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Dollar signs indicate the average price of a dinner entree.

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

There are no easy choices this winter. With the NFL post-season competing with Carnival season, and elections looming, Gambit's winter restaurant guide presents even more tough decisions. The guide is arranged by cuisine, from po-boys to pizza, African to Vietnamese, seafood to steaks, diners to delis and Cajun to Creole. Listings include menu descriptions, hours of operation, reservation policies and more.

  Enjoy. And choose wisely.






African

BENNACHIN 1212 Royal St., 522-1230 The namesake Bennachin rice dish will be familiar to fans of jambalaya, and okra-based stews and beans over rice showcase ties between traditional African and Creole cooking. The black-eyed pea fritters are a popular first course. BYOB. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $$

American

APPLEBEE'S NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL & BAR Citywide; www.applebees.com Applebee's aims to please with a catch-all approach, serving everything from steaks and burgers to fried seafood to fajitas and Italian-accented pasta bowls. There also are menus of drinks, desserts and kids' items. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE BUFFET AT HARRAH'S 8 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahsneworleans.com Some of the best tables at Harrah's are near the buffet. Selections range from pastas, seafood, steaks and roasted meats to oysters Rockefeller and Dungeness crab specials. The late-night buffet offers breakfast and other items all night long. No reservations. Open 24-hours. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge Diners can choose from a variety of seafood options at Catch (3226 Magazine St., 371-5809). - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY

CANNON'S RESTAURANT 4141 St. Charles Ave., 891-3200; www.cannonsrestaurants.com Conveniently located on the St. Charles streetcar line, the restaurant offers a menu of burgers, steaks, pasta dishes, seafood and salads. The blackened yellowfin tuna is topped with roasted red pepper sauce and comes with wasabi mashed potatoes and snap green beans. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHATEAU MOANET VOILA 300 Decatur St., 581-2534; www.voilanola.com Look for burgers, pastas and a huge assortment of bar snacks and appetizers to nosh at Voila. Offbeat fries include South Texas fries smothered with enchilada sauce, and south Asian fries with sesame ginger sauce and peanut sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

CHECKERED PARROT 132 Royal St., 592-1270; www.checkeredparrot.com A Tex-Mex menu filled with quesadillas and nachos also finds room for burgers and wings plus New Orleans specialties. In addition to po-boys and red beans, the Checkered Parrot serves raw and fried oysters. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHICKEN SUE'S 203 W. Harrison Ave., 371-5546 Fried chicken cooked to order is the specialty at Chicken Sue's. The menu also includes eggplant fries, hot tamales and stuffed artichokes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., early dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

THE COLUMNS — ALBERTINE'S TEA ROOM 3811 St. Charles Ave., 899-9308; www.thecolumns.com On Sundays, The Columns offers a fixed-price jazz brunch menu with a variety of dishes including New York strip steak, pecan chicken salad and fire-roasted shrimp and grits. The crispy-skin trout is served with andouille sausage. Vanilla cheesecake with a raspberry sauce is a featured dessert. Reservations recommended. Brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

COPELAND'S CHEESECAKE BISTRO 2001 St. Charles Ave., 593-9955; 4517 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-7620; www.copelandscheesecakebistro.com Signature creamy cheesecake comes in flavors like bananas Foster, dulce de leche and praline, and white chocolate raspberry. Bistro dishes include creamy crab cakes served over a ragout of sliced artichoke hearts and is topped with oyster cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

COPELAND'S SOCIAL CITY 701 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-3437; www.copelandssocialcity.com Social City combines Copeland's bistro fare with live music, shareable small plates and a giant menu of martinis. Main courses include crabmeat stuffed redfish topped with creamy shrimp garlic sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CREPES A LA CART 1039 Broadway St., 866-2362; www.crepesalacarts.com College students flock to this casual eatery for sweet and savory crepes. The s'mores crepe is filled with melted chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallow. The Crescent City Crepe combines roast beef, Swiss cheese, red onions, mushrooms and horseradish. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

FAIR GROUNDS RACE COURSE 1751 Gentilly Blvd., 944-5515; www.fairgroundsracecourse.com Everything from shrimp Creole and fried chicken to General Tso's chicken and pepper steak is available at the Grand Buffet. Dessert items include homemade lemon meringue pie, chocolate doberge cake and eclairs. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

GATTUSO'S NEIGHBORHOOD BAR & RESTAURANT 435 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 368-1114; www.gattusosdeli.com Meals are hearty at Gattuso's. The sloppy roast beef po-boy is topped with homemade gravy and smothered with Swiss cheese. Salads, sandwiches and wraps also are served. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

HARD ROCK CAFE 418 N. Peters St., 529-5617; www.hardrock.com Sizzling fajita plates, substantial entree salads and classic burgers are the greatest hits at the New Orleans edition of this international chain. The restaurant also serves hickory-smoked ribs, chicken and beef brisket. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HOOTERS 2781 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 393-7177; 4748 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-0160; www.hooterslouisiana.com Hooters turns up the heat on chicken wings with sauces ranging from mild to Three Mile Island and 911. The menu also includes burgers, sandwiches, salads and seafood. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HOUSTON'S RESTAURANT 1755 St. Charles Ave., 524-1578; 4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-2301; www.hillstone.com Houston's is known for its variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, barbecued ribs and seafood dishes. The spinach and artichoke dip is a popular appetizer, Thai steak-and-noodle salad features marinated beef with fresh noodles, avocado, mango and herbs in Thai dressing. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

IHOP 151 West Bank Expwy., Gretna, 366-4177; 833 Canal St., 593-0440; 12150 I-10 Service Road, 244-0013; www.ihop.com While best known for its breakfast platters, this diner-style chain has a lot more than pancakes. The lunch and dinner menus include sandwiches, chicken strips, soups and salads, plus entrees like sirloin tips and balsamic-glazed chicken. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

JIMMY BUFFETT'S MARGARITAVILLE CAFE 1104 Decatur St., 592-2565; www.margaritaville.com Gulf Coast and Caribbean touches brighten the menu at Jimmy Buffett's restaurant. Salmon gets a jerk sauce and conch fritters join fried shrimp and catfish on the Mother Ocean seafood platter. Of course, there are Cheeseburgers in Paradise and a bar menu of frozen drinks. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LAKEVIEW HARBOR 911 Harrison Ave., 486-4887; www.lakeview-harbor.com Lakeview Harbor does burgers big and loaded potatoes even bigger. The seafood-stuffed portobello cap is battered, deep-fried and served with a side of hollandaise. Pizzas, steak dinners and seafood entrees also are served. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NEW ORLEANS HAMBURGER AND SEAFOOD COMPANY Citywide; www.nohsc.com Choose from 10 different half-pound burgers such as the Ragin' Cajun, which is covered with wing sauce, jalapenos, grilled onions, banana peppers and pepper Jack cheese. The crabmeat and eggplant stack has layered eggplant, crabmeat stuffing and fried green tomatoes with crawfish sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NEW ORLEANS WING COMPANY 1377 Annunciation St., 558-3995 There's an array of 20 sauces to dip wings at this new restaurant. In addition to hot sauces, a line of drunken sauces includes pina colada, margarita and orange and Grand Marnier flavors. Other menu items include pizzas, chicken wraps, quesadillas, seafood and crawfish pies. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

O'HENRY'S FOOD & SPIRITS 634 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9741; 8859 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 461-9840; www.ohenrys.com With peanut shells littering the floor, O'Henry's is the most casual of restaurants. Stop in for sandwiches, wraps, ribs, steaks, burgers, seafood platters, ravioli and other pasta dishes. Crawfish and catfish star in several local seafood dishes. A kids' menu is available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PICCADILLY Citywide; www.piccadilly.com Piccadilly's buffet is stocked with everything from roast beef or pork to Southern-style fried chicken and local favorites like crawfish etouffee. There are many salads and vegetable dishes to choose from and desserts range from pecan pie to red velvet cake. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PIER 4 Boomtown Casino, 4132 Peters Road, Harvey, 364-8816; www.boomtownneworleans.com Steak and seafood dishes are good bets at Pier 4. The seafood platter includes speckled trout, a jumbo lump crab cake, Gulf shrimp, oysters, a shoft-shell crab and spicy onion rings. For surf and turf options, try the filet mignon topped with crabmeat or the grilled rib-eye served with barbecue shrimp. Reservations accepted. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

POPEYES Citywide; www.popeyes.com Popeyes' is synonymous with spicy fried chicken. Whole pieces, nuggets and tenders are served in combo meals, baskets and sandwiches. Popular sides include red beans and rice, mashed potatoes and gravy, Cajun rice, spicy battered fries and biscuits. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

RAISING CANE'S CHICKEN FINGERS Citywide; www.raisingcanes.com You can count Raising Cane's main menu options on one hand. Chicken fingers are offered in three-piece combos or on sandwiches. The Caniac Combo includes six fingers, french fries, coleslaw, Texas toast, a fountain drink and two dipping sauces. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

RIVERSHACK TAVERN 3449 River Road, Jefferson, 834-4938; www.therivershacktavern.com Rivershack's roadside honky-tonk has a kitchen that attracts lunchtime regulars as well as nightime revelers. Shack-a-tizers include Buffalo wings, nachos and a fried veggie platter. Burgers, a seafood platter (oysters, catfish, shrimp and alligator sausage) and a variety of chicken sandwiches complete the menu. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

SEMOLINA 2999 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, (985) 626-8923; 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 37, Metairie, 454-7930; www.semolina.com Pasta is king at Semolina's, but the kitchen also offers dishes like the crab-stuffed redfish which is a crab between two fillets of grilled fish, topped with sauteed shrimp and lemon caper sauce and served with green beans. Shrimp Roban features sauteed shrimp in spicy cream sauce tossed with shell pasta. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SPUDLY'S SUPER SPUDS 2609 Harvard Ave., Metairie, 455-3250; www.spudleys.com When the word "spud" appears twice in the title, you should probably try the potato. Especially with unique toppings like crabmeat, shrimp and crawfish on the Super Duper, covered with cheese sauce, cheddar and chives. For a Tex-Mex kick, the El Toro has beef chili, cheddar and jalapenos. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SUN RAY GRILL 619 Pink St., Metairie, 837-0055; 1051 Annunciation St., 566-0021; 2600 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-0053; 2424 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 305-4704; www.sunraygrill.com Sun Ray serves coastal dishes from around the world. Fresh fish are available either Pacific Rim (fresh herbs, citrus, Thai spices), Riviera (red wine butter), Gulf Coast (blackened with crawfish mushroom ragout) or Key West (tarragon lobster butter) style. Sticky Thai ribs are a sinful alternative. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

WING ZONE Citywide; www.wingzone.com Get in the Zone for a blitz of chicken wings, fingers, wedge fries and spicy options such as Buffalo shrimp. Sauces vary in levels of heat, and options include sweet and tangy barbecue varieties, several hot garlic selections and cool ranch. Salads and burgers also are available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

WOW CAFE & WINGERY Citywide; www.wingery.com Wow's dipping sauces offer a world of flavor options from teriyaki to peppery Sante Fe to Bombay coconut curry to Jamaican jerk spice to spicy Buffalo sauce. The chain also serves wraps, burgers, salads, quesadillas, fajitas and some New Orleans favorites like fried catfish and red beans and rice. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

ZEA ROTISSERIE AND GRILL Citywide; www.zearestaurants.com Zea offers a wide-ranging menu with many slow-roasted meats from the rotisserie and creative takes on American and Asian favorites. There is everything from Thai ribs to barbecue chicken to roasted crispy duck to local seafood dishes. Reservation policies vary by location. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY

THE AMERICAN SECTOR The National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., 528-1940; www.nationalww2museum.org Chef John Besh deploys some updated Americana favorites at his restaurant inside the new wing of the National World War II Museum. Dishes include short rib Sloppy Joes, chicken fried steak with mushroom gravy, house-made bologna sandwiches and seafood po-boys. There are milkshakes and desserts such as a warm apple turnover with butter pecan ice cream. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BAYONA 430 Dauphine St., 525-4455; www.bayona.com Chef Susan Spicer's blend of contemporary Creole flavor and globe-trotting culinary inspiration has become her trademark. Her grilled shrimp with black bean cake and coriander sauce and sauteed Pacific salmon with choucroute are signature dishes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

click to enlarge August Moon (3635 Prytania St., 899-5129) serves a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, including shrimp with vermicelli. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo by R Squared Photography
  • August Moon (3635 Prytania St., 899-5129) serves a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, including shrimp with vermicelli.

BOMBAY CLUB 830 Conti St., 586-0972; www.thebombayclub.com Sink into one of this cloistered restaurant's deep booths to inspect the formidable cocktail list and the kitchen's eclectic menu. A winter favorite is the braised pork shank, slow cooked on the bone with Creole white beans and collard greens. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CHAD'S BISTRO RESTAURANT AND CATERING 3216 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 838-9935; www.chadsbistro.com Chad's offers an extensive menu of seafood, steaks, pastas, sandwiches and salads. The veal piccata is sauteed with white wine, capers, lemon and butter. Sandwiches include the filet steak sandwich and turkey croissant melt. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE COUNTRY CLUB 634 Louisa St., 945-0742; www.thecountryclubneworleans.com The kitchen at this Bywater pool and lounge serves dishes like tasso-studded meatloaf with Dry Sack sherry mushrooms. Try the 10-oz. pork chop glazed with Steen's cane syrup and Creole mustard. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Reservations accepted. Credit cards. $$

CUVEE 322 Magazine St., 587-9001; www.restaurantcuvee.com Cuvee's classic dishes include appetizers like the spiced shrimp Napoleon with crisp mirliton, shrimp remoulade, frisee and citrus beurre blanc. The rabbit duo features a brazed quarter and a grilled flank tenderloin and is served with sweet potato and andouille agnolotti. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

FAZZIO'S 1841 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 624-9704; www.fazziosrestaurant.com Start with an appetizer like sweet-and-spicy Bang Bang shrimp or seared ahi tuna. Entrees include blackened mahi on eggplant medallions topped with spicy crawfish and jalapeno blue cheese cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

THE GREEN GODDESS 307 Exchange Alley, 301-3347; www.greengoddessnola.com The creative cooking at Green Goddess combines classic techniques, exotic ingredients and culinary wit. At lunch, try the Indian ivory lentil pancake with green peas, smoky tomatoes, chickpeas and tamarind sauce. For dinner, organic beef is seared on a salt brick and finished with smoked olive oil. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Thu.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE GRILL ROOM AT THE WINDSOR COURT 300 Gravier St., 523-6000; www.windsorcourthotel.com Chef Drew Dzejak prepares dishes like seared diver scallops with homemade pappardelle, caviar and lemon cream. Lunch is served buffet style in the Grill Room. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

HELIX RESTAURANT & WINE BAR 2 Lee Circle, 962-0903; www.helixwb.com This chic lounge offers a menu of small plates and many wines by the glass. Small plates include eggplant beignets topped with Creole crawfish sauce and bacon-wrapped shrimp served over cheese grits with pepper jelly. Reservations accepted. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

IRIS 321 N. Peters St., 299-3944; www.irisneworleans.com Iris is a stage for well-crafted original cocktails and new American cooking. Its house-made potato gnocchi is served with oxtail ragout and goat's milk cheese. Pistachio-dusted monkfish scaloppini is paneed and served over stewed baby octopus with kalamata olives and balsamic. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat. and Mon. $$$

LE FORET 129 Camp St., 553-6738; www.leforetneworleans.com This new downtown restaurant offers elegant ambience and chef James Corwell's large repertoire of contemporary American cooking. Recent dishes have included duck carpaccio complemented by foie gras, beets and apple. Some familiar Creole dishes such as turtle soup and oysters Rockefeller get a new turn. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LE MERITAGE Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., 522-8800; www.lemeritage.com Wine pairings drive chef Michael Ferrell's menu concept. Spicy reds are suggested for the potato sage gnocchi with savory pumpkin cream and toasty curried pumpkin seeds. Corn and crab bisque calls for a full-bodied white wine. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

M BISTRO Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal St., 524-1331; www.ritzcarlton.com The Ritz-Carlton recently debuted M Bistro, named for executive chef Matt Murphy. He incorporates local ingredients in dishes such as braised Louisiana rabbit lasagna and Abita cane sugar barbecue shrimp and grits. Bistro classics include hanger steak and fries and mussels with garlic toast. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MAT & NADDIE'S 937 Leonidas St., 861-9600; www.matandnaddies.com In the quaint dining room or on the deck overlooking the levee, try artichoke, sun-dried tomato and roasted-garlic cheesecake with basil-spinach tapanade or grilled jerk pork tenderloin with 7th Ward braised greens and mango crema. New dishes include roasted corn syrup lacquered duck served with cauliflower bread pudding. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon. and Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MEAUXBAR BISTRO 942 N. Rampart St., 569-9979; www.meauxbar.com Expect new twists on bistro classics at Meauxbar. Mussels are steamed in red curry broth with coriander and basil. Flounder en papillote is prepared with coconut milk, curry, ginger and lemon grass. Other options range from steak tartare to pasta Bolognese. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MIKE'S AMERICAN GRILL 4300 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-5566 Seafood dishes are some of the highlights at this Metairie dining destination. Pan-seared trout is topped with a crabmeat and avocado salad and brown butter sauce. Pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna is served over fettuccine carbonara. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MIKE'S EAST WEST 628 St. Charles Ave., 523-7600; www.mikeseastwest.com Chef Mike Fennelly returns to the location of his highly regarded Mike's on the Avenue. The menu includes a mix of southwestern and Asian influences. Diners may recognize the crawfish spring rolls with chili-lime dipping sauce and blackened tuna Napoleon with tamari vinaigrette. Entrees include local seafood, Indian spiced dishes, Korean-style barbecued lamb and crispy duck with tamarind-maple glaze. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

RALPH'S ON THE PARK 900 City Park Ave., 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.com Ralph's offers contemporary Creole-American cooking in its spacious two-story space bordering City Park. The Cajun Scotch egg is a flash-fried, soft-boiled egg wrapped in boudin. The fried oysters Rockefeller features a spinach custard and bacon breadcrumbs. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ROOSEVELT HOTEL — BLUE ROOM 123 Baronne St., 648-1200; www.therooseveltneworleans.com Brunch is the only meal served at the Blue Room, but what a meal it is. Along with live jazz, brunch features everything from banana nut pancakes to chilled asparagus soup, crawfish empanadas and Kurobuta pork tenderloin with peppers and pickled onions. Reservations accepted. Brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

SARA'S 724 Dublin St., 861-0565; www.sarasrestaurant.com Sara's has carved out a unique niche for innovative Creole-Indian dishes. Gulf shrimp are simmered in coconut cream with red and green curries. Grilled Muscovy duck breast is served with port plum reduction and jasmine rice. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

STELLA! 1032 Chartres St., 587-0091; www.restaurantstella.com Chef Scott Boswell draws inspiration from around the globe for one-of-a-kind culinary experiences at Stella! The Canadian lobster risotto combines shiitake and porcini mushrooms with English peas, local scallions and Italian truffle oil. The duck five ways features everything from foie gras to spicy Asian accents. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

ZOE RESTAURANT W Hotel, 333 Poydras St., 207-5018; www.starwoodhotels.com Zoe Restaurant maintains the chic vibe of the W Hotel's design. Seared scallops are served over Tuscan corn grits with mushroom ragout. No mere appetizer, the lobster bisque features half a lobster. Braised Kobe beef short ribs sit atop a potato pancake with mushrooms and black truffle essence. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BAR & GRILL

13 MONAGHAN 517 Frenchmen St., 942-1345; www.13monaghan.com The menu at 13 can provide fuel for a long night ahead or sustenance following a drinking bout. The tater tachos are crispy, baked tater tots smothered in melted cheddar cheese, jalapenos, black beans, salsa and sour cream. There also are salads, breakfast burritos, soups, vegetarian sandwiches and boudin sausage. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

ALIBI BAR AND GRILLE 811 Iberville St., 522-9187; www.alibineworleans.com There's no excuse for leaving the Alibi hungry, since the kitchen keeps the burgers, bar snacks and lighter fare coming around the clock. Options range from grilled tuna over greens to a hearty hamburger steak. Delivery available. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

BALCONY BAR & CAFE 3201 Magazine St., 894-8888 Along with the view of bustling Magazine Street below, diners and drinkers can enjoy bar foods including quesadillas, salads, Buffalo wings, jalapeno poppers and chicken fingers from the upstairs kitchen. The namesake burger features a half-pound patty. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BEACHCORNER BAR & GRILL 4905 Canal St., 488-7357 The menu boasts a solid offering of big burgers and sandwiches and baskets of fries. The king patty is the 10-oz. Beachburger topped with a choice of pepper jack, Swiss, cheddar or blue cheese. The 8-oz. tuna steak can be served on a sandwich or a salad. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BROOKS SEAHORSE SALOON 1648 Gentilly Blvd., 218-4217 Half-pound burgers, chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers and Brooks' fish sandwich keep the regulars coming back for more at this neighborhood tavern. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BRUNO'S TAVERN 7538 Maple St., 861-7615; www.brunostavern.com Bruno's serves up spicy fun with a fried chicken breast in Buffalo sauce topped with blue cheese and lettuce. The Firecracker salad combines fried shrimp, blue cheese and peppers in pepper jelly vinaigrette. The 8-oz. One Eyed Jack burger is topped with bacon, onion rings, pepper Jack cheese and a fried egg. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BUFFA'S LOUNGE 1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038; www.buffaslounge.com Dubbed "border of the Quarter cafe," Buffa's straddles the line between barroom and restaurant, pouring drinks and serving biscuits and gravy and build-your-own omelets for breakfast. The tavern also offers salads, Cajun-seasoned steaks, burgers and sandwiches. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Cash only. $

BULL'S CORNER 1036 W. Airline Hwy., Laplace, (985) 652-3544; www.bullscorner.com Steaks are the big draw at Bull's, where cuts range from the 10-oz. petit filet to 28-oz. bone-in rib-eye. Catfish Bucktown features a golden-fried, pecan-crusted catfish fillet topped with Gulf shrimp sauteed in Creole meuniere sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE BULLDOG 3236 Magazine St., 891-1516; 5135 Canal Blvd., 488-4191; www.draftfreak.com Head to the kitchen window at the Bulldog for a menu of burgers, quesadillas, nachos and other finger foods. The porter fries are waffle-cut fries tossed in Moe's Wing Sauce, covered in chili and melted cheeses and topped with jalapenos. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun. and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CADDYSHACK 3217 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 833-1799 This Metairie tavern keeps patrons happy with a variety of soups, burgers, po-boys and daily specials like red beans and rice or crawfish pasta. The menu also includes spaghetti and meatballs and other Italian dishes. No reservations. Lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAJUN MIKE'S PUB 'N' GRUB 116 Baronne St., 566-0055; www.cajunmikes.com Cajun Mike's features snacks such as the boudin balls. For a meal, Mike's has po-boys, Cuban sandwiches and pressed versions of chicken Parmesan and muffulettas. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

CALYPSO PATIO BAR AND GRILL 326 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 875-9676 The patio fills with patrons knocking back drinks and digging into platters of shrimp nachos. Clusters of crab boiled in a Caribbean spice mix offer a taste of the islands. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHECK POINT CHARLIE 501 Esplanade Ave., 281-4847 Only in New Orleans can you do laundry while listening to a band at a bar. While your clothes dry, try Check Point's spicy half-pound Cajun burger, grilled chicken sandwich or bar food standards like shoestring fries covered with cheese. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

CLUBHOUSE BAR & GRILL 4617 Sanford St., Metairie, 883-5905; www.theclubhousebarandgrill.com Clubhouse keeps the grill open from lunch through closing time. Popular bar snacks include fried ravioli with either marinara or ranch dipping sauce. The Squealing Bull burger is both stuffed and topped with bacon and cheddar cheese. Order a flatbread sandwich and choose from fillings such as blackened shrimp, vegetables, cheese and roasted garlic aioli. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

COLUMBIA STREET TAP ROOM & GRILL 434 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 898-0899; www.columbiastreettaproom.com Columbia Street offers three-course dinner specials on Thursdays, featuring anything from a grilled pork chop to redfish meuniere. The regular menu includes gourmet burgers and fried or grilled seafood specials. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

COOTER BROWN'S TAVERN 509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104; www.cooterbrowns.com Cooter's main draw is hundreds of beers in bottles and on tap. Watch sports and socialize while pounding dozens of raw oysters. Hungrier drinkers can enjoy a sandwich or Cooter's hot dog. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COPPER MONKEY BAR & GRILL 725 Conti St., 527-0869 Take a few steps off Bourbon Street and you'll find a crowd of local service industry folks and visitors mixing it up at the Copper Monkey. Burgers, nachos and quesadillas are popular, and the grill also turns out steaks and grilled chicken for Caesar-style wraps. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

DECKBAR & GRILLE 1715 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 830-0104 Big bar burgers and fried seafood po-boys are among the reliable offerings at this tavern. The menu also includes fried pickles, brisket and homemade crab balls. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DINO'S BAR & GRILL 1128 Tchoupitoulas St., 558-0900 Dino's offers bar noshing items like creamy spinach and artichoke dip served with tortilla chips. From the grill, there are burgers, an Italian chicken sandwich and wraps such as the Buffalo chicken, chicken Caesar and chicken bacon ranch. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

THE EDGE BAR & GRILL 3400 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 780-2266 Enjoy steaks and ribs at the Edge Bar & Grill. Grilled tuna is served over angel hair pasta with vegetables. Popular sandwiches include hot sausage, fried oysters and veal Parmesan. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

ERNST CAFE 600 S. Peters St., 525-8544; www.ernstcafe.net Po-boys, sandwiches and wraps are mainstays at Ernst Cafe, a downtown watering hole known for its hearty burgers. Other options include the Buffalo chicken salad and the spicy chicken sandwich topped with Buffalo sauce and cheddar and served with french fries. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

F&M PATIO BAR 4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-6784; www.fandmpatiobar.com The kitchen kicks into full gear late at night and into early morning. The grill puts out a steady flow of quesadillas, chili cheese fries and spicy egg rolls. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. The grill is cash only. $

click to enlarge Lamb chops are among the Mediterranean dishes at Attiki Bar & Grill (230 Decatur St., 587-3756). - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY

FAT HARRY'S 4330 St. Charles Ave., 895-9582 Fat Harry's features burgers, sandwiches and other casual eats. The jazz burger is an 8-oz. patty made with hot sausage and ground beef and served on an onion roll, dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and a side of french fries. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

FOX AND HOUND 1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 731-6000; www.foxandhound.com There's an English theme running through this tavern chain, but the Harahan location includes a few nods to the local palate. The blackened mahi mahi is prepared with Cajun seasonings and served with spicy jambalaya. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

FRIAR TUCK'S BAR & GRILL 5130 Freret St., 891-4080; www.friartucksbar.com Appetizers at this Uptown staple include chicken tenders, nachos and french fries. Salads, plus New Orleans-style fried catfish and shrimp also are available. No reservations. Dinner daily Credit cards. $

HANDSOME WILLY'S PATIO BAR 218 S. Robertson St., 525-0377; www.handsomewillys.com The bar and kitchen at this former site of a house of ill repute offer simple pleasures like hot dogs and beer. Daily specials include tacos and barbecue with red beans on Mondays, jambalaya every Tuesday and sporadic seasonal seafood boils. No reservations. Dinner Mon.-Fri., late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

HARBOR BAR & GRILL 3024 17th St., Metairie, 835-6111 In addition to burgers and fries, Harbor Bar & Grill is known for its 18-oz. steak, served with new potatoes and green beans. The blackened tuna salad is piled with tomato, bacon and artichoke hearts. Other menu favorites include homemade roast beef po-boys. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

IGOR'S BUDDHA BELLY BURGER BAR 4437 Magazine St., 891-6105 This corner tavern keeps the beer cold and the grill hot. The Igor burger features a specially seasoned half-pound patty. The Cajun burger adds a kick of Tabasco and Creole seasonings. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

IGOR'S LOUNGE & GAMEROOM 2133 St. Charles Ave., 568-9811 Whether you're shooting a game of pool or waiting on a load of laundry, Igor's bar and grill are always serving. Igor's World Famous burger is a char-broiled half-pound patty. Other sides and snacks include Cajun cheese fries and jalapeno poppers. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

J'ANITA'S AT THE AVENUE 1732 St. Charles Ave., 586-9243; www.theavenuepub.com The pub grub at this 24-hour bar goes beyond burgers and cheese fries. Grilled redfish with sauteed onions, bacon and feta have the honor of filling out J'anita's Best Fish Sammich Ever. The panko-crusted duck balls are fried duck breasts served with a berry and chipotle tapenade. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late night daily. Credit cards. $

JIGGERS BAR & GRILL 1645 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-3555 Sample enlightened pub grub while watching your favorite sports team at this Metairie grill. Blackened redfish is served on a bed of green onion rice and topped with meuniere sauce and fried Gulf shrimp. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late night daily. Credit cards. $

LA FINCA 216 N. Charlton., 512-1993 This Mid-City bar offers burgers, sandwiches, tacos and fajitas. Hot dishes include stewed pork, shrimp etouffee, fried fish and New York strip steaks. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

LAGER'S INTERNATIONAL ALE HOUSE 3501 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-9923; www.draftfreak.com Hearty pub grub accompanies a dizzying selection of domestic and imported beer. Menu selections include steaks, sandwiches, salads and waffle fries. The turbo chicken is marinated and topped with applewood-smoked bacon, cheese and barbecue sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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

LIVE BAIT BAR AND GRILL 200 Old Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 840-0902; www.livebaitnola.com The bar scene may be the lure at Live Bait, but patrons also come to savor bar favorites like nachos and chili-cheese potato wedges. Other options include burgers, po-boys and seafood platters. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LUCKY'S LOUNGE 1625 St. Charles Ave., 523-6538; www.luckysnola.com Shoot some pool or hang out with friends on the porch while enjoying a drink. The grill is open late and offers a menu of burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets and cheese sticks. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

