You’re in New Orleans for DrupalCon 2016. Here are 25 of the best places to eat, drink, tour, and tarry in the Big Easy; as told to me by true locals.
- Shaya — modern Israeli cuisine. In the city’s Garden District, Shaya head chef Alon Shaya just won a James Beard award, again. Go here. Eat food. Be happy.
4213 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
Cane & Table — craft cocktails and “rustic colonial” fare. I’m not sure what “rustic colonial” means, but there’s something about a tiki bar in New Orleans that feels so very…very. It’s a bit above the rest of our suggestions in terms of price, but, love, if the company’s paying, then we might as well have two!
1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Mimi’s — small plates and booze. This neighborhood bar has tapas, drinks, and dancing with a relaxed “house party” vibe. Suitable for carnivores and vegetarians, alike.
2601 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Lilly’s Café — Vietnamese food at its best. According to my good friend Ali, Vietnamese food is to New Orleans as Tex-Mex is to Austin. The Big Easy is filled with delicious options, but Lilly’s is her pick above the rest— have the vegan egg-rolls!
1813 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Coop’s Place — Cajun grub and fried chicken. A no-frills bar in the French Quarter, with, apparently, the “best goddamn fried chicken ever,” according to my cousin Marie.
1109 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Parkway Bakery and Tavern — po’boys. You’re in Louisiana, love, get a po’boy and a beer. Bayou St. John is a block away and Parkway would be a perfect place to cap your afternoon kayaking (see below).
538 Hagan Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
Coffee and Dessert
Sólo — espresso bar. This is where you go to get your caffeine, says my dear friend Alex. Trust Alex, go here.
1301 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Angelo Brocato’s — gelato and pastries. This place has been a local favorite for over a century now, and while it might not be what you’d expect, it’s definitely what you want.
214 N. Carrollton Ave. New Orleans, LA, 70119
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz — family owned and operated sno-ball house. You’re in the gulf south, you can’t leave before you’ve had a sno-ball— like a sno-cone, but with soft shaved iced and homemade craft syrups—and New Orleans is home to the best around. Actually, a sno-ball is as much like a sno-cone as silk is to sandpaper; shaved ice is the only way to go.
4801 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Café du Monde — iconic. Do not miss. The beignets and café au lait are famous for a reason. Go really early in the morning when it’s not crazy crowded and you can watch the sun rise in the Quarter over Jackson Square.
800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Adventurous Afternoons and Notable Nights
City Park — botanical gardens, public art, and the world’s largest collection of live oaks. City Park is the prime example of what an urban park should be. There’s so much to do, you could spend your whole week there!
1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124
Kayaking/canoeing on Bayou St. John — rent a boat and paddle through history. There are more than a few options for daily and hourly canoe or kayak rentals. Guided tours and self-determined exploration. Take your pick and bring your camera.
Google search: kayaking on Bayou St. John
Magazine Street — shopping. One of the great high streets in the world, filled with local shops beyond the cheesy t-shirts and keychains. Definitely stop by H Rault, the oldest locksmith in the South, for all kinds of jewelry and housewares made out of old keys and lock parts.
The New Movement — comedy theater. A live comedy shop offering a mix of improv, stand-up, and sketch comedy. Laugh your DrupalCon cares away before you head out to the bars.
2706 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Ghost City Tours — haunted history. The Killers & Thrillers tour is the way to go: an adults-only night-time tour of the French Quarter, focused on New Orleans’ famous murders and the spirits they’ve left behind.
643 Magazine St #304, New Orleans, LA 70130
Southern Food & Beverage Museum — food, drink, and culture. The site’s description says it all: “a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South.”
1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum — bloodletting, medicinal herbs, and gris-gris. In a city that’s simply dripping with museums, the Pharmacy Museum is another one you don’t want to miss. You’ll get a glimpse into the history of medicine, potions, prescriptions, and everything else we’ve used to cure what ails us (well, almost everything…).
514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
And then there’s drinks, love. From wine to cocktails to hooch, you’ll find it all in New Orleans.
- Bacchanal — wine bar with a huge back yard.
600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Carousel Bar — a revolving circular bar at Hotel Monteleone.
214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The Country Club — bar/restaurant/pool in the Bywater; no membership needed.
634 Louisa St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Café Lafitte in Exile — the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the United States.
901 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Kermit’s Treme Mother-In-Law Lounge — a genuine local lounge and music venue.
1500 N Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116
Pal’s Lounge — a neighborhood bar on the bayou.
949 N Rendon St, New Orleans, LA 70119
The Sazerac Bar — cocktails and class. The Sazerac is a New Orleans landmark, inside the Roosevelt Hotel, and namesake of the drink.
130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112
Oz — the best gay dance club in the South; open 24/7. I can personally vouch for Oz. And that’s all I’m going to say about it.
800 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Stay safe, drink in moderation (well, a little moderation), respect this beautiful and historic city, and you’ll feel like a local in no time… but please, for everyone’s sake, don’t call anyone cher!