Classic New Orleans Dinner Dishes

New Orleans boasts a bounty of iconic foods, from po-boys and muffaletta sandwiches to hot-out-the-pot boiled crawfish. Many of the items on local appetizer menus, like shrimp remoulade and gumbo, can be a meal in themselves, and some of the city’s tastiest treats are classic desserts like bananas foster and bread pudding.

That said, when dinner rolls around, the stars of the menu are the main course entrees. Here are some New Orleans classics you don’t want to miss. Pro tip: You get more bang for your buck if you order these dishes at lunch.

Barbeque Shrimp

Don’t let the name fool you. This rich melt-in-your-mouth dish has nothing to do with grills or traditional BBQ sauce. It’s spicy in-the-shell shrimp, sauteed in Worcestershire, garlic, and a positively decadent (and delicious) amount of butter. To sample it at the source, head uptown to Pascal’s Manale Restaurant (1838 Napoleon Avenue), where the dish was invented. Mr. B’s Bistro (201 Royal St.) in the Quarter also makes an excellent version, while Bayona (430 Dauphine St.) ups the decadence ante by serving its barbeque shrimp with cheese grits.

Softshell Crabs

Softshell crabs, a seasonal delicacy available from May through September, have recently molted their hard outer shells and make for delicious eating. Usually deep-fried, they are sometimes used in po-boys, but also star as an entree on many menus. Widely available throughout the Quarter, the softshells at GW Fins (808 Bienville St.) get especially high marks for their crispiness.

Crawfish Étouffée

The French word étouffée (pronounced eh-too-fey) means “smothered,” and this spicy seafood stew, made with shrimp as well as crawfish, is a traditional Creole/Cajun favorite. World-famous Galatoire’s (209 Bourbon St.) serves a classic shrimp étouffée over rice as an entree and, like many other restaurants, also offers it as an add-on topping over fish. Yum! Don’t want to put on a jacket for dinner, which Galatoire’s dress code for men requires? Some of the city’s best crawfish étouffée is found at the casual eatery Deanie’s (841 Bienville St.).

Gulf Coast Fish

Any New Orleans restaurant worth its salt features the catch of the day on its menu, and fresh Gulf Coast fish, served grilled or fried, are local staples. For the biggest selection, head to Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill (115 Bourbon St.), which serves grouper, pompano, swordfish and snapper, in addition to its namesake swimmer. But the award-winning Peche (800 Magazine St.) in the Warehouse District is rightly famous for its whole grilled fish, which is big enough to serve a whole table of seafood lovers.

Blackened Chicken

Blackened fish gets more press, but blackened chicken, its Cajun cousin, is just as delicious. Pierre Maspero’s (440 Chartres St.), housed in a historic building where Jean Lafitte once plotted his escape, serves its blackened chicken two ways: with blackened jambalaya and tossed with a creamy alfredo pasta. Fans of the dish also swear by K-Paul’s (416 Chartres), where the moist blackened bird pairs well with the restaurant’s side of dark, smoky jambalaya.

Shrimp Creole

 One of the first dishes that comes to mind when visitors think of New Orleans cuisine, shrimp Creole is a staple on many local menus. Try the traditional version of this savory tomato-based dish at New Orleans Creole Cookery (508 Toulouse St.). For a nouveau twist on an old favorite, head to Brennan’s (417 Royal St.) for the Shrimp Creole Kimchi, served with house-made Korean kimchi and “forbidden rice.”

Must-See Museums In and Near the French Quarter

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Whether you’re an art lover, history buff, or music fan, or just want to learn more about the city’s rich culture, New Orleans is home to many fascinating museums, from the sprawling National World War II Museum to tiny jewels like the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Many of the best are within easy walking distance in the Quarter, or in the nearby Arts District and Treme.

National World War II Museum (945 Magazine St.)

