE PARK
900 City Park Ave., 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.com
This historic and elegant building just across the street from City Park features a contemporary Creole menu. Starters include Crystal P&J oysters, which are andouille-crusted, flash fried, finished with Crystal butter sauce and presented with a slaw of mirliton, peppers and red onions. The cast iron skillet-blackened redfish is served with a peppery crab cake, blue crab butter sauce and red pepper salad. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$
RAW
3009 Magazine St., 322-2888
Although Japan and China are close geographically, they haven't always been the best of neighbors. Raw tries to bridge the divide by bringing the culinary flavors of the two countries together under one roof, albeit with separate menus. On the Sino side, diners can try entrees such as General Tso's Chicken, deep-fried with a spicy/sweet sauce or crispy tangerine prawns. From the Japanese, there is a variety of sushi, including sea urchin and beef negamaki, thinly-sliced beef that is broiled with scallions in a teriyaki sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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 Grill is a lunch spot and late-night bar. The grill is open late and serves enormous burgers, jalapeño poppers and popcorn shrimp and there are many combo specials. Health-conscious diners can dig into turkey burgers and salads topped with grilled tuna or chicken. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

RED FISH GRILL
115 Bourbon St., 598-1200; www.redfishgrill.com
Fresh Gulf fish and shellfish are the main attractions at this end of Bourbon Street. There's a raw oyster bar to enjoy a dozen on the half-shell before settling in at a table. Barbecue oysters are flash fried, tossed with Crystal barbecue sauce and served with housemade blue cheese dressing. The hickory-grilled redfish is topped with blue crab meat and lemon-butter sauce and complemented by tasso and mushroom Pontalba potatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE RED MAPLE RESTAURANT
1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935; www.theredmaple.com
Red Maple has been a West Bank dining destination since 1963, serving steaks and Louisiana seafood in the heart of Gretna. Be sure to clear your schedule for prime rib night on Thursdays. Appetizers include crab cakes and chargrilled oysters from the oyster bar. Don't forget to save room for Red Maple's bread pudding. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RED STAR CHINESE RESTAURANT
8330 Earhart Blvd., 861-1933; www.redstarchineserestaurant.com

Red Star is a favorite for delivery Uptown and in Mid-City and for diners to drop in for house specials like the beef and scallop combination with brown sauce or the spicy ta-chien chicken with vegetables. The kitchen also has a lighter menu of dishes prepared with no added salt, sugar or corn starch. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

REFUEL COFFEE AND NOSH
8124 Hampson St., 872-0187
This casual café offers counter service, so grab a coffee while you wait for your meal to arrive. Refuel's breakfast and brunch specialties include corned beef hash, huevos rancheros and some seriously creamy grits. At lunch, the Cuban sandwiches are grilled crisp, and there are entrée plates built around marinated flank steak, tuna and salmon. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Fri., brunch Sat-Sun. 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 a wide range of pizzas with Italian and Mediterranean flavors as well as salads and appetizers. The hefty Mediterranean pizza is loaded with roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, spinach and roasted red peppers with a garlic-herb sauce. 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. Other choices include pasta dishes and sandwiches on foccacia bread. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RENDEZ-VOUS CAFÉ
3001 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, 367-6013; www.myrendezvouscafe.com
A new Mediterranean menu is the focus of this Westbank eatery, featuring chicken or beef shawarma, hummus, tabbouleh and baba ghanoush. Other specialties include the Western omelet and classic chicken Parmesan over pasta. Rendez-vous also offers hookah pipes, coffee drinks, beer and wine. There's an outdoor patio to take advantage of in warmer weather. A senior citizen special is available in the evening. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

RESTAURANT AUGUST
301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777; www.rest-august.com
Celebrated local chef John Besh mixes up the menu at his flagship restaurant, working with seasonal ingredients and changing culinary themes. Signature dishes include gnocchi tossed with blue crab and truffle oil. For an entrée, try rabbit cooked two ways with artichokes and squash blossoms. Five-course tasting menus with wine pairings are always available. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT CUVEE
322 Magazine St., 587-9001; www.restaurantcuvee.com
Describing his cuisine as contemporary Creole-Continental, chef Bob Iacovone blends regional ingredients with European influences. Some popular dishes include Napoleon of spiced shrimp and crisp mirliton with remoulade sauce. There is smoked duck breast cured with cane syrup and served with risotto and foie gras. For dessert, try the banana toffee bread pudding. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Thu., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT CYPRESS
4426 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 885-6885
This suburban restaurant has a casual atmosphere in which to enjoy fine contemporary Louisiana cuisine. Cypress' kitchen uses a careful hand and fine ingredients for its refined creations. Duck confit spring rolls feature a rich mixture of cream cheese and caramelized onions. For an entrée, try veal stuffed with crabmeat and portobello mushrooms. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RESTAURANT DES FAMILLES
7163 Barataria Blvd., Lafitte, 689-7834
Located on the edge of the Jean Lafitte nature preserve, there's no telling what bayou creatures might be lurking just beyond the door of this quaint Lafitte establishment. Catfish Foster is a lightly battered catfish fillet topped with green onions, artichoke bottoms and mushrooms sautéed in butter and wine. Pasta Lafitte combines crabmeat, shrimp and green onions in spicy cream sauce served on a bed of angel hair pasta. The dessert specialty is créme brulee. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

RIB ROOM
621 St. Louis St., 529-7045; www.omniroyalorleans.com
The stately Rib Room recalls the golden age of grand hotel dining, delivering big meat-and-potato dishes in an elegant setting. Slow-roasted meats, including prime rib and rotisserie chicken, are house specialties. Roasted prime rib au jus is served with a baked potato. The sautéed seafood platter includes Gulf fish, crab cakes with meuniere sauce and wilted spinach. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

RICCOBONO'S PANOLA STREET CAFÉ
7801 Panola St., 314-1810
A relaxed, family-style atmosphere welcomes patrons to this Uptown neighborhood café. Popular breakfast specials include the crawfish omelet, crab cakes Benedict, huevos rancheros, Belgian waffles and standard pancake and egg options. The lunch crowd shows up a bit later for hamburger steaks, fried catfish and burgers. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

RICCOBONO'S PEPPERMILL RESTAURANT
3524 Severn Ave., Metairie, 455-2266
Riccobono's is renowned for its hearty breakfast and brunch menu, which stars dishes like the crab cake Benedict — two poached eggs nested on blue crab cakes topped with hollandaise. The lunch menu features entrees like roast pork with au jus gravy and baked sweet potato, grilled amberjack and veal topped with crawfish sauce. Several low-carb dishes like the grilled chicken Caesar salad and shrimp salad with roasted tomato are also available. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RICHE
Fulton St. at Poydras St., 533-6117; www.harrahs.com
Housed in the ground floor of Harrah's hotel, Riche pampers diners with classic French cuisine. Favorites include the cassoulet of white beans with lardons, andouille, merguez sausage and pulled duck meat baked in the oven with toasted breadcrumbs and served with a braised lamb shank. The bouillabaisse is a savory catch of Maine lobster, Littleneck clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, scallops, Gulf shrimp and potatoes in a lobster-saffron broth. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

Rick's Catfish Cabin
78461 Hwy. 437, Covington, (985) 893-7274
Rick's has a seafood dish to fit any appetite. Regular or jumbo size seafood platters include catfish, fried jumbo shrimp, oysters, stuffed crab and stuffed shrimp plus French fries, hushpuppies, coleslaw and tartar sauce. Boxes of fried catfish are filled with either 15, 25 or 30 pieces and also are served with fried hushpuppies, coleslaw and tartar sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Checks. $$

RIOMAR
800 S. Peters St., 525-3474; www.riomarseafood.com
New Orleanians knows a thing or two about seafood, but RioMar takes diners on a fishing trip far down South with Latin-influenced preparations of fresh local catches. The appetizer menu features four varieties of ceviche, which can be ordered together as a sampler plate. Entrées include a generous cut of yellowfin tuna wrapped in Serrano ham and escabeche of Gulf fish. Pressed sandwiches on warm, crispy French bread like the jamon with manchego and Spanish sausage with tomato are crowd pleasers. Tapas dishes fill the lunch menu. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RISTORANTE DA PIERO
401 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-8585; www.ristorantedapiero.net
Meals at this Kenner standout start with a basket of the distinctive northern Italian flatbread called piadina. From there guests can choose from dishes such as the veal chops with a demi-glace made with shiitake mushrooms and served with heirloom vegetables and potatoes or one of several homemade pastas including ravioli, strozzapreti and tortelloni. Opera singers perform in the evening. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

