Here is a list of the 500 best dishes currently being served in New Orleans restaurants. Click on any of them to find a detailed rumination on why we think these plates are so satisfying, and possibly a photo.
I constantly update the list as new dishes appear and old ones vanish, improve or decline. With a conservative estimate of 20,000 different menu items around town (including the hundreds of variations on, say, gumbo) that put these 500 are in the top two or three percent.
Ratings are on a five-star scale. It would take a much longer list to get down to dishes rated two stars or lower. (They are out there lurking, however.) Within a rating, all the dishes are in alphabetical order.