New Orleans is one of the most exciting and lively cities in the US and a must visit for any foodie at least once in their lives. From the hole in the wall local establishments to the 5-star delicacy serving restaurants, NOLA has something for every pallet, every price point and every level of foodie. Whether you are most comfortable with what you know (frog legs might seem strange but they really do taste like chicken!) or you are looking for something you would never try anywhere else, New Orleans cannot be beat.¬† Below are 3 New Orleans restaurants you will want to visit whether it’s your first or your fifth time in this enchanting city.

NOLA Restaurant

While I was unable to get to all of famed chef Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans restaurants, I can recommend two of the three as being pleasing both aesthetically and to the pallet.

At NOLA, the mix between casual and formal makes it a perfect stop after an afternoon of business meetings or as a first stop to a night on the town. We enjoyed a variety of new dishes included frog legs and seafood toast as well as some familiar favorites like collard greens and corn bread.

If casual ambience is not your speed, I recommend you try another Emeril Lagasse staple on your next trip to this city: Emeril’s New Orleans.

Seafood toast and Frog Legs at Emeril’s NOLA

Emeril’s New Orleans

This restaurant is perfect for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary. The service was top notch and the wine list seemed to never end. Most impressive was the fact that our server answered every single question we had about the wine, from region to flavor profile. You will not regret dining at this Emeril Lagasse restaurant.

Private dining room at Emeril’s New Orleans

The menu includes French, Spanish and Creole dishes so you are guaranteed to find something that you like. Our server let us know that all of the seafood for the paella comes in fresh every day so I had to try it. While not a traditional paella like you will find in cities like Barcelona, I enjoyed it.

The highlight of our meal was dessert. Because we were celebrating our anniversary, we splurged on the calories and ordered the chocolate soufflé Рit was the perfect way to end an absolutely delicious meal. Be sure to enjoy it with a fresh shot of espresso.

Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie

Brennan’s Restaurant

Established in 1946, Brennan’s restaurant is a New Orlean’s staple and definitely worth a visit for a newbie to Creole and Cajun food. This restaurant serves irresistible food with always fresh ingredients and an attention to detail like you would expect for your luxurious lifestyle. I recommend the Turtle soup for the adventurous foodie and the sweet potato pie for the sweet eaters.

Brennan’s Turtle Soup

Any review or recommendation for Brennan’s Restaurant would be remiss if there was no mention that Bananas Foster was actually created at this restaurant. Legend has it that the Brennan family produce company had a surplus of bananas and Owen Brennan, founder of the restaurant, asked his sister Ella to come up with a dessert with bananas so the sweet fruit would not go to waste. The rest, as they say, is history.

Brennan’s Famous Bananas Foster