OSCAR'S RESTAURANT & BAR 2027 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-9540 Oscar's half-pound hamburger is challenged in girth only by the overstuffed baked potato at its side. The roast beef po-boy is made with pulled, home-cooked meat, and the Oscarlotta is a version of a muffuletta served on French bread. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner daily, lunch and late-night Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

RED EYE GRILL 852 S. Peters St., 593-9393; www.redeyegrill.net This late night bar and grill is billed as "the last place you want to be." Fill up with cheese fries, jalapeno poppers and big burgers. Popular combination deals include cheeseburgers or tuna steak sandwiches served with fries and a drink. Food is not served on weekends. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

RENDON INN BAR & GRILL 4501 Eve St., 826-5605 Snack on appetizers such as spinach and artichoke dip, chicken tenders, hot wings or onion rings. Off the grill come burgers, chicken sandwiches and cheese quesadillas. Other options include salads. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RUSSELL'S MARINA GRILL 8555 Pontchartrain Blvd., 282-9980 Breakfast is served all day at Russell's, which dishes up fluffy omelets and eggs Benedict, as well as many other hot items. The fried chicken country salad is a popular lunch dish. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

SIDELINES BAR & GRILL 1229 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-4002 Sidelines offers a variety of sandwiches and burgers to accompany all-you-can-watch ESPN. Spicy Buffalo chicken is wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with ranch or blue cheese dressing. The bacon barbecue cheeseburger gets a coat of Sweet Baby Ray's sauce. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

SPEAKEASY SPORTS BAR & GRILL 4345 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-4069 Speakeasy's menu is anchored by the 10-oz. burger. There also are sandwiches and bar snacks such as jalapeno poppers, chicken quesadillas, chicken wings and egg rolls. Popular entrees include the 8-oz. filet and yellowfin tuna steak. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

TAVERN ON CITRUS 5708 Citrus Ave., Harahan, 218-5186 The Tavern offers a range of options including hot wings, quesadilla rolls, loaded nachos and mozzarella sticks. From the grill, there's everything from the namesake burger to rib-eyes and petit fillets. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

VIC'S KANGAROO CAFE 636 Tchoupitoulas St., 524-4329 This spacious pub offers a taste of Australia. The bar serves many Aussie wines and beers. From the small grill there are dishes like shepherd's pie with Guinness gravy, a daily sandwich special, chicken and sausage jambalaya and other hearty fare. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

WINSTON'S PUB & PATIO 531 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-8705 For casual pub grub with an across-the-pond vibe, try Winston's traditional beer-battered cod and chips with malt vinegar and tartar sauce. The Forrest Hills burger boasts a half-pound patty grilled over an open flame. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

BARBECUE

ABITA BAR-B-Q 69399 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 892-0205 Slow-cooked brisket and pork get to the meat of the matter at this barbecue joint. Order a platter built around a slab of ribs, turkey leg, smoked boudin or half chicken. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

BYWATER RESTAURANT, DELI & BBQ 3162 Dauphine St., 944-4445 Barbecue remains the specialty here, but also look for Southern classics like chicken-fried steak with gravy or shrimp Creole, all served with sides like potato salad and macaroni and cheese. Inexpensive lunch specials like meatloaf and the catfish plate draw plenty of regulars. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

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

HILLBILLY BAR-B-Q 208 Tallulah Ave., River Ridge, 738-1508; www.hillbillybbq.com Hillbilly's brisket, pulled pork, smoked boudin and alligator sausage all have one thing in common: deep, penetrating hickory smoke. Be sure to try the smoked chicken salad on Thursdays. Reservations accepted for large groups. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

THE JOINT 801 Poland Ave., 949-3232; www.alwayssmokin.com There are savory meats to choose from at The Joint. The barbecue salad tops organic spring mix with with your choice of smoky pulled pork, chopped brisket or pulled chicken and comes with a house-made smoked tomato and onion dressing. Lemon pie tops a list of homemade desserts. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SQUEAL BAR-B-Q 8400 Oak St., 302-7370 At this Uptown barbecue joint, pork, brisket and ribs are slow-cooked in-house. Order them on platters with side dishes like roasted corn and cheddar grits. The pulled-pork sandwich is served on Dong Phuong's French bread and is topped with house-made barbecue sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SWEET DADDY'S BBQ 420 S.Tyler St., Covington, (985) 898-2166; 2534 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 626-0208; www.sweetdaddysbarbq.com Slow cooking is the rule at Sweet Daddy's. The dry-rubbed baby back ribs, brisket and herb-scented pulled pork are smoked for at least 12 hours. Meats are served in sandwiches or on platters with two sides, including choices such as baked beans, jambalaya and potato salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

TASTEE BONES BARBECUE 1901 Second St., Slidell, (985) 726-5050 Tastee Bones lightly smokes chicken, ribs, brisket and pork. "Burnt ends" are the crunchy trimmed tips of brisket and pork available by the pound. For sides, don't miss the collard greens spiked with tips of beef and pork as well as sliced jalapenos. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

TEXAS BAR-B-QUE COMPANY 3320 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 456-2832 Texas can get a little messy at this barbecue joint serving slow-smoked ribs, brisket and pulled pork on platters or sandwiches. Even the potatoes are smoked — and then topped with tangy barbecue beef, extra sauce, cheese and chives. Steaks, burgers and fried seafood plates round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

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

VOODOO BBQ & GRILL 1501 St. Charles Ave., 522-4647; 2999 Hwy. 190 E., Mandeville, (985) 629-2021; www.voodoobbqandgrill.com Homemade sauces gets the mojo working on slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork and ribs. Voodoo also serves burgers, chicken sandwiches and loaded potatoes. Side dishes include Rattlesnake Beans, corn pudding, coleslaw, Gris Gris Greens and creamy macaroni and cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

WALKER'S SOUTHERN STYLE BAR-B-QUE 10828 Hayne Blvd., 241-8227 Walker's is known for its annual Jazz Fest favorite, the cochon de lait po-boy dressed with cabbage and creamy Cajun sauce. The restaurant also serves barbecue ribs, chicken, brisket and smoked sausage. Sides dishes include baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, mustard greens and string beans. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

WHOLE HOG CAFE 639 Loyola Ave., 525-4044; www.wholehogcafe.com This barbecue spot offers slow-cooked smoky meats and a choice of six sauces. Entrees include pulled pork, brisket, full and half slabs of ribs, pulled chicken and half chickens. The Whole Hog platter rounds up pork, brisket, three beef ribs, baked beans, coleslaw and rolls. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

BELGIAN

CLEMENTINE'S BELGIAN BISTROT 2505 Whitney Ave., Gretna, 366-3995; www.bistrogallerie.com Share one of the bistro's four tasty mussel dishes for a classic taste of Belgium. The menus also features escargot and savory crepes. The bar carries a selection of 16 Belgian beers. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BREWPUB

ABITA BREW PUB 72011 Holly St., Abita Springs, (985) 892-5837; www.abitabrewpub.com The tavern boasts the full range of Abita beers on tap. Pair one with a big burger, pasta dish or entree like seafood-stuffed eggplant. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CRESCENT CITY BREWHOUSE 527 Decatur St., 522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com Louisiana flavors find common ground alongside the house-made German-style beers. Wolf's sausage platter includes pork links and sauerkraut. Redfish St. Louis is topped with oysters and rich butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

GORDON BIERSCH 200 Poydras St., 552-2739; www.gordonbiersch.com This chain brewpub offers house-brewed German- and Czech-style beers and a large, eclectic menu. Appetizers include chicken wings, Southwestern egg rolls and crab and artichoke dip. Entrees range from sandwiches, burgers and steaks to seafood and pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BURGERS

BUD'S BROILER Citywide Bud's built its reputation on flame-broiled burgers. Order a single- or double-patty burger and top it with grated cheddar, hickory sauce or chili. The menu also offers grilled chicken sandwiches and hot dogs. For dessert there are apple, peach and cherry pies. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Cash only. $

DOWN THE HATCH 1921 Sophie Wright Place, 522-0909 Besides patties made with 100 percent Black Angus beef and lamb and veggie burgers, Down the Hatch has sandwiches like the Philly cheese steak. No reservations. Lunch Sat., dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

GROUND PAT'I GRILLE AND BAR 11 West Bank Expwy., Gretna, 367-9512; 1305 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 466-8060 Original burger options include the Smoking Ring burger, topped with barbecue sauce, applewood-smoked bacon, cheese and a deep-fried onion ring. For straight-up barbecue, combine a half-rack of ribs with char-grilled chicken breast smothered in barbecue sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

KRYSTAL 116 Bourbon St., 523-4030; www.krystal.com Simple and portable are prime virtues at Krystal, where the menu includes mini-burgers, hot dogs, chicken bites and fries. Scramblers feature stacked breakfast items like eggs, sausage patties, grits and pancakes in a cup. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

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

PHIL'S GRILL 3020 Severn Ave., Metairie, 324-9080; www.phils-grill.com At Phil's, diners build their own burgers from the bun up. Choose from 10 kinds of burgers (from Black Angus to bison or alligator) and a wide array of cheeses, vegetable toppings and sauces. Sides include fried pickles, fried onion strings, sweet potato fries and more. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PORT OF CALL 838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120; www.portofcallneworleans.com Thick burgers with grated cheddar and loaded baked potatoes are the calling cards of the Port of Call. Some swear by the filet, strip or rib-eye steaks. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

STEP BROTHERS LOUNGE & RESTAURANT 4971 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 889-9856 There's a dish to suit every craving at this casual Metairie lounge, from po-boys and burgers to cheese sticks, jalapeno poppers and chicken tenders. Wash them all down with a frosty pint of Abita. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late night daily. Credit cards. $

THE TIMES GRILL 1827 Front St., Slidell, (985) 639-3335; 1896 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-1161; www.timesgrill.com Order from a list of more than 20 specialty burgers, including the Mediterraneo, a burger topped with crumbled feta cheese, romaine lettuce, shaved red onions, kalamata olives and herb vinaigrette. The menu also offers salads, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, fried seafood in po-boys or baskets, and desserts. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE

ALLIGATOR PEAR 1901 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 342-2640; www.alligatorpearcafe.com The eclectic menu stretches from burgers, po-boys and salads to Asian-inspired wok dishes. Thin-crust pizzas are made with tomato sauce or white, with garlic and olive oil. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

AUDUBON GOLF CLUBHOUSE 6500 Magazine St., 212-5282; www.auduboninstitute.org Head to the park early for a hot breakfast menu that includes the Hole in One, which is three eggs, hash browns or grits, bacon or sausage and toast. For lunch, try the Green Magazine salad with green apples, raisins, walnuts, and feta cheese on a bed of spring mix greens. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

BECK-N-CALL CAFE 534 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 875-9390 Daily specials like red beans and rice and fried chicken with corn bread are favorites for Beck-N-Call regulars. Popular items include the pressed Cuban sandwich. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

BLUE PLATE CAFE 1330 Prytania St., 309-9500 The menu includes an eclectic take on breakfast foods like the pain perdu which is Brie-stuffed French toast with blueberry sauce. Crawfish cakes are topped with fried eggs and served with hash browns. For lunch, there are a changing number of daily specials as well as po-boys. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat. and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

BLUE TOMATO 4401 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 734-3000 The name of the loaded Garbage Can Nachos should be a tip-off that this kitschy cantina embraces a playful attitude. The menu is open-minded as well, offering everything from lasagna to chimichangas to grilled sesame Thai tuna. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

BROTHERS OLE' NEW ORLEANS CAFE 1502 Lapalco Blvd., Harvey, 366-1073 New Orleans classics share Brothers' menu with some localized all-American items like the hot dog and chili po-boy. Thursday's lunch special features white beans with pork chops, sausage or catfish. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE AT THE SQUARE 500 St. Charles Ave., 304-7831; www.cafeatthesquare.com The cafe serves salads, burgers and sandwiches like the fried green tomato BLT on ciabatta. There also are entrees including a daily fish special and meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy. Brunch items range from a fried green tomatoes Benedict to huevos rancheros. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge Liuzzas (3636 Bienville St., 482-9120) is a popular neighborhood spot for po-boys, onion rings and lunch plates. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY

CAFE BAMBOO 435 Esplanade Ave., 940-5546; www.cafebamboo.com Cafe Bamboo reinterprets Caribbean cooking and soul food dishes for the vegetarian palate. Marinated soy and gluten products replace chicken, pork and beef on a completely meatless menu. There also are rice bowls and pasta dishes. Vegan deserts include peanut butter pie, chocolate pie, carrot cake and chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAFE BEIGNET 311 Bourbon St., 525-2611; 334B Royal St., 524-5530; www.cafebeignet.com Cafe Beignet's French Quarter locations serve hearty breakfast fare and New Orleans classics. Get beignets or Cajun hash browns with andouille sausage, potatoes and scrambled eggs anytime or try the red beans and rice and jambalaya at lunch. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

CAFE D'CAPPUCCINO 4041 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-2299 People on the go stop by this Kenner cafe for a coffee drink and a light meal, like a Caesar salad with grilled chicken on its own or wrapped in a tortilla. The cafe's breakfast plate delivers eggs, grits and a choice of meat. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE DITALI'S 2104 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 361-0058 Dishes like crab cake Parmesan, the bacon cheeseburger and meat-filled calzones keep diners coming back to Cafe Ditali's. The popular Ditali Deluxe pizza is loaded with toppings like sausage, beef, bacon, olives and peppers. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE ENVIE 1241 Decatur St., 524-3689; www.cafeenvienola.com Start your morning at this coffeehouse with eggs Envie, a mini omelet filled with melted Brie, topped with ham and served on a toasted croissant. Lunch and light dinner options include prosciutto and grilled asparagus panini on a sourdough hoagie roll. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and late-night dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE FLEUR DE LIS 307 Chartres St., 529-9641; www.cafefleurdelis.com This casual Quarter cafe serves breakfast sandwiches for folks on the go as well as knife-and-fork specialties like the Fleur de Lis omelet stuffed with crawfish tails and topped with crawfish sauce. The lunch menu includes salads, panini and burgers. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE FRERET 7329 Freret St., 861-7890; www.cafefreret.com Breakfast is served throughout the day and includes steak and eggs, French toast and pancakes. The lunch menu features appetizers like quesadillas and chicken wings and original sandwiches like the chicken Bomb, which is chicken breast with melted Swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms, onions and peppers served on French bread with Creole mustard. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Fri.-Wed., dinner Mon.-Wed., Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE FRESCA 4441 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 887-2010 Cafe Fresca offers pastries and coffee in the morning and soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. Popular items include the Fresca salad, chicken salad sandwich and the chicken Caesar pita. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE LATTE II 2324 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-0085; www.cafelatte2.com Cafe Latte II is known for fresh salads, including the Caribe with baked chicken, coconut, blue cheese, bacon, walnuts and fruit over greens. Barbecue shrimp and sweet potato fries are popular menu items. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFE MINH 4139 Canal St., 482-6266 Creole and Vietnamese influences merge gracefully on chef Minh Bui's menu. Local seafood and light saffron flavors highlight the bouillabaisse. Beef short ribs are aromatic with star anise. The cafe also serves gourmet versions of popular dishes like rice paper spring rolls. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE NAVARRE 800 Navarre Ave., 483-8828 This casual corner cafe beckons in the morning with breakfast items like the Mediterranean omelet, packed with spinach, artichoke and cheese. The roast beef po-boy and pressed Cuban sandwich are popular at lunchtime. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE ROYALE 3343 Metairie Road, Metairie, 304-8438 The menu at Cafe Royale includes everything from Thai chicken salad to revamped classics like muffuletta panini. Daily specials include dishes like veal pot roast and crawfish etouffee. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFFE ANGELINA 5024 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 889-7770 Choose from salads, soups, sandwiches and hearty entrees at this family-run restaurant. The namesake roast beef Angelina is a ciabatta sandwich filled with roast beef, spicy peppers and avocado. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFFE! CAFFE! 4301 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 885-4845; www.caffecaffe.com Soups, salads, quiche and daily specials cover this cafe's wide-ranging menu. Specialty sandwiches include the grilled Caesar pita, corned beef served on marbled rye and dressed, and shrimp salad is served on a croissant. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFFE LATTE DA 5860 Citrus Blvd., Harahan, 818-0052; www.caffelatteda.com In addition to waffles, pancakes and pastries, the morning menu includes scrambles with eggs, spinach and cheese served on a plate or in a sandwich. At lunch, choose from salads, sandwiches or specialties like Cajun crawfish quesadillas. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CAMELLIA CAFE 525 W. Gause Blvd., Slidell, (985) 649-6211; 69455 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 809-6313; www.thecamellia .com Local favorites abound at these family friendly Northshore spots. Fried seafood platters are piled high and entrees like catfish Camellia are served with sides and salad. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHATEAU COFFEE HOUSE AND CAFE 139 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 286-1777; 701 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 465-1338; 3501 Chateau Blvd., Kenner, 465-9444; East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 888-0601 Come lunchtime, choose from a menu of sandwiches, wraps, salads and quesadillas. The grilled chicken quesadilla is filled with black beans and served with homemade salsa. The 8-oz. Chateau burger is grilled to order. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CHEESESTEAK BISTRO 528 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 875-9793 The Northshore meets Philadelphia at this eatery. The deluxe cheese steak comes dressed with green peppers, onions, mushrooms and mayo. Try the stuffed seafood potato filled with shrimp and crab and topped with chives and cheddar. Side dishes include salads, baked potatoes and french fries. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

COFFEE RANI 234 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 893-6158; 3510 Hwy. 90, Mandeville, (985) 674-0560; www.coffeerani.com At this Northshore cafe, the shrimp and pesto salad features bowtie pasta, purple cabbage, jumbo shrimp and pesto served on a Caesar salad topped with feta and Parmesan cheeses. There also are low-carb, kid-friendly and vegetarian menus. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

COME BACK INN 3826 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-1623; 8016 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 467-9316 Daily specials, big sandwiches and children's meals star at this casual cafe. Friday specials include soft-shelled and stuffed crabs. For bigger appetites, there is a shrimp, oyster and catfish combination platter. No reservations. Kenner: lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Metairie: lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COMMON GROUNDS 335 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 227-2200 Common Grounds' breakfast specials change daily, but boudin and shortstacks are menu mainstays. For lunch and dinner, smothered okra over rice and seafood ravioli are popular dishes. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

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

COURTYARD CAFE AT NOMA 1 Collins C. Diboll Circle, 658-4100; www.noma.org Restaurateur Ralph Brennan is offering Creole favorites at the Courtyard Cafe during the run of the Walt Disney illustration expo (through March 14). Options include turtle soup, alligator sausage and seafood gumbo and roasted shrimp on a salad with lemon Parmesan dressing. Sandwiches also are available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $

COVENANT CAFE 1515 Poydras St., 522-3335; www.covenanthouseno.org The Covenant House's cafe and job-training program offers grilled sandwiches and daily specials like Lafayette crab cakes served over crawfish tails in penne pasta with grated Parmesan cheese. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

CRESCENT CITY PIE AND SAUSAGE 4400 Banks St., 482-2426; www.crescentcitypieandsausage.com Sample the namesake house-made sausages on a mixed-grill plate. Or try a trio of meat pies filled with duck confit, ricotta and mushrooms and leeks with pepper jelly on the side. A Mediterranean pizza is topped with baba ghanoush, lamb sausage, red peppers, olives, mint and goat cheese crema. Reservations for large parties. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

CROISSANT D'OR 617 Ursulines Ave., 524-4663 Devotees of this quaint cafe line up for croissant sandwiches with ham and bechamel sauce, quiches and cups of homemade soup. Others settle in to the Parisian ambience with a cafe au lait and the morning paper. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

THE DELACHAISE 3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858; www.thedelachaise.com Complementing the wine bar's selections of beer and wine, the kitchen serves appetizers including a house-made pate plate, and eggplant cannolis, which are grilled eggplant with ricotta and chevre cheese, herbs and served with muhammara. The flank steak bruschetta is a grilled, marinated steak with Peruvian garlic sauce and aged manchego cheese served on ciabatta crostini. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

DIAMOND CAFE 3712 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 467-1864; 1299 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 737-0720; www.diamondcafeonline.com Sample a wide variety of New York-style pizzas at Diamond Cafe. The Cajun pizza is loaded with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, shrimp and New Orleans spices. Build your own calzone or try a fresh salad or hearty pasta dish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

DRY DOCK CAFE 133 Delaronde St., 361-8240; www.thedrydockcafe.com Take the ferry to Algiers Point and disembark at Dry Dock for a menu of burgers, sandwiches and entrees. Order a burger topped with grilled onions, mushrooms, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Crawfish Maureenica features crawfish tails simmered in a bechamel sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

ESPRESSO EXPRESS One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., Suite 116, 524-5115 CBD workers appreciate the breakfast burritos, pastries and quick lunch options like salads, wraps and paninis. Larger lunch specials include roasted pork and vegetable roulade with crabmeat and feta stuffed tomato. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

GELATO PAZZO CAFFE 8115 Oak St., 304-6908; www.gelatopazzo.com The cafe's ever-shifting menu features pizza, sandwiches and approximately 20 flavors of fresh gelati. The Caprese sandwich consists of pesto, Roma tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The half-pound Pazzo burger is a char-grilled patty on ciabatta bread with Roma tomatoes and organic greens. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

GOOD EARTH MARKET AND CAFE 821 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 674-4329 Specials at this organic cafe include the cochon de lait po-boy and Cuban wraps and sandwiches, among many other items. The muffuletta and focaccia sandwiches and Mediterranean wraps are vegetarian options. Catering available. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

GOTT GOURMET CAFE 3100 Magazine St., 373-6579; www.gottgourmetcafe.com A native Chicagoan, chef David Gotter couldn't resist including a classic Chicago hotdog on his menu. Gotter also offers original creations like the St. Paddy's Day Massacre: braised and pulled corned beef, gruyere cheese, horseradish cheddar, fries, ancho-honey slaw, Thousand Island dressing and Creole mustard served on pumpernickel rye with kosher pickles. Breakfast Fri.-Sun., lunch daily, dinner Tue.-Fri. Credit cards. $

IL POSTO ITALIAN CAFE 4607 Dryades St., 895-2620; www.ilpostocafe-nola.com This cozy cafe features a short menu built around imported Italian meats and cheeses. A fresh, simple breakfast menu gives way to a light lunch menu with antipasti plates, panini and grilled fontina cheese on ciabatta. Salads include beet and walnut with Gorgonzola and balsamic. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun., early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

JOE SEPIE'S CAFE 4402 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 324-5613 Jumbo lump crab cakes with remoulade are a popular item at Joe Sepie's, which serves casual Creole and Italian dishes. Po-boys are loaded with everything from breaded veal to pastrami. A children's menu also is available. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $

JOHNNY & JACKIE'S CAFE & GRILL 326 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 362-8690 The mainstay seafood platter at Johnny & Jackie's features shrimp, oysters, catfish and fries and is served with salad. The special combo po-boy comes with sliced roast beef cooked in brown gravy plus ham, Swiss and American cheeses. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

KOZ'S 515 Harrison Ave., 484-0841; 6215 Wilson St., Harahan, 737-3933; www.kozcooks.com Koz's offers local favorites like fried or grilled redfish, fried chicken plates and garlic-stuffed roast beef. Popular daily specials include pork chops and shrimp Creole. No reservations. Lakeview: lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Harahan: Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner: Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

LA BOULANGERIE 4600 Magazine St., 269-3777 This French bakery serves fresh pastries, flaky croissants, fruit tarts, chocolate eclairs, lemon tarts and more. The menu features panini sandwiches, soups and small pizzas. No reservations. Look for king cakes in the French tradition through Mardi Gras. No reservations. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon.-Sat. Checks. $

LA DIVINA GELATERIA 621 S. Peter St., 302-2692; 3005 Magazine St., 342-2634; 7712 Maple St., 861-4114; www.ladivinagelateria.com This Uptown dessert spot, apart from its selection of house-made gelati, offers casual cafe fare. Panini include a muffalino, featuring all the makings of a muffuletta on pressed ciabatta, and the verdura, a panino filled with mozzarella, roasted eggplant, red peppers and zucchini. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. $

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 La Madeleine offers a wide array of breakfast options, soups, sandwiches and salads, and now mini pastries and desserts. The chicken Parisian loads marinated chicken breast, bacon, melted cheddar, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato onto a sourdough roll. Soups include creamy tomato basil, French onion and vegetable soup. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LAFITTE'S CAFE 6325 Elysian Fields Ave., 284-7878; www.lafittescafe.com Lakefront pride is alive and well at this cafe near the University of New Orleans. Guests can build their own West End wrap with various meats and veggies, and the assortment of Calypso salads includes Greek, Cobb and chicken Caesar varieties, each served in crisp tortilla shells. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat. Credit cards. $

LAKEVIEW BREW COFFEE CAFE 5606 Canal Blvd., 483-7001 Lakeview Brew features specialty coffees, fresh baked goods and menu of soups, salads and sandwiches. The roasted veggie sandwich has grilled yellow, orange and red peppers, zucchini, squash, spinach, red onions, mushrooms and feta cheese, drizzled with olive oil and grated Romano cheese and served on your choice of bread. No reservations. Breakfast daily, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LAUREL STREET BAKERY 5433 Laurel St., 897-0576 Head to Laurel Street for gourmet muffins, cakes, quiches and freshly baked bagels. In addition to baked goods, the patisserie offers a sandwich menu. Homemade king cakes are available through Mardi Gras. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash and checks. $

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

MAPLE STREET CAFE 7623 Maple St., 314-9003 Maple Street Cafe mixes New Orleans, Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. Try the eggplant and lump crab cake appetizer or a cannelloni. Entrees include soft-shell crab dishes and chicken Alfredo. Mediterranean-style shrimp in phyllo dough is topped with lemon beurre blanc. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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

MILK BAR 1514 Delachaise St, 891-9361 The Milk Bar is located inside Cafe Prytania. There are salads, po-boys and gourmet sandwiches on La Boulangerie bread. The Clooney's Choice is a marinated chicken sandwich on toasted ciabatta with avocado, Roma tomato, roasted red peppers, red onion, cilantro and mozzarella. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MORNING CALL 3325 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-4068 The original Morning Call stood in the French Market for more than a century. The relocated Metairie location served solely coffee and beignets for years, but it now offers a menu of red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo, and corn and shrimp bisque. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Cash only. $

NAPOLEON HOUSE BAR & CAFE 500 Chartres St., 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com A venerable drinking and dining spot, Napoleon House offers a slate of casual New Orleans favorites including po-boys, gumbo, red beans and rice and jambalaya. The specialty is the Italian muffuletta, heated through, softening the cheese and blending flavors. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

NEW ORLEANS CAKE CAFE & BAKERY 2440 Chartres St., 943-0010; www.nolacakes.com This laid back Marigny cafe specializes in fresh cakes, breads, bagels and biscuits. The breakfast menu offers seafood dishes, and a biscuits and gravy plate. For lunch, try the crab sandwich: fresh crab, spinach, Brie and bacon, grilled on your choice of bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

click to enlarge Northshore diners head to Juniper (301 Lafitte St., Mandeville, 985-624-5330) for chef Peter Kusiws updated Creole cooking. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Northshore diners head to Juniper (301 Lafitte St., Mandeville, 985-624-5330) for chef Peter Kusiws updated Creole cooking.

