The Best Jefferson Parish Guide to the Top Restaurants in Metairie, LA

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The Best Jefferson Parish Guide to the Top Restaurants in Metairie, LA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to dining at the top restaurants in Metairie, Louisiana, where the flavors of the city mix with the charm of New Orleans to create a culinary paradise. Whether you’re a local looking for new spots to try or a visitor eager to dive into the rich food culture, we’ve got you covered. Metairie offers diverse dining experiences, from classic seafood joints to cozy neighborhood bars that will leave you craving more. So, grab a seat at the table and explore some of the best restaurants this area offers!

Jefferson Parish Oyster Trail

The Jefferson Parish Louisiana Oyster Trail is tailor-made for you if you appreciate a good oyster or love exploring new flavors. Picture this: each restaurant along the trail boasts a unique, life-size oyster sculpture hand-painted by a local artist, hinting at the delicious oyster creations awaiting you inside!

This delightful trail winds through the parish, offering a feast of oyster dishes prepared in every imaginable way. Because I’m from way up North in Michigan, I know one thing about oysters, and I’ll bet if you use your imagination, you’ll know exactly what that is! So, it’s safe to say I was unfamiliar with the many ways in which oysters could be prepared. I’m not sure I had ever had one before I visited Jefferson Parish. Imagine how fun it was to explore the many kinds of oysters available on the Oyster Trail!

From classic Oysters Bienville to comforting Oyster Dressing, Oyster Bisque, Oyster Queso, crispy Fried Oysters, savory Charbroiled Oysters, and the simple pleasure of slurping fresh oysters from Louisiana waters, there’s something for every oyster lover. And like any great food trail, the Oyster Trail grows and changes with new restaurants and fresh dishes added regularly.

Although I didn’t have time to visit every restaurant on the trail, here are some standouts I made a point to try!

Drago’s Seafood Restaurant

3232 N Arnoult Rd, Metairie, LA 70002

Located in the heart of Metairie, Drago’s Seafood Restaurant is a local favorite, renowned for its charbroiled oysters that are simply out of this world. The perfect mix of garlic, butter, and Parmesan atop fresh Louisiana oysters will have you coming back for more. Don’t forget to pair your oysters with one of Drago’s delicious craft cocktails to complete your dining experience.

Don’s Seafood

4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70006

Don’s Seafood doesn’t disappoint if you’re looking for authentic Cajun cuisine. They are on the trail, and one of my favorite parts of this superb restaurant is the history! This family-owned restaurant has been in business for four generations, and the great service shows how much they value their customers!

They specialize in fresh, local seafood and have a full bar with an excellent assortment of cocktails while remaining family-friendly.

I tried my first charbroiled oysters, broiled on the half-shell and served piping hot in a pool of garlic butter, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses. Oh my! One taste of these oysters assures that this was not my last time indulging in this spectacular starter! My favorite part was watching the flames shoot high from the grill in the nearby kitchen. So much fun!

Gattuso’s Neighborhood Bar, Restaurant & Catering

435 Huey P. Long Avenue, Gretna, LA 70053

Tucked into Gretna, a historic district on the west bank of the mighty Mississippi, you’ll find Gattuso’s, a treasure and the perfect place to grab lunch or dinner. We sat in a lovely bright sunroom for our lunch, but it did not escape my notice as we entered that they had a beautiful, dog-friendly courtyard with gorgeous greenery. If I had my little dog, Reba, I would happily take a table in this lovely area.

The ambiance is lovely, but the menu will really charm you. Gattuso’s spinach dip is legendary, and the Mexican-style street corn is a unique twist on a classic dish. I couldn’t resist a bowl of Crawfish Queso with Tortilla Chips. Since I longed for a little red meat after so much seafood, I was thrilled with the Sloppy Roast Beef Po’Boy (a traditional Louisiana sandwich made with a French bread loaf), served with potato salad and a cup of chicken and crawfish gumbo.

