Located in New Orleans’ West Bank suburbs, Marrero’s varied dining scene is proof you needn’t cross the Mississippi for first-rate local eats. From upscale Cajun-Creole cuisine and Southern seafood to authentic sushi and traditional Italian, we round-up Marrero, Louisiana’s best local restaurants.
Located within the beautiful, Spanish mission-style grounds of the Hope Haven Center, Cafe Hope is a fine-dining venue in the heart of Marrero. There’s more to the restaurant than just its delicious, Southern-inspired cuisine: it also doubles as a culinary school giving young at risk adults training in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Cafe Hope’s daily lunch specials include the likes of fried catfish with sweet potato steak fries, greens and spicy sauce. Its Friday night supper menu sees starters like chicken and sausage gumbo paired with entrees such as country fried pork tenderloin with white gravy.
Daiwa Sushi Bar & Japanese Cuisine’s executive chef and manger together bring over 20 years of experience working in Japanese restaurants. This much-loved Marrero restaurant has an expertly crafted menu and karaoke rooms. There’s so much sushi to choose from that guests will be spoiled for choice. Daiwa’s creativity comes into play with locally themed rolls like the Po’ boy Special (shrimp tempura, softshell crab tempura, crawfish, snow crab and smelt roe with eel sauce and spicy mayo), and there’s plenty of heartier offerings like yaki soba and BBQ eel hibachi rice.
The Olive Branch Cafe serves up some of the best loved Italian fare in the West Bank. With only the finest ingredients used and pizza dough prepared fresh in-house each day, guests are guaranteed a deliciously authentic meal at the casual, homey restaurant. Start with appetizers like spinach cannoli and pesto bites before feasting on entrees like classic lasagna and pasta jambalaya, or opt for a hearty sub sandwich or gourmet pizza like the Cajun trio topped with smoked sausage, chicken, crawfish and a zesty sauce.
The Bistro is a venue which combines freshly baked sweet treats with tasty lunchtime dining. Classic local eats like po’boys and muffaletta make up The Bistro’s menu alongside salads, nachos and homemade chili. A visit wouldn’t be complete without indulging in at least one of Meiko’s cookies and specialty pastries. Choose from cookie flavors like chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and strawberry, or opt for a chocolate eclair or cream cheese brownie.
Sal’s Seafood has a laid-back, no-frills ethos: plates are a rarity and seafood is dished out onto newspaper covered picnic tables. Enjoy hearty servings of crawfish, crab and shrimp and team with sides like jambalaya, potato salad and seafood deviled eggs, or opt for a po’boy crammed with fillings like homemade roast beef and hot sausage patty.
Cajun Daiquiri & Cafe looks more like a rural Louisiana gas station than a restaurant but it serves some of the best Cajun eats in all of Marrero. Lunch is a simple affair with daily specials like fried catfish fillets and smothered rabbit. The cafe’s dinner menu features dishes like roast beef po’boys, seafood gumbo, BBQ ribs and Cajun-style frog legs. Finish with a refreshing daiquiri: there are many flavors like banana, watermelon and the chocolate-infused ‘Cajun kiss.’
As its name might suggest, there’s more than just coffee at Coffee & — a casual, family-owned diner. While its coffee is great and the perfect accompaniment to its donuts and pastries, diners making more than just a fleeting visit can get a hearty kick-start to their day with breakfast sandwiches and specials like steak and eggs, waffles and French toast. Lunch and dinner dishes range from Southern classics like po’boys and fried catfish to handmade burgers and specialty sandwiches, though if you’re craving an omelet late at night, fear not — Coffee &’s breakfast fare is served 24/7.
Nestled on the edges of Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve, Restaurant des Familles is a charming venue focusing on upscale, authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine. Century-old moss-draped oak trees lead up to the beautiful Acadian-style property and a stylish, spacious dining room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows offering gorgeous views of Restaurant des Familles’ picturesque bayou-side location. Standout appetizers include the charbroiled oysters and alligator stuffed mushrooms, and while Restaurant des Familles’ entrees are largely seafood focused — think grilled shrimp with jalapeño-cheddar grits and deep-fried softshell crab topped with crawfish tails — the menu also features meaty mains like baby back ribs and Cajun-style ribeye.
Perino’s Boiling Pot is where the locals go to get their fix of Southern-style seafood staples. Start with small bites like crawfish boudin and fried calamari before chowing down on huge portions of boiled crab, crawfish and shrimp or one of Perino’s fried seafood baskets — oysters, catfish and crab claws included. Make-your-own po’boys feature on the menu too alongside salads, sides and oysters on the half shell.
Diners looking for an alternative to Marrero’s Cajun and Creole-focused restaurants may want to take a trip to La Hacienda de Leon — a casual Mexican and Tex Mex venue. Try appetizers like Mexican bean soup with chorizo, cilantro and bacon or breaded jalapeños stuffed with Monterrey cheese. Follow on with delicious mains like the spicy camerones a la diabla deviled shrimp (butterfly shrimp grilled with chipotle peppers and served with cheese sauce, avocado and Spanish rice) or La Hacienda de Leon’s secret recipe chicken mole.