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Chillin in the Big Easy - New Orleans recommendations (eating, drinking, shopping, debauchery, etc)

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by troika, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. troika

    troika Distinguished Member

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    Nov 15, 2011
    pit crew
    Opening up a thread for travel recommendations for one of my favorite places on the planet - the great city of New Orleans.

    I can't say that I go to NOLA frequently, but I've been there enough to know that the real gems of the city are stumbled upon in a late night haze rather than during carefully planned itineraries. Let's have everyone share their experiences, favorites, and random things that they discovered...

    **My list is very much focused on what some might call the hipster experience - tasty unique restaurants, great coffee, weird shit to see/hear. I'm not going to recommend the traditional stuff that's easy to look up. Plenty of places to have some cajun food, but someone else can speak to that. Also, I tend to avoid most of the French Quarter like the plague, and only going to Frenchman St.

    Where to Stay
    IMO the best bang for your buck is to stay in Marigny or Bywater. Walking distance to most places, and friendly enough to have some chats with your artsy and wild neighbors.

    Food & Drink by Neighborhood

    - Bacchanal Wine & Spirits (buy a bottle of wine and some cheese/snacks, hang out back and listen to music)
    - The Joint (BBQ)
    - Bar Redux (chill dive with some home cooked cajun)
    - Elizabeth's (famous brunch spot)
    - Paloma Cafe (great coffee and snacks)
    - Saturn Bar (decent dive with some music & DJs)
    - Red's Chinese (great hipster chinese food)

    - St Roch Market (food hall with great stands, great for breakfast, brunch, lunch)
    - Shank Charcuterie (really good meat dishes, super low key and unassuming, chef takes his craft super seriously)
    - The Orange Couch (coffee and a snack)
    - Port of Call (old school bar/restaurant, burgers, etc)

    ~below is my favorite string of bars in NOLA (they're in Marigny)~
    - HiHo Lounge (known for bluegrass nights)
    - AllWays Cabaret
    - Siberia (normally a metal bar, but don't miss the really great food from a russian restaurant addition in the back [trust me, I'm Ukranian], catch their cabaret & standup comedy night)

    French Quarter
    - Bar Tonique
    - Outdoor night market near the Spotted Cat on Frenchman

    - Merchant (coffee & pastries)
    - Stumptown Coffee (inside Ace Hotel)
    - Revelator Coffee
    - Cochon Restaurant (great pork-focused restaurant)
    - Cochon Butcher (sandwiches from Cochon)

    Lower Garden District
    - Hivolt Coffee (grab a coffee and walk down Magazine from here - it's a long haul but worth it if the weather is nice)
    - The Saint Bar (good drinks & music)
    - The Turkey & Wolf (sandos in the bando)

    - The Delachaise (fancyish wine bar)
    - Shaya (some of the best Israeli food I've ever had, also James Beard award)
    - HEY! Coffee

    Bayou St. John
    - Willie Mae's Scotch House (fried chicken, always recommended for a reason)
    - Vessel (Mediterranean fare in a renovated church)
    - Toups Meatery (great cuts of meat, friendly atmosphere, good cocktails)
    - The Bean Gallery (coffee)
    - Bevi Seafood Co (no frills seafood restaurant - crawfish, shrimp, oysters, poboys, crabs)

    Menswear Stores (SWD)
    - Friend near Ace Hotel Downtown (Gitman Vintage, Post Imperial, DDUGOFF, Our Legacy)
    - Regarding Fresh near Downtown (John Elliott, Robert Geller, sneakers, etc)
    - Rubensteins (CM/SWD department store - Brioni, Zegna, Inis Meain, Harris Wharf)
    - Billy Reid (if you're into that sort of thing)
    - Blue Dream Vintage in Marigny (just kinda fun to poke around)
    - United Apparel Liquidators in French Quarter (super hit or miss)
    - The Great Frog (interesting jewelry in the French Quarter)

    Womenswear Stores
    - Weinstein's (Rick Owens, Dries)
    - Saint Claude Social Club (lower garden district)
    - Pilot & Powell (Touro)

    Other shops
    - Sunday Shop (interiors/furniture, but cool store)

  2. 1969

    1969 Distinguished Member

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    May 23, 2007
    I highly recommend Upperline Restaurant. I eat there any time I'm in town and it's always such a great experience. Very far removed from the usual hipster bullshit places that I usually eat at in most cities. Also a big fan of Soniat House hotel. Usually feels like my room has ~50K worth of furniture and art and the silver tray house breakfast is a nice touch. Both of these places are old school, but imo that's what NO is about.

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018

  3. troika

    troika Distinguished Member

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    Nov 15, 2011
    pit crew
    Thanks for the tip, will definitely check out upperline next time I'm out there.

  4. lifeinabox

    lifeinabox Distinguished Member

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    Jun 24, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was in NOLA last week and spent a good amount of time a couple of years back. I love Cochon and grab lunch there every visit. And speaking of cochon, the cochon de lait at Walker’s is the worth the drive out though get there before noon.

    I love hanging out on Magazine Street. Drinks at Bouligny Tavern. Hat shopping even though I don’t like hats at Goorin bros. Dinner at Lilette.

    Frenchman Street is a given for at least one night. If you find yourself getting sloppy in the French Quarter, grab a po-boy at Killer Po-Boys at the back of the Erin Rose. No better food at a dive bar and helps soak up those hurricanes.

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