New Orleans: What To Do, Eat & Drink

New Orleans is undoubtedly one of my favorite cities in the US and there are a ton of things to do (and food to eat!) in NOLA. I just got back from my 3rd trip to this amazing city and below are my recommendations.

WHERE TO WALK AROUND AND EXPLORE

French Quarter
Bourbon Street is synonymous with Martis Gras and if it’s your first time in New Orleans, it’s a must-visit. Bourbon Street is really only crazy close to Canal Street, the further you walk towards the Marigny neighborhood, the more unique architecture you’ll find.

Royal Street or Dauphine Street are more low-key than Bourbon street and feature some of my favorite off-the-beaten-path spots that I’ve mentioned below.



Marigny

Frenchman Street is the mainstay of this neighborhood that’s filled with music venues and jazz clubs. Everything is within walking distance, so it makes it easy to go bar hopping.

Swamp Tours – Louisiana Tour Company
Website
(504) 689-3599 | 1-888-30SWAMP
Email: fun@louisianaswamp.com

My coworker and I decided to go a swamp tour and it was the best decision we ever made. We drove out to the Bayou to meet up with our tour group and were on our way. The Bayou is absolutely beautiful: trees growing precariously out of the water, their dark limbs covered by gray Spanish moss contrasting with the bright green shoots of swamp grass. The fan boats are FAST, and you cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. We pulled off in a cove where there were a number of full-grown alligators floating in the water and stopped the boat. Our guide took out a bag of marshmallows and began to throw them in the water near the gators, explaining that the marshmallows were an eye-catching snack given their poor eyesight. Our guide then took out a baby gator from a crate in the back and let each of us hold it. The scales were surprisingly smooth and soft, he was actually really cute!

 

WHERE TO GO FOR LIVE MUSIC

The Spotted Cat Music Club (Marigny)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 943-3887
623 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

One of the most famous music venues in NOLA, the spotted cat is an intimate jazz club that features 4 bands every night. You can view their full calendar of events here.

The Blue Nile (Marigny)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 948-2583
532 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Located on Frenchman Street, this 2-story bar + balcony features all types of live music – from reggae, blues and brass band. Drinks are cheap and it’s also open late-night as I’ve definitely been there well past 4AM.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 593-9761
941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Considered one of the oldest bars in the United States, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar was built in the 1700’s. Most of the bar is lit by candlelight, which only adds to the ambiance. There is a piano player each night who can play almost any song you request (so long as you add a few dollars to his tip jar).

Three Muses (Marigny)
Website / TripAdvisor
504-252-4801
536 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116-2024

Great spot for live music and cocktails on Frenchman Street.

d.b.a. (Marigny)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 942-3731
618 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Those of you from New York will recognize this bar as the Louisiana version of the same NYC bar. You can find live music on the daily and is completely smoke-free. Your lungs will thank you.

Bacchanal (Bywater)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 948-9111
600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Unpretentious wine bar with an extensive wine and cheese list. The backyard seating makes this place ideal for spending a few hours at in the daytime and the live music will make you want to never leave.

 

RESTAURANTS – WHERE TO GO TO BRUNCH

Cafe Du Mond
Website / TripAdvisor
800 Decatur St, In Front of Jackson Square

I wouldn’t necessarily consider Cafe DuMond a brunch spot, but dear GOD those beignets are heavenly! Make sure you get there super early in the morning, or go late at night. Get a cup of hot cocoa to go with it, and dip your powdered sugar-coated beignet for an extra sugar rush.

The Ruby Slipper Cafe (Central Business District/Canal Street)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 525-9355
200 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

There are 3 different locations, but we went to the location on Magazine Street. It was pretty rowdy but in a lively, fun way versus obnoxious. The menu ranges from normal breakfast fair to cajun dishes typical of New Orleans. I tried both the po boy sandwich and BBQ shrimp & grits, both of which I can recommend.

Toula’s Creole Kitchen (Central Business District/Canal Street)
TripAdvisor
(504) 571-5599
109 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

This is a very casual sports bar where you can enjoy an extra strong and spicy bloody mary while eating everything from gumbo to hamburgers.

This place also had the BEST mac & cheese I’ve ever had. Even 10 minutes after getting the dish delivered, the cheese stayed creamy and delicious. Unlike most mac & cheese which gets hard or loses its creamy texture quickly, this one was perfect the whole time!

Arnaud’s French 75 (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 523-5433
813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Known for their cocktails, this bar also has a Jazz Brunch on Sundays from 10AM – 2:30PM. Full entrees start at around $32 and you can view the brunch menu here.

