New Orleans bound: Suggestions?

Will be in New Orleans for the first time for a week later this month (October). What should I wear, do, see, hear, eat, drink? I love good food, good drink and good music (don’t we all)? Any cautions or safety tips?

The Old Coffeepot on St. Peter next to Pat O’Brien’s has a terrific brunch menu.

Johnny’s Po-boys on St. Louis (about a block off Decatur) is terrific as well. Skip Mother’s; it doesn’t hold up to Johnny’s IMO.

Mr B’s across from the Hotel Monteleone on Royal @ Iberville is pretty great as well. The bar at the Monteleone is very good if you like old-school cocktails, as is the one at Arnaud’s (French 75 Bar).

Moderator Action

This sort of thing belongs in IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

Ride the streetcar.

If you get a chance, head over to Mama Rosa’s in Harahan (8227 Jefferson Highway). They have a unique style of pizza, sort of a combination of St. Louis Style & Chicago Style. They had been on the north side of the French Quarter until Katrina.

For reference: Another thread on the subject from earlier this year, with various suggestions.

Also, a more extensive food/drink/music suggestions thread as well as a trip report thread both from a year ago, should still be largely timely.And one from 2011.

Basic standard advice says: Looking for “best” of anything? Most often NOT likely to be on Bourbon St. (though much that is worthy is just off from it on a side street or next block over). But do walk it once or twice just so you can check it off, it can be a trip (wear closed sturdy shoes on Bourbon, preferrably that you can hose down :wink: ).

For bars and music do get to Frenchman Street. Daytime if you get a chance check out the street performers on Royal St. Ride the St. Charles line streetcar. Visit the old cemeteries and the WW2 Museum. Get on the river (cheapest: Algiers street ferry as a pedestrian).

Oh, and pack a pair of pants one size larger. Because, the food and the drink, y’know :D.


And I don’t mean at the Olive Garden or Applebee’s.

The Saints are at home against Buffalo on the 27th.

If you like zoos, Audubon is a good one, also has an aquarium, butterfly garden, and insectarium.

The National WWII Museum is relatively new, but high on my list of things to visit sometime.

There’s a casino, but I’d skip it. Much better deals and comps to be had on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

OffBeat covers the local music scene, including who is playing where.

New Orleans Menu covers the local restaurant scene, with lots of reviews.

Some of my favorite restaurants are:

Cochon and its sister restaurant, Cochon Butcher


Rio Mar


Mr. B’s (try the gumbo ya-ya or the BBQ shrimp)

Drago’s (sit at the bar and watch them make grilled oysters)

GW Fins (lobster dumplings)

As for music, I agree that most of the clubs on Bourbon Street are to be avoided. The one exception is Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

Another good club outside of the Frenchment Street area is Chickie Wah Wah on Canal Street.

As for what musical acts to check out, it would help if you gave us an idea of your preferences. There’s so much to choose from.

Here’s a writeup on my blog from my last trip. /shamelessplug

In brief:
Breakfast: Johnny’s Po-Boys
Lunch: Bayona, Cochon Butcher, Johnny’s, Coop’s Place (get the jambalaya)
Happy Hour: Luke ($6/dozen oysters, great half-price drinks)
Dinner: Bayona, Cochon, Sylvain, Galatoire’s, EAT
Drinks: Bar Tonique, Iris, Carousel (at the Monteleone), Bellocq, the monsoon at Port of Call, the hurricane at Laffite’s Blacksmith Shop (don’t go to Pat O’Brian’s)
Music: Vaughan’s on Thursday night if Kermit Ruffins is playing (which he usually is). It’s a cheap cab ride from the Quarter. Catch something at the Rock n’ Bowl. Frenchmen St. used to be the cooler alternative to Bourbon St., and I guess it still is, but the bars are always way too crowded to really enjoy a band, IMO. That said, a set of jazz at Snug Harbor will probably be worth the cover (usually about $15).

Hang out in the square and watch people and the local musicians.

My good experiences. Not that there aren’t tons of other places just as good, but I know I’ve enjoyed these:

  • NOLA, Emeril’s French Quarter restaurant.
  • The Court of Two Sisters - there is a fancy restaurant of that name, but behind it (I think facing Bourbon Street) is a walk-up-counter version of the same food, much cheaper and more casual.
  • Pat O’Brien’s. Yes, touristy, but worth it.
  • The Tricou House at 711 Bourbon. Just a basic tavern, but I’ve never failed to have spontaneous fun there.
  • The VooDoo museum. Very spooky, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • The Aquarium is worth a visit.
  • Cafe Du Monde for beignets, of course.
  • Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World - a warehouse where all the MG stuff is stored the rest of the year. Lots of fun. And the ferry ride to get to it is just as much fun.

