There’s no denying that New Orleans has a bit of a reputation of letting loose — and if you’re rolling down Bourbon Street for Mardi Gras, there’s no denying you’ll be be shown an unforgettable party while you laissez les bons temps rouler. But look beyond the beads and streamers, and you’ll see both time-tested and cutting-edge fine dining establishments serving up mouth-watering bayou and international fare, charming Paris-inspired street cafes, pockets of colorful art and the best jazz clubs in the country. Here is our guide for exploring the Big Easy like a seasoned local.
As you plan future trips, please double check with the featured business’s websites as, given safety measures in place and state regulations, hours and operations may be affected.
If you’ve never tried Southeast-Asian-Creole cuisine, your mouth should expect a serious party. Marjie’s Grill has a cult following, and with good reason. Inspired by the flavors of the street foods found in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, and using open-fire cooking techniques and fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, Marjie’s is known both for dishes like Chili Butter Hard Crabs, and for pitchers of fun, shareable cocktails. They offer takeout and delivery, and provide patio dining.
For one of the most imaginative meals you’ll have in the Big Easy, stop by Palm&Pine on Rampart Street. With flavors hailing from the Southern states all the way down to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, you’ll likely find your mouth doing a happy dance. Where else can you try their version of a quarter pounder burger with cheese — garnished with banana ketchup — or their hushpuppies with pickled collard tartar sauce? These are the kinds of inventive flavors you will quite literally want to write home about. Palm&Pine offers dine-in by reservation, takeout (including plate-lunch specials), to-go drinks or pantry staples.
Arguably the first bar in New Orleans to spotlight a strong cocktail program, Cure knows how to make a cocktail. All of the classics are present and accounted for, and you know your gin martini will be flawlessly executed here, but delve farther into Cure’s menu for intriguing treasures like the Rosita, made with two kinds of vermouth, Reposado tequila and Campari. Cure also serves beer and wine, if spirits aren’t your style, in addition to a gourmet snacking menu. Cure is open for seating by reservation only, and offers a limited to-go menu.
If you’re looking for a bottle of wine to take home (or to drink back at the hotel), stop into Keife & Co. on Howard Avenue. With shelves of bottles reaching to the ceiling, and a rolling ladder you can climb to reach the uppermost selections, you might feel like Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” when she’s plucking out books for her little village, only the books are wine, and the wine is only for you. Keife & Co. also sells a unique and delicious selection of charcuterie and other specialty foods from around the world, including many pantry goods you can take on the plane, or snack on while you’re road tripping back home.
Fontainebleau State Park, on the north shores of Lake Pontchartrain, once the site of a large sugar mill built by Creole planter and senator Bernard de Marigny in 1829, is now home to 2,800 acres of beaches, trails, campsites, playgrounds and fishing areas. Most famous for its waterways, rent a kayak for the day and paddle past native fish and cypress trees in Fontainebleau’s placid streams. Or rent a bike and check out the 31 miles of paved trail — don’t worry, you don’t have to ride all 31 miles — you’re on vacation.
Just an hour’s drive from New Orleans, Pass Christian, Mississippi, is a small beach town on the Gulf of Mexico. Or head to Henderson Point to walk the 1,700’ Enchanted Nature Trail, a forested wetland hiking trail loop with plenty of kid-friendly (or playful adult-friendly) stations along the way, like insect hotels and vine tunnels.
About an hour and a half away from New Orleans proper is Denham Springs, a quaint little town near Baton Rouge. Denham Springs, though only about seven-and-a-half miles square, is home to a spectacular antique village that is absolutely brimming with amazing finds.
Address: 535 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130
For an authentic taste of New Orleans, with its rich mélange of cultures and the tempting bounty of the Gulf, you don’t have to travel far — Compère Lapin is located right inside Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery. Chef Nina Compton brings both her Caribbean roots and her classical French culinary training to the daring menu, elevating ancient indigenous ingredients to fine dining splendor, offering unforgettable dishes as inspired as the city herself.
Address: 8201 Oak St #1, New Orleans, LA 70118
DTB stands for Down the Bayou, and the menu reflects the name — playful, adventurous and rooted in the deep heritage of the coastal region. The dishes are exquisitely presented and equally as delicious, but DTB is a lively and bustling spot that encourages community, where you can grab a locally sourced cocktail and enjoy the neighborhood vibes.
