Welcome to MetroGuide.Network's New Orleans DiningGuide,
a directory of restaurants and related restaurant information for Metropolitan New Orleans, Louisiana. Use MetroGuide's DiningGuide service to find New Orleans restaurants by location or cuisine.
New Orleans restaurants -- renowned for "lagniappe" as a little something extra -- go out of their way to put the "bons" in bons temps -- French Cajun for good times. Crescent City culinary styles are every bit as distinct as Big Easy architecture and music. Yet categorization can be elusive, with both Acadian ("Cajun") and Creole frequently blending into a fusion of flavor defying comparison. Cajun sustenance comes from the bayou country of southwest Louisiana, whereas Creole dishes are a cosmopolitan blend from Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Louisiana cooking as a whole is dominated by multicultural overlap extending back 300 years, heavy on French persuasion from before and after the 1789 revolution. Spicing up the historical mix are underlying influences from Native Americans, and more recently creeping into the melting pot are tastes of Italy, Germany, Eastern Europe and now Asia. Resulting is an entirely new dimension in taste sensation, especially for fresh catch from the wetlands and Gulf of Mexico. Among myriad specialties, New Orleans' Creole signature dish is gumbo, made with shrimp, crabs, crawdads, or a mix of meat and sausage (often Cajun Andouille), where stock is thickened with Native American file spice, okra and tomato. Jambalaya, a spicy mix of seafood, sausage, spice and rice, is New Orleans' version of Spain's paella. Sauce Piquante is a tomato-based stew with turtle, rabbit, or alligator. Entrees featuring crawdads are popular whether presented in high-end enclaves as Crawfish Etouffee, or in earthier quarters as Mudbug Stew. New Orleans has a stellar line-up of icon restaurants and celebrity chefs. It was at the famed Brennan's where flaming rum spooned over bananas and vanilla ice cream were first concocted to become Bananas Foster. When New Orleans Chef Paul Prudhomme transformed the long-time Cajun favorite of blackened redfish into a world-wide craze (creating Big Easy supply / demand challenges), chefs everywhere took to blackening chicken, veal and just about everything they could stuff into a skillet. However varied the New Orleans dining scene, no visit to the Crescent City could be considered complete without a stop at the riverside Caf� du Monde, established in 1862 as a French Market coffee stand and open 24/7, except for Christmas and hurricanes. Here chicory-flavored caf� au lait in serviceable mugs tastes all the richer when accompanied by those little square Creole pastries called beignets, fried to crusty perfection and -- in true lagniappe style -- dusted like snow with powdered sugar.