BEST NEW RESTAURANT

1. MoPho

514 City Park Ave., (504) 482-6845; www.mophonola.com @mophonola

MoPho's menu, which takes a gourmet approach to traditional Vietnamese dishes, was an immediate hit in its Mid-City neighborhood, and earlier this month the restaurant was nominated as one of Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants. Chef Michael Gulotta (former chef de cuisine at Restaurant August) has constructed a restaurant that's both a casual drop-in spot and a place for a special meal. Make your own pho (pick a broth and add your own ingredients) or go for favorites like crispy lemon grass chicken wings or fried shrimp spring rolls. (If they've roasted a whole pig on the patio, as they often do, don't miss it.) Sandwiches (hot sausage, duck, oysters, and quite a few more) meld hearty po-boy flavors to lighter banh mi tastes. Cocktails are solid, too; the Tamarind Sour melds rye whiskey to tamarind, while the Dragon Lady starts with housemade dragonfruit tequila. Tip: Watch where you park; the adjoining lot can and does tow with ferocious frequency.

2. Pizza Domenica

4933 Magazine St., (504) 301-4978; www.pizzadomenica.com @pizzadomenica

3. Doris Metropolitan

620 St. Charles Ave., (504) 267-3500; www.dorismetropolitan.com @dorismetnola

BEST KENNER RESTAURANT

1. Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar

3203 Williams Blvd., Kenner, (504) 443-6454; www.fishermanscoveseafood.com

2. Kenner Seafood

3140 Loyola Drive, Kenner, (504) 466-4701; www.kennerseafood.net

3. Zea Rotisserie & Grill

Citywide; www.zearestaurants.com @zea_restaurants

BEST METAIRIE RESTAURANT

1. Drago's Seafood Restaurant

3232 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, (504) 888-9254; www.dragosrestaurant.com @dragosseafood

2. Andrea's Restaurant

3100 19th St., Metairie, (504) 834-8583; www.andreasrestaurant.com

3. Cafe B

2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 934-4700; www.cafeb.com @cafebmetairie

BEST NEW ORLEANS RESTAURANT

1. Commander's Palace

1403 Washington Ave., (504) 899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com @commanders_nola

If there are balloons on every other table, it's because Commander's is as much a party as a restaurant. A warren of individually decorated rooms (the Garden Room is the best) in a turquoise wedding-cake palace, Commander's manages to be both New Orleans classic and completely up-to-date. Chef Tory McPhail, winner of a 2013 James Beard Award, turns rustic ingredients into modern takes on Creole cuisine: lacquered quail, Cajun-inflected gumbo and the freshest fish in town. If you have guests from out of town, let them get dazzled by the service — and ask for a tour of the restaurant (which includes the kitchen) when you're done with your meal. Pro tips: If you're celebrating a special occasion, let the restaurant know when you make your reservation, and if you'd like to meet Lally Brennan or Ti Martin, the restaurateurs who keep Commander's running like a top, ask your server. They enjoy meeting guests.

2. Peche Seafood Grill

800 Magazine St., (504) 522-1744; www.pecherestaurant.com @pechenola

3. Galatoire's

209 Bourbon St., (504) 525-2021; www.galatoires.com @galatoires_no

BEST NORTHSHORE RESTAURANT

1. La Provence

25020 Highway 190, Lacombe, (985) 626-7662; www.laprovencerestaurant.com @chefjohnbesh

2. The Dakota Restaurant

629 N. Highway 190, Covington, (985) 892-3712; www.thedakotarestaurant.com

3. TIE: Del Porto Ristorante

501 E. Boston St., (985) 875-1006; www.delportoristorante.com

3. TIE: Trey Yuen

600 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4476; www.treyyuen.com

BEST WEST BANK RESTAURANT

1. Pho Tau Bay Restaurant

113 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, (504) 368-9846

2. Hoa Hong Nine Roses

1100 Stephens St., Gretna, (504) 366-7665; www.ninerosesrestaurant.com

3. Tan Dinh

1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, (504) 361-8008

BEST BARBECUE RESTAURANT

1. The Joint

701 Mazant St., (504) 949-3232; www.alwayssmokin.com @thejointbbq

The Bywater barbecue joint takes the top spot for a fifth year in a row. In 2012, it moved to its current location on Mazant Street, and its beloved smoker was given a second-line parade on its way to its new home. The Joint's menu is an amalgamation of slow-smoked Southern barbecue, with St. Louis-style pork ribs, Carolina pulled pork, Texas brisket and Louisiana-made chaurice sausage. It returns from its summer break Sept. 6.