Address: 930 Tchoupitoulas St suite a, New Orleans, LA 70130
Meat lovers, this is your spot. Since cochon is French for “pig,” you won’t be surprised to learn that Cochon’s specialty is pork, in every form you can imagine, from three-year country ham to fried pig ears, to a roasted pork porterhouse. You’ll also likely find Bayou standards like alligator, rabbit and crawfish. Cochon is probably not the place for vegetarians, unless they are okay with a selection of truly excellent sides. Ingredients are local and farm-sourced, so the menu changes often — check the website for updates.
Bywater American Bistro
Address: 2900 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117
The second restaurant from Compère Lapin’s Chef Nina Compton, Bywater American Bistro’s food is ingredient driven and locally sourced, which means the dishes are deceptively simple, remarkably beautiful and astoundingly delicious. The freshness of the local ingredients, like octopus and tomatoes, will be the most memorable part of your outstanding meal. Check out the weekend brunch for bottomless mimosas.
Address: 4500 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115
If you’re looking for a casual neighborhood spot where catfish reigns king, hit up High Hat Café. The U.S.-raised catfish is served either fried perfectly light, golden and crispy, with all the traditional sides, or filleted and griddled on a flat-top. High Hat is also a delightful spot for po’ boys, burgers and Southern favorites like pimento mac ‘n cheese, and offers a full bar to accompany your comfort foods.
St. Roch Market
Address: 2381 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Named one of the world’s best food halls by Travel + Leisure, St. Roch Market houses eleven different drinking and dining options in it’s bright and inviting space, including a craft cocktail bar, The Mayhaw. Just choose what you’d like to eat, from Elysian’s seafood, to Laksa’s fragrant Burmese and Malaysian comfort food, to Fritai’s famous Haitian soul food, bring your food back to a table and stay as long as you’d like.
Address: 626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118
A favorite spot for breakfast and diner-style staples, Camellia Grill is a beloved New Orleans institution. The servers are garbed in charming retro uniforms, complete with bowties, and you can perch on a chrome stool at the counter and take a trip back in time. Dig into one of the famed dinner plate-sized omelets after an all-nighter on Bourbon Street, or indulge in the notorious chocolate pecan pie for an afternoon or late-night treat (they’re open until 2am on weekends).
Café Lafitte In Exile
Address: 901 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Dating back to 1933, and the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the U.S, Café Lafitte in Exile is an incredibly important living piece of LGBTQIA+ history (once frequented by Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote) — and a joyous and welcoming setting for visitors and locals looking for their special place in the French Quarter. Open 24 hours a day and with wraparound outdoor seating on both levels, Lafitte’s is one of the best spots for watching the events of Bourbon Street.
Address: 1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
Seven-time James Beard Foundation Award-winning Commander’s Palace is recognizable in the Garden District for its cheerful turquoise-striped awnings and matching siding. With a history dating back to 1893, the Brennan family and Chef Tory McPhail have taken over the landmark to ensure guests are served the best in Haute Creole cuisine. Look for Gulf favorites like shrimp and grits, elevated to sublimity by melted leeks and veal fond.
Address: 2600 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Once a corner grocery store, The Franklin is a distinctive neighborhood bar and eatery, but the rustic and sometimes utilitarian décor pays homage to its humble origins. But the offerings are anything but humble; serving happy hour and dinner, The Franklin offers a small menu of dressed-up diner fare, like burgers and fries, as well as quite a distinguished menu of martinis.
Address: 308 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70112
With one of the most eclectic menus in the Big Easy, featuring flavors ranging from Louisiana and the American South, to the Caribbean, to Mexico and Central America, Palm&Pine is like a spirited Bourbon Street party in your mouth. Their menu changes daily, but you might be lucky enough to try their enchiladas with Latin-inspired kimchi, or take home a pint of their incredible banana ketchup. Their cocktails are just as imaginative as their meals, and are categorized by experience.
Address: 3054 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Saint-Germain is very French, and very popular! Make a reservation as soon as you know you’ll be visiting New Orleans, and prepare for a unique and exquisite dining experience in the very cozy 12-seat dining room. They only serve a five-course tasting menu that changes daily according to what’s seasonally available (but they can make accommodations for dietary restrictions with advance notice). Saint-Germain is both a French wine bar and dining room, and the two are kept separate, so if you can’t snag a reservation, there are a handful of delicious selections available on the bar menu, including their extremely revered chicken liver pâté.
