“There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better.”–Bob Dylan
- Definitely go to Willa Jean and order the Fried Oyster Benedict, cheesy grits, and hot-out-of-the-oven cornbread drizzled with Poirier’s cane syrup. Wash it down with an Afternoon Delight and then order another one to-go.
- Café Du Monde, who? Skip the tourists and long lines, Café Beignet has the best beignets in the French Quarter.
- Donuts done right: District Donuts
- French Quarter. Pastries. Courtyard. Quiet. Croissant D’or
- Shrimp & Grits (and Bloody Mary): The Ruby Slipper
- Brennans. Because it’s classic. Because it’s painted pink. Because they do Champagne Sabering every Friday at 5pm in their courtyard.
- Portions are smaller and prices are higher but a stop at the historic Mother’s Restaurant for a po’boy is very necessary for a first-timer. *Note: thee will definitely be a long line. Pick up a drink to sip on while you wait.
- Guy’s Po’Boys is a favorite of mine. The owner is super sweet and the shrimp po’ boys are super large. You’ll be uncomfortably full when it’s all said and done, but the good news is you will be in the perfect location to walk it all off.
- Get the sausage po’boy from Gene’s and then send me a Thank You card.
- You could definitely visit St. Roch Market any time of day but lunch-time is a little less crowded which means very fast oyster-shucking and drink-pouring service. I like that. Check out the Fritai stand for reeeeeally good Haitian food, Elysian for oysters and crab claws and major seafood platters, and then go make friends with cocktails and people at The Mayhaw Bar. Yes, all this goodness and more is under one roof. Pure magic.
- Cochon Butcher. Go.
- Dooky Chase. Where do I even start? Queen Leah Chase is a dream.
- Cane and Table is best known for there cocktails (which is exactly why I went), but I was very excited to find out first hand that their food is on point too. Easily my best meal of 2016. Get the kale salad and the duck.
- I go to Cochon every time I visit New Orleans because it makes me feel whole.
- If you’re feeling fancy go to Restaurant August or any other place Chef John Besh is associated with. See also: Domenica, Borgne, Lüke, Johnny Sanchez, Willa Jean, Shaya, and Hot Tin.
- Chef Nina Compton runs the world at Compère Lapin.
- Classic Creole cuisine + the delightful Frank Brigtsen: Brigsten’s
- Bad & Bougie: Commander’s Palace
- I wouldn’t eat at a Guy Fieri or Giada De Laurentiis restaurant. Emeril is a different story: Emeril’s & Meril
- The man, the myth, the legend: K-Paul’s
- Elegance: Bayona
- I mean, the name alone: Cooter Brown’s
- Open late: Oceana Grill, Port of Call
- Coffee Cocktails: Willa Jean
- Tropical drinks & very good bourbon & courtyard for the Gods, honey: Cane and Table
- Drink your beverage out of a crystal glass at Compère Lapin and then walk over to the Where Y’art gallery. Both are located on the ground floor of the Old 77 Hotel.
- Feel like a Southerner: The Columns Hotel
- Feel like a Yankee. Rooftop bars: Hot Tin, Alto (Ace Hotel)
- Maple Leaf Bar is great any night of the week but if you can go on a Tuesday when Rebirth Brass Band is there you will probably decide to give up your current life and move to New Orleans. It’s inevitable.
- If you want to get hecka drunk, party with touristy college kids, dance on a stage, and make very bad decisions go to Bourbon St. If you want to do all the aforementioned, but with locals, go to Frenchmen St.
- Volunteer for the day at Grow Dat Youth Farm.
- Grab lunch and eat by the water at The Fly in Audubon Park.
- Visit during Festival Season and get in on one of the Second Line Parades
- Eat at Dooky Chase and check out their impressive collection of art. Dooky Chase was the first gallery for Black Artists in New Orleans. Legendary.
- Get a Jazzy Pass and take the St. Charles Street Car Uptown. Get off in the Garden District and swoon over the NOLA architecture.
- Ice cream: Creole Creamery and snoballs: Plum Street Snoballs cuz it gets hot.
- Local shopping/eats: Freret St & Magazine St
- Tour the Levees & learn why the failed during Katrina: Tulane Professor Stephen Nelson
- Louisiana is losing it’s wetlands (aka it’s natural barrier to protect it from hurricanes) wayyyyy to quickly. Find out why: Jean Lafitte Nature Preserve
- Baking Workshops: Joy The Baker
- Church: St. Augustine is the oldest African-American parish in the United States (!!!!!). The Tomb of the Unknown Slave is commemorated here, honoring all slaves buried throughout the United States.