2. VooDoo BBQ & Grill

Citywide; www.voodoobbqandgrill.com @voodoobbq

3. Squeal Bar-B-Q

8400 Oak St., (504) 302-7370; www.squeal-nola.com @squealnola

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

1. Five Happiness

3605 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 482-3935; www.fivehappiness.com

2. Royal China

600 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 831-9633

3. P.F. Chang's

Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 828-5288; www.pfchangs.com @pfchangs

BEST BURGER RESTAURANT

1. Company Burger

4600 Freret St., (504) 267-0320; www.thecompanyburger.com @companyburger

The reigning king of New Orleans burgerdom tops Best of New Orleans for the third year in a row. Chef Adam Biderman's spartan Freret Street diner's namesake cheeseburger — two house-ground patties, bread and butter pickles, thinly sliced onions and American cheese on a brioche bun — is routinely hailed as one of America's best by national publications.

2. Port of Call

838 Esplanade Ave., (504) 523-0120; www.portofcallnola.com

3. Phil's Grill

748 Camp St., (504) 309-7702; 1640 Hickory Ave., Metairie, (504) 305-1705; 3020 Severn Ave., Metairie, (504) 324-9080; www.phils-grill.com @philsgrill

BEST CAJUN RESTAURANT

1. Cochon Restaurant

930 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 588-2123; www.cochonrestaurant.com @cochondining

2. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen

416 Chartres St., (504) 596-2530; www.chefpaul.com/kpaul @kpaulslakitchen

3. Mulate's

201 Julia St., (504) 522-1492; www.mulates.com @mulates

BEST COFFEE HOUSE

1. PJ's Coffee of New Orleans

Citywide; www.pjscoffee.com @pjscoffee

2. CC's Coffee House

Citywide; www.ccscoffee.com @ccscoffeehouse

3. Mojo Coffee House

1500 Magazine St., (504) 525-2244; 4700 Freret St., (504) 875-2243; www.facebook.com/mojo.on.magazine; www.facebook.com/mojofreret @mojo_coffee

BEST DELI

1. Stein's Market & Deli

2207 Magazine St., (504) 527-0771; www.steinsdeli.net @steinsdeli

2. Martin Wine Cellar

714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, (504) 896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Highway 190, Mandeville, (985) 951-8081; 3500 Magazine St., (504) 894-7420; www.martinwinecellar.com @martin_wine

3. Cochon Butcher

930 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 588-7675; www.cochonbutcher.com @cochonbutcher

BEST CREOLE RESTAURANT

1. Dooky Chase

2301 Orleans Ave., (504) 821-0600; www.dookychaserestaurant.com

Leah Chase's landmark restaurant is a vital Creole food spot, a living history lesson and a gallery of contemporary African-American art. Much of the New Orleans civil rights movement was planned and discussed over bowls of gumbo and plates of greens here, and Chase herself was the impetus for turning what was a blue-plate special restaurant (the Globe Sandwich Shop) into a place of fine dining for black New Orleanians who couldn't get served at the city's white-tablecloth establishments. Since then, Chase has taught Julia Child how to fry chicken, presidents make campaign stops at her restaurant, and Chase inspired the Walt Disney Company's first African-American princess (Tiana of The Princess and the Frog). Lunch at Dooky Chase on Holy Thursday is an important ritual for many, who come to eat the restaurant's gumbo z'herbes (green gumbo). Making a reservation far in advance is essential. If you've never been to Dooky Chase, a good introduction is the Friday all-you-can-eat lunch buffet ($17.95), which features Chase's fried chicken, gumbo, greens and other soul-kitchen favorites.