Restaurant Des Familles

7163 Barataria Boulevard, Crown Point, LA 70072

Experience a taste of Louisiana’s bayou country at Restaurant Des Familles, just a short drive from Metairie. Their elevated menu is full of must-try items. I visited on Valentine’s Day, so my server presented a specialized menu for the evening, so I had just a few choices to make, and there wasn’t a wrong dish to choose! 

But what makes the Restaurant Des Familles so charming for this Northern girl is that the entire back of the dining room has windows that look out right onto the bayou, which is home to live gators. Because we went after dark, I didn’t see any, but I’m sure they were there! If I had time, I would’ve returned just for a daytime view of the bayou garden and a peek at those beady gator eyes while I ate, but alas, a travel writer has to move on to try all the delicious options!

Cafe Du Monde

4700 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70006

While technically not in Metairie, no guide to Louisiana dining is complete without mentioning Cafe Du Monde. The original is right in the iconic French Quarter, but Jefferson Parish gets in on the fun with their very own location.

When you need a quick caffeine fix, grab a cup of their famous café au lait and some delicious and messy beignets (fried donuts covered in powdered sugar). This treat is a rite of passage for any food enthusiast. Trust me, the powdered sugar will be worth it.

Zea Rotisserie & Bar

1121 Manhattan Boulevard, Harvey, LA 70058
1324 West Esplanade Ave, Kenner, LA 70065
1655 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA 70123

Are you looking for a great restaurant with a laid-back vibe? Zea Rotisserie & Bar is the place to be. With a modern, funky vibe inside, complete with vibrant, colorful artwork and a sleek exterior, you’ll love this unique restaurant. The menu is robust and distinctive, with a modern spin on comfort foods and a focus on rotisserie meats.

Zea’s rotisserie meats are exceptional, cooked on an authentic French open-flame rotisserie for tender, juicy perfection. I tried their flavorful Ribeye, which was deliciously juicy. What truly stood out were the sides. Zea insists on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, like their mashed sweet potatoes from local farmers. Only top-quality ingredients make the cut here; if they don’t meet Zea’s standards, they’re off the menu until they do.

Zea offers an array of options for the appetizer enthusiast to tantalize your taste buds. I was smitten with the Mediterranean Hummus; it was so good that we returned to have it again. The crispy artichoke hearts were equally delectable, especially with the homemade Green Goddess dressing served on the side. I enjoyed the appetizers so much that I struggled to finish my steak despite giving it my best effort.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that Zea excels in top-notch service. On both occasions, accommodating and friendly staff greeted us at two locations. Coupled with the high-quality, good food, dining at Zea is a consistently enjoyable experience in a clean and inviting environment.

Fiery Crab

3330 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70002

Fiery Crab is a Louisiana Restaurant chain. When I travel, I typically look for small and privately owned restaurants. But something about that fun red crab on the sign called me in. And I’m sure glad I gave it a try because dining at Fiery Crab was an excellent experience, especially since boiled seafood isn’t a “thing” up here in the Northern states and is a new concept for me.

One look at the menu, and you’ll see that it’s filled with finger-licking seafood boils packed with crawfish, shrimp, and crab legs. I went in a different direction and chose the fried Catfish basket, which was excellent. Every good meal is better when paired with a perfect drink, so I indulged in a yummy Pina Colada, which was as pretty as it was delicious, and when that was gone, I washed it down with a Diet Coke.

The restaurant was clean, and the atmosphere was colorful and lively. Coupled with the delicious food and the friendly service, Fiery Crab is the perfect spot to indulge in the bold flavors of Louisiana’s seafood culture.

Fun fact:  Every restaurant I visited in Jefferson Parish served Coca-Cola products, much to my delight! Nothing quenches my thirst like a good Diet Coke.

Smalls Sliders

4580 Veterans Blvd, Metairie, LA 70006

Sometimes, you crave a good burger, and Smalls Sliders delivers precisely that. Smalls Sliders was founded in 2019 by Brandon Landry and backed by former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. This quirky restaurant stands out for its bright orange color and unique format, built from 950-square-foot steel shipping containers called “cans.”

