I get it, your parents are coming into town next weekend and are begging you to take them to your favorite spots. But, I know you don't really want to take them to the $1 taco place you visit every Tuesday. Here are some upscale restaurants that are perfect to take your parents when you have a little bit of a bigger budget. 

Jacques Imo's

My all-time favorite, Jacques Imo's is the first restaurant on this list. The quaint building can be found on Oak Street in Uptown, away from the touristy areas and very close to campus, a change of pace for your visiting parents. World-renowned chef Jacques Leonardi opened this eclectic establishment in 1996. Since then, he and his well-trained staff present an array of Creole dishes with the classic Southern hospitality that tourists come searching for. People flock to this restaurant to try the Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake, which is ten times more appetizing than it sounds. Their inventive take on Soul food offers any tourist the best of both worlds. While fame drives you through the door, the homelike environment makes you stay. The humility and friendliness that this eatery has to offer make New Orleans feel like home. Bringing your parents here will show them how comfortable you feel at your second home and allow them to see New Orleans through your eyes. Jacques Imo's does a fantastic job of incorporating all the things we love about New Orleans into one dining experience. If you were ever going to take my advice, now is the time. 

GW Fins

Stationed on the corner of Bourbon and Bienville, GW Fins is the elegant seafood restaurant your parents have been dreaming of. Gary Wollerman and family, along with Executive Chef Michael Nelson, have been raising the standards for New Orleans dining. The menu changes daily depending on the freshest catch, ensuring that guests will have an immaculate dining experience. Nelson and staff utilize seasonal ingredients to elevate the dishes even further. Whether the fish was brought in from the Gulf that morning or supplied by the most trusted purveyors from across the globe, the chefs have mastered preparing and serving the most superb plates. If you and your parents are searching for a more high-end dining venture, GW Fins is the place to go. 

Restaurant Rebirth

The best place to find some Southern Louisiana fare is Restaurant Rebirth in the Warehouse district. Pulling inspiration from the cajun culture he grew up with, Louisiana native Chef Cheramie has crafted a menu filled with Creole-style cuisine. Whilst being in a city this famous for food, Cheramie continues to outshine his competition with his inventive dishes. Pictured above is their must-order appetizer, crispy-fried oysters plated over creamy angel hair pasta with parmesan and grilled mushrooms. While pasta as an appetizer is a bit out of the ordinary, the uniqueness that is Restaurant Rebirth will provide your parents with an unforgettable experience. From the warm and buttery cornbread that greets you at your table, to the last bite of flavorful filet mignon, you and your family will enjoy every moment spent here. 

Commander's Palace

You must seize the opportunity to take your parents to arguably one of the most well-known restaurants in New Orleans, Commander's Palace. This whimsical restaurant can be found in the Lower Garden District, which is one of the most breathtaking neighborhoods around. While they do serve a fantastic dinner, you have to attend the Jazz Brunch to receive the full experience. The child-like wonder that imbues the atmosphere here cannot be found anywhere else, with the exception of Disney World. The building itself is filled with festive rooms and tables topped with colorful balloons. Jazz music floods through the house, as the band makes their way throughout each room, taking recommendations and playing classics that everyone will enjoy. The fun ambiance pairs beautifully with Chef Bickford's welcoming three-course menu. This is a perfect place to introduce your parents to come New Orleans classics, like authentic Turtle Soup and flavor-packed Gumbo. In addition, the brunch entrees are more imaginative, like the rich Cochon De Lait Eggs Benedict. However, the final course is what really leaves a lasting impression. Whether you choose the classic warm Pecan Pie, the creamy Creole Cheesecake, or the famous gooey Bread Pudding, you can't go wrong here. If you really want to get a full New Orleans immersion, book a reservation at Commander's Palace. 


