If you're looking to settle into a coffeeshop to chat, study or just savor a cup of coffee and a pastry, CC's has everything you need. Many locations also have wireless Internet. A locally founded chain, Community Coffee serves its own hot, iced and specialty coffees. There are also bagels, muffins and other baked goods. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

3217 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 833-1799
For a casual lunch or a quick bite and a drink, head to the Caddyshack for sandwiches, burgers, French fries and onion rings. Also available are daily specials from the kitchen such as red beans on Monday, fried seafood platters on Friday and other dishes like spaghetti and fried chicken on the days in between. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

CAFé 59
1931 Hwy. 59, Mandeville, 727-1120;
Gourmet spring rolls and Asian accents fill the menu at this pleasant café. The morning starts with big breakfast platters like the cheese omelet in a burrito or on a croissant. Baja fish tacos are popular at lunch. The dinner menu ranges from Cajun gumbo to Asian tuna salad to Chinese style Lo Mein with pork, peas and carrots and Asian Cajun shrimp fried rice. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

300 Poydras St., 595-3305; www.café
Café Adelaide features distinctive Creole dining with dishes like the Old-Fashioned Duck Breast, which brings together fried oysters, duck crackling dirty rice and muscovy duck confit. The restaurant's Swizzle Stick Bar has built its own reputation for cocktails crafted with care and imagination. Diners who love fine drinking can now reserve an exclusive table, where the chef pairs food with signature cocktails mixed tableside. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

912 Royal St., 412-8965;
Occupying a carriage house and pretty courtyard, Amelie offers a great setting for a quiet lunch or dinner in the midst of the French Quarter. Dishes include Louisiana crab cakes with a citrus drizzle, blackened lamb chops served with a mango pepper jelly and pan-seared salmon topped with a horseradish sauce and complemented by haricot vert. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sun., dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

901 Louisiana Ave., 891-9626;
The beautiful and spacious renovated interior of this edge-of-the-Garden District café, is a bright spot to enjoy creative Creole cooking. Striped bass Barataria is grilled skin on and served with artichoke, fennel relish and topped with crabmeat, shrimp and tomato butter. The pork roulade with housemade sausage is served with a root beer demiglace, collard greens and black-eye peas. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

3445 Prytania St., 891-5773
Café Banquette offers a menu of salads, burgers, wraps and po-boys in a casual atmosphere with a large bar. Try the Banquette Burger topped with bacon, grilled onion and cheddar cheese, or the Prytania, a po-boy with turkey, ham and roast beef with gravy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

311 Bourbon St., 525-2611; 334B Royal St., 524-5530; 819 Decatur St., 522-9929; www.café
Each of the Café Beignets has its own charm. The Royal Street location shares an adjoining shaded slate patio, perfect for enjoying a morning coffee with beignets, pastries or a light lunch. The Bourbon Street location in the courtyard of what was Jazz Legends Park features live jazz bands and a more extensive menu. Breakfast and light fluffy beignets dusted with powdered sugar are offered all day. Andouille hash browns are studded with the spicy sausage. The Bourbon croissant sandwich is stuffed with turkey, bacon and cheddar with lettuce, tomato and pickles on the side. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

This delivery-only café offers lunch in the CBD and Warehouse District. The menu is made up mostly of wraps and salads. The Club C.B.D. is layered with turkey, ham, avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese and mayo. Available as either salads or sandwiches are the basil chicken and the Mediterranean with avocado, black olives, spinach, roasted tomatoes, feta cheese and balsamic aioli. There are also hand-tossed pizzas. Delivery available. No reservations. Checks. $

4301 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, 885-4845;
There's a little bit of everything at Café Café. Start the day with muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit or yogurt. Lunch options include two daily soup specials, sandwiches on wheat, croissant, pita or marbled rye, salads and quiche. The avocado salad on romaine lettuce with gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, orange segments, red onions and mango vinaigrette is popular. Salads can be enhanced with scoops of egg salad or chicken salad. There are lots of coffee drinks and herbal decaffeinated teas. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

4041 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-2299
Stop in to Café D'Cappuccino for a hearty start to the day. The Eddie Breakfast delivers eggs, hash browns, choice of meat (bacon or sausage) and your pick of toast or biscuit. Or grab a Big Wills wrap, filled with egg and cheese plus bacon or sausage. The menu for lunch and dinner offers an array of wraps, veggie burgers and sandwiches. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635; www.café
This sunny French bistro offers the ambience of al fresco dining on its cozy covered patio. Cheese boards, charcuterie plates and wine start casual meals, followed by dishes like Brussels sprouts salad with pan-roasted Brussels sprouts served with stilton cheese, apple-smoked bacon and Spanish sherry vinaigrette. The menu is full of well-executed classics like Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in white wine with fennel, fresh herbs and served with French fries and garlic aioli. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

1801 Stumpf Blvd., Terrytown, 361-3106
Traditional Italian dishes served in a pleasant ambience is what Café DiBlasi is all about. Popular dishes include osso buco of baby veal shanks roasted in veal broth and served with a red sauce. The bracioloni wraps Italian meat and cheeses into a round and simmers it in a tomato sauce. The dish is served with pasta and a garden salad. Italian favorites such as lasagna and spaghetti are also available. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

2104 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 361-0058
Check out the pastas, pizzas and Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Regulars love the chicken Pomodori served with onions, bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes cooked in butter and covered in both Alfredo and marinara sauces. Calzones include meat-heavy options like a mix of pepperoni, ground beef, sausage and Canadian bacon with mozzarella and marinara. Reservations recommended for parties of 10 or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Citywide; www.café
If you're going to do one thing and do it well, this is the model to follow. Café du Monde has offered café au lait with chicory and airy beignets loaded with powdery sugar for more than a century. You can also cool off with an iced coffee. Beyond the relatively recent addition of orange juice and a soda fountain, that's what's made the original 24-hour French Market location at Jackson Square world famous. Now locations throughout the New Orleans area offer the classic powdered beignets and coffee. No reservations. Cash only. $

