This post is WAY overdue. Today I will be sharing my Travel Guide to New Orleans. This city truly truly stole my heart, I absolutely fell in love with it for so many unique reasons. My hope after reading this is that you will be so intrigued you will pay this phenomenal city a visit yourself, sometime soon!
Let me start by telling you a few of the reasons I love New Orleans so much. I say just a few because if I tell you all of them we will be here forever.
I had never really heard much about NOLA prior to going there so I would say I arrived with no expectations either way but OH BOY was I blown away. My Fiancé had a work conference there and I was lucky enough to be surprised by him with a ticket to join. We flew in a few days before the conference began so we would have time to explore and get to know the city.
My and my man are huge foodies so New Orleans was literally A DREAM for this! I will get into my favourite places to eat later in the post but let me just say if you like food, southern and creole food in particular this is the place for you. I’m serious, run don’t walk!! I would say this is the best food Iv’e ever had on a vacation, ever! Ok now I’m making myself hungry I will shut up.
Another reason I was so charmed by this city was the beautiful locals. Everyone was so so friendly, like to the point I actually felt bad. Everyone from the musicians, the waiters in restaurants, tram drivers, people walking down the street. They were so eager to help with directions, recommendations, or just even to say hi and have a great day. It is so refreshing to see people so happy. It really added to the experience of our trip, what they say is true, the southern charm is absolutely real!!
Next up was the architecture. Oh myyyyyyyyy. I am no architect myself or anything but I do obsess over decor and architecture A LOT and this city is on point when it comes to that. The buildings, the houses, everything is so breathtaking and charming. I adore their use of colour, you will be walking around and notice so many bright pops of colour all over the place. Gorgeous shutters on the windows and phenomenal balconies and fire escapes add an even more incredible and authentic touch to these buildings. Honestly I can’t stress enough how pretty it is, just walking around taking it all in I was in heaven. I even purchased some pictures a local artist had taken to put on our wall at home, just so I would never forget the beauty of these buildings.
Anyway I will stop there for now and below I will go into detail about my tips and recommendations for visiting NOLA.
As I mentioned above the food here is NEXT LEVEL! A lot of it can be spicy so buckle up. They use such simple ingredients but the flavours created are something else and just so addictive. I could happily eat their food every day and be very very content.
Café Du Monde – This institution has been open since 1862 and is an absolute must when visiting. It has kept its menu simple and with good reason, its bloody amazing. I say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! It is open 24 hours so you can stop by any time a craving hits. Beignets are their speciality, these fried bits of dough are lathered in powdered sugar. So simple but one of the best treats you will ever eat. Served warm you will be leaving covered in sugar but with a full tummy and happy grin on your face. They pretty much just serve those, along with coffee. There is often a line outside to get in but don’t be alarmed it moved pretty fast when we were there and IT IS SO WORTH IT!!
Coop’s Place– I stumbled across this hidden gem on Yelp when I was looking for “best jambalaya” in NOLA. Again there was a line when we arrived (most good places have them in my experience) BUT the good jobs, in NOLA you can walk around with a drink in your hand so we went in got some cold drinks and enjoyed them while waiting to get in. If only all places would allow that haha. It isn’t much to look at, very small and simple inside but this is where you want to come for authentic creole food. We both has the Coop’s Taste Plate which was only $13.95 and let me tell you I would pay a lot more to eat here because it was so frikin good. Again, simple ingredients but my tummy was feeling so many good feelings eating this. It had a bit of everything on it, beans and rice, fried chicken, jambalaya, creole and gumbo. Yesssss please! Anyways just go and see for yourself, you will thank me later!
Brennan’s – An upscale restaurant that is another New Orleans institution. Opening in 1946 it’s obviously phenomenal to still be in business. With its pink exterior what’s not to love?! Haha but all jokes aside the food is also incredible. As you step inside you will notice the old world glamour with stunning decor right from the ceilings to the floor. The service is impeccable and you will find yourself feeling very sophisticated sitting in this magnificent setting. This is the perfect place for a special occasion meal with your special someone. If I could make one recommendation on the menu its the Banana Foster for dessert! It is flambéed tableside and is truly an experience as much as it is a taste sensation. They are famous for this dish and if you love banana as much as I do it is a MUST!
