I’ve loved New Orleans since I first visited and ate a mile high ice cream pie (I was 10!) at the now-closed Ponchartrain Hotel’s Caribbean Room and saw the lavish Mardi Gras costumes at the museum. Every time I’ve visited since then, I’ve fallen more and more in love with the city. My list of must see and must do will always have additions with each trip, but here’s the start.
Best place to stay
The iconic and oft-photographed Royal Sonesta is right on Bourbon Street even being right on the street, the hotel is surprisingly quiet though a pair of ear plugs wouldn’t hurt.
Provides an excellent view of any second lines.
Some of my most favorite places to eat are:
- Acme Oyster House, known for fresh, hand-shucked Louisiana oysters. We love the gumbo, raw oysters and the waitress-recommended chargrilled oysters.
- Langlois Culinary Crossroads a next-generation New Orleans dining experience, offering hands-on Cajun and Creole cooking classes.
- The popular historic Cafe DuMonde, while you’re there be sure to check out the French Market.
- Cafe Beignet actually has the BEST beignets in the entire city if you ask me.
- Jazz Brunch Buffet at the Court of Two Sisters Restaurant
- Commander’s Palace, known as much for their white glove service of all patrons as for their food. The restaurant has their own cookbook and shares many of their signature dishes on their website. You must try the turtle soup.
- GW Fins, on Bienville Street a lavish, delightful, perfect dinner. The lobster dumplings are one of the top appetizers in New Orleans, so much that Chef Matt at Langlois highly recommended them. They are some of the best dumplings, but the crab pot stickers were even better. The French 75 was one of the best drinks we had the entire trip.
- Also good are the crab cakes and alligator sausage at Oceana Grill.
- The menu at Bayona is fantastic and the daily specials worth trying.
Places to see/visit/do:
- Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise is a great way to see the city from the water.
- The National WWII Museum is worth spending a few hours to see every exhibit and event.
- St Louis Cathedral
- Ghost tour, hands down the best one I’ve ben on was Haunted History Tour that takes you to the LaLaurie Mansion and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.
- The Voodoo Museum is also a great place to duck into in the rain.