4628 Rye St., Metairie, 888-0078;
Café East crafts an upscale and creative take on many traditional Chinese and southeast Asian dishes, complementing them with an extensive wine list. Entrees include coconut-poached salmon, honey-walnut shrimp, marinated and wok-seared boneless duck served with ginger-soy glaze and Thai-style red snapper. The menu picks up cues from Japan, Mongolia and many Chinese regional cuisines. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

1241 Decatur St., 524-3689;
the Marigny-side of the Quarter, Café Envie is a quaint locals' hangout. A Wi-Fi-equipped espresso bar and café, this neighborhood favorite serves gourmet coffee and tea, pastries, ready-made sandwiches and desserts in a quiet and friendly atmosphere. The eggs Envie is really a mini-omelet filled with melted brie and topped with ham, served on a toasted croissant. The St. Ann panini is a grilled chicken breast served with roasted peppers, pesto, fresh basil and tomato on toasted ciabatta bread. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and brunch daily. Credit cards. $

2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-4772
Café Equator proves that you don't have to sail to zero latitude in order to enjoy international cuisine. With house specialties of pad Thai and pad woon zen -- clear noodles sautéed with chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, onions and zucchini -- culinary paradise is never too far away. An extensive Thai menu is available. Reservations recommended for parties of five or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

307 Chartres St., 529-9641
This cozy café provides a great start to a day in the French Quarter. The breakfast and lunch menus offer an array of omelets and sandwiches with Louisiana flavor, like the Fleur de Lis omelet made with crawfish tails, pepperjack cheese, peppers, onions and crawfish sauce. There is a panini version of a muffuletta sandwich. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

7329 Freret St., 861-7890
A casual spot for a meal at morning, noon or night, Café Freret offers dishes like grilled salmon a la Parmesan. A 6- to 8-oz. fillet is grilled and served over angel hair pasta with a Parmesan sauce and complemented by steamed vegetables and a side salad. The Crabby Benedict is a brunch special of poached eggs atop crab cakes and English muffin halves, all graced with hollandaise sauce. Other variations include a sirloin or portobello Benedict. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Fri.-Wed., late-night Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

4441 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 887-2010
Café Fresca is a casual spot to drop in for homemade soup, salads, sandwiches and regular specials such as fried chicken club salad with crumbled bacon, avocado, chopped egg, tomatoes and croutons over fresh greens. The Sante Fe pita offers a good taste of the southwest, featuring marinated and chargrilled chicken breast topped with mashed avocado, tomato and onion relish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

117 Decatur St., 527-2154; www.café
Chef Duke LoCicero's cooking sings with both classic and innovative flavors for a Creole-infused new world Italian cuisine at his French Quarter restaurant. Sample dishes include Tuscany asparagus in which prosciutto and mozzarella are wrapped around asparagus and then served over mixed greens with sun-dried tomato, pumpkin seed and basil pesto. The duck classico is a roasted half-duck served with a sweet Marsala-roasted garlic glaze and mashed potatoes. The restaurant's martini bar has its own menu of specialty cocktails made with fresh juices and ingredients. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit Cards. $$$

2324 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-6343
Stop by in the morning for a jolt of coffee and then stop back in for a wide range of lunch options. The shrimp pesto pasta salad puts pesto pasta made with sautéed shrimp over a Caesar salad and tops it with feta cheese. The roast beef po-boy is sliced thin, slathered in gravy and served dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayo on a pistolette. Other options range from cobb salad to chicken or tuna salad wraps to barbecue shrimp. No reservations. Breakfast Tue.-Sun., lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

802 Nashville Ave., 269-2444
A cozy coffeehouse with a grand porch overlooking Magazine Street, Café Luna is the perfect place to relax with a book, a cup of joe or a few friends. Pastries and sandwiches are served from the small coffee bar inside, where you'll also find a variety of drinks and loose-leaf and herbal teas. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

3051 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-9007
Creole classics like seafood-stuffed eggplant join refined French-Creole dishes on Café Lynn's menu. The pork osso buco is a braised pork shank served with fresh vegetables and a natural jus. Fried eggplant slices are served with chunky tomato fondue made with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. For lunch, the croque madame features ham, Swiss cheese and béchamel sauce on a seven-grain batard, which is topped with a fried egg. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

601 Decatur St., 523-6250
Known for its inexpensive sandwiches, Café Maspero provides a casual, convenient stop for a hearty meal in the heart of the French Quarter. In addition to New Orleans classics like fried catfish and muffulettas, the sandwich collection includes deli specialties like pastrami served on large rolls. Side dishes like Cajun jambalaya and calamari appetizers round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

4139 Canal St., 482-6266
Fans of Lemon Grass' chef Minh Bui will recognize some of his French-Vietnamese fusion dishes at Café Minh. Appetizers include a crabmeat and sweet corn soup, shrimp dumplings, coconut shrimp and summer rolls of shrimp, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and rice noodles wrapped in rice paper and served with a peanut-citrus dipping sauce. Five-spice lacquered duck is among the entrée choices along with blackened jumbo scallops, an oven-roasted Asian-marinated pork tenderloin and the chef's bouillabaisse. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

606 Frenchmen St., 944-4744
This Marigny restaurant and music hall features reggae on the stage up front. Grab a Red Stripe or a tropical drink and prepare for spicy island flavors in dishes like curried goat, Caribbean roasted pork, duck, ox tails, Bahaman chowder and vegetarian plates. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