Founded in 1905, this restaurant is a French Quarter phenomenon. French chef Jean Galatoire started this business inspired by the dining culture of his homeland and it has been beloved ever since. Now owned by the fifth generation of Galatoires, this restaurant is considered to be one of New Orleans' best fine dining options. The menu currently features a wide variety of Creole and Cajun dishes that would satisfy any visitor. A classic New Orleans dish that they execute beautifully is the Oysters Rockefeller, where they plate the oysters with more spinach than any other competitor. Another delectable appetizer they offer is their Avocado and Crab Salad, which is flavorful, creamy, and unlike any other salad your parents will ever have. For entrees, they offer large selections of poultry, fish, shellfish, and meat, which can be adorned with an array of toppings and garnishes to elevate any meal. Any experience in their historical main dining room is sure to be memorable, so consider making a reservation at Galatoire's when your parents come to visit. 


Another amazing establishment located in the Warehouse District is Cochon. Chef Link has crafted a menu highlighting dishes from his Cajun Southern background with his unique culinary flair. They pride themselves on using the most locally sourced seafood, produce, and pork to guarantee high-quality meals. This restaurant is located in a renovated warehouse, designed to feel like a modern rustic farmhouse. Their menu is sorted into small plates, Boucherie, soup and salad, entrees & wood-burning oven, large format, and sides. The variety of portion sizes makes it perfect to customize your experience, whether it's a small dinner with just you and your parents, or if your whole family is coming into town. The must-order appetizers are the fried alligator, a southern staple, and the oysters, cooked in spicy and tangy chili garlic butter. The staff here is so accommodating and will help you pick the best selection from their ever-changing menu. Every dish here is unreal, so your guests will not be disappointed if you choose to dine here. 


The shining star of the Link Restaurant Group is their flagship restaurant, Herbsaint. On the corner of St. Charles and Girod, the eatery is inspired by French and Southern cuisine, with a hint of Italian influence. Chef Tyler Spreen does his best to deliver excellent seasonal and local ingredients to elevate their menu. The kitchen cultivates classic plates, like their Louisiana  Shrimp and their Gumbo, and some unexpected ones as well, such as their housemade spaghetti appetizer. This dish features creamy and saucy spaghetti, topped with a rich, fried, poached egg. The decadent dish is a must-order at Herbsaint, along with their steak of the season. Wagyu is grilled to perfection and plated with local herbs and sauces to elevate the plate. Herbsaint is a great choice to take your parents when you've had just enough Creole food and are looking to try something new. 


Another historic gem on this list is Clancy's, a fine neighborhood establishment found on Annunciation St. Opening in the late 1940s, the restaurant has kept its charm since then. Waiters dressed in tuxedos, linen tablecloths, and simple Creole meals. A handwritten menu welcomes you at your table, highlighting typical ingredients like shrimp and oysters. Order the crispy fried oysters covered in soft and gooey brie for an appetizer, they are always on the menu and will never disappoint. For entrees, you have almost every kind of protein to choose from, but the way Clancy's makes their veal is unlike any other. The Pannee Veal Annunciation, dedicated to the street the restaurant is set on, is a light and crispy fried cutlet placed on a bed of creamy Alfredo pasta. This classic dish is executed so beautifully and makes your dining experience even more comfortable than it already is. Finish off your meal with their famous Lemon Ice Box Pie, sure to please your parents. 


Daniella Tirse

When in NOLA, Dickie Brennan's restaurants are on everyone's go-to list. Now, the only dilemma is picking one of their six restaurants to make a reservation at. My personal pick of the bunch is Tableau, in the heart of the French Quarter. This restaurant sits at the corner of Jackson Square and has been deemed the best balcony in New Orleans. Both the brunch and dinner menus are filled with dishes featuring local ingredients and Louisiana favorites, including oysters. The Oyster Pan Roast is an amazing way to introduce your parents to New Orleans seafood. The dish features poached and fried oysters plated with creamy brie, ciabatta, fresh apples, and crispy bacon. The dish is finished with herbsaint cream, which ties all the flavors together beautifully. All these plates will be served to your family by the kindest staff, making anyone who walks in these doors feel welcome. Whether you are ending your visit or beginning it, Tableau is a great restaurant for any tourist.