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GoNOLA Top 5: New Orleans Mother’s Day Gifts

The best Mother’s Day gifts found in New Orleans at local shops guaranteed to delight any mom, whatever their taste or style may be.

There are a lot of ways to show your mama some love this Mother’s Day – but there’s no better way to show her you care than by adding a lil’ New Orleans flare to her special day. So whether you’re looking for an all-day experience or just the perfect place to swing by for a last minute, mother-approved present, look no further – here are our top five picks for Mother’s Day gifts in New Orleans.

1. For the Cook

John Besh's "My New Orleans" (Photo courtesy of Nola.com)

Obviously your mom already has it goin’ on in the kitchen, right? But even master chefs need a few refreshers every now and again, and what better place to revamp those skills than under the watchful direction of some of New Orleans’ top chefs? Sign mom up for a class at the New Orleans Cooking Experience (1519 Carondelet St., 504-430-5274), where she’ll learn full courses of New Orleans deliciousness from local culinary gods such as Poppy Tooker and Frank Brigsten. Can’t get mom down to New Orleans for the big day? Not a problem – bring a little New Orleans back to her kitchen by giving her a cookbook penned by some of NOLA’s greatest chefs. My personal top picks? Both of Chef John Besh’s cookbooks – “My New Orleans: The Cookbook” and “My Family Table” – are as beautiful to look at as they are fun to cook from. And “Cooking Up A Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans” is a veritable anthology of NOLA cooking, as documented through the years of New Orleans’ hometown newspaper. Garden District Book Shop (2727 Prytania St., 504-895-2266) has an amazing selection of local cookbooks – and they’re conveniently right off the St. Charles streetcar line.

Who knows? Maybe she’ll thank you with a home cooked meal!

2. For the Domestic Goddess

Hazelnut - a great place to grab a gift for mom!

It’s no secret that New Orleans has great shopping – from small local boutiques to amazing antique stores, it’s impossible not to find new treasures that you absolutely must have in your home or closet. Two of my favorite no-brainers for last minute presents for mom? Orient Expressed (3905 Magazine St., 504-899-3060) and Hazelnut New Orleans (5515 Magazine St., 504-891-2424), both located along Uptown’s Magazine Street. Both specialize in wonderfully unique home goods, with Orient Expressed also offering jewelry, handbags and other accessories. Pick mom up one of their signature New Orleans-designed serving platters, or perhaps one of Hazelnut’s exclusive New Orleans toile designs. Is mom simply looking for a little inspiration? Grab a copy of Hazelnut owner Bryan Batt’s “Big Easy Style” about the beauty of New Orleans interiors.

3. For the Wine and Cocktail Enthusiast

St. Jame's cheese selection (Photo courtesy of NewOrleansOnline.com)

Sometimes a lady just needs to unwind over a glass of vino – and there’s nothing wrong with that! Why not make it an educational experience by treating mom to a wine tasting class at St. James Cheese Company (5004 Prytania St., 504-899-4737)? If mom can’t make it down for a class, then there’s no reason why she can’t mix up some NOLA-inspired concoctions on her own home turf. Send her a copy of Ti Martin’s “In The Land of Cocktails” – a liquid “cookbook” that is as filled with drink recipes as it is family stories from one of New Orleans’ most established restaurant families, the Brennans. Throw in a box of French macaroons or chocolates from local confectioner Sucre (3025 Magazine St., 504-520-8311) for good measure, and you’ll be good to go!

4. For the Art Lover

New Orleans has so much to offer to art enthusiasts – so why not treat mom to a day of gallery and museum hopping? Hop on the Canal Street Streetcar and venture out to the New Orleans Museum of Art (1 Collins C. Diboll Circle in City Park, 504-658-4100), or stick to downtown with a visit to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (925 Camp St., 504-539-9600). Prefer to check out galleries instead? Head to Julia Street in the Warehouse/Arts District, Royal Street in the French Quarter or Uptown’s Magazine Street – all three are lined with independent galleries brimming with absolutely amazing artwork!

5. For the Music Lover

Irma Thomas headlines Audubon Zoo's annual Mother's Day Celebration, this Sunday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Photo courtesy of nola.com)

Sing mom’s praises the best possible way – to the tune of some amazing New Orleans music. Head up to Audubon Zoo to catch Grammy Award Winner Irma Thomas’ annual Mothers Day Celebration (moms get in free!), or treat mom to a Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 504-899-8221) or Arnaud’s (813 Bienville St., 504- 523-5433). Or swing by Preservation Hall (726 St. Peter Street, 504-522-2841) or Snug Harbor (626 Frenchmen St., 504-949-0696) for some live music. Keep the music alive by gifting her with the ultimate New Orleans music collection – “Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: The Big Ol’ Box of New Orleans” – a four-disc box-set jam packed with all the tunes she’ll need to relive the best Mother’s Day ever!

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