101 GuidescityTravel

New Orleans Design Guide

by Grace Bonney

Today’s New Orleans City Guide update comes to us from Sarah Baird, a writer, editor, and petit four aficionado living in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sarah likes planning elaborate dinner parties surrounded by her collection of dwarf citrus trees. You can read her latest musings and about her various misadventures on her website, hellosarahbaird.com, and today she shares the many wonders of the magical NOLA.  Thank you, Sarah, for writing such a great update! —Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump…

French Quarter foliage all photos by Sarah Baird

Be sure to check out the Google Map of all of the below listings!



Pizza Delicious
Serving up (arguably) some of the most inventive pizzas in the city, this former pop-up was so overwhelmingly popular it’s become a seven-days-a-week operation. In addition to stellar pies, the salads and pastas are always top notch and provide vegan options.

Shake Sugary

Pastry whiz and owner Dawn Snead has turned this azure-colored corner shop into the prime place for inventive baked goods: I could eat my weight in maple bacon sweet potato biscuits.

Maurepas Foods
With a commitment to locally sourced food and a creative energy that is unmatched, Maurepas has become something of a dining destination and an anchor as the Bywater’s magnetism has skyrocketed in the past few years.


Despite the suggestive name, this shop is 100% on the up-and-up. Booty’s specializes in international street food small plates and intricate cocktails, including the tea-based hot toddy the Hot Silk.

Located in the same building as a swanky new stack of loft apartments, this Italian gem has a commitment to the freshest pastas and cured meats and is a refreshing addition to the New Orleans dining scene.


Live music, fantastic wine, and Christmas lights dripping through oleander: what more could you ask for? This once outdoor-only drinking and dining venue recently opened a cocktail bar upstairs, featuring a delicious hibiscus old fashioned.

Faubourg Wines

A small-but-mighty new operation in the neighborhood: pick out a bottle and take it to Markey Park for a picnic or stay in the store and snack on a fun selection of cheese while learning about pairings.


Bon Castor

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect housewarming party gift, look no further than the playful pieces at Bon Castor. The cards from local stationary company Lionheart Press are especially charming.

Euclid Records
There’s a giant mural of citywide demi-god Ernie K. Doe painted on the side of this hot pink building: need I say more?


St. Claude Night Market
Once a month, St. Claude Main Street—the local neighborhood development group—hosts an artist fair and showcase, featuring live, local music and enough arts, crafts, and vintage pieces to wet the whistle of even the pickiest buyer.

Byrdie’s Gallery & Ceramic Studio

Ever wanted your ceramics with a side of the freshest coffee and tea? Look no further than Byrdie’s, where you can get your hands dirty in the clay while sipping some of the finest brews New Orleans has to offer.

A Krewe of St. Anne flag in front of Mimi's in the Marigny


Cake Café

An outstanding brunch spot—with one of the best king cakes in the city during Mardi Gras—this café is jam-packed with folks looking to get a bite of their delicious baked goods.


Kajun’s Pub

An unapologetic dive bar with hands-down the best karaoke catalog in the city, the recent addition of a gourmet sausage pop-up has made this local favorite ever more appealing. (My boyfriend does a mean Montel Jordan cover so if you see someone break that out, it’s probably him.)

Mimi’s in the Marigny

A downstairs with chatting, drinks, and snacks and an upstairs reserved for live music, DJ Soul Sister has her weekly “hustle!” dance party here every Saturday night.


Do you have a penchant for taxidermy animals and music that’s a little less jazz and a little more leather-influenced? Trot your way from the main Frenchman Street drag to this unassuming St. Claude spot. (Bonus: a delicious in-house restaurant serves up Slavic soul food!)


Studio Inferno
This cozy glassblowing studio has some of the most magnificent pieces in the city for serious blown glass connoisseurs and casual shoppers alike.

New Orleans Healing Center

A vibrant orange building serves as a nest for a plethora of local business, shops, and events: from the downtown iteration of local favorite bookseller Maple Street Bookshop, to a wide variety of local arts, and New Orleans’ only local food co-op.

Marigny Opera House

Marigny Opera House

One of the most stunning event spaces in the city (hello, rainbow tiled floors!) the Marigny Opera House is home to imaginative plays, dance pieces, concerts, and any number of live performances.

