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5FIFTY5Marriott Hotel, 555 Canal St., 553-5638; www.555canal.comChef Mark Quitney puts an upscale spin on comfort food and gives Creole classics fresh twists. His pan-seared Gulf snapper is served with tomato okra stew and crawfish polenta while his lobster mac and cheese is a signature dish. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BAMBU AT HARRAH'S CASINO4 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahsneworleans.comInside Harrah's New Orleans Casino, Bambu offers a full sushi bar and a large selection of pan-Asian dishes. Specialties from the kitchen include Cantonese barbecued duck, honey-wasabi shrimp and pecan-battered shrimp. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BESH STEAK AT HARRAH'S4 Canal St., 533-6111; www.harrahsneworleans.comThose on a lucky streak can reward themselves with an aged 18-oz. New York strip steak served with blue cheese butter. For a good opening bet, try the oysters casino, roasted with bacon, garlic and parsley. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BON TON CAFE401 Magazine St., 524-3386; www.thebontoncafe.comSince it opened in the 1950s, the Bon Ton has been a destination for traditional Cajun flavor. The crawfish etouffee is served over parsley rice. Namesake redfish Bon Ton is seared, finished in the broiler and served with lemon butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$$

THE BUFFET AT HARRAH'S 8 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahsneworleans.comThe regular lineup at this casino buffet includes pastas, boiled seafood, steaks and plenty of desserts, but watch for weekly specials too. Monday is football-themed tailgating night with favorites from the grill. Tuesday is taco night and Thursday is Dungeness crab night. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards. $$

CAJUN MIKE'S PUB 'N' GRUB 116 Baronne St., 566-0055; www.cajunmikes.comThis tavern has earned a loyal following with specialty sandwiches like Maria's Cuban with roasted pulled pork, ham, Swiss, mustard and pickles. The bar snacks range from onion rings to boudin balls. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

COVENANT CAFE1515 Poydras St., 522-3335; The Covenant House's cafe and job-training program offers breakfast, sandwiches, wraps and salads. Hot lunches are available daily, including the popular roasted half chicken with a choice of two sides. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

CRYSTAL ROOM AT LE PAVILLON833 Poydras St., 620-8899; Diners can feast on New Orleans and Southern favorites like gumbo and crab cakes at this elegant establishment. Locals and hotel guests alike enjoy the expansive breakfast buffet. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

CUVEE 322 Magazine St., 587-9001; Cuvee serves contemporary Creole fare with hints of French and Spanish cuisine. The duck entree features Steen's-cured smoked breast, confit leg, walnut blue cheese risotto, Hudson Valley foie gras and pear glace. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

DIXIE GYRO110 Carondelet St., 523-6614This casual Greek joint serves up gyros, kebabs, falafel, and other Mediterranean options. It also offers breakfast all day long. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

DOMENICA123 Baronne St., 648-6020; Located in the Roosevelt Hotel, chef John Besh's rustic Italian dishes combine imported Italian cured meats and cheeses with local ingredients, such as pork from pigs raised on the Northshore for his restaurants. Dishes include tagliatelle with rabbit ragu and porcini mushrooms. Many pastas are made in house. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ESPRESSO EXPRESS One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., Suite 116, 524-5115CBD workers appreciate breakfast burritos, pastries and quick lunch options like salads, wraps and panini. The turkey, Monterey chicken and club wraps are popular lunchtime meals. Deli sandwiches and soups also are offered. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

THE GRILL ROOM AT THE WINDSOR COURT 300 Gravier St., 522-1994; www.windsorcourthotel.comChef Drew Dzejak prepares dishes like lobster Parmesan gnocchi served with wild mushrooms, basil and beurre monte. For weekend brunch, try the grilled Ashley Farms chicken breast and white sausage gravy over a waffle, or the marinated Louisiana Gulf shrimp and crab salad with avocado, tomato and croutons. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

HANDSOME WILLY'S PATIO BAR218 S. Robertson St., 525-0377; www.handsomewillys.comThe site of an illicit 1930s nightspot, Handsome Willy's now offers simple pleasures like beer, hot dogs, and roast beef and pulled pork sandwiches. On Fridays, there is free food on the patio. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

LE FORET 129 Camp St., 553-6738; www.leforetneworleans.comThis elegant downtown restaurant serves updated New Orleans classics and has a deep repertoire of American and continental dishes. Entrees include caramelized American red snapper with lobster, and pan-roasted breast of Peking duck. The trio of farm-raised rabbit includes a roasted rack with almonds, a loin stuffed with chorizo and a braised leg over pasta with peeled grapes. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

LIBORIO CUBAN RESTAURANT 321 Magazine St., 581-9680; www.liboriocuban.comLiborio specializes in dishes from old Havana. The bistec Cubana is seasoned with garlic, lime and herbs and served with onions, parsley, sweet green plantains, black beans and rice. Reservations for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LUKE RESTAURANT333 St. Charles Ave., 378-2840; www.lukeneworleans.comLuke 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 fries. The jumbo shrimp en cocotte comes atop creamy white corn grits with Poche's andouille. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$.

