I’m currently working on a comprehensive New Orleans travel guide post, but my recommendations are getting quite extensive! And while I’m not a “local,” I’ve made my fair share of visits to The Big Easy, and I do have my “favorites” that I definitely want to provide a little bit more information on in today’s post! This list is for people who are past doing the touristy things like Bourbon Street and VooDoo tours – although I do suggest you do those things at least once!
This is nowhere near all of the places that I love in Nola, but I wanted to start by giving you the ones that hold a special place in my heart. Even I still have so many more bucket list places to hit up, so I’d love to hear what your New Orleans favorites are too!
Keep reading to see all of my favorite things to do in New Orleans!
Willa Jean (above)
I love Willa Jean for the food AND the frozé (frozen rosé). If you go for brunch, there’s not a single bad choice. Fried chicken and waffles and avocado toast will be your most difficult decision of the day.
I could say I’m bias because I have a personal connection, but the food at Baru is AMAZING. (See my birthday party post featuring Baru here for more food suggestions.) You must order the Mazorca – you’ve never wanted to order a second bowl of corn until you do.
I am dreaming of my next dinner here. I couldn’t pronounce half the menu, and I’m not completely sure I even knew what I was eating, but it didn’t matter. It was that good and totally worth experimenting with a menu you’re unfamiliar with.
This is the place you want to go for brunch with your best girlfriends. Each spring we try to have a “big hat brunch” when we have a reason to get dressed up and wear fancy hats. And if you’re a Bravo fan, they just recently visited Galatoire’s on the last Vanderpump Rules…
I’ve never been to Bacchanal and NOT had the best time. You walk into what looks like a wine/liquor store, grab your bottles and an ice bucket and head to the backyard to find a table underneath the cafe lights. There’s a small menu of cheese plates and light bites – def get a cheese plate. Both Jordan and I have both had birthdays celebrations that began at Bacchanal!
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop + Purple Drink
The oldest Bar in Nola (some say the country, post Louisiana Purchase) and one of the few bars on Bourbon that I’ll be recommending (unless it’s your first visit to Nola and then you gotta hit up all of the Bourbon haunts). Last year for my birthday, we hired a tarot card reader from Bottom of the Tea Cup who met us at Lafitte’s for candlelit readings. Purple drink is the purple daiquiri served here that will sneak up on you when you’re not expecting – don’t have more than one!
It’s a must for first-timers, and it never gets old for people like me who’ve been countless times. I don’t even sit at the rotating bar because I normally make my way up front towards the band. 😉
Honorable (Fancy) Mention: The bar in the Ritz for a French 75!
Favorite Coffee + Dessert: Drip Affogato (above)
I shared Drip a few weeks ago on my Insta Stories and got SO many direct messages back about it! If you love coffee and you love ice cream, this is a must! You start by picking a coffee and ice cream combo – my favorite ended up being the cookies and cream type combination. My suggestion is to order a flight and get three different ice creams and three different coffees to try!
Favorite Fest: French Quarter Festival
Definitely my favorite festival because it’s the perfect time of year for beautiful weather in the Quarter. This festival is devoted to only local musicians that span across different stages – it’s the largest FREE music festival in the United States. You’ll want to bring money for food and beverages though. The food booths are operated by New Orleans’ best restaurants!
To Recharge: Raw Republic
New Orleans is known for it’s delicious food, but it’s not necessarily known for it’s healthy meal options! After all of the grits and fried oysters and beignets, you might need to recharge with a green juice or
two five. Raw Republic was where I got my first juice cleanse and just introduced it’s healthy food menu and smoothie selections!
For Coffee + Beignets: Café Beignet
Most tourists head to Café Du Monde, but not you. You head to the cutest little coffee shop on Royal to place your order of powdered sugar heaven. You’ll skip the long line and enjoy a courtyard date where you can hear the street musicians.
More Nola Favorites to come soon!