NOLA BEANS 726 Harrison Ave., 267-0783; www.nolabeans.com Warm up with a cup of joe and a breakfast sandwich on a bagel, biscuit, wrap or croissant. Side items include applewood-smoked bacon and grits. The lunch menu features salads, soups, wraps and sandwiches, as well as stuffed baked potatoes. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

OAK STREET CAFE 8140 Oak St., 866-8710; www.oakstreetcafe.com This all-day breakfast joint serves classic New Orleans diner fare. Start your day with the new boudin and eggs special, or the two-egg special including grits, a biscuit and bacon, ham or sausage. Late risers should try the General Lee breakfast po-boy: fried eggs, pork sausage, cheese and white gravy on a 10-inch loaf. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Credit cards and checks. $

OAKWOOD CAFE 401 Whitney Ave., Suite 128E, Gretna, 416-4360 This Gretna lunchspot serves sandwiches such as the garlicky pulled-pork barbecue on a bun. Or try the house-made chicken salad on white, wheat, croissant or on top of a salad. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

PARADISE CAFE 3717 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-4141 Paradise serves homemade items like creamy soups and fresh baked cookies. Popular lunch items include Reubens, chicken and tuna salad sandwiches. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Fri., lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

PARKVIEW CAFE AT CITY PARK City Park, 1 Palm Drive, 483-9474 Located in the casino building, the cafe serves gourmet coffee in the morning and a menu of sandwich and salads. There is ice cream for a sweet treat. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

PARROT PETE'S 1901 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 362-9780: www.parrotpetes.com Parrot Pete's breakfast options include a menu of omelets with quirky names like Fa Get About It, which includes pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers and marinara sauce. The cafe's specialty is fresh-baked pastries and cakes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $

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

RANI CAFE 2917 Magazine St., 895-2500; www.caferanimagazine.com The menu at this Garden District cafe features crawfish tails tossed in cream sauce with cappellini. Other popular items include Jamaican jerk chicken salad and a portobello and smoked Gouda quesadilla. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RENDEZ VOUS CAFE 3001 Gen. de Gaulle Drive, 367-6013; www.myrendezvouscafe.com Rendez Vous's extensive menus offers everything from taco salad to Mediterranean dishes like chicken shawarma and shish kebabs. Dinner entrees include steaks, fried chicken and chicken Alfredo pasta. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, open 24 hours Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

RICCOBONO'S PANOLA STREET CAFE 7801 Panola St., 314-1810 Neighbors and students fill this sunny Uptown cafe which offers everything from basic steak and eggs to specials like crawfish omelets, crab cakes Benedict and Belgian waffles. At lunch, choose from burgers, wraps, hamburger steaks and fried catfish. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

RICCOBONO'S PEPPERMILL RESTAURANT 3524 Severn Ave., Metairie, 455-2266 Breakfast is king at this Metairie eatery. The crab cake Benedict features two poached eggs draped over blue crab cakes topped with hollandaise. Crabmeat Angelique is a dish of angel hair pasta topped with crabmeat in Alfredo sauce with Roma tomatoes and basil. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ROYAL BLEND 204 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-7779; 621 Royal St., 523-2716; www.royalblendcoffee.com Enjoy sweet treats and baked goods such as scones, croissants and muffins. These cafes also serve salads and sandwiches. The executive club is layered with turkey, ham and bacon. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SOUTHSIDE CAFE 3154 Pontchartrain Drive, Slidell, (985) 643-6133; www.southsidecafe.net The wide-ranging menu includes po-boys, burgers, fried seafood, deli sandwiches, Italian items and desserts like the chef Willie's Key lime cheesecake. The stuffed shrimp platter is three butterflied jumbo shrimp stuffed with crab meat, fried and served with a choice of two sides. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

STILL PERKIN' 2727 Prytania St., 899-0335 Still Perkin' serves coffee drinks and has a counter stocked with salads, sandwiches, pastries and bagels. Its blended cream cheeses incorporate tomato and basil or onion and chive. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SUNSHINE CAFE 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-6040; www.sunshinecafenola.com Stop in for a sandwich like the croissant club, layered with smoked turkey, bacon, Chisesi ham, cheddar or Swiss cheese and a choice of chips. Slow roasted beef brisket is served with garlic mashed potatoes and green bean and artichoke casserole. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

SURREY'S CAFE & JUICE BAR 1418 Magazine St., 524-3828; www.surreyscafeandjuicebar.com Surrey's blends organic juices to order and a offers menu of Southern and Latin breakfasts. Shrimp and grits in New Orleans barbecue sauce is topped with green onions and bacon and served with French bread. Bananas Foster French toast is stuffed with bananas and cream cheese and topped with the rum sauce. Breakfast, lunch and brunch daily. Cash only. $

TERRAZU 201 St. Charles Ave., 287-0877 Located in Place St. Charles, Terrazu serves coffee drinks and a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches. The Terrazu shrimp salad is topped with boiled shrimp, hearts of palm and avocado. Sandwiches include a basic club and smoked turkey with Brie, spinach, tomatoes and pesto mayo on multi-grain bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

TOUT DE SUITE 347 Verret St., 362-2264 Warm up at this Algiers Point eatery with organic Irish oatmeal topped with fruit. Other hearty breakfast options include twits on eggs Benedict, the Atchafalaya features crab cakes topped with poached eggs and a Creole cream sauce. The Poche substitutes boudin for crab cakes. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

VIANNE'S TEA SALON & CAFE 544 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 624-5683; www.viannes.com House-made scones served with lemon curd, cream and jam sandwiches, salads and an assortment of mini-desserts comprise the Vianne's Tea Experience. For classic brunch fare, the six-egg French omelet is filled with onion, tomato, spinach, cheddar, mushroom and bacon. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

ZACHARY'S BY THE LAKE 7224 Pontchartrain Blvd., 872-9832; www.zacharysbythelake.com Zachary's serves salads, seafood platters and sandwiches like the Reuben featuring corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on rye bread. Warm up with daily soup specials such as seafood gumbo or crab and corn bisque. Reservations accepted. Lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAJUN

BON TON CAFE 401 Magazine St., 524-3386; www.thebontoncafe.com The Bon Ton was one of the first places where New Orleanians could find a convincing taste of Cajun cooking. Its crabmeat au gratin was featured on The Food Network. The crawfish dinner combines four different crawfish preparations. Broiled redfish Bon Ton is served with lemonbutter sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$$

COOP'S PLACE 1109 Decatur St., 525-9053; www.coopsplace.net Marinated lamb ribs are served with red pepper jelly and Creole green beans are topped with bacon sauce at this raffish late-night joint. Smoky tasso and chunks of rabbit sausage give the jambalaya its unique spicy flavor. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JAEGER'S SEAFOOD AND BEER GARDEN 901 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson, 818-2200; www.jaegersseafood.com Jaeger's serves fried seafood platters, stuffed crabs and grilled fish. Char-grilled oysters are topped with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic butter. Boiled one-and-a-quarter pound lobsters are served with butter sauce, corn, potatoes and salad. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

MULATE'S CAJUN RESTAURANT 201 Julia St., 522-1492; www.mulates.com This rustic-styled restaurant features live Cajun bands and a large dance floor. The menu includes Cajun favorites like country-style gumbo, fried alligator, boudin and crawfish etouffee. There also are steaks, burgers, chicken and pasta dishes. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NEW ORLEANS FOOD AND SPIRITS 208 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 875-0432 Menu highlights include voodoo crawfish rolls and grilled catfish stuffed with crabmeat and topped with crawfish Pontchartrain sauce. Regular daily specials range from paneed chicken and shrimp stew to white beans and rabbit. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RAJUN CAJUN CAFE 5209 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 883-5513; www.rajuncajuncafe.com Choose from a long list of po-boys and daily specials. The chef Shawn special po-boy is layered with hot roast beef, grilled ham and provolone and served with a side of au jus. Trout Corey is a fried fillet served on a bed of pasta with creamy crawfish sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

WAYNE JACOB'S SMOKEHOUSE & RESTAURANT 769 W. 5th St., LaPlace, (985) 652-8990 Wayne's andouille burger is a 6-oz. patty made with ground beef and andouille and is dressed with caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce and spicy mayo. St. John's eggs Benedict top French bread rounds with poached eggs and tasso hollandaise and includes andouille, bacon and creamed spinach on the side. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Fri., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

CARIBBEAN/CUBAN

BOSWELL'S JAMAICAN GRILL 3521 Tulane Ave., 482-6600 Caribbean favorites like jerk chicken, grilled fish and beef patties are the draw at Boswell's. Weekday lunches are served buffet style with items like jerk chicken, chicken stew, chicken curry, rice and beans and other dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CHURROS CAFE 3100 Kingman St., Metairie, 885-6516 This Metairie restaurant's namesake dish is a sweet, fried dough stick. The menu boasts a wide selection of Cuban dishes such as lechon asado, slow-roasted pork marinated in sour orange, garlic and herbs. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

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

LIBORIO CUBAN RESTAURANT 321 Magazine St., 581-9680; www.liboriocuban.com Liborio specialize in Old Havana Cuban dishes like caldereta: oven-stewed lamb in brown gravy seasoned with red wine, garlic, black pepper and onions, served with rice and sweet plantains. Traditional paellas are studded with chicken and seafood. Reservations for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHINESE

AUGUST MOON 3635 Prytania St., 899-5129: www.moonnola.com The restaurant prepares Chinese and Vietnamese dishes including many vegetarian selections. There is a list of chef specialties like the Trio Curry, which is beef, shrimp and chicken with green bell peppers, white onions and carrots cooked in spicy curry sauce. The Szechuan eggplant is sauteed in spicy garlic sauce with scallions. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BEIJING 2222 Clearview Pkwy., Suite B2, Metairie, 885-8881 Start with a cup of hot and sour soup before moving on to crispy Beijing chicken in sweet and spicy brown sauce. The menu offers a wide range of Chinese dishes including many vegetarian options. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHINA DOLL 830 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 366-8822 China Doll offers Chinese staples like Emperor's lo mein and crab rangoons, which are fried wontons filled with cream cheese and crabmeat. Comfort food favorites include sweet-and-sour chicken and wonton soup. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CHINA EXPRESS & SMOOTHIE HOUSE 2424 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 465-0788 Dash in for a meal of traditional Chinese favorites including spicy kung pao shrimp, pork or chicken. Complement any dish with an order of Chinese vegetables. Burgers and a variety of po-boys also are available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHINA MOON 7933 Airline Drive, Metairie, 263-0405; www.chinamoonrestaurant.biz Yat ka mein soup is a slightly spicy house specialty featuring homemade broth, roast pork, shrimp, hard boiled egg, vegetables and noodles. Shrimp spring rolls, crabmeat Rangoon, wonton soup and egg drop soup are also served. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CHINA ORCHID RESTAURANT 704 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-1428; www.chinaorchidneworleans.com Affordable American-Chinese favorites have made fans of area students and neighbors. Empress chow mein features crispy thin noodles topped with scallops, shrimp, chicken, beef and vegetables in brown sauce. Spicy General Tso's chicken is a menu mainstay. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CHINA ROSE 3501 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 887-3295 China Rose regulars file in for generous combo plates of sweet-and-sour pork and Szechuan beef. Ask for the Chinese menu to explore more authentic dishes like beef in hot pepper, slow-braised pork belly and a long list of noodle soups. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CHRISTINA'S EMPRESS OF CHINA 429 Wall Blvd., Gretna, 392-3939; www.empressofchina.net Christina Tsang's restaurant offers a wide range of traditional Chinese dishes as well as specialties such as the Emperor's lo mein, which includes chicken, beef and shrimp over angel hair pasta. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

CHUN LEE RESTAURANT 1100 Elmwood Park Blvd., Harahan, 733-8562 Chun Lee features American-Chinese dishes following the fried rice and fried chicken dishes. There also are a few Vietnamese items, including vermicelli bowls with grilled meats and pho soups with beef or chicken. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DOUBLE DRAGON 8236 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 433-4333 Szechuan, Mandarin and Cantonese dishes shine at Double Dragon. Popular dishes include General Tso's chicken and spicy kung pao shrimp. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FIVE HAPPINESS 3605 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3935; www.fivehappiness.com For 31 years, Five Happiness has served up Chinese cuisine, including popular dishes like General Tso's chicken and ginger shrimp. Grilled chicken salad and grilled shrimp salad are recent additions to the menu. Delivery available. Reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FONG'S CHINESE RESTAURANT 2101 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-8216 Fong's Triple Threat combines shrimp, roast pork and chicken with an assortment of Chinese vegetables. General Fong's chicken is a twist on General Tso's. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

IMPERIAL GARDEN 3331 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-5691 Imperial Garden offers a wide range of Hong Kong style dishes, including dumplings and egg rolls. There's also beef teriyaki. Chef's specials include fried and baked tofu, fried pork with spicy sauce, pork dumplings and vegetarian spring rolls. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JUNG'S GOLDEN DRAGON RESTAURANT 4417 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-6081 Chinese, Thai and Korean dishes share the menu at Jung's. The Empress chow mien contains sauteed beef, chicken, shrimp or pork with fresh vegetables and crispy thin noodles. Honey pecan Gulf shrimp are sauteed and served with vegetables in a semisweet dark sauce. Delivery available. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MANDARIN HOUSE 3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 779-0888 Diners choose the Mandarin House buffet for its bounty of seafood. Sample boiled shrimp, crawfish, King crab and much more. Among the prepared dishes are honey-garlic chicken and the sweet-and-sour pork. The sushi bar offers a variety of rolls. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RED PALACE RESTAURANT 1025 West Bank Expwy., Gretna, 366-7071 An extensive menu includes lo mein dishes, curries, pot stickers and more. For an entree, try the Red Palace steak with onions and mushrooms. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

RED STAR CHINESE RESTAURANT 8330 Earhart Blvd., 861-1933; www.redstarchineserestaurant.com Szechuan and Mandarin cuisine stand out at Red Star. Popular items include Peking duck, kung pao chicken and calamari in spicy sauce. There is a menu of lighter dishes prepared with no added salt, sugar or cornstarch. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

TEA GARDEN 1918 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-9455 Tea Garden serves a host of traditional Chinese dishes including lo mein with a mix of chicken, beef and shrimp, imperial pork chops and General Tso's chicken. Other choices include soups, fried rice and egg foo yong. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

click to enlarge Slice (1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437; 5538 Magazine St., 897-4800) serves gourmet pizza by the slice or whole pie. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY

TREY YUEN CUISINE OF CHINA 600 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4476; 2100 N. Morrison Blvd., Hammond, (985) 345-6789; www.treyyuen.com The original Trey Yuen has long been the bastion of Chinese dining on the Northshore. Classic items include pot stickers and wonton soup. Original dishes include stir-fried alligator, fried soft shell crab with tong cho sauce and crawfish in spicy lobster sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri. and Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

YUMMY YUMMY 220 N. Carrollton Ave., 483-9122 This Chinese restaurant offers a lunch buffet for dining in or to go. The extensive menu includes everything from roast pork lo mein to beef chop suey to shrimp curry to General Tso's chicken or tofu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COFFEE & DESSERT

ANGELO BROCATO 214 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-0078; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com This traditional Sicilian sweet shop is a throwback to the old days of Italian confections with 24 gelato flavors made in house. Hand-filled Sicilian cannolis are popular. No reservations. Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

BEAN GALLERY 637 N. Carrollton Ave., 324-8176 Espresso, coffee drinks and thick Turkish coffee are the pours at this Mid-City cafe. Breakfast items include bagels, croissants and egg sandwiches. The prosciutto and asparagus panini is one of several pressed sandwiches. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Sun.-Thu. Credit cards. $

BELLA BREW 2701 Airline Drive, Suite L, Metairie, 846-9930 Stop by this coffeehouse for a blast of frozen coffee punch made with ice cream and espresso. At lunch, sample the shrimp salad stuffed in an avocado or one of Bella Brew's daily specials. Breakfast options include a mix of coffee drinks, juices and pastries. 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 Diners with a sweet tooth flock to Ben & Jerry's for ice cream, sundaes, sorbet, malts and much more. Original ice cream flavors include cake batter flavored with a chocolate frosting swirl, and Half Baked, which packs chocolate and vanilla ice cream with fudge brownie chunks and maple-caramel swirl. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

BITTERSWEET CONFECTIONS 5331 Canal Blvd., 484-0780; www.bittersweetconfections.com Along with coffee drinks, Bittersweet offers more than 20 varieties of flavored handmade chocolate truffles plus cookies, fudge, s'mores, macaroons, candied orange peels, caramels, sugar-free chocolates and other sweets. House-made cakes include flavors like red velvet, chocolate and carrot. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

BLAST SMOOTHIES & ICE CREAM 143 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 302-2956 Some people stop by Blast for baked goods like cinnamon rolls and banana bread, but many zero in on smoothies and ice cream items like malts, shakes, banana splits and sundaes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

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

CAFE DU MONDE Citywide; www.cafedumonde.com Cafe Du Monde serves classic cafe au lait and clusters of hot beignets heavily dusted with powdered sugar. While the original Decatur Street location remains a French Quarter landmark, satellite shops can be found scattered throughout the metro area. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Cash only. $

CAFE LUNA 802 Nashville Ave., 269-2444 Inside or outside on the porch of this Uptown Victorian cottage house, patrons can enjoy fresh coffee, tea and selection of baked goods and pastries. For lunch, the cafe offers panini sandwiches such as the roasted turkey with Swiss cheese, onion sauce and tomatoes on a multi-grain roll. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CAFE ROSE NICAUD 632 Frenchmen St., 949-3300 Rose Nicaud regulars can keep tabs on the Frenchmen Street scene from sidewalk tables while enjoying coffee drinks, tea and exotic sodas. There's a full breakfast menu as well as quiches made fresh daily, sandwiches and some vegetarian and vegan dishes. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAMPBELL'S COFFEE & TEA 516 S. Tyler St., Covington, (985) 246-6992; www.campbellscoffee.com This quaint coffee shop uses its own fresh roasted house blend in coffee and espresso drinks. Caffeine-free, green and black iced teas add variety to the menu. Scones, cinnamon rolls, muffin tops and other pastries are baked daily. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., Credit cards. $

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

COLD STONE CREAMERY 624 S. Carrollton Ave., 218-8900; www.coldstonecreamery.com Ice cream is made in house and mix-in items inlcude nuts, fruit and candy. There also are milk shakes, smoothies, blended coffee drinks, cupcakes and ice cream cakes. Cheesecakes, dark chocolate cakes, cookies and cream, and all other ice-cream cakes are offered by the slice. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CREOLE CREAMERY 4924 Prytania St., 894-8680; www.creolecreamery.com This boutique ice cream shop constantly creates new flavors. February features a salute to the stores' former occupant, Mackenzie's Bakery, and will include doberge cake and lemon ice box pie flavors. There also are old-fashioned ice cream parlor specialties like banana splits, sundaes, milk shakes and floats. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

FAIR GRINDS COFFEEHOUSE 3133 Ponce de Leon St., 913-9072; www.fairgrinds.com Fair Grinds boasts a selection of fair trade coffee and more than 30 organic teas. Snacks and desserts like vegan key lime pie and bagels round out the menu. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash and checks. $

FLORA GALLERY & COFFEE SHOP 2600 Royal St., 947-8358 This cozy, eclectic coffeehouse offers French, Colombian and Kenyon coffees. Home-made falafel and Persian kebabs are served with pita bread. Flora's also offers black bean burritos, chicken quesadillas and an ever-changing selection of baked goods. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

FUEL COFFEE HOUSE 4807 Magazine St., 895-5757. The morning menu includes a breakfast panini, which features scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and a choice of grilled vegetables, bacon or ham. For lunch, try the Cuban sandwich of pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and chipotle aioli. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

GAMBINO'S BAKERY 300 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 391-0600; 4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-3620; www.gambinos.info In addition to baking and shipping king cakes year-round, Gambino's bakes pies, petit fours and doberge cakes. The Metairie location serves lunch, and the menu includes muffulettas, salads and soups. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

HAAGEN-DAZS Riverwalk Marketplace, 1 Poydras St., 523-3566 Haagen-Dazs offers 30 signature flavors including such mainstays as rocky road, mint chocolate chip and Java Chip. Milkshakes, smoothies and coffee drinks round out the menu of sweet treats. No reservations. Lunch daily. Credit cards. $

HEY! CAFE 4332 Magazine St., 891-8682 Specialty drinks like the blueberry latte with fresh berries will get your attention. Grab a specialty coffee drink and a vegan dessert such as cinnamon roll, chocolate chip cookie, pumpkin raisin muffin or piece of chocolate banana bread. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY 4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-2167; www.marbleslab.com Marble Slab offers a large selection of original ice cream flavors. Popular flavors include caramel peanut butter crisp and cherries jubilee. Other snacks include banana splits, apple pie, floats, shakes and malts. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MAURICE FRENCH PASTRIES 3501 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 885-1526; 4951 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 455-0830; www.mauricefrenchpastries.com Head to Maurice's for breads and pastries, including turtles, orange and cranberry scones, and guava and cream cheese turnovers. The Metairie location offers a full range of hot breakfast items on Friday and Saturday mornings including eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes and grits. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

MOJO COFFEE HOUSE 1500 Magazine St., 525-2244; www.myspace.com/mojocoffee Coffee and tea lure in customers, and there also is a menu of soups and sandwiches. The Magazine sandwich features ham, apple and Brie served on your choice of seven-grain, tomato-basil or white bread. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

THE NUTRITION COMPANY 4350 Highway Drive, Mandeville, (985) 727-3482; www.vitalityjuice.com Choose from organic coffees, smoothies, juices and teas. The lunch menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps. Popular fruit smoothies include the Perfect Fast Food, made with green foods, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and oxidants in a swirl of blueberries and bananas. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

ORANGE COUCH 2339 Royal St., 267-7327; www.theorangecouchcoffee.com Though unassuming on the outside, this corner coffee spot is modish on the inside. Choose from locally baked pastries to go with coffee. The cafe serves light Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls and bun, for Friday lunches. For a sweet treat, try one of the exotic Japanese ice creams like mango or tiramisu. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PJ'S COFFEE OF NEW ORLEANS Citywide; www.pjscoffee.com The local coffeeshop chain offers a full selection of coffees from dark roast to flavored blends, iced concoctions, bagels and a variety of baked goods. Some locations offer sandwiches. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

REFUEL COFFEE AND NOSH 8124 Hampson St., 872-0187; www.refuelcafe.com This casual cafe offers counter service for a quick cup of coffee, while the kitchen turns out innovative options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Huevos rancheros and migas are popular Southwestern breakfast options. Or dig into traditional steak and eggs. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Thu., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RUE DE LA COURSE 1140 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-4343; 3121 Magazine St., 899-0242 The ultra-hip Rue serves a range of hot and cold coffee drinks, teas and baked goods like fresh cupcakes, croissants, muffins and biscotti. Sandwiches are prepared on a choice of bread with either roast beef, turkey or chicken salad, Swiss or American cheese and served with chips or potato salad. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash only. $

ST. JOHN'S COFFEEHOUSE 535 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 893-5553; www.stjohnscoffeehouse.com Cappuccino, macchiato, chocolate au lait, iced mocha and fruit tea smoothies are just a few of the specialty drinks at St. John's. Pastries are offered for breakfast, and the lunch menu includes a variety of sandwiches. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash and checks. $

SOUND CAFE 2700 Chartres St., 947-4477 This Faubourg Marigny coffee shop offers gourmet sandwiches such as roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts and chevre on ciabatta bread. Bagels are served with sliced lox, capers, red onions, tomatoes and cream cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

SUCRE 3025 Magazine St., 520-8311; www.shopsucre.com This Garden District sweet shop and gelateria offers pastries, cakes, chocolates and croissant sandwiches. For Carnival, order Mardi Gras-colored macaroons filled with king cake-inspired mousseline. Sucre's king cake fills buttery braided dough with whipped cream cheese and tops it with cinnamon and sugar. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

Z'OTZ COFFEEHOUSE 8210 Oak St., 861-2224 Along with commissioned local art works, monthly comedy shows and other eclectic entertainment, Z'otz offers fair-trade coffees, super-sized cookies, vegan items and exotic beverages like bubble tea and yerba mate. A changing menu features quiches, bagels, pastries and vegan sandwiches and soups such as miso. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Cash only. $

CREOLE

THE ALPINE 620 Chartres St., 523-3005; www.thealpinebistro.com Dine on Alpine's Creole and Cajun dishes in one of its dining rooms or in the courtyard. The 12-oz. pork chop Gracen is served with an apple Brandy reduction. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ANTOINE'S RESTAURANT 713 St. Louis St., 581-4422; www.antoines.com The Hermes Bar and Sunday brunch are post-Katrina innovations at Antoine's, but all else remains in step with deep tradition at New Orleans' most senior Creole restaurant. Chateaubriand for two and pompano Pontchartrain are menu classics. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ARNAUD'S RESTAURANT 813 Bienville St., 523-5433; www.arnauds.com Arnaud's network of dining rooms may seem like a maze, but regulars of this grande dame know to head straight for house specialties like shrimp Arnaud and roasted quail Elzey, filled with foie gras mousse and wrapped in bacon. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BRENNAN'S RESTAURANT 417 Royal St., 525-9711; www.brennansneworleans.com The bartenders at Brennan's get to work early, preparing eye opener cocktails for the restaurant's famously decadent breakfast service. In the evenings, classics like trout amandine and crabs bearnaise uphold New Orleans' Creole dining traditions. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BROUSSARD'S RESTAURANT 819 Conti St., 581-3866; www.broussards.com Weekend lunch service is catching on at this French Quarter landmark, with dishes like stewed rabbit rigatoni and Sazerac shrimp and grits. Also, Broussard's bar now offers a menu of small plates, sandwiches and bistro dishes including steak frites. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat., lunch Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE ETIENNE 423 10th St., Gretna, 309-4072 This cafe's menu ranges from local classics such as barbecued shrimp and red beans and rice on Mondays to steaks and original creations. The 10th St. pork chop is brushed with a roasted chipotle and raspberry glaze and served with sweet potato mash and vegetables. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE PONTALBA 546 St. Peter St., 522-1180 Located in one of the namesake Pontalba buildings, this cafe serves casual New Orleans classics, like gumbo, po-boys and fried seafood. The indecisive find relief in combination platters like one pairing crawfish pie with crawfish Caesar salad and crawfish etouffee. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE RECONCILE 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157; www.reconcileneworleans.org Besides featuring a menu of satisfying dishes and daily specials, the restaurant trains young adults careers in the restaurant industry. Baked or fried chicken with sides like jalapeno corn bread and garlic mashed potatoes, po-boys and salads are available as well as bananas Foster bread pudding for dessert. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CHARTRES HOUSE CAFE 601 Chartres St., 586-8383; www.chartreshousecafe.com This corner cafe produces a wide range of New Orleans standards, but also check out the kitchen's specialty dishes. Quesadillas are stuffed with roasted duck and cheeses. Crawfish cakes are topped with creamy crawfish sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge Tomatillos (437 Esplanade Ave., 945-9997) has expanded its menu to include more contemporary Latin American-inspired dishes. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo by R Squared Photography
  • Tomatillos (437 Esplanade Ave., 945-9997) has expanded its menu to include more contemporary Latin American-inspired dishes.

COMMANDER'S PALACE 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com Chef Tory McPhail highlights Louisiana seafood and wild game in his contemporary Creole cooking. The crab-boiled shellfish and caviar is cracked Maine lobster, shrimp and blue crab with Creole creme fraiche, cucumber pearls, bowfin roe and citrus caviar. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

COPELAND'S RESTAURANT Citywide; www.alcopeland.com Creative spins on classic Cajun and Creole dishes fill the menu at this local chain. Traditional offerings include shrimp Creole and etouffee as well as seafood combinations like crab-stuffed catfish bordelaise. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

COURT OF TWO SISTERS 613 Royal St., 522-7261; www.courtoftwosisters.com Jazz brunch at the Court of Two Sisters has grown into an institution, and each day the restaurant fills its hot and cold buffet lines with local favorites. At dinner, entrees include the seared duck breast a l'orange with confit dirty rice and candied pecans. Reservations recommended. Lunch, brunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

DOOKY CHASE RESTAURANT 2301 Orleans Ave., 821-0535 Chef Leah Chase cooks Creole classics, including stuffed shrimp, fried chicken, stewed okra and gumbo thick with seafood and sausage. The Creole dining landmark serves lunch buffet style and offers takeout until 6 p.m. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

FEELINGS CAFE 2600 Chartres St., 945-2222; www.feelingscafe.com Extending throughout an old plantation house, Feelings' dining rooms exude warmth and charm. The Gulf fish Nicholas is served with grilled shrimp and creamed spinach. The fried soft-shell crawfish appetizer is served with avocado butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner Thu.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

FRENCH QUARTER BISTRO AT THE MAISON DUPUY 1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000; www.maisondupuy.com/fqbistro.html The more casual of the two restaurants inside the Maison Dupuy Hotel blends traditional Creole and Cajun flavors with creative touches. Entrees include pan-seared redfish over crawfish cakes with lobster beurre blanc. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GALATOIRE'S RESTAURANT 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021; www.galatoires.com Many Galatoire's regulars know from tradition to start with the grand goute, a combination platter of shrimp remoulade, oysters en brochette and crabmeat maison. Pompano with crabmeat is a fixture, and the flamed cafe brulot makes a dramatic finale. Jackets required. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

GUMBO SHOP 630 St. Peter St., 525-1486; www.gumboshop.com Gumbo lovers have their choice of a range of renditions at the Gumbo Shop, including seafood, chicken and sausage and the meatless gumbo z'herbes. A popular entree is chicken espagnole prepared with a brown sauce with garlic and shallots. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HOUMAS HOUSE PLANTATION 40136 Hwy. 942, Darrow, (225) 473-9380; www.houmashouse.com Dine in antebellum splendor at this renovated 18th-century plantation home. At Latil's Landing, specials include lobster and Creole tomato risotto. Try the jumbo lump crab cake and mango salad at Cafe Burnside. Reservations recommended. Cafe Burnside: lunch daily, brunch Sun. Latil's Landing: dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

IGNATIUS EATERY 4200 Magazine St., 896-2225 The menu at this casual bistro features updates to New Orleans classics. The sauteed shrimp remoulade po-boy is stuffed with Gulf shrimp and topped with white remoulade. Meatloaf is stuffed with Poche's pork and jalapeno boudin and served with horseradish sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

JEAN LAFITTE BISTRO 240 Bourbon St., 523-6820; www.jeanlafittesrendezvous.com Creole classics and Italian standards get creative twists at Jean Lafitte Bistro. The Gulf fish Rockefeller is pan-fried and topped with fried oysters and sauteed spinach. The pork chop is glazed with cane syrup, bourbon and Creole mustard. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

JUNIPER 301 Lafitte St., Mandeville, (985) 624-5330; www.juniperrestaurant.net Tasso-crusted gulf fish is one of the creative contemporary Creole dishes at Juniper. The eggplant pirogue features Gulf shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish tails simmered in garlic cream sauce and served in a fried eggplant cup laced with a choron sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

LA BAYOU 208 Bourbon St., 655-1806; www.labayourestaurant.com Seafood stars in dishes like the zydeco salad featuring fried crawfish and shrimp over greens. The crawfish pasta features sauteed crawfish tails coated in cream sauce, all topped with crunchy fried crawfish tails. Reservations accepted. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily, breakfast Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MR. B'S BISTRO 201 Royal St., 523-2078; www.mrbsbistro.com Mr. B's is a modern Creole favorite in the French Quarter. Barbecued shrimp are Gulf shrimp served in New Orleans-style peppery, butter sauce, served with French bread for dipping. The gumbo Ya Ya is a country style gumbo made with chicken and andouille sausage. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MR. ED'S CREOLE GRILLE 5241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-7992; www.austinsno.com Mr. Ed's combines Creole and Americana cuisine. Appetizers include Louisiana blue crab dip and hot tamale chili nachos. Charbroiled bourbon-glazed pork chops are served with Creole blue potatoes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MOTHER'S RESTAURANT 401 Poydras St., 523-9656; www.mothersrestaurant.net The line for counter service often stretches out the door at this Downtown eatery. Creole soul-food specials include Mae's file gumbo and Jerry's jambalaya. Po-boys are dressed with shredded cabbage and Creole mustard. The Famous Ferdi Special is a po-boy filled with baked ham, roast beef debris and gravy. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

