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Best Local Things to Do

GoNOLA Find: Five Stops at the French Market

The French Market (Photo: Paul Broussard)

The French Market District encompasses much of the French Quarter, featuring dozens of different vendors across the six block stretch. From Jackson Square to the Community Flea Market, the French Market is filled with hidden gems as well as neighborhood establishments, and is a must-stop on any visitor’s trip to New Orleans. Locals love it too – the French Market is a go-to place to find the finishing touches for a new home, or to visit on a beautiful day spent overlooking the Mississippi River. We recently took a trip to the French Market and rounded up five stops that everyone will enjoy.

Jackson Square looking toward St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Jackson Square

701 Decatur St.

This historic landmark is a focal point of the French Quarter located directly across from St. Louis Cathedral. Originally known as the “Place d’Armes,” Jackson Square commemorates Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans. Today, you’ll find it filled with artists, street performers, merchants, and lots of foot traffic. Atop the steps you’ll see gorgeous views of the Mississippi River one way and views looking into the French Quarter the other way. A favorite for both visitors and locals, Jackson Square is a must-stop on your list.

Beignets from Café du Monde (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Café du Monde

800 Decatur St.

Beignets are just one of New Orleans’ many food staples, but stopping in at Café du Monde in the French Market is an experience all in itself. Established in 1862, the no-frills coffee stand is still standing strong, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Enjoy the French-style doughnuts with a café au lait, iced coffee, or chocolate milk, and you’re ready to explore the rest of the French Market. Make sure to bring cash as this location is cash-only.

Artists line the streets of the French Market District (Photo: Zack Smith)

Dutch Alley Artists Co-op

912 N Peters St.

If you’d like to take a piece of New Orleans home, the Dutch Alley Artists Co-op is the place to go for unique, original artwork of all kinds. Tucked into the French Market, this gallery anchors the corridor known as Dutch Alley. You’ll find paintings, photography, sculptures, clothing, and other works of art inside the cooperative, which is managed and operated by the artists themselves. You can visit seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, and you might even meet one of the artists while you’re there.

Aunt Sally’s Pralines (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop

810 Decatur St.  

Once you’ve made it this far into the French Market, you deserve a treat. Another New Orleans staple is the praline, a sweet candy made with caramel and pecans. Choose from classic, creamy, or chewy depending on if you want a fudgier, crispier, or caramel-ier experience. Try flavors like chocolate, Bananas Foster, café au lait, and sugar and spice. You can also subscribe to Aunt Sally’s Praline of the Month Club that’ll last in between your trips to New Orleans.

Browse several different vendors at the Community Flea Market in the French Market (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Community Flea Market

98 French Market Pl.

When most think of the French Market, they think of the Community Flea Market that features dozens of unique food and craft vendors set in the iconic open-air market space in Dutch Alley. While the French Market reaches far beyond the flea market, it remains a quintessential part of the district. Jewelry, artwork, glassware, knick-knacks – you name it, you’ll find it in the Community Flea Market. Stop by from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to cap off your visit to the French Market District.

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