The New Movement
The New Movement is the heartbeat of the comedy scene in New Orleans, and turning the city into a magnet for fresh, innovative talent from across the nation. Shows are nightly Thursday-Sunday, and include a wide variety of improv, sketch, and stand-up. One of the standout shows, Shipwrecked!, is a wildly popular, once-a-month storytelling showcase.

Hi-Ho Lounge

A live music hot spot that’s served as a catalyst for the development of the rapidly developing St. Claude corridor: from bluegrass, to rap, to poetry readings, a smorgasbord of entertainment happens inside this unassuming gem.



La Petit Grocery

With a James Beard nominated chef at the helm, the warm glow of candlelight and stately dining room at this Magazine Street treasure is the perfect recipe for date night. The must-try item? Blue crab beignets.

St. James Cheese Company

A British couple doing right by the dairy scene in the city, this ladies-who-lunch favorite has some of the best options for a quick bite or, if you’re famished, opt for a full English plowman’s lunch.

Ps & Qs
This brand new show specializes in pies of both the savory and sweet variety, and takes its name from—what else—the intersection of minding your manners, pies, and quiches.


Bouligny Tavern
A midcentury modern vibe that would put Mad Men to shame, the side courtyard is the perfect spot for a happy hour with friends.


Box Paper Scissor
There’s nothing I love more than a good stationary store, and Box Paper Scissor is New Orleans’ finest. The walls of color-coded wrapping paper are enough to keep me occupied for the better part of an afternoon, and the hands-on approach to consultations will leave you feeling informed.

A blend of classic New Orleans elegance and modern flair, Perch is the ideal spot for that “treat yourself” splurge item, and also has a number of textiles and custom furniture options.

Nadeau Furniture

With a store full of eccentric, brightly colored pieces and smaller decorative items, Nadeau is a surprisingly thrifty way to get quite some bang for your buck when buying your next ottoman or side table.

Outside at Bacchanal

French Quarter


Killer Poboys
Located, oddly enough, in the back of the smoky Erin Rose bar, Killer Poboys serves up the best versions of the New Orleans’ classic in the city. The Jameson grilled cheese also is an ideal late night snack.

Green Goddess
Tucked down an alley and with just enough seating for a dozen couples, the combination of local favorites with exotic flair has made this a favorite for those seeking something fresh and flavorful.


This bar is small and unpretentious, but with enough elaborate (and delicious) drink options to rival anywhere in the city. Tonique is consistently my go-to recommendation for cocktails.

View at dusk down Royal St. in the French Quarter
Perestroika at Pravda [1113 Decatur Street]

A recently overhauled spot specializing in intricate drinks and high end Iron Curtain snacks, the red-and-black interior is a sultry option, but the courtyard is the real star.


Greg’s Antiques
If you’re a serious vintage piece hunter, this is the spot for you. Greg’s is packed to the gills with all the furniture, art, trinkets, and treasures you can imagine.

Cameron Jones for your Home

A recently relocated French Quarter spot, Cameron Jones’ has a laidback mix of furniture items and art pieces for every budget.

Nadine Blake
Home interior with a decidedly jet set flair and clean, modern lines are the specialty at this Royal Street shop that is a favorite with locals and visitors alike.

Giant watering can sculpture at Longue Vue Gardens

Lower Garden District/CBD

Right around the corner from the visitor-favorite Cochon sits the restaurant’s more playful—and dare I say better?—little brother. Butcher is full of fresh takes on Southern classics, like Pimento cheese, and boasts one of the best pork belly sandwiches in the city.

Bittersweet Confections

If you’re strolling around in the business district and fancy a quick chocolate or coffee pick-me-up, this stylish confectionary—which shares space with a yoga studio—is your spot. The chocolate covered salted caramels are to die for.


Ste. Marie

With an entire wall full of champagne bottles, you’ll never need a reason to celebrate at Ste. Marie, where a seat at the bar is prime real estate.

AKA Stella Gray

The bohemian stylings of this store are perfect for someone looking to add a bit of whimsical flair to their décor—whether through a shadow box of butterflies or a gold-painted loveseat.


Looking for that perfect midcentury piece to round out your living room? An Eames chair? Peaches has you covered, with an incredibly well curated selection of vintage pieces at reasonable prices.

Branch Out
The perfect balance of eco-friendly and modern style, Branch Out is a testament to how green living and high fashion can work hand-in-hand.


The Roosevelt
Arguably one of the most regal, breathtaking hotels in the United States, the Roosevelt’s gilded halls and chandeliers bubbling over with crystal are awe-inspiring. If it’s out of your hotel budget, the décor alone is worth a visit.