3100 Magazine St., 897-0920
Start with the excellent lentil soup to see what sets this Magazine Street Middle Eastern restaurant apart from its peers. Smooth, hearty and refreshing all at once, it is an appetizer that bodes well for the rest of the menu. A distinctive blend of seasonings enlivens the kebabs and the other grilled meat plates. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1510 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-9200
Though most of the pizza at Café Nino is thin crusted, call ahead to preorder the thick crust Sicilian. This pie takes an hour to cook, but it's well worth the wait. Entrees include Italian dishes like baked ziti, spaghetti, meat and pasta combinations and calzones. If you're in the mood for a sandwich, try the Philly cheese steak, meatball sub or chicken sandwich. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Checks. $$

546 St. Peter St., 522-1180
Sitting on a scenic corner of Jackson Square, Café Pontalba offers a menu tour of New Orleans favorites with dishes like etouffée, jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and po-boys. There is plenty of fried seafood like shrimp, oysters and catfish as well as alligator bites. After a meal, grab a drink from the bar for a stroll around the square. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

2031 St. Charles Ave., 524-0581;
The Mile High Pie made with neopolitan ice cream and dripping with chocolate sauce, was introduced at Café Pontchartrain in 1948 and remains a beloved favorite. The café offers three meals a day of luxe, Creole-inflected specialties like Southern eggs, which feature fried green tomatoes topped with Gulf shrimp, poached eggs and tasso cream. Lunch includes dishes like blackened-chicken quesadillas, seafood gumbo and catfish Creole. The paneed chicken breast is dusted with Cajun spices and breadcrumbs, pan seared and served with a Creole hunter sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 800-298-0711;
If you're looking for a quick bite at the Treasure Chest, stop by the café for sandwiches. There are also daily specials like stuffed peppers with dirty rice, meat lasagna, chicken-fried steak and spaghetti and meatballs. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

2917 Magazine St., 895-2500
Salads and sandwiches feature tastes from around the globe at Café Rani. There is everything from Thai flavors to Jamaican jerk chicken, sashimi-style tuna to southwestern-style burgers. New Orleans barbecue shrimp is a popular appetizer, and starters made to share include spinach and artichoke dip and a medley of hummus, black olive tapanade and feta cheese served with warm wheat pita. There's also a version of the new classic New Orleans pasta dish Crawfish Monica. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157; www.café
The mission of this nonprofit Central City café is to help young people gain experience for productive careers in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Currently served caféteria style, the menu changes daily. Some regular dishes include smothered pork chops, fried catfish, shrimp etouffée, shrimp Creole and white beans and shrimp. Specials come with two side items. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Checks. $

Several independent Café Romas offer gourmet pizza. Delivery is available from locations in the Lower Garden District, North Causeway Boulevard, Gretna and out of Turtle Bay in the French Quarter. There is a wide variety of toppings. Other menu items vary by location. The Lower Garden Café Roma offers pasta dishes. Turtle Bay offers salads, sandwiches and some appetizers. No reservations. Delivery available. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

634 Frenchmen St., 949-3300
This warm café in the Marigny serves a variety of international coffees and teas, baked muffins, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast plates with eggs and bacon, bagels and lox or homemade flavored cream cheeses like jalapeno-tomato or garlic-herb blends. For lunch there are salads, sandwiches and rotating specials with options like paninis of tuna salad and brie, roasted eggplant with hummus or pastrami with pepperjack cheese. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

3343 Metairie Road, Metairie, 304-8438
Café Royale offers a café setting with a huge display case that features pastries, cakes, bagels, donuts, scones and muffins to go with numerous coffee and tea options. The kitchen prepares dishes like Thai chicken salad on romaine lettuce with sliced tomatoes, almonds and a spicy ginger-sesame peanut sauce. The chicken Royale is a grilled chicken breast with provolone cheese, roma tomatoes and mayo on focaccia bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

3749 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 832-1444
Café Satora can speed up your morning commute or caffeinate your evening drive with specialty coffee drinks such as the always popular iced mocha. Or take your time and peruse the menu of sandwiches, salads and hot-pressed spinach and feta paninis. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

2529 Dauphine St., 948-8884
This neighborhood joint offers a rotating roster of inexpensive soul food favorites in the Faubourg Marigny. Red beans start off the week on Monday, and choices like spaghetti with meat sauce, stewed or fried chicken, pork chops and candied yams and gumbo round out the weekly line-up. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Cash only. $

720 Dublin St., 861-4227;
Tucked away in the Riverbend, this romantic restaurant features hearty continental fare with Mediterranean influences. The lamb shank is slowly braised in the oven and served with demiglace and pasta. The shrimp Catalan is sautéed with garlic in butter with mushrooms and tomatoes and served over wild rice or pasta. Other options include red snapper and rib-eye steaks. For dessert, the créme brulee is popular. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon. and Wed.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

5024 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 889-7770
The friendly wait staff at this casual, family-run Italian restaurant serves fresh, homemade foods, including a large selection of salads, soups, sandwiches and dinner entrees. Try everything from the meatloaf and lasagna to the shrimp or chicken Alfredo. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

3900 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 727-4222; 4301 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, 885-4845;
Head to Caffe! Caffe! and you'll find much more than coffee. Savory salad options include one with grilled chicken, avocado, gorgonzola cheese and walnuts tossed with homemade mango vinaigrette. Sandwiches include the chicken Caesar salad in a pita. Every day there are several different soups like Brazilian shrimp, seafood-okra gumbo and corn and crab. No reservations. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon.-Sat, early dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $

116 Baronne St., 566-0055;
Cheapskates all over town know about Welfare Wednesdays with $1 domestic beers and orders of appetizers for a buck. Cajun Mike's is also a spot to grab some bar food or sandwiches. Patrons can graze on wings, Texas toothpicks (onions and jalapenos fried in onion ring batter), poppers, seafood gumbo and quesadilla rolls. The sandwich options include a Cuban sandwich, cochon de lait, shrimp and oyster po-boys. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

