New Orleans cuisine is widely recognized as some of the best in the world, and in recent years we have seen our restaurant scene grow in wonderful ways. For our city of only 370,000 people, with 1,400 restaurants, we have a significantly high number of restaurants per capita, which is a clear indication of our economic growth and flourishing amidst our rebuilding after Katrina, overcoming the oil spill and staying strong through the economic downturn. A rich city has a rich restaurant scene, and the fact of the matter is that we would not be able to sustain 1,400 top-notch and diverse restaurants without our thriving tourism industry.
Tourism brings in more than $6 billion in spending in a year, and our many restaurants rely on that income to keep their doors open. Our tourism industry and our city see growth together because tourism is the leading source of fuel for our economy, and, ultimately, New Orleans is a special place because, though we are a mid-sized city, we are able to sustain and enjoy the cultural assets of a city of millions through tourism, and that includes our vibrant restaurant scene.
One of the many reasons that people come here to visit and invest in our city and local economy is because of our world-class cuisine. “The food!” is one of the first things out of tourists’ mouths when asked what they enjoyed most about their trip to New Orleans. As New Orleanians, we can understand that completely, because food is one of the big ways that we express ourselves and our culture.
We are a city that loves to eat out and enjoy life, and we are able to do even more of that with the important financial backing of visitors who travel far and wide to experience our one-of-a-kind cuisine.