Hotel Modern
Located on Lee Circle, this fresh, sleek boutique establishment has all your needs in one place: head to the courtyard to enjoy drinks at Bellocq, or grab a Vietnamese-inspired snack at Tivoli and Lee.

Ernie K. Doe mural on the side of Euclid Records

Midcity/Bayou St. John


Toups Meatery
A Cajun favorite snack is the cracklin’—a crispy fried pork skin—and there’s no better place than Toups to get them in the city. Be warned, vegetarians: the meatery lives up to its name.

Blue Dot Donuts
The siren-like lure of Blue Dot is hypnotic: one bite and you’re hooked for an eternity. Many people in New Orleans request doughnut “cakes” (read: a stack of donuts) from this hot spot instead of actual birthday cakes.

An intimate Spanish restaurant nestled along stunning Esplanade Avenue, a pitcher of sangria and a paella made-to-order is just the way to end an evening after a stroll through City Park.


Twelve Mile Limit
There’s not much in the neighborhood around this local favorite, but don’t be fooled: it serves up some of the best drinks in the city and a wide variety of snacks as well. Try a doberge cake bite, and don’t forget to pay homage to the fantastic Babar print on the wall.


Bayou St. John [Esplanade Avenue at Moss Street]
A charming bayou that serves as the namesake for one of the city’s loveliest neighborhoods, Bayou St. John is the perfect place to picnic, go for a jog, or have a mini-adventure kayaking around. During crawfish season, boils often take place along the banks of this urban oasis.

New Orleans Museum of Art
So much more than your average art museum, the drive up to NOMA is one of the grandest experiences in New Orleans. After you explore the art indoors, head outside to the sculpture garden, which regularly serves as host to a variety of plays.

Longue Vue House and Gardens

The elegant sculpted gardens and grounds of this botanical wonderland are anchored by a sense of playfulness: a giant watering can holds watch over the educational children’s area.


1896 O’Malley House Bed & Breakfast

While bed and breakfasts are scattered across the city, there’s no doubt this one is the crème de la crème. The hospitality, ample snacks, and—just for kicks—player piano are the icing on the cake of this traveler’s dream.

Local Notables:

Brad Pitt [Founder, Make It Right Foundation]
John James Audubon
Truman Capote
Bryan Batt [Mad Men]
Ellen DeGeneres
Frank Ocean
Sandra Bullock [Homeowner, local philanthropist]
Tennessee Williams

Suggested For You


  • Pefect timing… I am heading to New Orleans for the first time on Thursday. Thanks Annemarie!

  • Great city guide, wish I had time to go as I’m going to Memphis and the Delta this June. Does anyone have some suggestions for interesting places? We will be based in Clarksdale mainly…

    thanks, Claire

  • noooo! i just (on sunday) got back from new orleans! *sigh.* alas.

    also, i’d like to add one thing to this list, one very vague, unhelpful sort of thing. during last week’s trip to new orleans and the great deal of wandering around the quarter done in that week, i happened upon a wonderful store:

    The Kitchen Witch.

    though i stupidly didn’t write down the address (argh!!!), this used-cookbook store is great. phe-nom-en-al. an absolutely super way to spend a large chunk of time and/or money, and anyone heading to new orleans should check it out.

    (there are also two very cute store dogs and a great many wonderfully cozy piles of books. i really should have taken pics.)

  • I missed The Kitchen Witch! Bummer! I’ll check it out next time.

    Enjoy NoLA Katie- try to eat at Emerill’s NOLA restaurant, great wine list!

  • If you head out to Magazine Street be sure to stop in at La Boulangerie (it’s around 4500 or 4600 Mag. St.); they have the most wonderful pastries! Just the thought of the bleu cheese bread makes me drool.

  • Stationery when referring to paper products is spelled with an “e”. “E” for envelopes as we say…

  • Claire, check out morgan freeman’s ground zero in clarksdale, take a cooking class at viking range’s cooking school and stay at the world class alluvian hotel in greenwood, ms. Lots of blues stuff along the way!
    email me if you would like any info…. raj.jonesy@gmail.com

  • It’s so exciting to see a NoLA design guide, especially since I am sitting in my office at Tulane University right now! I’m trying to think of other fun design places to go… I think you’ve named most of them! Frankly, your best bet is just to hang out on Magazine, the number of shops is large enough to keep you busy for a few days.