910 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 471-2200;
Named for the sweet, deep-fried rice cakes that are a longtime Creole tradition, Calas features a tasting menu-style appetizer that combines shrimp, jambalaya and crawfish versions of calas, all served with a green onion pepper jelly. Executive chef Jeffrey Wagner presents his own take on such classic Creole dishes as fish meuniere, pan-fried and topped with shrimp and roasted pecans, or variations on duck breast with pepper jelly sauce and cornbread dressing. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

326 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 875-9676
Caribbean and South American accents flavor the cuisine at Calypso. The Caribbean spiced pork chop is a bone-in, center-cut chop that's dry-rubbed with Caribbean spices and grilled. The 12-oz. rib-eye steak is brushed with garlic- and parsley-infused oil and grilled. It's served with an Argentine chimichurri sauce, a side salad and choice of sides that change daily. Appetizers include beer-battered coconut shrimp and crab cakes with white remoulade. Reservations for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

525 W. Gause Blvd., Slidell, (985) 649-6211; 69455 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 809-6313
Camellia Café offers an array of New Orleans-style comfort food. Try homemade soups like French onion and oyster and artichoke, and hearty entrées of beef tips on a bed of egg noodles, paneed veal or stuffed crabs. The classic shrimp remoulade is a popular appetizer. The Abita Springs location offers a menu of big, potent specialty cocktails. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $

516 S. Tyler St., Covington, (985) 246-6992
Just about everything is done in house at Campbell's, including roasting the beans for the house blend of coffee. Homebaked items include blueberry, carrot and banana-nut muffins, muffin tops, scones and cinnamon rolls. Soup choices range from broccoli and cheese to chicken enchilada to shrimp and corn bisque. For sandwiches, there are roasted turkey, ham, three-cheese and artichoke paninis. On the cool side, frozen coffee drinks, iced green tea and frozen fruit smoothies are available all day long. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

4141 St. Charles Ave., 891-3200;
For nearly two decades, Cannon's has been a stately presence on St. Charles Avenue. Casual American classics like steaks, steamed lobster and large entrée salads are mainstays of the menu. House specials include chicken Reginald prepared with sautéed mushrooms and hollandaise sauce. Crab cakes Salvatore are served over linguine with crawfish sauce and blackened redfish is finished with bordelaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

541 Decatur St., 586-1414;
Savor a glass of wine from Carmelo's extensive list while you enjoy a balcony seat with views of the Mississippi River. For dinner, try any of the house specialties, including an array of veal preparations and lobster with spicy marinara. Classic Italian dishes include antipasto plates, minestrone soup, fried calamari and pasta dishes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner Mon.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

4101 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-7904
Carmine's is a popular spot for Italian and Creole cooking. The seafood-stuffed artichoke starts with a steamed artichoke that is loaded with shrimp and catfish and then battered and fried. It's served with a creamy dill sauce and crawfish tails. The bracilone features veal stuffed with a mixture of genoa salami, provolone, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, black olives, hard-boiled egg and bread crumbs, all simmered in a homemade red sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

1200 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 727-7212; 1340 Lindberg Drive, Slidell, (985) 847-0020; 2320 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-6696
Whether your visit to Carreta's starts with chips dunked in queso dip or a salty margarita, these popular restaurants let you know from the get-go that you're in for a crowd-pleasing cantina experience. Mexican classics like burritos, tacos, enchiladas and fajitas are available on their own or as combo plates and the spicy shrimp will tantalize your tongue long after dinner. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

8140 Willow St., 865-9190
You don't have to leave this Uptown live music hotspot just because you get hungry. The grill offers a stick-to-your-ribs menu of sandwiches, burgers and fried appetizers. Daily specials include shrimp etouffee, spaghetti and meatballs and seafood platters. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

800 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 951-8226; 8814 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 464-0354
Whether dining in Kenner or Mandeville, fans of this casual, family-friendly Tex-Mex eatery usually go straight for favorite dishes like corn tamales, tacos and enchiladas. Seafood is featured in dishes like the chile rellenos stuffed with crabmeat and shrimp and beer-battered shrimp. Reservations recommended. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

3030 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-2209;
Casablanca offers something a little different on the Middle Eastern culinary scene with tastes of Moroccan and North African cooking. The Cornish hen el Morocco is stuffed with rice, almonds and raisins, while the fish tagine is baked with herbs, fresh garlic, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and Moroccan sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sun.- Fri., dinner Sun.-Thu. Credit cards. $$

4330 Magazine St., 895-9761;
In business since 1919 in its iconic, tile-covered storefront location, Casamento's is one of the most beloved oyster purveyors in a city where bivalves are serious business. Try them raw on the half shell, in gumbo or fried and served on thick slabs of Texas toast. Shrimp, soft shell crabs and marinated crab claws share the spotlight. No reservations. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Thurs.-Sat. Cash only. $$

308 S. Cate Ave., Hammond, (985) 340-3891;
From sushi to pasta dishes, seafood is the focus at Cate Street. There is a full sushi menu, and creative rolls like the crunchy roll with snow crab and the Philadelphia roll with smoked salmon are popular. Or opt for a spicy tuna steak seasoned with crushed wasabi peas. Less Asian in inspiration are dishes like shrimp and crawfish tails tossed with baby spinach in a marinara cream sauce and served over penne pasta. Beef options include a Black Angus steak. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

