Ana Castro's New Orleans City Guide

The 2022 F&W Best New Chef shares her picks for where to get the best pastries, breakfast burritos, cocktails, and more.

Ana Castro
Photo: Alex Lau; Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

Learn more about 2022 Food & Wine Best New Chef Ana Castro.

Perfect Pastries

"Christina Balzebre's laminated dough at Levee Baking Co. is one of the best in town. Any of the savory or sweet offerings are also always excellent. I also love Bronwen Wyatt at Bayou Saint Cake; she's a dear friend, master cake maker, and exceptional pastry chef. She always answers my calls to bounce pastry ideas off her, and we share a mutual love and respect for squiggles. Her flavors are seasonal, elegant, and balanced."

Cocktail of Choice

"My favorite cocktail in the city is a dealer's choice martini from Cure. I love sitting in a corner booth and letting the team take it from there—always gin, olives for sure, consistently excellent."

Food Town

"There are so many signature dishes in New Orleans! Chef Martha Wiggins is changing lives at Café Reconcile. She's an exceptionally talented chef and an even better human being—and Reconcile is also the place to get red beans and rice. Hansen's ( for a sno-ball. Domilise's for a po' boy. Casamento's for oysters. McHardy's for fried chicken. High Hat Cafe for gumbo. Dong Phuong for banh mi."

Communal Good

"At Pan Fuerza, Diego Martin Pérez has a sliding scale system for his bread offerings, as well as a 'bread subsidy' system, in which people with more financial resources can contribute to the well-being of their neighbors who have less financial wealth, supporting the bakery by paying extra to fund bread that Diego distributes in community fridges."

Breakfast Club

"At Molly's Rise and Shine, I like the people—ahem, actually, I love them. They are my best pals, and I am so lucky to live my life in their company. I adore the carrot yogurt, and on occasion, chef Colleen Quarls will treat me to a fried egg salad burrito."

Best Espresso

"At Rabbit's Foot, I love that they feature different roasting companies from across the country. That way, I get to switch it up."

Night Off

"On a night off, I go to Saint-Germain, Mosquito Supper Club, or Paladar 511."

Buzziest Patio

"My favorite spot for outdoor dining is Jewel of the South."

Walk On In

"At Pêche, I can usually walk in and sit at the bar. Love the spicy shrimp and noodles and the whole fish with salsa verde."

All-Around Favorites

"Best pizza: Piehxle. Best pop-ups: Matchbook Kitchen and Velvet Ditch BBQ. Best burger: Bud's. Best pasta: Paladar 511."

Meet all of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2022: Warda Bouguettaya | Damarr Brown | Ana Castro | Calvin Eng | Tim Flores and Genie Kwon | Melissa Miranda | Justin Pichetrungsi | Emily Riddell | Rob Rubba | Caroline Schiff

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