- Jackets required – many meals require jackets in the South so check the dress code
- Pronunciation is key – watch for streets like Tchoupitoulas (chop-a-two-las) and Chartres (chahr-tehs)
- St. Charles streetcar line runs 24/7 from the Audubon to the Quarter
- It’s the Big Easy – enjoy a nice stroll with drink in hand without fear of open container laws
- Be sure to sample the local seafood when in season – oysters (September-April), soft shell crab (April-October) and crawfish (May-June)
"Everything I do gohn be funky from now on." - Lee Dorsey
- Catch a jazz show at Preservation Hall, Tipitina’s or Maple Leaf
- Eat a beignet at Cafe du Monde
- Take the St. Charles streetcar
- French 75’s at the spinning Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone
- Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace
- Antiquing on Magazine Street
- Go for an architecture walk in Uptown or Garden District
- Eat a Poboy at Domilise’s or Parkway Tavern
- Duck into a few of the galleries on Royal Street
- Get your palm read on Jackson Square
An elegant institution
French Quarter perfection
- Jackson Square | The historic center of the French Quarter. Don’t miss the Cabildo – site of the Louisiana Purchase – and Pirate’s Alley where William Faulkner once lived.
- Café du Monde | Famous for its powder sugared beignets and chicory coffee, but worth waiting in line as touristy as it may be.
- Royal Street | With all of the galleries and antique shops, you’d never guess you were one block from Bourbon. Check out James H. Cohen & Sons for antique coins and weapons, Valobra for jewelry and Bevolo to see gas lanterns being made on site.
- Royal Oyster House | Sit on the upstairs balcony for a view of Royal and the live street music down below. Sample some Oysters Rockefeller and take in the view.
- Carousel Bar | Grab pre-dinner cocktails in the Hotel Monteleone (the bar actually spins!) for a unique experience. Around the corner, Arnaud’s French 75 Bar is the perfect place to try the popular drink and chat with the local celebrity bartender, Chris Hannah.
- Galatoire’s | If you can manage to get a table in the main hall for lunch on Friday, do not miss the opportunity! Either way, a meal here should not be missed. Sample whatever is in season or the Crab Sardou. Café Brûlot is a fun and boozy way to end the meal.
- French Quarter | Order the “Big Shot” tickets online and skip the line for front row seats to the Preservation Jazz Hall band. Fritzel’s, the oldest jazz club in town, is another great option. The night is young and despite Bourbon Street’s reputation, there are many hidden gems in the Quarter. Sylvain is candle-lit and romantic with exceptional cocktails. Wander down Bourbon avoiding “hand grenades” and shoe shine scams until you hit Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar. Built in the early 1700’s, it’s the oldest continually occupied bar in the U.S.
- Verti Marte | With all the bar-hopping (it’s NOLA after all), stop in this 24 hr mart and indulge in some late-night Cajun.
- Camellia Grill | After a late night, this breakfast is the perfect hangover cure. A po-boy at Domilise’s or Guy’s will also do the trick.
- Tulane & Audubon Park | The tree-lined streets in Uptown make for a beautiful walk (20 min or so) to the university campus and park across the street.
- Velvet Espresso Bar | Fuel up with a cappuccino before a day of shopping in the Garden District. This tiny hole-in-the-wall serves Intelligentsia and Stumptown roasters.
- Magazine Street Shopping | Start at Pied Nu for turkish towels and Diptyque candles. Mad Men fans will enjoy perusing actor Bryan Batt’s store, Hazelnut, for housewares and gifts. Continuing, you’ll find Passages Antiques (great for oyster plates) and Billy Reid for high-end mens/women’s fashion. Perch is a mix of vintage and contemporary housewares, Lili Vintage an excellent women’s boutique and Sucré to fulfill a sweet tooth (the macarons are incredible!) Past 3rd Street, Aidan Gil, Defend Nola, and Friend are excellent stops for men’s fashion and accessories. (*From Pied Nu to Aidan Gil is a little over an hour walk without stops.)
- Garden District Lunch | Depending on where you end up hungry, you can’t go wrong with lunch at the French-inspired Lilette, award-winning Israeli cuisine at Shaya or Justin Devallier’s (of Top Chef fame) neighborhood gem, La Petite Grocery.
