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OUR LIST OF NEW ORLEANS BESTS

Updated: Aug 31, 2023



New Orleans Best Restaurants

You know we are going to start off with food! There’s about 1400 places to eat in New Orleans! Obviously, we love food here so, here’s a short list of a few really good ones.

  • Gris-Gris: I’ve never had anyone say they didn’t like it. Not one single person.

  • Galatoires: 5th oldest restaurant in New Orleans. Founded in 1905. They specialize in French Creole cuisine that include Trout Margaery, Crabmeat Ravigote, and Oysters en Brochette. The restaurant has been frequented by the likes of Tennessee Williams, Harpo Marx, Mick Jagger, and even U.S. presidents.

  • Arnaud’s: Located steps off Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, Arnaud’s offers classic Creole Cuisine in beautifully restored dining rooms. Since its inception in 1918, Arnaud’s has remained true to its traditions

  • Tujague’s: 2nd oldest dining institution, the birthplace of brunch and home to the oldest stand-up bar in America! In existence before “New Orleans” even bore its name, and having served as a Spanish armory, it’s steeped in history.

  • Brennan’s: The Original Brennan’s family Restaurant. Opened in 1946 they are most famous for Bananas Foster

  • Tableau: Attached to the historic Le Petit Theatre, they were selected as “one of the Best New Restaurants in New Orleans.” Tableau offers several dining settings including a courtyard, the main dining room, the Drawing Room lounge, and the balcony overlooking Jackson Square.

  • Napoleon House: A 200-year-old landmark. The first mayor of New Orleans offered his residence to Napoleon in 1821 as a refuge during his exile. Napoleon never made it but the Napoleon House has become one of the most famous bars in America, a haunt for artists and writers throughout most of the 20th century.

  • Mr. B’s Bistro: Consistently vibrant Louisiana food. They are known for Gumbo Yaya, Barbeque Shrimp, wood grilled local fish and Creole Bread Pudding with Irish Whiskey Sauce.

  • Antoine’s: The oldest restaurant in New Orleans! They are famous for many things, but baked Alaska and bread pudding desserts are a must.

  • Palace Café Restaurant: Housed in the historic Werlein’s music building, they were named Best Restaurant and have won numerous awards for Excellence.

  • Saint John: From the same owners as Gris-Gris! St John draws inspiration from simple, sustainable family dishes and presents those flavors in an elevated, yet approachable way.

  • The Apothecary: A spin off to the Vampire Café, The Apothecary is delightful for those looking for a vampire themed place.

  • Vampire Café: They welcome vampires and mortals alike. New Orleans cuisine with vampire dining. Choose one of their blood type specialty cocktails and don't be surprised if you leave with a bite!

  • Camellia Grill: take the streetcar for an old-fashioned diner experience. Breakfast or lunch. Try the omelets and the Freezes!

  • Commander’s Palace: The iconic blue color will instantly astonish you. Located in the Garden District, this Brennan’s Restaurant is best known for its Jazz Brunch and 25 cent Martinis. Many famous chefs began their careers here.

  • The Rum House: In our sub tropic weather, Caribbean food is very popular. Try the nachos or tacos

  • Carmo: This is a New Orleans-based tropical restaurant and bar with a menu built upon the Caribbean, Central and South America, West Africa, Southeast Asia and Gulf South

  • Parkway Po-Boys: Po-boys can be found throughout New Orleans BUT this one has the best! They even have outdoor seating and it’s close to City Park.

  • The Columns Hotel: Atmosphere is everything! Here you are surrounded by majestic live oaks right on the parade route of St Charles Avenue. This restaurant is also a hotel

  • Turkey and The Wolf: A one of a kind sandwich shop in an old gas station that has been featured in Bon Appetit and the Today Show.

  • Stein’s Deli: Not what you imagine when you think of New Orleans food but it’s SO GOOD! Get the Pastrami on Rye!

  • District Donuts is right next door to Stein’s! For a sugar fix!


Museums

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

  • Vue Orleans – This is hands down the best tourist experience! Located at in the Four Seasons Hotel, Vue Orleans is a multi-level interactive 4-D experience that takes the visitor on a deep dive into New Orleans history, music, and culture. The attraction offers original films, interactive exhibits, and the city's only rooftop 360-degree panoramic viewing platform. It’s more than bells and whistles. Vue Orleans uses technology to shine a focused spotlight on the vast array of culture found only in New Orleans.

  • The Pharmacy Museum – The former shop of 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 the optometrist exhibit. A can’t miss museum

  • The Cabildo – Built as the main governmental building during the Spanish Colonial Era, it is now a museum that covers Louisiana History from Native Americans to Reconstruction. The Louisiana Purchase was signed here.

  • Hermann-Grima & Gallier Historic Houses – Two great house museums in the French Quarter. Two very different styles

  • The Historic New Orleans Collection– A museum and research center dedicated to New Orleans History. They have rotating exhibits and a French Quarter History exhibit.

