Beyond the Kitchen New Orleans

What To Do In New Orleans This Spring, 2018


Are you on your way?  Has the sound of brass bands and the smell of gardenias, beignets, and fresh strawberries called you home to New Orleans, yet?  We’re down here living our best days and it only makes sense if you join us!  

It’s Jazz Fest season and it feels like the city is swelling with visitors.  The vibes are good, the river is movin’ fast, and the flower beds are healing from that bully of a winter frost.  

Here are a few of my favorite things in the city right now – mostly food related because, well… what else would you expect from me?  

I hope you’ll come experience this city for yourself soon.  Come for the Louisiana strawberries.  Come before the curtain of heat and humidity descends upon us and only the most willfully relaxed survive.  We’ll keep the daiquiris cold and comin’. 

The truth is, some of the best stuff in New Orleans happens tucked behind unassuming double shot gun front doors, or outside of neighborhood coffee shops on a Saturday morning. 

The best way to know what’s going on in cozy dining rooms, outside local coffee shops, or tucking within overgrown backyards… well, take to Instagram.    

These are my favorite flower growers, produce growers, dinner makers, and bakers in the city.   You’ll find that they’re out and about in the city spreading the good of New Orleans heart and soul, earth and passion:   

Pistil and Stamen,

River Queen Greens,

Mosquito Supper Club

Levee Baker, and Jamboree Jams, and Port City Pantry.

And of course – The Bakehouse is my cooking workshop space and we’d love to have you in for a class! 

Also follow Visit New Orleans for city inspiration. 

I have two favorite breakfast places in New Orleans.  

Paloma Cafe in the Bywater is my almost everyday good coffee / great breakfast.  It’s great for a solo magazine or laptop situation.  It’s also fantastic with a breakfast date or small group.  The food is simple but exciting, delicious, and so fairly priced PLUS their lunch and wine list is supreme!  Can I also just tell you that they make homemade tortillas for their breakfast tacos?  But listen – just save me a seat because this is my go-to.  

Brunch at Jack Rose Restaurant in the Ponchatrain Hotel is an unstoppably fun weekend brunch spot.  The dining room is totally over the top irreverent (and dang fantastic), the menu has the most delicious savory brunch staples, they have CHAMBONGS (which is exactly what you thing: champagne, beer bong style), and don’t you dare leave the restaurant without order at least two items from the dessert menu because their pastry chef Erin just have the most delicious imagination in the city. 

If you want to know where I’m eating dinner this spring the answer is Marjie’s Grill.  The fried catfish (pictured above ON A FISH PLATE!) is literally the best I’ve ever had, the house cocktail is delicious, the patio is perfectly sweet and if you’re in town and want to step away from the usual suspects – hit up Marjie’s for southeast Asian + southeast American, uniquely delicious cuisine!  

And more good news!  Pizza and wine at Echo’s in MidCity makes for a pretty perfect early evening! They use fresh milled flour from Bellegarde, their pizza crust is just lightly sour, their tomato sauce is super bright and pleasing and it’s dang good wood-fired pizza so don’t miss it! 

This Spring in New Orleans is revealing itself to be such a stunner.  It’s walking weather… and sure, while the humidity will sneak up on you, it’s absolutely gorgeous out.  If you’re in town, take some time to walk the city and find all the blooming magnolia and gardenias.  We’re all as love-drunk as the bees.  

Some other fine walking destinations and places you might want to pop-in include: 

Oleander on Royal – an incredible new art gallery in the French Quarter. 

Porter Lyons – beautiful jewelry in the French Quarter.

St Claude Social Club – a boutique for the coolest ladies.  

Century Girl Vintage  – a beautiful and feminine vintage boutique, plus look for pieces from Marrow Creative

•  For inner peace: Reyn Yoga and Nola Yoga Loft

•  My favorite sandwiches:  Turkey and the Wolf – the fried bologna (seriously) and the braised collard green (double seriously)

•  For a bottle of wine and maybe a bit of cheese:  Farbough Wines and Keife and Co

•  Where locals eat on a Wednesday: probably Houston’s or Juan’s Flying Burrito

•  My favorite sunset cocktail space:  Hot Tin (the rooftop bar at the Ponchatrain Hotel.  Take the elevator on the right to the Penthouse… you’ll see what I mean.)

•  Best healthy salad bowls and smoothies and juice:  The Daily Beet (in the CBD or St Roch Market) 

•  Best place for a lady sprucing:  Buff Beauty Bar (for hair and nails), Paint’d for cute nail designs, Mad Nails for one of a kind nail art by Morgan. 

See you here soon!

xo Joy