New Orleans is an explorer’s playground, with classic haunts and hidden gems seemingly around every corner. Here are some of our favorites:
This Mid-City hot spot is tops for po-boys and just a short walk from the Canal Streetcar line. A local favorite for over a century, with outdoor seating galore – including the banks of nearby Bayou St. John, which is perfect for an impromptu picnic on a beautiful spring day.
We love the golden fried shrimp po-boy and the roast beef po-boy with gravy, but don’t worry if you can’t decide – their famous “Surf and Turf” po-boy includes both! Just don’t forget to order a side of sweet potato fries with that. Closed Tuesdays.
Marigny Opera House
Yes, Solange (Beyonce’s sister) got married here, but this beautiful old church has also been lovingly restored and converted into a performance venue for one of the area’s only locally-run, award-winning professional ballet companies. You can also join the locals here on Sunday evenings for live musical meditation.
A mecca for music lovers, Preservation Hall fills its 200-year-old walls with multiple live music performances from some of the finest traditional jazz musicians in the world, seven nights a week. It’s truly a transformative experience. Be sure to get in line early or buy “Big Shot” VIP tickets in advance for reserved seating.
Music Box Village
A hidden gem on the edge of the artist-friendly Bywater neighborhood, this hands-on music and art installation features beautiful giant sculptures that make strange music and ethereal sounds, much to the delight of everyone who interacts with them. It’s also a great space for live performances, with scheduled evening shows throughout the year and occasional unannounced gigs by big name visiting artists who can’t wait to get their hands on these amazing contraptions.
This diverse hyper-local New Orleans neighborhood has it all – a wide range of incredible restaurants, watering holes from funky to upscale, City Park, Bayou St. John, and a beautiful new greenway + bike path for endless outdoor options, plus eclectic, locally-owned shops, and a local pride that is palpable.
Perhaps one of the most-photographed alleys in New Orleans, if not the country, Pirates Alley is one of those magical spots that could only exist here. You’ll find the typical tourist-friendly businesses like gelato shops and a cozy themed bar serving absinthe, alongside William Faulkner’s former residence that’s now a haven for writers and book collectors from around the world and been described as America’s most charming bookstore.
Fat Falafel / 1000 Figs
Once a highly sought-after food truck, you’ll find the Fat Falafel catering special events and parties (if you’re lucky), but you can enjoy their killer Mediterranean cuisine Tuesdays – Saturdays at their cozy, beloved Mid-City restaurant, 1000 Figs.