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Antihero
Antihero SuperDork
2/24/20 8:34 p.m.

So.....where should I go in New Orleans if I'm going for the first time? 

 

Directly after the challenge we are heading to New Orleans and meeting up with our Australian friends for a road trip across America and home. It should be at least a week long.

 

So, recommend me a cool jazz bar and?

TJL
TJL HalfDork
2/24/20 8:47 p.m.

My usual food stops are all over, the bourbon st thing does not appeal to me at all.  I stopped in to a jazz club one night. To say it was too loud is a huge understatement. I like loud music but this was like 4x loud.  

castnet seafood, good poboys

dragos, the charbroiled oysters are worth fighting over

pho tau bay, good Vietnamese food

Russels short stop for a roast beef poboy

cafe du monde for the obligatory beignets 

o'delice bakery is great for alot, but the fresh croissants in the morning just need to be experienced. 

"new orleans food and spirit" is a newer one for me but has impressed me. 

If i had to recommend just one, it would probably be dragos oysters. 

bluej
bluej UberDork
2/24/20 9:11 p.m.
bearmtnmartin
bearmtnmartin SuperDork
2/24/20 9:11 p.m.

There are some good ones with fewer tourists east of town. I do not know the district but I find the downtown to be too much of a tourist trap.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UltraDork
2/24/20 10:29 p.m.

Frenchman St tends to be calmer than Bourban St. More music, fewer hammered tourists. 

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
2/24/20 10:37 p.m.

I was just there for a week earlier this month with my gf. 

Sweet Lorraine is a great place to listen to live jazz with good food, their servers are iffy.

Acme for chargrilled oysters. 

Tableau and Luke's both have great food. 

Creole Cremery has amazing ice cream. 

We mainly went for the music, art, and food.  

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
2/24/20 10:50 p.m.

In reply to Antihero :

We're an hour-ish from the Quarter & head over somewhat frequently. 
 

Here's a few highlights, depending on what you're into or more interested in doing. 

  1. The WWII museum is beyond incredible, it's also humbling. Expect to spend most of a day there. 
  2. The Audubon Zoo is really nice, though it's also someplace you could spend most of a day. 
  3. The Audubon Aquarium is on the edge of the Quarter, right on the river & next to a mall. It's really cool, but you can also make it through it in a couple hours. There's also a butterfly insectarium a block away.
  4. Jackson Square. In some regards this is the heart of the Quarter. It's definitely worth walking around & through. The State Museum is there too, though we've never been through it. It's only about 3/4-mile walk from the aquarium too. 
  5. The streetcars. There's 3 different streetcar lines, I don't remember the exact names, but there's one that goes all the way down Canal St. from the aquarium to the cemetery. I certainly wouldn't pay tourist money for a cemetery tour, but if it's someplace you want to go, I'd just take the streetcar down & walk around a while. The line that runs through the Garden District is beautiful, but plan a couple hours to ride it. There's one that follows the river, so you could take it from the aquarium down to Cafe Du Mond if you don't want to walk to Jackson Square. 
  6. Bourbon Street: on the southern end towards Canal St. is where most of the strip clubs are, once you get 8 or 10 blocks north things settle down a bit. Unless you like the smell of human bile & constantly stepping through it, I'd suggest avoiding that end of the street. The further north you go, you'll start finding more interesting shops & boutiques. 
  7. Decatur street has some incredible(and $$$$) antique stores, but also some neat old bookstores & other things like that. 
  8. Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo is also further north on Bourbon St. if you want to check out that stuff. There's a few other voodoo & spirit-type shops in the area too. 
  9. Cafe Du Mond. Unless you like powdered donuts that have more powder than donut, and waiting in lines, I'd avoid the place. Yes, it's iconic. However, if you really want to try a beignet, there's also one in the mall by the aquarium & it never has as long of lines. 
  10. Food: I don't eat seafood, but pretty much anyplace there will offer it & there is no shortage of restaurants. We usually end up at a place called Cornet on Bourbon St. There's probably better places, but they have good food & a nice view from the balcony. 
     

If there's anything else specific that I didn't cover, or if you want more details on anything, let me know. I'll close with mentioning that despite its charm - I truly love the quarter despite generally hating big cities - Nola is a very dangerous place. Fortunately we've never encountered problems, but we also don't stick around after dark. Just make sure you stay vigilant & sober enough to maintain situational awareness. 