RISTORANTE DEL PORTO
501 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 875-1006; www.delportoristorante.com
Ristorante del Porto serves inspired fine Italian fare with a homemade touch in the heart of Covington. The antipasti plate is a mix of cured meats, cheeses, grilled vegetables, caponata and crostini. Housemade pastas augment rustic dishes like pork bolognese over tagliatelle. Seafood specialties include seared diver scallops over cauliflower puree. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RISTORANTE FILIPPO
1917 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 835-4008
Traditional Italian cooking gets a dose of New Orleans-style exuberance and plenty of local seafood at Ristorante Filippo. Popular starters include oysters Originato, lightly dusted with Italian breadcrumbs and baked with Romano cheese, olive oil and fresh parsley. The crab salad features lump crabmeat, olives, marinated artichokes and vinaigrette dressing. A veal chop with risotto, rib-eye la pizziolla and a grilled pork chop finished with a savory sweet red wine sauce are popular choices from the meat side of the menu. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RIVERSHACK TAVERN
3449 River Road, Jefferson, 834-4938; www.therivershacktavern.com
It's a honky tonk with an eye for pleasing regulars and welcoming new faces. A fearless menu offers a twist on the usual bar fare. The Usual Suspects is a grilled deli-style sandwich filled with corned beef, pastrami, debris and Swiss cheese. The chef also offers a pan-seared redfish with barbecue shrimp. Weekday lunch specials range from traditional red beans to braised rabbit with spaetzle dumplings to peanut-crusted soft-shell crab with basmati rice and tandoori cream. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ROBERT FRESH MARKET
5016 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 885-7005; www.robertfreshmarket.com
The kitchen at Robert Fresh Marker offers many New Orleans favorites. Some of the daily dishes include Creole Chicken Grand with lemon and roasted garlic over linguine, Jamaican jerk pork chops, and spaghetti and beef daube with red gravy. Cornmeal-crusted catfish with jalapeño tartar sauce is available every day. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

ROCK-N-SAKE OF NEW ORLEANS
823 Fulton St., 589-7253; www.rocknsake.com
Rock music and saketinis set the tone at this urbane sushi restaurant. The LSU roll is made with tempura shrimp and cream cheese wrapped in seaweed paper and is topped with crab, avocado and tuna, plus a dash of eel sauce. There also are creative cooked menu items like the beef and asparagus maki with thin-sliced beef rolled around asparagus, grilled and topped with teriyaki sauce. No reservations. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ROCKY & CARLO'S RESTAURANT AND BAR
613 W. St. Bernard Hwy., Chalmette, 279-8323
Diners head to Rocky & Carlo's for casual and hearty Creole-Italian fare. Diners mix it up with onion ring appetizers and veal cutlet Parmesan. Some of the old standbys include roast beef, hamburger steak, spaghetti and meatballs and Rocky and Carlo's famous mac and cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

ROCKY'S GOURMET PIZZA
3222 Magazine St., 891-5152
Rocky's accents local elements. The restaurant is decorated with wooden architectural details off old homes and offers pizzas like the Wild Tchoupitoulas pie, which has red sauce, pepperoni, sausage, red peppers and jalapeños. Rocky's also cooks up panini-style sandwiches on fresh bread. The grilled chicken breast sandwich has mozzarella, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions and garlic mayo. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ROLY POLY SANDWICHES
One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., 561-9800; 5409 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8373; www.rolypolyusa.com
This sandwich chain is rolling in sandwich options. Some unique creations include the Peachtree Melt with baked ham, Swiss, Brie, peaches, pepper relish and a side of fresh dill horseradish sauce, or try the Santa Fe chicken with melted jalapeño Jack cheese, onion, tomato and ranch dressing. Vegetarians can choose from a wide array of wraps stuffed with spinach, pineapple, cheese or hummus. No reservations. Tchoupitoulas location: lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Poydras location: lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

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

ROMAN PIZZA
7329 Cohn St., 866-1166; www.eatromanpizza.com
Two friends of Roman Pizza who performed heroic services for its community in the aftermath of Katrina now have a pizza named for them: the Juan and Deen's special combines pepperoni, jalapeños and extra cheese. The restaurant has "twofer" deals with discounts when ordering two pizzas at a time, and the kitchen prepares a range of sandwiches and Italian dinners. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

ROTOLO'S PIZZERIA
201 Decatur St., 948-3287; 3741 Jefferson Hwy, 833-7054; www.frenchquarterpizza.com
All your favorite pizza options are offered at this airy, colorful pizza parlor as well as pastas, sandwiches, salads and bar snacks. A nod to local fare, the muffaletta pizza includes pepperoni, salami, Canadian bacon, olive salad and mozzarella cheese. The menu has a heart-healthy roasted vegetable sandwich with melted provolone and the roasted turkey sandwich with homemade chipotle mayo. Rotolo's also has a pizza buffet lunch option. Delivery available in the French Quarter and limited areas. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $
ROUX BISTRO
500 Canal St., 595-5506; www.sheratonneworleans.com
Chef Chris Brown prepares inspired renditions of New Orleans- and European-style dishes at this well-appointed restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel. Specialties include crawfish beignets in remoulade sauce and a hearty, rib-sticking cassoulet made with red beans, duck confit and duck sausage. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

ROYAL BLEND
204 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-7779; 621 Royal St., 523-2716
Royal Blend is a comfortable coffeeshop and café. The baked potato salad and the chicken salad sandwich with bacon and avocado are favorites with regulars. There is a full range of sandwiches, salads, wraps and weekly specials, plus muffins, pastries and desserts. There is a full menu of coffee drinks. 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. Caffeine cravers will find a full range of house-roasted coffee and espresso drinks, flavored iced coffees and specialty teas. The layered latte is the house specialty. Sandwich options include a choice of bread, like dark black forest or seven-grain, meats like roast beef, turkey or chicken salad, a range of toppings like peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and sprouts and choice of cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

RUSSELL'S MARINA GRILL
8555 Pontchartrain Blvd., 282-9980
The whole fried onion is a classic at this Lakeview institution, which serves up a tasty, inexpensive menu of dishes all day long. Mornings start with dishes such as eggs Benedict with a homemade hollandaise sauce and old standards like scrambled eggs, grits and ham. At lunchtime, try the seared ahi tuna entrée with a sweet and spicy plum sauce and a side of sweet potato fries. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
3633 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-3600; www.ruthschris.com
Everything sizzles with butter at Ruth's Chris. Steaks ranging from the petite filet up to the porterhouse for two are seared and arrive with a kiss of hot butter. Seafood options include ahi tuna, Maine lobster and a special of blackened jumbo shrimp with Maine lobster claws in an Asian ponzu sauce served over bok choy with shiitake mushrooms. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

S
ST. CHARLES JAPANESE SUSHI BUFFET
2100 St. Charles Ave., 267-0799
Indulge yourself in all-you-can-eat sushi or take the moderate approach with the a la carte menu. Lunch specials include roll combos and bento boxes filled with sushi, shrimp tempura, or chicken, beef or salmon teriyaki. The kitchen also prepares rice and noodle dishes, breaded chicken katsu and chicken tempura. Nigiri sushi choices include a familiar lineup of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, eel and sea urchin, and handrolls feature American favorites like California and Philadelphia rolls. Party platters are available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

ST. CHARLES TAVERN
1433 St. Charles Ave., 523-9823
This round-the-clock Lower Garden District institution has been a popular spot for breakfast, po-boys and burgers as well as some original cooking. The chicken and andouille hash is a mix of shredded deep-fried chicken, andouille, green peppers, onions and garlic tossed with red new potatoes boiled in crab boil, and topped with a couple of eggs. The Tavern also serves up hearty entrées like Mary Elaine's meatballs served in a red sauce on a bed of fettuccine Alfredo. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

ST. JAMES CHEESE COMPANY
5004 Prytania St., 899-4737; www.stjamescheese.com
St. James offers more than 100 varieties of fine cheese from around the world. A small menu of sandwiches, salads, cheeseboards and charcuterie plates are available for take out or dining in. The Grafton cheddar sandwich pairs the cheese with smoked turkey, basil, tomato and avocado on ciabatta. The Ploughman's lunch includes portions of stilton, cheddar, goat's cheese, Yorkshire, chutney, paté, a green salad and hearty bread. Customers can bring their own wine, or there's a wine shop next door. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

ST. JOHN'S COFFEEHOUSE
535 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 893-5553; www.stjohnscoffeehouse.com
St. John's offers organic, fair-trade coffee selections to go with its healthy menu. There's a full selection of tea, smoothies and shakes. Gourmet sandwiches and wraps, including plenty of vegetarian options, are served daily at lunch. Try the signature Sedona sandwich, perked up by a Southwestern cream-cheese spread. Ice cream, pastries and desserts also are available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash and checks. $

