Dining Near the New Orleans Convention Center

With 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space and 140 meeting rooms, New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center ranks as the sixth-largest and one of the most popular conference facilities in the nation. Running 11 city blocks along the Mississippi River, the Convention Center sits adjacent to the vibrant Warehouse District, which offers a number of great dining options.

Break away from that breakout group and get a taste of the city’s legendary cuisine. From Cajun to Caribbean, upscale to down-home, you’ll find a bit of everything within easy walking distance. 


Many restaurants profess to be “better than your mama’s,” but chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski’s lives up to the claim with haute twists on Cajun standards, such as deep-fried hog head cheese with field peas or rabbit and dumplings. The adjacent Cochon Butcher offers sandwiches and house-cured meats.

Compère Lapin

A native of St. Lucia, chef Nina Compton’s island upbringing is evident in dishes such as conch croquettes with pickled pineapple tartar sauce, spiced pig ears with smoked aioli and curried goat with sweet potato gnocchi. L (M-F); D (nightly); Br (Sa-Su).


Drago’s has been wooing and wowing bivalve lovers with its trademark charbroiled oysters and oversize lobster for four decades. Save room for the cinnamon-topped apple cobbler. L, D (M-Sa).

El Gato Negro

This popular cantina turns out some the most authentic south-of-the-border fare in the city. The ingredients are fresh, the tortillas are made to order and the hand-squeezed maragaritas are a must. Try the pineapple-cilantro version. L, D (daily).


Emeril Lagasse’s flagship sets the course for the Lagasse empire. Opened in 1990, this is where the celebrated chef created many of his classic dishes, including barbecued shrimp, andouille-crusted drum, banana cream pie and more. L (M-F), D (nightly).

Grand Isle

This comfy seafood house boasts such standouts as smoke-fried oysters, crispy calamari and other Southern favorites. Grab a seat at the bar for shrimp by the pound and cold beer served from taps encased in ice. L, D (daily).


A family friendly restaurant where the Cajun food (dark-roux gumbos, fried alligator, catfish smothered in crawfish etouffée) is only one of the highlights. Two-step to live music nightly. Also available for private functions. $ L, D (daily).

Restaurant August

Fine dining at its finest. The surroundings are elegant, and the food is spectacular, combining European style with Gulf Coast ingredients for dishes such as gnocchi with crab and truffles. L (M-F), D (nightly); Br (Su).

St. James Cheese Company

The St. James is a “deli” in the manner that Venice’s Cipriani is a “hotel.” The shop has top-of-the-line delicacies beginning with cheese, of course, and running through olives, salads, breads, pâtés, wines and on and on. You can dine in or order a sandwich or picnic to go. L (M-Sa), D (Th-Sa); Br (Su).