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
2/24/20 10:58 p.m.

Royal st also has great art, jewelry and antique places to stop by. 

bearmtnmartin
bearmtnmartin SuperDork
2/25/20 12:25 a.m.
bluej said:

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/

https://www.sazerachouse.com/

 

The ww2 museum is amazing. Takes a full day to get through it. 

Mike
Mike SuperDork
2/25/20 6:44 a.m.

While in the touristy places, people will comment on your shoes. Do not engage. Just say "Man, I live here" and keep walking. It's a local scam in the spirit of three card Monty.

 

Breads on Oak is really nice.

 

The Cabildo is a good hour. 

I've never had to wait for Cafe du Monde, so YMMV. I was local though, so maybe it's different during the big tourist times. The famous one across from the Cabildo exists, but they are a chain, and you can find more locations around. A riverboat tour can be fun.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/25/20 6:58 a.m.

Drago's over Acme. 

Frenchman's over Bourbon 

Here is some previous GRM chatter about visiting Nola. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/25/20 7:07 a.m.

Timely thread given that today is Fat Tuesday.  

I should soon be getting a FB posting from my sister and her family highlighting what costumes they will be wearing down to The Quarter today.  

This thread also reminds me I have not recently listened to WWOZ, New Orleans Public Radio which I recommend as the best way for "getting your mind right" before a visit to New Orleans.  

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
2/25/20 8:51 a.m.

For the quarter, If you like drinks, Port O' Call has the best ones in New Orleans IMO. For me Bourbon street mostly sucks but the Old Absinthe house is cool partly for the variety of absinthe and also because it was the building where Andrew Jackson and Jean Lafitte met. Also Hurricanes at Pat Os is a classic. Otherwise I avoid Bourbon. Also for me, my favorite places to eat in New Orleans aren't in the Quarter. The only place I really love to eat there is the Napoleon house and Cafe Du Monde. Also Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a pretty cool experience. There are neat shops on Royal St too.

+1 to WW2 musuem, the Audobon zoo and aquarium and Frenchman street.

For food some favorites of mine are Dat Dog (it is a hot dog place with all kinds of cool hot dogs (like alligator and stuff) and toppings), Parkway Bakery and Tavern is my favorite po-boy place, there are plenty of awesome to eat places in Uptown on Magazine (Apolline is a favorite brunch place of mine not cheap though.),  Camellia Grill (old school diner, be prepared to wait though). I could probably think of a ton of more places but generally if it has been open for a while it is probably pretty damn good. It is almost hard to find somewhere bad to eat although I find most of the food in the quarter just ok rather then great probably because they can survive off tourist money.

 

Jerry
Jerry UberDork
2/25/20 9:00 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Pete has a good list.  If you've never been there you owe it to yourself to try at least a few touristy things.  I lived there for about a year after the Navy '91-92, and decided it was more fun to visit than live there.

And yes, if they say they know where you got your shoes, reply yes, I know they're on me feet.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
2/25/20 9:32 a.m.
Jerry said:

In reply to Pete Gossett :

And yes, if they say they know where you got your shoes, reply yes, I know they're on me feet.

Nah, reply "Yeah, I got them from yo mamma" and watch them freak out. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
2/25/20 9:36 a.m.

Oh, and for a more real-world/non-touristy view of the city Nola.com doesn't hold back on calling out the city on it's problems. 

bluej
bluej UberDork
2/25/20 12:31 p.m.

Our design firm has done all of the exhibits at the NWWIIM. It's pretty awesome to hear how impactful it's been for some of you, so thanks for that.  smiley

Please consider checking out the Sazerac House, too, if you're into liquor/cocktails at all. It opened last fall with (3) floors of exhibits, a working distillery, rum blending, and a bitters "lab" on site and open to the public. And of course there are samples. devil 

This site has a fairly quick video and some more info if it interests any of y'all: https://www.nolaweekend.com/see-inside-the-sazerac-house-a-new-interactive-cocktail-museum-opening-on-oct-2/

06HHR
06HHR Dork
2/25/20 1:30 p.m.
Antihero
Antihero SuperDork
2/25/20 2:09 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

I get varying opinions on how bad it is, some say its pretty safe, others say it's carry-a-concealed-weapon safe. My plan was to find a hotel with a cool restaurant/jazz bar in it and do our eating and drinking there so we aren't really walking around after dark. Beyond that we are just in the planning stages of what we want to do.