1801 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 737-8455;
The deli at Cellars offers a long list of sandwiches, salads and burgers as well as quesadillas and fajitas. The specialty sandwiches include the shrimp remoulade on French bread as well as Philly cheese steaks, club sandwiches, a barbecue beef sandwich and a muffuletta. The chicken quesadillas are made on lightly grilled pita bread with melted cheese, diced onions, tomatoes and jalapenos and come with sides of sour cream and salsa. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

925 Decatur St., 523-1620
The legend lives on at this landmark of Italian-New Orleans eating on Decatur Street. Though the shelves are stocked with all kinds of imported Italian meats and cheeses, seasonings and canned goods, most visitors head straight to the counter to order a muffuletta stacked with salty meats, smooth cheese and luscious olive salad. A Barq's longneck root beer makes the perfect accompaniment. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

7457 St. Charles Ave., 865-8636
Replacing a series of gourmet delis, C'est Si Bon is a full-fledged restaurant that also offers professional catering. At lunch, the menu features grilled chicken breasts, towering blue cheese and bacon burgers, a veggie sandwich with portobello mushrooms, red peppers and zucchini as well as gumbo, shrimp etouffee and salads. Dinner adds dishes like fried calamari or pasta primavera with penne pasta and garlic white wine sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

3216 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 838-9935;
There's something for everyone at Chad's Bistro, from fried seafood to pasta dishes and steaks. Options include the chicken Parmesan, which features an 8-oz. boneless breast grilled or fried and served in an Italian herb sauce over angel hair pasta with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Big enough for two people, the super seafood platter includes golden-fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, stuffed crab, stuffed shrimp, a jumbo soft-shell crab, plus a potato, salad and Texas toast. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

601 Chartres St., 586-8383;
Guests can dine between the big front doors that are open to the street in nice weather. The menu includes creative appetizers like duck quesadillas, Tabasco wings and a seafood sampler. Entrees tend to be more familiar Creole dishes like the Creole crawfish platter offering portions of fried crawfish tails, crawfish etouffée and crawfish cakes served with French fries and hush puppies. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

3501 Chateau Blvd., Kenner, 465-9444; 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., East Bank Regional Library, Metairie, 888-0601
The coffee house serves freshly baked pastries, hot and iced coffee as well a wide range of lunch and dinner items including specialty wraps, burgers, quesadillas, salads and signature sandwiches. The East Bank Regional Library gives new meaning to reading a good book over a hot cup of joe. The Chateau makes literature and coffee an inseparable pair. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards and checks. $

3901 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 467-0054;
Proudly French-French (not French-Creole) and luxuriously so, Chateau du Lac's menu is full of continental classics like escargot swimming in garlic butter, seared foie gras with port, coq au vin and sautéed calf's liver with Roquefort sauce. Lighter fare includes a green salad with shallots and green onions and the poisson du jour. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

501 Esplanade Ave., 281-4847
People head to Checkpoint Charlie's to hear music, play pool, do laundry and for the burgers. The grill is open 24 hours a day, and the small menu also includes bar food such as French fries, cheese sticks, chicken nuggets and cheese fries. The Cajun burger is a spicy half-pound burger served on a toasted bun with French fries. A few other sandwich options include fish and chicken. No reservations. Open 24-hours daily. Credit cards. $

528 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 875-9793
This Northshore meat-and-cheese haven serves up juicy sandwiches with your choice of toppings. For authenticity, try the Cheesesteak Deluxe, complete with mayo, onions and mushrooms. Sides include salads and baked potatoes. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

1201 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 368-2100; 1325 W. Esplanade, Kenner, 469-5657; 3330 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-7788;
Chevy's places a premium on freshness in its Tex-Mex food by doing things like making fresh salsa several times each day. Fish tacos feature two flour tortillas filled with grilled fish and served with rice and beans. Fajitas come with mesquite-grilled chicken, beef, shrimp or vegetables. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

5701 Magazine St., 899-7303
Chez Nous is the place to stop for a quart of this, a platter of that and a sampling of sauce and no one but you will know the secret when you serve it at your home. This one-stop shop offers wine and packaged gourmet-to-go food. The kitchen's ever-changing menu fills a complete calendar of tempting choices. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

830 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 366-8822
Cantonese cuisine is the specialty of Harvey's China Doll. The Empress Lo Mein features a royal blend of chicken, shrimp, pork, beef and vegetables with thin noodles in a savory sauce. Lunch combinations abound, complemented by shrimp fried rice and choice of egg roll or cho cho, a crispy fried wonton made from pork and shrimp. House specialties include the Crab Rangoon, a fried wonton filled with crab, spices and cream cheese. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

704 S. Carrollton Ave., 865-1428
Some specialties at this Riverbend restaurant include sizzling black pepper beef or chicken. Slices of meat are sautŽed with onion, red and green peppers and served with a brown sauce on a hot plate with steamed rice. The Empress Chow Mein tops crispy thin noodles with scallops, shrimp, chicken, beef and assorted vegetables in a brown sauce. Perennial favorites at China Orchid include pot stickers, egg drop soup, moo goo gai pan, crab Rangoon and General Tsao's Chicken. Some luncheon specials are accompanied by an egg roll and fried rice, and ­ for another buck ­ soup. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 218-8969
Located in the lobby of the Heritage Plaza building right on the Jefferson Parish border, Chops is a power lunch destination during the day and a place for strong cocktails, thick steaks and elegant ambience at all hours. The kitchen's specialties include a grilled veal chop, sirloins and generously cut rib-eye steaks. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner nightly. Credit cards. $$$

429 Wall Blvd., Gretna, 392-3939;
Elegance and comfort converge at Christina Tsang's restaurant. Chef's creations include the Empress Poached Salmon served atop fresh ginger and scallions. The Tangeri beef is flash-fried beef and orange peel served with a sweet, peppery sauce. Christina's also offers lunch specials of sweet-and-sour chicken (with sides of either fried or steamed rice, an egg roll and tea) and family-style suppers with dishes like moo shu pork with plum sauce. Reservations recommended for parties of four or more. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

