NOLA, Big Easy, Who-Dat Nation,
N’Awlins, Cajun Country
(New Orleans food is not healthy food. If that’s what you’re looking for…you’ll have to stick with grilled shrimp or shrimp cocktail!)
If you can’t do it ALL, ANY and EVERY trip to NOLA MUST include:
Central Grocery Muffuletta and Cafe Du Monde Beignets
**Tip – if you are in town on a Monday, check to make sure things are open before you head that way. Lots of places are closed. Monday was historically Wash Day which is also where Red Beans and Rice started – A pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while women were busy scrubbing their clothes.**
Best Muffuletta. Ever. Really. Ever. This is a hole in the wall whose secret has gotten out so it’s more crowded now than it used to be! (The lines moves fast.) Weave through the groceries to the sandwich counter in the back and order a Muffuletta then sit back and enjoy a piece of Heaven! (A Muffuletta is a Sicilian sandwich that consists of a round loaf of bread filled with Italian salami, olive salad, cheese, Italian ham, and freshly minced garlic.)
**Closed on Monday**
Café du Monde
Beignets and Cafe Au Lait – French style donuts and coffee mixed half and half with milk. If you don’t like coffee, the chocolate milk is amazing! Or maybe it’s just a sentimental thing for me! They are open 24 hours a day except for Christmas.
Pat O’Brien’s Bar
Famous Hurricane and Balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. There’s a debate whether this is the best Hurricane but you won’t know until you try one here first. It’s a tradition!
Molly’s At the Market
Dive Bar…the BEST Hot Buttered Rum and famous for Frozen Irish Coffee. Opens at 10am.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
Oldest Bar in the country, built in the 1720’s. Try the Hurricane and Voodoo Daiquiri. Compare the Hurricane to Pat O’Brien’s and start the debate. If you go during high tourist season, it will be crowded, but stick it out! Push your way to the back, sit around the piano, and sing along with the Piano Man!
St. Joe’s Bar
Blueberry Mojito!! ‘Nuff said. (Joe’s isn’t in the French Quarter but if you’re in the area, you have to stop.)
Coconut Mojito!! (Not in the French Quarter, but go if you’re in the area!)
Po-Boys and Pecan Pie and they’re famous for their baked ham. Very casual NOLA style.
Has it all! A fabulous restaurant – you have to get Souffle Potatoes and Bananas foster!! Plus there’s a Jazz Bistro where you can eat and listen to jazz for $4 or there’s the French 75 Bar where you can have appetizers, spirits and cigars!
FRIED SHRIMP!! Fried anything, really. Been going to this place since I was born! Very casual.
Mulate’s the Original Cajun Restaurant
Best CAJUN food! Eggplant Pirogue! And Cajun music and dancing too! I’ve danced many a jig through the kitchen.
Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
Pimm’s Cup!! The Cafe and Bar are open. The Bistro is still closed from Katrina. (Some say the muffuletta is the best…NOPE…still Central Grocery for that! But the food is great!)
Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Oyster Bar! And FRIED FOOD! And TV’s for watching the Saints game!
Yo Mama’s Bar and Grill
Peanut Butter Burger – Yes. You heard that right.
The Ruby Slipper Cafe
Breakfast spot and Brunch on the weekend. Eggs Cochon!!
Ye Olde College Inn
Fried Bread Pudding Poboy and the Fried Oyster, Bacon and Havarti Poboy. Heartburn just reading it, right?!? (Not in the French Quarter but worth the drive or Lyft ride.)
Pulled Pork Cakes!! (Not in the French Quarter but worth the drive or Lyft ride.)
THE Bread Pudding Soufflé with warm whiskey cream. I strive to make it like this!
Best Fine Dining…so pretty expensive!
Well-known and often recommended. Famous for their brunch and table-side Bananas Foster…it’s delicious. Also famous for Eggs Hussarde…you have to try it once!
Just walk anywhere in the Quarter and you’ll hear music coming from just about every place you pass (!), so if you don’t want to figure out what you want to hear, just walk, find a place with music you like, stop and enjoy! But if you want to be a little more organized or go to the traditional spots, check the schedule on these below and pick a place!
Best and oldest Jazz Bar. TRUE JAZZ! $12 per person. Open 8pm-11pm. If you don’t want to stand in line, you can buy a more expensive HOT SHOT ticket to bypass the line and guarantee a spot in the room. Fantastic! You’ve probably heard this jazz coming out of my office!
Maison Bourbon Jazz Club
Where many New Orleans musicians including Harry Connick, Jr. served their apprenticeships. Famous jazz and Dixieland tradition, The balcony is a fine spot top for an overview of the action, and at the back is a courtyard with access to the bar. You’ll hear local talent here!
German-style beer hall with lots of live Dixieland jazz!
The Spotted Cat
The Funky Pirate
The best spot for blues…but it’s on Bourbon so it can get crowded. And if you make it on a night that Mark and the Pentones are playing…perfect! Just push your way in, find a spot and stay there. You won’t regret it!
The Blue Nile
A great spot for blues that often includes Kermit Ruffins and Trombone Shorty…some of my favorites!
You’ve got quite a few choices and it really depends if you want famous NOLA hotels, small boutique hotels or your typical chain hotels. Either way, there are a lot of good ones. And prices vary so much depending on your dates.
Always ask about the parking situation, since in the French Quarter, it’s tight.
Here are some of our favorites:
Le Pavillon Hotel
Iconic NOLA hotel, very beautiful and a great location.
Historic NOLA hotel
This gorgeous hotel is on Bourbon street so be prepared for that. But if you want to be in the middle of the action, this is it!
Smaller boutique hotel with your typical NOLA courtyard.
Prince Conti Hotel
Very small boutique hotel (small rooms) but nice and just a block off Bourbon.
New Orleans Marriott
A good chain hotel close to the Quarter.
The Westin Canal Place
Your typical Westin but it’s in Canal Place on the river with lots of shops and restaurants.
Manny Randazzo King Cakes
KING CAKES!! I’ve mail ordered many a king cake from here! (Not in the French Quarter)
Fleurty Girl Store
Go buy Ninja something! Anything. My favorite store!!
Place to get NOLA groceries to take home without paying tourist prices.
Loretta’s Authentic Pralines