Culture Food & Drink River Eats

Our Favorite New Orleans Restaurants that Opened in 2020, including Alma Cafe & More

Despite the pandemic, New Orleans welcomed in a variety of new restaurants this past year in 2020. From tacos to fancy hotel digs, Chinese-american fusion to omakase, there are plenty of new local restaurants to support in the new year. 

Check out our roundup below, and try something new for lunch or dinner today. 

Bywater

Alma Cafe

Alma, prepared by Chef Melissa Araujo, celebrates modern Honduran cuisine. Their menu is filled with Honduran classics with fresh and local ingredients from Bellegarde Bakery, Inglewood Farm, Southern City Farm and more.

  • Fan-Favorite: Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (Breakfast)
  • Hours: 8am-3pm every day
  • Location: 800 Louisa Street
  • Website | Instagram

 

 
 
 
 
 
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CBD/Warehouse District

The Mill

Located in the historic Cotton Mill building in the Warehouse District, The Mill provides traditional southern cuisine with an Asian and Caribbean twist. Their goal is to provide an amazing atmosphere where you can enjoy a unique dining experience, as well as connect with friends over one of our delicious signature cocktails.

  • Fan-Favorite: Seafood Macaroni Pie (pictured below)
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 3pm-10am; Saturday: 10am-10pm & Sunday: 10am-3pm. Closed Tuesday
  • Location: 1051 Annunciation Street
  • Website | Instagram

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Yo Nashi

Enjoy omakase creations here at Yo Nashi. Omakase is a form of Japanese dining in which guests leave themselves in the hands of a chef and receive a meal which is seasonal, elegant, artistic and uses the finest ingredients available. 

  • Fan-Favorite: NA, the menu revolves between daily omakase selections of 8-10 courses based on local seasonal ingredients. 
  • Hours: Thursday – Monday: 5pm – 10pm, Tuesday & Wednesday: Closed
  • Location: 419 Carondelet Street, Suite 101
  • Website | Instagram 

Garden District/Irish Channel

Blue Giant

Blue Giant is a Chinese-American restaurant creating flavor-packed food. The menu sees a unique American-Chinese fusion with “the best ingredients they could find,” per Bill Jones and Richard Horner, two alumni chefs from Cochon that joined together to open up Blue Giant. Read more here.

  • Fan-Favorite: 5-spice Braised Pork (pictured below)
  • Hours: Lunch 11 – 2:30, Dinner 5:30 – 10 Closed Tuesday
  • Location: 1300 Magazine Street
  • Website | Instagram

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Cho Thai

Jimmy Cho, chef and owner of Cho Thai, is a native of Sakon Nakhon in northeastern Thailand and has called New Orleans home since 2001. Chef Jimmy opened the Westbank favorite Banana Blossom in 2009 and is excited to share his flavors and techniques with the growing community of fans in New Orleans with Cho Thai. 

  • Fan-Favorite: Seafood Green Curry (pictured below) or Pork Rolls
  • Hours: M-Th 4-9, F-Sun 11-9
  • Location: 3218 Magazine St.
  • Website | Instagram 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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El Cucuy

El Cucuy boasts a fantastic menu and heavy metal vibes, South American folklore, automobile culture, and of course, tacos. The restaurant’s focus is on Mexican street food, including shrimp cocktails, elote, tacos and tortas, mangonada, and more. Along with a tasty new menu, El Cucuy showcases a large outdoor area decked out with an Airstream Trailer and fun decor. 

  • Fan-Favorite: Elote or Carne Asada Tacos
  • Hours: Closed Tuesday, Wednesday-Monday: 1130am-930pm
  • Location: 3507 Tchoupitoulas Street
  • Website | Instagram
The Chloe

At The Chloe – a boutique hotel on Magazine Street – check out their onsite restaurant, bar and salon. From coffee and lunch meetings, to elegant dinners on the town, every experience is infused with 21st Century Southern Hospitality. 

  • Fan-Favorite: Beef Tartare (pictured below) or Pork Rolls
  • Hours: Mon – Thu | 7AM – 10PM, Fri & Sat | 7AM – 11PM, Sun | 7AM – 9PM
  • Location: 4125 St. Charles Ave
  • Website | Instagram 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Union Ramen

A Vietnamese Chef and a Filipino Restauranteur serving Japanese food originally hailing from China, down in New Orleans. There’s no denying the power of ramen to transcend cultural borders and geographical boundaries to unite us in the pursuit of that which Union Ramen holds most dear. 

  • Fan-Favorite: Original Tori Ramen (pictured below) or Spam Musubi
  • Hours: MON-THURS :: 11AM – 9PM, FRI -SAT :: 11AM – 10PM, closed Sunday
  • Location: 1837 Magazine Street
  • Website | Instagram 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Mid-City

Trep’s

Located in a renovated 1940’s old filling station and body shop in New Orleans historic Mid-City neighborhood, Trep’s service station was the go-to spot for all your auto needs. Keeping to its roots as a historic auto garage setting, the new Trep’s now serves casual bites in an outdoor setting. 

  • Fan-Favorite: Boudin Eggrolls (pictured below) or Ahi Tuna Bowl
  • Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 11am-10am. Oyster bar every Friday, Saturday & Sunday
  • Location: 4326 Bienville Street
  • Website | Instagram

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Uptown

Vals

Located in a vintage service-station-turned-restaurants, Vals boasts a nice outdoor seating area and serves up casual Latin American street food and snacks.

  • Fan-Favorite: Queso Fundido or Green Mole Chicken Taco
  • Hours: 11am-10pm every day
  • Location: 4632 Freret Street
  • Website | Instagram

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Metairie

Tacos del Cartel

Authentic & Inventive Mexican Food (with health-minded options) in an Exquisite setting with full bar and Exotic Drinks.

  • Fan-Favorite: Birria Tacos (pictured below)
  • Hours: 11am-9pm: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday 11am-10pm: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
  • Location: 2901 David Drive, Metairie
  • Website | Instagram 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Featured image via Alma Cafe.

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