1102 Stumpf Blvd., Gretna, 368-6498
There's more at Christy's than just sandwiches. While there are pressed Cuban sandwiches of pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles, specials include many Spanish dishes, like the Friday and Saturday special of stewed oxtails served over rice with plantains. Or try the traditional ropa viejo, an entree of shredded beef in red gravy served with rice, black beans and plantains. Fresh shakes are made with mango and papaya. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

1100 Elmwood Park Road, Jefferson, 733-8562
A neighborhood institution, Chun Lee has been satisfying Jefferson diners for more then 25 years with its American-style Chinese cuisine. Can't decide on an appetizer? Order the eclectic Chun Lee Special Platter: balamaki, fried shrimp, rumaki shrimp, an egg roll, paper-wrapped chicken, ribs, fried wonton and barbecue pork. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

3100 Kingman St., Metairie, 885-651
6The namesake dish at this laid-back Metairie Latin American cafŽ is often likened to a Cuban beignet ­ crunchy, fried spirals of dough dusted with cinnamon or sugar. More savory specialties include pressed Cuban sandwiches and plate lunches like steak with lime and garlic served with black beans and rice. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

7918 Maple St. 866-9551
Ciro's offers thin-crust gourmet pizzas like the Bianca with feta, artichoke hearts, tomato, onions and pesto on top of a white sauce. Entrees include the popular seafood pasta. A roasted duck breast is served with a peach and apricot bourbon sauce on top of mashed potatoes. Reservations accepted. Dinner Wed.-Mon. Checks. $$

6011 Annunciation St., 895-1111
From a collection of dining rooms tucked away in a quiet Uptown neighborhood, Clancy's has emerged as a bastion of modern Creole cooking. Starters include fried oysters topped with brie and served on a bed of spinach. A popular entrŽe is the smoked pork loin served with green peppercorn demiglace. The entrees change frequently but stay focused on local seafood and high-quality steaks and chops. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

2505 Whitney Ave., Gretna, 366-3995
Belgian touches set Clementine's apart. Try the classic steamed mussels served with a white wine cream sauce and accompanied by crisp Belgian fries. Salads are light and tossed with restrained mixes of olive oil and vinegar. The Salad Legoise is both hot and cold, with warm potatoes and bacon topping cool greens. Among the crepes, a delicate version includes baby spinach with goat cheese and Parmesan. Try the apple crepe for dessert. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

2701 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 361-1113
Cleopatra's serves hummus with garlic and the falafel is fried crispy. Entrees like the kebab barg offer an entire feast with charbroiled beef tenderloin, grilled tomato, hummus, rice and a salad. A vegetarian plate includes portions of couscous, hummus, falafel, vegetarian dolmeh and tabbouleh. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

900 Bourbon St., 598-1010;
Take a seat at the counter of this classic diner where you can watch the cooks grill one burger after another with the help of a hubcap that locks in moistness, or take in the always lively doings of Bourbon Street at a window table with a view. Big, fluffy plate-filling omelets are a specialty. No reservations. Open 24 hours Thu.-Sun., breakfast, lunch and late-night Mon.-Wed. Credit cards. $

300 Decatur St., 581-2534;
This two-story club combines live jazz (Wednesday-Saturday), swing nights, Latin music and other performances with fine dining in the upper French Quarter. The kitchen serves dishes like filet mignon, lobster, pork loin and shrimp-stuffed grilled trout. Try the bronzed redfish with lobster cream sauce, or the 14-oz. pork chop served over sweet potato gnocchi. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

240 Decatur St., 581-6969
Club Decatur offers a hearty menu of sandwiches and pizzas. Fiesta Delight is a footlong sub with layers of mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, salami, ham, black olives and onions that's baked in the oven and dressed to order. The steak and cheese pizza is a thin-crust pie topped with garlic sauce, mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced steak, onions, peppers and fresh mushrooms. Delivery available. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123;
Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski put their stamp on traditional Cajun cooking in this fun, rustic-looking Warehouse District restaurant. The in-house Boucherie features a half-dozen pork preparations, including andouille and sweet potatoes with a black eyed pea vinaigrette, fried boudin with pickled peppers and head cheese with house-made mustard. Entrees include oven-roasted fresh catch "fisherman style" and smoked beef brisket with horseradish potato salad. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

2515 Bayou Road, 945-8788
Caribbean flavors give this new Esplanade Ridge restaurant some sweet and spicy appeal. The jerk chicken is grilled dark meat chicken that is served with rice, peas and plantains. For seafood, try the grilled red snapper served with a salad, vegetables and fried plantains. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Checks. $$

3218 Dauphine St., 342-2484
Coffea is home to a variety of inspired home-cooked dishes. The Brittany-style crepes are made with a buckwheat batter and available in both sweet and savory varieties. Panini sandwiches include a Cuban sandwich made with lime-marinated pork and the apple panini is a toasted mix of spicy candied pecans, Swiss and Parmesan cheese, grated apples, apple butter and nutmeg. Biscuits and pastries are baked fresh, and sweet potato pancakes are also available for breakfast. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Checks. $

5860 Citrus Blvd., Harahan, 818-0052, 343-5706
Start your day here with a range of coffee and breakfast items, or come back later in the day for local fare such as catfish pecan, pan-fried catfish with a Creole pecan-butter sauce, or crawfish pasta with a spicy pepper cream sauce. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

3431 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 780-9445
Whether you're looking for something hot or cool, slip into the Coffee Cove. Frozen drinks include regular iced coffee as well as frothy cappuccinos. Get a pastry or cookie for an added sweet treat. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