- Dinner in Uptown | Freshen up for a nice dinner at neighborhood gem Gautreau’s or a less formal, quirky meal at Jacques-imo’s in Uptown.
- Uptown Bars | After dinner grab a cocktail and live music at Oak or hit up the Uptown dive bar Snake & Jake’s Christmas Lounge. Sip on a blueberry mojito at St. Joe’s Bar, a Catholic-themed bar with church pews for seating. Cure has an extensive cocktail list with drinks like “Berlin in the 70’s” and “Hotel Room Temperature”.
- Commander’s Palace | Sunday brunch is a must for a visit to Nola. (Arnaud’s in the quarter is a close second if you can’t get a reservation here.) Come with a big appetite and a request for the jazz band.
- Lafayette Cemetery #1 | Walk off brunch with a stroll through the cemetery across the street. Head south 3 blocks back to Magazine to hit up any shops you might have missed.
- Columns Hotel | Walk down St. Charles and pop into the historic hotel for a Pimm’s on the porch. Across the street & down a few blocks, Delachaise, is great for a leisurely glass of wine.
- St. Charles Streetcar | Catch the streetcar and ride back into the French Quarter. Sunday strolls on Royal are guaranteed entertainment.
- Oysters on the Half Shell | If it’s the season, head over to Acme Oyster House (expect a line), Felix’s across the street or Casamento’s if you want to stay in the Garden District. Hard to beat chargrilled oysters and a Dixie beer in any of these establishments.
- Port of Call | For dinner, grab a burger with a side of cheesy baked potato. It’s dive-y & dark and there’s always a wait. If you want to really do as the New Orleanians do, grab a Monsoon, a potent concoction only the experienced drinker should partake in.
- The Marigny | Explore a new area of town and head to Frenchmen Street. D.B.A. has live music every night of the week in an intimate setting as well as the Spotted Cat. Cheap covers and often compared to the “old Bourbon” experience.
- Cane & Table | Cross Esplanade back toward the quarter and duck into one of the newer spots in the Nola bar scene. Grab a ‘Boss Colada’ and enjoy the rustic colonial space.
- Cat’s Meow | If you’re feeling frisky, perform your best rendition of “Living on a Prayer” at the open all night karaoke bar.
- Atchafalaya | Brunch on Monday doesn’t happen everywhere and it’s the perfect way to end a trip to New Orleans. Try the Cochon du L’eggs or Duck Hash and the Bloody Mary bar.
- Ogden Museum | You’ll find the largest Southern art collection in the world at this museum (10-5 pm daily). Nearby Julia Street or “Gallery Row” is home to many local artists including one of my favorites, Mallory Page.
- Warehouse District | Chances are you’re not hungry, especially after a food-centric weekend, but it’s important to note all of the amazing dining options in this city. Chef Donald Link (of the Link Restaurant Group) is a Louisiana native that began his career at 15 years old and has since opened 5 restaurants in the area. Cochon‘s menu was inspired by the dishes he grew up with an emphasis on all things cochon. If a pork-centric menu is not as appealing, Link’s nearby Pêche was awarded “Best New Restaurant” of 2014 and serves a very memorable wood-fired grilled fish. Do not miss the pastry spread at Willa Jean (or their frosé in the summer) or the raw bar at Seaworthy next door to the Ace if you’re more in the mood for a snack.
- Bywater | For more of a local’s experience, head over to this neighborhood. Grab a coffee at Satsuma or the praline bacon at the hole-in-the-wall, Elizabeth’s. Check out Bon Castor for handmade goods and Euclid Records for an old vinyl.
- Bacchanal Wine | A balmy night on the back patio of is a perfect way to end your weekend in the Big Easy. Live jazz, wine & cheese under the canopy of trees.
EAT + DRINK
- Café du Monde
- Royal Oyster House
- Carousel Bar
- Arnaud’s French 75 Bar
- Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar
- Verti Marte
- Camellia Grill
- Velvet Espresso Bar
- La Petite Grocery
- Snake & Jake’s Christmas Lounge
- St. Joe’s Bar
- Commander’s Palace
- Acme Oyster House
- Port of Call
- Cane & Table
- Cat’s Meow
- Booty’s Street Food
- Bacchanal Wine
- Jackson Square
- Preservation Jazz Hall
- Tulane & Audubon Park
- Lafayette Cemetery #1
- Columns Hotel
- Ogden Museum
- Julia Street