Address: 320 S Broad St., New Orleans, LA 70119
Find Marjie’s Grill’s cheerful bright turquoise brick building on Broad Street, and you’re in for a lovely evening of completely original Viet-Cajun cuisine with pitchers of fruity and refreshing cocktails, all in a super laid-back and fun atmosphere. Make sure you grab a table on the patio, or as they like to call it, the “Secret Garden” — it feels like hanging out in your coolest friend’s backyard.
Address: 2800 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Serving contemporary Southern cuisine with a focus on local ingredients, Coquette aims to be a welcoming gathering place in the Garden District. Built in the 1880s, the restaurant is full of old-world charm, with crystal chandeliers and a grand wooden bar where you can taste their extensive wine list. Their $70 five-course blind tasting menu is a fabulous deal if you don’t mind putting your trust in the chefs — and at this James Beard award-winning spot, why wouldn’t you?
Address: 4600 Magazine St #1518, New Orleans, LA 70115
If you love the feeling of walking into the warm, golden light of a bakery and being enveloped by the sweet, yeasty smells of freshly baked croissants and muffins like a sugared embrace, and seeing the seemingly endless rows of flour-dusted rolls and cinnamon twists and buns in their little brown paper wrappings makes you smile, get thee to La Boulangerie on Magazine Street. You might feel like a Parisian popping into the boulangerie to choose a morning pastry with your tasse de café. In addition to a broad selection of French pastries, La Boulangerie offers gorgeous cakes, artisan bread and both breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
Address: 5240 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70115
There are, of course, many places to obtain a great po’ boy sandwich in New Orleans. But ask any local, and they’ll probably tell you that Domilise’s serves the best. Family owned and operated for almost 100 years, Domilise’s has got some solid recipes — they were even a favorite of the late, great Anthony Bourdain. Expect an absolutely enormous sandwich with lots of tasty sauce and greens, and a casual, laid-back ambience. Order your beers from Ray, who’s been tending the bar for over 45 years!
Address: 4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
If you came to the Big Easy in search of seafood, Casamento’s should be your first stop. Big plates piled high with fried softshell crab, oysters, or catfish fresh from the Gulf are their specialty, and they do it very well. Started over 100 years ago by hardworking Italian immigrant Joe Casamento, Casamento’s menu also features a few unique additions that have made it special (and famous!) throughout its history, like pan bread, oyster loaves and spaghetti and meatballs. Casamento’s is closed during the summer months (when oysters are out of season) — we won’t judge if you plan your trip around those bivalves!
Address: 214 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
Angelo Brocato, Sr. started his ice cream parlor in the French Quarter over 100 years ago after apprenticing in the trade in Sicily, and the business and recipes have been passed down through the family ever since, even surviving the floods of Hurricane Katrina. The shop is located in Mid-City now, but the gelato, granita, biscotti and cannoli (hand-piped to order) are as authentic as ever, and the locals will still wait in line for a colorful slice of spumoni and an espresso. Try the Torrancino gelato (vanilla with cinnamon and ground almonds) if you’d like to taste the first recipe Angelo Sr. created for the shop back in 1905.
Address: 4801 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Opened in 1934, Hansen’s Sno-Bliz is believed to be the oldest sno-ball stand in the U.S. What’s a sno-ball, you ask? A sno-ball is a beloved Louisiana treat that’s very similar to a snow cone, but the ice is shaved more finely and is therefore fluffier, allowing it to actually absorb syrups instead of letting them sink to the bottom of the cup or cone. Expect the usual syrup flavor suspects on the menu here, but also fresh fruit, condensed milk, whipped cream or even marshmallow. Hansen’s can have quite a line on hot days, but call your order in ahead of time and you can have it brought to your car so you don’t have to stand in the sun.
Cafe Du Monde
Address: 800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
If there’s one name that people equate with New Orleans, it’s Café Du Monde. Their iconic goldenrod coffee-and-chicory cans are collectors’ items, and we bet you’ll be tucking one in your carry-on before your trip is over. The famous coffee itself is a dark roast blended with chicory, a nutty root that the French began to use as a substitute for coffee in the early 19th century. The blend has an almost chocolatey flavor when enjoyed as a café au lait. As iconic as the coffee can, Café Du Monde’s beignets — always piping hot, buttery and covered in powdered sugar — are a must. Café Du Monde is open 24 hours, so feel free to get your beignet fix anytime you fancy it.
