There is no shortage of things to do, food to eat, beverages to drink or entertainment to enjoy in New Orleans. With more than 1,550 restaurants – from traditional New Orleans cuisine like red beans, gumbo and jambalaya, to creative fusions influenced by cultures from around the globe – there’s sure to be something that satisfies every palette.
Start your day strong so you can keep your energy up to explore the city all day! Try a classic New Orleans treat of café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde or Café Beignet. This sugar rush alongside the coffee with chicory will kickstart your day in a hurry. For those looking for a more traditional sit-down breakfast, local favorites include Mother’s, Ruby Slipper and Surrey’s.
Breakfast at Brennan’s has been a New Orleans tradition for more than 70 years. Take your time and enjoy a leisurely, elegant meal with world-class service. From Eggs Hussarde to Turtle soup, this New Orleans classic is considered the paramount French Quarter Institution of morning meals.
New Orleans has many distinct neighborhoods, unique districts and colorful streets to explore each with their own character and charm. The French Quarter is the most well-known with its iconic architecture and historic prominence. Take a walk down Royal Street to peruse boutiques, art galleries and antique shops, walk along the river for a breathtaking view or take-in a show at one of the numerous jazz clubs and music halls. While the French Quarter is the historic heart of the city, New Orleans spans far beyond the 78 square blocks of the city’s oldest neighborhood.
Head over to the Tremé neighborhood for an authentic, soulful and historic experience. Not only is the Tremé neighborhood the star of its own TV series, it is the oldest African-American neighborhoods in the country and has been home to musicians and artists as far back as the 18th century. Learn about the traditions and history of Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals and more at The Backstreet Cultural Museum, or visit Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park where jazz music was born.
Ride the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar – the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world – to get a great view of the oak-lined streets of Uptown and the Garden District. Hop-off the streetcar in the Garden District and do some shopping in local boutiques along Magazine Street. Or, catch the Canal Streetcar through MidCity and make your way to City Park. All you’ll need is a dollar and a quarter. Rumbling down the ”neutral ground” for more than 150 years, the streetcar symbolizes the charm and romance of New Orleans.
Po-boys, gumbo and jambalaya are some of the most iconic traditional New Orleans dishes – and everyone has their own style. Do you like your po-boy dressed? Seafood or sausage gumbo? Maybe your mamma had a killer jambalaya recipe that’s been passed down through the family. Another classic dish invented in New Orleans is the muffaletta. While the original can be found at Central Grocery, others have taken their own spin on the Italian sandwich like Cochon Butcher, Napoleon House and Verti Marte.
For a truly unique experience that may bring back memories of bologna sandwiches from your childhood, visit Turkey and the Wolf. This eclectic, casual restaurant has been named a Best New Restaurant by Eater and named among Food & Wine’s Restaurants of the Year.
From a $5 poboy to a lavish four-course dining experience, your options are endless.
After lunch, dive deeper into the history and mystery of one of America’s most historic cities. New Orleans celebrate its tricentennial, or 300th birthday, this year and that means these streets have more than a few stories to tell. Visit “cities of the dead” and learn about New Orleans’ traditions for burying our loved ones. If you’re a true believer or a staunch skeptic, there’s no denying New Orleans has a spooky side. Join a haunted tour to hear the stories of restless spirits that roam the town. If you’re ready to get outside of the city, try a swamp tour or visit plantation country.
Only in New Orleans do you have a variety of options if you’re looking for a restaurant that has been open for a century. Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Tujaque’s and Galatoire’s all boast 100+ years of experience and continue to serve world-class cuisine daily.
After dinner, grab a treat at Sucre, or satisfy your sweet tooth with a cocktail. Our rockstar mixologists will concoct the perfect beverage to satisfy any craving – and in New Orleans, you can take that drink in a “go-cup” as you soak up the evening air.
Treat all of your senses and take in a show on Frenchmen Street, pop in to an intimate jazz club or find a rip-roaring good time learning Cajun dancing. Whatever you choose, listen to the sounds of the city and let the music inspire your journey.
While you may not find King Cake on the menu outside of Mardi Gras season, you can take this recipe home and make your own! This round cake is similar to a large cinnamon roll mixed with coffee cake and is traditionally topped with sweet icing plus yellow, green and purple sugar. If you get the slice with the plastic baby, prepare to bring king cake for the next group gathering.
Still looking for more “foodie-friendly” suggestions? Check out our foodie itinerary and follow your taste buds around the city. And when you get back home and miss the mouth-watering flavors of New Orleans fare, learn how to cook iconic New Orleans dishes and the history behind their creation.
When you come to New Orleans, the spirit of hospitality, collaboration and creativity will be your muse. With so much to explore, there is never a dull moment in the Crescent City. Visit NewOrleans.com to get started planning your trip and laissez les bon temps rouler – let the good times roll!
This post is brought to you by our host and sponsor, Visit New Orleans. Join us for the 10th anniversary of the IFBC in New Orleans next month. Register here.