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Food & Drink

Happy Birthday, New Orleans! Here’s How to Celebrate

Antoine's Baked Alaska (Photo: Justen Williams)

New Orleans was “born” on May 7, 1718 by the French Mississippi Company, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. The city was named after Philippe d’Orléans, Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of France at the time. Despite turning 297, New Orleans is looking better than ever; festivals, music, arts, and award-winning restaurants keep her young at heart.

Antoine’s Baked Alaska (Photo: Justen Williams)

Although it’s not quite the big 3-0-0, there is still much to celebrate for New Orleans’ 297th year: we, for one, are tucking in to Baked Alaska and cheers-ing in her honor. But what about your own day of birth? Here are some tips on how to celebrate your birthday NOLA-style.

Take the Cake

What is a birthday without some cake? No need to settle for sheet cake in NOLA (though we won’t judge if it’s your favorite).

Gambino’s Bakery: Doberge Cake

Originally adapted from a Hungarian recipe, this decadent, six-layer cake is filled with creamy custard and finished with a buttercream topping.

Antoine’s Restaurant: Baked Alaska

One of the more showy and extravagant desserts for your big day is the famous Baked Alaska. Flambeed to perfection, this pound cake is filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with personalized egg white meringue.

Pure Cake: Cake Pops

For those that enjoy their dessert on the run, these delicious cake pops are a sweet and portable treat that come in a variety of flavors.

La Boulangerie: Galette de Rois

If you are lucky enough to have a birthday between Jan. 6th (Twelfth Night) and Mardi Gras Day, you have your choice of king cake to make yourself feel like royalty. Go a bit more traditional with a French king cakes, a Galette de Rois, a flaky pastry filled with sweet almond paste.

Pie Day

Cakes are often a staple at birthdays, but pies are not to be forgotten, especially with kinds like bacon-bourbon apple pie from Noodle & Pie or a classically Southern pecan pie from Tee-Eva’s.

Location, Location, Location

Our city is filled to the brim with fun and festive locations to throw a birthday bash.

Fulton Alley: Upscale Fun

A more modern and upscale twist on an old favorite: bowling. Book a private party or lane and enjoy craft food and drink while knocking down those pins. Those bowling shoes look good on you.

Bacchanal: Casual and Relaxed

Unwind in a casual backyard atmosphere at this lovely Bywater staple. Eat, drink, and take in some tunes by local musicians.

Carousel Bar: An Old Favorite Spin

What other place can you find perfectly crafted cocktails and a rotating bar? Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this favorite of locals and tourists alike also has live jazz music Wednesday through Saturdays.

Shamrock: Bring out the Kid in You

Come with a competitive spirit at this game mecca. Shoot pool, throw darts and more while you celebrate turning 21 again, for the 9th time.

Windsor Court Hotel: High Tea

Originated during the 1800s in England, this elegant service features an extensive list of fine teas, fine sandwiches, and delightful string music to whisk you away to another time.

Make it extra special:

Toast another year on the planet with a supremely crafted cocktail at Arnaud’s French 75 bar.

Get outside and enjoy a lovely picnic.

Eat beignets at Cafe du Monde for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack (they’re open 24 hours).

Put on those dancing shoes and shimmy out on the dance floor at or take a dance class!

Would you rather sing than be sung to for your big day? Hit up one of the many karaoke bars in town.

On a budget? Don’t forget about the great happy hour spots around the city.

Spend the day being active outdoors – there is so much to do outside in New Orleans. Plus, you’ll work off that cake…

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