SAKE CAFÉ
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
Traditional Japanese flavor gets a little local flair in the New Orleans roll. It combines spicy crawfish, crunchy tempura bits, avocado, tuna and snow crab with tobiko caviar topped with avocado-eel sauce. The sweet chili crispy fillet is grouper served with sweet chili sauce. Sake Café features happy hour specials every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFÉ UPTOWN
2830 Magazine St., 894-0033
The facade of a former pharmacy might not suggest the elegant design inside, but Sake Café is a refined spot for inspired Japanese cuisine. For an appetizer, try the pan-seared scallops 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. $$

SAL N JUDY'S RESTAURANT
27491 Hwy. 190, Lacombe, (985) 882-9443
This Northshore restaurant combines local seafood and Sicilian dishes. Its version of crabmeat au gratin combines lump crabmeat with broccoli and mushrooms in a casserole dish and tops it with melted provolone cheese. Sicilian dishes include brucioloni, which is a roll of steak round filled with cheese, ground beef and Italian sausage. Seafood options include marinated crab claws as an appetizer and trout meuniere or amandine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SALT & PEPPER
400 Iberville St., 561-6070
This unassuming eatery tucked away behind the old Customs House offers dishes from Pakistani and Indian cuisines including halal meals with seasonings quite a bit more exotic than just salt and pepper. The biryani is made with long-grain basmati rice cooked with saffron, Indian spices and your choice of chicken or goat. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SALTWATER GRILL
1340 S. Carrollton Ave., 324-6640
With a portion of the restaurant now devoted to a retail seafood counter, the fish coming through the Saltwater Grill's kitchen is guaranteed to be fresh. In addition to freshly boiled crawfish, the menu at this family-friendly restaurant includes grilled or blackened fish selections, fried seafood po-boys, red beans and rice, hamburgers and grilled chicken. Reservations accepted for five or more. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SALVATORE RISTORANTE
3226 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 455-2433; www.salvatorerestaurant.com
Starters on chef Sal's Sicilian menu include panéed asparagus and sautéed crabmeat in a lemon butter caper sauce. Charbroiled oysters get generous amounts of garlic, romano and Parmesan cheeses and a dose of Pinot Grigio wine. Trout Salvatore is a fillet served with shrimp, crabmeat and mushroom sauce. Veal osso buco and fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms are favorites. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$.
SAMMY'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
627 Bourbon St., 525-8442
Sammy's Seafood offers a short but familiar lineup of local favorites like shrimp Creole, crawfish etouffée, jambalaya and fried soft-shell crabs. For a surf-and-turf combo, the steak and lobster entrée pairs a 10-oz. rib-eye cooked over an open flame with a rock lobster tail broiled in butter. The stuffed shrimp dish includes five butterflied shrimp topped with lump crabmeat dressing accompanied by red new potatoes, broccoli and salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SAM'S POBOYS
260 Brooklyn Ave., Jefferson, 835-0689
Sam's offers a huge array of sandwiches on bun, toast or French bread. Stop in any day except Friday for the breaded veal cutlet sandwich. The Wednesday special is a chicken Parmesan po-boy featuring a fried chicken breast topped with provolone cheese, homemade red sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Friday's special is a plate of fried shrimp or catfish with toast, salad and a choice of French fries or potato salad. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Cash only. $

SANDRO'S TRATTORIA
6601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-7784; www.sandrostrattoria.com
The intimate dining room of this family-run spot is filled with aromas of freshly baked bread and roasted garlic. House specialties include mussels in tomato and garlic sauce over pasta and Aunt Vera's lasagna with handmade pasta. Panini and Italian-style po-boys with fried seafood on ciabatta make up a large sandwich menu. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SAPPORO JAPANESE RESTAURANT
5000 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 779-9288
Sapporo features sushi and hot entrées from the kitchen including a popular fried rice dish. The 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 Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SARA'S
724 Dublin St., 861-0565; www.sarasrestaurant.com
Sara's offers its own mix of Creole and Asian cuisines, highlighted in appetizers like crawfish egg rolls, samosas, hummus and Korean-style barbecue beef. Indian dishes include shrimp vindaloo and saag paneer made with spinach and cheese. The sesame-crusted salmon and Muscovy duck served with a port-plum wine reduction sauce are local favorites. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

SAVVY GOURMET
4519 Magazine St., 895-2665; www.savvygourmet.com
Savvy is like a culinary community center with everything from cooking classes to an emporium of culinary tools and supplies. Lunch service is now gourmet-to-go, though tables are open for customers to eat at Savvy. The menu features changing daily specials like crawfish etouffée, coq au vin over buttered noodles, chicken pot pie, seafood jambalaya and stuffed pork chops. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

SCHIRO'S CAFÉ & BAR
2483 Royal St., 944-6666; www.schiroscafe.com
A one-stop shop, Schiro's is much more than just a café. It also houses a bar, stocks groceries and has laundry machines and a guesthouse. The menu recently switched to focus on Indian cuisine. There are curries and vindaloo dishes of chicken, lamb and seafood. There also are vegetarian options. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SEAFOOD GALLEY AND DELI
509 Tyler St., Covington, (985) 892-3287
At Seafood Galley, shrimp, oysters, catfish, crab and crawfish are served in po-boys or as platters. Lunch specials include popular dishes like red beans and rice, meatballs and spaghetti, chicken-fried steak and meatloaf. They are served with salad, vegetable and bread. Diners can order crawfish by the pound on Wednesday and Fridays. 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
With crawfish season in full swing, Seither's is busy boiling up the mudbugs. Specialties include the crawfish pistollette, a mini French loaf stuffed with crawfish, cheese and spices. Po-boys and fried seafood platters remain constant attractions at this casual eatery. Crab cakes are made with jumbo lump crabmeat and served over pasta with crawfish cream sauce. The eggplant Harahan features eggplant medallions topped with crawfish cream sauce. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SEKISUI SAMURAI
239 Decatur St., 525-9595; www.sekisuiusa.com
Some of the specials at this Vieux Carre sushi bar have more to do with Louisiana flavors than Japanese traditions. One example is the Decatur roll with spicy crawfish, fresh garlic and cilantro rolled up with seared white tuna. The ocean pyramid special appetizer is an edible sculpture of tuna, salmon, yellowtail and green and orange tobiko, plus avocado and ponzu sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
SEMOLINA
1121 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 361-8293; 2999 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, (985) 626-8923; 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 37, Metairie, 454-7930; www.semolina.com
The international pasta selection at Semolina comes home for crawfish season, when all of the restaurant's specialty crawfish pasta dishes are featured. But you can still order dishes from around the world — like pad Thai, the sweet and spicy combination of shrimp, mushrooms and tofu with rice noodles and peanuts. Classic pasta Alfredo with chicken or shrimp and double cheeseburger pasta are perennial favorites. Pasta jambalaya with andouille, tasso and Creole sauce is popular with locals and out-of-towners alike. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SEMOLINA ITALIAN BISTRO
3226 Magazine St., 895-4260; www.semolina.com
Semolina Italian Bistro is the more ambitious evolution of the locally based Semolina chain. While some favorites from the previous, globetrotting menu endures, the new Italian focus can be seen in dishes like angel hair marinara, linguine Alfredo and penne with mushrooms, garlic and basil. The scampi di carfucci torta is a pan-seared artichoke cake served with jumbo shrimp and garlic lemon-butter sauce. Off the rotisserie, try chicken Marsala with mushrooms in wine sauce over polenta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SERRANO'S SALSA COMPANY
4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-2354; www.serranossalsacompany.com
Serrano's offers a wide selection of Latin American food, from just south of the border to the southern tip of Argentina. The menu features calamari salad, chile oyster tacos, apricot-glazed pork tenderloin, Argentine beef salad and a host of familiar Mexican favorites like quesadillas. Lighter options include ceviche and many salad choices. The bar is stocked with dozens of tequilas and rums that are poured into a colorful and potent array of cocktails. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SHIMMY SHACK
1855 Dock St., Harahan, 729-4442
Shimmy on over to the Shack for pub grub and more elaborate options like fried oysters served on a bed of sautéed spinach topped with creamy Brie and crispy bacon. The 20-Things chili boasts at least 20 ingredients, not counting the staple side of corn chips. Simpler fare includes an array of hearty half-pound hamburgers. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
SHOGUN JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND STEAKHOUSE
2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-7477
This bustling restaurant is one of the area's senior sushi establishments. It features a full range of Japanese cuisine from raw fish to hibachi-grilled meats. Table seating is available, but many regulars head straight for the hibachi tables where an array of steak, shrimp, chicken and vegetables are cooked with dramatic flair by chefs working a chopstick's length away. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SHORT STOP PO-BOYS
119 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 885-4572
Short Stop Po-boys serves sandwiches and much more. Short Stop's seafood gumbo has a thick roux, okra, shrimp and crabmeat. Roast beef for po-boys is prepared in house with rich gravy, and the sandwiches are served dripping in the specially seasoned sauce. Fried crawfish tails provide a different spin on seafood po-boys. The four-meat special puts all the most popular cold cuts together on one sandwich. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