OCEANA GRILL 739 Conti St., 525-6002; www.oceanagrill.com This restaurant puts a twist on seafood favorites. For breakfast, the savory St. James crepe is filled with crab, shrimp, bell peppers and onions. The dinner menu features a blackened Gulf tuna steak with crabmeat and crawfish cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Delivery available. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

OLD COFFEE POT RESTAURANT 714 St. Peter St., 524-3500 The Old Coffee Pot is known for an old Creole dish: calas, fried rice cakes sprinkled with sugar. Lunch and dinner menus offer more Creole classics like gumbo, crawfish etouffee and shrimp Creole. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OLIVIER'S CREOLE RESTAURANT 204 Decatur St., 525-7734; www.olivierscreole.com Olivier's menu gives props to the home kitchens of the relatives behind each dish. These range from Creole rabbit with oyster dressing from Mama Jeanne's kitchen to the pork medallions with pineapple-plum mint sauce from Armand Olivier's repertoire. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE ORIGINAL PIERRE MASPERO'S 440 Chartres St., 524-8990; www.pierremasperosrestaurant.com Maspero's ventures a bit outside the norm with update on local classics. The "hot and blue" oyster po-boy is dressed with Tabasco mayonnaise and blue cheese crumbles. Cochon de lait is stuffed with garlic and jalapenos. Reservations accepted. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

PALACE CAFE 605 Canal St., 523-1661; www.palacecafe.com A fried oyster po-boy is royally dressed at this downtown institution — corn-fried oysters, St. Andre cheese and sherry-tasso cream fill grilled ciabatta. The andouille-crusted redfish is served with Crystal beurre blanc, chive aioli, rissole potatoes and vegetable du jour. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

PASCAL'S MANALE RESTAURANT 1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877 Manale's is home to New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp in all its buttery, peppery, messy glory. There also is an oyster bar and menu of Creole and Italian fare. A combination pan roast features oysters, shrimp and crabmeat. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

PAT O'BRIEN'S COURTYARD RESTAURANT 624 Bourbon St., 525-4823; www.patobriens.com Grab a hurricane and then head to the Courtyard Restaurant for sandwiches and innovative Creole dishes. The focaccia bread muffuletta is served warm. Cancun shrimp are fried coconut-covered Gulf shrimp served with pina colada fruit salsa. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PERE ANTOINE 741 Royal St., 581-4478; www.pereantoine.com Get an early start with New Orleans flavors at Pere Antoine's, where the breakfast menu includes a jambalaya omelet with sausage, shrimp and rice. At lunch and dinner, the Cajun crawfish pie plate includes a pair of fried pies served over rice and topped with etouffee. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

STEAMBOAT NATCHEZ Toulouse Street Wharf, 586-8777; www.steamboatnatchez.com A meal aboard the Steamboat Natchez promises an ever-changing view as the vessel plies the New Orleans riverfront. Catfish Louisiane broiled with white wine and sauteed Gulf shrimp served with grits are among the menu highlights. Reservations recommended. Hours vary with cruise schedule. Credit cards. $$$

SUGAR HOUSE 315 Julia St., Embassy Suites, 525-1993 Sugar House combines Cajun and Creole influences. The Cajun sampler consists of crawfish pie, jambalaya and file gumbo. Steak Delmonico is either grilled or blackened, and meat falls off the bone of baby-back ribs. Reservations accepted. 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 old-line Creole institutions and maintains one of its dining traditions. Dinner is served in a prix fixe format that includes the signature beef brisket, shrimp remoulade, a choice of entree and bread pudding for dessert. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

DELI

ACQUISTAPACE'S SUPERMARKET 125 E. 21st Ave., Covington, (985) 893-7554; www.acquistapace.com The deli department at this local grocery serves daily specials like Thursday's fried chicken and Friday's varying seafood options. The deli also fixes sandwiches with fillings such as hot roast beef and cold cuts. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

BREAUX MART Citywide; www.breauxmart.com The deli counters at Breaux Mart offer a variety of sandwiches and hot entrees. Changing daily specials include crispy fried or lemon-baked catfish. Other popular dishes include ribs, savory beef brisket and seafood gumbo. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CANSECO'S MARKET 1519 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-5979; 3135 Esplanade Ave., 322-2549; 5217 Elysian Fields Ave., 218-7048 In addition to meat and produce, Canseco's deli counter is stocked with rotisserie-roasted chickens, cold salads, hot daily specials and sandwiches made to order. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CELLARS OF RIVER RIDGE 1801 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 734-8455; www.cellarsrr.com Quesadillas from the kitchen of this Harahan wine shop put a new spin on the notion of wine and cheese pairings. The crawfish and andouille quesadilla is loaded with roasted corn and peppers. There also are burgers, deli sandwiches, salads and other options. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

DORIGNAC'S 710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-8216; www.dorignacs.com The longtime Metairie grocery is known for its bakery, deli and large wine selection. The menu of prepared dishes includes soups, sandwiches and daily specials, such as red beans and rice and beef stew. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

GUILLORY'S DELI & TAMALES 3708 Derbigny St., Metairie, 833-1390 Guillory's offers po-boys, sandwiches and homemade, New Orleans-style tamales topped with red sauce. Daily specials include a 12-oz. grilled hamburger steak served with onions and mashed potatoes. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

KOSHER CAJUN NEW YORK DELI & GROCERY 3519 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-2010; www.koshercajun.com Metairie gets a taste of Manhattan with favorites like bagels and lox and deli-style sandwiches. The J&N combines hot corned beef and pastrami on New York rye with mustard, horseradish, coleslaw and a barrel pickle on the side. No reservations. Lunch Sun.-Fri., early dinner Mon.-Thu. Credit cards. $

LAKEVIEW DELI 872 Harrison Ave., 304-8501 In addition to the usual po-boy fare like hot roast beef drizzled with gravy, Lakeview Deli offers a hearty barbecued beef po-boy and a crab cake sandwich. The Baltimore features fried oysters, bacon and Swiss cheese. Burgers and daily specials like red beans and rice also are available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

click to enlarge Ruby Slipper Cafe (139 S. Cortez St., 309-5531) is a popular breakfast spot in Mid-City. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY

MARDI GRAS ZONE 2700 Royal St., 947-8787; www.mardigraszone.com Mardi Gras Zone stocks its shelves with groceries and fresh produce, and there's also a deli which, beside cold-cuts, sandwiches and po-boys and serves hot items like lasagna, brisket and baked or fried chicken. Delivery available. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards and checks. $

MARKET WEGO 100 Westbank Expwy., Westwego, 436-9966 Located in the Westwego Shrimp Lot, Market Wego offers everything needed for seafood boiling — from equipment to the seafood itself. The market also sells house-made sausage, boiled seafood, po-boys and deboned chickens stuffed with crawfish, cornbread or jambalaya. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MR. ROO'S DELI & CATERING 3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-4010; www.mrroosdeli.com Mr. Roo's serves sandwiches and hot plate specials. Monday's fried chicken special features half a bird, french fries, salad, bread and the vegetable of the day. On Tuesday, the roasted turkey plate includes turkey, mashed potatoes, oyster dressing, vegetable, salad and bread. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

ROBERT FRESH MARKET 135 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 282-3428; 5016 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 885-7005; 8115 S. Claiborne Ave, 488-0536;  www.robertfreshmarket.com Whether you're grabbing dinner or making groceries, Robert can help. Rotisserie chickens, an extensive salad bar, sushi bar and fresh deli items offer quick meal options. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

ROUSES Citywide; www.rouses.com Rouses stores have a hot line for baked items, fried and rotisserie chicken and daily specials such as red beans and rice. There also are po-boys, muffulettas and sandwiches as well as a sushi, soup and salad bars. The coffee bar serves smoothies. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

SAMMY'S FOOD SERVICE & DELI 3000 Elysian Fields Ave., 947-0675; www.sammysfoods.com This former butcher shop trims its own steaks, makes Italian and hot sausages and grinds its own beef for colossal burgers. Check daily specials for dishes like smothered beef ribs and grilled redfish with crawfish sauce. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SAMMY'S MARKET & DELI 901 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 835-0916 New Orleans po-boy favorites are the order of the day at Sammy's. Try the roast beef bathed in gravy or a fried shrimp or oyster sandwich. For a change of pace, entrees include veal Parmesan, hearty spaghetti and meatballs and fried seafood platters. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

SPITALE'S DELI & CATERING 2408 North Arnoult Road, Metairie, 837-9912 Go big with the delicious Spitale's Dirty Turkey sandwich heaped with grilled onions, brown gravy and provolone cheese. Rotating specials of hearty lasagna, home-style meatloaf, baked macaroni and cheese and seafood platters keep the regulars happy. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

STEIN'S MARKET & DELI 2207 Magazine St., 527-0771; www.steinsdeli.net The New Orleans answer to a Big Apple deli features sandwiches, like the Sam with hot pastrami and Swiss on Jewish rye with coleslaw and homemade dressing. The Italian hoagie is layered with mortadella, Genoa and coppa with aged provolone and house-made garlic vinaigrette on Philadelphia Amoroso hoagie rolls. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

VERTI MARTE 1201 Royal St., 525-4767; www.vertimarte.com The grill is always cracking at this versatile French Quarter hub. In addition to breakfast sandwiches, omelets and po-boys, there are entrees like roasted and fried chicken and chef's specials like the stuffed pork chops with Cajun dirty rice. Delivery available. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

ZARA'S MARKET 4838 Prytania St., 895-0581 The market's deli counter serves sandwiches and lunch plates till early in the evening. Monday features red beans and rice with sausage. Other dishes include eggplant or veal Parmesan, muffulettas and Italian meatballs on a po-boy or with spaghetti. Soup choices typically include chicken and sausage gumbo and corn and shrimp chowder. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DINER

THE BEACH HOUSE 2401 N. Woodlawn St., Metairie, 456-7470 Tuesdays at the Beach House feature all-you-can-eat fried catfish. Wednesday means it's time for grilled pork chops with sweet potatoes and it's steak night on Thursdays and Fridays. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BETSY'S PANCAKE HOUSE 2542 Canal St., 822-0214 Pancakes are the specialty of the house at Betsy's. There also are waffles, eggs and omelets. Lunch dishes include liver and onions and lima beans with big ham shanks. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Sun.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAMELLIA GRILL 626 S. Carrollton Ave., 309-2679; www.camelliagrill.net With a new location about to open in the French Quarter, this landmark diner has introduced some new items. Bite-sized nuggets of macaroni and cheese are deep fried and served as appetizers. Or go right to the new steak plate with fries. Old favorites include omelets, chili and cheese fries, cheeseburgers and pecan pie warmed on the grill. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CITY DINER 3116 S. I-10 Service Road, Metairie, 831-1030; www.citydiner.biz City Diner serves everything from waffles, meatloaf and club sandwiches to local favorites such as fried shrimp, crawfish etouffee, crawfish pasta and hot sausage po-boys. Hash brown dishes feature a potato base with eggs, cheese and toppings like andouille or shrimp and cream sauce. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $

CLOVER GRILL 900 Bourbon St., 598-1010; www.clovergrill.com Grill cooks slap a hubcap over burgers as they cook at this campy, retro diner, claiming the unusual technique helps lock in flavor and natural juices. Massive omelets and meaty chili are other specialties. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

CRESCENT CITY GRILL 101 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 394-7272 For under three dollars, the breakfast special includes two pancakes, two eggs, grits and bacon. The menu also features the Fisherman's platter, which nets oysters, shrimp and fried fish. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DEJA VU RESTAURANT & BAR 400 Dauphine St., 523-1931; www.dejavunola.com Home-style platters like pot roast and pork chops mix it up with fried seafood and po-boys at this all-night destination. The steak dinner special on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Monday fried chicken special have earned regular followings. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

DOT'S DINER Citywide Nothing says diner fare like bottomless cups of coffee and breakfast served anytime, but Dot's offers much more. Dinner specials include pork chops and bone-in ham steaks. For lunch, there are burgers, sandwiches and entrees. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

FAT CITY DINER 3555 18th St., Metairie, 888-4940; www.fatcitydiner.com This downhome diner serves seafood platters, roast beef po-boys and hot sausage po-boys. Daily specials include red beans and rice, country fried steak and grilled pork chops. For side items, there are french fries, onion rings and jalapeno hush puppies. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

FAT HEN GRILL 5708 Citrus Blvd., Harahan, 305-1980; www.fathengrill.com Fat burgers topped with Gorgonzola and old school patty melts are popular choices at this updated diner. The womelet is a formidable combination of a big omelet baked over a waffle with toppings like bacon, ham and cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

K.Y.'S OLD TOWNE BICYCLE SHOP 2267 Carey St., Slidell, (985) 641-1911; www.kysoldetowne.com The restaurant offers a solid menu of stick-to-your-ribs items including fried seafood platters and pasta dishes. The burgers are handmade and served on sesame buns with french fries. The roast beef po-boy features slow-roasted beef dripping with gravy on French bread dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, pickle and mustard. No reservations. Lunch daily dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

MAGNOLIA GRILL 1122 Decatur St., 566-6003 Along the French Market, Magnolia Grill is known for spicy bloody Marys and diner food. The chefs special omelet includes smoked bacon, ham, potatoes, diced onion and American cheese and is topped with chili. Lunch and dinner options include salads, burgers, sandwiches, blackened and fried seafood, po-boys and more. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MATTINA BELLA 421 E. Gibson St., Covington, (985) 892-0708 Mattina Bella's florentine omelet is prepared with three eggs, creamed spinach and artichokes and is topped with melted mozzarella. For lunch, try the catfish Creole meuniere, which is pecan-crusted and served with creamy meuniere sauce. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

ST. CHARLES TAVERN 1433 St. Charles Ave., 523-9823 St. Charles Tavern offers a slew of New Orleans entrees including crawfish pies, red beans and rice, jambalaya and crawfish etouffee. The white chocolate bread pudding is a popular dessert. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

SLIM GOODIES DINER 3322 Magazine St., 891-3447 Slim Goodies' creative breakfast plates include the Jewish Coonass, a New York/New Orleans mix of potato latkes topped with grilled spinach, eggs and crawfish etouffee. The Guatemalan breakfast features two eggs, avocado, plantains, tortillas and homemade salsa. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Checks. $

STANLEY 547 St. Ann St., 587-0093; www.stanleyrestaurant.com At the casual companion to his high-end Stella!, chef Scott Boswell serves straightforward burgers and Reuben sandwiches alongside such exotic fare as Korean beef po-boys and eggs Breaux Bridge with boudin, hollandaise and poached eggs. No reservations. Brunch, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

STEVE'S DINER 201 St. Charles Ave., Suite 210, 522-8198; www.steves-diner.com There's nothing in the city quite like Steve's Breakfast-In-A-Cup: scrambled eggs, grits, crumbled sausage and grated cheddar, all in a convenient handheld container. Daily lunch specials include Thursday's slow-roasted beef brisket. Fried catfish is popular and there are salads and sandwiches as well. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

TED'S FROSTOP 3100 Calhoun St., 861-3615 Burgers and milkshakes are the type of simple hearty fare that have kept this university neighborhood eatery hopping, but all-you-can-eat catfish is a new daily special. Other plate lunches include dishes like baked chicken, fried shrimp and pork chops with red beans and rice. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THE TROLLEY STOP CAFE 1923 St. Charles Ave., 523-0090 Rumble into The Trolley Stop for daily specials such as red beans on Mondays, spaghetti on Tuesdays and smothered pork chops on Wednesdays. There also are seafood dishes and breakfast is served anytime. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, open 24 hours Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

FONDUE

THE MELTING POT 1820 St. Charles Ave., 525-3225; www.meltingpot.com This might be the one place where it's acceptable to double dip. The Signature Selection features filet mignon, shrimp, teriyaki marinated sirloin, chicken and cedar-plank salmon prepared tableside in one of four fondue options. For dessert, try the white chocolate apple cobbler fondue, which is white chocolate with seasoned apples, streusel topping and spices. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FRENCH

BISTRO DAISY 5831 Magazine St., 899-6987; www.bistrodaisynola.com Chef Anton Shulte constantly changes the menu at the intimate Bistro Daisy. Crawfish ravioli are filled with mascarpone cheese and crawfish and served with mushrooms, leeks, oven-dried tomatoes and brandy cream. For an appetizer, jumbo lump crab is served with horseradish aioli, chilled roasted beets, croutons and chives. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BLACK ORCHID BISTRO 3749 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 832-1444 Before crossing the Causeway, check out Black Orchid's French dishes. Try the bouillabaisse Marseilles, prepared with pastis and served with saffron rouille. The Cornish hen is served with lardons and paprika sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE DEGAS 3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635; www. degas.com This casual French cafe serves classical dishes like Dijon mustard-crusted rack of lamb served with hush puppies, honeyed baby carrots and rosemary demi-glace. Steamed mussels are served with a white wine, fennel and herb broth with french fries topped with garlic aioli. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CAFE LYNN 3051 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-9007; www.cafelynn.com Chef Joey Najolia prepares French cuisine infused with New Orleans flavors. Seafood-stuffed eggplant features a blend of local seafood stuffed in roasted eggplant. Try the chef's French onion tart for an appetizer. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CHATEAU DU LAC WINE BISTRO 2037 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-3773; www.chateaudulacbistro.com Chef Jacques Saleun offers fine French cooking at his bistro. As an appetizer, petite marmite aux fruits de mer delivers a small pot of fresh seafood. The duck confit cassoulet comes with white beans and sausage and is served in a Le Creuset pot. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.- Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CIRO'S CÔTE SUD 7918 Maple St., 866-9551; www.cotesudrestaurant.com Filling a narrow nook along Maple Street, Cote Sud features entrees such as the steak frites, which is grilled hanger steak with mixed vegetables, pomme frites and a bordelaise and roasted shallot glaze. The coq au vin is half a boneless chicken cooked in red wine with pearl onions and root vegetables. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon. Checks. $$

FLAMING TORCH RESTAURANT 737 Octavia St., 895-0900; www.flamingtorchnola.com The restaurant features a menu of classic dishes including coq au vin, imported cheese plates, and l'escargot ivre, which are "drunken" escargots braised in stock, garlic lemon and butter. Steak Diane features two pan-seared petit filet mignons topped with peppercorn cream sauce and served with sauteed mushrooms flamed in brandy. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JASMINE FRENCH RESTAURANT 1768 Front St., Slidell, (985) 645-9700; www.jasminefinedining.com Jasmine features a few local specialties such as shrimp Creole, but there are many dishes for Francophiles. The frog legs Provencal are sauteed with garlic, butter and parsley. Crabmeat crepes feature Louisiana crabmeat in lobster cream sauce with shallots, white wine and curry rolled in crepes and topped with cheese. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA CREPE NANOU 1410 Robert St., 899-2670; www.lacrepenanou.com Seafood is the catch at this Montmarte-inspired bistro. Popular items include crepes stuffed with jumbo lump crabmeat in Mornay sauce with creamed spinach. Big bowls of steamed mussels are a signature item and there are whole grilled fish dishes. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LA PROVENCE 25020 Hwy. 190 E., Lacombe, (985) 626-7662; www.laprovencerestaurant.com La Provence tantalizes diners with dishes like the slow-cooked lamb and rabbit grandmere, which is served with potato gnocchi and winter vegetables. Ma bouillabaisse features redfish, Gulf shrimp, P&J oysters, mussels, clams, fennel and saffron broth. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LILETTE RESTAURANT 3637 Magazine St., 895-1636; www.liletterestaurant.com This intimate bistro incorporates French and Italian culinary influences. Entrees include roasted Muscovy duck breast with Tuscan kale, butternut squash and a sage and satsuma-coriander jus. Popular appetizers include white truffle Parmigiano toast with wild mushrooms. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ORLEANS GRAPEVINE WINE BAR AND BISTRO 720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930; www.orleansgrapevine.com Just off Bourbon Street, this bistro offers an extensive selection of wines by the glass and a menu of French-inspired dishes. The chipotle crab cakes are served with caramelized oranges. Crispy lobster boursin ravioli is sauced with wild mushroom and sweet vermouth reduction. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GERMAN

JAGERHAUS GERMAN BISTRO & COFFEE SHOP 833 Conti St., 525-9200; www.jager-haus.com This Bavarian restaurant dishes up a hearty spate of wursts and schnitzels. The Munich plate for two includes Wiener schnitzel, a pork chop, bratwurst, knackwurst, meatloaf, spaetzle, German potato salad, sauerkraut and red cabbage. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

LUKE RESTAURANT 333 St. Charles Ave., 378-2840; www.lukeneworleans.com Luke combines old world French and German cuisines. Sample one of the restaurant's daily specials or enjoy the moules et frites, featuring Prince Edward Island mussels steamed with garlic and thyme and served with crunchy house-made fries. The choucroute garnie combines house-made sauerkraut, bratwurst, slow-cooked pork shin, and creamed potatoes. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat. and Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$.

GOURMET TO GO

CHEZ NOUS CHARCUTERIE 5701 Magazine St., 899-7303; www.gotocheznous.com The menu changes every two weeks, but there always are specialty quiches and salads ready for pickup. The spinach salad has caramelized walnuts, blue cheese, cranberries and pepper jelly vinaigrette. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

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

MARTIN WINE CELLAR BISTRO, DELI & CATERING 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7350; www.martinwine.com This fine-food emporium stocks wines, cheeses, deli meats and prepared dishes. The Reuben sandwich piles grilled corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye bread. Martin's special salad features bacon, avocado, tomato, boiled egg, radish and blue cheese. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

ST. JAMES CHEESE COMPANY 5004 Prytania St., 899-4737; www.stjamescheese.com With more than 100 varieties from around the globe, this emporium is an homage to fromage. Sandwiches (smoky blue with roast beef, Beecher's cheddar and turkey) and salads (Cantal and arugula with almonds and pears, Parmesan with Fra' Mani salami and mixed greens) showcase the deli's offerings. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

WHOLE FOODS MARKET 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-8225; 5600 Magazine St., 899-9119; www.wholefoods.com This national chain grocer offers a wide array of gourmet and organic products. Hot and cold food stations serve dishes like citrus-marinated salmon, pasta salads, pizza and marinated olives. There is an extensive salad bar, bakery and coffee counter. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

GREEK

ACROPOLIS 3841 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-9046 Pita bread is the foundation for this temple of Greek cooking, but a few Italian dishes add a touch of diversity. Gyros and lamb chops are popular standbys. Greek moussaka and the Italian lasagna are hearty comfort food options. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

DIXIE GYRO 110 Carondelet St., 523-6614 This casual Greek joint serves up much more than gyros. Dixie serves breakfast standards all day, and the selection of Mediterranean dishes includes kebabs, falafel and other options. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MR. GYROS 3620 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 833-9228; www.mrgyros.org The signature Greek sandwich at Mr. Gyros features slow-roasted rotisserie lamb and beef in pita bread, served with a side of roasted potatoes. For dessert, try the galaktoboureko, which is flour, egg, sugar and milk baked in phyllo dough. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

INDIAN/PAKISTANI

CURRY CORNER 1200 S. Carrollton Ave., 250-5668 A sister restaurant to nearby Sara's, Curry Corner serves meals cafeteria style with numerous selections of curried vegetables and Indian specialties. Thai green curry with vegetables is prepared with coconut cream. Chicken masala features a breast cooked with ginger, garlic, tomato, cumin, turmeric and coriander. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

click to enlarge Down the Hatch (1931 Sophie Wright Place, 522-0909) offers an array of loaded hamburgers. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY

NIRVANA INDIAN CUISINE 4308 Magazine St., 894-9797; www.insidenirvana.com Nirvana offers traditional Indian curries and tandoori as well seafood, vegetarian and rice dishes. The lamb achari is lamb in tart, spicy curry. Specialty dishes include the Flag of India — butter chicken, malai kebab and saag paneer, a creamy spinach and mustard leaf curry with cheese. Lunch is served buffet style. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SALT & PEPPER 400 Iberville St., 561-6070 Pakistani-style curries and kebabs made with halal meats are among the finds at this backstreet cafe, which also serves pizzas and sandwiches. Start with an order of flatbread or stuffed samosas and then choose from chicken, lamb and vegetarian entrees. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

TAJ MAHAL INDIAN CUISINE 923 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-6859; www.insidenirvana.com Nirvana's Old Metairie counterpart features an array of well-spiced classic Indian cuisine, including dhania ghosht — tender lamb chunks in spicy coriander curry. Vegetarian dishes include roasted eggplant with onions, garlic and ginger. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

TANDOORI CHICKEN 2916 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 889-7880 The restaurant features traditional Indian dishes including a variety of curries, masalas, korma with chicken, lamb or shrimp as well as namesake tandoori entrees. Sheek kebabs feature ground lamb cooked in a clay oven. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ITALIAN

A MANO 870 Tchoupitoulas St., 208-9280; www.amanonola.com A Mano serves its own house-cured meats. Gnocchi-like ricotta gnudi are prepared with local shiitake mushrooms and sage butter. Coniglio della casa is slow-cooked rabbit with oil-cured olives, roasted garlic and thyme. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ADOLFO'S 611 Frenchmen St., 948-3800 Head upstairs to this offbeat Marigny fixture to dine on Italian fare above Frenchmen Street. Cannelloni stuffed with everything from spinach to shrimp is a popular special. Every night a choice of several fish can be ordered in a variety of preparations. One accompaniment is the house Ocean sauce, which blends crab, shrimp and crawfish. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner daily. Checks. $$

ANDREA'S RESTAURANT 3100 19th St., Metairie, 834-8583; www.andreasrestaurant.com Chef Andrea Apuzzo's Northern Italian cooking anchors this Metairie destination. Cioppinoa Mediterraneo features an array of seafood including mussels, clams, scallops, crabmeat, and squid. The veal chop valdostana is veal chop stuffed with fontina cheese and prosciutto served with mushroom sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ANTONIO'S RESTAURANT 7708 Maple St., 218-5457; www.antoniosrestaurantnola.com Dig into Creole Italian dishes in the University neighborhood. Crawfish bowtie pasta is tossed in Parmesan cream sauce. Lobster and crabmeat take a dip in creamy garlic sauce served over pasta. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ASSUNTA'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT 2631 Gause Blvd. West, Slidell, (985) 649-9768; www.assuntas.com The restaurant features a number of classic dishes including eggplant Parmesan, which is slices of eggplant layered with ham, salami, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and topped with marinara sauce. Sea scallops are sauteed in white wine and garlic sauce and served over a bed of spaghetti. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

BACCO 310 Chartres St., 522-2426; www.bacco.com Creole and Italian flavors are the complementary influences at Bacco. The truffle fettuccine is a house-made pasta with an Umbria truffle sauce. The signature lobster ravioli is topped with Champagne butter sauce and caviar. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

BOSCO'S ITALIAN CAFE 2040 Hwy. 59, suite D, Mandeville, (985) 624-5066; www.boscoscafe.com Bosco's serves classic Italian pastas and dishes with local seafood such as oysters Anthony, which are sauteed with prosciutto, garlic and green onions and topped with Romano cheese. Crabmeat Buster features lump crabmeat dressing baked on top of an artichoke bottom and topped with sherry cream sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

BRAVO CUCINA ITALIANA 3413 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-8828; www.bravoitalian.com Bravo dishes up pizza, pasta and classic Italian fare. Popular dishes include chicken, spinach and bacon flatbreads and the wood-grilled salmon salad. The signature pasta Bravo features rigatoni tossed with grilled chicken and mushrooms in roasted red pepper cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BRICK OVEN CAFE 2805 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-2097 Brick Oven Cafe is known for pizza and other hearty Italian classics. The filet mignon alla Piemontese is topped with pancetta and served with mushrooms in Marsala sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE DIBLASI 1801 Stumpf Blvd., Terrytown, 361-3106; www.cafediblasi.com Cafe Diblasi offers a taste of Italy on the Westbank. Grilled sausage and peppers and chicken Parmesan are favorites. Or try signature dishes like veal DiBlasi, a pan-fried cutlet topped with crabmeat and lemon cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE GIOVANNI 117 Decatur St., 529-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com Chef Duke LoCicero puts a Louisiana twist on Italian fare. Pasta Gambino combines penne pasta, Louisiana Gulf shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes and herbed peppers in a three-cheese cream sauce. Louisiana Voodoo Shrimp features portobello mushroom, fried green tomatoes, grits, sweet and spicy shrimp and arugula salad. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, late-night Fri-Sat. Credit cards $$$

CARMINE'S ITALIAN SEAFOOD & GRILL 4101 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-7904; www.carminesonline.com Creole and Italian cooking come together at Carmine's in dishes like the seafood-stuffed artichoke, which is loaded with crawfish, shrimp and fish in dill cream sauce. Other house specialties include baked ziti, barbecued shrimp and osso buco. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

DOMENICA 123 Baronne St., 648-6020; www.domenicarestaurant.com Located in the Roosevelt Hotel, chef John Besh's rustic Italian dishes combine local ingredients, such as pigs raised on the Northshore for his restaurants, with imported cheeses. Many pastas are made in house. Dishes include grilled pompano over salsa verde, fennel and Anson Mills polenta. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ELEVEN79 1179 Annunciation St., 299-1179; www.eleven79.com The menu features classic Italian dishes like appetizers of sausage, peppers and onions with fresh mozzarella, and shrimp scampi sauteed with lemon, butter and rosemary. The veal Oscarini is paneed veal with a lemon beurre blanc, lump crabmeat and asparagus. Pasta Bolognese is a popular dish. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

FAUSTO'S BISTRO 530 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-7121; www.faustosbistro.com Fausto's prepares Northern Italian and Sicilian cuisine. Veal Saltimbocca features veal medallions sauteed with mushrooms and herbs, topped with prosciutto and mozzarella and flamed in marsala wine. Pesce siciliana is market fish sauteed in lemon-herb sauce and flamed in white wine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FRANK'S RESTAURANT 933 Decatur St., 525-1602; www.franksrestaurantneworleans.com Frank's started out as an Italian deli but has grown into a full-service restaurant. The muffuletta is a holdover from the old days and remains a fixture on the menu. Entrees include shrimp Gagliano with garlic and butter sauce over pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GIO'S VILLA VANCHERI 2890 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-2597; www.giosvillavancheri.com The Gorgonzola and prosciutto ravioli is a popular item at this Italian restaurant. Gio's also serves zuppa Toscana, a traditional soup with potatoes, spicy Italian sausages, kale, garlic, bacon and cream. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

GIORLANDO'S RESTAURANT 741 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie, 835-8593 Giorlando's mix of casual Italian and Creole cuisine includes everything from mashed potatoes and gravy to meatballs and spaghetti. Giorlando's also serves muffulettas, salads, po-boys and rib-eye steaks. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

IL GIARDINO TRATTORIA 2186 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 624-3969; www.ilgiardinotrattoria.com This Italian eatery serves a wide array of sauces and pastas, such as the cannelloni, which are filled with ricotta cheese and spinach and covered with pomodoro sauce or four cheeses. Golden-fried eggplant is topped with mozzarella, Parmesan and pomodoro sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

IMPASTATO'S RESTAURANT 3400 16th St., Metairie, 455-1545; www.impastatos.com The five-course dinner option at Impastato's features entree choices such as roast veal d'Angelo, pecan-smoked filet mignon, trout Marianna and steamed Maine lobster. Or try a salad of asparagus, black olives, tomatoes, artichokes, hearts of palm and Louisiana crabmeat. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

IRENE'S CUISINE 539 St. Philip St., 529-8811 Aromas of garlic, rosemary and basil perfume the air inside this intimate eatery in the lower French Quarter. Signature dishes include baked oysters Irene, topped with Italian cheeses and pancetta, plus mussels steamed in wine and roasted chicken. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ITALIAN BARREL 430 Barracks St., 569-0198 This petite cafe by the French Market specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. Breasola, the cured, thinly-sliced beef, is served as an appetizer or entree. The paneed chicken breast is encased in bacon. There also are cheese boards and cured-meat plates. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

LA FAMIGLIA 541 Oaklawn Drive, Metairie, 833-8877 La Famiglia specializes in pasta, chicken and veal dishes. Veal medallions topped with mushroom brandy cream sauce is a signature item. Braciolone is made with pounded veal stuffed with egg, pine nuts, raisins and cheese and served over pasta with tomato sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LEONARDO TRATTORIA 709 St. Charles Ave., 558-8986; www.leonardonola.com Leonardo serves pizza, calzones, pasta and salads. Pasta choices include spaghetti carbonara with pancetta, Parmesan cheese and creamy egg sauce. The namesake bruschetta Leonardo tops toasted focaccia with goat cheese, herbs and dried blueberries. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MAXIMO'S ITALIAN GRILL 1117 Decatur St., 586-8883; www.maximosgrill.com The open kitchen allows guests to watch as cooks prepare dishes like duck pappardelle in mascarpone demi-glace and beef short ribs with risotto. The fire-roasted shrimp is a spicy house specialty made with habanero peppers, spinach and arugula. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, late-night Fri., Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MIMI'S ITALIAN AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 10160 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-6464; www.mimisriverridgecom Mimi's gives a creative flourish to standard dishes. A frequent special is the veal and Italian sausage lasagna: a Bolognese sauce of ground veal and sausage, layered with hand-rolled pasta, bechamel sauce and finished with red sauce and pecorino Romano cheese. The 12-oz. grilled bone-in pork chop is grilled and topped with Creole mustard demi-glace. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MOSCA'S 4137 Hwy. 90 W., Avondale, 436-9942 Mosca's hearty Italian cooking is perfect for family-style dining. Oyster's Mosca are fresh, local oysters cooked with breadcrumbs and Italian seasonings. Chicken ala Grande features chicken sauteed with rosemary, special seasonings, whole garlic cloves and white wine and served family style. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only.

