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Things We Like

Restaurants

Did you know we have over 1300 restaurants in New Orleans? We know it’s hard to decide where to eat, so we are including a short list of a few of our favorites.  To get a well rounded experience, everyone should try one of the Grand Dames ( Broussard’s, Galatoire’s, Arnaud’s, Tujague’s), and one of the Brennan’s Family Restarants (Brennan’s, Tableau, Napoleon House, Mr. B’s Bistro, etc.). Even local “hole in the wall” establishments are great, no need to worry!

  • Antoine’s (Oldest Restaurant in New Orleans, one of the Grand Dames.) Keep an eye out for their Lunch Special. Don’t forget to order a Baked Alaska for dessert.
  • Palace Café Restaurant – Located on Canal Street, Palace Cafe’s outdoor, sidewalk seating is excellent for people watching. Try their famous “Temperature Lunch” in the Summertime.
  • Camellia Grill – At the top of the St. Charles Streetcar line, this casual eatery will bring you back in time. Try the Freezes!
  • Commander’s Palace – Located in the Garden District, this Brennan’s Family Restaurant is well known for its Jazz Brunch and famous for its 25 cent Martini Lunch. If you can get reservations, be sure to try it out. Follow their dress code!
  • The Rum House – New Orleans is the Northernmost point of the Caribbean, what better way to celebrate it with a Caribbean fusion restaurant.
  • Carmo – This is another great option for all things tropical, including regional dishes from the Caribean as well as South Asia and West Africa. They have excellent vegetarian and vegan options as well!
  • Parkway Po-Boys – You can get Po-Boys everywhere, but we like this shop for its outdoor seating and fun atmosphere. It’s close to City Park and NOMA.
  • The Columns Hotel – Shaded by live oaks, nothing beats the view of St. Charles Avenue from the Columns Hotel.  Originally built as a private residence, this building is now a hotel and restaurant.
  • Turkey and The Wolf – Sandwich shop that has been featured in Bon Appetit and the Today Show.
  • Stein’s Deli – I know you came all the way to New Orleans to get a Pastrami on Rye. And if you go to Stein’s be sure to save some room for dessert and pop next door to District Donuts

Museums

New Orleans has a very unique history and our museums showcase many different aspects of this story. Here are a couple of our favorites:

    • The Pharmacy Museum – The former shop of Louis Dufilho, the first licensed pharmacist in the United States. The exhibit includes early medications and remedies including leaches, mercury, and drills for skull pressure relief! Upstairs one can view a optometrist exhibit. Such a curious museum!
    • The Cabildo – The Cabildo was built as the main governmental building during the Spanish Colonial Era. Today it is a museum that covers Louisiana History from Native  Americans to Reconstruction.
    •  Hermann-Grima & Gallier Historic Houses – Two great house museums in the French Quarter. The Hermann-Grima House is one of very few examples of Federal style architecture in New Orleans, and the Gallier House was designed by legendary architect James Gallier Jr.
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection– The Historic New Orleans Collections is a Musem and research center dedicated to New Orleans History. Keep an eye out for their new exhibits and also their French Quarter History exhibit.
    • National World War II Museum – The National WW II Museum focuses on the American Experience during WWII. It is rated as the #1 attraction in New Orleans, and continuously receives a ranking in the top 10  best museums in the world.
    • Pitot House – The Pitot House was built in 1799, during our Spanish Colonial Era. The home is decorated to reflect the era that the home was the residence of James Pitot, a mayor of New Orleans in the early 1800s.
    • New Orleans Museum of Art – The Museum’s collection includes more than 40,000 objects, spanning
      5,000 years of art and is noted for its extraordinary strengths in French and American art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works, and it continues to expand and grow.
    • Old Ursuline Convent – The oldest building in not only New Orleans, but the Mississippi River Delta, the Ursuline convent was built in 1753 and has some French Colonial details. The staircase dates back to the 1730s!
    • Irish Cultural Museum – Did you know that before the Civil War, New Orleans’ population was a quarter Irish? This museum tells the story of these immigrants who made their home in New Orleans.