SHULA'S STEAK HOUSE
614 Canal St., 586-7211; www.shulas.com
Former Miami Dolphin coach Don Shula has two links to New Orleans: a Superbowl win and his steakhouse. The restaurant's game plan is all about martinis and big steaks. One of the featured entrées is the 48-oz. porterhouse. Those who can finish it are invited to join Shula's 48-Ounce Club. There's also a steakhouse line up of shrimp cocktail, Maine lobster, and some salmon and Gulf fish dishes. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

SI SENOR AT COSIMO'S
1201 Burgundy St., 522-9715
Cosimo's is a corner bar with a cantina's kitchen. The Tex-Mex grill serves gourmet burritos with spinach, tomato, olives and feta in the Mediterranean, and barbecue chicken, onions, mushrooms, peppers, cilantro, rice and beans in the BBQ Chicken version. Hot off the grill, there are burgers, Philly steak sandwiches and fajitas. Bar customers also can graze on nachos, quesadillas, Buffalo wings and chili cheese fries. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner and late-night dining daily. Credit cards. $

SIDELINES BAR & GRILL
1229 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-4002
Burgers, appetizers and wraps take centerfield at Sidelines. Specialties include wraps like the chicken Caesar and chicken tender wraps on whole wheat pita served with fries. Other items include sandwiches like grilled tuna on a sesame bun. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

SINGHA THAI
413 Carondelet St., 581-2205
The concerns of the business day quickly fade away at lunchtime in this CBD spot. The kitchen cooks up classic renditions of popular Thai dishes like tom yum koong soup with shrimp and lemongrass, pad Thai and many rice and noodle dishes with beef, chicken or shrimp. At dinner, try the crispy ginger fish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

SLICE
1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437; www.slicepizzeria.com
Seating stretches from the narrow front window all the way to the more spacious back bar at Slice. The pizzeria offers slices and whole pies as well as calzones, salads and Italian appetizers. There is a barbecue shrimp po-boy and a muffuletta panini. Beverage options include coffee drinks and Italian sodas. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SLIM GOODIES DINER
3322 Magazine St., 891-3447; www.slimgoodies.com
Pull up a perch in the bright, neo-retro dining room or ask for a seat on the relaxed backyard patio for Slim Goodies' interpretation of diner dishes. 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 etouffée. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash and checks. $

SMILIE'S RESTAURANT
5725 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan, 733-3000; www.smiliesrestaurant.com
Smilie's is a family-friendly eatery with specialties like beef brisket, home-style Italian dishes and New Orleans seafood. Classic staples appear alongside fancier fare like trout Lafitte, a fillet fried golden brown and topped with creamy crawfish sauce. Veal Augie is panéed baby veal covered with lump crabmeat, fresh mushrooms, shallots and a touch of hollandaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

SMOOTHIE KING
Citywide; www.smoothieking.com
The city's largest smoothie chain has a blend for everybody, from calorie-conscious dieters to beach-ready body builders. Fine-tune your favorite smoothie by adding enhancers like Immune, Energy, Female Balance or Muscle Builder. Supplement your liquid intake with snacks like lean jerky, high-protein cookies or a wide assortment of protein bars. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $
SNUG HARBOR JAZZ BISTRO
626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696; www.snugjazz.com
Diners head to Snug's dining room for a mix of steaks and Creole dishes. There are hearty chargrilled steak dinners with all the trimmings and hefty burgers. Local specialties like spicy, buttery peel-and-eat barbecue shrimp are a savory treat for locals and tourists alike. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SOUND CAFÉ
2700 Chartres St., 947-4477
Well-crafted coffee drinks and a sense of community are the main draws at this neighborhood coffeehouse. Cookies and cakes may beckon your sweet tooth but there also are bagels and sandwiches made on fresh French bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards and checks. $

SOUTHERN PO-BOYS
720 Claiborne Drive, Jefferson, 835-3035
Sandwiches at Southern Po-Boys are filled with everything from roast beef with gravy to fried shrimp or oysters to chicken-fried steak and veal. Hot plates include smothered pork chops with sautéed onions and brown gravy over stewed cabbage and rice, and stewed okra with shrimp over rice. Fried soft-shell crabs are served atop fettuccine with a white wine cream sauce. Lighter options include spinach or Caesar salad. No reservations. Lunch Mon.- Fri., dinner Fri. Cash only. $

SOUTHSIDE CAFÉ
3154 Pontchartrain Drive, (985) 643-6133; www.southsidecafe.net
In addition to the usual fare of burgers and sandwiches, Southside Café is known for its panéed tuna remoulade, a half-pound tuna steak flash fried with Italian breadcrumbs and served with white remoulade sauce. The Pontchartrain Pig is thinly sliced center-cut pork tenderloin with barbecue sauce and melted Swiss cheese served on Texas toast dressed with coleslaw. Stop by on Tuesdays and Thursdays for steak night. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $
SPEAKEASY SPORTS BAR & GRILL
4345 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-4069; www.speakeasysportsbar.com
Speakeasy's game plan is a straight-ahead lineup of big 10-oz. burgers, sandwiches and bar food. Bar munchies include jalapeño poppers, quesadillas, chicken wings and egg rolls, or you can get fancy with an 8-oz. filet or tuna steak. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $
SPECIALTY ITALIAN BISTRO
2330 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-1090
Some New Orleans favorites get a Roman spin at Specialty Italian Bistro, which also offers all sorts of classic Italian dishes. For example, the Italian roast beef po-boy is topped with Parmesan cheese and marinara sauce. Try specials like the shrimp scampi or entrées of spinach lasagna, chicken or eggplant Parmesan, chicken Alfredo pizza, shrimp Florentine calzones, Caprese or artichoke salads. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SPUDLY'S SUPER SPUDS
2609 Harvard Ave., Metairie, 455-7783
Taters are tops at Spudly's, which elevates the potato to edible art. Spudly's cheese sauce graces many of the terrific tubers served here. Toppings include everything from diced roast beef to shrimp and crabmeat to chili. If carbs aren't what you're craving, burgers, salads and soups also are available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

STAR CAFÉ
2186 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 674-9920
The creative menu at Star Café is like a walk down the red carpet. The Pearis Stilton salad sets blue cheese, poached pears and walnuts over spring mix greens with house vinaigrette. Homemade breads make Star's sandwiches stand out. The Kevin Bacon chicken sandwich on fresh focaccia has tomato-garlic aioli, feta cheese and fresh vegetables on top of two chicken breasts. Build your own burger or order the daily burger special, such as the mushroom-Swiss or jalapeño-cheddar. There also are fresh soups. Kids (12-under) eat free on Wednesdays. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

STAR STEAK & LOBSTER
237 Decatur St., 525-6151; www.starsteak.com
This Decatur Street steakhouse features fresh lobster and a filet mignon stuffed with shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat and lobster topped with a red wine mushroom sauce and served with garlic potatoes. An affordable favorite is the 16-oz. prime rib with baked potato, soup or salad for $16.95. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

STATION 8801
8801 Oak St., 861-9293; www.station8801.com
This casual tavern in a converted gas station keeps the good times flowing with draft beer. The menu features an 8-oz. Angus beef burger and a 10-oz. filet served with spicy potatoes. There also are chicken sandwiches and sides like onion rings and sweet potato fries. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

THE STEAK KNIFE RESTAURANT & BAR
8550 Pontchartrain Blvd., 488-8981; www.steakkniferestaurant.com
With its Harrison Avenue location undergoing renovation, Steak Knife's temporary location is the place to get one of its petit 6-oz. filet mignons or a big 20-oz. Porterhouse. Entrée choices include fresh Gulf fish, shrimp and veal medallions topped with crabmeat and mushrooms. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

STEAMBOAT NATCHEZ
Toulouse Street Wharf, 586-8777; www.steamboatnatchez.com
When the calliope sounds, the Natchez is heading out on the river for a breezy cruise complete with dinner and live jazz. Dishes include local seafood, beef and chicken dishes. For sides there are items like spinach Southern style, a creamy casserole with a variety of fresh cheeses topped with toasted breadcrumbs. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

STEIN'S MARKET & DELI
2207 Magazine St., 527-0771
The Garden District has its own outpost for New York delicatessen food. Try out the Rachel sandwich, the sister to the classic Reuben with hot pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on Jewish rye bread from New York. Thursday's special is an Italian roast pork sandwich with sautéed broccoli and aged provolone on housemade ciabatta bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

