The 13-block strip of Bourbon Street is not all neon hustle and gigantic drinks in souvenir cups. It’s actually home to some of the most vibrant restaurants in the city — high and low, round-the-clock, world-famous — and just interesting. Here’s a quick rundown of the best food you could find on this most-visited street in the French Quarter, starting with Upper Bourbon on Canal Street and walking towards Esplanade Avenue.
Red Fish Grill
115 Bourbon St.
Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill has been around for more than 20 years, offering a child-friendly respite in the middle of the Bourbon Street chaos. It’s known for its seafood-heavy menu and good happy hour deals on the drinks and the oysters. Signature dishes include BBQ oysters and double chocolate bread pudding.
116 Bourbon St.
This longtime fast-food chain is a popular late-night stop. You should find it easily for its hulking retro facade and bright sign. Krystal serves kids’ meals, breakfast, and those popular square burgers on steamed buns 24/7.
144 Bourbon St.
An old-school seafood restaurant run by the Brennan family with a raw oyster bar and Creole fare like New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp and pasta with pork belly and crawfish tails. “If it’s not in season, you won’t find it on the menu” is a promise delivered. The Fruits de Mer from the oyster bar is quite something — with oysters, shrimp, seafood salads, and marinated crab fingers. Bourbon House also lives up to its name with a selection of small-batch and single-barrel bourbons.
209 Bourbon St.
Galatoire’s should be on everyone’s New Orleans bucket list, and it’s likely to deliver an hours-long eating and drinking extravaganza you won’t forget. Founded in 1905, the restaurant has become a fine-dining institution beloved by generations of New Orleanians as much for its old-world upscale Creole fare as for the joie de vivre scene. The decadent classics like crabmeat maison, duck crepes, foie gras, and turtle soup has been served there for over a century, and the diners from all strata of society had been lining up to get in for all the good reasons. Jackets required.
Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak
215 Bourbon St.
Galatoire’s added a steakhouse to its family of restaurants in 2013, right next door to the original. Galatoire’s 33 is named after a post marker found inside the historic building during the renovation. It serves traditional steakhouse fare.
Desire Oyster Bar
300 Bourbon St. (inside Royal Sonesta)
Redesigned in 2015, the elegant hotel restaurant has a Broadway-style marquis sign, huge windows, a tin ceiling, and black-and-white checkered floors. Besides oysters, the menu emphasizes the Gulf seafood and features New Orleans favorites like shrimp and grits, gumbo, po-boys, and fried green tomatoes.
Crescent Pizza Works
407 Bourbon St.
A late-night pizzeria at Conti St., with pies that have telling names like the Big Cheesy and Chicken Bacon Krunch. The BBQ pork pizza will chase your hangover away with pulled pork, two types of cheese, and a generous serving of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. The ever-popular Chizzaburger combines Angus beef, onions, mozzarella, pickles, ketchup, and mustard.
Pier 424 Seafood Market Restaurant
424 Bourbon St.
A seafood-focused casual eatery with balcony dining and a large oyster bar. Try the sauteed crab claws or bayou frog legs (battered, with buffalo sauce), or corn and crab bisque. The Taste of New Orleans sampler is crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, gumbo, and jambalaya.
700 Bourbon St.
Cornet, on the corner of St. Peter and Bourbon, serves traditional Cajun and Creole dishes like crab cakes, grilled gator sausage, po-boys, seafood platters, pasta, and staples like crawfish etouffee. Try the smothered shrimp and okra, or the Satchmo Sampler of jambalaya, gumbo, and red beans. Balcony seating is available.
900 Bourbon St.
A retro-classic, 24-hour diner in a city that sorely lacks them, Clover Grill “loves to fry and it shows” (as the menu states). The food is a reliable greasy-spoon fare, but you’ll be coming in at 4 a.m. as much for the scrambled eggs as the vibrant mix of its French Quarter crowd. The restaurant’s interesting existence is reflected in its no-nonsense menu, which is peppered with requests like: “We don’t eat in your bed, so please don’t sleep at our table” and “Dancing in the aisles only, please keep off the tables.”
All of these restaurants are located in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, short blocks from French Market Inn. Book a stay at our historic French Quarter boutique hotel, right in the epicenter of all of the action!