Address: 334 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Café Beignet claims to have the best beignets in the Big Easy, and it’s hard to argue. Hot, pillowy squares of flaky fried goodness, perfectly soft on the inside and just crispy on the edges, and generously dusted with powdered sugar — it’s easy to see why these French-inspired doughnuts are the favorite treat of New Orleans. Best savored alongside a café au lait, we recommend sitting and enjoying the quaint, Parisian-inspired décor of the bistro and listening to musical sounds of Royal Street.
Address: 7329 Cohn St, New Orleans, LA 70118
Owners Daryl and Ellen started LUCA Eats in 2016 after Ellen’s full recovery from cancer, wanting a restaurant that would allow them to be close to the food, the neighborhood and the people. The simple menu is mainly salads and paninis, but you can get a sense of the fine-dining background of the chefs when you see the drizzle of beurre blanc and balsamic reduction on the avocado toast. You absolutely must try the award-winning Oreo beignets, which are similar to your state fair’s deep-fried Oreos, but are enrobed in buttery, flaky beignet goodness.
Address: 916 Lafayette St, New Orleans, LA 70113
Housed in a grand, historic mansion in downtown New Orleans, the Swoop-Duggins House, Cellar Door offers modern Southern cuisine with a side of old-world charm. But perhaps the best reason to visit is the distinctly classic cocktails — a recent renovation gave the building an alkaline water filtration system, and Cellar Door claims this special water lends the cocktails a heightened quality, and perhaps a certain je ne sais quoi.
Address: 2533 Constance St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Parasol’s is a no-frills-whatsoever neighborhood dive where you can grab a beer or a bloody mary, a basket of fried catfish or a shareable po’ boy, and watch the Saints game with your new friends. The atmosphere is low key and homey, frequented mostly by locals, but expect a warm, Southern welcome, no matter where you’re from. Just remember to bring cash, because Parasol’s doesn’t take cards.
Address: 3641 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Step inside Bouligny Tavern and be transported to another time; the sleek mid-century cocktail lounge, with the dulcet tones of Lena Horne or Nat King Cole seductively sounding from the record player, makes you feel like you’re in an episode of Mad Men, minus the clouds of cigarette smoke. Bouligny serves a number of creative updates on classic cocktails, like a fig-infused Old Fashioned, as well as beer and wine. Their small plates are gorgeous and can certainly stand in for dinner, if you find you can’t bear to leave the soothing lighting and lovely décor.
Address: 4336 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Ms. Mae’s is a neighborhood divey-dive bar beloved by locals and tourists alike — but especially by locals. It’s open 24 hours, which means there are events that don’t happen until the wee hours here, like the very popular midnight tacos. The drinks are very cheap (like the $1.50 Miller High Life), and very strong, and you are highly unlikely to receive any sort of cocktail with more than two ingredients. There’s pool, air hockey, and a patio, which, when mixed with the fact that the bartenders like to banter with the patrons, makes for quite a lively atmosphere. Ms. Mae’s is cash only.
Address: 500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
If you’re a history buff, who also happens to enjoy a refreshing cocktail, you must make a stop at the famous Napoleon House, where the New Orleans-style Pimm’s Cup cocktail originated in the 1940s. The Napoleon House was built in the early 1800s and offered to Napoleon as a refuge during his exile from France. It later operated as a hotel, and in the late ‘40s brought the British Pimm’s Cup to New Orleans and popularized the drink in the U.S. You can sip a light and lemony Pimm’s, exactly as it tasted 80 years ago, on the historic brick patio of the Napoleon House. If you’re feeling peckish, definitely order the city’s best muffaletta — a half-sandwich feeds two, and might be the most memorable bite of your trip.
Old Absinthe House
Address: 240 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Still housing the original bar from its days as a speakeasy during Prohibition, including the decorative marble fountains that used to drip water onto sugar over glasses of absinthe, Old Absinthe House continues the speakeasy theme well into the new millennium — although you might notice a few updates, like football helmets hanging from the ceiling, and thousands of business cards from visitors from around the world tacked onto the walls. One presence that hasn’t changed is the absinthe on the menu — if you’re new to absinthe and curious to try it, they have an expansive selection of the wormwood spirit, and a number of absinthe-based cocktails if the anise flavor is a bit much for you on its own.