  • I am a graduating senior at Tulane University in the historic Garden District. I have spent the past four years exploring the architecture and design motifs of this great city, so I’d like to add a few must go places:

    Bellanoche is a great shop to browse through. Filled with luxurious linens and bedding, the store just makes you want to curl up in one of their beds. Also, the women who work there are the nicest and most talkative people. (3632 magazine)

    The sister store of Bellanoche, Belladonna, also has great homewares. It leans more to the tableware and bath necessities. It also has a spa incorporated, which I highly recommend. (2900 magazine)

    Also, Heirloom Furnishings is a great place for traditional New Orleans furniture that won’t bust the bank. Being a college student, I clearly do not have much disposable money, but I have been able to find great things here from furniture and rugs to accessories. (1400 st. charles)

    Probst Decorating is the ultimate upholstery fabric shop in NoLA. I love to go there just to touch all the fabric and imagine what elaborate project I can scheme up next. They also have some great home furnishings. (3300 magazine)

    As you can see there is an endless amount of shops to visit in New Orleans. Have fun in your explorations!

  • neophobia on maganize is also really great furniture – revamped from older items

    plum on magazine is the most cutesy gift ideas and home items – actually everything from whimsical aprons and purses to tables, chairs, and jewelry made from candy!

    and eat at Luke Resteraunt in the Hilton on St. Charles for casual but upscale dining for lunch- John Besh resteraunt! – an Dante’s Kitchen on Dante st for the best brunch ever!

  • I used to have to go to New Orleans several times a year for work.

    The Uptown spot to eat (once you’re done shopping) is the Delachaise on St. Charles. It’s kind of a bar so go early, but it has the best, most original “bar food”. Chris DeBarr, the chef, just recently won a “Best Chef of 2007” award. He’s amazing. They appear to be re-doing their website, but if you want to eat like a local, go there, not the French Quarter.

    Design-wise, I can second Neophobia. Their prices are very fair. And Scriptura is a dangerous place (in a good way) for those of us with paper fetishes.

  • I got married in NOLA. Every time we go there we stay @ Hotel Royal on Royal and St. Philip, it’s right down the street from Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar.

    I also always eat @ The Clover Grill. It’s a dive diner joint but the staff is usually a lot of fun.

    This design guide is making be crave Cafe du Monde!

  • We went to NOLA twice in 2007 (volunteering @ Camp Home in St. Bernard Parish) Each visit, we dedicated 2 days to hanging out in the Garden District and Frenchman street. The shops are amazing, the people are amazing and there’s character in almost every building. If you haven’t been, GO. And volunteer a few days while you’re at it. (it makes the experience even richer). -N

  • i was in NoLa in Jan & had dinner @ Lillette, which was divine. Lunch @ cochon, yum. Magazine St never disappoints for shopping/walking/etc.

  • Yay! I was wondering when someone was going to do a this for NOLA. There are so many great places that didn’t make your list, though. Here’s a couple more.

    Funky Monkey on Magazine is a great little thrift shop with some new stuff, too. You can get all your hipster friends t-shirts there. I bought my razor blade earrings there for $5!

    Also don’t forget Sputnik Ranch (sputnikranch.com). They’ve got the coolest “western” wear and cowboy boots ever, and they also have nifty toys and accessories. It’s fantastic just to walk in and smell the leather.

  • Yay! I adore New Orleans and miss it greatly. It’s got a aura about it that just can’t be found anywhere else in the US, but I may be a bit biased. Mignon Faget is one of my all time favorites and I’m building a collection of her beautiful silver fleur de lis. Thanks for highlighting NOLA.

  • I was there before Katrina and stayed at Loft 523 right on the edge of the French Quarter and I had the most wonderful time. I am thinking about going back this year and will definitely use this guide!

    It’s not really design-y but the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas on 1 Canal St. is a good way to spend some time, the flow of the aquarium is great, it leads you to every single exhibit so you know you didn’t miss anything!

  • When in NoLA, you must vist Belladonna (http://www.belladonnadayspa.com/) at 2900 Magazine Street… not only are the spa treatments amazing, but their shop (Bellanoche – featured above) offers beautiful linens, tablewear, books, and other accessories. Their website doesn’t do them justice! It’s a beautiful shop and is definitely worth visiting!

    Also, if you’re in for a great time– don’t leave New Orleans without going to The Cat’s Meow on Bourbon St… Amazing karaoke!!

