Do you remember your first year on Tulane's campus, rapidly trying to navigate the city of New Orleans and find its best eats? With the excessive amount of mouthwatering, unique cuisines, it could definitely be overwhelming when trying to pick a restaurant to try. It is nearly impossible to get to all of them, but I am here to provide you with a guide of 10 restaurants in New Orleans every freshman should try! 

1. Bearcat

Located right off Freret Street, (with another location in the Central Business District) Bearcat has a variety of breakfast, lunch, and brunch foods that will exceed your expectations. I've tried many dishes at Bearcat, but my two personal favorites are the "Cat Daddy Biscuit" and the "Breakfast Club." The Cat Daddy Biscuit, which contains a huge crispy golden piece of fried chicken atop a fluffy toasted biscuit with a perfectly cooked runny sunny side smothered in gravy, never disappoints.

The Breakfast Club has two lightly toasted pieces of sourdough toast, eggs any way you like, (I love getting scrambled) well done sizzling bacon, and ripe avocados and tomatoes. You also can't forget about the side of potatoes it comes with. These potatoes are seriously the best potatoes I've ever had. Cut up into cubes, crispy, and heavily seasoned with a mix of spices, they'll leave you wanting more. Overall, this restaurant in New Orleans has an amazing menu with options for everyone. I recommend this restaurant especially to those who are vegan or gluten-free. 

2. The Court of Two Sisters 

Lindsay Axelrad

The atmosphere paired with the food at The Court of Two Sisters makes for the absolute perfect brunch, or dinner, spot. I went for the first time with my parents, and could not have loved it more. The unique buffet-style brunch allows for a variety of different foods to choose from. The courtyard is absolutely breathtaking. The large fountain in the center, the jazz band playing soothing jazz music, and the tree branches that align the courtyard make for the most exquisite atmosphere and amazing brunch, especially with your family. I had the eggs benedict which was so tasty. The flaky biscuit, crisp Canadian bacon, and perfect poached egg, all smothered in hollandaise sauce did not disappoint. I was impressed with all of the other breakfast options that they had to offer as well. I loved bringing my parents here especially because it was located in the French Quarter and we could walk around and explore after.

3. Shaya 

Shaya has always been one of my favorite restaurants. With many unique Israeli and Mediterranean-style foods to choose from, you seriously can't go wrong with anything you decide to order. My personal favorite happens to be their unique selection of hummuses. Shaya's service is excellent and they are constantly coming back to your table to give you endless amounts of freshly baked pita for you to dip in your hummus.

I personally love the fried chicken hummus. Sounds interesting, right? It has many pieces of crispy fried chicken along with date salsa verde, Tunisian spices, and Aleppo pepper. It is magnificent! I recommend you come to Shaya if you are in the mood to share a bunch of small plates and get a taste of everything. And they do have amazing large plates too. 

4. Satsuma

Lindsay Axelrad

I am not exaggerating when I say my friends and I go to Satsuma every weekend. I absolutely love everything I've tried on the Satsuma menu. My go-to happens to be the Turkey Sandwich which is pictured above. With soft yet crunchy sourdough bread, thinly sliced turkey, provolone cheese, roasted peppers, and arugula, all smothered in a tasty aioli, it is outstanding. The best part of Satsuma is that it's only a fifteen-minute walk from campus, so be prepared to see many Tulane students. The service is always quick and bustling. 

Also pictured above is their pumpkin pancake special. The fluffy and crispy pancake definitely set the mood for the holiday season. Overall, Satsuma is the perfect brunch spot and has so many options even for people with dietary restrictions. 

5. Domenica

If you are ever craving tasty Italian food, Domenica is the perfect place to go. Located in the Roosevelt Hotel, this restaurant always impresses me. Their unique selections of pizza and pasta make me feel like I am in Italy and all of the fresh ingredients that they use definitely make their restaurant stand out. My personal favorites are the two handmade pastas, Bucatini All'amatriciana and Truffle Agnolotti. The best way to describe the Bucatini dish is it contains thick spaghetti noodles in a flavorful tomato sauce with crispy guanciale (a type of meat) and pecorino romano cheese. The Truffle Agnolotti is outstanding. This pasta is stuffed with creamy ricotta and Grana Padano cheese with a strong truffle flavor. Overall, this restaurant in New Orleans is a lovely Italian restaurant with a variety of options!  

