When you go to New Orleans, a city famous in part for its food, it's hard to pinpoint the best places to eat when they're basically on every corner off of Bourbon Street. My recent trip there proved this, as during my week-long stay I did not eat a single bad meal. These places to eat in New Orleans will allow you to taste the culture and make you feel like you're a part of it.

1. Deanie's

Kayla White

Deanie's Seafood Restaurant is a perfect introduction to New Orleans' famous seafood. You get a vast variety of fish options to choose from, and can even have a taste of everything with their giant seafood platter (shown above). Most of their seafood options come with a choice between broiled or fried, although if it's the weightiness of fried food you're worried about, there can hardly be a difference between the two at Deanie's. I tried the fried seafood platter, and it tasted lighter than air. The fish just fell apart in your mouth while the fried batter added a satisfying crunch. The only element that weighed it down was the sauce, but its flavor made up for that. What made this place a definite return spot was their starter dish; instead of serving the basic bread and butter (and from what I've learned from this trip, New Orleans doesn't do basic), this restaurant serves small baked potatoes cooked in the same pot as shellfish and spiced with Cajun seasoning. Add a little bit of butter to it and you'll want every restaurant to replace bread with these.

2. Broad & Banks Seafood

Kayla White

Broad & Banks Seafood is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but don't think that means little flavors. They've got all the New Orleans classics, including gumbo and po-boys. You get a neat display of all these foods when you walk into this cozy restaurant, a clever tactic for business since you get a VIP view of the fresh, steaming food and the enticing smells. I fell victim to this tactic and ordered way more than I should have, including a shrimp po-boy (shown above). Light, tasty french bread along with fried shrimp and cooling mayo, lettuce, and tomato, this simple sandwich sent me straight to the beach. This is a great place if you're looking for a taste of the classics.

3. Café Amelie

Kayla White

Café Amelie is one of the cutest places where I ate in New Orleans. It is a courtyard restaurant, so instead of watching a picture frame on a brick wall indoors while you wait at most restaurants, you can watch a fountain spurt water in the midst of flowery trees and plants while waiting on ornate stone and wood benches at this café, illuminated at night by overhead yellow string lightbulbs. Most famous for their shrimp and grits (shown above), this restaurant offers New Orleans seafood and classic southern food. They are a bit on the pricey side, but you can still enjoy the food if you split with other people.

4. Willie Mae's Scotch House

Kayla White

If you've ever wanted to have food from a restaurant with prestigious world recognition and you just so happen to be in New Orleans, Willie Mae's Scotch House is the place to do it. It's not the booze that'll have you feeling good though – it's the fried chicken. Willie Mae's is family owned, begun in 1986 with Miss Willie Mae Seaton. In 2005, her restaurant was awarded with the James Beard Award for "America's Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region" and with good reason. Order their classic fried or baked chicken with any one of their delicious Southern sides like candied yams, mac n' cheese, or mashed potatoes and you'll know why their name suggests the happy stupor you'll fall into after you eat.

5. Cochon

chicken wings, chicken, Bowl
Casey Tang

Two words: fine dining. Cochon serves you a bite of culture with their French-derived name (meaning "pig" in English) and their classic New Orleans specials made by professional hands. Try anything from fried alligator with a spicy aioli sauce to crab salad with refreshing veggie noodles and a light cream dressing and you'll be feeling like a bougie New Orleans native.

These restaurants offer huge flavors of the culinary culture of New Orleans, but don't think there isn't more to experience. Take a walk down Bourbon Street to hear music and see the vibrant night life. Visit the aquarium and see the wildlife. Go to the French Quarter for all your shopping needs. New Orleans is a thriving city with endless things to do and even more things to eat. Bon voyage!