I usually get asked by friends where to go when visiting New Orleans. The easiest thing to do was to break New Orleans into sections and list my favorite places in each area. These are my favorites, I am sure most locals will have their own opinions, and they will let you know.
Douche Bag Central at Night, however there are some great places. Try to get out before 10 pm.
La Fitte’s Blacksmith Shop / Bar - Oldest Bar in the United States. Lit by candles, except the Jukebox, just like the 1800s.
Old Absinthe House (Bar) - Get a Sazarec, you can attribute 75% of your next day hang over to it.
Sylvain (Food) My favorite place to eat in the quarter. They take reservations, and I would make one, because they fill up fast.
Coops (Food) Hole in wall bar atmosphere: Crab Claws are amazing as well as the fried chicken and Jambalaya. They used to have a Cat that lived in the Bar, but I think it died. It had no tail.
Molly’s on the Market (Bar) – Next to Coops, best Bloody Mary in New Orleans, the secret is a splash of Guinness.
Bar Tonique (Bar) - If you’re a mixologist go here. Take a Cab there and back, don’t walk. Also, if you refer to yourself as a mixologist, your a moron.
Stanley - My favorite breakfast place in the Quarter.
Crescent City Cigar Shop - Great place to hang out and smoke a cigar.
Central Business District (This is Poydras, Canal, and the Super Dome Area)
Capdeville (Food)– This is my Cheers, Try the Mac and Cheese and the Rebel Yell.
Dragos (Food) – Charbroiled Oysters, get a dozen as the main meal and don’t share.
Emeril’s Delmonico (Food) – My Favorite overall Nola Restaurant.
Couchon (Food) - High Class Barbecue. James Beard Finalist Chef.
Frenchmen Street / Marigny / Bywater
If you want Jazz, live here.
Blue Nile (Music) - Jazz Club
The Spotted Cat (Music) - Jazz Club
dba – (Music) Music Club. Try to sit in the fish bowl in the front. Great people watching.
Bacchanal - (Wine Bar) If you like wine, go here.
The Joint - (Food) - Best BBQ in Nola.
Suko Thai - (Food) - My Favorite Thai place in Nola.
Liuzzuas by the Track - (Food) – Best Gumbo in New Orleans. Near the track.
Mandina’s – (Food) Get the Turtle Soup.
New Orleans Fair Grounds (Horses) - You need a collared shirt.
From the CBD to Audubon Park, take the Street Car, it’s worth it. Upper and Lower Garden District
Jacques-Imos – (Food)
St. Joes Bar (Bar) – Best Mojito in Nola.
Franky and Johnnys - Great Seafood.
Dos Jefes - This is a Cigar Bar, but the Cigars are an afterthought. You can usually find great music at night and my friend Ernie swears a Porno was filmed here in the 1980s.
Commander’s Palace ( Food) - Classy Restaurant. A wonder dining experience. 25cent Martinis during lunch.
Traceys - It is the old Parasols, even though Parasol is still around. Its a New Orleans thing. This is my hangout, best Roast Beef Po-Boy in the World.
The Bulldog - Best Beer selection in New Orleans. Like most Nola bars extremely Dog Friendly.
The Rum House - Caribbean styled food, the Tacos are Amazing.
Scheduled Events (Check to make sure)
Cajun Fais Do Do – Tipitinas Cajun Dancing and Music. Older Crowd.
Helen Gillet – Bacchanal – Jazz and Wine at a chill place.
Rebirth Brass Band - Maple Leaf Bar (Lower Garden District) (Lower Garden District)
Walter Wolfman - dba -
Kermitt Ruffins at Vaughans Lounge - Take a cab, it will change your life.
Dirty Coast - Great New Orleans T Shirt shop. Get a shirt here, not Bourbon Street.
Chalmette Battlefield - Last major battle of the war of 1812, which was fought after the War was over. Take the Creole Queen from Jackson Brewery. Make sure you buy the buffet with your ticket. The food is crap but they have a keg of Abita Purple Haze. You get a great trip down the Mississippi and about an hour or two to view the battlefield.
The National World War II Museum - I used to work here, its world class. Watch the video in the Forbes Theatre, its worth it. It will probably take you the whole day, have lunch at The American Sector.
St. Charles Street Car - For $1.25 each way you will get a great view on New Orleans.
United Cab Company - There is no uber in New Orleans and I have found United to be the most reliable and friendliest. However, I have never been offered to smoke pot in a United Cab. which is quite common in some of the other ones.
New Orleans Murder Map - New Orleans is a wonderful place but it is also very dangerous. I have had multiple friends mugged, robbed, and pistol whipped in the French Quarter. Don't go to an ATM at night, these are usually staked out, travel in packs, take Cabs and be careful.