2. Jacques-Imo's Cafe

8324 Oak St., (504) 861-0886; www.jacques-imos.com

3. Galatoire's

209 Bourbon St., (504) 525-2021; www.galatoires.com@galatoires_no

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

1. Nirvana

4308 Magazine St., (504) 894-9797; www.insidenirvana.com

2. Taj Mahal

923 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 836-6859; www.facebook.com/tajnola

3. Saffron

505 Gretna Blvd., Suite 6, Gretna, (504) 363-2174; www.saffron-caterers.com

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

1. Vincent's Italian Cuisine

4411 Chastant St., Metairie, (504) 885-2984; 7839 St. Charles Ave., (504) 866-9313; www.vincentsitaliancuisine.com

2. Venezia

134 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 488-7991; www.facebook.com/venezianeworleans

3. TIE: Domenica

Roosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne St., (504) 648-6020; www.domenicarestaurant.com @chefjohnbesh

3. TIE: Irene's Cuisine

539 St. Philip St., (504) 529-8811

BEST JAPANESE/SUSHI RESTAURANT

1. Sake Cafe

2830 Magazine St., (504) 894-0033; www.sakecafeuptown.us

2. Kyoto Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar

4920 Prytania St., (504) 891-3644; www.kyotonola.com

3. Shogun

2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd., (504) 833-7477; www.shogunneworleans.com

BEST KID-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

1. New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company

Citywide; www.nohsc.com @nohsc

2. Reginelli's

Citywide; www.reginellis.com@reginellisnola

3. Chuck E. Cheese's

124 North Shore Blvd., Slidell, (985) 641-4878; 3701 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, (504) 367-1214; 7000 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 454-5959; www.chuckecheese.com@chuckecheese

BEST LATIN AMERICAN RESTAURANT

1. Baru Bistro & Tapas

3700 Magazine St., (504) 895-2225; www.barutapas.com @barutapas

2. Mayas

2027 Magazine St., (504) 309-3401; www.mojitoland.com @mojitoland

3. Mais Arepas

1200 Carondelet St., (504) 523-6247; www.facebook.com/maisarepas @mais_arepas

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT

1. Katie's

3701 Iberville St., (504) 488-6582; www.katiesinmidcity.com @katiesmidcity

Every New Orleans neighborhood should have a place like Katie's in Mid-City, where you can stop in any time — dressed down or dressed up — for a simple burger or pizza, or opt for a more elaborate meal. Destroyed in the floods after Hurricane Katrina, it took Katie's almost five years to get up and running. Seafood beignets, blackberry-jalapeno ribs, catfish meuniere, soft-shell crabs and "The Barge" (an entire loaf of Gendusa bread crammed with fried seafood) are just a few of the items on the extensive menu, but some of the best food is transitory, coming and going on the specials board. There's also a full bar and some sidewalk seating. Food Network personality Guy Fieri spotlighted Katie's on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but it's really none of the three — just an exemplar of what a New Orleans neighborhood restaurant can be.

2. Clancy's

6100 Annunciation St., (504) 895-1111; www.clancysneworleans.com

3. Joey K's Restaurant & Bar

3001 Magazine St., (504) 891-0997; www.joeyksrestaurant.com

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT

1. Juan's Flying Burrito

2018 Magazine St., (504) 569-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 486-9950; www.juansflyingburrito.com @juansnola

2. El Gato Negro

81 French Market Place, (504) 525-9752; 300 Harrison Ave., (504) 488-0107; 3001 Ormond Blvd., Suite 1, Destrehan, (985) 307-0460; www.elgatonegronola.com

3. Superior Grill

3636 St. Charles Ave., (504) 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.com @superiorgrill

BEST THAI RESTAURANT

1. La Thai

4938 Prytania St., (504) 899-8886; www.lathaiuptown.com @nolathaiuptown

2. Sukho Thai

1913 Royal St., (504) 948-9309; 4519 Magazine St., (504) 373-6471; www.sukhothainola.com @sukhothainola

3. Cafe Equator

2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, (504) 888-4772; www.cafeequator.com

BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

1. Magasin Cafe

4201 Magazine St., (504) 896-7611; www.magasincafe.com @magasincafe

2. Pho Tau Bay Restaurant

113 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, (504) 368-9846

3. Pho Orchid

1401 Airline Drive, Kenner, (504) 301-3368; 2135 St. Charles Ave., (504) 609-3710; 3117 Houma Blvd., Metairie, (504) 457-4188; www.pho-orchid.com @phoorchid