Address: 823 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Tujague’s is the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans, so when you come here, be prepared to sit alongside some history. The mirror behind the bar, already 90 years old when it was brought to the restaurant from a Parisian bistro, is even older than the United States! Tujague’s is renowned for, among other things, inventing the Grasshopper Cocktail, the sweet, bright green, minty dessert classic your parents adored. You have to try the original — here it tastes a bit more grown up, served in an elegant flute with a float of brandy on top.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
Address: 941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop looks like a saloon straight out of an old western film; there are patches of brick exposed in the exterior, wide open slat-wooden doors, a great brick hearth in the center of the room, and rustic shelves full of liquor behind the corner bar that make you want to mosey on up and say, “There’s a new sheriff in town.” In fact, Lafitte’s is said to be the oldest building used as a bar in the U.S, and there are documented sightings of ghosts on the premises. So if you’re in the mood to feel like the hero in a western, drinking alongside a few pirate ghosts, Lafitte’s is your spot. Just keep your finger guns holstered.
The Carousel Bar
Address: 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The Carousel Bar is so named because the bar is topped with a carousel crown, and the bar itself subtly rotates every 15 minutes. If the idea of pairing alcohol with spinning, albeit very slowly, doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry, there are plenty of seating options that don’t move on the sidelines. The cocktail menu offers classic standards that match the distinguished vibe of the bar itself; there’s no formal dress code, but guests tend toward the dressier side in their attire.
Arnaud’s French 75
Address: 813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Established in 1918 by French wine salesman Arnaud Cazenave, Arnaud’s French 75 and the attached Creole restaurant, Arnaud’s, are classy, old-time New Orleans establishments that haven’t changed much over the years. Definitely order the namesake champagne cocktail, French 75 — though it wasn’t invented here, it is a specialty, and they do the citrusy spritzer justice. All of their tempting cocktails are made with house-made syrups, drams and liqueurs, using locally sourced ingredients.
Cane and Table
Address: 1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Cane and Table is a Caribbean restaurant serving island-style cocktails at their tastefully festive marble bar. A major upgrade from the sugary blender drinks you might be used to, their piña colada uses fresh coconut cream and pineapple juice, and serves it up to you in a real coconut shell.
Address: 4905 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115
The 2018 winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Cocktail Program, Cure was one of the first bars in New Orleans to design an extensive, balanced and creative cocktail program, and they continue to lead the pack. In addition to those famed cocktails, Cure serves wine, beer and gourmet bar snacks.
Address: 4920 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Gasa Gasa, a relatively divey hipster venue with a full bar, gets its name from the shuffling sound a tiger might make while stalking you. Sounds scary! Fortunately, you’re unlikely to hear anything that frightens you while you’re enjoying a chilly beverage at Gasa Gasa. Instead, you’ll probably hear a touring band playing a rowdy show, and you can dance and make your own shuffling sounds. Gasa gasa! If you’d prefer a quieter spot to chat with friends, the patio has a bit more distance from the stage.
Address: 1201 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Cosimo’s is known for being an inviting, low-key, dog-friendly locals haunt where everybody knows your name, located right off Bourbon Street. They serve a full bar, offering a broad selection of liquors, and accept credit cards for drinks, and also serve your standard selection of soak-up-the-booze grub, like pizza, wings and tacos — but it’s cash only for food.
Address: 3442 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115
Wine enthusiasts and foodies alike will find a little piece of heaven at Delachaise. Located on the streetcar line on St. Charles Avenue, it has a charming French bistro feel, complete with an ample tree-lined patio illuminated with string lights. Delachaise boasts over 350 wines on their list, with 36 bottles under $36 for those watching their wallets, and for those looking for a frosty summer beverage, they offer the always Instagrammable Frosé or Friesling (frozen Riesling). If you need a nibble to go with your vino, their goose fat-fried fries were voted best in New Orleans more than five years in a row.
Address: 600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
As you may have gathered from the name, Bacchanal is a party. A Mediterranean-style, two-level, jazz-fueled, wine-loving backyard party, to be precise — so, a markedly more grown-up party than the ones happening way over on Bourbon Street. When you walk into unassuming Bywater villa, you choose your wine from an enormous selection, as well as meats and cheeses, then you can make your way to the lively backyard, where a jazz band plays seven days a week. Or for a totally different vibe, there’s a dining room and full bar upstairs.