Designated by Congress as “America’s National World War II Museum,” this sprawling complex with five soaring pavilions tells the story of the globe-spanning war that changed the world through the experiences of the men and women who lived through it. Four main halls transport visitors into the Pacific and European Theaters, the D-Day Invasion, and The Home Front. You can also submerge yourself in an immersive submarine experience, and see, hear, and feel the immensity of the war in the epic 4D movie Beyond All Boundaries, narrated by Tom Hanks.

Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp St.)

Founded by a passionate group of Louisiana artists who wanted to expand the concept of art beyond work that hangs on the walls, the CAC is a hub of creative activity, from large-scale visual art exhibitions to music, dance, and theatre performances. A winding circular ramp, with a central atrium for hanging installations, connects several levels of gallery spaces. The first Saturday in August, the CAC also serves as ground zero for the Arts District’s annual White Linen Night, when it hosts a lively afterparty.

Ogden Museum of Contemporary Art (925 Camp St.)

Home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art, the Ogden’s permanent collection of more than 4,000 pieces from 15 states dates back to 1733, and ranges from traditional folk art to cutting edge contemporary art and photography. It mounts new exhibits throughout the year, and also hosts the lively Ogden After Hours, a weekly showcase of musical artists from Louisiana and around the South.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (514 Chartres St.)

How did New Orleanians cure what ailed them back in the 19th century? This unique museum holds some clues. Built in 1823 for Louis Dufilho, America’s first licensed pharmacy, it showcases oft-questionable medical practices that proliferated in the mid-1800s, when opium was as common as aspirin and voodoo potions shared shelf space with patent medicines. Hundreds of artifacts include hand-blown apothecary bottles, old prosthetics devices and antique wheelchairs.

The Cabildo 701 Chartres St.

Built under Spanish rule between 1795 and 1799, the Cabildo served as the site for the transfer ceremonies that finalized the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, and houses three floors of historic paintings, documents and objects. We Love You, New Orleans!, a new exhibit commemorating the city’s 300th anniversary, showcases quintessentially New Orleans artifacts including Sidney Bechet’s trumpet, Mardi Gras Indian suits, and memorabilia from Pontchartrain Park.

New Orleans Jazz Museum (400 Esplanade Ave.)

Housed in the Old US Mint near the lively Frenchmen St. music corridor, the New Orleans Jazz Museum celebrates jazz in the city where it was born. Its collection of 25,000+ instruments, recordings, photographs, printed sheet music and other musical ephemera is the largest in the world, but it’s not just a shrine to the past. The NOJM also produces 15+ music festivals and over 365 live concerts throughout the year, where history continues to be made today.

Backstreet Cultural Museum (1116 Henriette Delille)

Second-line parades, Mardi Gras Indians, and countless world-class musicians emerged from the creative cauldron of Treme, one of the oldest African-American neighborhoods in the country. The museum houses an extensive collection of historic photographs and a rich trove of artifacts like second-line umbrellas and elaborately beaded Mardi Gras Indian costumes. BCM also hosts regular music and dance performances and serves as a Mardi Gras gathering spot for Indians, Baby Dolls, and Skull & Bones gangs, who wake the town up on Mardi Gras Day.

French Quarter for History Buffs

If you’re staying at the Place d’Armes Hotel, in the heart of the Quarter, you’re already immersed in history. You’re just steps away from Jackson Square, the Cabildo and the iconic St. Louis Cathedral, and even strolling around informally, you’ll discover storied landmarks just about anywhere you go. But true history buffs like to dig deeper, and there are plenty of places to do that in a city as aware of its living past as New Orleans.

The Historic New Orleans Collection (533 Royal St. & 520 Royal St.)

Dedicated to preserving local history, art and culture, the Historic New Orleans Collection offers a vast trove of materials for both amateur history buffs and academic researchers. The main 533 Royal St. campus presents free rotating exhibits on subjects ranging from “Storyville: Madams and Music” to “African Heritage of New Orleans,” while a new expansion across the street houses a continuing exhibition of French Quarter history and hands-on installations that make the past come alive. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the Williams Residence, an 1889 Italianate townhouse restored by HNOC founders General L. Kemper and Leila Williams.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park French Quarter Visitors Center (419 Decatur St.)