STELLA!
1032 Chartres St., 587-0091; www.restaurantstella.com
The restaurant's name may be a New Orleans literary reference (think streetcars, desire, etc.), but local chef Scott Boswell's cuisine draws influences from around the globe, especially Asia. Some recent highlights from the ever-changing menu include crisp veal and shrimp gyoza dumplings with tempura shiso leaf and spicy peanut sauce. Beer-battered Hawaiian sunfish with sweet potato purée, curried taro root chips and spicy red chili caramel is another exotic combination of flavors. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

STEP BROTHERS LOUNGE & RESTAURANT
4971 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 889-9856
Burgers and po-boys top this menu, but Step Brothers also features Tuesday steak nights and a surf-and-turf special every Sunday. The filet is matched with a grilled or fried lobster tail plus potatoes, vegetable and bread for $20. Cheese sticks, jalapeño poppers, egg rolls, chicken tenders and wings appease smaller appetites. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

STEVE'S DINER
828 Gravier St., 522-8198; www. steves-diner.com
A solid foundation of the old and few dashes of the new combine at Steve's, a cafeteria-style downtown mainstay. Sure, there's free Wi-Fi service for folks with laptops, but also old-fashioned homemade buttermilk biscuits stuffed with scrambled eggs and crisp bacon or sausage patties. At lunch, the bacon and cheddar burger is an 8-oz. Angus beef patty chargrilled to order, served on a grilled bun, topped with a mountain of cheese, bacon and dressed with lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickle. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. Catering available. $

STILL PERKIN'
2727 Prytania St., 899-0335
As temperatures rise, head to Still Perkin' for refreshing iced coffees and decadent granitas. Menu items include a wide array of salads, sandwiches, pastries and bagels, complete with homemade blended cream cheeses like tomato basil and chive. Located across the street from historic Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, this java house offers free Wi-Fi and sunny corner windows perfect for studying. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $
STREETCAR BISTRO
201 Baronne St., 565-5455; www.streetcarbistro.com
"The Pacific Rim meets New Orleans" is the motto of this downtown restaurant, which has a unique Filipino influence. The weekday "executive power buffet" is popular, offering an array of options from etouffée to a Chinese hot pot station. Filipino dishes are available daily, and on Sunday afternoons the kitchen prepares an entire Filipino buffet. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SUBWAY
Citywide; www.subway.com
Whether you are looking for a light lunch or flavorful twist, Subway aims to please. Meal deals are available with cold and hot subs, salads and wraps, and toasted sandwiches like the chicken and bacon ranch sandwich. The Veggie Delite is a crunchy combination of lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olives and pickles. The meatball marinara runs in the other direction, with Italian-style meatballs packed into a loaf with cheese and tomato sauce. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

SUCRE
3025 Magazine St., 520-8311; www.shopsucre.com
Exotic and fine sweet delights abound at this Uptown emporium of desserts. French macaroons sandwiched with luscious creams and ganaches come in a variety of flavors like orange marmalade and pistachio. Xocolat Sucre is a dense chocolate cake layered with chocolate cream and finished with chocolate mousse. After lunching on a portobello mushroom sandwich on foccacia bread, there's no reason not to reward yourself with a little dessert. Only sweets and coffee offered in the evening. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SUGAR HOUSE
315 Julia St., Embassy Suites, 378-4000
This restaurant is named for the original hotel built on the site for the 1984 World's Fair. The restaurant pays homage to New Orleans with dishes such as sautéed trout with candied lemon, sides of jambalaya and red beans. The New York strip is served with Creole butter. For dessert, there is bananas Foster cheesecake. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SUGAR PARK TAVERN
800 France St., 940-6226; www.sugarpark.com
Fans of New York-style thin-crust pizza come to Sugar Park Tavern for the real deal, but while the crust is a New York classic, some of the topping combinations are decidedly unusual. The "Who's Your Mama!" pizza is loaded with shrimp, corn and pineapple on top of hot adobe sauce. "A Pizza Named Desire" stars shrimp, andouille sausage and jalapeño peppers. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

SUKHO THAI
1913 Royal St., 948-9309; www.sukhothai-nola.com
This Marigny triangle Thai eatery tempts diners with its extensive selection of authentic dishes in a range of spice levels. The seafood glass noodle salad is a spicy mix of tomato, cilantro and glass noodles served with calamari, shrimp, scallops and mussels topped with chile-lime dressing. Chicken in yellow curry sauce is buttery, rich and spicy, studded with fresh red pepper strips. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SUN RAY GRILL
619 Pink St., Metairie, 837-0055; 1051 Annunciation St., 566-0021; 2600 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-0053; 3700 Orleans Ave., 324-9663; www.sunraygrill.com
Sun Ray Grill shines a little light on cuisines from around the globe. The eclectic menu includes some local dishes as well as Singapore spring rolls, guacamole with chips, Siamese riblets, Thai curry barbecue ribs and Southwestern chicken quesadillas. Popular entrées include ahi tuna steaks crusted with black and white sesame seeds and smoky bourbon barbecue ribs served with fries and roasted corn. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SUPERIOR BAR & GRILL
3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.com
Superior Grill is known for its daily happy hour margarita and drink specials from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Stay for dinner and dig into the Superior parillada mixta for two: a platter of mesquite-grilled beef and chicken fajitas, shrimp and baby back ribs. With options like huevos rancheros and Bloody Marys, Superior's weekend breakfast is a sure-fire way to jumpstart the day. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, breakfast Sat. and Sun. Credit cards. $$

SURREY'S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR
1418 Magazine St., 524-3828; www.surreyscafeandjuicebar.com
Fresh-squeezed juice, vegetarian dishes and fresh local seafood draw diners to Surrey's in the Lower Garden District. The jumbo crab melt is a rich option with pearly crabmeat topped with muenster cheese and remoulade sauce. Popular items include the tofu scramble over rice and the Surrey's club stacked with turkey, goat cheese, bacon, mixed greens and tomato on seven-grain or sourdough bread. The bananas Foster-stuffed French toast is a dessert favorite. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and brunch Wed.-Sun. Cash only. $

SUSHI BROTHERS
1612 St. Charles Ave., 581-4449; www.sushibrothers.net
Sushi Brothers offers a wide range of nigiri sushi and special rolls. The restaurant's namesake roll wraps salmon tempura, cream cheese and avocado inside seaweed, puts more salmon and avocado on the outside and tops it all with the house special sauce. The Sunshine roll binds tuna, salmon, yellowtail, barbecued eel, snow crab, asparagus and avocado with soy wrap. Other Japanese specialties include soba and udon noodles, tempura, grilled meats and teriyaki dishes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SWEET DADDY'S BBQ
420 Tyler St., Covington, (985) 898-2166; 2534 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 626-0208
For seven years, Sweet Daddy's has been doing 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. For dessert, try the homemade chocolate chip pie or the pecan island square pie, which is yellow cake mixed with pecans and cheesecake topping. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

SWEET FIRE & ICE
701 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-3437; www.alcopeland.com
Even the air gets seasoned at Sweet Fire & Ice. The area's only oxygen bar complements a dining experience that culls dishes from several of Copeland's restaurants. Starters include Southwestern chicken salad and crab rangoon. Entrées range from shrimp and tasso pasta to steaks. There are also many choices on the specialty drink list at the bar and the signature "Original Cheesecake by the Scoop" with toppings in a martini glass for dessert. No reservations. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

SWEET LORRAINE'S JAZZ CLUB
1931 St. Claude Ave., 945-9654; www.sweetlorrainesjazzclub.com
One of the city's top venues for contemporary jazz also has something cooking in the kitchen. Try the blackened catfish fillet topped with sautéed mushrooms and served over spinach. Sweet Lorraine's chicken wings are battered with the kitchen's spicy blend of seasonings, fried golden brown and served with French fries. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

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TAJ MAHAL INDIAN CUISINE
923 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-6859
The oldest Indian restaurant in the area is still going strong after more than a quarter-century in business. The tandoor oven remains the centerpiece of the operation, producing moist, roasted chicken, lamb and shrimp plus an array of delicious naan and stuffed breads. Traditional dishes include tikka masala with pieces of marinated chicken finished with tomato gravy. Bhindi masala is made with Louisiana okra, onions, tomatoes and abundant Indian spices. The weekday lunch buffet is a bargain. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

Takumi
2800 Magazine Street, 265-0421; www.takumineworleans.com
Takumi offers a range of refined Japanese cuisine. There is sushi, sashimi and marbled Kobe beef as well as specialty dishes like Ise-Ebi Taraba, grilled Japanese spiny lobster stuffed with shrimp and wild mushrooms and king crab with sea urchin paste served with wasabi steam rolls and vegetables. For a New Orleans spin, try the spicy miso gumbo that brims with oysters, shrimp, fried soft-shell crab, okra and cilantro with Cajun and Japanese spices. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

