New Orleans has some of the best malls and chain stores around, but it’s the local shops and boutiques that give the city its alluring charm. Even just window shopping in New Orleans allows you to soak up the local flavor of a neighborhood, with its shops, restaurants, music, entertainment and overall ambiance.
Shop local (or hey, just window shop local) with our guide to New Orleans shopping:
Magazine Street Shopping
If you are a serious window shopper, Magazine Street is the place for you. You could spend days strolling down Magazine’s homey boutique facades, ogling at everything from wedding dress displays to antique rugs and quirky vintage t-shirts. But be warned, the displays are so enticing, you’ll probably end up wandering inside. And the best part? Magazine Street has coffee shops, restaurants, and bars on every block, for when you need to rejuvenate from all that shopping.
Stop by Dirty Coast for a “not-so-touristy” t-shirt, or discover the iconic NOLA charms at Mignon Faget. If it’s vintage and retro looks you love, Trashy Diva and Century Girl offer an inspired glimpse into the past, present and future of fashion.
Looking for the perfectly funky, handmade gift to bring back from New Orleans? Check out Miette, Kawaii Nola and UP / Unique Products for quirky one-of-kind gift ideas. For a stylish assortment of dresses, head to Hemline or Bella & Harlow.
New & Notable
Local favorite Plum recently moved its eclectic mix of gifts to a new location at 1914 Magazine Street, across the street from another new addition: Saint Claude Social Club merges jewelry, accessories, and vintage sourced from around the globe with a hangout space for ladies to socialize while they shop. A few blocks away lies Peony, offering a magical mix of clothing, gifts and curiosities for women. Peony also has a location just for kids next door to The French Library, a delightful children’s bookshop.
French Quarter Shopping
If antiques are your thing Royal Street is a must. And if you really want to immerse yourself in history, visit the Secret Room at M.S. Rau Antiques. Their collection of antique art and handcrafted pieces from world-famous artists will pique your curiosity (or maybe even blow your mind). We’re talking Monet, van Gogh, and other legends that you can usually only find in a museum.
For the ultimate “only in New Orleans” experience, you’ll want to stop by Fifi Mahony’s, which offers fantastical wigs and makeup year-round.
New & Notable
Tooth & Nail Trading Co.‘s new French Quarter location brings you the same rock and roll spirit as their Magazine Street shop, paired with goods from other local designers including Queen’s Metal, Small Change Finery and Passion Lilie. Nearby, Zèle French Quarter also offers a vast assortment of handmade work by local artisans.
Just steps outside of the French Quarter, you’ll still find plenty of opportunities for perusing local shops. The vibrant downtown neighborhood includes the CBD, Warehouse District and the new South Market District.
Your noggin need not be unadorned once you step into Meyer the Hatter. This expansive hat store is one of the largest and oldest in the nation: it’s been family owned since 1894.
One of the highlights of the vibrant new South Market District is Hattie Sparks, which won the hearts of locals for its hand-picked assortment of local, Southern, independent brands and artists.
New & Notable
If your style is more eclectic, you’ll find the most unique books, art, and home decor on Oak Street and in the surrounding Riverbend neighborhood. This off-the-beaten path area is one that locals love and tourists love to discover.
Maple Street Book Shop is a New Orleans institution. Located near Tulane and Loyola universities, this shop specializing in new, used and rare books has been serving the local community for more than fifty years. A few blocks away, jewelry and accessory designer Sarah Ott serves up locally made, New Orleans-inspired T-shirts, purses, jewelry, scarves and hats.
Over on Oak Street, treasure seekers will love the thrill of the hunt at GLUE Clothing Exchange and Blue Cypress Books. You should also stop by the gallery of world-famous New Orleans artist Frenchy. You may have seen some of his work as a regular artist of the official yearly New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival poster, or perhaps you’ll see him painting live at the Maple Leaf or a New Orleans festival.
New & Notable
Local designer Liz Maute Cooke opened her Oak Street location of Lionheart Prints earlier this year, specializing in hand-lettered greeting cards. She rounds out the selection with cute gifts, stationery and accessories.
Whether you’re visiting the Mid-City area for Jazz Fest or Voodoo Fest, or just curious to explore this favorite New Orleans neighborhood, there is plenty of unique shopping to be had while you’re here.
Who doesn’t love a good book store? Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop caters to gamers and geeks, with a healthy selection of local authors for good measure.
Music lovers and record collectors will want to check out Domino Sound Record Shack on Bayou Road which houses an eclectic mix of new and used records including jazz, rock, reggae, punk and world music. If you find yourself drawn to the esoteric arts, you should pay F&F Botanica and Candle Shop a visit. You’ll find the candles, oils, and incense to satisfy your spiritual side. Similarly, Rosalie Apothecary lifts your spirits with natural oils and herbal remedies.
Of course, the best way to get local in New Orleans is to meet the vendors themselves. You can find a farmer’s market or art market here on any day of the week. The French Market should be on everyone’s list — it’s been a huge part of our economy and culture since the city’s beginning.
The Frenchmen Art Market is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This non-traditional market opens only at night, every Thursday through Monday on Frenchmen Street. You can chat with the artists and buy their NOLA-inspired work before you hit the music clubs on Frenchmen to get your fix of live jazz.
Little Flea NOLA is a biweekly market typically held in Sophie B. Wright Park in the Lower Garden District on Sundays — vintage treasures and local crafts are just a small sampling of their selection.
New & Notable
The creators of Frenchmen Art Market recently opened a second location earlier this year in the trendy St. Claude Avenue district. Dubbed The Art Garage, this former auto body shop has been transformed into a late night cultural haven for the artistically inclined.
Shopping for Friends and Family (or yourself)
The opportunities are endless in this city, and there are so many amazing places to choose from it’s overwhelming! To help you experience all that NOLA has to offer, we’ve put together a few more guides to get you started:
- New Orleans Shopping: 5 Stores for Men’s Clothing
- New Orleans Shopping: 5 Stores for Kids and Babies
- New Orleans Shopping: 5 Stores for Women’s Clothing & Accessories
- New Orleans Shopping: 5+ Stores for Home Goods and More
- New Orleans Bookstores
- New Orleans Shops, 24/7
P.S. If you really want to get up close and personal with our vendors, we encourage you to meet their pets…