The Best Restaurants In The Garden District, New Orleans

The Best Restaurants In The Garden District, New Orleans
Known for beautiful Greek Revival homes and spacious gardens, the New Orleans Garden District is a popular spot for diners who seek to explore off the beaten path. Check out our guide to the best restaurants in this scenic neighbourhood.
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Atchafalaya was first opened in 1924 under the name Petrossi’s Restaurant, but in the 1980’s, well known restaurateur Iler Pope reintroduced the space as Cafe Atchafalaya. Pope’s new restaurant was amongst the first to put a modern spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine. Today, the restaurant’s name has been shortened to Atchafalaya and the menu continues to offer modern twists on dishes such as chicken pot pie and shrimp and grits.


After immigrating to New Orleans from Italy, Joe Casamento opened the eponymous Casamento’s in 1919. The interior is lined in glistening tiles, building on decorative traditions from his home in Italy. The menu is best known for the oyster loaves, seafood gumbo, soft shell crab and Italian specialties such as spaghetti and meatballs.

Satsuma Crusted Fish Courtesy of Commander’s Palace

Commander’s Palace

Emile Commander opened Commander’s Palace in 1880 in the Garden District. Ownership of Commander’s has changed several times, finally landing in the capable hands of Ella, Dottie, Dick, and John Brennan in 1974. Today, Commander’s Palace is a true ‘grande dame’ of New Orleans dining, attracting gourmets from all over the world and serving as a training ground for many New Orleans chefs.


Opened on the corner of Magazine Street and Washington Avenue in 2008, Coquette emphasizes locally sourced ingredients and a modern take on traditional Southern cuisine. The restaurant is housed in a historic 1880s building that has served a variety of functions ranging from grocery to auto shop to private residence. Chef Michael Stolzfus opened Coquette after working as a sous chef at John Besh’s Restaurant, August. The menu features an extensive list of beers, international wines and New Orleans cocktails.

Eleven 79

Eleven 79 is known for serving ‘New Orleans Italian Creole’, a popular cuisine in the city. The menu features specialties such as osso buco with pappardelle, Italian sausage boats, and gulf shrimp cooked in olive oil and white wine, topped with rosemary. The restaurant also has a full bar, serving popular drinks like cosmopolitans and martinis.

Emeril’s Delmonico Barbecue Shrimp Courtesy of Emeril’s Delmonico

Emeril’s Delmonico

Partially named for world-renowned New Orleans chef, Emeril Lagasse, Emeril’s Delmonico is a fresh take on an older establishment, known simply as Delmonico, that has been serving Creole food since 1895. Emeril Lagasse began his career at Commander’s Palace, another famed Garden District restaurant. Emeril’s Delmonico is conveniently located on St. Charles Avenue right off of the streetcar line, so delicious food is only a ride away.

La Petite Grocery

La Petite Grocery is named in honour of the building that houses it. The structure was first the Central Tea, Coffee, and Butter Bistro, but after a 1908 fire, in was reincarnated as Frank W. Mackie Grocer, specialising in fine foods. Today, La Petite Grocery is owned and operated by Justin and Mia Devillier.


Tucked away on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans, Lilette is a favorite amongst locals. The dining room was once an apothecary, with tile floors, a tin ceiling and cast iron columns. Chef and owner John Harris apprenticed in France at Amphyclese and Le Pre Catalin restaurants. During his time in the country, Harris also lived with the family of Lilette Mauri, who taught him to love and appreciate French cuisine.

Mr. John’s Steakhouse

Mr. John’s Steakhouse represents a meeting of some of the finest culinary minds in New Orleans, including Desi Vega, who has been trained by Ella Brennan of Commander’s Palace, Ruth Fertel of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and Emeril Lagasse. Known as one of the top steakhouses in the country, diners will not be disappointed with the succulent meat and melt-in-the-mouth side dishes.

Photo by Sara Essex Bradley

Square Root

Located on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District, Square Root is one of New Orleans’ cutting-edge dining establishments. The first floor features an open kitchen and communal dining table. The tasting menu features 12 to 15 small plates per meal for maximum flavor and experimentation. On the second floor of the restaurant is Root Squared, a full bar with artisanal cheese and charcuterie to accompany the sophisticated tipples.