TAN DINH
1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, 361-8008
Tan Dinh takes an authentic and upscale approach to Vietnamese dishes. The chicken-and-beef rice-noodle soup, or pho, comes with a side of sprouts, jalapeños, basil and lime so diners can season the refreshing soup to their liking. Marinated roast duck with sticky rice is also popular. Also try the Korean-style beef short ribs. The restaurant serves wine, beer and sake. Rich, thick Vietnamese iced coffee is made with condensed milk. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

Tandoori Chicken
2916 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 889-7880
Tandoori offers traditional Indian cuisine, starting with samosas stuffed with potatoes and peas, spicy curries and abundant vegetarian options. Popular entrées include chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken masala. Desserts include rice pudding. Service for lunch and Sunday dinner is a buffet. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TAQUERIA CHILANGOS
2723 Roosevelt Blvd., Kenner, 469-5599; www.taqueriachilangos.com
Loyal patrons had to chase the flavors of Taqueria Chilangos when it was a roving taco truck serving Jefferson Parish. Now the gourmet fare is anchored at a restaurant that boasts an expanded menu of Mexican dishes like chile rellenos, burritos, tacos and brisket. The stationary location also has a full bar. 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 tart margaritas and Mexican and Latin American fare with authentic flair. Fried fish tacos with shredded cabbage, cebolitas and shrimp and cheese-filled flautas are specialties. Taco choices run the gamut with fillings from rib-eye and cow tongue to chorizo. Also try the Mexican pizza or big California-style burritos. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. 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 lunch spot in Mid-City. 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. $

TAVERN ON CITRUS
5708 Citrus Ave., Harahan, 218-5186
The Tavern is a casual spot to grab a beer and play a game of pool, but its grill is also a sure shot. The Tavern burger is a big 10-oz. beef patty grilled to order. Salads share space on the menu with pub grub standards like fried mushrooms and mozzarella sticks. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

TEA GARDEN
1918 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-9455
The selection of classic Chinese dishes includes favorites such as moo goo gai pan and General Tso's chicken. Family dinners such as kung bo shrimp and sweet-and-sour pork are a bargain at just over $10. There are daily lunch specials as well. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TECORO'S SEAFOOD & ITALIAN RESTAURANT
3525 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-5550; www.tecoro.com
TeCoRo's is as Italian as it sounds but the name is a combination of the three owners: Terrie, Corliss and Rose. Italian classics and local favorites fill the menu. The Mobster Lobster used to swim with the fishes, but here the Maine émigré is outfitted with a crabmeat dressing, crawfish cream sauce and served with potatoes and corn. The eggplant Napoleon layers fried eggplant medallions with mozzarella cheese and creamy sauce with baby spinach, crawfish tails, andouille sausage and tasso. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

TED'S FROSTOP
3100 Calhoun St., 861-3615
The gigantic root beer mug in the parking lot may still sit upside down as a reminder of Katrina, but everything else is back to normal at this vintage diner. The signature Lot-o-Burger is as good as ever. Fried seafood and plate lunches like baked chicken or pork chops provide square meals. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TENNOU SUSHI BAR
1818 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 366-3898
Fans of this West Bank sushi bar often opt for combinations of sushi, cooked meats and soups. There are also bargain-priced bento box dinners. In addition to large sushi rolls and sashimi, dishes such as baked green mussels and fried dumplings are popular choices. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TEXAS BAR-B-QUE COMPANY
3320 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 456-2832
Tucked away just off Veterans Boulevard, this Metairie eatery serves slow-smoked ribs, brisket and pulled pork as plates, on a bun or on French bread. A signature dish is the smoked potato stuffed with chopped barbecue beef and topped with sauce, cheese and chives. Steaks, burgers, fried seafood plates and po-boys round out the bill of fare. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Mon-Sat. Credit cards. $

THAT INDIAN PLACE
201 St Charles Ave, Second Floor, 975-5664; www.thatindianplace.com
This take-out-only café has been spicing the air of the Place St. Charles food court with the alluring aroma of Indian cooking. There are many options for vegetarians, and fresh fruit smoothies are available for lunch or breakfast. Tuesday's special of chutney shrimp is cooked with mangoes, tomatoes, chiles and ground spices. Kicap chicken is made with a dark soy sauce, peppers and curry leaves. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Cash only. $

THEN, NOW & NEXT CAFE
6401 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-5700; www.fourpointsnola.com
A flexible menu with a host of grilled entreés is the hallmark of this café located inside the Sheraton Four Points Hotel. Specialties include shrimp fettuccine, grilled tilapia and grilled crab cakes with lemon-butter sauces. There are a number of low-calorie options as well. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
THEO'S PIZZA
4218 Magazine St., 894-8554; www.theospizza.com
Theo's pizza comes with a distinctive thin crust. From there, toppings are limited only by imagination. The Eccentric specialty pizza packs garlic, chicken, spinach, peppers, jalapeños, yellow squash, spicy tomatoes and Parmesan, mozzarella, and feta cheeses. Pizza aside, Theo's also dishes up toasted sandwiches and salads. 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, Times Grill also offers salads, sandwiches, wraps, fried seafood in po-boys and baskets, and pasta entrées. One of the restaurant's staple hamburgers is topped Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. The Aloha has pineapple, teriyaki sauce and cheddar. The Buffalo burger is brushed with a mild wing sauce and finished off with provolone cheese and onion rings. Tuesday is steak night, and kids eat for free on Wednesday nights. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TODARO'S RESTAURANT
2701 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 362-8522; www.todarosrestaurant.com
For fine Italian dining on the West Bank, check out Todaro's comfortable dining room and wide-ranging menu. Start with a blue crab butternut squash bisque or tomato basil soup. Seafood lovers favor the fried calamari gnocchi and the ahi tuna, which is peppered and served with sherry mushroom risotto and balsamic vinegar reduction. The osso buco features three petit veal shanks with rich pecan and jalapeño gravy served over buttered fettuccine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TOMATILLO'S
437 Esplanade Ave., 945-9997 www.tomatillosnola.com
The large courtyard at Tomatillo's is a cool spot to enjoy spicy Mexican dishes. Try the vegetarian fajitas Verdura for a healthy feast. Off the grill, there is Sauza tequila-marinated pollo Borracho, topped with queso blanco, fiesta ranch sauce and pico de gallo. The menu ranges from tortilla chicken soup to spicy grilled rib-eyes. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

TOMMY'S CUISINE
746 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-1103; www.tommyscuisine.com
Creole dishes get some worldly flair and Italian dishes pick up a local accent on Tommy's eccentric menu. The soft-shell crab is fried and served over linguini with fresh basil and Roma tomatoes in crawfish sauce. The fish of the day, Fish Capri, is sautéed and topped with crabmeat, crawfish, capers, artichokes and beurre blanc sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

TOMMY'S WINE BAR
752 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-4790
Sharing management and a kitchen with its neighbor Tommy's Cuisine, this urbane wine bar can deliver its patrons a lot more than bar snacks. Light bites include shrimp remoulade, duck salad over spinach, crabmeat maison and mussels steamed in white wine with sautéed tomatoes and caramelized garlic. Meanwhile, the bar serves a varied list of wines by the glass and a large selection by the bottle. No reservations. Light dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TONY ANGELLO'S
6262 Fleur de Lis Drive, 488-0888
In the heart of Lakeview, Tony Angello's serves traditional Italian cooking and is known for its homemade tomato sauce. The veal spiedini features medallions of veal round stuffed with eggplant. The Eggplant Tina tops eggplant medallions with Romano cheese and tomato sauce. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TONY MORAN'S RESTAURANT
240 Bourbon St., 523-4640; www.ruebourbon.com
Above the historic Old Absinthe House, Tony Moran's serves classic Italian favorites and New Orleans seafood. Oysters with pancetta combines local bivalves with Italian bacon for an irresistible appetizer. Popular entrées include pappardelle with mushrooms, peas, prosciutto and cream. Simple Creole dishes include Gulf fish topped with lump crabmeat and lemon-butter sauce. Reservations preferred. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TOUT DE SUITE
347 Verret St., 362-2264
Enjoy a leisurely meal in the heart of Algiers Point. There's an array of rotating breakfast dishes and specials featuring fresh soups, salads and sandwiches. Tout de Suite offers huevos rancheros and a chicken panini with apple-smoked bacon and Swiss cheese. For dessert there are pastries and cakes. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and 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
Trey Yuen built its reputation at the original Mandeville location with deft touch for Chinese regional dishes, elegant ambience and a little extra spectacle, like fishponds and a pagoda-style building. The cooking is what keeps diners coming back. Try the crawfish with spicy lobster sauce, which features crawfish tails, pork, peanut oil, garlic, ginger and egg wok sautéed and served over a bed of rice. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