BEST BAR FOOD/GASTROPUB

1. The Bulldog

5135 Canal Blvd., (504) 488-4191; 3236 Magazine St., (504) 891-1516; www.draftfreak.com @bulldog_midcity; @bulldog_uptown

2. The Delachaise

3442 St. Charles Ave., (504) 895-0858; www.thedelachaise.com @thedelachaise

3. Bouligny Tavern

3641 Magazine St., (504) 891-1810; www.boulignytavern.com

BEST PIZZA RESTAURANT

1. Theo's Neighborhood Pizza

1212 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, (504) 733-3803; 4024 Canal St., (504) 302-1133; 4218 Magazine St., (504) 894-8554; www.theospizza.com @theospizzanola

2. Pizza Delicious

617 Piety St., (504) 676-8482; www.pizzadelicious.com @pizzadelicious

3. Reginelli's

Citywide; www.reginellis.com @reginellisnola

BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

1. Peche Seafood Grill

800 Magazine St., (504) 522-1744; www.pecherestaurant.com @pechenola

2. GW Fins

808 Bienville St., (504) 581-3467; www.gwfins.com @gwfins

3. Deanie's Seafood

841 Iberville St., (504) 581-1316; 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie, (504) 831-4141; www.deanies.com @deaniesseafood

BEST SNO-BALL

1. Hansen's Sno-Bliz

4801 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 891-9788; www.snobliz.com @snobliz

Waiting in a long line that rounds the block in the middle of summer might seem like drudgery, but the ice — shaved with the same type of machine Ernest Hansen invented in 1939 and topped with homemade syrups — is well worth it. A collection of faded photographs taken during Hansen's 75-year history gives customers something to while away the time and illustrates the sno-ball stand's most recent accolade: An "American Classic" designation from the James Beard Foundation.

2. Plum Street Snoballs

1300 Burdette St., (504) 866-7996; www.plumstreetsnoball.com

3. Sal's Sno-ball Stand

1823 Metairie Ave., (504) 666-1823

BEST BREAKFAST/BRUNCH SPOT

1. The Ruby Slipper

2001 Burgundy St., (504) 525-9355; 139 S. Cortez St., (504) 525-9355; 200 Magazine St., (504) 525-9355; 1005 Canal St., (504) 525-9355; www.therubyslippercafe.net @rubyslippercafe

The lingering effects of even the roughest night can be cured with The Ruby Slipper's migas or eggs cochon, and some hair of the dog is offered in the form of sangria, mimosas, bloody marys and more.

2. Surrey's

1418 Magazine St., (504) 524-3828; 4807 Magazine St. (504) 895-5757; www.surreyscafeandjuicebar.com @surreyslaplaya

3. Another Broken Egg

2917 Magazine St., (504) 301-2771; 607 Harrison Ave., (504) 301-4667; www.anotherrokenegg.com @brokeneggcafe

BEST SOUL FOOD RESTAURANT

1. Willie Mae's Scotch House

2401 St. Ann St., (504) 822-9503 www.facebook.com/williemaesscotchhouse

2. L'il Dizzy's Cafe

1500 Esplanade Ave., (504) 569-8997; www.lildizzyscafe.com

3. Praline Connection

542 Frenchmen St., (504) 943-3934; www.pralineconnection.com @pralinenola

BEST STEAKHOUSE

1. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Harrah's Hotel, 525 Fulton St., (504) 587-7099; 3633 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-3600; www.ruthschris.com @ruthschrisnola

2. Mr. John's Steakhouse

2111 St. Charles Ave., (504) 679-7697; www.mrjohnssteakhouse.com

3. Charlie's Steak House

4510 Dryades St., (504) 895-9323; www.charliessteakhousenola.com

BEST FOOD TRUCK

1. Taceaux Loceaux

@TLnola

The New Orleans City Council passed legislation in July 2013 to allow for more mobile food vendors in the city. Taceaux Loceaux has been "locking tires and lighting fires" since 2010, when Alex and Maribeth del Castillo started slinging hefty, creative tacos in picnic-striped paper serving trays. Tacos are loaded with brisket, Korean barbecue, carnitas and other specials, and there also are avocado "fries." Find the truck by following it on Twitter.