Angeline– If you eat brunch anywhere in New Orleans for the love of all that is holy please do it here!! I was researching who had amazing Chicken & Biscuits and stumbled upon this gem, and boy am I glad I did. It is a little away from the main downtown hustle and bustle of Bourbon Street but still within walking distance. In a charming building (as they all are in this gorgeous city), you step inside to a peaceful and cosy area. I am not even going to bother going through anything else on the menu, I will just say order the Chicken & Biscuits with gravy you will thank be later!! I still dream about it to this day!!!
2: Music Scene
I wouldn’t say I am a listener of Jazz music, but since going to New Orleans I have a new found appreciation for it. To be completely honest you don’t even need to go to a specific venue in my opinion, you can hear absolutely amazing Jazz music just walking down the street. You will see lots of locals performing and sharing their amazing skills with the crowds.
We walked into Music Legends Park on Bourbon street where you can sit down, grab a drink and enjoy the bands on stage and this was the best best music I heard while we were there. Easy listening and a good way to ease into it if you aren’t a die hard Jazz fan. Such phenomenal talent, you won’t be disappointed. If you are after something a little more intense and heavy in the way of Jazz, head to Frenchmen street. It is lined with bars that have live music, we stopped by one called the Spotted Cat. But be warned this isn’t for the faint hearted!
3: To Do
We didn’t have enough time here to do everything unfortunately. I have heard the alligator swamp tours are amazing. I have also heard the steamboat tours are great to take in the scenery. If you come here during Jazz fest the city will be even more buzzing than usual with plenty of attractions. I will run through what we did that I think you will also enjoy.
Walk around the main streets, Bourbon, Royal etc. Take in the vibe and meet some fun and hilarious locals. Go to Jackson Square and also the French Market is worth a visit. Selling everything from fresh produce to art (that is where I got my prints I was telling you about). I had the best banana daiquiri of my life here, so refreshing on a hot steamy day. And the best part, you can walk right on out of the market with it and wander down the street.
Garden District – A serious must see! Grab one of the beautiful open old carts and ride it out to the Garden District. You want to be on the left side of the tracks when you get off the cart. Don’t go right, just trust me. It’s not the most savoury area. Once wandering through the streets you will see the huge huge mansions. They are so breathtaking in their original glory and have been restored to look just as pretty today as in their original days. With sprawling grounds, and luscious green gardens you will be taken away to another place imagining yourself sitting on the verandah sipping tea and floating around these magnificent homes.
Hotel Monteleone – You must visit the Carousel Bar at this magnificent hotel! You literally sit around a beautiful old Carousel that turns ever so slowly. You look up at the art work and pretty lights and get a full 360 view of the room as you go around. They serve delicious cocktails and have live music playing. Its such a wonderful experience to be in a bar thats so unique and original. I absolutely adored this little spot for a pre dinner drink. Be warned it does get busy so be ready to run for a seat at the bar when someone gets up. Yup that’s right, I ain’t got no shame in my game.
We stayed at The Roosevelt hotel which I would highly recommend! It was so fitting with New Orleans, with magnificent grand interiors are a site to be seen. The staff were very helpful and the room service equally as delicious. Especially if you love to order breakfast in bed at least one day on a vacay. I mean who doesn’t love to snuggle up in a fluffy robe while eating their eggs in bed with a pot of coffee close by.
If you are looking for something a little cheaper there are a heap of hotels in the downtown core, I would recommend staying close so everything is accessible and you can walk but not right on Bourbon or Royal street as with the 24 hour partying you wouldn’t get much sleep in. I’m sure there are also plenty of Air B n B options floating around.
Well anyway babes that’s it from me for now. I really hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, I loved re tracing my trip and remembering all the fun we had in NOLA. If you haven’t already had the chance to visit I really encourage you to, I know you won’t be disappointed!
I would love to hear your travel stories. Have you visited New Orleans before? What were your favourite things to do or see?