234 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 893-6158
An extensive food menu backs up the many java choices poured at Coffee Rani. The originality is evident in such dishes as the shrimp curry, which features grilled fruits of the sea on a bed of mixed greens with raisins, apples and tangy curry dressing. An Atkins menu is also available as are "Rani Watchers" selections, which operate on a Weight Watchers-like points system. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

624 S. Carrollton Ave., 218-8900;
Cold Stone makes ice cream in-house every day so the frozen treat is always fresh and delicious. Orders are blended on a cool marble slab with items of your choice such as candy, nuts and fruit. The Founder's Favorite is a sweet cream mixed with brownies, pecans, fudge and caramel. The Cheesecake Named Desire is a graham cracker-crusted cheesecake layered with ice cream and topped with raspberry sauce and a whipped raspberry frosting. Shakes and smoothies are also available, and Cold Stone even makes ice cream cakes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

434 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 898-0899;
Besides its wide selection of beers on tap, Columbia offers burgers and a cafŽ menu and features live music Wednesday to Saturday. There's a variety of gourmet burgers, including a black-and-blue burger that is blackened in a skillet and served with blue cheese. Lunch features dishes like grilled fish, blackened Wahoo and fried trout. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

3811 St. Charles Ave., 899-9308;
You don't need to be friends with millionaires to know the pleasures of a leisurely meal or cocktail in a lavish St. Charles Avenue mansion. The Columns and its Albertine's Tea Room is a Gilded Age treasure built in 1883 and now run as a hotel and restaurant. Drop in for a classic American breakfast or for brunch with Southern flair. Reservations recommended. Breakfast Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

8016 W. Metairie Ave., Metairie, 467-9316
Those who are in the know keep coming back to this neighborhood favorite for daily specials such as shrimp Creole, crawfish pasta or crawfish etouffee. Come Back is also popular for its overstuffed muffulettas. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

3826 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-1623
Daily lunch specials and a variety of sandwiches are prepared to satisfy the heartiest appetite. The Joe-Don po-boy features slow-cooked roast beef in gravy on top of sliced ham and melted Swiss cheese. There are also dishes like stuffed crab, crawfish etouffee and pork chops. Soups change daily and some favorites include the Crawfish Boil soup and oyster artichoke soup. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221;
Chef Tory McPhail's tasting menu is back, and he's still offering standout starters like the Oysters Racca, served crispy, draped in bacon-braised artichokes with a cream and smoky oyster demiglace. The Veal Daube Haute Creole is smothered in sautŽed crawfish tails and served with buttermilk fried onions. For dessert, there's the popular Creole bread pudding soufflŽ. Reservations required. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

1109 Decatur St., 525-9053;
From the street, Coop's looks much like the other Decatur Street bars that surround it. But if you step inside and see what folks are digging into at their tables, the picture changes quite a bit. The tavern puts out great versions of rabbit and sausage jambalaya, pasta dishes (featuring house-smoked tasso), duck quesadillas, blackened redfish and other Creole and Cajun favorites. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104;
Sports are always in season at New Orleans' most popular hangout for fans. Cooter's is home to not only countless television screens on which to watch the big game, but also a menu known for surprisingly good grub, including a host of creative variations on Philly sandwiches. Fried seafood, burgers, wings, grilled alligator sausage and sandwiches are also available, and when oysters are in season, the shucker is constantly busy serving them on the half shell. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

4517 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-7620;
The Cheesecake Bistro is a good place to start with dessert and work your way backwards. Specialty cheesecakes include bananas Foster, Oreo cookies and Cream, white chocolate macadamia, strawberry and fudge brownie. The dining menu hits multiple flavor references, with everything from lasagna to Cobb salads to chicken pot pie. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

680 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 809-9659; 1319 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 617-9146; 1337 Gause Blvd., Slidell, (985) 643-0001; 1700 Lapalco Blvd., Harvey, 364-1575;
Copeland's offers creator Al Copeland's takes on many of the most common and popular Cajun and Creole dishes. There are traditional dishes like shrimp Creole as well as seafood combinations like creamy shrimp over golden fried catfish. Pasta dishes include shrimp and tasso over bow-tie pasta and pasta jambalaya. Crawfish popcorn salad also is a popular choice. Lunch features many value-priced specials. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

725 Conti St., 527-0869
Copper Monkey is a Quarter regular's spot to grab lunch or late-night eats from a full menu of quesadillas, salads, burgers and steaks. The penne á la Tina is penne pasta tossed with sautŽed mushrooms and sliced chicken breast in a creamy red sauce. Crab-stuffed mushrooms are packed with snow crab, breaded and deep fried and served with homemade ranch dressing. The bar is open 24 hours and the kitchen is usually open from lunch straight through till early in the morning. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

4243 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-5000
This pulled-pork palace features sandwiches topped with coleslaw, dry or wet ribs and a wide variety of entrees, salads, appetizers and sides. Even the most ferocious appetite will be sated by The Killer, a slab of ribs and a choice of chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey, sausage or fried catfish. This mammoth is also served with barbecue beans, coleslaw and a homemade roll. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

é3316 Green Acres Road, Metairie, 454-1008
The Corner Cafe is a good place to meet for seafood specialties. If you are on a date and searching for something a little formal, cozy up to the seafood platter for two: a dish comprised of two cups of gumbo to start, two side salads, onion rings, stuffed jalape–os and a platter loaded with crab balls, hush puppies, shrimp, oysters, catfish, baby soft-shell crabs, stuffed shrimp and popcorn shrimp. Or try the seafood-stuffed artichokes with seafood sauce. Reservations accepted. Breakfast Tue.-Sun., lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

