New Orleans is always on top of the food game, constantly cooking up some of the top cuisine in the country. 2017 brought about more of the same as the Crescent City opened its doors to many new foodie destinations. From upscale Indian to champagne bars, New Orleans is expanding its cuisine variety. Become a trendsetter this year and introduce your friends to the best new restaurants in New Orleans as of 2017. 

1. Turkey and the Wolf

Callie Carlson

This killer sandwich place was rated best new restaurant of 2017 in America by Bon Appétit magazine. If you're willing to overlook what some nutritionists may refer to as a "heart attack on a plate" and instead eat what I refer to as my sandwich dreams come true, try the fried bologna sandwich. Piled high with fried bologna, American cheese, lettuce, in-house mustard, mayo, and salt and vinegar chips, this sandwich is sure to blow your mind (and maybe your calorie count for the day, too).

Callie Carlson

If you're a vegetarian, don't fear that there's only one option when it comes to the sandwiches. The collard green melt is stacked on three pieces of bread and made with lots of love. It features cole slaw, collard greens, pickled cherry pepper dressing, and swiss cheese on rye bread. 

#SpoonTip: The move is to eat a late lunch here around 3 or 4. Since the restaurant closes at 5, it's not as busy (and you'll also be super hungry, which is perfect). 

2. DTB (Down the Bayou)

Retired Commander's Palace chefs opened this joint on Oak street, which is within walking distance of Tulane. Their happy hour is banging, with $5 food plates like Mushroom Boudin Balls (bonus, they're vegan) and white hummus with pickled shrimp on top. They also have half off beer, liquor, and wine if you're looking to get boozy. 

3. Saffron

Callie Carlson

An uptown location of this Indian food phenomenon opened in March. Take a stroll down Magazine and dive into some truffle naan or some New Orleans takes on Indian classics, like curried seafood gumbo or gulf fish in korma sauce. This is definitely one of the best new restaurants in New Orleans for 2017. 

4. Gracious Bakery and Cafe

The third location of this famous NOLA bakery opened on St. Charles Ave this year. They have everything you could want on a Sunday morning, from chocolate croissants and decadent cakes to savory focaccia and sandwiches. Enough to convince you to make Gracious another stop on the streetcar line.

 #SpoonTip: Follow their Instagram and wake up to pictures of delicious baked goods every day.

5. Bearcat

This trendy new place serves breakfast and lunch and is located just a block off Freret Street. The menu has two sections– one is called "Good Cat," which has a variety of items that are healthier, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian; and the other is called "Bad Cat," which has more indulgent items like shrimp and grits or pancakes. This cafe is great for brunch if you have a lot of different dietary restrictions in your friend group.  

6. Good Bird 

Originally just a vendor in St. Roch Market, this healthy rotisserie chicken restaurant is opening up a shop on Freret Street. Bright walls on the outside and a cozy atmosphere on the inside (think 12-14 seats), this restaurant is sure to become a regular stop for you. This shop hasn't opened its doors quite yet, but I'm including it so you can be one of the first customers as it is set to open by the end of September.

7. Effervescence

Looking to feel classy? Head to this champagne bar with small bites and 18 different types of sparkling wine. They start serving food at 4pm everyday, and the menu includes many small bites to snack on. Really live it up and try some caviar or go for the grilled half wheel of cheese. They have champagne flights by type, along with cocktails and wine. This is the place to live up your child hood dreams of being London Tipton for the night.  

8. Lula

This new restaurant has been in the works since 2009, which proves how much thought was put into the concept. There is a distillery in the back that turns out rum, vodka, and gin. One owner has chef experience at Commander's Palace and the other is a master distiller. Try the crawfish mac and cheese or boudin stuffed quail for something a little more adventurous. 

These newly opened restaurants should be proof enough to take a break from your go-to's and try something new this fall. Get out there and try them all while they're still on the down low, effectively showing your friends how much of a foodie you are by knowing what 2017 New Orleans restaurants are a must-try.