Address: 532 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The jazz clubs of Frenchman Street are legendary, and Blue Nile is one of the most time honored on the strip. The two-story club is bathed in a dreamy blue light reminiscent of moonlight, and hosts jazz, funk, brass and blues acts every night from around 7pm, and they rarely have a cover charge.
Address: 536 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
An intimate and friendly piano, cocktail and small plates bar (hmm, could these be the three inspirations of the name?), Three Muses hosts nightly performances of jazz on their tiny corner stage. Cocktails here are simple and satisfying, full of freshly picked, fruity and fragrant ingredients that perfectly accompany the heady music.
Address: 623 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70117
The Spotted Cat is arguably the most famous jazz club in the Big Easy, and you might hear locals refer to it as “The Cat.” The Cat hosts some of the best jazz, funk and blues in the South, with bands traveling from all over the world just to play the famed postage stamp-sized stage. There’s often a long line to get in once night falls, but there’s generally no cover, only a one-drink minimum.
Address: 618 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Amidst a cluster of jazz and blues clubs on historic Frenchman Street, D.B.A. is a hip venue that hosts a wide-ranging mix of shows, from hard rock to sensitive folk, and comedy to aerial trapeze acts. Frenchman Street has a reputation for being rather less alcohol soaked than Bourbon Street, so you can expect a mellower crowd enjoying the music and a drink, maybe having a sway or a swing on the dance floor, and relaxing with friends.
Keife and Co.
Address: 801 Howard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113
Stop by Keife & Co. to pick up a bottle of wine to take home with you or to dinner nearby. With shelves of bottles that reach from floor to ceiling, and a rolling librarian-like ladder that you can climb to reach the uppermost selections, you might feel like you’ve found a secret library full of long-lost ancient knowledge, and you’re eager to read every book to learn every new and important bit, except the books are wine, and you’re allowed to feel overwhelmed! Keife & Co. has knowledgeable staff who can answer all of your questions, unless they are about long-lost ancient knowledge, and they also sell a unique and delicious selection of charcuterie and other specialty foods from around the world.
Address: 2805 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Tucked into the Marigny-Bywater neighborhood, Faubourg Wines is a cozy little wine store that specializes in rare wines from small producers from around the world. If there’s a hard-to-find bottle you’ve been looking for for a while, this just might be the shop that carries it, and you are welcome to take it home or enjoy it in the in-house bar. In addition to wine, Faubourg sells liquors, beer, artisanal meats, cheeses and gourmet pantry staples.
Vieux Carré Wine & Spirits
Address: 422 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Vieux Carré is another name for the French Quarter, and is French for “Old Square.” Vieux Carré Wine & Spirits might be named for the French Quarter because it certainly embodies the affability and warmth of the neighborhood, as well as one of its favorite, uh, hobbies! They have the largest selection of liquor, beer and wine in the French Quarter, and extremely reasonable prices. You can find a number of bottles from local distilleries, wineries and breweries, and you can even grab plastic cups on your way out (when there’s a party on the street, you must take heed!).
Inside The Old 77 Hotel & Chandlery, Tout La will wake you up Big Easy style — by putting a gigantic smile on your face — with locally roasted coffee from French Truck and gorgeous artisan espresso and tea beverages, straight from the culinary geniuses in the Compère Lapin kitchen. They’re also bringing you delicate and indulgent French pastries, sweet and savory breakfast dishes and grab-and-go bites.
Address: 1829 Sophie Wright Pl. New Orleans, LA 70130
HiVolt Coffee will get you caffeinated with the good stuff, with fun and creative drink specials, and a fabulous chai for the non-coffee drinkers. Their breakfast menu is surprisingly substantial, with quick, delicious and nutritious choices like bowls, sandwiches and frittatas. Pastries are yummy with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options.
Address: 821 Baronne St. New Orleans, LA 70113
Mammoth Espresso was created by a veteran barista, and like to approach coffee with humility, and a lack of pretension, which is refreshing when there’s a tendency towards uber-hip and haughty coffeeshops. To Mammoth, it’s all about the quality of the coffee and warm hospitality, and they collaborate with small roasters to bring the best experience to you. Enjoy your custom cortado in the light-filled, tiled and wood-paneled space, and feel free to be just as you are.