  • I am so happy to see this! I was located on Magazine Street for almost 11 years before moving my business to Baton Rouge where I live. This is a great list – and I am sure that we can add a lot of out of the way places for those with extra time to spend in the Crescent City

  • Hi, I’m Dannal, and I own Plum so thanks for the shout out Lauren.

    If anyone is going to be in New Orleans on April 30th, you should definitely try to make it to Chaz Fest, a great local music festival in the 9th ward. This will be the third year and it’s really fun–awesome local music and food. Chazfestival.com has all the information.

    Claire, there’s a great vintage/retro store in Memphis called Flashback. Definitely go there–they have amazing stuff.

  • I’d also highly recommend Marsh Garden Decor. I’ve never visited in person, but their collection of found objects, architectural elements and fantastic pieces for gardens looks fantastic. (Marsh has a full website showing their pieces; they’re also featured on 1st dibs, so you know it’s a gem!)

  • One of my favorite Quarter shops is relatively new – Nadine Blake. The owner has the BEST taste and has filled the shop with exquisite jewelry, art, textiles, and objets. And the shop window is a treat in itself. It’s in the 1000 block of Royal Street.

  • Claire,

    When in Memphis, definitely check out Flashback and the Cooper-Young neighborhood in general. There’s a diamond-in-the-rough art deco high school, a 1940s beauty parlor-turned-restaurant, locally made wooden toys and clothes at Mothersville (my store :) and plenty more vintage/antique shopping along the way. Have fun!

  • I saw mention of Katy Beh jewelry. I totally second that emotion. The jewelry is great, her taste is impeccable, and so is Katy herself.

  • A plug for a great tile shop – Derby Pottery at 2029 Magazine. Great Victorian tiles, and even if you don’t need a bathroom or backsplash, you can pick up a fleur de lie 2 inch square as a ‘frig magnet.

  • Don’t forget to check out the Junior League thrift shop, Bloomin’ Deals, 4645 Freret, where all the uptown and garden district gals get rid of their almost-new boutique wears and accessories. Great bargains and unique finds.

    And for a treat while shopping, Sucre for pastries, chocolate, and gelato, 3025 Magazine Street.

  • These are all great recommendations that I will add to this guide- thanks, all!

    Molly- Sucre should be up there in the Eats categories. The treats there are so yummy!

    And if anyone is heading up for the first time, try a spooky/silly ghost tour of the French Quarter. Our guide, Mideon Von Thorne, was fun and really knew the ins and outs of the Crescent City.

  • Just got back from NoLa and was able to use the guide. Thanks! One thing I wished I had known – most shops in the garden district are closed on Sunday. Plan accordingly. But we were lucky enough to run into some realtor’s open houses in the area – fantastic! If you go to Emeril’s (warehouse district) sit at the bar that overlooks the kitchen. It was so much fun to watch the chefs and cooks do their thing.

  • Don’t forget the Arts District near the CBD! This is Andrea Christie. I am a ceramic artist who is represented by the Center for Southern Craft and Design, at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The Ogden should not be missed on any trip to New Orleans, it is the finest collection of Southern Art in the world. My personal favorite is the collection of outsider art. The Center for Southern Craft and Design, which is housed in the Museum, represents Southern Artists who work in glass, ceramics, metals and wood.

  • Can anyone recommend any budget friendly hotels? also, which area would it be best to stay in? thanks!

  • Christine: Try the St. James- just a few blocks from The French District, a short walk to the streetcar, and mns away from Mother’s- a restaurant you do not want to miss.

    Also Le Pavilion is nice, as is the Prince Conti. All affordable options.

  • Arabesque on 127 N. Carrollton (Just off of Canal going uptown) has some of the most amazing food on the face of the planet. (Phone number 504.486.7233). I frequent there on a monthly basis.

  • I don’t think anyone has mentioned New Orleans City Park in Mid-City (at corner of Esplanade and N. Carrollton). Mid-City by itself is a gorgeous neighborhood to drive around and look at beautiful houses, but City Park is its crowning jewel. Plus, most visitors to the city don’t get out there, but it’s only a Street Car ride away from downtown and the french quarter (at the end of the Canal line). There are 3 beautiful and inspirational places here: the Museum of Modern Art, the Sculpture Garden, and the Botanical Garden.

