There is no other city that can compare to the charm of New Orleans. Exploring the lively streets, shops and of course the food scene is a one-of-a-kind experience that we were so grateful share with Pierce and Eisley a couple weeks ago. We had our fair share of delicious foods, checked off all of our "must-see" items and even found a couple hidden gems that we can't wait to share with you!
WHERE TO EAT IN NEW ORLEANS
It's no surprise that our favorite thing to do in New Orleans was to eat... so much so that we practically had to roll ourselves back to Texas. By far the best breakfast we had while in town was at Stanely's. This airy cafe located in the French Quarter serves all-day breakfast, so there's no rush to enjoy their yummy Eggs Benedict or Bananas Foster French Toast! If you're a dedicated brunch enthusiast, we would also recommend going to The Ruby Slipper Cafe and ordering the Peacemaker (you'll thank us later!) It helps that they have locations both in the French Quarter as well as Magazine Street.
For lunch in the French Quarter, we headed over to Acme Oyster House, since we all know it's considered a sin not to eat oysters while in NOLA. These were some of the freshest oysters we've had, and the fun atmosphere of Acme made it all the better. When it came to be lunchtime during our shopping trip to Magazine Street, Eisley and I opted for another New Orleans classic, a Fried Shrimp Poboy at Mahoney's Poboys.
Where to eat for dinner time was the hardest decision of all, so we'll just list out a couple of our favorites from all over; Peche, a fresh Seafood Grill, Commander's Palace, an upscale and historic dining attraction, Cowbell, a hidden gem that offers mouth-watering burgers, and The Palace Cafe, for modern Creole cooking.
Last but not least, we had to include our favorite pick-me-up coffee shops! Our first stop was highly recommended to us and it did not disappoint. Drip Affogato Bar is the first (and only!) affogato bar in the world with flavorful pairings that perk you up and satisfy your sweet tooth. In addition to being extremely instagrammable, this shop is a fun place to sit back and relax after hours on your feet. We also loved the Court of Two Sisters for its ambient courtyard and Gracious Bakery and Café!
WHAT TO DO IN NEW ORLEANS
In between delicious meals, we found time for a little sightseeing. Our first stop was the French Quarter, a lively stretch of the city that runs parallel with the Mississippi River. At the center of the French Quarter is Jackson Square, a gorgeous park lined with banana palm trees that backs up to the iconic St. Louis Cathedral. Around the square street artists, performers, and psychics gather to represent the true character of New Orleans. Beyond the square, you'll find cobblestone streets lined with picturesque balconies and unique shops, galleries, cafes, and bars. Among our favorite shops were Bambi DeVille's Vintage Clothing, Krewe, and of course the French Market.
Throughout the French Quarter, you'll also find historic state cemeteries that beckon a stillness the minute you step foot onto the grounds. There's something so special about being able to touch and feel headstones that were cast long before any of us drew our first breath and to be able to share the experience of walking through history with Pierce and Eisley was something we weren't expecting, but are so glad we stumbled upon.
If you're in the mood for something more fast-paced, the boys loved going to the Superdome for their first Saints game! While they were away, Eisley and I ventured over to Magazine Street for a little more shopping. Our favorite stores were The Sunday Shop and Perch, both home decor and design stores, as well as The Elizabeth Chronicles, a modern and girly boutique that Eisley adored.
Once you've shopped your way through NOLA, we recommend hopping on the Trolley Cart down to Audubon Park. The park loops around a golf course, and runs parallel to the New Orleans Zoo on one side, and on the other, Loyola and Tulane University. Not to mention strolling through the neighborhoods is entertainment enough with the sprawling mansions and ornate homes.
WHERE TO STAY IN NEW ORLEANS
Last but least we're sharing our favorite places to stay while in New Orleans! We loved the understated vibe of the Mercantile Hotel, with deep gray tones and leather seating filling the lobby. Another central location to stay is the Ace Hotel with a yummy in-house restaurant and cocktail bar! We also loved the opulent Hotel Monteleone, purely for its sheer grandeur when walking along the streets.
We adored New Orleans and are so excited to visit again. We hope this travel guide leaves you longing for a trip over to the Big Easy and feel free to send us any questions you might have!