The notorious pirate Jean Lafitte left a big footprint in and around New Orleans, from the wetlands of Barataria Preserve to Chalmette Battlefield, where legend has it Lafitte helped General Andrew Jackson win the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Jean Lafitte’s French Quarter Visitor Center is filled with maps, photos and interactive exhibits that tell the story of the Mississippi River delta Lafitte once called home. Want to learn more? Park rangers and volunteers offer a free history talk at 9:30 a.m. from Tuesday through Saturday.

Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses

Take a step back in time at these two 19th century architectural gems, which were restored to their original glory and are filled with period paintings, decorative fixtures, objets d’art and furniture, many of which are original to the homes. Built in 1831, the Hermann-Grima House (820 St. Louis St.) served as a boarding house for unchaperoned working women from 1925 until the mid-’60s, when restoration began. Home to renowned New Orleans architect James Gallier, Jr. and his family, Gallier House (1132 Royal St.) dates back to 1857 and was restored using Gallier Jr.’s own floor plans and original house inventory. Both homes are open daily as museums and offer guided tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which visitors can book online. Admission is $15 for one museum or $25 for both.

New Orleans Music & Heritage Tour

Keith Abel’s unique aural-visual walking tour taps more than three centuries of music in New Orleans and uses a Bluetooth speaker to provide a soundtrack for the city’s many musical landmarks. Tapping his vast knowledge of local lore, Abel leads you from the boyhood home of brass band pioneer Danny Barke to J&M studios, the birthplace of rock and roll, to the Royal Orlean Hotel where rock stars like Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead partied in the 1960s. Learn about, and listen to, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Deacon John, and many more iconic artists. Tours run two hours, cost $25/person, and leave three times a day from the Louisiana Music Factory (421 Frenchmen St.). Call or book online to reserve your space.

Best Edible Souvenirs in the French Quarter

Photo courtesy of Leah’s Pralines on Facebook

You can have your cake and eat it too in New Orleans. Visit Cafe Du Monde (800 Decatur St.) to dip sugar-dusted beignets in cafe au lait, then take both treats home in a Beignet Mix & Coffee gift pack. Many of the city’s distinctive Creole and Cajun flavors and spices also make terrific edible souvenirs to pack in your suitcase. Just be sure to carefully wrap and stash any liquids and sauces in your checked baggage, not your TSA-screened carry-on.

Spicy Louisiana Hot Sauces

Many visitors got their first taste of Louisiana in a bottle of Tabasco sauce, which is widely distributed in stores and restaurants nationwide. Get it from the source at the Tabasco Country Store (537 St. Ann St.), where you can buy the brand’s entire line of fiery brews, along with location-specific products and cool Tabasco-branded gear. But while Tabasco may be king, it’s hardly the only game in town. Hundreds of hot sauce variations line the shelves of shops in the six-block French Market District, ranging from merely zesty to radioactive mouth bombs.

Zatarain’s New-Orleans-In-A-Box Mixes

Born in New Orleans, Zatarain’s has been “keeping it real” since 1889 by packaging the flavors of the Crescent City in boxes of all-natural ingredients you can prepare at home. Widely available in local supermarkets and tourist shops, box mixes for classic Louisiana dishes like Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Red Beans & Rice are made with real vegetables and parboiled long grain rice and spiced just the way locals like it. Pick up some Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil seasoning while you’re at it, which jazzes up all kinds of dishes.

Rich & Bold New Orleans Coffees

Cafe du Monde’s chicory-laced coffee may be iconic, but it’s hardly the only game in town. French Truck Cafe (217 Chartres St.) offers a wide range of packaged coffees, from local favorites like La Belle Noir and Premium New Orleans Dark Roast to exotic imports like Kenya Kiriga Estates and Ethiopia Kossa Geshe. And Rouse’s Market (701 Royal St.) is a one-stop shop for popular local brands like French Market Coffee and Community Coffee, which makes a rich, full-bodied Dark Roast Blend, along with fanciful flavor spinoffs like (yes, really) Mardi Gras King Cake.

