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Top 5 underrated New Orleans restaurants that we LOVE


Best New Orleans restaurants to fill your belly after a swamp tour.


1. Marjie’s Grill – This creative joint in Mid City blends the rich and homey cuisine of the gulf south with fiery and pungent flavors of Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Vietnam. Their menu changes regularly based on season and what they picked up from the market, but nobody we know has ever left disappointed! My favorite items have been seared Cobia and crab meat Som Tam.


2. Kingfish – For those who want to eat like Huey P. Long, populist governor and senator of Louisiana in the early 1930’s, head to Kingfish for a decadent meal. The restaurant focuses on Louisiana cuisine, but reaches throughout history and time, and rather than a catch-all “New Orleans cooking”, Kingfish’s dishes can be recognized in a distinct time and place. Boudin balls, seared duck breast, and roast suckling pig should not be missed.


3. Middendorf’s – Stop by Middendorf’s after your Manchac Wildlife kayak tour, the best swamp tour in New Orleans, for some of Louisiana’s finest thin-fried catfish. The thin frying gives a satisfying texture to our famed fish, and the variety of (mostly fried) sides helps you get your energy back after a long paddle.


4. Lebanon’s Cafe – A trip to New Orleans doesn’t require eating traditional New Orleanian fare for every meal, and you’d miss out on some great offerings if you did. Lebanon’s is a friendly Uptown Middle Eastern cafe that has some of the best Labneh and Baba Ganoush south of the Mason-Dixon line. Their chef’s sampler includes a little bit (actually quite a lot) of everything, and the large plates invoke a warm night in Beirut.


5. Lilly’s Cafe – New Orleans and the surrounding areas have a rich Vietnamese presence, and Lilly’s cafe, just upriver of the Central Business District, is one of the best examples of a cuisine that is steadily pushing the bounds of what it means to eat like a local. Lilly’s has arguably the best Pho around, which is a great way to get back some of the fluids you lost kayaking. The spring rolls are also delicious, and Lilly herself is as warm as any grandmother in the South.