They moved it across the river, so there’s no more ferry ride.

Ask the driver(conductor?) to announce the stop for Cooter Brown’s. Get off, drink beer (great selection) and eat a few dozen raw oysters. Get your return trip streetcar right where you got off.

And be sure to have some cocktails at The Erin Rose Bar on Conti, right off Bourbon. They have morning drink specials (Bloodys, Mimosas, etc) along with alcoholic slushie coffees. Great way to start the day. You can get Killer PoBoys there as well, made by a nice girl who used to bartend, now has the PoBoys concession.

St Louis cemetery is cool. You can pray at the crypt of Marie Laveau, voodoo bigwig. My prayers were all answered!

Get a drink in a to-go cup, and stroll.:smiley:

Lunch on HUGE burgers, served with baked potato with toppings. Arrive before opening and wait in line; definitely worth it. An easy walk down from the quarter. We always get a drink at the Blacksmith Shop and sip during our 20 minute walk.

ETA: Bob Ducca should add his two cents…

You can buy a guide to St Charles Avenue, and take yourself on a walking tour to the end of the line, then ride the streetcar back into town.

I was there once in January, and spent a very pleasant afternoon doing just this. The examples of antebellum architecture tucked away in every little neuk you find are simply amazing!

I hope Katrina left St Charles Avenue relatively unscathed!

St. Charles avenue is in good shape. There isn’t much evidence of Katrina there.

Yeah, we’ve done this a lot so do some searches for some great information.

I’ll second the Killer PoBoys at the Erin Rose (Conti near Bourbon). They only have a few different selections, but everything is top notch with some unusual ingredients. I haven’t had a chance to try it out, but the same people now run Dis Taco out of Molly’s at the Market. Same concept, only with tacos. The Erin Rose is a fun place with a mix of locals and tourists. Most people I send there wind up making it their base camp for the vacation.

If you’re there at the end of the month, Halloween is kind of a big thing there, so be prepared. They also do the Voodoo music festival, but I believe it starts Nov 1st this year.

Verdi Marte is the best late night food. I believe they’ll deliver in the Quarter.

Unfortunately Kermit Ruffins has done his last gig at Vaughan’s earlier this year, but you can now go to [Kermit’s Treme Speakeasy Restaurant & Bar](Kermit’s Treme Speakeasy Restaurant & Bar). Good food and music.

Heed the advice about Bourbon Street. New Orleans is a wonderful place, but Bourbon is like it’s tacky outlet mall. Walk down it in the evening, look around, say you’ve been there, then never go back!

Safety wise, treat it like any other big city. New Orleans can lull people into a false sense of security because everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. When you’re in the French Quarter, you are near some bad areas, so always keep your street sense about you. Rampart St. is heading toward some bad areas, and there seems to be issues in the first couple blocks off of Canal. Know where you’re going and what the area is like. When in doubt, take a cab. It’s a cab city and anyplace will call you one (keep the number for United Cab with you).
That said, as a long time, frequent visitor, I’ve never experienced any real problems there, so have fun, just keep safety in the back of your mind.

Let us know some more details, and I’m sure you’re get a ton of advice.

Indeed… I’ll check back in later with my suggestions.

I’ll start by saying that if you’re interested in going to a bar to watch the Saints play, you can’t go wrong withFinn McCool’s in Mid-City. It’s probably a $10 cab ride from the FQ but it’s a fucking blast and a half. They always do a big (FREE) potluck competition that people go all out for and there’s just nothing better than watching the hometown team play in a place where everyone is completely nuts for the team.

It’s 90% locals, if not more, and one of the best times I’ve had in NOLA was watching the Saints beat the Falcons there a couple of years ago.

The jambalaya thread in CS got me thinking about the best I’ve ever had which was at Coop’s Place in the FQ. Most Quarter restaurants are pretty mediocre tourist fare, honestly, but Coop’s is one of the rare exceptions. Their jambalaya has rabbit in it and they burn the edges a bit to give it little hard burnt bits which is pretty amazing.

Just don’t go there hoping for friendly service or cleanliness. You’ll probably see a roach, or like the last time I was there - a restroom with blood smeared all over the walls. I know, I know… Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?