Where do I start? Well, three nights in New Orleans is both nowhere near enough time, and more than enough time. Bars don’t really close and you can put your drinks in go-cups, so you find yourself partying like you would in Vegas but NOLA has one million times the charm in the daytime and some of the best food in the world, I could’ve stayed two more days easy. Was this my first time to NOLA, no…but the last time I was there it was 1999, I was 18, and that was obviously pre-Katrina. My mom chaperoned our Junior Olympics Volleyball tournament, we stayed right off of Bourbon Street, and besides playing volleyball we just drank frozen drinks, much to my coaches dismay and went on a bayou gator tour. I remember LOVING it, because, well, duh, it’s magical, but also I was 18 and they let me drink! What kid wouldn’t love this place?!
This time is different, I’m an adult, with a bank account and foodie friends. We stayed in Bywater, which is a controversial (because of gentrification) place to stay, not far from the 9th Ward, like Mississippi Ave in Portland but the gentrification wounds are much fresher. We were walking distance from some great places like N7, Elizabeth’s, Satsuma, and Pizza Delicious to name a few. Our Airbnb was cute, nothing too fancy, your typical shotgun-style house popular in New Orleans.
I got in late our first night but ready to go, I was on West Coast time. So we hit the town Wednesday night around 1 am, technically Thursday morning. Our first stop was Vaughn’s which we heard was a staple and it was cool. #Protip if taking a weekend trip I’d start your weekend Thursday or Friday and stay until Sunday. Wednesday was dead everywhere. Vaughn’s was cool, we got Dixies and talked to some locals that told us what to check out, then we wandered over to J & J’s which was more of a sports bar, then to Big Daddy’s where we ended up realizing we were starving, the bartender there told us to get food at Buffa’s, yet another dive, and by the time we got done eating we were spent.
Waking up the next day we had heard nothing but good reviews of Turkey & the Wolf. So we went and we were not disappointed. It won Bon Appetite’s restaurant of the year, and while perhaps we were a bit perplexed by that award we agreed it was REALLY good. Fried pot pie with slow cooked chicken, cabbage salad, wedge salad, deviled eggs with fried chicken skins, and the most delicious collard green melt I've ever head (also the only one I've ever had.) After that, we caught the streetcar (which you can't not do, so fun especially on a hot day) up to Magazine street and wandered around until dinner. We wandered into some great shops all close to each other in the Canal/Garden District. DNO (Defend New Orleans) was especially cool and worth checking out.
After that it was Parasol’s, a place known for their po' boys, but we were too stuffed to try them. We got some frozen Irish coffee’s and chatted with an amazing woman who had been living in New Orleans for 25+ years and before we knew it, it was dinner time. We were heading to a place called Marjie’s which all of our restaurant industry local friends had told us was the best Thai in NOLA. It also didn’t disappoint. All the flavors were wonderful, I might venture to say it was as good as Pok Pok if not better. After that it was French Quarter time. A place called Cane & Table which for lack of a better description was a high-end tiki bar. We also made our way to R bar, which also had one of the hipper vibes in the area. Before we knew it it was 4 am and we were at Verdi mart eating po-boys on what we would lovingly refer to as our stop since we ended back on it the next night as well, eating another shrimp po-boy, oh boy!
First things first on day two we grabbed a coffee at Solo Espresso, another cute place walking distance from our place. Who serves Black Panther coffee, and if you’ve read my review of Miami you’ll know that it’s a Miami roaster, Black Panther. After that called a Lyft to take us strait to the NOMA. This is something I wouldn’t miss if it’s your first time in NOLA. The sculpture garden at NOMA is so fun AND FREE! They had pieces by _____
After that we waited in line for fried chicken Willie Mae's.
Just a few more pics below of the vibe of the place around Halloween...Courtney and I already have plans to go back next Halloween, this time with all of our girlfriends!