3242 Magazine St. 899-0031
Sip margaritas at an outside table this Mexican/Southwest restaurant while you watch passerby for in this busy area. You'll find the usual south-of-the-border fare like nachos and savory fajitas, or try the jerk chicken burrito, which features a sweet homemade jerk sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

500 Chartres St. 524-9752;
Housed in a historic landmark dating from 1797 and family-owned since 1914, this European-style caf — serves French Quarter folks po-boys, soups, salads, gumbo and jambalaya. Specialties include the big Italian muffuletta and Pimms Cup, a gin-based liquor drink with a splash of lemon-lime soda and a cucumber garnish. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Wed. Credit cards. $

6078 Laurel St. 895-9441;
Tucked in the depths of Uptown, this restaurant serves rustic northern Italian cuisine. The management suggests you try Nardo's signature Pollo Rustica, manicotti or anything with Bolognese sauce. Also, check out the popular nightly specials that feature lots of seafood. Reservations accepted for five or more. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

830 N. Rampart St. 324-6420
Flava is the operative word, with this restaurant's home-cooking country soul with a little bit of Creole, Cajun and anything else that's good, like ham hocks, jambalaya, rib-eye steaks, and a Mardi Gras pasta that includes shrimp, crawfish and hot sausage in a thick white sauce. Gourmet coffee, teas and breakfast food are available anytime the caf — is open. No reservations. Breakfast Sat.-Sun., lunch and dinner daily. $

208 Lee Lane, Covington (985) 875-0432Located in downtown Covington, seafood is the name of the game here. Try the Boatload Seafood Platter that is sure to fill your belly and probably that of others as well. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

300 Gravier St. (Windsor Court Hotel) 523-6000;
This elegant restaurant inside the Windsor Court Hotel specializes in French cuisine prepared by French-born Phillipe Andreani. A favorite item is the Windsor Court Salad, a Cobb salad with a special dressing whose ingredients are a closely guarded secret by the chef. A popular entree is Beef Rossini, a filet mignon with foie gras. Reservations accepted for breakfast and lunch, required for dinner. Breakfast daily, lunch in the Polo Lounge Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

817 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 837-3382; 1005 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson 734-1122; 6920 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 455-1272;
Founded in 1985, burgers and fried seafood dominate the menu a this eatery, just as the name indicates. This family-oriented restaurant has a kids menu as well several seafood platters to satisfy fried seafood cravings. If you don't feel like dining in, just hit the drive-thru. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

5201 Magazine St. 891-2376
The Queen is one of the most popular pizzas at this Uptown pizzeria. It's made with an olive-oil sauce, spinach, feta, mushrooms and artichokes. Traditional pizzas that come nice and crispy are also available as well salads and buffalo wings. The dining room is small and delivery currently is not available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

418 Maine St., Jefferson 834-8747
You'll find classic, homemade Italian favorites in a family Italian atmosphere, like the stuffed-crab Parmesan dinner with marinara sauce and angel hair pasta. Or try the shrimp Aglioli or a meatball sandwich po-boy. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

3100 Magazine St. 897-0920
Classic Lebanese-style dishes are available, including chicken shawarma and the gyro plate. The latter is the traditional lamb-meat mixture seasoned with seven spices that's sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice, saut — ed and served with rice, hummus and a choice of lentil soup or salad. Those meats also are served on sandwiches. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

8433 Oak St. 866-1119
Set at the back end of the bustling part of Oak Street, this sushi restaurant has earned a dedicated following over the years. In addition to all of the traditional items, sushi lovers opt for the Ninja Roll, a large combination of tuna, salmon, shrimp, eel, smelt roe and four different kinds of vegetables. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

4308 Magazine St. 894-9797Serving a wide array of mostly Northern Indian cuisine, this restaurant has an extensive menu ranging from beef to chicken to a broad selection of vegetable dishes. Try the house special Buttered Chicken, marinated, roasted and sauteed in a tomato-butter sauce. Vegetarians will be pleased with the saag paneer, a creamed spinach with farmer's cheese. Reservations accepted for five or more. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

5055 Canal St. 810-4170
Pastries and fresh quiche make up the breakfast menu most days at this full-service coffee bar located next to the Herb Import Co. by the Canal Street cemeteries, but diners can choose to start the day with waffles on Sundays only. Lunch features, muffulettas, red beans and rice and andouille sausage gumbo. Teas and hemp freezies round out the offerings. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

534 St. Louis St. 522-6652;
One of Emeril Lagasse's more casual restaurants, the sleek dining space is an open two story area with lots of tables. Self-described as having a new take on Creole cuisine, start with the popular Miss Hays' stuffed chicken wings, then try shrimp and grits for an entree that includes grilled green onions, smoked cheddar grits, bacon, a Creole tomato glaze, cremini mushrooms, and red chile-Abita-butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

505 Frisco Ave., Metairie 833-9240
This grocery store of imported foods serves mostly takeout, but you can eat your traditional muffuletta at a table on the porch out front in good weather. There's also a Little Joe sandwich, which features cheese and turkey or chicken with artichoke salad on a twist. The store also is known for its housemade olive salad. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

246 Gerard St., Mandeville (985) 626-5619;
Offering regional Italian cuisine with fresh seafood, this Northshore restaurant also has an extensive wine list and a couple of cozy dining rooms. Try either the roast duckling with bing cherry and green peppercorn chile sauce or the paneed veal with fettuccine. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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