Green Goddess (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 301-3347
307 Exchange Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130

This is a great spot for brunch! It’s open daily from 11-9PM, but make sure to get there on the early side for brunch as they don’t take reservations.

 

RESTAURANTS – WHERE TO EAT LUNCH OR DINNER

Cafe Du Mond (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
800 Decatur St, In Front of Jackson Square

As mentioned before, you can’t categorize this spot. It’s just a must-go if you’re visiting New Orleans. Buy the mix if you want to re-create it at home too! (I did, and they were delicious).

Peche Seafood Grill (Central Business District)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 522-1744
800 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

I had one of the most enjoyable dining experiences at Peche when I was recently in New Orleans in February 2017 for NBA All-Star weekend. Even though there were a lot of people in town, we had the best service from a waitress named Heather who helped us navigate the menu and order the best dishes. Not only that, but she was witty, energetic and had the best sense of humor – She really made our experience an excellent one.

We ended up ordering pretty much everything on the menu, and everything was delicious. But the dishes that stood out to me were the fish sticks, hushpuppies, crawfish croquettes, ribeye for the table, brussel sprouts and roasted carrots.

Domenica Pizza (Central Business District)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 301-4978
4933 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

This is the place to go if you’re looking for a pizza fix, Domenica’s wood-fired pizzas will help you scratch that itch. The pizza oven was custom-made and shipped from Italy, and the ability to customize your pizza with fresh ingredients makes it worth checking out.

Their happy hour is Monday – Friday from 3-5PM: 1/2 off pizza and draft beer and wine by the glass. Feel like bringing your own bottle of wine? You can also BYOW (Bring your own wine) for a $20 corkage fee.

Restaurant August (Central Business District)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 299-9777
301 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

If you’re celebrating or feel like balling out on a dinner, Restaurant August has tasting menu that’s perfect for the occasion.

Sylvian (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 265-8123
625 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Hands down one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans. The restaurant is set back a bit from the street and has both indoor and outdoor seating. My friends and I split a bunch of appetizers including the fried eggplant & burrata to start, short rib, beef cheeks and pappardelle bolognese which was to die for!

Brennan’s – Courtyard & The Roost Bar (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 525-9711
417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

We’ve only been here for happy hour when they offer half-priced bottles of local champagne and discounted bites. We didn’t order anything from the dinner menu (just appetizers of sliders and a scotch egg) but those were both delicious so dinner is likely pretty damn good.

Doris Metropolitan (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 267-3500
620 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Voted best restaurant in New Orleans, this is definitely a place that should be reserved for a special occasion. I haven’t been, but I was told by a local that the food is absolutely amazing.

Mother’s (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 523-9656
401 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130

One of the most famous cajun restaurants in New Orleans, they are also said to have the “world’s best baked ham.”

Acme Oyster House (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 522-5973
724 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Yes, it’s a chain restaurant (a local one) but do they serve delicious oysters and other creole food? Yes, yes they do.

Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 581-1316
841 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70112

The original location is in Bucktown, but you can still get their signature seafood for lunch or dinner at their French Quarter location. They even have a gluten-free menu for glutards like me!

Hoa Hong 9 Roses Cafe (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 324-9450
620 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

In my opinion, a bowl of Pho is the best comfort food (aka hangover cure) that you can have to help kickstart your recovery. There are 2 locations but the French Quarter is closest.

Meals from the Heart Cafe (Marigny)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 525-1953
French Market Corporation, 1100 N Peters St #13, New Orleans, LA 70116

Gluten-free and healthy (think low-fat and low sodium) food options in New Orleans. The food is inexpensive and perfect for those with gluten sensitivities or people who want to eat healthy while in NOLA.

Big Fisherman (Uptown, Garden District)
Website / TripAdvisor
Phone: 504-897-9907
3301 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115

Inexpensive, Louisiana-style seafood where you can even order both alligator and turtle meat if you’re feeling adventurous. Don’t worry about the lack of seating; head over two blocks to a dive bar called Rendezvous. Just buy a drink and you’ll be able to enjoy seafood bliss.

 

BARS – WHERE TO DRINK

Brennan’s – Courtyard & The Roost Bar (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 525-9711
417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

GO HERE FOR HAPPY HOUR. They have half-priced bottles of local champagne and discounted bites. We ordered the sliders and the scotch egg – Both were delicious!

Carousel Bar (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 523-3341
Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

The bar is literally on a carousel that actually spins around slowly while you’re at the bar. It’s a kitschy novelty, but still fun to visit all the same. Beware: If you get motion-sickness, I wouldn’t recommend visiting.