2. La Cocinita

www.lacocinitafoodtruck.com@lacocinita

3. Fat Falafel

www.thefatfalafel.com@fatfalafel

BEST WINE LIST

1. Martin Wine Cellar

714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, (504) 896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Highway 190, Mandeville, (985) 951-8081; 3500 Magazine St., (504) 894-7420; www.martinwinecellar.com @martin_wine

2. Bacchanal

600 Poland Ave., (504) 948-9111; www.bacchanawinel.com @bacchanalwine

3. The Delachaise

3442 St. Charles Ave., (504) 895-0858; www.thedelachaise.com @thedelachaise

BEST JUICE BAR/SMOOTHIE BAR

1. Smoothie King

Citywide; www.smoothieking.com @smoothieking

2. Jamba Juice

930 Poydras St., (504) 304-4210; 3341 Magazine St.; www.jambajuice.com @jambajuice`

3. Green Fork

200 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 309-3677; 1400 Prytania St., (504) 267-7672; www.greenforknola.com @greenforknola

BEST MIDDLE EASTERN/MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT

1. Mona's Cafe

504 Frenchmen St., (504) 949-4115; 1120 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 861-8175; 3901 Banks St., (504) 482-7743; 4126 Magazine St., (504) 894-8900; www.monascafeanddeli.com

2. Lebanon's Cafe

1500 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 862-6200; www.lebanonscafe.com

3. Byblos Restaurant

Tulane University, 29 Mcalister Drive, (504) 835-8332; 1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 834-9773; 2020 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 837-9777; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 830-7333; www.byblosrestaurants.com @byblosnola

BEST GOURMET-TO-GO

1. Whole Foods Market

300 N. Broad St., (504) 434-3364; 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-8225; 5600 Magazine St., (504) 899-9119; www.wholefoodsmarket.com @wholefoods

2. Martin Wine Cellar

714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, (504) 896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Highway 190, Mandeville, (985) 951-8081; 3500 Magazine St., (504) 894-7420; www.martinwinecellar.com @martin_wine

3. TIE: Chez Nous

5701 Magazine St., (504) 899-7303; www.gotocheznous.com

3. TIE: Gott Gourmet

3100 Magazine St., (504) 373-6579; www.ggsneworleans.com @ggsdineorama

BEST FROZEN YOGURT

1. Pinkberry

Citywide; www.pinkberry.com @pinkberrynola

2. Yogurtland

4903 Prytania St., (504) 333-6809; www.yogurt-land.com

3. Tutti Frutti

Citywide; www.tfyogurt.com @tfyogurt

BEST GUMBO

1. Gumbo Shop

630 St. Peter St., (504) 525-1486; www.gumboshop.com

Louisianans know gumbo isn't just a meal, it's a ritual — the family recipes closely held, the meditative and prolonged stirring of the roux, the "Holy Trinity" (chopped celery, bell peppers and onions). So restaurateurs who approach the dish with anything less than total reverence are considered infidels. On the other hand, those who lavish appropriate care on this dish are rewarded with the undying loyalty of the faithful. Case in point: Gumbo Shop, which readers votes Best Gumbo for the 16th consecutive year. Customers can gobble gumbo by the bowl in the restaurant or by the gallon in containers that ship nationwide. And for the most die-hard devotees, the circa-1948 stalwart offers a seafood gumbo recipe that sheds light onto its time-consuming, meticulous preparation process: start cooking "early in the day," the recipe advises. There's a page devoted to the roux alone. Mais oui!

2. Mr. B's Bistro

201 Royal St., (504) 523-2078; www.mrbsbistro.com @mrbsbistro

3. Commander's Palace

1403 Washington Ave., (504) 899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com @commanders_nola

BEST KING CAKE

1. Manny Randazzo King Cakes

3515 N. Hullen St., Metairie, (504) 456-1476; www.randazzokingcake.com @manny_randazzo

2. Haydel's Bakery

4037 Jefferson Highway, (504) 837-0190; www.haydelbakery.com @haydelsbakery

3. Nonna Randazzo's Bakery

925 E. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, (504) 684-0090; www.nonnaskingcakes.com @nonnarandazzos

BEST LATE-NIGHT DINING

1. Camellia Grill

626 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 309-2679 Pieces of pecan pie are crisped in the leftover sizzle of salty cheeseburgers. Pair both cheeseburger and pie with a chocolate freeze, chat it up with the diners sitting at the communal counter next to you and be reborn for your late-night dalliance.

