1. Cafe Reconcile
The Central City stalwart has always been, well, central to what makes a great New Orleans restaurant. It’s open for weekday lunch only; Reconcile’s hospitality program for its staff is an enviable training model; the guests are predominantly Black — like New Orleans itself; and the food is homey and screams sense-of-place. Now, Martha Wiggins, who once ran Sylvain and assisted at The Elysian Bar, has taken over the kitchen. So the great food — like the fried green tomato sandwich and gumbo — is even better. Note: Zero in on the daily specials. For example, shrimp and white beans on Thursdays, smothered turkey necks on Fridays, and, of course, red beans and rice on Mondays.
Dining status: Reservations by phone, plus takeout. More info here.