The 20 Best Restaurants For Dates In New Orleans That Locals Love

French Quarter, wine glasses, food
French Quarter, wine glasses, food - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

New Orleans is for lovers. At least, that's what I'd say. While the Big Easy isn't necessarily undeserving of its party town stereotype, it's also impossibly charming: Spanish moss hanging from the stretching live oaks; the cool hook of the Mississippi River; the gas lanterns, colorful shutters, and wrought-iron balconies of the French Quarter. It's the perfect city for a romantic evening, and its restaurants are no different.

I spent a few years living in New Orleans, during which time I also cooked in a few amazing restaurants. I was also lucky enough to fall in love and go on quite a few dates while I was here. In this guide, I take you through some of my absolute favorite date night restaurants in NOLA so you can get started planning the perfect date night with a lucky someone. You might even string a few of these restaurants together to make your own New Orleans food tour.

Read more: Restaurant Foods That Always Taste Better Than What You Make At Home

Angelo Brocato

Cannoli cream, white plate, coffee
Cannoli cream, white plate, coffee - angelobrocatoicecream/Instagram

Angelo Brocato, which you'll find in New Orleans' Mid-City neighborhood, has by far the best Italian dessert in town. Its menu features a variety of gelato flavors, including chocolate, pistachio almond, and tiramisu, alongside classic Italian pastries like cannoli and biscotti. The cozy, vintage parlor is adorned with nostalgic decor, reminiscent of its heyday of the 1920s.

It's an ideal NOLA date spot for couples looking to enjoy something sweet, creamy, and refreshing in a romantic, old-world ambiance. Warm up with a cappuccino or cool down with a cup of gelato, and take a load off on the old-school iron chairs. This is a great pit stop for a sweet treat after going on a walk through City Park or a scenic streetcar ride down Carrollton.

angelobrocatoicecream.com

(504) 486-1465

214 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

Bacchanal Wine

Charcuterie, fish, wine, cheese
Charcuterie, fish, wine, cheese - stevens395/Instagram

Located in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans, Bacchanal is a unique wine shop and outdoor music venue that is one of the best tucked-away gems in this eastern neighborhood. The menu, which often changes, features Mediterranean-inspired small plates, cheeses, and charcuterie, complemented by an extensive selection of wines from around the world. Buy wine by the bottle at the store inside before you head to the food window outside and place your order.

There is a relaxed and lively aura that buzzes about Bacchanal, with vibey live jazz performances enhancing the vibrant, bohemian scene here. The open-air courtyard, strung with twinkling lights and lush greenery, gets even more romantic as the Sun goes down and the sky turns pink over the river — making Bacchanal an impressive but approachable date spot.

bacchanalwine.com

(504) 948-9111

600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Brigtsen's Restaurant

Peach bread pudding, hot sauce
Peach bread pudding, hot sauce - Brigtsen's Restaurant/Facebook

Brigtsen's Restaurant is renowned for its homestead atmosphere and exceptional Creole cuisine. The restaurant, which is located in the Riverbend neighborhood of Uptown New Orleans, features classic yet inventive New Orleans food like blackened yellowfin tuna, butternut shrimp bisque, and duck with a modern twist on traditional Creole recipes. Chef Frank Brigtsen and his wife, Marna Brigtsen, opened this spot in 1986, and he's since accrued numerous accolades for his food, including winning America's Best Chef: Southeast by the James Beard Foundation.

The intimate, cottage-style setting of Brigtsen's, combined with friendly, attentive service, creates a warm and inviting ambiance.  Brigtsen's is an excellent date spot, perfect for couples looking to enjoy a romantic dinner with finesse-ful but classic Louisiana food in a charming and chill uptown hideaway.

brigtsens.com

(504) 861-7610

723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Cane & Table

Steak frites, green sauce, plate
Steak frites, green sauce, plate - caneandtable/Instagram

Cane & Table cooks up a fusion of Caribbean and New Orleans flavors. Owned by bartenders Neal Bodenheimer, Kirk Estopinal, and chef Alfredo Nogueira, this spot is situated in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Its menu features creative small plates like crawfish croquetas and entrees like crispy braised ribs, paired with an extensive selection of mostly rum-based cocktails.

The ambiance is relaxed yet vibrant, with a rustic, tropical decor that evokes the feel of Old Havana — especially the back patio with fluttering tropical trees and yellow bricks. The combination of delicious food, inventive drinks, and a lively atmosphere makes Cane & Table a knock-out date spot on the casual side that gives both a setting and libations to carry on a conversation about.

caneandtablenola.com

(504) 581-1112

1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Comperè Lapin

Fried softshell crab, plate, table
Fried softshell crab, plate, table - comperelapin/Instagram

Compère Lapin, located in the Warehouse District of New Orleans, is a sophisticated restaurant offering a blend of Caribbean, Creole, and European flavors. Helmed by chef Nina Compton, a James Beard Award winner and a "Top Chef" finalist, Compère Lapin opened in 2015. Born in St. Lucia, chef Compton draws on her Caribbean heritage and classical French and Italian training to create innovative and flavorful items.