2. Mimi's in the Marigny

2601 Royal St., (504) 872-9868 @mimismarigny

3. 13

517 Frenchmen St., (504) 942-1345; www.13monaghan.com @13monaghan

BEST MENU FOR VEGANS/VEGETARIANS

1. Seed

1330 Prytania St., (504) 302-2599; www.seedyourhealth.com

After years of dining at restaurants where vegan entrees are an afterthought at best and nonexistent at worst (hello, plain baked potato), New Orleans vegans have a place where the entire menu is their oyster... er, seaweed salad. And what a place. This light-filled, high-ceilinged bistro in the Lower Garden District offers a fresh, clean backdrop for a procession of gorge-worthy comfort food classics (eggplant po-boys, Southern fried tofu nuggets, chocolate chip cookies) made from local, organic ingredients. With gluten-free, soy-free and raw offerings, the plant-based menu is appropriate for a variety of specialized diets. Even staunch carnivores are likely to be won over by the hearty barbecue sandwich and nachos, or at least their health-conscious sides will be. Top off a meal with a raw carrot cupcake and a fresh juice cocktail (almond milk punch blends bourbon, almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup and nutmeg) — gluttony has never been so virtuous.

2. Green Goddess

307 Exchange Place, (504) 301-3347; www. greengoddessrestaurant.com

3. Carmo

527 Julia St., (504) 875-4132; www.cafecarmo.com @carmoneworleans

BEST OUTDOOR DINING

1. Bacchanal

600 Poland Ave., (504) 948-9111; www.bacchanalwine.com @bacchanalwine

The secret's been out for a while — as Bacchanal's frequent standing-room only crowds, celebrity guests and multiple BONO wins will attest. But a visit to the wine shop/gastropub/jazz club still feels like crashing a cool backyard party. There's the clandestine entrance through a weathered wine shop that's feels like a cellar but isn't underground; the overgrown courtyard full of rickety lawn chairs, mismatched tables, tiki torches and strings of white lights; the walk-up kitchen window. Still, they've spruced up the place since going legit with food and music permits: There's a second-floor dining room, craft cocktails, beer and small plates by chef Joaquin Rodas designed to unlock the somewhat esoteric flavors of the shop's Old World European wines. Perhaps best of all, Bacchanal now accepts credit cards, but you'll still want to bring cash to throw in the musicians' tip jar. That's keeping it real.

2. Cafe Amelie

912 Royal St., (504 412-8965; www.cafeamelie.com

3. Velvet Cactus

6300 Argonne Blvd., (504) 301-2083; www.thevelvetcactus.com

BEST PLACE TO GET A DOUGHNUT

1. Blue Dot Donuts

4301 Canal St., (504) 218-4866; 5236 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 941-7675; www.bluedotdonuts.com @bluedotdonuts

2. District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew

2209 Magazine St., (504) 570-6945; www.donutsandsliders.com @districtdonuts

3. Tastee Donuts

Citywide

BEST PLACE TO GET A PO-BOY

1. Parkway Bakery and Tavern

538 Hagan Ave., (504) 482-3047; www.parkwaypoorboys.com @parkwaypoorboys

2. Domilise's Po-Boy and Bar

5420 Annunciation St., (504) 899-9126

3. Bear's Po-boys at Gennaro's

3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 833-9226; www.bearspoboys.com

BEST PLACE FOR DESSERTS

1. Sucre

3025 Magazine St., (504) 520-8311; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 834-2277; www.shopsucre.com @sucreneworleans

Sometimes Sucre's macarons seem too pretty to eat, but only sometimes. The pearly cookies, which come in flavors like PB&J, bananas Foster and chicory, are just a corner of the confectioner's menu, which includes dozens of sweets just as easily mistaken for jewelry.