The menu is simple. You get a single 1.8-ounce patty burger topped with cheese, a pickle, and a smear of their signature Smauce (mayo, mustard, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce all mixed up) along with a side of seasoned cross-cut fries. If one slider isn’t enough, order a pack of 2, 3, or 4 sliders, or take it a step further and go for the Biggie Smalls – with double cheese and patties and two slices of bacon. But don’t plan on eating in because those shipping containers can’t contain diners. Use the handy drive-up or walk-up window and take your burgers to go.

I didn’t get a chance to stop in at Smalls Sliders while there, but I regret that, especially after driving by it multiple times. What a quick and convenient way to grab a bite on the go or on the way home from work. And knowing Drew Brees backs the exciting concept makes it much better!

Market Wego at Westwego Fish Market

100 Westbank Expressway, Westwego, LA 70094

Market Wego, located at the Westwego Shrimp Lot in Jefferson Parish, is a treasure if you love fresh, flavorful ingredients. After you’ve checked out all the fresh fish and shrimp stalls in the lot, head down to the end, where you’ll find an array of delectable items in this deli-style shop to take home and cook up in your kitchen.

You’ll also be able to pick up an array of spices and cooking and prep tools to prepare a savory feast. Of course, every feast must end with a sweet treat, so grab some pralines, cookies, or a rum cake snack to finish your meal in style!

If you’re looking for lunch on the run, Market Wego has you covered. I was so excited to try an alligator sausage skewer; my first time trying alligator! The friendly young man behind the counter let me choose my skewer, heated it up, and handed it over. I was not disappointed. Yum! We don’t get many opportunities to eat Alligator sausage in Michigan, so this was a really fun opportunity, a great experience, and I loved it. My only disappointment is that I can’t stop there for lunch on a regular weekday.

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If you are in the New Orleans area and looking for a place to stay, check out the map below for accommodation options.

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Wrapping it All Up

Dining in Metairie, Louisiana, offers a delightful blend of traditional Creole and Cajun flavors with a touch of New Orleans charm. From the classic dishes of Drago’s Seafood Restaurant to the cozy atmosphere of Gattuso’s Neighborhood Bar, there’s something for every palate and a good time to be had at all these restaurants. Whether you’re savoring charbroiled oysters at Restaurant Des Familles or enjoying a beignet at Cafe Du Monde, each bite tells a story of the vibrant food culture of this area. So, next time you find yourself in Metairie, explore these great restaurants to taste Louisiana’s culinary heritage.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does Louisiana have parishes instead of cities?

Louisiana uses the term “parishes” instead of “counties” or “cities” for its administrative divisions due to its historical ties to French and Spanish colonial rule. The term “parish” reflects Louisiana’s strong Catholic influence, as it was initially modeled after the ecclesiastical divisions of the Roman Catholic Church. Even after becoming a part of the United States, Louisiana retained the parish system, a unique aspect of its cultural and historical identity.

What Cities Make up Jefferson Parish?

Jefferson Parish in Louisiana is made up of twenty-one incorporated cities. In addition, Jefferson Parish is home to several more towns and unincorporated areas. Some of the major cities and towns within Jefferson Parish are:

Metairie – The largest city in Jefferson Parish
Kenner – Home to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Gretna – The Parish Seat
Westwego – A Historic area and home to the Westwego Shrimp Lot

These are just a few of the cities and towns within Jefferson Parish, each offering unique character and amenities for residents and visitors alike.

Why is there so much seafood in Jefferson Parish

Seafood holds a significant place in New Orleans’ cuisine due to the city’s prime location at the mouth of the Mississippi River, where it meets the Gulf of Mexico. This location provides residents with easy access to a diverse range of saltwater, freshwater, and shellfish, contributing to the area’s rich seafood culture.

Is Jefferson Parish bigger than Orleans Parish?

No, Jefferson Parish is not bigger than Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish, which includes the city of New Orleans, is smaller in terms of land area than Jefferson Parish. Jefferson Parish is Louisiana’s largest parish by land area, spanning approximately 665 square miles. In contrast, Orleans Parish covers about 349 square miles, making it smaller than Jefferson Parish. However, Orleans Parish has a higher population density due to the concentration of the city of New Orleans within its borders.

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