Batch Bar in the Hyatt Centric (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 586-0800
Hyatt Centric, 800 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Located just a few blocks away from Canal street, this bar is tucked away inside the Hyatt Centric which means that it’s never too packed.

Happy hour is Mon-Thurs from 4-7PM: $3 Canvas wine, $3 drafts, and $7 weekly specialty cocktails.

The Goldmine Saloon (French Quarter)
TripAdvisor
(504) 586-0745
701 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Located a little off the beaten path, this place is the diviest of dive bars + DJ + dancing that’s sure to get you in the mood.
Arnaud’s French 75 (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 523-5433
813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112

This bar is famously known for their cocktails and champagne. Make sure you try a French 75 Cocktail (Courvoisier VS, Sugar, Lemon Juice, Moet and Chandon Champagne). Both bars are the originals built in the 1800’s.

Old Abynsth House (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 523-3181
240 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Located in a historic building in the French Quarter, this bar built in 1806 is famously known for their Abynth cocktails. During prohibition, the original copper bar was removed in order to protect it from damage and after a brief stint at a different location, it was finally returned to its home in 2004. Read the full history here.


Apple Barrel (French Quarter)
Website / TripAdvisor
609 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Located below Adolfo’s on Frenchman Street, this tiny dive bar is perfect for getting away from the crowd.

Bacchanal (Bywater)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 948-9111
600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Unpretentious wine bar with an extensive wine and cheese list. The backyard seating makes this place ideal for spending a few hours at in the daytime and the live music will make you want to never leave.

The Blue Nile (Marigny)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 948-2583
532 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Located on Frenchman Street, this 2-story bar + balcony features all types of live music – from reggae, blues and brass band. Drinks are cheap and it’s also open late-night as I’ve definitely been there well past 4AM.

The Spotted Cat Music Club (Marigny)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 943-3887
623 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

One of the most famous music venues in NOLA, the spotted cat is an intimate jazz club that features 4 bands every night. You can view their full calendar of events here.


Loa Bar at the International House Hotel (Central Business District)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 553-9550
221 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Great hotel bar for mixology cocktails and a chic ambiance.

Cellar Door (Warehouse District)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 265-8392
916 Lafayette St, New Orleans, LA 70113

Don’t let the name deceive you. This cocktail bar looks like the interior of a New York City brownstone on the inside and is a great place to enjoy cocktails on an outdoor patio.

Half Moon Bar (Garden District)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 593-0011
1125 St Mary St, New Orleans, LA 70130

3 words: skeeball, billiards, and trivia. This low-key bar is definitely for those who like to play games while imbibing.
The Bulldog (Garden District/Irish Channel)
Website / TripAdvisor
(504) 891-1516
3236 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

This sports bar is appropriately named as they allow you to bring your dog with you and enjoy a drink while hanging out at the outdoor patio. It’s perfect for beer lovers as they have over 50 beers on tap!

They also have great happy hour specials Mon-Fri from 2-7PM: 50¢ off pints, $1.00 off pitchers, $3.50 house wines and double mixed drinks for the price of a single.

Advertisements

About Kailee Crawford

I'm an Oregon-born travel addict living in New York making the most of my vacation days. I started this travel blog to keep track of my bucket list and it's morphed into a journal of my adventures and recommendations for things to see, do, eat and drink. My hope is that I can help other travelers find their way. I want to try everything once and to live a life without regrets or missed opportunities. I call my philosophy on life the "the death bed philosophy" - I want to be laying in my death bed reflecting on all of the things I've done and seen in this world, not the things I wished I had done. It's not meant to be morbid, just a reminder to take risks, go out of your comfort zone and live life to the fullest. ♫♫♫♫♫ "You were only waiting for this moment to be free" --- "Blackbird" by The Beatles This quote is undoubtedly my favorite quote because it's a reminder of the infinite opportunities available to us. That in each moment there is an opportunity to find true happiness, and a sense of freedom when you're doing what you love. Freedom to explore, to create, to improve oneself, and to find fulfillment even during the 9 to 5 grind. ♫♫♫♫♫ I'm an incredibly pensive person with a wide variety of interests. In addition to traveling, my guilty pleasures include wine, food, music, art, languages and history. I grew up a nerd, watching The History Channel and reading The Lord of the Rings with my Dad. I'm driven by my pursuit of knowledge and growth and most passionate when I'm able to be creative. ♫♫♫♫♫
Gallery | This entry was posted in Louisiana, New Orleans, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s