New Orleans: A Food Journey
While thinking about our trip to New Orleans, Jordan and I decided we wanted it to be real chill. Lots of good food and relaxation without the stress of planning a jam-packed couple of days. Right before we left, I bought a Wildsam Field Guide for New Orleans and wrote down a list of the restaurants from it and recommendations from friends. We ended up just planning our days around where we wanted to eat and it worked out great! New Orleans is a beautifully chill, slow, easy-going city, and slowing down to that pace did us good.
Day 1: We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon, settled in and then walked down to the French Quarter. We wandered around the French Quarter for a while, snapping photos and eating beignets before heading back downtown for dinner at Seaworthy. Don't judge us, but we're not big oyster people, so we had the redfish, ceviche, and tempura-battered popcorn shrimp, all of which were delicious. We then settled in for the night at our stylish accommodations at Ace Hotel, which is much less expensive if you stay during the week like we did. The quality and style are all top-notch, and we loved the location, however I wouldn't describe Ace as cozy if that's important to you.
Stay: Ace Hotel
Day 2: We grabbed coffee at Stumptown before heading to Magazine Street, where our first stop was District Donuts. Yummy, huge fluffy donuts. We then tried to walk off some of our breakfast by making our way down Magazine Street. We wandered in and out of shops and admired the neighborhood for most of the morning. In the afternoon, we went to Domilise's for po-boys. It's a decent wait, but definitely worth it. We finished our trek down Magazine and ended at Audubon Park to see some of the beautiful old live oak trees.
Activities: Magazine Street, Audubon Park
Day 3: Our last day, we rested and slept in before making it to Willie Mae's for lunch. We arrived right before the rush (score!) and enjoyed our fried chicken, mac and cheese and fried okra. After that, we went to City Park, which is HUGE! We wandered around the NOMA sculpture garden and through some of the amazing live oaks, some of them dating over 800 years old. The weather was absolutely perfect the entire trip, so we really enjoyed wandering through the parks and neighborhoods. It was so relaxing.
For dinner, we visited Shaya and had the most delicious hummus ever! After dinner, we wanted to go to Frenchman Street to see some live music, but of course had to stop by Cafe du Monde since we were leaving the next morning. I liked the fluffier beignets at Cafe Beignet, but Jordan liked the smaller, crispier beignets at Cafe du Monde. Either way, you can't really go wrong with fried dough and sugar. After our last beignet fix of the trip, we went to see the Treme Brass Band at D.B.A. They're super fun, and we had a great time. The band called Jordan out to show his "good time dance" in front of everyone! And the good sport that he is, he strutted up to the front and showed off his moves! What a way to end the trip!
General Notes About New Orleans:
- We found out that everything moves a little slower here, including restaurants. Everywhere we ate took time, and some of our meals lasted upwards of 2 hours for just the two of us. So just keep that in mind when planning!
- April was perfect weather, 75 degrees everyday!
- I think three days was the perfect amount of time to get to know this city. There are of course more things we could have done and seen, but we felt like we did all that we wanted and were also able to relax in the time we had there.
- Along with recommendations from friends, we also used the New Orleans Wildsam Field Guide. It's not only great for local recs but it also has stories, interviews, letters, essays and maps to really give you context and culture so that you can experience the soul of the city. I highly recommend it!