Eat Like a New Orleans Local with Nina Compton

Denny Culbert

With two outstanding restaurants and a highly coveted James Beard Award under her belt, there’s no doubt that Caribbean cooking queen Nina Compton has made her mark on the New Orleans food scene. We recently caught up with her to chat about her new eatery Bywater American Bistro (BABs), that debuted in March. But, while we had her, we also got some expert advice on how to eat like a local in the Big Easy. When she’s not busy cooking at Compère Lapin or BABs, you’re likely to find Nina chowing down at one of these must-visit spots.

Gene’s Po-boys

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Step inside this unassuming pink-painted corner shop for a true taste of the Crescent City. From crispy shrimp to hot sausage and cheese, “This is the best po’boy in town, no matter what time of day,” according to Nina.   

Get there: 1040 Elysian Fields Ave., New Orleans, LA • 504.943.3861 


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“This is hands down one of my favorite spots for lunch, or anytime,” says Nina. From fresh oysters to just-caught fish and shrimp, Pêche’s seafood-centric menu combines flavors from South America, Spain, and the Gulf Coast to create praise-worthy dishes.

Get there: 800 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA • 504.522.1744 •

Turkey and the Wolf

Potato chips on a bologna sandwich? Fried chicken skins on deviled eggs? These are just a few of the wildly delicious combinations you’ll find at this New Orleans hotspot. “These guys are doing some really creative and cool sandwiches,” says Nina. “I love the vibe.”

Get there: 739 Jackson Ave., New Orleans, LA • 504.218.7428 •


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In operation since 1905, Galatoire’s is a culinary classic in the Big Easy. With a French-influenced menu, and gorgeous dining room, Nina calls it the perfect spot for a New Orleans Friday lunch. “It’s a scene and you need to dress to impress!” she says.

Get there: 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA • 504.525.2021 • 

For more on Nina Compton, grab a copy of our July/August issue


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