Bars

Some folks believe the first cocktail was invented in New Orleans, and while that may a fun urban legend, we do know for a fact that the Sazerac was in fact invented in New Orleans as early as 1830s. Other fanciful concoctions followed including (but not limited to)  the Hurricane, the Grasshopper, and the Ramos Gin Fizz. We know how to drink in New Orleans, and here are some of our favorite places to do it:

    • Carousel Bar (Tucked inside the Hotel Monteleone).  The Carousel Bar has delighted guests since 1949 with its revolving bar. That’s right, the bar spins like a carousel. The bar only has 25 seats so consider planning your visit during off hours.
    • Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop – This bar is the stuff of legends. Was it owned by pirates? Is it haunted? Who can say?? What we do know is that Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is an old building dating back the Spanish colonial era and it is a great example of brick- between-post construction. It’s also a great place to do some people watching. Or be peoplewatched. The choice is yours.
    • Pat O’Brien’s – Home of the world famous Hurricane Cocktail, Pat O’Brien’s has been a local landmark since its founding in 1933. Grab some drinks and lounge in their courtyard bar, or check out their Dueling Painos shows on Thursday-Sunday evenings.
    • Bacchanal Wine – They call themselves “Nola’s Backyard Party”and they aren’t wrong! If you are looking for a place to just hang out and enjoy good food and drinks in a causal atmosphere, you will not find a better place in the city. It is magical. It is also in the Bywater, so take a cab.

Things to do

  • Take the St. Charles Streetcar. It’s the longest continuously operated Streetcar in the world! Fare is $1.25,  40 cents for guests over 65 years, or you can buy a All-Day Pass for $3.00.
  • Visit Jackson Square. Originally laid out in the 1720s as the French Place D’Armes. It was a military drill space until it was converted into a park in the 1850s.
  • Walk once down Bourbon Street. You may not want to spend a lot of time on it, but you must see it!
  • Explore Bayou St John. This neighborhood borders City Park and NOMA. The
    earliest houses date back to the late 1700s – older than most in the French Quarter!
  • Enjoy a meal in a French Quarter courtyard. There are so many secret hidden places to discover!
  • Leave some unscheduled time in your itinerary. New Orleans is full of surprises. You never know when a parade is going to pass by!
  • Spend some time on the Mississippi River by taking a riverboat cruise.
  • Visit for Mardi Gras. The parades on St. Charles Avenue are amazing and you’re not going to believe it but most of Mardi Gras is a family friendly event.  You have to see it to believe it!
  • Get beignets from the to-go window of Cafe Du Monde (800 Decatur St) and then go sit on the benches by the Mississippi River and just watch the boats go by. Extra points if you do this at Sunset.
And Lastly,
  • The “People Watching” of New Orleans is like nowhere else! So, grab a drink, have a seat, and keep your eyes open, you never know what you are going to see!

Books:

  • New Orleans Houses: A House-Watcher’s Guide by Lloyd Vogt
  • Historic Buildings of the French Quarter by Lloyd Vogt
  • Lost New Orleans by Mary Cable
  • The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square
    by Ned Sublette
  • Beautiful Crescent: A History of New Orleans by Joan Garvey and Mary Lou Widmer
  • The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans by Lawrence N. Powell
  • Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of Baroness de Pontalba by Christina Vella
  • A Guide to Architecture of New Orleans by Samuel Wilson, Jr.
  • The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Douglas Brinkley
  • New Orleans Architecture series by Friends of the Cabildo
  • Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect by Robert S. Brantley and Jan White Brantley
  • The Irish in New Orleans by Laura D. Kelley
  • The Strange History of the American Quadroon: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic World by Emily Clark
  • Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans by Richard Campanella
  • Bourbon Street By Richard Campanella
  • New Orleans Then and Now by Richard Campanella and Marina Campanella
  • Geographies of New Orleans: Urban Fabrics Before the Storm by Richard Campanella
  • Southern Comfort: The Garden District of New Orleans by S. Frederick Starr
  • Building the Devil’s Empire by Shannon Lee Dawdy
  • New Orleans: Its Old Houses, Shops and Public Buildings by Nathaniel Cortlandt Curtis
  • Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans by James Gill
  • The Great Days of the Garden District and the Old City of Lafayette by Martha Samuel
  • French Quarter Manual by by Malcolm Heard and Scott Bernhard
  • A well-researched, fascinating collection of articles, studies, and editorials by Tulane’s Geographer Richard Campanella can be found at his website.
Novels set in New Orleans
  • The Blue Garou, Can’t Stop The Funk, and Ghosts and Shadows by H. Max Hiller
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
  • Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Blogs/Websites

New Orleans Architecture/History

New Orleans Culture/News

Podcasts

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