2. Angelo Brocato

214 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 486-0078; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com

3. Creole Creamery

4924 Prytania St., (504) 894-8680; 6260 Vicksburg St., (504) 482-2924; www.creolecreamery.com @creolecreamery

BEST PLACE TO GET GLUTEN-FREE ITEMS

1. Whole Foods Market

300 N. Broad St., (504) 434-3364; 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-8225; 5600 Magazine St., (504) 899-9119; www.wholefoodsmarket.com @wholefoods

2. The PeaceBaker

6601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-9094; www.thepeacebaker.com @thepeacebaker

3. Fare: Food for Health

4838 Magazine St., (504) 302-9171; www.facebook.com/farefoodforhealth @fare_food

BEST PLACE TO GET ICE CREAM/GELATO

1. Angelo Brocato

214 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 486-0078; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com

2. Creole Creamery

4924 Prytania St., (504) 894-8680; 6260 Vicksburg St., (504) 482-2924; www.creolecreamery.com @creolecreamery

3. Sucre

3025 Magazine St., (504) 520-8311; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 834-2277; www.shopsucre.com @sucreneworleans

BEST BUFFET

1. Harrah's New Orleans

228 Poydras St., (800) 427-7247; www.harrahsneworleans.com @harrahsnola

2. Nirvana

4308 Magazine St., (504) 894-9797; www.insidenirvana.com

3. The Court of Two Sisters

613 Royal St., (504) 522-7261; www.courtoftwosisters.com

BEST CHEF

1. John Besh

2. Donald Link

3. Susan Spicer

BEST PLACE TO GET A SANDWICH

1. Stein's Market and Deli

2207 Magazine St., (504) 527-0771; www.steinsdeli.net @steinsdeli

The grumpiest bear in all the land of deli meat, Dan Stein opened this Jewish and Italian deli in 2007, and it's a perennial favorite of Best of New Orleans voters. The Philly native's aromatic, beer-lined Garden District deli offers expert-level hoagies, Reubens, pastrami sandwiches and other oversized odes to meat.

2. TIE: Cochon Butcher

930 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 588-7675; www.cochonbutcher.com @cochonbutcher

2. TIE: St. James Cheese Company

5004 Prytania St., (504) 899-4737; www.stjamescheese.com @stjamescheese

3. Milk Bar

710 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 309-3310; 1514 Delachaise St., (504) 891-9361

BEST PLACE TO GET KALE

1. Whole Foods Market

300 N. Broad St., (504) 434-3364; 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-8225; 5600 Magazine St., (504) 899-9119; www.wholefoodsmarket.com @wholefoods

2. Rouses Markets

Citywide; www.shop.rouses.com @rousesmarkets

3. Hollygrove Market

8301 Olive St., (504) 483-7037; www.hollygrovemarket.com @hgmf

BEST MUFFULETTA

1. Central Grocery

923 Decatur St., (504) 523-1620; www.centralgroceryneworleans.com @centralgrocery

There are a million kinds of po-boys, but only one kind of real muffuletta — Italian ham and salami, mortadella and/or provolone, served with olive salad on a round seeded bun. Nevertheless, they all somehow taste different. Why? Who knows. If location has something to do with it, it would explain the eternal popularity of the muff from Central Grocery. You pick up a premade sandwich wrapped in paper (a quarter? a half? a whole?) and pay for it at a time-warp Italian grocery counter, waiting in line with tourists, half of whom seem to be buying one for the plane ride home. Then comes the question: where to enjoy it? On a bench in Jackson Square with a cold beer? On the levee overlooking the river with a Barq's? Either way you'll be juggling the sandwich, trying to keep the big chunks of olives from falling out and, likely, picking them up off your lap and popping them in your mouth. Yeah, it's that good.

2. DiMartino's

1788 Carol Sue Ave., Terrytown, (504) 392-7589; 3900 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, (504) 367-0227; 6641 Westbank Expressway, Marrero, (504) 341-4096; www.dimartinos.com

3. Napoleon House

500 Chartres St., (504) 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com

BEST RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW

1. Landry's Seafood

8000 Lakeshore Drive, (504) 283-1010; www.landrysseafood.com

2. Galvez Restaurant

914 N. Peters St., (504) 595-3400; www.galvezrestaurant.com

3. Ralph's on the Park

900 City Park Ave., (504) 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.com @ralphsonthepark

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