OLIVE BRANCH CAFE 3700 Orleans Ave., 302-1220; 5163 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, 393-1107; www.olivebranchcafe.com The cafe offers gourmet pizzas, wraps, sandwiches and Creole-inspired pastas. Pasta jambalya features smoked sausage, chicken, onions and green peppers sauteed and tossed with penne pasta in cream sauce. The muffauletta pizza comes with ham, salami, cheese and olive salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

RISTORANTE CARMELO 1901 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-624-4844; www.ristorantecarmelo.com After many years in the French Quarter, Carmelo's moved to Mandeville in 2009. As always, tender veal piccata is a specialty of the house. The menu now includes dishes like truffle pizza with spinach and ricotta. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RISTORANTE DEL PORTO 501 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 875-1006; www.delportoristorante.com Fine Italian fare shines at this romantic cafe. House-made tagliatelle, Gulf shrimp, tomato confit and braised radicchio grace an appetizer. For an entree, try pan-roasted Gulf fish with local green cabbage, Yukon gold potatoes, crimini mushrooms, truffled mushroom jus and herb salad. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

RISTORANTE FILIPPO 1917 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 835-4008 Filippo uses Louisiana seafood in many Creole-Italian preparations. Oysters al Oregante are baked with breadcrumbs, herbs and Romano cheese. For an appetizer, jumbo lump crabmeat is piled onto a tomato half with marinated artichokes, balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of remoulade. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RIVERBEND BISTRO 8001-B W. St. Bernard Hwy., Arabi, 277-6996 A post-Katrina arrival, Riverbend Bistro dishes up Italian cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere. The menu ranges from fried seafood dishes to eggplant Napoleon to a popular Angus filet served either bordelaise (herbs, garlic and olive oil) or Pontchartrain (crabmeat and mushrooms) style. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ROCKY & CARLO'S RESTAURANT AND BAR 613 W. St. Bernard Hwy., Chalmette, 279-8323 Crispy onion rings start many a meal at this Creole-Italian eatery. On Fridays, try the special crab cakes, seafood gumbo or seafood Creole. Veal Parmesan or a dripping roast beef sandwich are good bets anytime. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SAL & JUDY'S RESTAURANT 27491 Hwy. 190, Lacombe, (985) 882-9443 If you like Sal & Judy's sauces in a jar, you'll love them fresh out of the pot. Sauteed crab claws are draped in cream sauce. Paneed veal is blanketed with grated cheese and served with pasta marinara. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SALVATORE RISTORANTE 3226 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 455-2433; www.salvatorerestaurant.com Salvatore's serves a variety of veal of dishes including bruccilone (rolled with Italian stuffing), osso buco (a braised shank) or classic Parmesan. The house oyster starter is baked with bread crumbs, olive oil, prosciutto, sausage and peppers. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

SANDRO'S TRATTORIA 6601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-7784; www.sandrostrattoria.com Sandro's homey Italian cafe pays homage to Aunt Vera with her namesake lasagna. Other dishes include Tuscan filet mignon, veal or chicken Marsala and a portobello panini. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SMILIE'S RESTAURANT 5725 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan, 733-3000; www.smiliesrestaurant.com This 33-year-old Elmwood Park institution focuses on creative Italian fare. Veal Augie is topped with lump crabmeat and shallots in white wine sauce. Smilie's also offers steaks and Gulf seafood platters. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

SPECIALTY ITALIAN BISTRO 2330 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-1090 This Westbank bistro serves familiar Italian dishes like Gulf shrimp baked and topped with a house scampi sauce. Mushrooms Vienna are seafood stuffed and ladled with light garlic meuniere sauce. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TELLO'S BISTRO 3401 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 454-6618; www.cortello.net Classic Italian and Creole dishes and some sandwiches and po-boys fill the menu at Tello's. Pan-fried veal Parmesan is topped with homemade marinara and a blend of cheeses and served over pasta. Seafood brocioloni features veal stuffed with crawfish and eggplant dressing topped with seafood cream sauce and is served over pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TOMMY'S CUISINE 746 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-1103; www.tommysneworleans.com Italian and Creole cuisine mingle on Tommy's eclectic menu. Lamb a la Provencal features lamb chops served with rosemary port wine demi-glace and garlic mashed potatoes. Duck Tchoupitoulas is roasted until the skin is crispy and served with raspberry reduction over wild rice and fresh spinach. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

TOMMY'S WINE BAR 752 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-4790; www.tommysneworleans.com The wine bar offers an artisanal cheese plate and items from the menu of the adjoining restaurant Tommy's Cuisine. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

TONY ANGELLO'S 6262 Fleur de Lis Drive, 488-0888 Order from a menu of classic Italian dishes or let the kitchen plan your meal via the "Feed Me, Mr. Tony" special, a series of tasting portions selected by the chef. Eggplant Tina features eggplant medallions topped with Romano cheese and homemade tomato sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TONY MORAN'S RESTAURANT 240 Bourbon St., 523-4640; www.ruebourbon.com Italian classics and New Orleans seafood get along just fine on the menu at Tony Moran's. The oysters Napoli casserole combines sliced eggplant with fried oysters under a blanket of marinara and mozzarella. The pesce Siciliano is a breaded fish fillet with tomato, raisins and pine nuts. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TWO TONYS' SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 105 Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 831-0999; www.two-tonys.com Creole-Italian cooking and regional seafood come together at Two Tonys'. The signature Montalbano entree features chicken or veal smothered in mozzarella and mushroom meuniere. Platters of shrimp, oysters, catfish and crab cakes are available grilled, fried or blackened. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

VENEZIA 134 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-7991; 587 Central Ave., Jefferson, 734-3991 This neighborhood favorite has served home-style Italian cooking since the 1950s. There are pasta and seafood dishes and several veal specialties. Pizza toppings include pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions and artichoke hearts. Reservations accepted. Mid-City: Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sun. Jefferson: lunch Tue.-Fri. dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge Martinique Bistos (5908 Magazine St., 891-8495) contemporary Louisiana cooking features dishes like seared scallops with prosciutto and fennel Parmesan broth. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo by R Squared Photography
  • Martinique Bistos (5908 Magazine St., 891-8495) contemporary Louisiana cooking features dishes like seared scallops with prosciutto and fennel Parmesan broth.

VINCENT'S ITALIAN CUISINE 4411 Chastant St., Metairie, 885-2984; 7839 St. Charles Ave., 866-9313; www.vincentsitaliancuisine.com Vincent's features a menu of classic dishes as well as its own creations. The Rose of Sicily features Roma artichokes pan-fried and placed on a bed of fresh basil and prosciutto, drizzled with sunflower sage oil and finished with shaved Parmesan. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JAPANESE/SUSHI

HANA JAPANESE RESTAURANT 8116 Hampson St., 865-1634 Hana offers a variety of Japanese dishes, including a large selection of sushi. Tuna tataki features seared tuna with vinaigrette, caviar and vegetables. The white tuna roll is a medley of crawfish, white tuna, scallions and hot sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HORINOYA 920 Poydras St., 561-8914 Horinoya offers patrons an authentic taste of Japan, featuring well-known dishes made with Kobe beef and tuna tataki as well as more esoteric items like Tsukiji fish and natto (fermented beans). Teriyaki, tempura and buckwheat soba and udon noodles also are available. Reservations accepted for dinner. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

KANNO CALIFORNIA SUSHI BAR 3205 Edenborn Ave., Metairie, 455-5730 Kanno offers a wide selection of California-style sushi and rolls, including the carb-friendly protein roll. Sample the savory smoked salmon or the tangy tuna tataki. Kanno offers a complimentary chocolate dessert at the end of each meal. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

KYOTO 4920 Prytania St., 891-3644; www.kyotonola.com Kyoto's appetizers include stuffed shiitake mushrooms and fried eggplant. The Funky Margarita roll combines crawfish and strips of tuna and salmon in a crunchy wrap topped with jalapeno guacamole. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

LITTLE TOKYO 310 N. Carrollton Ave., 485-5658; 1521 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 831-6788; www.littletokyorestaurantnola.com Tempura, teriyaki and sushi are the triple delights at Little Tokyo. The sushi bar features an extensive list of nigiri pieces and rolls. The Love Boat for two consists of tempura shrimp and vegetables, chicken and beef teriyaki, sashimi, sushi and fresh fruit. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LITTLE TOKYO 590 Asbury Drive, Mandeville, (985) 727-1532; www.littletokyosushi.com Sassy sushi abounds at Little Tokyo. Rolls include the Dancing Tuna roll with spicy salmon and crunchy on the inside and sliced tuna and avocado on the outside. The Fat J roll has tempura shrimp and snow crab wrapped in soy paper and tuna, boiled shrimp and crunchy on the outside. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

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

MIKIMOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT 3301 S. Carrollton Ave., 488-1881; www.mikimotosushi.com Mikimoto's drive-through takeout window should be implemented at all sushi restaurants. Snag an avocado deluxe, halved and stuffed with spicy tuna and snow crab, or a tempura and sushi dinner. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MIYAKO SEAFOOD & STEAKHOUSE 1403 St. Charles Ave., 410-9997; www.miyakonola.com Miyako features a wide array of Japanese dishes from its sushi bar and hibachi grill. Grill entree specials include soup, salad, an appetizer, rice, noodles and ice cream. The baked seafood special is a blend of scallops and crab broiled and served in a bowl. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NINJA SUSHI 8433 Oak St., 866-1119; www.ninjasushineworleans.com This Japanese restaurant features an extensive list of sushi, sashimi, rolls, soba and udon noodles, soups, salads and other dishes, as well as new vegetarian and gluten-free menus. The Smokey Bear roll bundles baked smoked salmon, green onions, cucumber, smelt roe and egg sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

OKI NAGO 2712 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 780-8588; www.okinago.com Oki Nago's buffet features a wide variety of Japanese and Chinese dishes, including cold noodle salads, shrimp dishes and tempura-fried items. The sushi bar offers a selection of rolls and nigiri pieces. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

ROCK-N-SAKE OF NEW ORLEANS 823 Fulton St., 581-7253; www.rocknsake.com Dine on sushi and Japanese dishes in a hip setting. Tuna ceviche features slices of lemon- and lime-marinated tuna with green onion and ponzu and Sriracha sauce. Choose from chicken, seafood or vegetables in yakisoba noodles. The Upside Down roll combines salmon, snow crab, seared tuna and jalapeno sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFE 817 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-8829; 1130 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 733-8879; 4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 779-7253 What stars in a New Orleans roll? Spicy crawfish, of course, tucked in with crunchy tempura, avocado, tuna and snow crab, and topped with tobiko caviar and avocado eel sauce. Sake's fried grouper fillet is sprinkled with sweet chilies. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFE UPTOWN 2830 Magazine St., 894-0033; www.sakecafeuptown.us This stylish sushi parlor features a wide range of rolls and sashimi. The New Orleans roll wraps crawfish and avocado and tops them with snow crab, spicy tuna, wasabi tobiko and eel sauce. The wok-seared ginger duck is half of a boneless duck brushed with a soy-ginger glaze and served with garden vegetables. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SAPPORO JAPANESE RESTAURANT 5000 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 779-1818 Fresh sushi and sashimi creations are Sapporo's specialties. The house roll combines snow crab, salmon, tuna and vegetables. Among a wide variety of Japanese standards, the fried-rice dishes stand out. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SEKISUI SAMURAI 239 Decatur St., 525-9595; www.sekisuiusa.com Check out the sushi bar appetizers for offbeat specials like the ocean pyramid, molded from salmon, tuna, yellowtail, avocado and tobiko, or the eel "sundae" with crushed macadamia nuts and balsamic vinegar sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SHOGUN JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND STEAKHOUSE 2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-7477 Opened in 1981, Shogun introduced New Orleans to the thrill of Japanese cooking. Table seating and an extensive sushi menu are available, but regulars pack the cooking tables where a colorful array of steak, shrimp, chicken and vegetables are prepared before diners' eyes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

SUSHI BROTHERS 1612 St. Charles Ave., 581-4449; www.sushibrothers.net Sushi Brothers produces a wide selection of original rolls and sashimi. The Levee Voice roll features blue crab, spicy roe and wasabi-mayo on top of a roll of spicy crawfish, avocado, asparagus and wasabi. The Special Brothers roll wraps fresh salmon tempura with cream cheese and adds layers of salmon and avocado on top. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TENNOU SUSHI BAR 1818 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 366-3898 Tennou serves a full range of sushi, creative rolls and cooked Japanese dishes. The Hawaiian roll features shrimp tempura, snow crab, mango and smelt roe. For entrees, try the fish fry with sushi rice, which comes with spicy tuna, eel and spicy sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TOKYO HIBACHI SUSHI RESTAURANT & BAR 3525 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 464-8989 Tokyo Hibachi offers grilled items including steak, scallops and lobster. The Volvano roll is a deep-fried snow crab roll topped with spicy tuna, masago and special sauce on top. The Who Dat roll has spicy crawfish on the inside and snow crab, fried tilapia and black tobiko on the outside. There is tempura-fried ice cream for dessert. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

WASABI 900 Frenchmen St., 943-9433; 8550 Pontchartrain Blvd., 267-3263; www.wasabinola.com Wasabi offers a full range of Japanese cuisine from creative rolls to tempura to rice and noodle dishes. The long list of appetizers includes gyoza dumplings, edemame, mussels and the namesake wasabi honey shrimp in cream sauce. The Marigny Roll combines tempura shrimp, tuna and snow crab. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

YUJIN JAPANESE RESTAURANT 323 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 809-3840 Yujin serves sushi, sashimi, noodle soups, tempura and more. The Chef's Special roll combines fresh salmon, tuna and yellow tail with asparagus and avocado. The Downtown roll features spicy salmon and crunchy tempura bits. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

YUKI IZAKAYA 525 Frenchmen St., phone n.a.; www.myspace.com/yukiizakaya Nothing is lost in translation at this Japanese-style tavern, which serves sake and shochu drinks and tapas-sized dishes. Authentic Japanese items include grilled beef tongue, salmon roe with shredded radish, shumai dumplings, fried spring rolls, clams in sake butter and fries with wasabi sauce. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sun. Cash only. $

KOREAN

KOREA HOUSE 3547 18th St., Metairie, 888-0654 Korea House offers a wide range of Korean dishes including barbecue cooked on a tabletop grill and dishes cooked in clay pots. Traditional dishes include tofu stew and come with an array of kimchi, which are side plates of spicy pickled cabbage and other vegetables. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

LATIN AMERICAN

CARLOS MENCIA'S SUAVE NUEVO LATINO GRILL 200 Magazine St., 595-3211 Carlos Mencia revels in off-color humor, but his restaurant aims to please with creative takes on Mexican and Latin American dishes. Beef fajitas come with homemade tortillas and the usual accompaniments. Paella marinara is seafood cooked with saffron rice. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

COUNTRY FLAME 620 Iberville St., 522-1138 Cuban specialties like ropa vieja with shredded beef over rice and a classic Cuban sandwich of ham, roasted pork and cheese in pressed bread are among specialties at this Quarter cantina. The wide-ranging menu includes tacos, fajitas and ribs. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FIESTA LATINA RESTAURANT 133 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-0590; 1924 Airline Drive., Kenner, 468-2384; www.fiestalatinarestaurant.com This family-owned Mexican eatery features everything from tacos to tamales. Breakfast items include eggs topped with ranchero sauce. For lunch and dinner, Fiesta serves pupusas stuffed with grilled pork and cheese and carne asada with refried beans, salad, rice and fried plantains. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA MACARENA PUPUSERIA & LATIN CAFE 8120 Hampson St., 862-5252 La Macarena serves El Salvadoran pupusas — stuffed thick cornmeal patties — plus a range of Latin American dishes, tapas and some Italian dishes. Other options include fresh soups, salads, ceviche, carne asada, combination platters and seafood. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Cash and checks. $$

MAYAS RESTAURANT & BAR 2027 Magazine St., 309-3401; www.mojitoland.com Mayas combines Latin and Caribbean influences. The baked Chilean sea bass is topped with avocados, lump crabmeat and sweet and savory soy sauce. Traditional dishes include salmon Moqueca, sauteed and finished in the oven with onions, tomatoes, garlic, coconut milk and lime juice. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

SERRANOS SALSA COMPANY 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-2354; www.serranossalsacompany.com This pan-Latin eatery fuses local ingredients and an exhaustive list of tequilas and rums. There's Ecuadorian ceviche, and chile-spiced oysters are a nod to colonial Spain in the casserole Seville. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge Chef/proprietor Philip Gagliano prepares an array of Italian dishes at Restaurant Filippo (1917 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 835-4008). - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo by R Squared Photography
  • Chef/proprietor Philip Gagliano prepares an array of Italian dishes at Restaurant Filippo (1917 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 835-4008).

TOMATILLO'S MEXICAN JOINT 437 Esplanade Ave., 945-9997; www.tomatillosnola.com Tomatillo's has shifted to a Nuevo Latino focus, incorporating more Latin American dishes. For an appetizer, Mayan sopes are fried masa cakes topped with black beans, onions, cheese and citrus-marinated pork. For dinner, try banana-wrapped drum topped with crawfish, black olives, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro served over tequila rice. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LOUISIANA CONTEMPORARY

7 ON FULTON 701 Convention Center Blvd., 525-7555; www.7onfulton.com Chef Matthew Fultz prepares contemporary Creole cuisine. Signature dishes include seared scallops with smoked tomatoes and hollandaise sauce and duck breast with bacon lardons. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

5FIFTY5 Marriott Hotel, 555 Canal St., 553-5638; www.555canal.com New Orleans classics like seafood gumbo meet upscale comfort food like lobster macaroni and cheese at 5Fifty5. The 555 seasonal Gulf fish is topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and served with salad. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ALLEGRO BISTRO 1100 Poydras St., 582-2350 Allegro proves an ace in the hole for upscale weekday lunches with a menu of pastas, steaks and dishes like barbecued shrimp over garlic mashed potatoes. Crab and Brie soup is a popular starter. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

ANNADELE'S PLANTATION 71495 Chestnut St., Covington, (985) 809-7669; www.annadeles.com The restaurant at this elegant bed and breakfast features chef Ronald Bonnete's interpretation of Creole cuisine. Grilled Gulf fish Fourchon is topped with mushrooms and char-grilled green onions served with crawfish risotto. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

ATCHAFALAYA 901 Louisiana Ave., 891-9626; www.cafeatchafalaya.com Atchafalaya serves classic and creative Creole dishes. Shrimp and grits feature head-on Gulf shrimp in smoked tomato and andouille broth served over creamy grits. Boudin-stuffed quail is served on a shoestring potato nest with a natural reduction sauce, collard greens and mashed potatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BEGUE'S RESTAURANT AT THE ROYAL SONESTA 300 Bourbon St., 553-2278; www.beguesrestaurant.com The lush courtyard of the Royal Sonesta is the backdrop for lunch and hearty breakfasts. Eggs Bienville features poached eggs, corned beef hash, corn maque choux and hollandaise. There's a Champagne brunch on Sunday. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BISTRO 38 3838 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 836-5253 Nestled in the New Orleans Marriott, this bistro offers classic French dishes with many local touches. The Louisiana bouillabaisse combines local seafood in rich broth. Sunday features a Champagne brunch. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BOUCHERIE 8115 Jeannette St., 862-5514; www.boucherie-nola.com With a new menu monthly, Boucherie updates Southern comfort-food classics with panache and some global accents. Steamed mussels basque in heady broth with collard greens. Smoked beef brisket is served with Parmesan french fries. Newer dishes include cold-smoked scallops and char-grilled oysters. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BRIGTSEN'S RESTAURANT 723 Dante St., 861-7610; www.brigtsens.com A cozy Riverbend cottage is the showcase for chef Frank Brigsten's interpretation of contemporary Louisiana cuisine. Blackened tuna is served with smoked corn sauce and red bean salsa. Pork tenderloin with pork debris sauce is a perennial favorite. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

BUTCHER 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-7675; www.cochonbutcher.com At his butcher shop and deli, chef Donald Link makes an array of sausages and cured meats, including andouille, boudin, pastrami and salami. Try them in sandwiches like the Butcher muffuletta or on charcuterie boards. The Gambino is a hoagie-like sandwich of salami, Mortadella, greens and vinaigrette. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE ADELAIDE AND SWIZZLE STICK BAR 300 Poydras St., 595-3305; www.cafeadelaide.com Chef Chris Lusk reinvents Southern favorites in unique dishes like praline-encrusted pork tenderloin with Opelousas sweet potato-turnip hash. Cayenne five-spice-rubbed tuna is served with blue crab, fried sticky rice and Muscadine-ginger jam. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE AMELIE 912 Royal St., 412-8965; www.cafeamelie.com A lovingly renovated carriage house and pretty courtyard provide a pleasant setting for dining. The menu includes salads and sandwiches like the Amelie muffuletta. Roasted rack of lamb is a popular entree. Brunch features frittatas and waffles. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CHOPS BISTRO AND MARTINI BAR 111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 218-8967; www.chopsbistroandmartinibar.com Chops Bistro offers a menu of seafood and steaks and chops. The dueling medallions are grilled filet mignon medallions served on fried green tomatoes, one topped with blue cheese demi-glace and the other with tasso hollandaise, served with roasted fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CLANCY'S 6110 Annunciation St., 895-1111 This bustling Uptown gathering place has a changing menu that features a mix of steaks, chops and local seafood. Menu standards include fried oysters with Brie on a bed of wilted spinach. There is lemon icebox pie for dessert. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

COCHON 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123; www.cochonrestaurant.com Pork stars in many of Cochon's Cajun and Southern recipes, like boudin balls or spicy grilled pork ribs served with watermelon pickles. The Louisiana cochon features pulled pork seared in a pan and served with turnips, cabbage and cracklin'. The bar has a selection of legal moonshine. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

COQUETTE 2800 Magazine St., 265-0421; www.coquette-nola.com Coquette offers a small but constantly changing menu. For lunch, the shrimp and grits is a house favorite featuring local shrimp and stone-ground grits. One pork chop dish features a slow-cooked chop finished on the grill and served with Brussels sprouts and andouille and Anson Mills grits. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

THE CREOLE SKILLET 200 Julia St., 304-6318; www.thecreoleskillet.com The Creole Skillet prepares contemporary Creole dishes such as Steen's Creole mustard-glazed duck breast stuffed with sausage and served with sweet potatoes and collard greens. The Tchefuncte chicken features a blackened chicken breast served with oyster and crawfish dressing, jambalaya and spinach risotto. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

CRYSTAL ROOM AT LE PAVILLON 833 Poydras St., 581-3111; www.lepavillon.com With its grand chandelier and classical decor, Le Pavillon's dining room epitomizes elegance. Diners can opt for a prix fixe menu of Louisiana favorites or order a la carte. Weekday lunches feature a pasta bar with more than 50 items. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE DAKOTA RESTAURANT 629 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 892-3712; www.thedakotarestaurant.com This elegant Northshore destination melds contemporary French and Louisiana cooking. Soft-shell crab is stuffed with shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish and served over pecan-wild grains. Olive oil-poached salmon is a popular dish. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

DANTE'S KITCHEN 736 Dante St., 861-3121; www.danteskitchen.com Dante's grilled pork steak is served with roasted sweet potatoes and sweet onions. The trois mignons features three petit beef tenderloin filets served on caramelized onion mashed potatoes and topped with pork debris, Stilton cheese sauce and marchands de vin. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

DICK AND JENNY'S 4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 894-9880; www.dickandjennys.com Occupying an old barge-board house, Dick and Jenny's exudes rustic charm and has a friendly atmosphere. New Orleans-style shrimp and grits features sauteed Gulf shrimp and cheddar cheese and andouille sausage grits. Try the duck confit and smoked magret duck breast with oyster dressing, braised red cabbage and spicy honey-citrus glaze. No reservations. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

EAT NEW ORLEANS 900 Dumaine St., 522-7222; www.eatnola.com Southern comfort food and New Orleans flavors come together at this bright corner cafe. Dishes like crawfish pie and smoked beef brisket come with a side dish and a salad. Shrimp and grits is a brunch favorite. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

EMERIL'S DELMONICO 1300 St. Charles Ave., 525-4937; www.emerils.com At his elegant restaurant on the Avenue, chef Emeril Lagasse reworks classic dishes and offers everything from a selection of small plates to house-aged steaks. Entree choices include dishes like pan-fried redfish, Moroccan-spiced lamb and confit duck leg. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

EMERIL'S RESTAURANT 800 Tchoupitoulas St., 528-9393; www.emerils.com Chef Emeril Lagasse's stylish flagship restaurant has two large dining rooms and a handful of seats at the tasting bar. Signature items include andouille-crusted redfish, a Niman Ranch double-cut pork chop, barbecue shrimp with rosemary biscuits and banana cream pie. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

GAUTREAU'S RESTRAURANT 1728 Soniat St., 899-7397; www.gautreausrestaurant.com Award-winning chef Sue Zemanick creates a menu of original dishes with local ingredients. Sauteed jumbo lump blue crab is served with gnocchi, Parmesan cream sauce, English peas and chanterelles. The black angus filet mignon comes with bordelaise sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes and Bloomsdale spinach. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

HERBSAINT BAR AND RESTAURANT 701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114; www.herbsaint.com James Beard Award-winner Donald Link prepares dishes like jumbo shrimp baked into a casserole with squash, mirliton and chile aioli. A grilled top-cut rib-eye is finished with a sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil. Between lunch and dinner, a bistro menu of dishes like steamed mussels and a cheese board is available. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