500 St. Peter St., 522-2999
Pull up a seat at this restaurant at the corner of Jackson Square and introduce yourself to a dozen or so freshly shucked oysters with cocktail sauce, a squirt of lemon or just gilded in their own juices. From the kitchen come regional dishes like pasta with sautŽed crawfish, peppers and onions in a spicy cream sauce or blackened catfish over a bed of linguine mixed with vegetables and white wine sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

1817 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 727-4984
There's more than pizza at this Northshore Italian eatery. House specialties include eggplant or veal parmigiana served with red sauce over angel hair pasta as well as lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs and a new chicken parmigiana. Pizzas, including the meat-lover's special, are served on New York-style thin crusts, but thick crusts are available as well. Subs and salads round out the menu. For dessert, try one of several types of cannolis. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

423 10th St., Gretna, 366-2233
For lunch or dinner, West Bank residents have long known about this aptly named cafŽ tucked into downtown Gretna in a historic Acadian cottage. The menu of Creole and Italian favorites includes specialties like corn, crab and shrimp bisque and trout Tchoupitoulas, pan fried and served with paneed portobello mushrooms, lump crabmeat, gruyere cheese and a white wine reduction. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Sat. Checks. $$

620 Iberville St., 522-1138
For a fast and affordable lunch or dinner in the French Quarter, try the Country Flame and its large menu of Spanish, Mexican and Cuban cuisine. Meals start with chips and tangy, housemade salsa and often move on to Spanish specialties like ropa viejo, a dish of shredded beef over rice with black beans. Dishes include a Cuban sandwich, tamales, several types of fajitas, tacos, marinated and fried pork with yucca or fries, and carne guisada, a Spanish version of beef bourguignonne. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

613 Royal St., 522-7261;
The Court of Two Sisters is known for its daily jazz brunch. The seafood omelet is a mix of crawfish, crabmeat, shrimp, onions, red and green peppers and garlic with a cream sauce on top. Buffet dishes include boiled seafood, pastas, salads and hot entrees including grits and grillades. The á la carte dinner menu features seared duck breast á l'orange served with confit, dirty rice and sweet potato puree with candied pecans. Traditional dishes include turtle soup, baked oysters and many others. Reservations recommended. Lunch and brunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

428 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 833-2722
Chef Jack Leonardi's lunch spot is as creative with po-boys as his restaurant Jacques Imo's is with Cajun and Creole dishes. Crabby Jack's takes fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade and turns it into a po-boy on French bread. Others include the cochon de lait po-boy served with barbecue sauce or the slow-roasted duck po-boy with meat pulled off the bone and served with a brown gravy. Side dishes include items like jambalaya, dirty rice and potato salad. Delivery available for orders of more than $100. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

3520 18th St., Metairie, 887-6641;
Crazy Johnnie's keeps the menu simple with grilled steaks and seafood dishes such as the crawfish Johnnie and New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp. The filet mignon with garlic butter and seasoned Crazy Potatoes is a house favorite at this laidback establishment. When you see just how affordable the steaks are priced, you'll understand why the place is always hopping. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

4924 Prytania St., 894-8680
Picking a flavor is only part of the decision-making process at this popular Uptown ice cream parlor, which has nostalgic decor but very modern tastes in the freezer cases. From the large selection of chocolate variations, the menu expands to include such original and exotic flavors as mascarpone with lemon zest and hibiscus with sweet cranberry. Then there are extra toppings to consider. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

1039 Broadway St., 866-2362
This casual Uptown creperie near Tulane's campus offers dozens of varieties of sweet or savory crepes, or you can design your own. The Crepe á la Montagne combines chicken, mushrooms, white asparagus, garlic and cream. Vegetarian and seasonal options are also offered. Breakfast, coffees and frozen drinks are available all day long. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

527 Decatur St., 522-0571;
Crescent City Brewhouse makes its own fresh German-style beers on premises, but that isn't the only thing brewing here. The kitchen cooks up contemporary Louisiana cuisine like redfish St. Louis, which is pan-seared and topped with fried oysters and smothered in a barbecue sauce made with butter, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. The popular crab cakes Decatur are made with lump crabmeat and topped with remoulade sauce. Reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1001 N. Broad St., 821-3271;
Not even the upheaval from Hurricane Katrina was able to derail the Crescent City's connection with history and tradition. Founded in the 1930s, the place still exudes the uncluttered grace of its day and the menu has hardly changed over the decades. The enormous porterhouse for two is best enjoyed in the privacy of one of the dining room's discreet, curtained booths, while prime filets, T-bones and strip steaks are always enhanced with a bracing side order of garlic and parsley bordelaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

617 Ursulines St., 524-4663
On a quiet and picturesque street in the lower Quarter, Croissant d'Or has long been a picture-perfect example of a NOLA neighborhood bakery and coffee shop. Get a cafe; au lait while you nibble on a croissant, quiche or dessert pastry. Patrons can make a lunch out of the daily soup and a croissant sandwich with bechamel sauce. Check out the small interior patio for an al fresco oasis. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

833 Poydras St., 581-3111;
The dining room at the stately Le Pavillon is an elegant setting for any meal. The extensive breakfast menu offers everything from a healthy selection of fruits and grains to omelets made to order, eggs Benedict and French toast. The dinner menu has a wide selection as well including rib-eye steaks, chicken Le Pavillon and paneed veal. Desserts include such standard favorites as pecan pie, créme brulee and cheesecake. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$$

1300 Gause Blvd., Slidell, (985) 641-4706; 2000 S.W. Railroad Ave., Hammond, (985) 345-2634; 5953 W. Park Ave., Houma, (985) 868-0800
All locations of area Cuco's offer extensive menus and a long list of specialty cocktails. Sizzling fajita plates are popular, and many customers double down with combination platters such as the Mexi-Cali, which pairs a spinach-stuffed chicken breast with enchiladas, a special sauce and vegetables. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

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