This was my first and probably last visit to New Orleans. Let me clarify why. The culture was inspiring, the food was delicious but it is dirty, sketchy and questionable. I do still suggest visiting and experiencing the city for what it can offer. That is the purpose of this blog, to inform you!
The Courtyard Brewery
This gem was recommended to us and I’m glad we stopped. We couldn’t get into our Air Bnb for a few hours so we sat outside, soaked up the sun and “drank all the beers”. I typically don’t enjoy beer but they had a delicious pear sour that was refreshing and their cider beer wasn’t overly sweet. Courtyard Brewery’s offering on tap varies but they had over 15 options. The tables we over sized spools, with comfy chairs, hanging lights and lots of greenery to hide the rest of the neighborhood. Unfortunately there wasn’t a food truck when we were there, which would have completed the perfect afternoon, but they do feature them.
Interesting. Dirty. Drunk. Wow this street was “memorable”. We arrived early evening after dinner and daiquiris are the common theme. The building are full of character and history but are covered in beads, booze and fluorescent lights. I think everyone needs to experience the $h!t show that is Bourbon Street! You can listen and watch some local talent on the street but watch out for peddlers. Drinks that are a must along this street are Hurricanes at Pat Obrien’s, a frozen hand grenade and of course a frozen daiquiri. Oh and ladies, wear closed toed shoes!!!
Acme Oyster Company
Acme was one of the top rated on Trip Advisor but unfortunately its a tourist fail. We didn’t have reservations but they sat us right away. Acme has a great vibe but I wasn’t blown away by the food. As we walked to our table, you can see the seafood bar and the grill where they chargrill the oysters. We started off with fresh oysters and chargrilled, those were the best part of the meal. I was unimpressed with the soft shell crab po boy, it was bland and plain (maybe it’s supposed to be but we had Killer Po boy the day before which set a high standard). Side note, we didn’t know you ate the whole crab, shell and all! Oops! The fried oysters were sub par as well. Once again I was craving some sort of flavor in the breading or a unique sauce. I was impressed with the prickly pear mojito. Worth a shot but for an $80 lunch I feel like you have much better options.
Highly recommend Basin. We found this place off of an IG account that posted a photo of the crawfish mac and cheese. We stopped here for lunch during our walking tour of the Garden District. I ordered the watermelon margarita, perfect, simple and refreshing. Our table ordered the following which were ALL AMAZING! Crawfish mac and cheese, crab and corn chowder, octopus ceviche, crab and crawfish beignets and the catfish po boy. Nothing disappointed us. Everything had great flavor and good portion size. My fellow diners really enjoyed their beer selection! A great spot to stop after exploring the Garden District!
French 75 is part of Arnaud’s restaurant. Arnauds has been around for almost 100 years and has a ton a of cool history. Paul was a great bartender! He told us a few stories about the history of the restaurant and recommends we go look at the museum upstairs full of Mardi Gras costumes worn by Germaine Cazenave, the daughter of Count Arnaud. So cool to see. The drinks were delicious! We enjoyed the Contessa, Honi Makai and Candelabra. The bar and bar back are vintage and decorated with class. The atmosphere was relaxing and you don’t need to be super dressed up to sit at the bar.
Cafe du Monde
Whoever said these weren’t good, needs a new set of taste buds, we went to Cafe du Monde twice! Once on the weekend…crazy, seat yourself and during the week…much more relaxed! The beignets are better fresh and warm. They come 3 in an order but are a decent size where one will fill you up. Watch out, they get messy but this is a MUST when in NOLA. The chicory iced caf a lait was good, but still a little too strong for me.
OMG District Donuts is the best place to start your morning, especially before you walk the Garden District. Their flavors change from day to day but I enjoyed the white chocolate mocha donut. It wasn’t overly sweet and had great texture. They also had a amazing pork belly breakfast burrito you can not miss.
My sister downloaded the map for the self guided tour via bigboytravel.com and it was easy to follow. We started with breakfast at District Donut and walked to see 28 spots (I think). Lafayette cemetery no. 1 was neat to see. A caretaker gave us a bit of history for a donation. The self guided tour also had a bit of history written about each stop. The streets, homes and gardens were so pretty. The history linked to these homes are really fun to read. My favorites were the “Cornstalk Fence” house, the Koch-Mays house owned now by Sandra Bullock, and “Seven Sisters” homes.
World War II Museum
I’m not a history buff nor would I ever think to go to a National museum on vacation but it came recommended by a few people and I am so glad we went. We could have spent the whole day here but we saved it for our last day since it was rainy, so we only had 4 hours. We purchased general admission, the 4D movie Beyond All Boundaries with narrating by Tom Hanks and the interactive submarine Final Mission. It was worth it. Every person receives a dog tag that you scan on your “train ride”. You are assigned a solider and use that dog tag to learn what he did on either the Road to Berlin or the Road to Tokyo. It brings you closer knowing this was real. The movie went into great detail about the events leading up to the war and every battle our men went through. Most of it I had no idea, 1. Because I was never taught or 2. I never paid attention. There were interviews of surviving soldier you could listen to, the huge Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress on display and so many other small details I loved. Do not miss this.
Killer Po Boys
Killer Po Boys this little hole in the wall had the BEST po boys in NOLA. We ordered the shrimp, pork belly and braised beef. There was so much flavor in each sandwich! Their greens were really good too! Yes that is boxed sangria in the photo and it was great. They also have beer as well. It’s hard to find but set the standard for po boys for the rest of the trip.
NOLA by Emeril Lagasse
NOLA is a great date night for couples, but its a louder restaurant. The food was delicious. Beware of the Aviation cocktail, its a 1916 recipe and its all booze. I had to choke it down, but I have had one elsewhere and its delicious. We started with BBQ shrimp and our main entrees were hickory roasted duck and New York strip with crispy oysters. Phenomenal taste. You can’t miss the trio of creme brûlée!!!
A few more MUST DO’s are stop all the Gallery Burguieres if you love animals. Walk through the French Market near Frenchman street (also a must do, it’s where the locals play). We liked Courtyard Restaurant and Bar/RareForm bottomless mimosas and live music. Note that when you sit somewhere and listen to live music they come around with a bucket to get a tip from you. I found this odd and rude. We had one group come up to us after we just sat down. Jackson Square has a huge tree full of beads but beware of the guys with horses pulling carts. The horses looked mistreated and thirsty. The Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone has great cocktails but get there early to get a seat at the bar, we had to watch from afar. My favorite drink was the PIMM’S CUP. Royalton Street has really cool shops to walk though and be sure to get a macaroon from Sucre.