Address: 726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116
For a true Big Easy jazz experience, you must attend a Preservation Hall show. For a building that’s almost a hundred years old, the acoustics are incredible, and the experience will stay with you for years to come. Doors open at 5pm, and a new act takes the stage every hour. You can buy your tickets ahead of time for a hefty fee, but you’ll get a reserved space near the stage, and general admission ticket holders can get all the way to the front. Get there early for general admission, which is $20 and buys you admission to one 45-minute set. It sounds short, but keep in mind there’s no bar or bathroom on the premises.
Address: 501 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115
Tipitina’s is a juke joint founded in 1977 by a group of young fans to provide a place for the late, great R&B singer and pianist Henry Roeland Byrd (AKA “Professor Longhair”) to perform in his older years — “Tipitina” is the name of one of his songs. You can purchase tickets online, and the club is standing room only, but there’s really not a bad view of the stage in the house. You can also book a tour of the venue to learn more about its history in the story of Professor Longhair’s legacy, and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of touring bands.
Address: 8316 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118
Opened in 1974 in Carrolton, the Maple Leaf is the longest continuously operating music club in Crescent City. Today, the Maple Leaf is known for Grammy Lifetime Achievement Winner George Porter Jr.’s funk trio’s standing Monday gig, and for their showcasing of emerging local artists, from jazz and Zydeco to poetry. The venue and stage are small but the talent is large, and the main draw is the sense of community. Sunday night crawfish boils are all you can eat, included in the cover, and as authentic as you can get — dumped on a communal paper tablecloth and shared amongst your new friends.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Address: 925 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Holding the largest and most comprehensive collection of historical and contemporary Southern art anywhere, with more than 4,000 visual works from across 15 states, the Ogden Museum is a beautiful and fascinating look at the skill, culture and traditions of the American South. In addition to the diverse collection of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, wood carvings and crafts, the Ogden offers curated exhibitions, lectures, film screenings and concerts. If you’re a member with your hometown museum, you’ll likely get free admission here, as well!
Address: 1901 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Where Y’Art is a most modern of art galleries — with an online arm that showcases over 100 local artists of every medium, and a more traditional gallery in the Faubourg-Marigny neighborhood — their aim is to bring New Orleans art into your home, in whatever manner is most accessible to you, because art is for everyone. You can even message the artist directly through their website to talk and ask questions about their art, or search for a piece based on neighborhood.
Sculpture Garden at City Park
Address: 1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124
The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a part of the New Orleans Museum of Art, but it’s not a part of the museum’s regular admission — which means you can get in some zen garden time without having to commit to a whole museum visit. To walk through the peaceful, eleven-acre park, admission is just $5 for adults. Amble along the paved paths and admire the more than 90 modern and classical sculptures in the garden, as well as the fragrant flowers and pleasing landscape design.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Address: 1427 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
Lafayette Cemetary No. 1 was the city’s first planned cemetery, and it’s cross-like shape — bringing to mind some vampire lore — actually made it easier for funeral processions to travel in and out. History and architectural significance aside, visitors love to come to Lafayette No. 1 for a few reasons, not the least of which is notoriety — the cemetery is the final resting place of some famous names, like Judge John Ferguson of the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case, and it was immortalized in a number of popular films and TV shows, like “Interview With the Vampire,” “Jonah Hex” and “The Originals.”
Address: 5099 Louisiana Hwy 18, Edgard, LA 70049
The Whitney Plantation is the only museum in Louisiana — and one of the only museums in the U.S. — to focus exclusively on the lives and experiences of enslaved people. Once a sugarcane, rice and indigo plantation that held slaves in bondage on its grounds for over 100 years, you can take a guided tour through the slave cabins, outbuildings and owner’s house to learn about everything a slave had to endure in their daily life. Your tour will also guide you through memorials honoring over 100,000 people who were held in slavery in the state of Louisiana. Tickets for this sobering but essential tour often sell out quickly, but you can take a self-guided audio tour through a downloadable app.