THE HUNGRY FORAGER 902 Coffee St., Mandeville, (985) 626-8883; www.thehungryforager.com Entrees include pan-seared scallops with cauliflower puree, fondant potato and sherry caramel. For brunch, the crab Benedict includes jumbo lump crabmeat, poached eggs and fried green tomatoes on a toasted English muffin with hollandaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JACMEL INN 903 E. Morris St., Hammond, (985) 542-0043; www.jacmelinn.com Jacmel Inn is known for its contemporary Louisiana cuisine. Wild rabbit is served with dumplings or house-made pasta. Appetizers include steak tips with red onion marmalade and Gorgonzola cheese and oysters wrapped in smoked bacon with sweet anise. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JACQUES-IMO'S CAFE 8324 Oak St., 861-0886 With its fast-paced, exposed kitchen, swamp murals, boisterous bar and seating everywhere, Jacques-Imo's provides dinner and a show. Blackened redfish is served with a crabmeat hollandaise sauce. The shrimp and alligator cheesecake is served with Creole mustard cream sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

JANIE BROWN'S RESTAURANT 27207 Hwy. 190, Lacombe, (985) 882-7201 Janie Brown's offers seafood and pasta dishes. The crabmeat Pontchartrain is a combination of shrimp, lump crabmeat and butter-bacon stuffing. Popular pastas include shrimp fettuccini. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

K-PAUL'S LOUISIANA KITCHEN 416 Chartres St., 524-7394; www.kpauls.com Chef Paul Miller upholds the traditions of legendary founder Paul Prudhomme with a menu that changes daily. Louisiana drum is blackened in a cast-iron skillet and served with crabmeat and chipotle butter. Aged filet mignon is blackened and served with a three-day beef debris reduction. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LA CÔTE BRASSERIE 700 Tchoupitoulas St., 613-2350; www.lacotebrasserie.com A raw bar showcasing platters of fresh-shucked Louisiana oysters highlights seafood options. A whole fish special comes with andouille, okra and tomato stew and cayenne beurre blanc. Or try salmon glazed with Steen's cane syrup and Tabasco, served with shrimp and mirliton ragout. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LA PETITE GROCERY 4238 Magazine St., 891-3377; www.lapetitegrocery.com This Uptown restaurant features French-inspired Louisiana dishes. Abita root beer-braised beef short ribs are served with potato croquette and house-made pickles. Other dishes include a light apple and celery root salad with blue cheese and the house burger with onion marmalade and Gruyere cheese. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LE CITRON BISTRO 1539 Religious St., 566-9051; www.le-citronbistro.com Located in a historic building in the Lower Garden District, Le Citron's quaint dining room offers a pleasant spot to enjoy updated Creole cooking. The brief menu stretches from duck gumbo to New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp. Entrees include seafood and pasta dishes. Reservations accepted. Dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

LE PARVENU 509 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 471-0534; www.leparvenu.com Chef/owner Dennis Hutley produces original creations such as broiled Louisiana crab cakes served with dill cream and pasta. The paneed lobster tail is topped with crabmeat and shrimp and served with Cognac cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LOLA 517 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 892-4992; www.lolacovington.com Keith and Nealy Frantz offer creative dishes at this restaurant housed in a 1940s train caboose. The filet Jules is a pan-roasted filet with a potato-leek gratin, Brussels sprouts and truffle demi-glace. The lunchtime sandwich menu includes the Bostonian with turkey, bacon, avocado and sun dried tomato aioli on house-made focaccia. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LOUISIANA BISTRO 337 Dauphine St., 525-3335; www.louisianabistro.net The surf-and-turf entree pairs a filet mignon with crawfish tail scampi on top of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. For a tour of the chef's favorites just ask for the multi-course "feed me" dinner. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

MARIGNY BRASSERIE 640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472; www.marignybrasserie.com Louisiana crawfish risotto with asparagus and onion saute and smoked tomato cream sauce is just one of many reasons to dine at Marigny Brasserie. Or start with duck and andouille spring rolls before moving onto the half roasted duck with cranberry foie gras sauce. Brunch options include crab cakes and gumbo ya ya. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MARTINIQUE BISTRO 5908 Magazine St., 891-8495; www.martiniquebistro.com Dine inside or on the courtyard at this quaint bistro. Prince Edward Island mussels are steamed in white wine with chorizo, fennel, tomato and saffron. Also try grilled duck sausage or braised rabbit Provencal. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

MILA 817 Common St., 412-2580; www.milaneworleans.com MiLa contracts Mississippi and Louisiana in its name and serves reinvented Southern and Creole dishes. The signature oysters Rockefeller Deconstructed feature poached Louisiana oysters, bacon chips, spinach and licorice root. New Orleans barbecue lobster is accented with fresh thyme and lemon confit. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MURIEL'S JACKSON SQUARE 801 Chartres St., 568-1885; www.muriels.com Guests step from Jackson Square into a series of ornate dining rooms at this elegant restaurant. The menu features updated regional dishes, like fried alligator tail crusted in pecans and served with pepper jelly and mirliton, carrot and red onion slaw. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

NEW CITY GRILLE 2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-8484; www.newcitygrille.net New City Grille presents a menu of steaks, seafood and local favorites such as oyster po-boys and a blackened chicken po-boy. The grilled salmon is served over fettuccine with lemon butter sauce and sun-dried tomatoes. Desserts include flourless chocolate cake and creme brulee. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

NOLA RESTAURANT 534 St. Louis St., 522-6652; www.emerils.com The French Quarter outpost of chef Emeril Lagasse's restaurant empire features modern interpretations of Southern and Louisiana dishes. Shrimp and grits are prepared with smoked cheddar grits, bacon, crimini mushrooms and red chile and Abita beer butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

click to enlarge Pho, spring rolls and summer rolls are among the Vietnamese staples dishes at Doson Noodle House (135 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-7283). - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo by R Squared Photography
  • Pho, spring rolls and summer rolls are among the Vietnamese staples dishes at Doson Noodle House (135 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-7283).

NUVOLARI'S 246 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 626-5619; www.nuvolaris.com Nuvolari's serves Creole cuisine with Italian influences. The seafood risotto verte features bay scallops, Gulf shrimp, asparagus, baby spinach, Parmesan and white truffle oil. Seafood bouillabaisse is filled with Canadian cove mussels, Gulf fish, shrimp and crab in fennel-tomato broth. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

O'DONNELL'S RESTAURANT 131 S.W. Railroad Ave., Ponchatoula, (985) 386-4077; www.odonnells-restaurant.com Eclectic flavors and a casual fine dining approach distinguish O'Donnell's. The jumbo sea scallop and Gulf shrimp pasta features seafood, tomato and basil sauteed in white wine and served over fresh linguine with Parmesan cream. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ONE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 8132 Hampson St., 301-9061; www.one-sl.com This Riverbend cafe features appetizers such as crab cakes on basil and cabbage salad and char-grilled oysters with Roquefort cheese. The lobster and fois gras wontons are topped with shiitake mushrooms and water chestnuts. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

PALMETTOS ON THE BAYOU 1901 Bayou Lane, Slidell, (985) 643-0050; www.palmettosonthebayou.net Nestled on the bayou, Palmettos uses local seafood in dishes like Lake Pontchartrain blue crab cakes served with horseradish sauce. The gumbo is a house specialty, and other options include duck dishes and steaks. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Thu.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

PATOIS 6078 Laurel St., 895-9441; www.patoisnola.com This French neighborhood eatery speaks with a New Orleans accent. Spiced duck breast is served with butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and bacon and chestnut hash with sorghum-molasses reduction. Seared scallops meet green onion and ginger jasmine rice with bok choy and yuzu black butter-garlic sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$ 

PELICAN CLUB 312 Exchange Place, 523-1504; www.pelicanclub.com Chef/owner Richard Hughes presents a comprehensive menu of re-imagined Creole cuisine. The trio of duckling includes a leg confit, a pan-seared breast and an Asian barbecue duck with citrus, cranberry sauce and dirty rice. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT AUGUST 301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777; www.rest-august.com Chef John Besh's flagship restaurant offers signature dishes like gnocchi tossed with blue crab and truffle oil. Cochon de lait is served with potato fondue and baby Brussels sprouts. Whole roasted rabbit is served with white beans and Jacobs andouille in a reinvented cassoulet. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT CYPRESS 4426 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 885-6885; www.restaurantcypress.com Cypress offers contemporary Creole cooking in a casual atmosphere. Duck confit spring rolls with cream cheese and caramelized onions are a signature dish. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RIB ROOM 621 St. Louis St., 529-7045; www.ribroomneworleans.com The namesake prime rib and the French-style rotisserie remain at the heart of the Rib Room, but new dishes are shaking things up. The sizzling prime rib is finished at the table on a hot metal plate crackling with butter, and the rabbit schnitzel is gilded with pumpkin seed oil. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ROUX BISTRO 500 Canal St., 595-5506; www.sheratonneworleans.com Lunch features dishes like shrimp and crawfish stew with corn pudding or New Orleans-style fish and chips. Dinner entrees include a meaty cassoulet made with red beans, duck confit and duck sausage. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ROYAL PALM 1901 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 644-4100; www.royalpalmrestaurant.com Royal Palm is an elegant dining destination on the West Bank. For an appetizer, try the tasso and shrimp in garlic cream sauce and pepper jelly grits. The Creole barbecue quail comes with Bourbon sweet potato mash. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

SNUG HARBOR JAZZ BISTRO 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696; www.snugjazz.com Snug presents two shows nightly, Creole dishes, big burgers, hand-cut Angus steaks and a fresh Gulf catch. Shrimp are either broiled, fried or barbecued in their shells. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily, lunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

UPPERLINE RESTAURANT 1413 Upperline St., 891-9822; www.upperline.com Dine on Creole cooking amid proprietor JoAnn Clevenger's large folk art collection spread throughout the dining rooms. She invented the now classic fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. Roast duck served with garlic-port or ginger-peach sauce is a signature dish, and the Spicy Shrimp Hot and Hot offers heat from jalapeno and habanero peppers in a pair of shrimp reduction sauces. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

VERANDA AT THE HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL 444 St. Charles Ave., 585-4383 Weekday buffets feature a different cuisine daily, from Indian to Mexican. Veranda's Sunday brunch draws a crowd for live jazz, flowing bubbly, carving stations, made-to-order omelets and desserts like Miss Dorothy's famous bread pudding. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

VIZARD'S 5015 Magazine St., 895-2246 Kevin Vizard's bustling Uptown restaurant gets creative with familiar Creole cuisine. For the crabmeat Nelson, a hollow round of eggplant is fried and filled with crab, mushroom and bearnaise. The Vizard's cut steak is a rib-eye cap served with asparagus and sour cream and chive mashed potatoes. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

WATER STREET BISTRO 804 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-3855; www.waterstreetbistro.com Enjoy views of the Tchefuncte River from the front porch of Water Street Bistro. Seafood options include shrimp sauteed in Chardonnay with garlic, basil, zucchini, squash, carrots, green beans and mushrooms served with linguine and Parmesan cheese. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

WOLFE'S IN THE WAREHOUSE 859 Convention Center Blvd., 613-2882; www.wolfesinthewarehouse.com Chef Tom Wolfe adds a refined touch to rustic dishes at his Warehouse District bistro. Signature entrees include panko-crusted redfish with spinach and smoked Gouda-infused crab veloute. New Orleans style barbecue shrimp are served with rosemary on a French bread rusk. Bananas Foster is flambéed tableside. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MEDITERRANEAN/MIDDLE EASTERN

ALBASHA GREEK & LEBANESE RESTAURANT 1958 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 867-8292; www.albashabr.com The range of popular Mediterranean dishes from hummus to shish kebabs make this Baton Rouge-based chain a hit in Covington. Specialties include the lamb shank plate and the souvlaki sandwich. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ATTIKI BAR & GRILL 230 Decatur St., 587-3756; www.attikineworleans.com Local seafood mixes it up with kebabs, dips and falafel at this late-night French Quarter restaurant. The soft-shell crab meuniere and shrimp primavera over linguine add unexpected options. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

BABYLON CAFE 7724 Maple St., 314-0010 Hot najah bread sets Babylon Cafe apart and makes a nice alternative to pita bread for this traditional Middle Eastern restaurant's many dips and sandwiches. For entrees, try kebabs, gyros, shawarma or vegetarian dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

BYBLOS 1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9773; 3218 Magazine St., 894-1233; www.byblosrestaurants.com Mediterranean classics like baba ghanoush, falafel and chicken shawarma are served at Byblos. The menu also includes veal Mediterranean, stuffed grape leaves and lamb kebabs. Rotisserie chicken is served with sides like salad, hummus or potatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BYBLOS MARKET 2020 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-9777; www.byblosrestaurants.com Gyro sandwiches and chicken kebabs are popular at this Middle Eastern lunch spot. Other items include salads, stuffed dolmas and hummus and pita. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CASABLANCA 3030 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-2209; www.kosherneworleans.com Casablanca offers Moroccan and Middle Eastern favorites like gyros, shawarma, hummus and falafel. The Tanzia fassi features baked lamb sauteed with onions, prunes, almonds and Moroccan spices. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner Sun.-Thu. Credit cards. $$

CLEOPATRA MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE 2701 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 361-1113; www.cleopatramediterraneancuisine.com At Cleopatra, white linen tablecloths, Syrian lamps and Egyptian decor set the stage for Mediterranean favorites. The vegetarian plate comes with couscous, baba ghanoush, hummus, dolmeh, tabbouleh and vegetable soup. The restaurant also serves Angus beef rib-eye and T-bone steaks. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JAMILA'S MEDITERRANEAN TUNISIAN CUISINE 7808 Maple St., 866-4366 Jamila's dishes up authentic French-Tunisian cuisine. Menu choices range from merguez lamb sausage to zucchini bisque with crawfish. A steaming clay pot of lamb tagine (Moroccan stew) is accompanied by saffron rice. Grilled whole red snapper is served with roasted garlic, pepper and onion chutney with a vegetable side. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

LEBANON'S CAFE 1500 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-6200; www.lebanonscafe.com The chef's special appetizer at Lebanon's cafe includes hummus, baba ghanoush, vegetarian grape leaves, tabbouleh, falafel and lebna. The beef shawarma is marinated in red vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and spices. Salads include chicken shawarma salad, gyro salads and shrimp salads. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MONA'S CAFE 504 Frenchmen St., 949-4115; 1120 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-8175; 3901 Banks St., 482-7743; 4126 Magazine St., 894-9800 Its original location on Banks Street is one the city's oldest Middle Eastern restaurants. The menu features an array of traditional dishes including chicken, lamb and beef kebabs, lentil soup, falafel and gyro sandwiches. There is baklava for dessert. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PHOENICIA RESTAURANT 4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-9950 Phoenicia serves Middle Eastern favorites including chicken or beef kebabs, kibbeh and grape leaves. Falafel, tabbouleh, creamy lebna and baba ghanoush are some of the vegetarian options. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PYRAMIDS CAFE 3151 Calhoun St., 861-9602 Middle Eastern cuisine is the attraction at this university neighborhood eatery. Chicken shawarma is marinated in a house blend of spices, roasted on a spit and sliced onto warm pita or a platter with hummus and salad. Or try Pyramid's lamb or beef kebabs. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

MEXICAN/SOUTHWESTERN

ADOBE CANTINA & SALSA 1905 W. Thomas St., Hammond, (985) 419-0027; www.adoberestaurant.com Margaritas start many meals at this sister cantina to the La Carreta restaurants. Popular main events include fajita plates and chimichangas. Some go for the whole enchilada, stuffed with carne asada. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

CARRETA'S GRILL 1340 Lindberg Drive, Slidell, (985) 847-0020; 2320 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-6696 Match your chips and queso with a salty margarita for starters at this cantina. Burritos, tacos and enchiladas are available a la carte or on combo plates. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

CASA GARCIA 800 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 951-8226; 8814 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 464-0354 Casa Garcia serves tamales, tacos, enchiladas and other popular Mexican dishes. The seafood enchiladas are filled with lump crabmeat and shrimp. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., dinner Sun. Credit cards. $$

CHEVY'S FRESH MEX 1201 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 368-2100; 3330 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-7788; www.chevys.com Sizzling fajitas, quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos and an array of specialty margaritas fill the menu at Chevy's. Fajitas come with mesquite-grilled chicken, beef, shrimp or vegetables. There also are combo plates and many salad options. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CUCOS 5048 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-5005; 2766 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 393-7766 Cucos offers a menu of Tex-Mex favorites. The fajita platter for two combines shrimp, steak and chicken. The El Presidente features beef and cheese enchiladas, a burrito, a taco, and rice and beans with ranchero sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

EL GATO NEGRO 81 French Market Place, 525-9752; www.elgatonegronola.com Start with an unusual carrot juice margarita at this backstreet cantina near the French Market. In addition to tacos, burritos and enchiladas, look for Guadalajara-style lamb chops in red mole and Ixtapa-style shrimp and scallops with creamy garlic salsa. No reservations. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FELIPE'S TAQUERIA 301 N. Peters St., 267-4406; 6215 S. Miro St., 309-2776; www.felipesneworleans.com At these taquerias, tacos are filled with marinated, pulled pork, steak, grilled vegetables, grilled chicken, spicy ("pollo tingo") chicken or chorizo. A salsa bar offers different styles of salsa with varying levels of heat. Burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, chimichangas and tortilla soup fill out the menu. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

GEORGE'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT 1461 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4342 George's offers favorites such as chicken, beef and shrimp fajitas. Try the sizzling pork or crawfish quesadillas. The ceviche features diced tilapia marinated in lime juice with cilantro, jalapenos and green bell pepper. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JUAN'S FLYING BURRITO 2018 Magazine St., 569-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave., 486-9950; www.juansflyingburrito.com Dubbed the "Creole Taqueria," Tex-Mex meets rock 'n' roll at these cantinas. The signature burrito is a mass of grilled steak, Gulf shrimp and chicken with cheese, black beans, yellow rice, salsa, guacamole and sour cream in a grilled tortilla. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA CARRETA 107 Carrolwood Drive, LaPlace, (985) 651-9991; 108 N.W. Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 419-9990; 1200 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-2990; www.carretarestaurant.com Enjoy traditional Mexican favorites including enchiladas, fajitas and burritos. The steak and eggs features two eggs rancheros over rice with tomatillo sauce and is served with grilled fajita steak and tortillas. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LA CASA GOMEZ 643 Lotus Drive, Mandeville, (985) 624-8667; www.lacasagomez.com This Mandeville hot spot offers Mexican and Cuban specialties, fajitas, tacos and enchiladas. Entrees include the enchilada Cancun platter, which features two corn tortillas rolled and filled with beef, chicken or cheese and topped with homemade chili sauce and shredded cheese. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

NACHO MAMA'S MEXICAN GRILL 1000 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 736-1188; 3242 Magazine St., 899-0031; www.nachomamasmexicangrill.com Nacho Mama's serves Tex-Mex favorites and specialty margaritas. The barbecued Macho Nachos are topped with spicy barbecue pork and a black been and corn relish. Other favorites include a quesadilla stuffed with chorizo, onions and peppers grilled over an open flame. Lunch and dinner daily. Reservations accepted. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge The Bombay Clubs (830 Conti St., 586-0972) American contemporary cooking includes dishes like seared sea scallops. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY

SANTA FE 3201 Esplanade Ave., 948-0077 Sante Fe's creative take on Mexican cooking includes dishes like chicken Maxamillian, which is a breast filled with house-made chorizo and rolled in Sante Fe spices. The carne asada is grilled beef tenderloin served with tomato and pepper sauce, melted cheese, beans, rice and vegetables. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SI SENOR AT COSIMO'S 1201 Burgundy St., 525-5636 Si Senor offers gourmet Tex-Mex options from the back corner of the bar Cosimo's. Choose from loaded nachos, quesadillas, cheese fries, meat pies, burgers or gourmet tacos with chicken, steak or seafood fillings. Foot-long burritos are available with flour or spinach tortillas. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

SUPERIOR BAR & GRILL 3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.com Superior Grill offers Mexican favorites and a wide selection of margaritas. Choose from mesquite-grilled skirt steak, jumbo shrimp, chicken or beef on sizzling fajita platters. Golden-fried flautas are filled with chicken and tomato and topped with guacamole and sour cream. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat. and Sun. Credit cards. $$

TACOS SAN MIGUEL 3517 20th St., Metairie, 267-4027 This casual taqueria offers familiar options like nachos, chicken quesadillas and burgers with peppers for spicy heat. Authentic Mexican dishes include cow tongue and stewed pork skins. The choice of fillings for tacos and burritos include several sweet or spicy pork options. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

TAQUERIA CHILANGOS 2723 Roosevelt Blvd., Kenner, 469-5599 Enjoy Mexican favorites at any meal at Taqueria Chilangos. Kick start the day with eggs and ham or spicy chorizo. Menu mainstays include chile rellenos, burritos, tacos and brisket. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TAQUERIA CORONA 5932 Magazine St., 897-3974;1827 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 738-6722; 3535 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-5088; www.taqueriacorona.com Taqueria Corona's bright cantinas offer tart margaritas, beef tongue or fried fish tacos, cebolitas (grilled green onions) and shrimp and cheese-filled flautas among other specialties. Try the Mexican pizza or big California-style burritos. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

TAQUERIA GUERRERO MEXICO 208 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-6959 Chips and spicy dip start meals at this casual taqueria. The menu includes Mexican staples such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and fajitas. El Salvadoran pupusas add a little extra variety. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MUSIC & FOOD

CHICKIE WAH WAH 2828 Canal St., 304-4714; www.chickiewahwah.com The kitchen at this neighborhood music club offers sandwiches and noshing items like Dixie frites, which are hand-cut fries seasoned with rosemary and garlic and served with various dipping sauces. The Cuban sandwich features sour orange-marinated pork pressed with ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. No reservations. Dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Sat. Cash only. $

DONNA'S BAR AND GRILL 800 N. Rampart St., 596-6914; www.donnasbarandgrill.com The jazz and brass band tunes aren't the only things cooking at this Rampart Street club. The kitchen at Donna's also puts out an ever-changing selection of Southern and New Orleans specials such as barbecue ribs, fried chicken, brisket, jambalaya and red beans. No reservations. Dinner Thu.-Sun. Cash only. $

HOWLIN' WOLF 907 S. Peters St., 522-WOLF; www.thehowlingwolf.com The kitchen at the Howlin Wolf Den serves noshing items including nachos, quesadillas and Cajun egg rolls with shrimp, crawfish, andouille, tasso and spiced cabbage fillings. Sandwich options include pulled pork on a po-boy roll with Abita Turbodog barbecue sauce and Cajun coleslaw on the side. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

PALM COURT JAZZ CAFE 1204 Decatur St., 525-0200; www.palmcourtjazzcafe.com Traditional New Orleans jazz holds court on stage while Creole dishes grace the dinner menu. Chicken ambrosia features sauteed chicken with fennel and Pernod cream sauce served over pasta. Crawfish jambalaya pie is a popular dish. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ROCK 'N' BOWL 3016 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133; www.rockandbowl.com Late-night grill classics complement the retro vibe of this bowling alley's decor. Simple but hearty fare includes burgers and cheese fries. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SWEET LORRAINE'S JAZZ CLUB 1931 St. Claude Ave., 945-9654; www.sweetlorrainesjazzclub.com Sweet Lorraine's cooks up hot jazz and Creole food. It serves a wide range of entrees including blackened catfish topped with sauteed mushrooms and served over spinach. There also are burgers, sandwiches and salads. Reservations accepted. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

NEIGHBORHOOD

DAISY DUKES 121 Chartres St., 561-5171; www.daisydukesrestaurant.com This all-night eatery serves up a slice of the South. Popular breakfast dishes include sweet potato pancakes with sliced bananas and fried green tomatoes with country gravy. Blackened catfish is served with white wine mushroom sauce. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $$

DANIEL'S ON THE BAYOU 3443 Esplanade Ave., 940-5939 Chef Justin Vale's restaurant serves affordable Creole-Italian fare. Pan-roasted rack of lamb is served with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and herb demi-glace. Seafood options include shrimp ceviche. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ELIZABETH'S 601 Gallier St., 944-9272; www.elizabeths-restaurant.com Elizabeth's wide-ranging menu includes everything from daily fresh fish specials to blue cheese oysters and fried green tomatoes. Main dishes range from burgers and po-boys to entrees such as seared duck breast with cherry port. Praline bacon is a signature item. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

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

FIORELLA'S CAFE 1136 Decatur St., 553-2155 Fried chicken is the specialty at Fiorella's, which serves its fried-to-order bird with homey Southern sides like red beans. Grilled seafood is a lighter option, though many opt for the fried dill pickles as a tart, salty starter. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

FRANKY & JOHNNY'S 321 Arabella St., 899-9146; www.frankyandjohnnys.com This New Orleans restaurant is a reliable standby for casual Creole fare including po-boys, gumbo, gator nuggets and red beans and rice. Fried bell pepper rings are served with ranch dipping sauce. The seafood platter includes shrimp, oysters, catfish, stuffed shrimp, toast and salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FURY'S 724 Martin Behrman Ave., Metairie, 834-5646 This casual neighborhood restaurant offers plenty of fried and broiled local seafood and Italian fare. The broiled seafood platter combines fish, soft-shell crab, shrimp, stuffed shrimp, oysters, french fries and salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

HOBNOBBER CAFE 5928 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 734-8448 The Hobnobber offers chicken or eggplant topped with creamy crawfish sauce served over pasta. For a lighter option, try grilled chicken, tuna or catfish served with broccoli and tomatoes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

HUEVOS COFEE & BREAKFAST 4408 Banks St., 482-2426; www.crescentpieandsausage.com This home-style diner presents a chalkboard menu of breakfast plates. The huevos con tamal features two tamales and a grilled chile drizzled with ancho sauce and poached eggs with house-made salsa verde. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Thu.-Tue. Cash only. $

JACKSON 1910 Magazine St., 522-5766; www.jacksonnola.net Jackson serves gourmet burgers with toppings like Gorgonzola, or caramelized onions and béarnaise sauce, or bacon, pepper Jack and chipotle sauce. For an appetizer, mussels are served with andouille, fennel and garlic in white wine broth and truffle fries on the side. Delivery available. Reservations recommended. Credit cards. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. $$

JOEY K'S RESTAURANT 3001 Magazine St., 891-0997; www.joeyksrestaurant.com Joey K's offers home-style daily specials, all-you-can-eat catfish and fried seafood platters. Trout Tchoupitoulas is pan-fried fish topped with shrimp and crabmeat with mixed vegetables and new potatoes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JULIE'S LITTLE INDIA KITCHEN AT SCHIRO'S CAFE & BAR 2483 Royal St., 944-6666; www.schiros .com The Little Kitchen at Shiro's grocery serves up big Indian flavors like chicken tikka masala and curries made with chicken, lamb or shrimp. A seafood combo platter includes catfish, shrimp, oysters, red potato salad, hush puppies, bread and a vegetable. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LA PENICHE RESTAURANT 1940 Dauphine St., 943-1460 Order breakfast any time or choose from a menu of New Orleans classics and burgers at this late-night destination. Eggs Benedict sits on an English muffin with grilled tomatoes, Canadian bacon and homemade hollandaise. The Kathryn burger is a half-pound patty topped with grilled ham, onions and Swiss cheese. No reservations. Delivery available. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

LIUZZA'S BY THE TRACK 1518 N. Lopez St., 218-7888 Locals flock to this corner bar for its menu of Creole favorites. The gumbo features thick slices of andouille sausage. Po-boys are loaded with a variety of fillings, and the garlicky oyster po-boy is a signature sandwich. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LIUZZA'S RESTAURANT AND BAR 3636 Bienville St., 482-9120; www.liuzzas.com Liuzza's is known for home-cooked lasagna and the Frenchuletta with homemade olive salad. Entrees range from soft-shell crabs to calf liver with onions and brown gravy to the creamy pasta dish, crawfish Telemachus. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $-$$

LOUIE & THE REDHEAD LADY 1851 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 626-8101; www.louieandtheredheadlady.com Bayou Benedict consists of an open-faced biscuit, breakfast sausage and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce. For dinner, try the fried oyster platter or the seafood salad. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., lunch Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

LUCY'S RETIRED SURFERS BAR & RESTAURANT 701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com Lucy's surf-shack ambience and California/Mexican dishes draw a crowd. Jamaican jerk chicken, seared ahi tuna and California Caesar salad are a few popular dishes on the menu. Havana tacos top roasted pork with pineapple relish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

MANDINA'S RESTAURANT 3800 Canal St., 482-9179; 4240 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 674-9883; www.mandinasrestaurant.com Combining Creole and Italian classics, Mandina's offers a variety of poultry, fish and steak entrees. Menu options include trout meuniere and trout amandine, hefty seafood platters and filet mignon. Fried eggplant, crab fingers in wine sauce and shrimp remoulade are popular appetizers. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $$

PAUL'S CAFE 100 E. Pine St., Ponchatoula, (985) 386-9581; www.paulscafe.net Home-style plates highlight this cafe. Specials include shrimp etouffee, stuffed crab, rice and gravy, white beans, rice and sausage and other hearty entrees. For early risers, there are country-style breakfast plates. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards and checks. $

PETUNIA'S PLACE 2020 Hwy. 59, Mandeville, (985) 674-3436; www.petuniasplace.com A family-friendly restaurant where kids have a coloring table of their own, Petunia's Place offers a variety of seafood dishes. There also are burgers and entrees ranging from pecan-crusted redfish with meuniere sauce to bourbon pork. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $

THE RUBY SLIPPER CAFE 139 S. Cortez St., 309-5531; www.therubyslippercafe.net This Mid-City neighborhood joint dishes up a variety of breakfast and lunch plates. Eggs Blackstone feature poached eggs on an open-face biscuit topped with tomato, bacon and hollandaise. The crab cake breakfast includes sauteed crab cakes, two eggs, potatoes or grits and a biscuit or toast. Breakfast Tue.-Fri., lunch Tue.-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

SHIMMY SHACK 1855 Dock St., Harahan, 729-4442 Alligator sausage, crawfish strips, pickles and mushrooms are just a few of the fried appetizer options at Shimmy Shack. The blackened shrimp salad features shrimp on a bed of iceberg lettuce with tomatoes, egg and remoulade dressing. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

WIT'S INN 141 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1600; www.witsinn.com This neighborhood tavern serves pizzas and a full range of salads and sandwiches. The Wit's Works is a pizza loaded with sausage, pepperoni, ham, black olives, mushrooms, green peppers, artichoke hearts, red onions, anchovies and jalapenos on request. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

YE OLDE COLLEGE INN 3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683; www.collegeinn1933.com This neighborhood institution is known for seafood po-boys, burgers and veal dishes. The shrimp and rice Napoleon features grilled shrimp and tomatoes over rice. Bread pudding is a popular dessert. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

PAN-ASIAN

ASIAN SUPER BUFFET  3900 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 712-0899 Asian Super Buffet promises a wide selection of dishes from its many food stations. Mongolian-style barbecue is cooked to order and includes a choice of meat and vegetables. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch daily, dinner Sun. Credit cards. $

BAMBU AT HARRAH'S CASINO 4 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahs.com Bambu's creative Asian cooking is a wild card at Harrah's. There are dishes such as Hunan-style grouper and honey-wasabi-glazed shrimp. A full sushi bar and large selection of vegetarian dishes stack the deck with more options. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE EAST 4628 Rye St., Metairie, 888-0078; www.cafeeastnola.com Tradition and creativity mingle on the menu at this pan-Asian restaurant. While some stick to familiar dishes like General Tso's chicken and pad Thai, others opt for goat cheese spring rolls or grilled rack of lamb with mustard miso. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HOSHUN RESTAURANT 1601 St. Charles Ave., 302-9716 Chinese and Japanese flavors mingle at Hoshun. The Playboy roll, an inside-out spicy tuna and shrimp tempura roll with mango, is seared tableside. Other popular items include Vietnamese spring rolls, pad Thai and five-pepper calamari. Reservations accepted. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

KING BUFFET 601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-4383; www.kingbuffet.net King Buffet offers everything from fried shrimp, chicken wings and nuggets to dim sum, sweet and sour chicken and scallops. Sushi options include the California roll, crunchy roll and salmon roll. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SOUTH SEAS ASIAN CUISINE 1714 Hwy. 190 West, Slidell, (985) 646-1205 South Seas features a full sushi bar as well as an extensive Chinese-American menu that includes a variety of moo shu dishes and egg foo young. The Who Dat roll features smoked salmon and tempura crab stick wrapped in soy paper with snow crab, mango and avocado on top. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PIZZA

ANGELI ON DECATUR 1141 Decatur St., 566-0077 The Lucifer's Special pizza earns its name with copious jalapenos, plus sausage, ham and pepperoni. But with plenty of vegetarian options, big salads and Middle Eastern dips it's also easy for the diet-conscious to feel virtuous at this longstanding lower Decatur standby. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

BROOKLYN PIZZERIA 4301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-1288; 1809 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-1030; www.eatbrooklyn.net Brooklyn Pizzeria's claim to fame is the 20-inch pie with a wide variety of toppings. The Italian Roll is loaded with pepperoni, sausage, beef and mozzarella. Diners can't go wrong with a hearty meatball sub. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

CAFE NINO 1510 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-9200 Cafe Nino prepares both thick or thin crust pizza and many classic Italian pasta dishes. The menu also features chicken or veal Marsala, eggplant parmigiana and sandwiches. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Checks. $$

CAFE ROMA UPTOWN 1901 Sophie Wright Place, 524-2419; www.caferomauptown.com There are a number of gourmet pies offered at Cafe Roma, including the margherita pizza prepared with tomato slices, fresh basil, olive oil, oregano and Parmesan cheese. The menu also includes pasta dishes, sandwiches and salads. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

CLUB DECATUR 240 Decatur St., 581-6969 The bar, pool tables and the pizza counter are the centers of action at this busy, late-night spot. Pizza is served by the slice or the whole pie, and the club's kitchen also prepares po-boys, cheese steaks and fries. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

COSCINO'S PIZZA ITALIAN RESTAURANT 1817 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 727-4984; www.myspace.com/coscinospizza Coscino's makes New York-style, hand-tossed pies. The spinach pizza features garlic herb sauce, spinach, tomatoes, onions, fresh mushrooms, feta and mozzarella cheeses. Entrees include pasta, calzones and chicken, veal or eggplant Parmesan. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DITALI'S PIZZA 8160 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 393-1160 This classic pizza restaurant is a cousin to Cafe Ditali's. In addition to thin-crust pies, Ditali's serves favorites from the cafe's menu like Philly cheese steaks and chicken Parmesan. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DOORS UPTOWN PIZZA 7537 Maple St., 302-2547 This new pizza stop features the Dough Knob made with an extremely thin crust. Baked "flats" are pita bread sandwiches with fillings such as hot sausage and vegetables and there's a Philly cheese steak version. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily, late-night Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $

FRENCH QUARTER PIZZERIA & BAR 201 Decatur St., 948-3287; www.frenchquarterpizza.com Specialty pizzas give a nod to the neighborhood with offerings like the Central Grocery pizza with toppings of muffuletta-style olive salad and Italian meats. Pastas, salads, sandwiches and stromboli add options, and the pizzeria features a lunchtime all-you-can-eat buffet. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

FRESCO CAFE AND PIZZERIA 7625 Maple St., 862-6363; www.frescocafe.us Fresco features fresh salads, sandwiches, gourmet pizzas and pasta entrees. The spinach and artichoke roll consists of baby spinach, feta, artichokes, sun-dried tomato and onion sauteed with garlic butter. Delivery and catering available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

GIO'S PIZZA & SPAGHETTI HOUSE 4941 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 885-3515 Gio's menu is loaded with pizza and Italian dishes. The spaghetti and meatballs are served with a sweet homemade sauce with bread and salad. The cannelloni features two large noodles stuffed with cheese, ground meat and spinach topped with mozzarella. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ISABELLA'S PIZZERIA 2660 Florida St., Mandeville, (985) 674-5700; 70452 Hwy. 21, Covington, (985) 875-7620; www.isabellaspizzeria.net The Four Seasons pizza offers a quarter each of four different specialty pies. The Italian salad is piled with iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes, red onions, marinated artichoke heart, olive salad, pepperoncini and anchovies, all tossed in Italian vinaigrette. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

ITALIAN PIE Citywide; www.italianpierestaurants.com Italian Pie offers gourmet pies, calzones, pasta dishes, sandwiches and salads. Specialty pies range from an all meat pie with bacon, sausage and pepperoni to garlic-shrimp to a Hawaiian pie with pineapple and Canadian bacon. Delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

LOUISIANA PIZZA KITCHEN 95 French Market Place, 522-9500; www.louisianapizzakitchen.com. Order gourmet pies or your regular toppings at the Pizza Kitchen. For a unique pie, try the smoked salmon pizza with capers, caviar, red onions and cream cheese. Wild mushroom ravioli is a popular appetizer. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

LOUISIANA PIZZA KITCHEN UPTOWN 615 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-5900; www.lpkuptown.com Louisiana Pizza Kitchen offers wood-oven pizzas, calzones, pasta, sandwiches, plus new dishes like chicken scaloppini and chicken Parmesan. Barbecue chicken pizza is loaded with chicken, corn, scallions and mozzarella cheese. The smoked salmon pizza is piled with Roma tomatoes, capers, caviar, red onions, mozzarella and cream cheese. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MANGO MANGO 201 Bourbon St.; 236 Bourbon St.; 333 Bourbon St.; 400 Bourbon St.; www.mangodaiquiris.com Pizza by the slice keeps the party moving. Hot pretzels are an even easier grab-and-go snack at these French Quarter daiquiri outposts. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

MARK TWAIN'S PIZZA LANDING 2035 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-8032; www.marktwainspizza.com Mark Twain's offers a menu of gourmet pies as well as a gluten-free crust option. The Mysterious Stranger pie features spinach, vegetables, feta cheese and Canadian bacon or hot sausage. The hot muffuletta is piled with Genoa salami, ham, mortadella, provolone and house-made olive salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MILANO'S PIZZERIA 3002 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 780-7500 This pizzeria offers specialty subs, calzones and salads. Try the muffaletta pizza, topped with all the makings of the sandwich. Mardi Gras pasta features Gulf shrimp in creamy sauce tossed with linguine. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MO'S PIZZA 1112 Avenue H, Westwego, 341-9650; www.mospizza.net Mo's serves its extra-large pizzas whole or by the slice. Muffulettas are stacked with Italian cold cuts, provolone and homemade olive salad and served warm. Daily specials include barbecue beef on Mondays and chicken Parmesan on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MONA LISA RESTAURANT 1212 Royal St., 522-6746 A laidback, Bohemian vibe sets the scene at Mona Lisa. Start with an order of bruschetta or a classic Caprese salad before diving into one of the specialty pizzas or pasta dishes. Mardi Gras linguine features andouille and shrimp in tomato cream sauce. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Mon., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NAKED PIZZA 6307 S. Miro St., 865-0244; www.nakedpizza.biz It's the crust — a probiotic-and-prebiotic-rich, multi-grain dough — that makes this a nutritious option for those wanting a healthy pizza. Within these boundaries, Naked Pizza still manages concoctions like the Creole Cajun Throwdown, combining alligator sausage, shrimp, chicken, garlic, bell peppers and onions. Customers can also purchase bake-at-home "Take and Bake" pizzas. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NEW YORK PIZZA 4418 Magazine St., 891-2376; www.newyorkpizzanola.com New York Pizza specializes in thin-crust pies served whole or by the slice. Other options include chicken wings, salads and calzones. The Big Apple pie is topped with everything but the kitchen sink. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NONNA MIA 3125 Esplanade Ave., 948-1717; www.nonnamia.net The cafe serves pizza and Italian dishes. The Divine Portobello appetizer features mushroom, chicken and spinach sauteed in spicy red pepper cream sauce and served with homemade bread. All bread and crusts are baked in house. There also are panini and pasta dishes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

PAPA JOHN'S PIZZA Citywide; www.papajohns.com Papa John's delivers a range of classic and specialty pies as well as wings, breadsticks and other items to complete a meal deal. Specialty pizzas include barbecue chicken and bacon, Hawaiian barbecue and spinach Alfredo. Delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PEPPERONI'S CAFE 8123 Hampson St., 865-0336 Pepperoni's offers specialty pizzas like the Masterpiece, with a whopping 12 toppings (including six meats) for the price of a six-topping pie. The shrimp pasta tosses Gulf shrimp with basil in Alfredo sauce and is served over fettuccine. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PIZZA FLORENCE 4445 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-7888; www.pizzaflorence.net Pizza Florence offers vegetarian and meat-lovers pizzas or gourmet creations such as garlic shrimp or spinach and artichoke pizzas. The smoked turkey salad features sliced turkey over greens with bacon bits. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PIZZA HUT Citywide; www.pizzahut.com Pizza Hut has reconfigured pizza by size, shape and crust (thick, thin, stuffed, hand-tossed, pan), and the menu also includes a calzone-like P'zone. Some locations serve pasta dishes and chicken wings. Delivery available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

PIZZA MAN OF COVINGTON 1248 N. Collins Blvd., Covington, (985) 892-9874 Pizza Man offers a mix of traditional and specialty pies. The Wow pie is topped with artichoke hearts, crabmeat, fresh garlic and Romano cheese. The Board pizza rounds up fresh garlic, imported capacolla, spinach, fresh mushrooms, onions and feta cheese. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

PIZZA MILANO 5226 Elysian Fields Ave., 250-9290 The Milano supreme is topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, onion, olives and tomato. Pizza Milano also serves calzones, pasta dishes, salads, lavash wraps and sandwiches. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

R & O'S PIZZA PLACE 216 Old Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 831-1248 Beyond R & O's famous meatball pizza the restaurant offers an impressive seafood menu featuring seasonal boiled shellfish. The seafood platter is a pile of oysters, shrimp, fish and soft-shell crab. Fries smothered in brown gravy and roast beef debris are a messy treat. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Tue., dinner Wed.-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 Although known for gourmet pies, Reginelli's also offers tasty soups, salads, sandwiches and calzones. The hand-tossed pizzas include the Mediterranean and the Smokin' Chicken. The Uptowner sandwich features turkey breast, provolone cheese, avocado, tomatoes, sprouts and hot pepper relish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ROCKY'S GOURMET PIZZA 3222 Magazine St., 891-5152 With pepperoni, sausage, red peppers and jalapenos, Rocky's Wild Tchoupitoulas pie has plenty of spicy heat. The barbecue pulled-pork pizza also features maple-glazed bacon and caramelized onions with a slow-cooked barbecue sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ROMA PIZZERIA 3441 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 674-3300 Crispy crusts and Sicilian-style deep dish pies vie for supremacy in Roma's stone-deck ovens. Both bow to the Supreme, a classic pie crowned with pepperoni, Italian sausage, onions, green peppers, mushrooms and mozzarella. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

ROMAN PIZZA 7329 Cohn St., 866-1166; www.eatromanpizza.com This Uptown pizzeria caters to late-night pizza and Italian cravings. Go with the 14-inch spinach pizza, a garlic-butter-brushed pie with mozzarella, feta, spinach and veggies. Sandwiches include the Roman special, a toasted sub stuffed with pepperoni, salami, ham and mozzarella. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

ROTOLO'S PIZZERIA 339 Chartres St., 587-0990; 514 S. Rampart St., 528-2556; 3741 Jefferson Hwy., 833-7054; www.rotolos.com Rotolo's dishes up all of your favorite pizza toppings, plus some unconventional combinations like the Pesto Marguerite with pesto, shrimp and fresh tomatoes. Regular toppings include anchovies, artichokes, banana peppers, pineapple, feta and sun-dried tomatoes. Meatballs, shrimp and Philly cheese steak are premium toppings. Reservations accepted for large parties. CBD: lunch and dinner Sun.-Fri. French Quarter: lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SLICE 1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437; 5528 Magazine St., 897-4800; www.slicepizzeria.com In spite of the simple name, these pizzerias are more than slice joints. Gourmet pies include a white pizza with bacon, basil and roasted garlic on a thin crust brushed with olive oil and topped with mozzarella, ricotta and Romano cheeses. Salads, sandwiches and pastas round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THAT'S AMORE 4421 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 454-5885; www.thatsamorepizzaonline.com That's Amore splits its allegiances, offering both New York City thin-crust and Chicago-style deep dish pies. Toppings range from pineapple and sun-dried tomato to spinach and artichoke. There also are calzones and pasta dishes like lasagna and ravioli. No reservations. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THEO'S PIZZA 4024 Canal St., 302-1133; 4218 Magazine St., 894-8554; www.theospizza.com Choose from a large selection of toppings on Theo's crisp, thin-crust pizzas. The Expert pizza is loaded with garlic, spinach, mozzarella, crumbled bacon and sliced tomatoes. Other menu items include the spinach salad, combining purple onions, cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese and pepper jelly vinaigrette. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SANDWICHES & PO-BOYS

BEAR'S RESTAURANT 128 W. 21st Ave., Covington, (985) 892-2373 Just outside downtown Covington, Bear's serves po-boys and homemade sides. The hot roast beef, barbecue beef and shrimp po-boys are perennial favorites. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAFE MASPERO 601 Decatur St., 523-6250 Cafe Maspero's meatless version of the muffuletta has been the salvation for many a hungry vegetarian roaming the French Quarter streets. The conventional meat-layered rendition is a menu mainstay, along with overstuffed pastrami or corned beef deli sandwiches on big buns. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

CENTRAL GROCERY 923 Decatur St., 523-1620 Central Grocery claims the distinction of having created the famous muffuletta, and it remains the one and only sandwich prepared at this foodie landmark. Grab a Barq's and a stack of napkins and bite in to history. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CRABBY JACK'S 428 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 833-2722 Jack Leonardi, the chef behind the perpetually popular Jacque-Imo's Cafe, puts his spin on casual New Orleans fare at this popular lunch joint. Fried oysters and shrimp tumble out of po-boys, while the paneed rabbit and roasted duck po-boys are offbeat offerings. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DANNY & CLYDE'S Citywide; www.dannyandclydes.com This chain of convenience marts offers much more than candy, chips and soda. Grab a super-sized po-boy or other deli sandwich when filling up. Homemade meat pies and breakfast sandwiches are popular as well. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

DIMARTINO'S FAMOUS NEW ORLEANS MUFFULETTAS 1788 Carol Sue Ave., Terrytown, 392-7589; 3900 Gen. DeGaulle Drive., 392-7589; 6641 West Bank Expwy., Marrero, 341-4096; www.dimartinos.com Besides sandwiches like the muffuletta and roast beef po-boy, DiMartino's offers salads, burgers and seafood platters. Entrees include shrimp etouffee, chicken parmigiana, and spaghetti with meatballs or Italian sausage. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

DOMILISE'S PO-BOYS 5240 Annunciation St., 899-9126 Domilise's has been a neighborhood institution for years. The messy roast beef po-boy is covered in gravy and Creole mustard. Other options include fried shrimp, fried oysters and hot sausage with gravy. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

GENNARO'S 3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-9226 Gennaro's dishes up po-boys, fried seafood platters and gumbo, as well as Italian dishes like chicken Parmesan and spaghetti. The grilled chicken Caesar salad is a crowd-pleaser. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THE GROCERY 2854 St. Charles Ave., 895-9524; www.thegroceryneworleans.com In a city full of sandwich stops, this Uptown deli provides a unique take with pressed sandwiches as well as a variety of po-boys, chicken and sausage gumbo and desserts. The Creole corned beef is piled with corned beef, provolone cheese, Creole mustard and Russian dressing and is pressed on French or rye bread. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

HEAVENLY HAM 5300 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-5100; www.heavenlyham.com Heavenly Ham makes sandwiches with the namesake ham, chicken salad, smoked turkey, roast beef or ham salad on croissants, whole grain or French bread. Traditional spiral sliced hams and glazed turkey breast are popular menu items. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

HICKORY CAFE AND GRILL 1313 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 737-0033; www.hickorycafe.com Hickory's presents a half-pound of fresh ground chuck, cooked to order and served on focaccia bread with pepper Jack, bacon, spinach, roasted peppers and basil mayo. The Cuban sandwich features slow-roasted pork loin, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, Creole mustard and pickles pressed between French bread. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

JAM'S PO-BOYS & CATERING 612 Sena Drive, Metairie, 833-5882 Jam's offers home-cooked roast beef in gravy, plus many other sandwiches, salad and pasta options. The seafood-stuffed eggplant boat features half an eggplant fried with Italian breadcrumbs, filled with seafood dressing and served with garlic bread and vegetables. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Fri. Credit cards. $

JOHNNY'S PO-BOYS 511 St. Louis St., 524-8129; www.johnnyspoboy.com Johnny's serves plate lunches like fried chicken and hamburger steaks in addition to its wide-ranging sandwich menu. The Johnny's special combines roast beef, ham and Swiss and American cheeses on French. The seafood muffuletta includes fried catfish, shrimp and oysters. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash only. $

LENNY'S SUB SHOP 4038 Pontchartrain Drive, Slidell, (985) 643-9424; www.lennys.com Lenny's creates a variety of hot and cold subs with a regular 7 1/2-inch sandwich holding a half-pound of meat and cheese and the larger size doubling the length and load. Other options range from the Philly cheese steak to a chef's salad. A kids' menu is available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MAGAZINE PO-BOY SHOP 2368 Magazine St., 522-3107 Start your day with a breakfast po-boy or stop by later for a wide selection of sandwiches. Fried shrimp, cold cuts and hot sausage are popular standbys. The soft-shell crab po-boy is topped with homemade remoulade sauce. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

MAHONY'S PO-BOY SHOP 3454 Magazine St., 899-3374; www.mahonyspoboys.com Mahony's prepares classic po-boys and some original sandwich creations. The fried chicken liver po-boy is dressed with coleslaw. Other popular po-boys include grilled shrimp and fried green tomatoes with remoulade sauce, and the Peacemaker, combining fried oysters, bacon and cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MANO'S PO-BOYS 6943 Saints Drive, Metairie, 734-0922 Mano's produces a handful of breakfast items like the Saints Special, which is two large eggs, ham and cheese on a French bun or toast. There are daily hot lunches including the hamburger deluxe: an 8-oz. patty served with french fries. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. 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 McAlister's offers a wide selection of soups, salads and sandwiches. Signature sandwiches include the Big Nasty, roast beef served open face on a toasted hoagie with McAlister's Come Back gravy and cheddar-jack cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MR. POOR BOY RESTAURANT 10202 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-1170 Mr. Poor Boy serves daily hot-plate specials like red beans and rice with a breaded pork chop on Mondays, chicken-fried steak on Tuesdays and a catfish plate with gumbo on Friday. Po-boy choices include slow-cooked roast beef, shrimp or catfish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MONSTER PO-BOYS 1814 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-9183 Po-boy options include shrimp, oyster, roast beef, ham and cheese. One changing daily seafood special features fried shrimp, oysters and fish with fried pickle chips, Cajun fries, potato salad and bread. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

P & G RESTAURANT 345 Baronne St., 525-9678 This busy CBD lunch spot has a large menu of po-boys stuffed with fried seafood and lunch plates of fried shrimp or catfish. The seafood platter is loaded with shrimp, oysters, catfish, crab cakes and a choice of potato salad, French fries or baked macaroni. Breakfasts come with sides like hashbrowns, homemade biscuits, chisesi ham, bacon or sausage. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

PARASOL'S RESTAURANT & BAR 2533 Constance St., 899-2054; www.parasols.com Gravy overflows the roast beef po-boy at this corner pub. There also are fried shrimp and oyster plates and bar snacks like tangy fried pickles and boudin balls. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PARKWAY BAKERY & TAVERN 538 Hagan Ave., 482-3047; www.parkwaybakeryandtavernnola.com Parkway Bakery & Tavern is home to some of the most popular po-boys in town, including a lineup of weekly specials like the one-handed soft-shell crab. Regular menu choices include catfish, roast beef, corned beef, shrimp and oysters. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

PITA PIT 5800 Magazine St., 899-4141; www.pitapitusa.com This pita parlor offers a wide array of meats, cheese, sauces and condiments. A Caprese pita is filled with chicken, spinach, tomatoes, feta and Parmesan. The Uptown club combines turkey, bacon, avocado, Swiss cheese, spinach, tomato, green pepper and honey mustard. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

QUIZNOS Citywide; www.quiznos.com Signature Quiznos subs include the chicken carbonara with bacon, mozzarella and mushrooms and the Baja with bacon, cheddar and chipotle mayo. There are many classic toasted subs as well as flatbread sandwiches and salad bowls. Green options include Cobb salads and chicken Caesar salads. Some locations serve breakfast. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

RADOSTA'S FAMOUS PO-BOYS 249 Aris Ave., Metairie, 831-1537 The family po-boy stop's fame lies in its popular roast beef and fried shrimp po-boys. Other sandwiches include muffulettas and po-boys with homemade Italian sausage. 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 serves po-boys and daily specials such as blackened catfish and shrimp Parmesan. The Super Serious Seafood Platter is a bountiful combination of fried seafood. The value menu features 6-inch po-boys and combo plates. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

ROLY POLY SANDWICHES One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., 561-9800; 3020 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 872-0957; 3960 Florida St., Suite D, Mandeville, (985) 626-4892; 5409 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8373; www.rolypoly.com With Roly Poly's long list of wraps and changing daily soup options, no two lunches ever need to be the same. Fillings include sliced chicken, smoked turkey or pork, tuna salad, vegetables hummus, many cheeses and more. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

SERIO'S PO-BOYS & DELI 133 St. Charles Ave., 523-2668; www.seriosdeli.com Mike Serio's LSU shrine is known for two-fisted po-boys and muffulettas. New Orleans classics like gumbo and spicy jambalaya make an enticing alternative to sandwich standards such as grilled chicken or corned beef. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

SHORT STOP PO-BOYS 119 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 885-4572 At Short Stop, the roast beef po-boy drips with its own juices. Dark-roux gumbo features chicken and andouille every day and there is a shrimp and crab version on Fridays. For dessert, grab a Hubig's pie. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

SOUTHERN PO-BOYS 720 Claiborne Drive, Jefferson, 835-3035 The loaves at Southern are filled with everything from roast beef and gravy to fried shrimp, oysters, chicken-fried steak and veal. Crispy soft-shell crab is perched atop fettuccine with white wine cream sauce in one popular dish. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Fri. Cash only. $

THE STORE 814 Gravier St., 322-2446; www.thestoreneworleans.com This cozy CBD cafe serves creative dishes such as crawfish risotto topped with asparagus and Parmesan. Sandwiches include a barbecue shrimp po-boy with collard greens and a Reuben-like concoction of pulled beef, caramelized onions and Gruyere on rye bread. One frequent special is the fried oyster, bacon and Brie po-boy with caramelized onions and tomato. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

SUBWAY Citywide; www.subway.com Subway serves classic subs filled with turkey, Italian cold cuts, meatballs or tuna fish as well as Philly cheese steaks and chicken bacon ranch sandwiches. The Veggie Delight with cheese is dressed to order. Complete a meal with chips or a cookie. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

WELTY'S DELI 336 Camp St., 592-0223; www.weltysdeli.com Welty's assembles classic deli sandwiches and some of its own creations. The New Orleans AK is a one-and-a-half-pound sandwich with a choice of four meats, cheddar, Swiss, provolone and pepper Jack cheese on a warm muffuletta bun. There also are croissant sandwiches, soups and salads. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and company checks. $

SEAFOOD

ACME OYSTER & SEAFOOD HOUSE 724 Iberville St., 522-5973; 1202 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 246-6155; 3000 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 309-4056; www.acmeoyster.com Oysters are the year-round draw to Acme, but winter means local bivalves are at their prime. Slurp them raw at the marble-topped bar, get them fried on a po-boy or platter or try them hot from the grill. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ADAM'S CATFISH HOUSE 8523 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 392-0541; www.adamscatfish.com Catfish is the specialty at Adam's, where fried or grilled fillets are served in large portions with sides of coleslaw or hush puppies. The catfish salad with egg and tartar sauce is a must-try. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

BONEFISH GRILL 200 River Highlands Blvd., Covington, (985) 809-0662; www.bonefishgrill.com Seafood from waters near and far is all fair game at Bonefish Grill, where the menu includes tuna, mahi, sea bass, lobster and more. Start with the signature Bang Bang shrimp, crispy shrimp tossed in spicy cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BOURBON HOUSE 144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com Bourbon House puts its own stamp on local seafood classics. The plateaux de fruits de mer features a selection of Louisiana seafood — oysters on the half-shell, local caviar, Gulf shrimp and more. The peel-and-eat barbecue shrimp comes with a rosemary biscuit. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BOZO'S RESTAURANT 3117 21st St., Metairie, 831-8666; www.bozosrestaurant.com Bozo's uses all local seafood in its platter of cornmeal-fried oysters, Des Allemand catfish, Gulf shrimp and baked stuffed crab served with a choice of potato side. The chicken and andouille gumbo is made with a light roux and okra. For starters choose raw oysters, stuffed artichoke or boiled shrimp. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BUBBA GUMP SHRIMP COMPANY 429 Decatur St., 522-5800; www.bubbagump.com Shrimp stars in an array of fried, boiled and sauteed dishes at this theme restaurant inspired by the film Forrest Gump. Also look for crab legs, steamed with garlic and herbs and served with drawn butter. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BUSTER'S PLACE 519 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 809-3880; www.bustersplaceonline.net This oyster bar and restaurant offers many seafood dishes including blackened redfish and grilled tuna salad. Try the char-grilled or raw oysters, crab and corn bisque or seafood platters. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch daily, dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

CASAMENTO'S 4330 Magazine St., 895-9761; www.casamentosrestaurant.com Generations of locals have flocked to this Magazine Street restaurant. Oysters can come on the half shell, in stews and in other dishes. Fried crab claws and calamari are featured appetizers, and entrees include catfish and trout dinners with a six-layer German chocolate cake for dessert. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Sat. Local checks. $$

CATCH 3226 Magazine St., 371-5809 Seafood dishes range from fried catfish, seafood gumbo and curry-spiked fish and chips to shellfish stew and barbecued Gulf shrimp. Other options include burgers, po-boys and pasta dishes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CATE STREET SEAFOOD STATION 308 S. Cate St., Hammond, (985) 340-3891 Some of the freshest seafood at Cate Street comes in its sushi rolls. The fried C.J. roll is filled with white fish, snow crab, avocado and asparagus and topped with eel and chef sauce. There also are a variety of Louisiana seafood dishes. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri. Credit cards. $$

CHARLIE'S SEAFOOD 8311 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan, 737-3700 Rest assured that Charlie's will have an ample supply of po-boys, salads, soups and main courses featuring Louisiana ingredients. The catfish and grits are mustard and cornmeal fried catfish fillets served with stone-ground, cheddar cheese grits and Creole sauce. Grilled Gulf fish is accompanied by shrimp and oysters bordelaise with sauteed fresh vegetables. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