Sweet & Creamy New Orleans Pralines

New Orleans has no shortage of signature sweets, from bread pudding to sno-balls. But nothing is more iconic (or more portable) than the city’s perennially popular pralines, a creamy concoction of butter, evaporated milk, locally grown pecans and a ton of sugar. Southern Candymakers (334 Decatur St.) has won multiple awards for their exquisite small-batch pralines, sealed to ship fresh the day they’re made. Aunt Sally’s Original Pralines (810 Decatur), a Quarter staple since 1935, boasts the city’s most decadent praline: Creole triple chocolate. And the family-owned Leah’s Pralines (714 St. Louis St.), which stirs its pralines by hand in a giant copper kettle, also makes a mean bacon pecan brittle.

Crunchy Zapp’s Potato Chips

Potato chips may be generic everywhere else. Not in Louisiana, where the locals swear by Zapp’s. Made in Cajun country and widely available at every supermarket and drugstore, Zapp’s chips come in multiple flavors, each of which has diehard fans. Heatseekers reach for Voodoo, Hotter ‘N Hot Jalapenos or Spicy Cajun Crawtators, while other Zapp’s lovers swear by smoky Mesquite Bar-B-Que or tangy Cajun Dills. And don’t overlook Regular Flavor, the thin, salty crunch that started it all.

Music is in the Air at New Orleans Summer Festivals

trumpet players New Orleans

Jam out to great local bands and renowned musical artists in New Orleans this summer at one of the many exciting events coming up. Both visitors to the city and the locals will come together to participate in a number of unique celebrations and summer festivals that span across the city. Here’s what’s on tap for the upcoming summer months.

Enjoy Music Like Never Before

Music has been an integral part of New Orleans history, culture and customs. It comes as no surprise that people come from near and far to experience the unique music scene in this culturally diverse city. This summer, you will have the opportunity to hear outstanding live music at a number of the local festivals.

ESSENCE Festival, taking place July 5-7 over the Independence Day weekend, will be returning this year for its 25th anniversary to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the nightly concerts, plus there will be a packed schedule of free daytime events at the Convention Center, including motivational seminars, beauty and style presentations, celebrity interviews, cooking demos, and lots more. Michelle Obama, Brandy, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Nas, and Pharrell Williams are all scheduled to make an appearance.

The traditional Sunday Gospel Celebration at the Convention center will feature the greatest gospel hits, and ESSENCE After Dark, a series of late-night jam sessions, comedy shows, underground performances, live podcast recordings, and more, is returning to the Superdome.

Since ESSENCE is so much more than music, a slew of exciting conferences, exhibitions, roundtables, and other experiences is also scheduled, including a series of keynotes with Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, and Pharrell Williams. The Beauty Carnival and Wellness House experiences will bring beauty influencers and wellness experts to the stage, and the celebrated ESSENCE Eats will once again have cooking demos and the food court with the vendors from all over the South.

Another music festival of note is Satchmo SummerFest (August 2-4), which started over a decade ago as a tribute to Louis Armstrong on his 100th birthday. The three-day festival is held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint at the foot of Esplanade Avenue., and will have music all weekend on its two outdoor, tented stages. Other events will include a Sunday morning Jazz Mass at the historic St. Augustine Church in Tremé, seminars and film screenings, kid’s activities, and a second-line parade on Sunday.

More Exciting New Orleans Summer Festivals

 Bastille Day Fête at the New Orleans Museum of Art (June 12-14) brings French flair to New Orleans with an exciting lineup of local musicians and French cuisine. Also, check out the Bastille Day block party on Saturday, July 13, in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street in the city’s historic Faubourg St. John neighborhood adjacent to Esplanade Avenue. Live music and kid-friendly events abound, while dozens of local vendors present their food and drinks, many with a French flavor.