Address: 514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
In 1804, Louisiana became the first state to require pharmacists to require a license to practice, and Louis J. Dufilho, Jr. was the first to pass this rigorous oral exam, thus making his pharmacy in New Orleans the first licensed pharmacy in the country. The Pharmacy Museum delves into this remarkable branch of Louisiana’s history, while you step back in time into an apothecary shop, examine questionable medical practices and surgical instruments and play around with prescriptions and compounding.
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
Address: 724 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Made famous by popular book and movie scenes, a lot of people have probably played around with Voodoo by sticking pins into a ragdoll, hoping to really stick it to a nemesis. But real Louisiana Voodoo isn’t magic, it’s a set of spiritual beliefs originating in West Africa and brought to the South by the Atlantic slave trade. The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum aims to preserve the knowledge, history and culture of Louisiana Voodoo while educating visitors, who can explore the museum’s relics, paintings, artifacts and sculptures, or take a Museum-guided tour of a nearby cemetery, and visit the grave of the famed Voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau.
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
Address: 423 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is North America’s largest museum devoted entirely to the six-legged among us — although it’s really more like a zoo for insects, because it’s full of real, live bugs, which you can touch, feed and pet, if you’re into that sort of thing. There’s even an exhibit that lets the most adventurous among us take a taste of a bug buffet. The last exhibit is the Butterfly Garden — if you want the butterflies to land on you, make sure to wear lots of bright colors so you resemble a big, delicious flower.
The New Orleans Museum of Art
Address: 1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124
The New Orleans Museum of Art, or NOMA, as it’s known to locals, has a focus on French and American fine art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works in its 40,000-object permanent collection. Surrounded by parks, green spaces and stately old homes, you could spend an entire day hanging out and even relaxing in and around NOMA, but since it’s a relatively small art museum, only three stories, it probably won’t take you too long to traverse the galleries.
National World War II Museum
Address: 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The National World War II Museum promises an emotional (and probably tearful) experience, with immersive exhibits placing you on the frontlines across every theater, and exploring all the political circumstances leading up to the war, from Tokyo to Berlin to the U.S. The Dog Tag Experience issues you a microchipped key card representing a dog tag worn by an actual serviceman or woman, and then you learn about everything they heard, saw and felt throughout their service.
Lucky Bean Tours
If you’re looking for a way to see more of the city, and, perhaps as a bonus, learn more about the history and the culture of New Orleans while you do it, check out Lucky Bean Tours for both guided and self-guided tours of the Big Easy. Lucky Bean approaches their walking tours like simply taking a walk with a friend; their tours are unscripted, and they all just enjoy talking (a lot) about the city. They offer two-hour tours of the French Quarter, the Garden District and the cemeteries, or they can customize a tour especially for you based on your interests.
Address: 6500 Audubon Park Trail, New Orleans, LA 70118
Located right on the streetcar line, Audubon Park is easily accessible from anywhere in New Orleans, but far enough away from the hubbub that you can feel like you’re getting some respite from the crowds. The wide paved paths make it the perfect place for a run, there are expansive grassy areas to let Fido roam free, and the peaceful lagoon, full of birds of every stripe, is the ideal setting to sit beside and have a picnic.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Address: 1419, Marrero, LA 70072
Jean Lafitte was a famous French pirate in the early 19th century whose operations helped secure New Orleans for the U.S., and who is long rumored to have buried treasure all along the South. Those rumors may simply be fanciful legend, but the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is a piece of earthly treasure in its own rite. Consisting of six separate sites (for the different cultural heritages of Louisiana) in the Mississippi River Delta region, about a half hour from New Orleans city center, you can take canoe and hiking tours through the diverse cultural histories that established the region during the last two centuries, all in the lush and untouched setting of hardwood forests, swamps and marshes.
Address: Cres Park Trail, New Orleans, LA 70117
A fabulous place to jog, bike or simply take in the spectacular riverside views of the Big Easy, Crescent Park is a 1 ½ mile, 20-acre stretch of waterfront park, accessed on one side by the “Rusty Rainbow” pedestrian bridge, and on the other by elevator. The landscaping is meticulous and lovely, and there’s a grassy dog park where you can let your pup run free. Bring a picnic lunch and watch the tiny tugboats and the massive cargo ships slowly drift by on the rippling waters.
If you are having a medical emergency, please dial 911 immediately.
Address: 939 Girod St, New Orleans, LA 70113
Full service convenient store and pharmacy.
Urgent Care Eleven
Address: 3218 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Make an appointment online or walk-in.