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  3. These 12 New Orleans restaurants crush the outdoor dining game

These 12 New Orleans restaurants crush the outdoor dining game

A photo of Red logo
by Beth D'Addono
Updated May 29, 2024

With its balmy weather and lively soul, New Orleans is an outdoor dining paradise. The city’s best open-air setups are a mix of casual and fancy, but each one lets you take a break from the ordinary.

A flower-filled courtyard is ideal for date night under the stars. A French Quarter legend draws crowds for elegant Creole food and a burbling courtyard fountain. Jaw-dropping river views wait for you at a swanky hotel restaurant steered by a James Beard Award winner.

These New Orleans restaurants define the best in outdoor dining. Read on for a guide to 12 standout spots for a memorable alfresco meal.

A photo of Muriel's Jackson Square restaurant
4.6
4.6 (10020)
$50 and over
Creole / Cajun / Southern
French Quarter
About the restaurant

Famously haunted, Muriel’s is a Creole grand dame that overlooks the action of Jackson Square. Architecturally restored to showcase its 19th-century glamour, the restaurant is equipped with multiple dining rooms, but it’s the wrought-iron balcony that shines. Grab a spot here during happy hour (on weekdays from 3 pm to 5 pm) and sip New Orleans classics like sazeracs or Ramos gin fizzes. Then head to the plant-filled, air-conditioned courtyard for an epic Cajun meal.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
We did restaurant week and was amazing would definitely go back. Fancy food, fancy dining but you don’t have to dress fancy. Service was excellent and food wonderful!
A photo of Brennan's restaurant
4.7
4.7 (11222)
$31 to $50
Creole
French Quarter
About the restaurant

All of Brennan’s is wonderful, from its flamingo-pink exterior to its aviary-themed bar, but the courtyard is sheer magic. The beautiful space has landscaping and a burbling fountain, and it’s a setting fit for weddings, parties, and Champagne sabering, which happens at 5 pm from Thursday to Monday. If you’re here for a romantic dinner, the outdoor space invites lingering over Southern staples like Gulf fish amandine—don’t skip the bananas Foster, a boozy dessert that originated right here.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Saw several videos on social media platforms and Brennan’s lived up to the hype! Staff was so lovely, as we did not look like the normal clientele. We went for brunch and everything from the cocktails to the menu items we ordered were absolutely perfect, but the star of the show was definitely their all star Banana Fosters dessert; I almost teared up it was so delicious! A must when visiting New Orleans.
A photo of Cafe Degas restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2869)
$31 to $50
French
Mid-City / City Park
About the restaurant

Cafe Degas has offered a leafy streetside setting since 1986, serving romance and elegant French food. The entire restaurant has an outdoor vibe—there’s a tree growing through the center of the main dining room, after all—but alfresco options also include covered seating on the front porch area and along the side. Come here for garlicky escargot and seared duck breast with summer fruit.

Top review
KramerA
Dined 3 days ago
Beautiful setting with excellent food. The service is wonderful. Go here.
A photo of Audubon Clubhouse by Dickie Brennan & Co. restaurant
4.5
4.5 (118)
$30 and under
American
Carrollton
About the restaurant

You can now dine on The Clubhouse’s cozy wraparound patio daily, courtesy of expanded hours thanks to the restaurant’s new owners, the Dickie Brennan Restaurant Group. The historic oaks and lush garden views are great any day of the week, but Saturday stands out for a top-notch brunch: Start your morning with a chicken and waffle sandwich and a bloody mary—and go ahead, have key lime pie for dessert. There’s a two-mile track just steps away for a much-needed after-brunch walk.

Top review
mgp1981vip
Dined 2 days ago
We really enjoyed our server. The variety of the brunch menu was great. We loved our cocktails as well.
A photo of The Bower restaurant
4.7
4.7 (700)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Lower Garden District
About the restaurant

“Bower” is named after a green shaded escape, and that’s exactly the atmosphere at this lush Lower Garden District charmer. The modern farm-centric restaurant features a freshly redesigned covered back patio—an airy space that’s ideal for locally sourced dishes by executive chef Marcus Woodham, like spicy scallop arancini and basil spaghetti with preserved lemon and burrata.