If cocktails are your thing, be sure to check out Tales of the Cocktail (July 16-21), a six-day festival full of special events, tastings and seminars — all geared towards sharing ideas and techniques of cocktail-making. The official drink of the festival this year is the Highball, and the Spirited Dinner series will feature special cocktail and food menus at restaurants across the city. The festival’s signature annual blowout, the “best of” Spirited Awards, will be held on Saturday, July 20, followed by the always-popular after-party.

The fun doesn’t stop there, of course. The White Linen Night (Saturday, August 3), its cheeky cousin Dirty Linen Night (Saturday, August 10), the Red Dress Run (also on Saturday, August 10), Southern Decadence (August 29 – September 2), and the monthlong COOLinary will all be making their way to New Orleans this August.

Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans on August 23-25, except the “bulls” are the Big Easy Rollergirls. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans pays annual homage to the world-famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, running through the CBD starting at the Sugar Mill on Saturday, July 13. Check out the schedule on the event’s website for the annual opening and closing parties happening that weekend.

Finding A New Orleans Hotel Close to It All

Planning a trip to New Orleans this summer? Book your reservation today with Place D’Armes Hotel! Just minutes from exciting summer festivals, events, restaurants, shops, bars, and more, the Place D’Armes is ideally located in the heart of the city, the historic French Quarter.

Feel the Thrill at Running of the Bulls in New Orleans

Experience the thrill of a lifetime at this year’s Running of the Bulls (San Fermin in Nueva Orleans) festival, a unique spin on the traditional event that takes place in Pamplona, Spain. We think it’s safe to say New Orleans’ version is a lot less dangerous — and maybe even more fun!

On the weekend of July 12-14, the runners and the “bulls” will come from all over to partake in this exciting festival that involves runners who wear all white with the exception of a red piece of cloth, running from the bulls, who are actually the Big Easy Rollergirls with wiffle ball bats.

Running of the Bulls takes place in the Central Business District in downtown New Orleans, and features a number of delicious local restaurants, food carts, and drinks for you to consume while you are out in the streets defending yourself from the ruthless bulls. On the day of the run, Saturday, July 13, the fun starts as early as 6:30 a.m., centering around the Sugar Mill (1021 Convention Center Blvd.). Live music, sangria and food trucks will help get the party started, and, after the Procession of San Fermin (Pamplona’s patron saint) and the Invocation, the run begins at 8 a.m. sharp.

Running of the Bulls is not just meant for the runners and the bulls to enjoy — spectators are more than welcome to this public event. And there will be plenty to see, as the bulls will be chasing after the slowest runners first, whacking them with wiffle ball bats. (This part is similar to the traditional Spanish festival, minus the actual goring from the live bulls.) While many of these feisty bulls will be sporting black and red horns and various accouterments, you will have the chance to see some wild and ornate costumes from both bulls and runners. This is New Orleans, after all.

The route begins and ends at the Sugar Mills, and the run will end around 11:30 a.m. A live music show back at the Sugar Mill will follow. After that, you can attend the traditional La Fiesta de Pantalones, held this year at the Rusty Nail (1100 Constance St.) starting at 11:30 a.m., or just stick around to join the other revelers to partake in some downtown bar-crawling.

Also, don’t miss the festivals opening and closing parties. The opening party takes place on Friday, July 12, at the Sugar Mill, from 5 to 9 p.m. Called El Txupinazo (and pronounced “el choo-pin-AHT-so”), it features a live auction, music, and food from some of the top local restaurants, including Atchafalaya, Commander’s Palace and Sobou.

The Ernest Hemingway-themed closing party, called El Pobre de Mi (“Poor Me”), will wrap things up on Sunday, July 14, at Lula Restaurant Distillery (1532 St. Charles Ave.), 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This will be your chance to recover from the run with burlesque, cocktails, and a Papa Hemingway look-alike contest.

Don’t miss your chance to participate in a unique New Orleans experience! Grab your festival tickets today, and reserve your spot at the Place D’Armes Hotel, conveniently located in the New Orleans French Quarter.