    About the Botanical Garden – I went there last Sunday and had a great time. Everything is blooming now and they are doing incredible events every weekend from now through June 1. I stumbled upon a Sunday brunch event. I enjoyed hanging out in the garden, sipping a bloody mary, and eating a po-boy. It was a true New Orleans experience.

    They also have Children’s Day on Saturday and a wine tasting on Sunday nights.

  • Magazine street should definitely be one of your first stops in New Orleans. You could spend hours making the walk throughout Uptown with all the shops available. With Decatur and downtown, it thins out after you leave the French Market.

  • A couple of things/ corrections and some reccomendations. The Garden Districts uptown border is Louisiana just a block difference but to a local it makes a differnce. Second the Maple Leaf bookstore is not in the Garden Distirct it is much further uptown and definately worth a visit also make sure to pick up a “Fight the Stupids” bumper sticker while you’re there. There is a fantastic bookshop in the Garden District called suprisingly enough, The Garden District Book Shop. The address is 2727 Prytania St. (the corner of Washington and Prytania caddycorner to the cemetary) and Prytania itself is worth a wallk down as its a staple on Guided tours of the Garden District. There are great shops, restaurants, bars and Gallleries all along Magazine Street for the entirety of uptown, the whole street is worth exploring and is very safe but stick to magazine st and the area in between there and St. Charles Ave as a general rule. For a pretty good neighborhood guide to New Orleans check out http://www.fattuesday.com.
    For those of you who can’t make it to the city http://www.pralines.com/recipes offers a bunch of easy to make Recipes for some of New Orleans’ most famous dishes.

  • I lived in NOLA for two years, had to move to go to grad school and can’t wait to go back. A few of my own recommendations:
    For the BEST sushi in town you must hit Sushi Brothers on St. Charles near where Jackson crosses.
    For po-boys, Guy’s on Magazine.
    I can’t believe there’s not a cocktail guide included! Monsoons at Port of Call are delightful but dangerous, you can never go wrong with a Hurricane from Pat O’s, and my favorite place for Bloody Marys and Mojitos is Marigny Brasserie. The Columns Hotel on St. Charles (an old brothel) has a great atmosphere for reasonable prices, and for sports bars, Cooter Browns in Riverbend is perfect. For beer, the Bulldog on Magazine, if you’re there Wednesdays you can keep your pint glasses.
    If you want a dirty jazz bar (and who doesn’t in NOLA!?) the Spotted Cat on Frenchman street is the best. Saturday evenings (6:30-9:30) Washboard Chaz is playing (the namesake of Chazfest) and if you can catch him, you will fall in love with this city if you haven’t already. For other music venues wander on Frenchman, but stay south (on the river side) of the Marigny Brasserie. For larger venues, The Howlin’ Wolf in the warehouse district is good, and Tipitina’s Uptown won’t let you down. For a twist on live music head to Rock N Bowl in Midcity and hear a local favorite while bowling on vintage lanes.
    For traditional jazz, Preservation Hall in the FQ is a dream come true.
    For brunch in the FQ find Petunia’s (its tucked away on a side street, but worth the effort). For a quick breakfast of coffee and beingets, Cafe Du Monde is a must.
    I like Muriel’s in Jackson Square for a more affordable “fine” dining experience, but Commander’s Palace in the Garden District is great for lunch if you’re on a budget but still want a fine dining, classically New Orleans experience (dinner is much pricier).

    I hope you enjoy and fall in love with this beautiful city!

  • Magazine Street is the quintessential spot for all things well-crafted, unique and homemade. When visiting New Orleans, be sure to spend some time on magazine street. Check out magazinestreet.com for a list of boutique shops and local restaurants that’ll have you strolling round town like the locals do year-round!

  • im so glad i found this! im going next weekend! and kudos to the commentors– just as helpful as the guide.

  • We just got back from our d*s guided visit of NO and loved it! A couple great spots not listed: Lost Sheep Coffee Co. now shares a space with the Savvy Gourmet — they have a great story, we spent 4 hours reading in the sun on their terrace! In December!
    Also, Cafe Amelie in the French Quarter has the most delicious courtyard dining, it’s quite literally a perfect little corner of the world (closed on Tuesday, though, to our dismay).
    Lastly, Stanley on Jackson Square was a nice retreat from the throngs of gaping masses. Lots of people there reading the paper. Good coffee, great croissant, and inventive egg dishes with a local twist.

  • To clarify, Maple Street Book Store is NOT in the Garden District. It is on Maple Street near the Riverbend where St. Charles meets Carrollton, which is another great area of town.