The restaurant features items like New Orleans-style shrimp and grits, curried goat with sweet potato gnocchi, and blackened pig ears with smoked aioli, alongside creative cocktails. The atmosphere is chic yet welcoming, with an elegant dining room that combines rustic and modern elements: think, wooden tables and exposed brick walls. Compère Lapin is a swanky date spot, great for a stylish but intimate dinner from a chef-forward kitchen.

comperelapin.com

(504) 599-2119

535 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Daiwa Marrero

Sea salt white fish sashimi
Sea salt white fish sashimi - daiwamarrero/Instagram

Daiwa Marrero, located in Marrero, a small town just 15 or so minutes from New Orleans' city center, focuses on traditional Japanese cuisine and sushi. The menu includes fresh sushi rolls, hibachi plates, and a variety of special seafood sashimi, like fatty tuna belly (aka toro), made super fresh and soigné. The atmosphere is approachable, but still sleek. There are frilly, soft light fixtures hanging from the black ceiling, with contrasting pine accents around the dining room.

This restaurant has become a local favorite since opening, with some of the best sushi in South Louisiana. The fish is always fresh and high-quality, and the cocktails are fun and playful. Daiwa Marrero is a lovely date spot if you're looking to get out of the city for something a little different.

daiwamarrero.com

(504) 875-4203

5033 Lapalco Blvd, Marrero, LA 70072

Galatoire's Restaurant

Oysters Rockefeller, white plate, table
Oysters Rockefeller, white plate, table - galatoiresnola/Instagram

Right in the middle of Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is a historic and elegant restaurant known for its classic Creole cuisine: Galatoire's. The restaurant's menu features timeless New Orleanian food, such as shrimp remoulade, oysters Rockefeller, and crab Yvonne.

The atmosphere exudes old-world niceties with its white tablecloths, tuxedoed waitstaff, and lively, bustling dining room. So if you're coming here, make sure you come correct: There's a dress code, but it's worth getting dolled up for. Eating at Galatoire's is a trip back to a golden era in time. This combination of rich culinary heritage and sophisticated ambiance makes Galatoire's an ideal date spot for a couple who wants to experience the traditional flavors of New Orleans in a fancy setting that screams "special occasion."

galatoires.com

(504) 525-2021

209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jacques-Imo's

Shrimp and alligator cheesecake
Shrimp and alligator cheesecake - Jacques Imo's/Facebook

Jacques-Imo's Cafe, located in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans, is celebrated for its vibrant and eclectic atmosphere. Jacques-Imo's is owned by Jacques "Jack" Leonardi. Alongside his wife, Amelia, he opened the restaurant in 1996 after working as a chef at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. Leonardi's vision for Jacques-Imo's was to create a place that serves authentic "Nawlins" cuisine in a lively, eclectic atmosphere.

The menu features hearty New Orleans-style Creole and Cajun plates, such as alligator sausage and shrimp cheesecake, fried chicken, and blackened redfish. The tight, buzzy dining room and delicious, soulful food make Jacques-Imo's a great date spot for couples who want a fun and laid-back dinner with a very New-Orleans-y feel.

jacques-imos.com

(504) 861-0886

8324 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Jewel Of The South

Scotch eggs with yellow sauce
Scotch eggs with yellow sauce - jewelnola/Instagram

Jewel of the South, nestled in the French Quarter of New Orleans, strikes a balance between refined and historic, set in a 19th-century Creole cottage. The menu, curated by chef Philip Whitmarsh, features fresh Louisiana ingredients with an English twist, including items like caviar and wagyu beef tongue. The cocktail program, led by James Beard Award-winning bartender Chris Hannah, highlights classics like the Sazerac and brandy crusta, as well as innovative drinks using Gulf Coast produce — maybe a little fancier than a frozen daiquiri NOLA date?

The atmosphere is elegant and intimate, with a blend of vintage decor and modern touches, creating a romantic setting perfect for a date. The lush courtyard and vaulted dining room add to the glitz; it's a comfortable yet sophisticated environment.

jewelnola.com

(504) 265-8816

1026 Saint Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Jolie

Spring salad, chervil croutons, frisee
Spring salad, chervil croutons, frisee - jolierestaurant/Instagram

Jolie is a chic cocktail lounge and brasserie. Opened in December 2023 in the Warehouse District, it occupies a space previously used by World of Beer. The establishment is a collaboration between Andrew Duncan and brothers Chris and Mark Beardon of the Dallas-based hospitality group SBBC, and it aims to blend elegance with a relaxed atmosphere.

