Earlier this year, my BFF and I decided to meet in New Orleans for a weekend of girls-only eating, adventuring, and—of course—cocktailing. She flew in from NYC, I from San Francisco, and we arrived in NOLA ready for a long weekend of catching up and exploring the city together.
If you’ve never been to NOLA, you’ll quickly discover that it’s probably one of the most charming, cultured and interesting cities in the U.S. Full of tradition and nostalgia, the city culminates into this amazing metropolis where historic buildings and creole cooking are juxtaposed against trendy cocktail bars and innovative restaurants. One second you’re sauntering down Royal Street in the French Quarter, and the next you’re perusing your way through a hipster marketplace in mid-city. It feels both packed with stories from centuries past, and begging for new stories to be created by tourists and locals alike.
First, the food: unreal. I am not exaggerating when I say we were consuming something edible approximately 80% of the time we were in New Orleans. On the last day, we had about 2 hours to kill before heading the airport, and so we scarfed down muffulettas and pimento cheese sandwiches at Cochon Butcher, then proceeded to Johnny’s for shrimp po-boys directly afterwards—and mind you, we had already stuffed our faces that morning on biscuits and doughnuts for breakfast at District Donuts. I don’t think either of us ate for 48 hours after we got back to our respective cities. That’s NOLA in a nutshell.
Second, the cocktails. We visited many gems, but I think my favorites were Cane & Table and Seaworthy. Cane & Table has a tiki bent, with really innovative and interesting cocktails. The vibe is hip and sleek, bright and airy, located in the heart of the French Quarter. Seaworthy is in the CBD, and is darker, more speakeasy-esque, with tiny tables and kind waiters. Both are cozy and inviting, and spots you won’t want to tear yourself away from at the end of the night.
When you can’t eat or drink anything else (I’m not familiar with this phenomenon, but maybe you are), there’s so much to do in NOLA—we took a bike ride through the Garden District, rode the street cars through the city, and even ventured out on a swamp tour (so cool!). I already can’t wait to go back.
Ready to hop on a plane? Download my cocktail guide to New Orleans before you go!