    And I’m sorry to report Sip has closed.

    I’m a graphic designer and I have my own on-line guide to New Orleans. It doesn’t cover shopping but just about everything else. http://creativefatcat.com/nolaguide/index.html

    For shopping, check out StayLocal’s web site for a list of local businesses: http://www.staylocal.org/

  • Wow, fantastic guide spread. Should I ever decide to venture that way, this will be what I check before making any plans and base them around it.

  • Thanks for the great reviews! going there for the satchmo festival in 2 weeks and will definitely hit some of these places up! thanks!

  • Okay- Big questions: I am getting married in NOLA next year. Still haven’t found my venue! I am seriously considering the Botanical Gardens at City Park but I don’t like the 3 hour limit for the party. I would really like some kind of barn or something where we would be really D.I.Y. Any ideas? Hotel suggestions, etc. would be greatly appreciated! Also, my partner and I have a 4 month old baby who will be about 1 around the time of our wedding. Thanks!

  • Jess B – check out Blain Kern’s Mardi Gras World. I have been to a wedding there and it was an amazing experience. Also, the Louis XVI Courtyard in the Quarter. Good luck to you two!

  • Wow, I totally missed this great guide until now. Totally different from my own NOLA travel guide recommendations, http://www.missmalaprop.com/2008/01/my-new-orleans-travel-guide/ , but great nonetheless!

    I also second the Nadine Blake recommendation above. Grace, I think you’d like this place: http://www.nadineblake.com/

    jess b, I second Jessica’s Mardi Gras World wedding recommendation. I’ve never been to a wedding there, but I’ve been to other events there, and have thought what an awesome wedding location it would make. Also, check out the Gambit’s wedding guides… they recently had some suggestions for non-traditional wedding locations.
    I’d also check out Rock n’ Bowl and The Country Club as well… my friends got married at The Country Club – it’s a gay-friendly place in the Bywater that has a beautiful outdoor area with a pool.

  • Also, check out a fantastic new gallery on Magazine St. It’s called Octavia Art Gallery (4532 Magazine). They carry local artists as well as artists from around the world. Located in a New Orleans style house, it’s one you shouldn’t miss!!

  • Got to visit ” The Occasional Wife” on Magazine—You will become an organizational genius!!!!!!

  • another great gallery & studio (affordable art) and great handmade jewelry is Bon Temps Studio.
    4861 Magazine Street
    New Orleans, LA, 70115

  • Near the French Quarter on 542 Frenchmen Street – the PRALINE CONNECTION is a great spot to have some ” ‘down-home’ cajun-creole style soul food.” My family has been going to this place for years!

  • I’m soon re-locating to NOLA! Looking for a small space, within an antique mall, to sell my “stuff”. I’ve had successful shops in Savannah & Atlanta. Any advise would be so great!

  • A great add to your boutique hotel list is Loft 529. My husband and I are local to the area and love to stay there when we hit NOLA for a weekend.
    Cafe Degas on Esplanade is also a must eat place!

  • Hi all,

    Just an addition and update to this list; it came in very handy during my trip to NOLA last week and I really appreciate all the suggestions in the comments.

    Restaurant in the French Quarter to visit for wonderful unique food and a spectacular drink menu: Green Goddess (307 Exchange Place).

    I used this guide to book my hotel and chose the St. James hotel– sadly, I had to relocate (to the Lafayette Hotel on St Charles St in the Central Business District– it was great). The St. James was quaint but filthy. If you are looking for a boutique hotel that is not a chain, I would recommend the equally charming but much cleaner Lafayette Hotel. Similar prices, way cleaner.

    Thanks for suggesting Perch home on Magazine– it was my favourite stop!!

  • I moved to New Orleans only a few months ago thanks to my husbands family and have been in love with the city ever since…. Be sure to check out one of the many street and art fairs as well as free music festivals. Mardi Gras, Jazz and Heritage Fest, Red Dress Run and Running of the Bulls and many many more.

  • Great post, Sarah! You make me long to return. Don’t forget the French Market itself with it’s colorful merchandise,vendors,new artists and atmosphere. I was recently in NOLA with friends and was bowled away by the art scene there and the support for the Market artists.
    (Thanks Design*Sponge for Biz Ladies and for supporting artists and the art of craft)

  • I cannot believe Trashy Diva was left off this list – the most beautiful vintage inspired clothing (all designed by local Candice Gwinn). http://www.trashydiva.com

    Food: Dante’s Kitchen in Riverbend for amazing drinks and “chicken under a brick”, Resturant Patois in Audubon (hard to find, but amazing food). Drinks: Hotel Monteleone for the gorgeous carousel bar & the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt.