The restaurant's menu features French-inspired small plates perfect for a loungey, shared plate date, including savory beignets, frogs' legs, and foie gras toast. The cocktail program offers both classic and creative drinks, with a little bit of something for everybody. The ambiance is designed to be inviting and sophisticated, with modern and classic design elements.

jolie-nola.com

(504) 766-7233

324 Julia St, New Orleans, LA 70130

MaMou

Heirloom tomato, peaches, burrata
Heirloom tomato, peaches, burrata - mamou.nola/Instagram

MaMou is a modern French brasserie located in the Upper French Quarter of New Orleans. The menu, crafted by chef Tom Branighan, features items like braised celery hearts with beef tongue and Gulf fish court bouillon, blending French techniques with Southern Louisiana influences. The atmosphere is lively and elegant, with a contemporary decor that reflects its European inspirations.

The cool ambiance, combined with the refined cuisine, makes MaMou an excellent date spot. It's perfect for couples looking to enjoy a sophisticated meal with rich, butter-loaded plates in a stylish setting. Whether you're enjoying a glass of wine at the bar or savoring a full dinner, MaMou leaves us with something memorable to share in the heart of the Quarter​.

mamounola.com

(504) 381-4557

942 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Mosca's

Roasted chicken, rosemary, angel hair
Roasted chicken, rosemary, angel hair - Mosca's Restaurant/Facebook

Mosca's in Westwego is a legendary Italian restaurant known for its rich history and delicious family-style food. Established in 1946, this family-owned eatery offers a rustic and nostalgic dining experience. The menu features Sicilian-Italian plates like oysters Mosca, shrimp Mosca, chicken a la Grande, and spaghetti bordelaise, all prepared with traditional recipes passed down through generations.

The atmosphere at Mosca's is breezy and unpretentious, with a vintage, homey dining room that transports diners back to the 1950s. The interior remains largely unchanged, maintaining its authentic feel. The restaurant is cash-only and reservations are highly recommended due to its popularity. Mosca's is a classic date spot for couples seeking something truly unique and idiosyncratic. There's perhaps no place else in the world quite like it.

moscasrestaurant.com

(504) 436-8950

4137 US Hwy 90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

Mosquito Supper Club

Platter of oysters on ice
Platter of oysters on ice - mosquitosupperclub/Instagram

Mosquito Supper Club, tucked away on a quiet Uptown street, offers an immersive Cajun menu reflective of what owner Melissa Martin has dubbed "a disappearing bayou." The restaurant, open seasonally from September to June, aims to "celebrate the bounty of [local] shrimpers, oyster fishermen, crabbers, and farmers," per its website. The communal, multi-course tasting menu — which changes every season — features seafood and vegetable-forward plates that honor the traditions and flavors of Louisiana bayou cuisine, such as crawfish étouffée and fried stuffed crabs.

The atmosphere at Mosquito Supper Club is homey, set in a residential space with a cozy bar and an outdoor courtyard, making it a unique and romantic place for date night. The restaurant emphasizes sustainability and local sourcing, providing a dinner experience like no other. Book your reservations way in advance — spots fill up quick.

mosquitosupperclub.com

3824 Dryades St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Palm & Pine

Roasted chanterelle sopes, corn, basil
Roasted chanterelle sopes, corn, basil - palmandpinenola/Instagram

Palm & Pine, another Upper Quarter haunt, is an eclectic and soulful restaurant. Its menu explores flavors of Louisiana, the American South, and influences from the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. With a kitchen helmed by chef couple Amarys and Jordan Herndon, the menu includes items like Texas BBQ shrimp and grilled pork steak, complemented by classic and original cocktails featuring agave and cane spirits, new-world wines, and regional beers.

The atmosphere here is casual yet sophisticated: The interior blends rustic charm with a few modern touches, making it an ideal date spot for something funky and full of finesse. Plus, Palm & Pine's extended "Late Nite" hours make it a perfect destination for soigné bar food.

palmandpinenola.com

(504) 814-6200

308 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Paladar 511

Hanger steak with creamer potato
Hanger steak with creamer potato - paladar511/Instagram

Paladar 511 in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans is a charming and casual restaurant known for its housemade pastas, pizzas, and seasonal local produce. The menu includes small plates like hamachi crudo and beef tartar, along with larger items such as pappardelle with spicy pork sausage ragu and wagyu flat iron steak. Weekend brunch features items like farm egg pizza and lemon ricotta pancakes.