  • National World War II Museum – Focusing on the American Experience during WWII, the museum 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 – Built in 1799, during our Spanish Colonial Era, it is decorated to reflect that era. 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 and is noted for its extraordinary French and American art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works.

  • Old Ursuline Convent – The oldest building in the entire Mississippi River Delta. Built in 1753 with French Colonial details. The staircase dates to the 1730s

  • Irish Cultural Museum –This museum tells the story of the Irish immigrants who made their home in New Orleans.


Bars

Some say the first cocktail was invented in New Orleans, and we know that the Sazerac was invented here in the 1830s. Other concoctions followed including 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 is a carousel and turns. The bar only has 25 seats so consider visiting during off hours.

  • Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop – This bar is the stuff of legends. Was it owned by pirates? Is it haunted? What we do know is that Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop building dates back the Spanish colonial era. It’s also a great place to people watch and get a Voodoo Punch.

  • Pat O’Brien’s – Home of the world-famous Hurricane Cocktail, Pat O’Brien’s has been a local landmark since 1933. Grab some drinks sit in their courtyard or enjoy the Dueling Pianos shows on Thursday-Sunday evenings.

  • Bacchanal Wine – They call themselves “Nola’s Backyard Party”! If you are looking for a place to hang out and enjoy good food and drinks in a causal atmosphere, this is it. It’s located in the Bywater

  • Ghost Bar – A cute take on a paranormal experience. Fun and foamy drinks with a black light ambience. A cross between ghost busters and haunted mansion.


Places To Stay:

Attempting to choose a place to stay for your visit to New Orleans can be like the challenge of what to eat upon arrival. The options are truly remarkable, leaving you desiring a taste of everything available. Lodging choices in New Orleans are as diverse and vibrant as the city itself. Hopefully, these recommendations will help you decide.


Garden District:

Lower Garden District:

French Quarter (both are pet friendly):


Things to do:

  • ·Take a Walking Tour- Contact DuPont and Company for all your tour needs. Partnering with multiple tour companies, their tours cover the gambit of choices. The guides and tours listed are led by locals with long term New Orleans ties. Some over 300 years.

  • Take the St. Charles Streetcar- It’s the longest continuously operated Streetcar in the world! Fare is $1.25, or you can buy an All-Day Pass for $3.00. Le Pass app is also available.

  • Visit Jackson Square- Originally laid out in the 1720s by the French as Place D’Armes. It was a military drill space until converted into a park in the 1850s.

  • Walk once down Bourbon Street- Even if you don’t linger, you must see it!

  • Explore Bayou St John- This neighborhood borders City Park and the Museum of Art. 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! New Orleans is full of surprises.

  • Riverboat Cruise- Spend some time on the Mississippi River on our paddle wheelers. The Natchez and the Creole Queen are equally enjoyable. Dinner cruises are available

  • Visit for Mardi Gras- The parades on St. Charles Avenue are amazing and, believe it or not, most of Mardi Gras is family friendly. You must experience it at least once!

  • Get beignets–You can eat them at Café Du Monde (800 Decatur Street) or you can get them from the to-go window and go sit on the benches by the Mississippi River and just watch the boats go by. Extra points if you do this at Sunset.

  • People Watching- In New Orleans it’s 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 About New Orleans:

Novels set in New Orleans:

  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin

  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

  • All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

  • Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

  • November Road by Lou Berney

  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

  • Blue Garou, Can’t Stop the Funk, and Ghosts and Shadows by H. Max Hiller

  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

  • The Casquette Girls, The Romeo Catchers, The Cities of the Dead, The Gates of Guinee: by Alys Arden

  • A Haunting in New Orleans by Hazel Holmes


Websites:

New Orleans News:

Podcasts:


Common Safety Tips for Visitors:

New Orleans is a metropolitan city. It's no different than any other place you travel when it comes to safety. It's always best to be careful.

  • Travel in groups and avoid walking alone on unlit streets at night.  

  • Pay attention when walking and using your smart phone as these devices have been the target of thieves nationwide.

  • Do not leave your purse, backpack, or briefcase unattended, especially not on the back of your chair.

  • Be on the lookout for pickpockets. Consolidate your wallet. Don't bring every credit card and move it to your front pocket or/and wear a cross-body bag rather than a shoulder strap to keep your purse in front of you. Do not display large amounts of cash in public places.

  • Consider removing your convention badge when leaving your hotel or meeting venue.

  • When hailing a ride via a mobile app, confirm the identity of your driver before getting into the car.

  • If you are intoxicated, please take a taxi, Uber or Lyft instead of walking or driving.

  • Trust your gut instincts. If someone or something seems suspicious, leave the area, alert a police officer or Safety Ranger.

  • If approached by strangers for con games, such as, “I bet I can tell you where you got your shoes,” do not participate. Simply smile and walk past them.

  • Lock car doors. Stow valuables out of sight in your vehicle.

  • Ensure that your hotel room door is fully closed and always locked.

  • Do not leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers.

  • Remember that most laws enforced in your city are enforced here as well.


ABOVE ALL ELSE HAVE A BLAST! LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!!





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