  • Thanks for the terrific recommendations Sarah! Have you been to The Backstreet Cultural Museum in Treme? The beaded and feathered Mardi Gras Indian costumes are amazing–and one of the men who makes them works at the museum and is happy to answer all your questions about the work that goes into making these costumes, as well as anything you’d want to know about social aid and pleasure clubs and funeral parades. (I don’t work there–I checked it out on my honeymoon and can’t wait to go back!!!)

  • As a local… I was really excited to see what Sarah recommendations were… and I have to say Sarah’s list is spot on! So many of my favorites plus new options to try out! Thanks!

  • You gotta try a muffaletta from Central Grocery – it’s birthplace!
    Located in the French Quarter
    923 Decatur St
    You won’t be disappointed!

  • I second/third The Kitchen Witch…owner Debbie is a hoot! She also writes for local the local arts paper Gambit. The Sazerac Bar in The Roosevelt is so glamorous. Order creamy, lemony Ramos Gin Fizz. Magazine Antique Mall is great, as is The Napoleon House courtyard for Pimms Cups. But I completely disagree with Pravda. It was so pretentious we didn’t stay long. Went to hear Blues on Frenchman’s Street instead…

  • I second/third The Kitchen Witch…owner Debbie is a hoot! She also writes for local the local arts paper Gambit. The Sazerac Bar in The Roosevelt is so glamorous. Order creamy, lemony Ramos Gin Fizz. Magazine Antique Mall is great, as is The Napoleon House courtyard for Pimms Cups. But I completely disagree with Pravda. It was so pretentious we didn’t stay long. Went to hear Blues on Frenchman’s Street instead…

    John Goodman lives in The Garden District too…we petted his doggie :) and you cannot miss Lafayette Cemetery!

  • lots of great places listed here .. but some unfortunatly now closed .. Neophobia and Spuknik Ranch .. Magazine st is a must do and you can check out our gallery UP/Unique Products – http://www.shopgreenneworleans.com where everything is made from all kinds of recycled elements , were next door to Gogo and same block as Branch out .. and you can get killer margaritas at Juans Flying burrito and remember one of the best things about new orleans is you can walk with your cocktail while you shop!

  • Uptown: King cake from sucre, ice cream from creole creamery, brunch at Slim Goodies, drinks and dinner from Coquette (probably the best restaurant in New Orleans, no really), and BOUCHERIE! Cheapest fancy and delicious meal you’ll find anywhere. Loisel Vintage Modern replaced the former Neophobia (which a former commenter mentioned), but it’s a similar business and I still love it. Miss the old name, though.

    I know it is hard to choose just a few places , I am sure the author had a hard time (I am frequently having to edit my list I sent to friends so I don’t overwhelm them) but those are my faves.

  • Best restaurant in town, bar none, Kay Paul’s on Chartres in the Quarter.
    Chef Paul Prudhomme’s place. He taught New Orleans how to cook.

  • For visual inspiration, even if you can’t afford anything, don’t forget culinary antique emporium Lucullus, 610 Chartres Street (504-528-9620). And Arnaud’s, 363 Bienville (504-523-5433, for fine dining and especially their café brulot.

  • Don’t forget: Elizabeth’s Restaurant in the Bywater! Known for brunch (praline bacon!), I think the dinner (and cocktails!) is amazing there too. Chef/owner Bryon Peck is great. Thank you for this. New Orleans is a wonderful city!

  • Let’s say I visit New Orleans. Maybe in the fall when it’s not so miserably humid. Let’s say I need to get my fiber fix (not the food variety). Where do I go to get yarn that reminds me of the cocktails imbibed, the cemeteries visited, the bayous photographed? Where do I go to meet knitters who have accents not often found in the Midwest, eat jambalaya on a regular basis, live in a parish? I need to pet and buy some yarns at a knitting/yarn shop in NoLa.

  • Compliments to Design Sponge readers. I have a shop in the French Quarter and customers that mention coming in because of Design Sponge are not only incredibly stylish and friendly, but also prove to be enthusiastic and savvy shoppers.

  • Ste. Marie is closed but the team, including the chef, are now operating Meauxbar in the quarter.