Top review
JPNOLA
Dined 4 days ago
This was my first time here and I will certainly be back. The food and ambiance were wonderful, service impeccable and value terrific. Fun and lively, but not too loud.
A photo of Landry's Seafood House - New Orleans French Quarter restaurant
4.1
4.1 (1113)
$30 and under
Seafood
French Quarter
About the restaurant

While its French Quarter location attracts plenty of visitors, locals know that the views don’t get better than those at Landry’s on Lake Pontchartrain. Reserve an outside table overlooking the lake, where sailboats, fishing skiffs, and diving pelicans compete for your attention. Order a dozen Gulf oysters on the halfshell, cheesy crawfish bread, or fresh catch Pontchartrain, topped with crab, mushrooms, and a cream sauce.

Top review
Kirsten48
Dined on Jun 15, 2024
Server was extremely nice and made us feel at home. She escorted us through the menu and accommodated all of our needs including a gluten allergy. Not to mention that the food was great. Would recommend to anyone and would go again.
A photo of The Country Club restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1109)
$30 and under
Creole / Cajun / Southern
Bywater
About the restaurant

Bring a swimsuit to lunch or dinner at this hidden Bywater gem. You’re here to enjoy chef Chris Barbato’s modern Italian and Creole food on a front veranda framed by columns and palm fronds, but your visit might also feature a dip in the pool by the back patio (day passes are available for a fee). Expect a daily-changing menu that could include beignets filled with blue crab and sofrito mascarpone, grilled salmon, and spaghetti puttanesca.

Top review
TerryP
Dined 2 days ago
We had Cody as our server amazing. The food was great. Highly recommend thanks Cody
A photo of Chemin à la Mer restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1056)
$30 and under
Unspecified
Central Business District
About the restaurant

Take in jaw-dropping river views at this Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans restaurant steered by James Beard Award-winner Donald Link. Chemin à la Mer’s claim to fame is a wraparound patio that overlooks the Mississippi River’s hairpin turn—it’s the reason New Orleans is nicknamed the Crescent City. In addition to the drop-dead gorgeous view, a meal here features a grand oyster bar, specialty steaks, and Gulf seafood, all tributes to French traditions.

Top review
Anthony
Dined 4 days ago
The food was great. The Filet is a must try! Service was excellent also.
A photo of Café Sbisa restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1404)
$30 and under
Cajun
French Quarter
About the restaurant

This second-floor balcony is popular for its streetscape views and lacy wrought-iron accents. Café Sbisa is a more-than-century-old French Quarter brasserie led by chef and partner Alfred Singleton, who started in the restaurant as a busboy. Singleton’s outstanding French Creole dishes include crab cakes made with Louisiana blue crab and fried oysters Sbisa, served over Herbsaint creamed spinach and topped with a Tabasco-laced hollandaise.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Fantastic music and food. I would definitely go back. Portions were perfect. Priced appropriately. The band played great music and it was not too loud. Was able to hold a conversation without yelling.
A photo of Monday Restaurant + Bar restaurant
4.4
4.4 (699)
$31 to $50
American
Mid-City / City Park
About the restaurant

This Mid-City pub is an easygoing outdoor party space with loads of greenery and plenty of flat-screen televisions for watching games. It’s owned by chef Lenora Chong and her son Larry Morrow (the winning duo behind Morrow’s in the Marigny and Sun Chong in the Quarter) and boasts a tasty menu of drinks-friendly food like a salmon burger, hot wings with sweet Thai chile sauce, and a crispy catfish platter with fries.

Top review
Angela
Dined 3 days ago
It’s best to have a reservation. Our waitress was amazing and accommodating. The food was great, must have the lamb chops. If in New Orleans in the future will dine there again.
A photo of Lola's restaurant
4.6
4.6 (718)
$30 and under
Spanish
Mid-City / City Park
About the restaurant

While many restaurants added outdoor seating during the pandemic, there’s something extra-special about Lola’s 14-table outdoor courtyard. The candlelit hideaway at this Spanish jewelbox wows with views of live oaks and Esplanade Avenue’s stately architecture. Paellas are made to order, giving you time for an order of garlic shrimp or a cold Andalusian almond soup, ideal for a warm summer evening.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 6, 2024
Good service, food and ambiance. Had meat paella and loved it.
A photo of The Italian Barrel restaurant
4.5
4.5 (3382)
$31 to $50
Italian
French Quarter
About the restaurant

Chef-owner Samantha Castagnetti channels her northern Italian roots (she was born in Verona) at this elegant restaurant serving Mediterranean hits like shrimp scampi in pesto and spaghetti with veal meatballs. The sidewalk café setup along Barracks Street allows for ringside seats to live music in the Jazz Museum courtyard across the street, and you’ll see why The Italian Barrel is one of the most romantic outdoor escapes in town.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Great food, awesome sauce on the pasta and lasagna.
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