Think piles and piles of crawfish, fire-engine red and steaming from the pot, with spicy corn, potatoes, carrots, and flavorful heads of garlic. Think juicy fried shrimp and catfish, with homemade sauces and Creole remoulades. Think tender, succulent redfish, tilapia, grouper, flounder, yellowjack, or any other Gulf fish: grilled, roasted, fried or baked to perfection.
In other words, think seafood. Did that give you a hankering for halibut? If so, good, because you can find fresh fish and more in abundance at many New Orleans restaurants. Some just have it on the menu, while others specialize in making a fresh catch into fantastic chow. Find out where to go to eat the best Gulf seafood in New Orleans below!
For a wide-spectrum seafood selection, try these New Orleans institutions offering a variety of dishes made with both local and exotic catches.
GW Fins, on Bienville in the French Quarter, has served up perfectly prepared dishes for eight years; the restaurant is also known for its wine list and excellent service. Ralph Brennan's Red Fish Grill, located right at the foot of Bourbon Street, is a great place to pick up some protein before hitting the town--and the Brennans know how to cook.
Speaking of Ralphs, Ralph & Kacoo's is a French Quarter staple that's been around for forty years. Try one of the house specialties: shrimp beignets topped with raspberry pepper jelly. Or dig into a Bucktown Boil Pizza at Deanie's Seafood on Iberville--it's a white pie supporting a generous serving of shrimp, crawfish and crabmeat and topped with mozzarella.
If you're in the Warehouse District, head to Grand Isle, a spacious, Louisiana-themed upscale dining experience offering local cuisine and photos of the bayou to create a genuine atmosphere.
You're on a marine mission, and you know what you want. If it's all shrimp, all the time, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is your obvious destination. Inspired by Forrest Gump, this playful restaurant focuses on the "fruit of the sea," and offers more variations than you'd think possible. There's lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwiches...just like Bubba's momma herself would have made.
Oyster fiends, relax--there are plenty of places for you to gulp down a cold platter or dig into a fried plateful. Acme Oyster House is perhaps New Orleans' most famous crustacean contributor. Don't fear the line: it moves quickly, and the end result is well worth the wait. Or try different flavors at Royal House Oyster Bar, one of the largest in New Orleans. Desire Oyster Bar, with an iconic Broadway-style marquee on Bourbon, is another destination to satisfy your oyster craving.
Once you've filled up on seafood, it's time to take a break and make room for dessert. We'll give you till next week, when we feature New Orleans' most famous desserts!
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