Planning my first NOLA visit, what to do?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jrthebassguy, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Despite being not too far away (relatively speaking), I've never been to New Orleans in my 27 years on this planet. That will change three weeks from now - me and three friends are booking a hotel near the French Quarter.

    I want some help with:

    1. FOOD! I'm a big foodie and I want to experience some authentic cajun food or anything else done well in New Orleans. What's the best place for gumbo?

    2. Favorite bars! A place with routinely good music (regardless of genre) is great, but places that are just fun hangouts are great too.

    3. Neat places to visit? I don't mind super touristy things as long as it's fun. I'm a big history buff, so historical landmarks of note are great.

    4. Anything else you think is great in NOLA.

    Also, just as important, what are areas to AVOID? I mean this both in a sense of "Hey, that's a lame tourist destination you can skip" and also that I know New Orleans has some seriously crime ridden areas, so I'd prefer to avoid those too.

    Thanks for the advice, TB bros. :bassist:
  2. adivin


    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    Check out Frenchmen St. See who's playing at Tipitina's uptown.
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    1. FOOD! Get the hell out of the French Quarter. While there is some decent food there (Antoine's, Galatoire's, etc.), you'll find the best stuff spread out all over the city. If you want fancy, Commander's Palace is a treat, and if you'd like something more down to earth check out Ignatius and Crabby Jack's (my fav place for po-boys).

    2. Favorite bars! The Maple Leaf is great both for live music and as a good bar, but they do charge a small cover. Frenchmen St. has plenty of (usually) local original music, but it's changed a lot over the past 5 years and is turning into a bit of a tourist destination. Slightly off the beaten path is Kajun's Pub (great bar, not huge on music), the Hi-Ho (lots of weird interesting music), and Siberia (more punk rock and metal stuff). For just-a-bar stuff, I dig Saturn Bar, Banks St. Bar, and The Saint for divey locals-only kind of stuff.

    3. Neat places to visit? Everywhere, really - but again, get out of the French Quarter! The swamp tours are touristy, but still really cool, as are the graveyards. I tend to hang out a lot in City Park and Audubon Park to soak up some sunshine. But just as long as you've got two functioning legs, you'll never be at a loss of cool things to look at.

    4. Anything else you think is great in NOLA. No matter what time of year, there's probably a festival, parade, and/or second line going on. Do some research and find out what's going on where, and GO.

    Also, just as important, what are areas to AVOID? You have to walk down Bourbon St. once, just to see what the fuss is all about, then get the [expletive] out of there.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Right next door to the Maple Leaf is a fantastic restaurant called Jocomo's (sp.

    Take a cab there, it's a rough neighborhood.

    Actually lots of NOLA neighborhoods are best avoided. The locals can tell you which ones to stay out of.

    For a real interesting experience, head out to Rock'n'Bowl. yes, it's a combination bowling alley and music club.
  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Not true - Oak St. is rather nice these days. I live only three blocks from Jacques-Imo's, and it's quite pleasant.

    As for neighborhoods to avoid because of crime, well - ALL of them. Even the nicest, most expensive homes are only blocks away from the poorest neighborhoods, so crime don't have any real boundaries here. Sure, there are some spots that are more crime ridden than others, but that's only a matter of feet, not miles away from nice places. I oftentimes hang out in the so-called "rough" neighborhoods, and most of the people there are law-abiding, friendly folk. The bad guys exist everywhere, so don't avoid a particular spot just because you heard bad things. Do we have a crime problem? Absolutely. Just keep your head about you and don't look like a tourist (a.k.a. victim).
  6. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    My wife & I went to NOLA a year before Katrina hit, and the most fun we had was oyster bar-hopping: Nearly every restaurant there offers fresh raw local oysters on the half shell -- which we happen to love -- and because they're locally fished (or farmed) they're unbelievably affordable. (We actually did the math and it would be cheaper for us to fly from NYC to NOLA and spend two nights oyster bar-hopping than it would be for us to go oyster bar-hopping here in Manhattan!) Probably wound up consuming five or six dozen that night. Pure extacy.
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Oscars has great fried oysters.

    The Court Of the Two Sisters is kinda fancy, but the food is incredible.

    Go to the Erin Rose in the morning for awesome bloody Mary's. (They don't have a kitchen, but the drinks are cheap and strong) Hang out for a while and talk to the locals who stop in as they get off work. Buy Jack the bar tender a Jager Bomb, and relax.

    I love that place!
  8. Unprofessional


    Mar 5, 2012
    Ride the trolley cars.

    On the Lee Circle trolley stop:
    Confederate Memorial Hall
    National World War II Museum

    On Jackson Square:
    The Cabildo-Louisiana State Museum
  9. find any concert featuring down, crowbar, eyehategod, or phil and the illegals
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If Big Al Carson is playing, make sure you catch his show!
  11. ArtGuy9516


    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    Go to Cafe Du Mond have some coffee and Bignets.