The atmosphere at Paladar 511 is warm and inviting, featuring industrial-chic digs with an open kitchen that adds something fun to watch while you eat. Paladar is great for two or a group of couples at the private mezzanine, a shrouded space overlooking the bustling dining room.

paladar511.com

(504) 509-6782

511 Marigny St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Saint-Germain

Hay aged squab grilled
Hay aged squab grilled - saintgermainnola/Instagram

The Bywater's Saint-Germain has one of the best prix fixe menus in the city. This French wine bar and bistro features a reservation-only, 10-course tasting menu that highlights seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, manipulated and cooked in inventive ways. The menu frequently changes, focusing on techniques like fermenting, braising, and smoking to enhance the flavors of the produce and proteins.

The vibe at Saint-Germain is meant to be reminiscent of dining in a chef's home, with a quaint dining room and a garden patio wine bar that offers a selection of natural wines, cocktails, and beers. There's a lot at Saint-Germain that makes it romantic and timeless.

saintgermainnola.com

(504) 218-8729

3054 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Tana

Various Italian dishes on table
Various Italian dishes on table - tanaitalian/Instagram

Tana in Old Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, is an upscale Italian restaurant blending the flavors of Louisiana, Sicily, and Liguria. Helmed by chef Michael Gulotta of the storied restaurants Mopho and Maypop, Tana offers a menu rich in both creativity and tradition. Notable menu items include radiatori with red gravy and Calabrian chili crisp, pasta con vongole with squid ink trenette, and the roast chicken alla Tana, inspired by Gulotta's grandmother's recipe.

The atmosphere at Tana is elegant yet comfortable, with plush booths and ambient lighting in the lounge, and a classic Italian-styled main dining room. Tana's a cute date spot, perfect for couples looking to enjoy some solid Italian food a short drive out of the city.

tanaitalian.com

(504) 533-8262

2919 Metairie Rd, Metairie, LA 70001

Tân Định

Various Vietnamese foods on table
Various Vietnamese foods on table - Joshua Carlucci/Tasting Table

Tân Định in Gretna on the West Bank is a popular bistro known for its authentic and fresh Vietnamese cuisine — some of the best in a city with a lot of Vietnamese food. The menu at Tân Định includes a variety of traditional foods, such as phở, vermicelli bowls, bánh bao sandwiches, spring rolls, and rice plates with the likes of salt and pepper squid and short rib.

The restaurant is family-oriented and hyperlocal, but very charming for a delicious meal on the casual side. Take a drive out across the bridge and share a bowl of bún bò Huế (spicy beef noodle soup) and chả giò (fried imperial rolls) and finish it off with a Vietnamese iced coffee.

tandinhnola.com

(504) 361-8008

1705 Lafayette St, Gretna, LA 70053

The Elysian Bar

Eggs, salad, plates on table
Eggs, salad, plates on table - elysianbarnola/Instagram

In the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans, The Elysian Bar is a chic and romantic destination perfect for a date night. Situated within the historic Hotel Peter and Paul, the bar and restaurant offer a unique ambiance with spaces including the parlors, a glass atrium, the iconic "jewel box" bar, and a lush outdoor courtyard.

The Elysian Bar serves a variety of curated food and beverages, from coffee and pastries in the morning to lunches, weekend brunches, and nightly dinners. The menu includes a range of thoughtfully prepared items, from oysters to fried chicken, and a diverse selection of drinks, with something everyone can enjoy. The atmosphere at The Elysian Bar is quaint and gorgeous, augmented with architecture of the location's former rectory.

theelysianbar.com

(504) 356-6769

2317 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Wild South

Gulf shrimp grilled with tomatoes
Gulf shrimp grilled with tomatoes - wildsouthrestaurant/Instagram

Wild South is the new venture of chef Michael Stoltzfus of Coquette. This spot, which opened in the same location as his prior Lengua Madre restaurant, focuses on recreating the rich traditions of Louisianian foods with a modern twist by embracing contemporary culinary techniques. The menu changes to showcase the best of seasonal ingredients, offering a five-course tasting menu that includes inventive items made from Gulf seafood and locally sourced meats and produce.

The atmosphere at Wild South is personable and inviting, with seating for just 40 guests. It makes for a refined and adventurous date in elegant digs. Reservations are highly recommended due to the limited seating and exclusive nature of the tasting menu.

wildsouthrestaurant.com

(504) 655-1338

1245 Constance St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Methodology

NOLA, Mississippi River, skyline
NOLA, Mississippi River, skyline - Larry Gibson/Getty Images

To create our "best of" list for New Orleans date spots, I focused on a few important factors to make sure you have an amazing romantic night out. First, I looked for places with the perfect ambiance and vibe, prioritizing spots that are cozy and intimate to set the right mood. Next, I considered the quality, consistency, and uniqueness of the food and drinks. I picked places known for their delicious and original menu items, as well as creative cocktails. Service was another key factor; I chose venues where the staff is friendly, patient, and hospitable. Extra points went to those that do something special for occasions like anniversaries or holidays. The list is in alphabetical order to make it easy to find your next date night spot.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.