All the Places This Chef Eats When She’s in New Orleans

You’re visiting the Big Easy, and there’s no time to waste—there are beignets to eat, Sazeracs to drink and gumbo to slurp up. Nina Compton, a Top Chef finalist and the James Beard Award-winning chef of hot spots Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro, has a few suggestions for you. Here’s what Compton eats when she’s in New Orleans (besides her own delicious conch croquettes, of course).

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turkey and the wolf1
Turkey and the Wolf

Turkey And The Wolf

“This is a super-cool and creative sandwich shop that has a really laid-back vibe and delicious, unique food. I like the lamb neck roti and people go wild over their fried bologna sandwich (pictured above). Plus, the cocktails are creative and perfectly balanced.”

739 Jackson Ave.;

bacchanal wine nola
Bacchanal Wine

Bacchanal Wine

“Bacchanal is one of my favorite local spots. It has great wine, an amazing backyard and live music. It’s the Mediterranean of New Orleans.”

600 Poland Ave.;

paladar 511 pizza
Paladar 511

Paladar 511

“For good pasta, pizza and seasonal ingredients I like to go to Paladar. The food is fresh, bright and very flavorful. Those who know me know I love good Italian food.”

511 Marigny St.;

emerils new orleans
Emeril’s New Orleans

Emeril’s New Orleans

“A New Orleans classic. Everything there is delicious. I absolutely love the barbecued shrimp (pictured above) and the Andouille crusted drum. The restaurant has such a great vibe, and the service is impeccable.”

800 Tchoupitoulas St.;

Gene’s Po'boys

“A po'boy from Gene’s is the best in the city. They’re only $9, and they’re huge. You can’t go wrong with any of them; it just depends on my mood.”

1040 Elysian Fields Ave.; 504-943-3861

blue crab beignets
Lisa I./Yelp

La Petite Grocery

“Great food and great drinks. La Petite Grocery never disappoints. The blue crab beignets are a must.”

4238 Magazine St.;


“Friday lunch at Galatoire’s is a great scene, and everyone is eating and drinking all afternoon. (But keep in mind, there is a dress code, so you need to dress to impress!)”

209 Bourbon St.;

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.