6. La Petite Grocery

Lindsay Axelrad

All I have to say about La Petite Grocery is WOW. This restaurant definitely exceeded my expectations. The French-styled dishes provide a taste of real French cuisine. My dad and I started off with the blue crab beignets, which are pictured above. The crisp golden brown outside stuffed with shredded pieces of blue crab with a malt vinegar aioli dipping sauce was mouthwatering. For dinner, I had the gulf shrimp and grits which had charred corn, shiitake mushrooms, and tasso and taleggio. My dad and I shared the creamy smooth butterscotch pudding for dessert, which came with spiced gingersnap cookies. I consider it one of the best restaurants in New Orleans.

7. GW Fins

GW Fins is outstanding, and definitely the perfect place to bring your family when they come down to visit. Although it is more on the expensive side, it is very worth it, especially if you love to eat fish. Their menu changes constantly, considering they catch their own fish on the daily. My absolute favorite appetizer is the lobster dumplings. They contain white fish mousseline, tomatoes, and lobster butter. Every single main dish sounds better than the next, and even the presentation of the dishes is gorgeous and Instagram-worthy. 

8. Willa Jean

Lindsay Axelrad

Willa Jean was actually the first restaurant that was recommended to me when I first visited New Orleans. Since then, I have been back many times. Willa Jean has amazing food and even better dessert. If you've ever seen the cookies with big chocolate chunks alongside a cup of glistening vanilla milk and a whisk filled with cookie dough, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The soft yet chewy texture of the cookie as the chocolate chunks melted in my mouth is unbelievable.

Anyways, this bakery has scrumptious baked goods and brunch options. Pictured above is my avocado toast with a poached egg. The presentation of the dish is spectacular. Overall, it is definitely worth taking a trip to Willa Jean.

9. Jazmine Café

Jazmine Café is another restaurant that I am a frequent customer of, as I go almost every Sunday night. They are undoubtedly known for their spring rolls, and on their menu, they have a whole page devoted to different types of spring rolls, from raw choices, to cooked choices, to vegetarian choices. My personal favorite is the spicy tuna spring rolls which contain fresh spicy tuna, cucumber, smelt roe, and noodles. Think of any sushi roll combination and they probably have it in the form of a spring roll.

All of the ingredients they use are extremely fresh and if you are a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, Jazmine Café will not disappoint. One of my favorite main dishes to get at Jazmine is the steak sesame noodle salad bowl. The thin cold vermicelli noodles paired with shredded cucumbers, lettuce, sizzling flavorful steak cubes, white onions, pickled carrots, and cilantro makes for the perfect dish. My roommate loves to get the poke bowl which she says always comes with the freshest pieces of fish. 

10. Copper Vine

Lindsay Axelrad

Coppervine has a wide range of food options, all of which are outstanding. Surrounded by lush greenery, the atmosphere of Coppervine contributes to the amazing dining experience. You honestly can't go wrong with what you order here. They have a wide variety of shareable snacks as well as a large selection of main dishes. Pictured above is the herb-roasted mushroom pasta, which I love to get almost every time I am there. The al dente fettuccini pasta drenched in a flavorful creamy parmesan sauce alongside mushrooms and topped with the most perfect poached egg makes this dish divine. The menu here ranges from American food like a burger all the way to unique New Orleans-styled food such as crawfish grilled cheese. If you have the chance, you should certainly check out Coppervine!

This list could literally go on forever, but if there's one thing you could takeaway from this, the restaurants in New Orleans are some of the best there are. Start making your list now, and get ready to explore all of the outstanding and culturally diverse eats that the city of New Orleans has to offer!