Dozen Best Restaurant Rows
It’s a curiosity of restaurant geography that when many restaurants are in the same few blocks, they don’t compete with one another as much as they help business. Seems that when a neighborhood has many restaurant, it sticks in diners’ minds more effectively.
Here are the dozen best such clusters around town. They are ranked by the quality of the restaurants found in the defined area. The geographical criterion for including an area in this list is whether you would consider walking between the two restaurants farthest apart in the neighborhood. Of course, there is a bit of arbitrariness about this, but such matters can’t be defined precisely. I also have left out fast-food and other minor players.
1. The tic-tac-toe of streets centered on the block bounded by Bourbon, Conti, Royal, and Iberville. One five-star, five four-star restaurants. Mr. B’s, Bourbon House, Pelican Club, GW Fins, Arnaud’s, Remoulade, Galatoire’s, Desire Bistro, La Bayou, Felix’s, Red Fish Grill, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Acme Oyster House.
2. First 10 blocks of Tchoupitoulas. Two five-star restaurants! Three four-stars. Restaurant August, Windsor Court Grill Room, Mother’s, Zoe, Cafe Adelaide, Lucy’s Retired Surfer Grill, La Cote Brasserie, Tommy’s, Tomasita’s, Emeril’s, A Mano, Cochon.
3. The tic-tac-toe of streets centered on the block bounded by Chartres, Toulouse, Royal, and St. Louis. Four four-star establishments, three of which are among the city’s most famous eateries. Brennan’s, Rib Room, K-Paul’s, Antoine’s, Court of Two Sisters, Nola, Ralph & Kacoo’s, Maspero’s, Napoleon House, Alpine, Johnny’s Po-Boys.
4. Riverbend area. Great bistros, including three four-star places. Brigtsen’s, Dante’s Kitchen, Sara’s, One Restaurant, Hana, O’Henry’s, Camellia Grill, Jazmine Cafe, Barcelona Tapas, Refuel, GB’s Patio Grill, Cooter Brown’s, Vincent’s, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen.
5. Two-diagonal-block radius of Carrollton at Canal. An almost incredible collection of ethnic variety. Cafe Minh, Doson’s Noodle House, Rue 127, Juicy Lucy’s, Venezia, New York Pizza, Angelo Brocato, Little Tokyo, Mandina’s, Redemption, Mandina’s, Ruby Slipper, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Taqueria Guerrero.
6. Magazine Street from Washington to Louisiana Avenues. Coquette, Café Rani, Sake Café, Gott Gourmet, Golden Dragon, Joey K’s, Rum House, Sucre, La Divina Gelateria, Byblos, Rocky’s, Salu, Bulldog, Nacho Mama’s, Reginelli’s.
7. Lakeside Mall area. Impastato’s, Morning Call, La Madeleine, Drago’s, Kanno, Crazy Johnnie’s, Korea House, Salvatore’s, Casablanca, Andrea’s (a long walk from the others, but I’ve done it), Bozo’s.
8. Frenchmen Street from Esplanade to Dauphine, plus a block on either side. Marigny Brasserie, Alberto’s, Snug Harbor, Wasabi, Mona’s, Al Forno, Mojitos, Cafe Istanbul, Praline Connection, La Peniche, Yuki Izakaya, Sukho Thai, 13 restaurant.
9. The L-shaped strip of S. Carrollton Avenue from Jeanette to Oak, plus four blocks of Oak uptown of Carrollton. Jacques-Imo’s, Squeal, Ninja, Basil Leaf, Lebanon’s Café, Cafe Granada, Café Nino, Boucherie, Curry Corner.
10. Maple Street. Maple Street Cafe, Bruno’s, Phillip’s, Fresco, Figaro’s, Doors, Jamila’s, Babylon Cafe, Ciro’s Cote Sud, Thai Singh.
11. Harrison Avenue, West End Blvd. to City Park. Steak Knife, Mondo, Lakeview Deli, Lakeview Harbor, Nola Beans, Reginelli’s, El Gato Negro, Koz’s.
12. “Skinny City,” the stretch of Metairie Road centered in the 2100 block. Vega Tapas Café, Mark Twain Pizza Landing, Oscar’s, Great Wall, Chateau du Lac.