TUCKER'S TAVERN
869 Magazine St., 522-0440
Tucker's is the home of the deep-fried burger. The Big Al is a half-pound patty stuffed with pepper Jack cheese and mushrooms. The Big Tuck loads bacon, pepper Jack and American cheeses on the inside and cheddar and barbecue sauce on top. Appetizer options include fried pickles, nachos, spicy Buffalo oysters and wings. The extensive menu also features homemade soups and salads, po-boys, sandwiches wraps, quesadillas and entrée platters of grilled fish and steak. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TUJAGUE'S RESTAURANT
823 Decatur St., 525-8676; www.tujagues.com
Tujague's is one of the city's senior Creole establishments and with its massive wooden bar, imported from Paris, it has the patina of weathered elegance. It adheres to its longtime prix fixe menu with a small number of entrée selections complemented with other signature courses. The chicken Bonne Femme is seasoned chicken pan-fried with garlic and served with cottage fries. Crawfish Bayou Teche serves crawfish tails over fried eggplant with a crabmeat dressing. The brisket with tangy horseradish sauce is a signature dish. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

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UGLY DOG SALOON
401 Andrew Higgins Blvd., 569-8459; www.uglydogsaloon.net
Ugly Dog is a casual spot to dig into some barbecue and watch sports or play pool. There are sandwiches, burgers and generous platters of barbecue meat that come with sides such as chili beans with sour cream, onions and cheese and the 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. $

UPPERLINE RESTAURANT
1413 Upperline St., 891-9822; www.upperline.com
For more than a quarter century, Upperline has been home to inspired local cooking and a folk and fine art collection representing some of the city's most beloved bohemians. Proprietor JoAnn Clevenger is the impresario behind the restaurant and also the creator of the city's signature fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. Another of the kitchen's signature dishes is the roast duck served with garlic-port or ginger-peach sauce. The oysters St. Claude are a rare treat that some diners even order for dessert. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

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VAZQUEZ RESTAURANT
515 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 893-9336
An intimate family atmosphere welcomes diners to Vazquez. Latin dishes such as black beans and rice with roast pork, a succulent Cuban sandwich and fried plantains keep the kitchen humming. Other offerings include local dishes like red beans and rice, pork chops and stuffed crabs. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

VEGA TAPAS CAFÉ
2051 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-2007; www.vegatapascafe.com
Settle into the Spanish ambience of Vega Tapas Café with a refreshing caipirinha, a sweet and tart Brazilian drink made from cachaca sugar cane liquor. Owner/Chef Glen Hogh prepares creative tapas dishes like empanadilla des cochinillo, a pulled cochon de lait served on puff pastry with pepper jelly and red cabbage. The menu also includes a paprika almond-crusted Gulf fish over Spanish dirty rice. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

VENEZIA
134 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-7991
This old neighborhood favorite has been serving home-style Italian dishes since the 1950s and specializes in pizza pies with sausage, pepperoni, onions, artichoke hearts and mushrooms. A generous antipasti plate starts many a meal here. The popular eggplant Vatican is an eggplant cut in half, hollowed out and deep fried, filled with crawfish, shrimp and crab cream sauce served with a side of fettuccine Alfredo. An array of pastas, seafood dishes and veal specialties ensure contented customers. Reservations accepted. Lunch Wed.-Fri. and Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

VENEZIA II
587 Central Ave., Jefferson, 734-3991
Venezia II proves a worthy sequel to its sister restaurant, serving pizza pies and casual Italian cuisine that many locals will recognize from years of visits to the Mid-City original. The restaurant offers pastas, fried seafood and daily specials like the trout Cynthia topped with shrimp and crawfish in cream sauce. The house special is a loaded pie with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, white onion and artichoke hearts. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

VERANDA AT THE HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL
444 St. Charles Ave., 585-4383
European flair and Southern hospitality mix and mingle at the flagship restaurant of the Hotel Intercontinental, where local chefs have been given a free hand to put their own stamp on the menu. The Sunday jazz brunch features live jazz, flowing bubbly, carving stations and made-to-order omelets and desserts. Reservations recommended. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

VERTI MARTE
1201 Royal St., 525-4767; www.vertimarte.com
This corner deli has kept the French Quarter fed at all hours for many years. One of its signature sandwiches, All That Jazz, includes a medley of grilled ham, turkey and shrimp with Swiss and American cheeses, plus grilled mushrooms and tomatoes on grilled French bread with "Wow" sauce. Deli-case favorites include chicken Creole, Cajun red beans, barbecue brisket or ribs, and lasagna. Limited delivery. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit Cards. $

VIANNE'S TEA SALON & CAFÉ
544 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 624-5683; www.viannes.com
High tea is a three-course affair at this charming Old Mandeville spot. The event consists of housemade scones served with lemon curd, cream and jam, tea sandwiches and canapés, and an assortment of mini-desserts. The café serves more than 100 loose-leaf teas either hot or iced. The lunch menu includes items like peanut chicken salad, which pairs Mandarin oranges and crushed nuts with a panéed chicken breast. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

VIC'S KANGAROO CAFÉ
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 barbecue beef platter with garlic and cheddar mashed potatoes. Jambalaya, pizza, meatball subs and bar snacks offer flavors from closer to home. All meats are slow-roasted on the premises. Complement your meal with a frothy pint of any one of several imported draughts. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

VINCENT'S ITALIAN CUISINE
7839 St. Charles Ave., 866-9313; 4411 Chastant St., Metairie, 885-2984; www.vincentsitaliancuisine.com
Dishes like osso buco and veal picatta are joined by locally inspired choices like the corn and crabmeat bisque at this pair of local Creole-Italian institutions. The bracialoni is a classic of top round stuffed with bacon, artichoke hearts, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Cannelloni is a house specialty prepared with homemade pasta stuffed with ground baby veal, pureed spinach and Parmesan cheese, baked on a bed of Alfredo cream and topped with a light red sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

VITALITY JUICE, JAVA & SMOOTHIE BAR
322 Dalwill Drive, Mandeville, (985) 727-3482; 1915 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 737-1901; 2309 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-3488; www.vitalityjuice.com
Vitality is body-conscious with its array of healthy options. Choose from organic coffees, smoothies, juices, teas, soups, sandwiches and desserts. Popular fruit smoothies include the Spunky Monkey, made with strawberry, orange and banana. The Caesar Gone Skinny salad is made with homemade low-fat Caesar dressing, free-range grilled chicken with Romaine lettuce and Parmesan cheese. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

VIZARD'S ON THE AVENUE
5015 Magazine St., 529-9912; www.vizardsontheavenue.com
The inventive, often playful cuisine of veteran New Orleans chef Kevin Vizard is on display at his Uptown restaurant. Mainstay dishes include filet mignon with Parisienne potato and a golden raisin and port wine demi-glace. Vizard's own version of the BLT is a combination of bowfin caviar, latkes and taramasalata. The distinctive Black and Blue dessert is a soft-centered dark chocolate and blue cheese cake with port wine reduction and chantilly cream. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri. Dinner Tue.-Sat. 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. $

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WALKER'S SOUTHERN STYLE BAR-B-QUE
10828 Haynes Blvd., 241-8227
Walker's is known for its cochon de lait po-boy, dressed with cabbage and creamy Cajun sauce. The smoked chicken salad is also popular. Walker's also serves barbecue ribs, chicken, brisket and smoked sausage. Side dishes include baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, mustard greens and string beans. For dessert there's bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Get there early, because Walker's closes when the food runs out. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

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 specialty spicy sauce and a wide array of deliciously oddball toppings like duck, pheasant sausage or barbecue chicken. Kick start the taste sensation with one of two salads. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

WASABI
900 Frenchmen St., 943-9433; www.wasabinola.com
This Marigny sushi spot specializes in rolls, including common ones like the Philadelphia as well as original options like the French Quarter roll with fresh salmon and yellowtail tuna in spicy mayo and tempura batter with snow crab salad in the house pink sauce. Appetizers include barbecued tuna, pan-fried gyoza dumplings and shitake mushrooms stuffed with shrimp and sautéed in sake and soy sauce. Entrée selections include an array of noodle dishes, soups, sushi and jumbo shrimp covered in a velvety cream sauce. Plum, ginger, green tea and red bean ice creams and tempura cheesecake are served for dessert. Reservations accepted. Lunch and Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

WATER STREET BISTRO
804 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-3855
With the waters of the Tchefuncte River running just outside, this cozy café invites guests to linger on its picturesque front porch. Enjoy exotic entrees like Mediterranean-inspired linguine with Gulf shrimp, spiked with the sharp, salty flavors of olives, capers and feta. Other highlights include entrees of duck, lamb and veal. Savor the homemade flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

