New Orleans Guide
I was fortunate enough to spend 3 years of my life in the great city of New Orleans, from March 2013-January 2016. It’s as unique a place as I’ve ever been, and it’s a great place to spend a long weekend. In fact, I’m itching to get back down for a visit. Many people ask me for recommendations for family trips, couples retreats, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. Rather than search for an old email each time, I thought I’d combine everything here.
Rules of Bourbon Street:
- Guys (and I guess girls) – don’t pee in public – it’s the ONE thing the NOPD will arrest you for.
- Ladies – DON’T wear nice shoes. They could end up trashed, especially if you are. Also, you do not want to step in a questionable puddle with expensive heels. And if someone asks where you’re from, say “here.” The locals love to hassle the tourists. Don’t bite if someone bets they know where you got your shoes. He’ll say “you got your shoes….on your feet!” and you’ll owe him $20.
- Do NOT eat the “Lucky Dogs” from the hot dog cart – no matter how appealing they look at 2am. Some of my former coworkers have seen these guys wipe their pits with the rags, then put the rags back in the hot dog water. Don’t do it!
- Most importantly – crime is a concern in and around the quarter – so don’t wander off alone, especially when inebriated.
- If you’re gonna get a Hurricane, get it at Pat O’Briens – they are the original – everything else is a knockoff.
- The big drink is the “Hand Grenade” – available at 3 Tropical Isle locations along Bourbon – they taste like a jolly rancher, but will knock you ON YOUR ASS – they’re made with 190 proof Everclear. Highly advise against drinking more than 1.
- If you want value, go to Krazy Korner, near the end of Bourbon – go upstairs where drinks are THREE FOR ONE. Buy one beer and get handed three, or buy a mixed drink and get it in a “stadium sized” cup. Local secret.
- New Orleans Original Daiquiris was a big client of our radio station and the drinks are good – pick a flavor – or if you wanna do it up hardcore, go for the 190 Octane- just like it sounds.
- Bourbon Cowboy is the country bar if anyone in the group is so inclined.
- Pat O Brien’s has a great dueling piano bar and patio, but if you go to the piano bar at a peak time, you’ll never get in. A good alternative is Spirits on Bourbon – was featured on the “Bar Rescue” show. Dueling Pianos, exotic drinks, and a must stop. There’s a barber chair in the front where a girl in a corset will pour a shot of Fireball down your throat.
- Club scene: I’m a fan of The Swamp, but I’m told Bourbon Heat is also good.
- Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop is a cool spot that dates back to the 1700’s.
- If you are looking for sports bars – Walk Ons – ESPN voted it best sports bar in the country. The original location (Baton Rouge) was started by some LSU walk on Hoops players. Good New Orleans food, beer taps at tables, and maybe a good spot to catch some hoops.
- Mothers – go hungry. Get a po boy sandwich with Debris – it’s the roast beef at the bottom of the pot that’s soaked in the juices.
- If there’s a car, Parkway Po Boys is even better- Obama’s been there – the roast beef debris and fried shrimp po boy (yes that’s one and the same sandwich) is amazing.
- Breakfast – Ruby Slipper cafe – two locations, the one further down Canal is generally less busy. On a weekday morning, take the streetcar – or a walk – to Surrey’s on Magazine. That’s right by my old place and the bananas foster french toast is the single most decadent breakfast I’ve ever had in my life. Bring an insulin pump.
- Char grilled oysters – sounds a little strange, but epic. Plenty of places to get them – my favorite is a little hole in the wall called Felix’s.
- If you wanna do a higher end nice dinner, you can look at Arnaud’s (off Bourbon), Commanders Palace, or Redfish.
- If you want late night eats when you land, go to Oceana off Bourbon – they serve food tli like 1am.
- New Orleans is the home of the muffuletta sandwich – and it was invented at Central Grocery.
- If you are at all into history, the National World War II Museum is PHENOMENAL – one of the 10 best museums in the country. You’ll easily spend a few hours there.
- Do a Swamp Tour if time permits – they take you through the swamp on an airboat and you get to see the gators.
- French Quarter Ghost Tour – it’s not like anything jumps out at you – they just tell really cool interesting stories of people dying under strange circumstances – and of course you walk around with your drink(s) the whole time.
If you want live music, head over to Frenchmen Street – that’s where you’ll get the real deal.
Finally, I do need to shout out my promotions director Jeanne, a New Orleans native who taught me so much about the 504. Here’s a list of random French Quarter stuff I copy-pasted from her social media:
Felix’s-charbroiled (and raw)oysters
Johnnys poboys-(wait for it…poboys)
Meril- anything. Literally. But get the biscuits and tres leches king cake and thank me later.
Willie Mae’s scotch house-legit best fried chicken you’ll ever eat.
Johnny Sanchez- great happy hour & yummy tacos
Mollys on the market- frozen Irish coffee and incredible bloody mary
Tahyo Tavern- bar food & drinks with proceeds going to Villalobos rescue
Chart Room- cheap, strong drinks (cash only)
Napoleon house-historic stop & great Pimms cup