MILA817 Common St., 412-2580; www.milaneworleans.comChefs Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing reinvent Southern and Creole dishes. For an entree, try the roasted sweetbreads with black truffle grits and bacon jus. The lamb loin roasted over pine needles was recently featured in Food Arts. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MOTHER'S RESTAURANT401 Poydras St., 523-9656; www.mothersrestaurant.netThe 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. $$

P & G RESTAURANT345 Baronne St., 525-9678This CBD lunch spot boasts a large menu of po-boys stuffed with fried seafood and lunch plates of fried shrimp or catfish. The seafood platter comes with shrimp, oysters, catfish, crab cakes and a choice of potato salad, french fries or baked macaroni. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

RAMBLA217 Camp St., 587-7720; www.ihhotel.comFind Spanish and French-inspired small plates at this restaurant in the International House hotel. House-made sausage meets duck confit cassoulet, and a blood sausage-topped flatbread is served with caramelized onions and arugula. Serrano ham and farmers cheese complement spiced red wine-poached pears. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

RESTAURANT AUGUST301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777; de cuisine Michael Gulotta heads this John Besh flagship restaurant featuring a seasonal menu of contemporary Louisiana dishes. A cast-iron roasted veal chop is paired with acorn squash tortellini and glazed baby root vegetables. Slow-cooked Mangalitsa hog is served with local satsumas, picholine olives and Tuscan kale. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

ROLY POLYOne Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., 561-9800; www.rolypoly.comA wide variety of gourmet wraps take the stage at this sandwich shop, from roast beef and turkey to vegetarian options and smoked pork. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

ROOSEVELT HOTEL123 Baronne St., 648-1200; www.therooseveltneworleans.comLive jazz accompanies Sunday brunch in the Blue Room, where diners will find everything from crabmeat omelets and banana nut waffles to roasted chicken and pork loin. For dessert, there's traditional bread pudding. Reservations accepted. Brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

THE SAZERAC RESTAURANTRoosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne St., 648-5486; www.therooseveltneworleans.comThere's more than cocktails at the Sazerac. Try dishes such as Colorado lamb chops with creamed shallots and pepper jus, steak frites with green peppercorn sauce and grilled tuna with bean ragout and lemon and parsley relish. There also are tasting plates to share. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

SERIO'S PO-BOYS & DELI133 St. Charles Ave., 523-2668 Mike Serio's LSU shrine is known for large po-boys and muffulettas. Order them with grilled chicken or corned beef or get a french fry po-boy with gravy. New Orleans classics like gumbo and spicy jambalaya round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

SHULA'S STEAK HOUSE614 Canal St., 586-7211; www.shulas.comOnly Prime Black Angus beef makes the cut at Hall of Fame coach Don Shula's namesake chain. Select from flash-fried lobster tail and barbecued shrimp to start, or tackle the three-pound porterhouse, whose conquerors are invited to join Shula's 48-oz. Club. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

SINGHA THAI413 Carondelet St., 581-2205Businesspeople and downtown workers flock to Singha for a fast and satisfying midday Thai fix. The tom kha soup features lemongrass and white meat chicken in aromatic coconut broth. Yellow, green and red curries are prepared with a choice of beef, chicken or shrimp. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

STEVE'S DINERPlace St. Charles, 201 St. Charles Ave., Suite 210, 522-8198;'s offers breakfast, diner classics and char-grilled half-pound burgers. Slow-roasted beef brisket is served with gravy made with drippings. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

THE STORE814 Gravier St., 322-2446; www.thestoreneworleans.comThis cozy CBD cafe serves creative sandwiches and burgers such as the Funky Blue, which tops Angus beef with crumbled blue cheese, caramelized onions and horseradish Dijon mustard on a Kaiser onion bun. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

TERRAZU Place St. Charles, 201 St. Charles Ave., 287-0877This vegan-friendly cafe and coffeehouse keeps CBD diners caffeinated with coffee, tea and espresso drinks. The Chicago press, a sandwich of prime rib, caramelized onions, grilled red pepper and cheese, is a midday option, or choose from the selection of salads, soups, sandwiches and pastries. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

VERANDA AT THE HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL444 St. Charles Ave., 585-4383Hourly second-line parades and unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys liven Sunday brunch at the Veranda. Seafood omelets and bread pudding are crowd favorites. A lunch buffet offers a different flavors (including Indian, Italian and various Asian cuisines) daily. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

WELTY'S DELI336 Camp St., 592-0223; www.weltysdeli.comThis funky CBD restaurant features daily specials like corn and crab soup and Cajun duck po-boys, but the real stars of the menu are the classic deli sandwiches. The traditional Reuben features thin-sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese and fresh sauerkraut served on marbled rye bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and company checks. $

ZOE RESTAURANTW Hotel, 333 Poydras St., 207-5018; www.starwoodhotels.comZoe serves up New Orleans-inspired contemporary entrees in a stylish setting. Popular entrees include spice-dusted redfish and Zoe pasta, which combines angel hair pasta, shrimp and crawfish. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$


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