I’ve written several little guides for what to do in New Orleans over the past few years. The cutest things to do in spring in the city. My favorite things to enjoy during fall after the crush of summer heat has passed. But here we are in the year of our Lord 2021 having just barely limped through a global panini and well… New Orleans isn’t exactly the same city it was before the panorama. None of us emerged unscathed but here we are, packing our bags, peeking out the front door and maybe just maaaaybe traveling. Are you on your way here?
Here is an unsolicited guide to some of my favorite things about this city. Please note that these are suggestions from your girl in New Orleans who a) doesn’t care to be cool, b) minds her business and c) stays in her lane and neighborhood.
New Orleans is SUPER excited to welcome you to town but please know that our service industry is eeeking back to life after a wallop of a year. We’ve all had to be fast on our feet this past year so be sure to look up establishments’ websites and social media accounts for updated hours or pre-ordering options. We’re glad you’re coming, we’re glad you’re here, let’s hang out.
What To Do In New Orleans:
• Make a reservation at Mosquito Supper Club! It’s the best, THE BEST (you heard me right) example of Southern Louisiana cooking in the entire city and the fact that Melissa Martin cooks for the city most every night of the week is an absolute blessing. The atmosphere is warm and homey, it just feels right and the food is perfection.
• You’re going to need a snoball. You NEED to get a snoball. If you’re like… that’s just a snowcone, well, you’re incorrect and that’s ok. Hansen’s is a classic but Chance In Hell SnoBall is the best pop-up situation in the city and if you’re here on a day they’re serving from the porch, stand in line and don’t ask questions.
• If you’re like…. I know New Orleans isn’t knooooowwwwnnn for its tacos but it’s Tuesday and sunny and I want a taco and margarita, I gotchu. You’re headed to Galaxie Taco or Rosalita’s and while you’re in the neighborhood getting tacos DEFINITELY stop at St Germain to have a glass of wine in their back courtyard. I think they have the best wine list in the city.
• If you’re staying in the Bywater, Marigny or French Quarter, walk to breakfast at Alma, our neighborhood Honduran restaurant. They have great coffee and make tortillas and biscuits from scratch – what more do you want!? I always order the Alma breakfast or the Baliadas Sencilla but whatever you do get an extra order of plantains.
• Praline bacon and Bloody Marys and honestly, anything else as long as you get those two at Elizabeth’s for brunch.
• The best Indian food, hands down, is at Plume Indian Restaurant in Algiers. I very not touristy things to do is to go to Plume for lunch, take a walk around Old Algiers, grab a coffee at Congregation Coffee and walk along the levee to take in views of the city from the other side of the river.
• Sweet Soulfood is the best southern vegan food in the city. It’s a very good idea to grab a to-go plate and head up for a little picnic at City Park.
• Jewel of the South makes some of the best cocktail in the city and surely the best cocktails in the French Quarter.
• The best pizza in New Orleans (besides my backyard and I say this with much humility) is Pizza Delicious. Please also get the garlic knots, whatever pasta they have on special, and the Caesar Salad.
• All the cool people have lunch at The Chloe and make reservations at the pool. Wear a cute, but effortless gem-toned outfit, you’ll be glad you did.
• Parkway Bakery stays my favorite for po’boy and that’s that on that. I get the fried shrimp and try to convince whomever I’m with to get the catfish po’boy so we can trade halves. Fully dressed, of course.
• Stop onto Sundae Best for a scoop of ice cream. They always have fun flavors and it’s a really lovely time to walk around the Marigny with a cone.
• Yoga at City Park. Crow is my favorite teacher in town and their weekend classes in the park are wonderful.
• Three fantastic bakers operate on a pre-order / popup structure: Langiappe Baking Co makes the most lovely pastry boxes in town. My favorite pastry chef Bronwen Wyatt makes the most beautiful cakes in the city. Pre-orders necessary but you must check out Bayou Saint Cake. And order treats, cakes, and mochi boxes from Radical Joy Bakery!
• I love the happy hour and the noodles from Budsi Thai.
• Shop local artists and tiny food jewelry at C’mere on the edge of the French Quarter!
If you want any specific recommendations, please a comment below and I’ll let you know my thoughts!
We can’t wait to welcome you to town! As always, I’ll be offering classes at my studio, The Bakehouse. I’ll update the calendar through the spring and summer as baking workshops are added.
See you soon!
It’s funny activities!! Thanks joy for sharing this inspiration.
And I can’t wait to visit New Orleans :)
Hello! We’re planning a trip to NOLA (roadtrip from Niagara on the Lake, Canada) for Nov. (Keeping fingers crossed that all goes well in the world, the border opens, etc, etc) and I’m curious to know your favourite po boy location in the French Quarter. Recommendations are greatly appreciated! Checking out all of your NOLA specific posts now. Take care and stay safe!
Thank you for these wonderful recommendations, Joy! I may be coming this June. I’ve stayed at the Hotel Monteleone and loved it, but thinking of somewhere a bit more secluded, perhaps in the Garden District. Are there any hotels you recommend?
Thank you for the list. Keeping in my back pocket.
Love this list! We love coming to NOLA and eating all the things! Do you have a favorite donut place? Also do you have vintage clothing shop recommendations?
Joy, thank you for this lovely list! We’re headed down this week to visit and Alma is calling our names. Have a great week!
I would love your number one dinner reservation for summer! I tried to book Mosquito Supper Club but sadly they’re closed at that time. Thinking of Saint Germain as a good alternative, would you agree?
I would absolutely agree! Go Saint Germain!
This is such a beautiful and joyful list of things for us to come and appreciate about New Orleans. I want to visit!
Can’t wait to come back and we always love your recommendations found District Doughnuts, Surreys and Juan’s Flying Burrito last visit, thanks to your recommendations.
Joy! Have accommodation recommendations that have as much charm and thoughtfulness as all of the choices above? Please and thank you very much. XO — J
Not sure when we’ll get to NOLA, but reading your list and descriptions of it all gave me a sense of being there. Thanks, Joy!
Local here and great list. THANK YOU for pointing me to where Crow landed…I loved their classes pre-pandemic <3
I am in NJ and I think it is so great that you “found” your yoga instructor thru this post. The pandemic has changed so many things. My yoga group totally disappeared.