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The St. Louie is an oyster po-boy with bacon and Provel cheese (a regional flavor from St. Louis), served at both Katie's and Francesca by Katie's.

Francesca by Katie’s

515 Harrison Ave., (504) 266-2511

The always-hopping Mid-City spot Katie’s long ago evolved into a modern neighborhood eatery. Last year, proprietor Scot Craig opened Francesca as a spinoff aimed at the neighborhood niche in Lakeview with a deli format and a menu distilled from Katie’s best dishes. Get “the legend” for buttery shrimp and cochon de lait together in a po-boy or the pizzas bubbling with tangy Provel cheese. The moon, a monstrous deli sandwich on muffuletta bread, makes a comeback here, too. Lunch and dinner (till 8 p.m.) Mon.-Sat. $$


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Salads are tightly composed and well sourced at Hambone, a neighborhood restaurant in Old Mandeville.

Hambone

544 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 778-0531

A cottage with this kind of storybook cuteness could inspire any number of restaurant concepts. Old Mandeville is lucky that Marci and Luke Hidalgo decided to make it into Hambone, a small town restaurant with creative spark, a sharp eye and the chops to execute. Fried boudin draped with crab boil mozzarella, artful and vividly fresh salads, a pork chop and collards po-boy and crawfish gnocchi co-exist with a fenced yard that doubles as a playground for restless youngsters. It’s a refreshingly original addition. Dinner Wed.-Sat., lunch Wed.-Sat., brunch Sat., Sun. $$


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Hippie Kitchen opened in March in a one-time pizzeria on Jefferson Highway, bringing a casual eatery for fresh, healthy food to the neighborhood.

Hippie Kitchen

3741 Jefferson Highway, (504) 444-4113

The colorful mural over the clapboard exterior isn’t the only bright splash Hippie Kitchen has brought to this stretch of Old Jefferson. Chef Harveen Khera has created a neighborhood restaurant that feels both comfortably funky and refreshingly in step with modern tastes, melding original ideas with seasonal menus and good, old-fashioned scratch cooking. This plays out breakfast through dinner, with healthy dishes like crispy cracker cups filled with sprouts and vegan spring rolls, and in downright hearty plates of hanger steak or a breakfast pizza topped with bacon and eggs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun., Mon. $$


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MoPho has a casual, tavern atmosphere for modern Asian flavors in Mid-City.

MoPho

514 City Park Ave., (504) 482-6845

MoPho feels like a family-friendly tavern, and it fills the same role, while adding southeast Asian flavors to the list of anytime-easy meals we seek out at our neighborhood joints. Founder Michael Gulotta made fried shrimp spring rolls into a go-to and set the template for weekend whole-hog barbecue plates with fish sauce, herbs and roti. These days, chef de cuisine Paul Chell keeps the house standards consistent and brings endlessly creative new additions. Kimchi pupusas, anyone? It feels like anything can happen here. Lunch and dinner daily. $$


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Oysters Gentilly are topped with caramelized onions over creamed spinach at the Munch Factory in the Lower Garden District.

The Munch Factory

1901 Sophie Wright Place, (504) 324-5372

See full listing in 10 restaurants to define New Orleans dining today.


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Station 6, a modern Louisiana seafood restaurant, is by the parish line on the lakefront in Bucktown.

Station 6

105 Old Hammond Highway, Bucktown, (504) 345-2936

It was obvious from the start that Station 6 would be different from the traditional seafood joints it joined out by the lake in Bucktown. What’s become clear since, however, is how well Alison Vega’s modern seafood joint fits in. The menu is full of smart updates to flavors that resonate on the local palate, like pompano with curried brown butter, shrimp sizzling in garlicky oil and red snapper with crawfish pilaf. Here, they pair with bubbly as well as beer. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. $$$


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The fried chicken sandwich is topped with serrano slaw at Willa Jean in downtown New Orleans.

Willa Jean

611 O’Keefe Ave., (504) 509-7334

With the comfort food quotient of a Southern brunch and the pulse of contemporary style, this bustling spot is the gastropub version of breakfast. Pastry chef Kelly Fields developed this rise-and-shine hotspot with BRG Hospitality, named it for her grandmother and built a following with biscuits and bowls, sandwiches, salads and spreads with an ingredient-focused modern approach. The result is a centerpiece of the changing CBD, its diner counter, takeout pastry bar and dining room regularly packed with people having morning meetings or the first round on big party days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. $$



Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.