I’d been dying to take a trip to New Orleans for about ten years and finally this November I got a chance to spend a weekend there. What an amazing city! There are few other places in the country that I’ve found with such a rich history and culture – you almost feel like you’re in Europe when you’re walking around the French Quarter.
No question, you’ve got to stay in the French Quarter – it’s part of the New Orleans experience. We stayed at the W, which was lovely. I’ve also read great reviews about the Sonait House. It has a quaint, bed and breakfast feel, also with a great location in the French Quarter.
New Orleans is famous for its food and I now totally understand why. The people there LOVE to cook, REALLY know how to cook amazing food, and love to eat! Be prepared to gain ten pounds between the food and booze you will consume!
Cafe du Monde – this is THE original French coffee house in New Orleans. Stop by in the morning for a latte and beinet (shown below), sit outside and enjoy the people watching. Definitely one of my favorite parts of our trip.
Cochon – a great new restaurant in the Warehouse District. The food is authentic cajun, but with a very interesting modern interpretation. My favorite item on the menu was a very simple marinated cucumber dish – surprisingly spicy and delicious!
Acme Oyster House – another New Orleans landmark. Expect to wait on line for a seat. Be sure to order the chargrilled oysters (shown below), jambalaya and gumbo – all New Orleans’ classics.
Arnaud’s and the French 75 Bar – again, another New Orleans landmark in the French Quarter. This is a great spot for dinner or Sunday jazz brunch. Personally, I recommend brunch, but make sure you’re hungry! You’re entree will also include an appetizer, salad and dessert.
The Commander’s Palace – Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to eat here, but it was the most recommended restaurant in New Orleans. It’s located in the Garden District, just about ten minutes from the French Quarter. There is definitely a reason people rave about this place – I can’t wait to find out on my next trip!
See and Do
You could spend an entire weekend wandering around the French Quarter – there is so much to see and do. My favorite part of our trip was walking up and down Royal Street – there are so many amazing antique shops and galleries. I also fell in love with a little clothing store called Maude. The sales girls were so wonderful, and the clothing was so fun and inexpensive. We went back twice!
While you’re in town you also have to check out Pat O’Brien’s, the place that originally created the Hurricane. We went for a few hours in the afternoon and watched the dueling pianos – so much fun!
And, if you’re a music fan, I’ve heard Jazz Fest is the best weekend to visit New Orleans (far more fun that Mardi Gras)!