 

The shoes thing I had heard of before, we won't be able to pass as locals though with 2 very Aussie friends in tow lol

 

I'm a pretty big scotch fan and the wife is a huge jazz fan so if we can find a place that does both, all the merrier. Bourbon O was recommended on Facebook and seems interesting on the surface. Hooked to the Bourbon Orleans hotel, seems like a decent menu( with traditional absinthe pours too) and has jazz every night. But I haven't looked into it much beyond a quick look.

Antihero
Antihero SuperDork
2/25/20 2:11 p.m.

In reply to bluej :

That looks cool!

Antihero
Antihero SuperDork
2/25/20 2:26 p.m.
yupididit said:

Royal st also has great art, jewelry and antique places to stop by. 

That's probably right up the wife's alley, thanks!

Antihero
Antihero SuperDork
2/25/20 2:28 p.m.
TJL said:

My usual food stops are all over, the bourbon st thing does not appeal to me at all.  I stopped in to a jazz club one night. To say it was too loud is a huge understatement. I like loud music but this was like 4x loud.  

castnet seafood, good poboys

dragos, the charbroiled oysters are worth fighting over

pho tau bay, good Vietnamese food

Russels short stop for a roast beef poboy

cafe du monde for the obligatory beignets 

o'delice bakery is great for alot, but the fresh croissants in the morning just need to be experienced. 

"new orleans food and spirit" is a newer one for me but has impressed me. 

If i had to recommend just one, it would probably be dragos oysters. 

Thank you, all that sounds great

Antihero
Antihero SuperDork
2/25/20 2:33 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

I definitely like drinks, I'm putting that on the list

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
2/25/20 4:28 p.m.

Big NOLA fan, going back this summer again.  In no particular order.

  • The Funky Pirate - If you can catch Big Al at the Funky Pirate, its worthwhile. 
  • Pat O'Brien's - Pat O's is where I usually start my evening in the Quarter, often I never make it out of the courtyard!
  • Old Absinthe House - If you like Absinthe, its worth a try. If you don't, you should try it here.
  • Bourbon Street - Like the above, the rest of Bourbon is a filthy, decadent, loud, crazy place and you should walk it slowly at least once. Keep a hand on your wallet and feel free to stare at the freaks and the drunks, just don't become one of them.
  • Cafe Du Monde - You have to go. Yes, it's touristy but the beignets are amazing and iconic, and I have never found it busy at 2am. The one in the Riverwalk is also a good option for mid-day or breakfast.
  • Port O Call - GREAT AMAZING hamburgers and baked potatoes, worth the Uber ride.
  • Antoine's - One of if not the oldest restaurant in the US, I was thrown out once. Look inside and try to picture that and laugh.
  • Galatoires, Commanders Palace, etc - Hit one of the older, classic NOLA restaurants. The food is amazing and its a thing.
  • NOLA (Emerills Place in the quarter), Dickie Brennans -If you want amazing food.
  • WWII Museum - Worth the trip, really amazing to see.
  • Cochon Butcher - A MUST for lunch, seriously, hit the WWI Museum and eat here.
  • Jacques-Imo's - Out of the way, but some of the best Cajun, Creole and seafood anywhere in NOLA
  • Tipitina's - See who's playing, always a great place to catch a show
  • Mother's - Wait in the line, or go off-peak because a Ferdi wit is worth it. SO WORTH IT
  • Cafe Amalie - If you have good weather and want to sit outside in a courtyard and have amazing food in a relaxed and romantic setting, this is the place.
  • Royal Sonesta - Dont just walk past, head in and check out the lobby.
  • Frenchman Street - head over for live music
  • Lower Quarter - Lots of great shopping on a Saturday morning

And of course, there are tons of places that have opened and closed since I was last there. Talk to some locals and try something out of the way, finding a hidden gem is part of the charm of New Orleans.

 

 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
2/25/20 5:54 p.m.
Antihero said:
yupididit said:

Royal st also has great art, jewelry and antique places to stop by. 

That's probably right up the wife's alley, thanks!

He's understating it just a bit. Imagine shops with genuine suits of armor and other true antiquities. It's very much worth peering through the windows, but knowing my luck I'd almost certainly break something worth more than our house if I went inside.  

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