THE CORNER OYSTER BAR AND GRILL 500 St. Peter St., 522-2999; www.corneroysterhouse.com Guests can get a taste of the town with a "New Orleans sampler" combining gumbo, shrimp Creole, red beans and jambalaya. Raw oysters and boiled seasonal seafood are other options. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DE-NO SEAFOOD 505 Gretna Blvd., Gretna, 362-4608 De-No's redfish is topped with crawfish cream sauce and served over angel hair pasta. Other entrees include a 14-oz. rib-eye, half a fried chicken and a grilled chicken platter, all served with your choice of sides. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DEANIE'S RESTAURANT & BAR 7350 Hayne Blvd., 248-6700 Deanie's Showboat Platter for two piles up fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, stuffed crabs, stuffed shrimp, onion rings, fries and salad. Besides seafood entrees like shrimp Creole and fried trout, there are dishes like chicken Parmesan and red beans and rice. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit Cards $

DEANIE'S SEAFOOD 841 Iberville St., 581-1316; 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie, 831-4141; www.deanies.com The mountainous fried seafood platter for two is the pinnacle of Deanie's menu and raw oysters and boiled seafood are seasonal draws. Check out the Bucktown boil pizza topped with seafood and white sauce. No reservations. Metairie: lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. French Quarter: lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DESIRE OYSTER BAR 300 Bourbon St., 553-2281 The menu of this Bourbon Street stalwart features traditional dishes and distinctive preparations. The barbecue oysters are fried and served with house-made barbecue sauce and blue cheese dressing. Red snapper is blackened and topped with crabmeat, capers and butter sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DOCKSIDE SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR 1820 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 736-9666 The red potatoes, boiled in spicy seasoning mix before being fried, are a house specialty and a favorite side item to accompany seafood options including shrimp, crab and catfish. Oysters are available fried, grilled or raw on the half shell. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DON'S SEAFOOD HUT 4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-1550; www.donsseafoodmetairie.com Don's dishes up seafood, soups, sandwiches and pasta. A variety of seafood platters offer mixes of fried shrimp, catfish and or soft-shell crabs. The spicy fish of the day is battered and topped with crawfish etouffee. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DRAGO'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras St., 584-3911; 3232 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 888-9254; www.dragosrestaurant.com Drago's is best known for its signature char-broiled oysters, which are topped with Parmesan, butter, parsley and garlic. Other options include Maine lobsters and seafood platters of lightly fried shrimp, catfish and oysters. The Herradura shrimp features shrimp sauteed with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, onions and tequila served with grilled portobello mushroom. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FELIX'S RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR 739 Iberville St., 522-4440; www.felixs.com The oyster bar at Felix's has no seats, and that's just fine with the regulars who prefer their raw bivalves with a minimum of fuss. Make your own sauce and order directly from the shuckers, or take a table to order from the complete menu of New Orleans staples. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FRENCH MARKET RESTAURANT 1001 Decatur St., 525-7879 Hungry pedestrians are lured into the French Market Restaurant by the sight of raw oysters displayed in the windows and the aroma of crawfish emerging from the boiling pots. Po-boys and fried seafood join these marquee attractions. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

FRIENDS COASTAL RESTAURANT 407 St. Tammany St., Madisonville, (985) 845-7303; www.friendscoastal.com Friends' favorites include quesadillas, Caribbean jerk chicken and charbroiled tenderloin, but the real star is seafood. Friends boasts blackened catfish and redfish on the half shell, fried seafood platters and fresh-catch specials. Reservations accepted daily. Credit cards. $$

GW FINS 808 Bienville St., 581-3467; www.gwfins.com Fins gets fish daily from waters near and far. Some of chef Tenney Flynn's standbys include blue crab pot stickers and smoked, sizzling oysters. Grilled butterfish might be finished with a sauce like Flynn's pineapple basil glaze. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

GALLEY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 2535 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-0955 Galley Seafood's menu features a long list of Louisiana seafood, including fried and boiled shrimp and crabs. There are po-boys, salads, soups, pasta dishes and sweet potato fries. Soft-shell crab dishes are popular. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

GRAND ISLE RESTAURANT 575 Convention Center Blvd., 520-8530; www.grandislerestaurant.com Grand Isle serves up oysters on the half-shell and seafood dishes like chile butter baked fish, crawfish etouffee and gumbo. Its Vietnamese style shrimp Caminada, filled with chile-lime butter poached shrimp, crunchy slaw and fresh herbs won top honors at the 2009 New Orleans Po-Boy Festival. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HARBOR SEAFOOD AND OYSTER BAR 3201 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-6454; www.fishermanscoveseafood.com Harbor Seafood serves everything from raw oysters and lobster specials to jambalaya. There's a catch of the day, and catfish stuffed with crabmeat is a signature dish. On Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays patrons can enjoy oysters by the dozen for $3. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JACK DEMPSEY'S 738 Poland Ave., 943-9914; www.jackdempseysllc.com Heavyweight seafood house Jack Dempsey's serves dishes like broiled redfish with crabmeat au gratin. The namesake fried seafood platter is a feast of gumbo, shrimp, oysters, catfish, redfish and crawfish pies, plus two side items. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JAN'S CAJUN RESTAURANT 4831 Jean Lafitte Blvd., Lafitte, 689-2748 Jan's offers a variety of seafood dishes. The seafood platter combines fried shrimp, oysters and catfish, stuffed crab, stuffed shrimp and french fries. Jan's popular sauteed shrimp are cooked in butter sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JOHNNY TRAUTH'S SEAFOOD BISTRO 2121 25th St., Kenner, 471-0808 Head to Johnny Trauth's on Tuesday for the all-you-can-eat snow crab leg special. The menu's many po-boy options include a paneed chicken sandwich. The onion blossom is a popular appetizer. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

KENNER SEAFOOD 3140 Loyola Drive, Kenner, 466-4701 The range of options at Kenner Seafood includes an oyster bar, boiled seafood and big platters and boats filled with fried items. Soft-shell crab Marie rests a fried crab on a bed of angel hair and tops it with crabmeat cream sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

KJEAN SEAFOOD 236 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-7503 Kjean's offers a menu of prepared dishes and raw fish and shrimp by the pound. Fried shrimp, oysters and catfish are available in po-boys or on platters. The sandwich options also include hot or cold ham or roast beef, and meatballs on French bread or bun. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. $

LANDRY'S 400 N. Peters St., 558-0038; 8000 Lakeshore Drive, 283-1010; www.landrysseafoodhouse.com Whether in the French Quarter or perched at the Lakefront, Landry's locations offer a wide selection of local and imported seafood. The baked oysters Steve are prepared with scampi butter while the Chilean sea bass Madrid is crusted with Parmesan and topped with scallops and shrimp. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MR. ED'S SEAFOOD AND ITALIAN RESTAURANT 910 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 463-3030; 1001 Live Oak St., Metairie, 838-0022; www.austinsno.com The restaurant combines Creole seafood, comfort food and Italian dishes. Choose from red beans and rice, white beans or lima beans. The fried chicken liver entree comes with mashed potatoes and gravy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

MORTON'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 702 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-4970; www.mortonsseafood.com Morton's features an ever-changing menu of seafood entrees. Crabmeat St. Francis is lump crabmeat in white sauce with tri-color bell peppers, topped with Parmesan cheese and Italian breadcrumbs. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

PONTCHARTRAIN POINT WEST END 8536 Pontchartrain Blvd., 282-4233 Pontchartrain Point offers family friendly atmosphere and many popular seafood dishes. Creole crab cakes are served over penne pasta in spicy cream sauce. Redfish Pontchartrain is topped with crabmeat, mushrooms, green onion and lemon cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

QUARTER VIEW RESTAURANT 613 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 887-3456 Quarter View serves a wide range of seafood dishes. There is everything from lobster to stuffed trout. The fried seafood platter is a big catch of shrimp, oysters and soft-shell crab. On Tuesdays, try the all-you-can-eat boiled crabs. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

RALPH & KACOO'S 519 Toulouse St., 522-5226; www.ralphandkacoos.com A casual, family-oriented atmosphere is the calling card of Ralph & Kacoo's. Mahi mahi Toulouse is topped with a soft-shell crab, crawfish tails and hollandaise. Shrimp Charles is filled with seafood stuffing and topped with crabmeat. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

RED FISH GRILL 115 Bourbon St., 598-1200; www.redfishgrill.com Red Fish Grill serves oysters on the half shell and seafood specialties including several redfish entrees. Hickory-grilled Gulf fish is served with Pontalba potatoes, jumbo lump crabmeat and lemon butter sauce. Barbecue oysters are flash fried, tossed in Crystal barbecue sauce and served with blue cheese dressing. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE RED MAPLE RESTAURANT 1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935; www.theredmaple.com Since 1963, this Westbank institution has served up seasonal seafood and steaks. Pan-seared redfish Pontchartrain is topped with jumbo lump crab and mushroom sherry sauce. Gulf shrimp, crab, andouille and fried oysters top fried mirliton. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT DES FAMILLES 7163 Barataria Blvd., Crown Point, 689-7834; www.desfamilles.com This house on the edge of Jean Lafitte National Park specializes in local seafood and offers a view of the bayou. The crawfish-stuffed rainbow trout is topped with garlic-butter sauce. Shrimp Diane is served over angel hair pasta with green onions, mushrooms and garlic butter. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

RICK'S CATFISH CABIN 78461 Hwy. 437, Covington, (985) 893-7274 The restaurant pays tribute to the whiskered fish by baking it, frying it and grilling it. The menu also includes oysters and stuffed shrimp with sides like hush puppies and french fries. Reservations accepted. Lunch Thu.-Fri. and Sun., dinner Thu.-Sat. Checks. $$

RIOMAR 800 S. Peters St., 525-3474; www.riomarseafood.com This seafood restaurant serves a range of Spanish and Latin American dishes. Weekday lunch features tapas, mini sandwiches and Boqueronas, which are white anchovies in vinegar. The zarzeula de mariscos is a Spanish variation of bouillabaisse in saffron broth. The five-hour roast pork served with plantains is a popular dish. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ROYAL HOUSE OYSTER BAR 441 Royal St., 528-2601; www.royalhouserestaurant.com Oysters come raw, fried, char-broiled or baked with seafood stuffing at this French Quarter eatery. Steamed lobsters and crab legs are other specialties. Fried eggplant "straws" are a popular appetizer. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SALTWATER GRILL 710 S. Carrollton Ave., 324-6640; www.saltwatergrillnola.com A wide range of New Orleans seafood favorites rule at Saltwater Grill. There's everything from fried oysters to shrimp Creole to shrimp with cheddar cheese grits or andouille pasta. Appetizers include fried green tomatoes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SEITHER'S SEAFOOD 279 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 738-1116; www.seitherseafood.com Seither's menu includes everything from raw oysters on the half-shell to creamy shrimp and corn soup, made with Louisiana jumbo shrimp sauteed with onions and tomatoes. Seither's also offers a wide variety of seafood platters. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

SID-MAR'S RESTAURANT 3322 N. Turnbull Drive, 831-9541; www.sidmarsrestaurant.com Sid-Mar's has moved inland but still serves a wide array of local seafood. There's everything from fried and boiled shellfish to grilled tuna or amberjack. There also are po-boys, fried chicken and sides such as hush puppies and jambalaya. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SMITTY'S SEAFOOD 2000 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-1647 If it swims, it's on the menu at this 20-year-old Kenner institution. Smitty's serves all-you-can-eat boiled shrimp each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Menu mainstays include po-boys, seafood platters and grilled fish. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

STINGRAY'S RESTAURANT & GRILL 1303 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 443-4040; www.stingraysseafood.com Stingray's offers a wide selection of seafood dishes as well as daily specials. Shrimp Nicole features shrimp and angel hair pasta topped with spicy cream sauce. Zydeco catfish features deep-fried fillets stuffed with crabmeat dressing and topped with spicy cream sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

VAZQUEZ SEAFOOD & PO-BOY RESTAURANT 515 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 893-9336 Vazquez's large menu rounds up everything from hot plates to po-boys, sandwiches and pasta. Lunch and dinner specials include country-fried steak with mashed potatoes, veal or chicken Parmesan, grilled or breaded pork chops and lasagna. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

VOLEO'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 5134 Nunez St., Lafitte, 689-2482 The variety at Voleo's ranges from sandwiches and pizza to Bavarian specials like bratwurst and Wiener schnitzel. The seafood pizza is topped with shrimp, crawfish and crabmeat. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon., Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ZEKE'S 1517 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-1133; www.eatatzekes.com This seafood restaurant features oysters, fried crab claws, po-boys and hamburger steaks. Fried green tomatoes are topped with shrimp and basil cream sauce. Char-grilled oysters are served on the half-shell topped with butter and Parmesan. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ZIMMER'S SEAFOOD 4915 St. Anthony Ave., 282-7150 This neighborhood seafood market serves seasonal local harvests of fresh, fried or boiled shellfish. In addition to po-boys and gumbo, check out the marinated crab salad and stuffed artichokes steamed over seafood boiling pots. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

SOUL FOOD

BUSTER'S SOUL FOOD 2135 St. Charles Ave., 522-6602 Don't look for diet food here, but if you're interested in hearty, hot meals like smothered pork chops, baked macaroni and cheese, po-boys and other Southern specialties, Buster's has it. Ribs are boiled and then grilled with honey barbeque sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

DUNBAR'S CREOLE COOKING Loyola University, Broadway Activities Center, 501 Pine St., 861-5451 Loyola students aren't the only ones who can enjoy Dunbar's post-Katrina location. Head to campus for a menu of fish plates, fried chicken, red beans and rice, smothered chicken, stuffed bell peppers and other local soul food favorites. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Thu. Credit cards. $

HOUSE OF BLUES 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com Southern specialties are in the spotlight at the restaurant adjoining the music hall. Baby-back ribs are served by the slab and pan-seared catfish is topped with shrimp Creole. Sunday's gospel brunch features live music and a buffet. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

LI'L DIZZY'S CAFE 610 Poydras St., 212-5656; 1500 Esplanade Ave., 569-8997 Li'l Dizzy favorites include trout Baquet (named for the owner's family), fried chicken, po-boys and Creole file gumbo with sausage. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $$

ORLEANS SEAFOOD 3301 S. Claiborne Ave., 821-5007 Orleans Seafood is home to soul food, Chinese dishes and comfort foods like gumbo, po-boys and local seafood. Choose from Asian specialties like General Tso's chicken, pepper steak and shrimp and broccoli, or red beans and rice with pork chops or smoked sausage. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

PRALINE CONNECTION 542 Frenchmen St., 943-3934; www.pralineconnection.com Stick-to-your-ribs Creole soul food is the draw at this Marigny spot. Look no further for home-style red beans and rice, file gumbo, stuffed bell peppers and sides like mac and cheese, fried okra and fried pickles. Changing daily soups include homemade chicken noodle. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TWO SISTERS RESTAURANT 223 N. Derbigny St., 524-0056 Two Sisters offers soul food cooking. Daily specials include red beans and rice on Mondays and fried catfish with macaroni, peas and potato salad on Fridays. Soul food favorites include chitlins and stuffed peppers. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE 2401 St. Ann St., 822-9503 Willie Mae Seaton made her modest eatery into a landmark with fried chicken and Creole soul food dishes. Her granddaughter Kerry Seaton keeps the tradition alive. Daily specials include dishes like red beans, butter beans, smothered veal, stewed chicken, fried catfish and trout. No reservations. Lunch daily. Cash only. $

STEAKHOUSE

AUSTIN'S RESTAURANT & STEAKHOUSE 5101 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 888-5533; www.austinsno.com Known for its Creole-Italian cuisine, Austin's menu highlights include veal Marsala and seared scallops, which are wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon and topped with beurre blanc. Popular starters include the turtle soup and fried green tomatoes. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BEEF CONNECTION 501 Gretna Blvd., Gretna, 366-3275 The Beef Connection is known for thick-cut T-bones and rib-eyes, filets and New York strips. During lunch, steak entrees include a choice of sides like potatoes or broccoli au gratin. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

BESH STEAK AT HARRAH'S 4 Canal St., 533-6111; www.harrahs.com John Besh's steakhouse deals diners big cuts of beef like the 38-oz. bone-in rib-eye steak, 30-day-aged New York strip or 48-oz. Porterhouse. There also are dishes with local seafood, Abita Amber onion rings and produce from Louisiana farms. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

CHARLIE'S STEAK HOUSE 4510 Dryades St., 895-9705; www.charliessteakhousenola.com Many locals saw the city's recovery completed when Charlie's reopened. The eponymous "The Charlie" is a 32-oz. steak served on a sizzling-hot platter. The blue cheese wedge salad is served with thin-cut onions, sliced tomatoes and homemade blue cheese dressing. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CRAZY JOHNNIE'S STEAKHOUSE 3520 18th St., Metairie, 887-6641; www.crazyjohnnies.net Johnnie's serves grilled steaks and seafood plates at affordable prices. Popular dishes include the Giant Dippin' Shrimp and the mainstay 8 1/2-oz. prime filet mignon with garlic butter and Crazy potatoes. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CRESCENT CITY STEAKS 1001 N. Broad St., 821-3271; www.crescentcitysteaks.com At home in Mid-City for 73 years, Crescent City Steaks serves T-bones, New York strips and prime filets. Side dishes and sauces like garlic and parsley bordelaise are available a la carte. Curtained privacy booths are a throwback to old New Orleans dining. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri. and Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

DICKIE BRENNAN'S STEAKHOUSE 716 Iberville St., 522-2467; www.dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com Dickie Brennan's puts aside steakhouse largesse in favor of Creole finesse. The 8-oz. house filet is dressed with creamed spinach, Pontalba potatoes, fried oysters and sauce bearnaise. The 14-oz. barbecue rib-eye is topped with shrimp in Abita beer barbecue sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Friday, dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE EMBERS "ORIGINAL" BOURBON HOUSE 700 Bourbon St., 523-1485; www.emberssteakhouse.com Embers keeps the grill glowing no matter what is happening outside on Bourbon Street. House specialties include an 8-oz. filet mignon with jumbo shrimp or the hefty 28-oz. prime rib served with a loaded baked potato. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Sun., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

KEITH YOUNG'S STEAKHOUSE 165 Hwy. 21, Madisonville, (985) 845-9940; www.keithyoungs.net Start your meal with shrimp remoulade and move on to one of the many prime cuts of meat. Steaks include house-cut filets, petite filets with shrimp, strips and rib-eyes. Top off any selection with crab and mushrooms, sauteed onions or blue cheese. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

LA BOCA 857 Fulton St., 525-8205; www.labocasteaks.com This Argentinean steakhouse serves rib-eyes, domestic Kobe beef, flatiron steaks and hanger steaks. Other options include veal sweetbreads. For an appetizer try empanadas Criollas, an Argentinean baked meat pie, or provoleta, grilled cheese topped with oregano and olive oil. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE 69368 Hwy. 21, Covington, (985) 875-1100; www.longhornsteakhouse.com Longhorn's steak dishes include the fontina and wild mushroom stuffed filet served over roasted garlic cream sauce with roasted red peppers. Other cuts include New York strips, porterhouses, rib-eyes and T-bones. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MR. JOHN'S STEAK HOUSE 2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7697; www.mrjohnssteakhouse.com Steaks are seared at 1800 degrees in a Montague broiler and topped with melted butter. Other dishes include veal, pastas and garlic-rubbed half-roasted chicken served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MORTON'S STEAKHOUSE Canal Place, 365 Canal St., 566-0221; www.mortons.com This upscale Chicago-based chain strives for carnivorous decadence. Filet mignon, porterhouse, New York strip and rib-eye steaks are the popular cuts, while seafood selections include Alaskan king crab legs and jumbo lump crab cakes. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

N'TINI'S 2891 Hwy. 190, Suite D, Mandeville, (985) 626-5566; www.ntinis.com Steaks are the prime focus at this martini lounge and restaurant. N'Tini's also serves stuffed shrimp, yellowfin tuna, and the crab cake and shrimp entree features three cheese shrimp Alfredo topped with a lump crab cake over occhiette. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

O'BRIEN'S GRILLE 2020 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-7229; www.obriensgrille.com O'Brien's is a steakhouse offering hearty portions and big flavors. Try the oyster and artichoke cheesecake, a savory slice topped with oysters sauteed in butter, garlic and white wine. The mahi mahi fillet is wrapped in potato strips, fried and topped with Creole beurre blanc. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE Citywide; www.outback.com This Aussie-inspired chain offers a Down Under approach to steaks and other dishes, but the Bloomin' Onion and spicy Kookaburra chicken wings should seem familiar. Entrees include T-bones and rib-eyes, rack of New Zealand lamb and roast pork. No reservations. Dinner daily, lunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE 228 Poydras St., Harrah's Hotel, 587-7099; 3633 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-3600; www.ruthschris.com There's nothing quite like the sound of a sizzling steak approaching your table at Ruth's Chris. That's how prime cuts of filet, rib-eyes and New York strips announce their arrival in a hot bath of butter. New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp is a seafood option. Reservations recommended. Metairie: lunch Fri., dinner daily. Warehouse District: lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

SAMMY'S STEAK AND LOBSTER 627 Bourbon St., 525-8442 Surf and turf is the specialty at this Bourbon Street eatery. Look for rib-eye steaks and lobster tails stuffed with crabmeat. Gumbo samplers, jambalaya and crawfish pies are popular appetizers. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SHULA'S STEAK HOUSE 614 Canal St., 586-7211; www.shulas.com This clubby eatery continues Hall of Fame coach Don Shula's winning legacy. His steakhouse's standards position only premium Black Angus beef on plates. Martinis, shrimp cocktail, lobster and king-crab-leg specials round out the roster of steakhouse favorites. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

STAR STEAK & LOBSTER HOUSE 237 Decatur St., 525-6151; www.starsteak.com For three decades, this upper-Quarter stalwart has tempted passersby with the smell of sizzling steaks and seafood. Popular items include a pound of slow-roasted prime rib and whole Maine lobster served with drawn butter. The Cajun filet is stuffed with seafood and topped with white wine sauce and mushrooms. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE STEAK KNIFE RESTAURANT & BAR 888 Harrison Ave., 488-8981; www.steakkniferestaurant.com The Lakeview steakhouse offers a range of steaks and a la carte sides. The pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna steak is served with soy-ginger reduction and wasabi sauce. Fork-tender veal osso buco is served with fettuccine Alfredo. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

YOUNG'S RESTAURANT 850 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 643-9331; www.youngssteakhouse.com For more than 40 years, this family-owned restaurant has hand-cut steaks ranging from 8-oz. filets to 14-oz. rib-eyes and sirloin strips. Steaks are served with a baked potato and salad. A chef's special combines a filet and a char-grilled, boneless quail. Seafood dishes also are available. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

TAPAS/SPANISH

BARU BISTRO & TAPAS 3700 Magazine St., 895-2225 The bistro boasts a selection of small-plate appetizers from Cuba, Colombia and other Caribbean countries. The mazorca is roasted corn mixed with pink sauce, salao cheese and crunchy potato sticks. Louisiana oysters are cornmeal crusted and served with caramelized onions and cilantro aioli. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE GRANADA 1506 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-1612; www.cafegrenadanola.com Castilian and Mediterranean flavors fill the menu at Cafe Grenada, where a wide range of hot and cold tapas encourages sampling and sharing. The classic paella is made with fish, shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, chicken and peas. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

GALVEZ RESTAURANT 914 N. Peters St., 595-3400; www.galvezrestaurant.com A sweeping view of the Mississippi River is the backdrop for meals at Galvez. The kitchen prepares tapas, steaks and seafood dishes. There are four varieties of paella, from the classic Valencia to a vegetarian version. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LOLA'S 3312 Esplanade Ave., 488-6946 Lola's carves out a small slice of Spain in Bayou St. John. Romesco-marinated rack of lamb with Gorgonzola cheese sauce is a specialty of the house. Seafood paella teems with shrimp, fish, calamari, scallops and mussels. No reservations. Dinner daily. Cash and checks. $$

MIMI'S IN THE MARIGNY 2601 Royal St., 872-9868; www.mimisinthemarigny.com Hot tapas at this popular bar include creamy mushroom manchego toast and fried goat cheese croquettas. The cold side of the menu includes a selection of Spanish cheeses and cured meats. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

RAMBLA 217 Camp St., 587-7720; www.dceventsnola.com Chef Scott Maki's traditional Spanish tapas and French-inspired small plates include the new roasted pork belly with sweet potato dumplings and honey. Medjool dates are stuffed with almonds and blue cheese, wrapped in bacon and roasted. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

VEGA TAPAS CAFE 2051 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-2007; www.vegatapascafe.com Creative tapas dishes include shrimp and gnocchi carbonara, ceviche, empanadilla de cohinillo (empanada with roast pork) and sauteed sweetbreads with Serrano ham and mushrooms. The menu features additional vegetarian items like spinach dumplings or Bolos Espinacas. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$-$$$

THAI

BANANA BLOSSOM THAI CAFE 2112 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 392-7530; www.eatbananablossom.com This new Thai restaurant serves a range of curries, fried rice and noodle dishes and Thai favorites. Grilled salmon is topped with peanut sauce and served with vegetables and jasmine rice. For a salad, try wok-seared beef in sweet lime sauce with onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

BASIL LEAF 1438 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-9001; basilleaf.webs.com The menu combnines old favorites like pad Thai and creative house specialties. The whole-coconut curry features sea scallops and shrimp sauteed with coconut meat and eggplant in red curry, served spilling out of a coconut shell. The new basil cashew pesto is served over green tea pasta with fresh vegetables. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE EQUATOR 2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-4772; www.cafeequator.com Soups and spicy curries enliven the Thai cuisine at Cafe Equator. Diners can warm up with coconut or Thai wonton soup. The spicy Samet features fried tilapia with Thai chile sauce and vegetables. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHILL OUT CAFE 729 Burdette St., 872-9628 This cozy cafe serves Thai curries, rice and noodle dishes, lemon grass flavored soups and American breakfast plates such as eggs, sausage and toast in the morning. Tilapia is available pan seared or fried and is served with basil sauce and vegetables. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

LA THAI UPTOWN 4938 Prytania St., 899-8886; www.lathaiuptown.com This Uptown eatery offers Thai favorites and original dishes. Menu options include Thai-coon, jumbo shrimp and crawfish mixed in spicy garlic basil sauce with vegetables and fried eggplant. Chef Merlin's jumbo lump crab cake is pan seared with mixed vegetables and sweet chili glaze. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SINGHA THAI 413 Carondelet St., 581-2205 Speedy midday lunches give way to leisurely dinners at this bustling CBD eatery. Spicy tom yum soup laden with shrimp and lemon grass is a zesty prelude to peanut-dusted pad Thai. The menu also includes a bevy of curry options prepared with beef, chicken or shrimp. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

SUKHO THAI 1913 Royal St., 948-9309; www.sukhothai-nola.com Sukho Thai serves soup, noodles, curries and wok dishes all adjusted to preferred levels of spice. Curry varieties range from red, green, yellow and Kaffir lime to pineapple. Entrees include ginger duck. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

VIETNAMESE

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

DOSON NOODLE HOUSE 135 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-7283 Doson's menu offers Chinese and Vietnamese dishes. Try the pho with chicken, beef or vegetables. Appetizers include crab rangoons, spring rolls and dumplings. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

HOA HONG/9 ROSES 1100 Stephens St., Gretna, 366-7665 Sample exotic dishes such as the vermicelli noodle bowl or sugar cane shrimp (ground shrimp wrapped around a stalk of sugarcane). Some grilled beef, shrimp and squid dishes are cooked at the table. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

JAZMINE CAFE 614 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9301; www.jazminecafe.com Warm up with one of Jazmine's hot noodle soups or enjoy a vermicelli salad bowl with a choice of meat on a bed of noodles, lettuce, cilantro, shredded cucumber and pickled carrots. Rice dishes include the steak sesame plate, pan-fried tilapia and seared tuna. Weekly specials and po-boys also are available. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

KIM SON 349 Whitney Ave., Gretna, 366-2489 Kim Son offers Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, particularly Cantonese and Szechuan dishes. Popular menu items include hot-and-sour soup, Gulf fish seasoned in black bean sauce, and salt-baked shrimp, scallops and lobster. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

PHO ORCHID 3117 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 457-4188 Pho Orchid serves classic Vietnamese entrees like pho soups, rice and noodle dishes. Nuong vi plates of meat, shrimp or squid are cooked on top of braziers, and patrons are encouraged to make their own wraps with lettuce leaves and herbs. Other offerings include banh mi sandwiches and Vietnamese crepes. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

PHO TAU BAY 113 Westbank Expwy., Gretna, 368-9846 Pho Tau Bay has garnered a following for its more than 20 different varieties of pho, the Vietnamese beef broth soup topped with beef, pork or seafood. Other popular menu items include goi chon, spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce, and other rice and noodle dishes. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Wed., Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

TAN DINH 1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, 361-8008 Tan Dinh offers an extensive menu of Vietnamese cuisine, including beef- and chicken-broth soups with vermicelli noodles. Special dishes include pan-seared goat with lemon grass in spicy peanut sauce and slowly simmered goat curry topped with assorted nuts and herbs. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

THANH THANH 131 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 368-8678 Thanh Thanh prepares a wide array of Vietnamese dishes and some other Asian favorites. There are five different types of rice paper-wrapped spring rolls. Pho soups are popular. The restaurant also offers Thai dishes including pad Thai as well as some American breakfast options in the morning. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$


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click to enlarge Trout amandine is one of the seafood favorites at Mr. Eds Seafood and Italian Restaurant (910 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 463-3030; 1001 Live Oak St., 838-0022). - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo by R Squared Photography
  • Trout amandine is one of the seafood favorites at Mr. Eds Seafood and Italian Restaurant (910 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 463-3030; 1001 Live Oak St., 838-0022).
click to enlarge OBriens Grille (2020 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-7229) is known for steaks, but grilled scallops is one of the seafood options. - PHOTO BY R SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo by R Squared Photography
  • OBriens Grille (2020 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-7229) is known for steaks, but grilled scallops is one of the seafood options.
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