WELTY'S DELI
336 Camp St., 592-0223
Freshly made dressings and sauces and quality deli meats piled high help make Welty's a standout for quick, casual lunches in the CBD. The popular Reuben sandwich is layered with corned beef, Swiss, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. A lighter option is the veggie sandwich with roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, red peppers and eggplant. Meal-size salads, daily specials, special lemonades and an array of coffee drinks also are available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and company checks. $

WEST INDIES CAFÉ
1600 St. Charles Ave., 571-2015
West Indies offers tantalizing dishes from Latin America and the Caribbean including ceviche, carimanolas (yucca meat pies) and grilled skirt steak with Argentine chimichurri sauce. New dishes are the West Indies crab salad and canvuela, a fragrant island bouillabaisse filled with mussels, clams and shrimp simmered in garlic broth. There also are salads, seafood dishes and Caribbean rum drinks. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

WHOLE FOODS MARKET
5600 Magazine St., 899-9119; 3420 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, 888-8225; www.wholefoods.com
The nation's largest natural foods grocer has two local emporiums that offer a wide range of gourmet and organic products. Hot and cold food stations serve specialty dishes like citrus-marinated salmon, pasta salads, peppers and marinated olives. Prepared foods include soups, salads, pizza, sandwiches, baked goods, coffee drinks and more. There also are ample selections of imported cheeses, wine and beer. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

WHOLE HOG CAFÉ
639 Loyola Ave., 525-4044; www.wholehogcafe.com
At this café, eating high on the hog means barbecue sandwiches topped with coleslaw. Start with the barbecue nachos or get barbecue on top of salads. For entrées, the selection includes 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. The selection of barbecue sauces on the table ranges from sweet to tangy to spicy, but you have to head to the counter and request the super-hot Volcano sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE
2401 St. Ann St., 822-9503
Willie Mae Seaton is passing the torch to her granddaughter Kerry Seaton at her iconic, award-winning restaurant, which was renovated and reopened after Katrina. The restaurant was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as an "American Classic." Kerry serves all the favorites, including the renowned fried chicken. Familiar rotating daily specials remain, including red beans and butter beans, smothered veal, stewed chicken, fried catfish and trout. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

WINSTON'S PUB & PATIO
531 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-8705
Winston's Pub is a comfortable spot to grab a drink, a burger or any of the restaurant's platters. The grilled chicken Caesar pita is one of the more popular items. Pub-style fish and chips use beer-battered cod and come with waffle fries. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

WIT'S INN
141 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1600; www.witsinn.com
This Mid-City bar serves up a full range of pizzas, calzones, subs and salads. The corn and crab bisque is served in a bread bowl. The shrimp calzone is a pizza dough turnover stuffed with shrimp, roasted mushrooms, garlic, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and is served with a side of marinara sauce for dipping. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

WOLFE'S IN THE WAREHOUSE
859 Convention Center Blvd., 613-2882
This stylish Warehouse District space looks like a mix between an elegant bistro and clubby steakhouse. Fittingly, the cuisine is chef Tom Wolfe's big, bold-flavored contemporary Louisiana cooking. The signature Duck-Duck-Goose combines a crispy leg of duck confit, slices of pastrami-cured duck breast over a warm bacon lardon-frisee salad, seared foie gras and a dried cherry and fresh tarragon duck demi-glace. Scallop ceviche floats in a tomato gazpacho with a dollop of candied lemon-chive sour cream. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri. Brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

WORLD'S HEALTHIEST PIZZA
6307 S. Miro St., 865-0244; 8120 Hampson St., 865-0221; www.worldshealthiestpizza.com
For pizza with a purpose, sample the pies at this aptly named, growing local pizza chain. Both locations feature a special fiber-rich crust that the proprietors say can make the act of eating pizza an exercise in better health. Salads and breadsticks made with the same high-fiber recipe are available, and the Hampson location offers "take-and-bake" pies for diners to prepare at home. Limited delivery available Uptown. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

WOW CAFÉ & WINGERY
Citywide; www.wingery.com
Winging it isn't as easy as it sounds with WOW Café's huge selection of sauces. WOW wings come with a choice of sauces including Key West citrus, honey barbecue, Thai peanut, various heat levels of Buffalo, coconut curry, sweet and sour, teriyaki and many others. Wings are available in quantities ranging from an eight-piece box up to the party-friendly 1,000-piece spread. The Wingery also serves wraps, burgers, salads, quesadillas, chicken tenders and fajitas. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

Y
YE OLDE COLLEGE INN
3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683; www.collegeinn1933.com
This Uptown family favorite still caters to its faithful clientele with seafood po-boys, burgers and veal cutlets. The kitchen has stepped out of its culinary box with an award-winning po-boy stuffed with fried green tomatoes and shrimp remoulade. The Porterhouse pork chop is served with a side of duck and andouille jambalaya. Daily specials also include fresh fish dishes. Reservations accepted for six or more. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

YOU-GURT
7638 Maple St., 304-8432; www.yougurt.net
Customers mix their own treats at this self-serve yogurt parlor, choosing from a selection of 14 nonfat soft-serve flavors plus any of the dozens of fresh fruit and dry toppings. Hummus, edamame and chicken quesadillas add savory choices to the menu as well. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

YOUNG'S RESTAURANT
850 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 643-9331
An old-fashioned steakhouse, Young's handcuts its meat in house. Entrées range from a petite filet and sirloin up to a 14-oz. rib-eye, and steaks are served with a green salad and baked potato. Seafood options include yellowfin tuna and several shrimp dishes. No reservations. Lunch Wed.-Fri., Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

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. Cooler heads prevail with the snow crab salad: a creamy, crabmeat-stuffed avocado served over greens with carrots and asparagus. Desserts include pineapple sorbet and exotic ice cream flavors like green tea, plum wine and red bean. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

YUKI IZAKAYA
525 Frenchmen St., phone n.a.
This chic little pocket of nightlife on Frenchmen Street has turned the former back bar area of Café Brasil into a Japanese tavern offering a wide range of sakes, Japanese beers and exotic bar snacks. The menu changes frequently, but features small plates of treats like barbecued eel, crab dumplings, peppery French fries with wasabi mayonnaise and steamed clams with sake butter. No reservations. Dinner and late-night service Tue.-Sun. Cash only. $

Z
ZARA'S MARKET
4838 Prytania St., 895-0581
Zara's is a grocery store, but the deli in back offers sandwiches and hot meals to go. Monday's red beans and rice with sausage is a regular special. Other favorites include eggplant and veal Parmesan, muffulettas, and Italian meatballs served piping hot on a po-boy or over spaghetti. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

ZEA ROTISSERIE AND GRILL
1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-7733; 1525 St. Charles Ave., 520-8100; 1655 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 738-0799; 4450 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-9090; www.zearestaurants.com
Zea offers a casually elegant spot to dig into slow-roasted meats from the rotisserie or to try creative takes on new American and Asian favorites. Start things off with the spinach salad with pepper jelly vinaigrette. Signature dishes include rotisserie chicken, Thai ribs and Asian almond shrimp. The bar serves up micro-brewed beers specially made for Zea by Heinerbrau, a Covington brewer. Reservation policy varies by location. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. at Kenner location. Credit cards. $$

ZEKE'S
1517 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-1133
Zeke's in Old Metairie has a reputation for serving New Orleans classics like boiled shrimp and crawfish as well as raw and chargrilled oysters. Entrées like bratwurst and onions with warm German potato salad or sauerkraut add a Teutonic flair to the menu. The grilled fish of the day could be anything from mahi mahi to amberjack. The extensive selection of salads should satisfy diners looking for lighter fare. Dessert options include homemade bread pudding. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ZIMMER'S SEAFOOD
4915 St. Anthony Ave., 282-7150
This family-run seafood market offers a lunchtime affirmation of the recovery of its Gentilly neighborhood as regulars and others pour in for fried and boiled seafood. The po-boys use bread from John Gendusa's Bakery next door, and the crabs, shrimp, crawfish and fish come fresh from local waters. Try a generously piled seafood combination platter featuring shrimp, fish and oysters with crinkle-cut fries, a side salad and bread. For dessert there is white chocolate bread pudding. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

ZÖE RESTAURANT
333 Poydras St., W Hotel, 207-5018
The tony ambience of the W Hotel effortlessly extends into its elegant, European-style bistro, Zöe. While the menu changes frequently, it is inspired by an approach blending Old World French techniques with regional ingredients. Sample the seared sea scallops or the Gulf Coast crustacean shooters, which pair crabmeat, shrimp and oysters with flavored vodkas. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

Z'OTZ COFFEEHOUSE
8210 Oak St., 861-2224
Students and bohemians flock to Z'otz at all hours for organic, fair-trade coffee, hubcap-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. $

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