Essence Festival Is Much More Than Music

Summer is here, and now is the perfect time to travel to new places and embark on exciting adventures with friends and family. If you are going to be in the great city of New Orleans this summer, come enjoy an epic weekend of entertainment, music, food, beauty, and more at the ESSENCE Festival.

ESSENCE traditionally takes place in New Orleans over the Independence Day weekend (July 4-7). Over the four days, the event will be held mostly at the two New Orleans venues: the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the evening performances and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the daytime activities. Some of the daytime events like the conferences and the exhibits will also be held at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), and the new Wellness House experience will be held in the Arts District downtown at the Lighthouse Glass Gallery (743 Camp St.).

Photo courtesy of Essence Festival on Facebook

Soak in the Music

Essence Festival is a music lover’s dream, and this year’s lineup includes many acclaimed musical artists with chart-topping hits. You will have the chance to see live performances from renowned musical artists like Brandy, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Big Freedia, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and many more.

The traditional Sunday Gospel Celebration at the Convention center will feature the greatest gospel hits, and admission is free. ESSENCE After Dark, a series of late-night jam sessions, comedy shows, underground performances, live podcast recordings, and more, will again be held at the Superdome.

Conferences, Keynotes, and Experiences

The festival has a lot more than just music. A slew of exciting conferences, exhibitions, roundtables, and other experiences is also scheduled, including a series of keynotes with Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, and Pharrell Williams. One of the highlights of this year’s keynote events is the chance to see Michelle Obama on the Superdome mainstage on Saturday, July 6, as she’ll talk about her bestselling memoir, Becoming.

The Beauty Carnival and Wellness House experiences will feature celebrity beauty influencers and wellness experts, and the always popular ESSENCE Eats will once again have cooking demos and the food court with the vendors from all over the South, including a wide range of classic New Orleans food, world cuisine, vegan and vegetarian fare, desserts, and beyond.

Get Your Tickets Today

You can get your tickets a la carte (for the evening concerts at the Superdome and for the ESSENCE After Dark) or in bundled day and VIP packages. The headliners sell out fast, so don’t wait till the last minute! All events held at the Convention Center during the day are free and open to all (registration is required for everyone age 18 or older, however).

Stay Close to the Excitement in a Historic French Quarter Hotel

 Place D’Armes Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, just minutes from a multitude of local restaurants and bars, landmarks, and various destinations, including the Superdome and the Convention Center. Place D’Armes gives you that old New Orleans charm without sacrificing any of the modern day conveniences and amenities. Book your stay with us today!

Classic Lunches that Define New Orleans Near Place d’Armes

New Orleanians love to eat, and so do the visitors who flock here. While dinner is the star of the culinary show, a host of classic New Orleans foods pop up at lunchtime. Gourmands can enjoy a long, leisurely lunch at some of the Quarter’s fanciest restaurants for a fraction of what they’d pay for dinner, or pick up a tasty lunch to go at a grocery store or po-boy shop. Try something different every day to experience the full spectrum of the city’s moveable feast.

 Muffulettas at Central Grocery (923 Decatur St.)

Sicilian immigrants have been a linchpin of New Orleans food culture since they first arrived in the city. Founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, Central Grocery gave birth to the most iconic Sicilian food of all: the muffuletta. Made with in-house sliced meats and cheeses, heaped with Central Grocery’s famous olive salad and sandwiched inside homemade sesame-seeded bread, muffulettas are guaranteed to satisfy your lunchtime cravings.

 25-Cent Martini Lunch at Antoine’s (513 Royal St.)

Founded in 1840, New Orleans’ oldest restaurant offers one of the city’s best lunch bargains in an elegant historic environment. Seasonal $20 lunch specials include a choice of famous Antoine’s appetizers like artichoke soup and equally renowned entrees like crawfish étouffée, plus strawberry angel food cake or pecan bread pudding for dessert. Keep the conversation lively with several rounds of Antoine’s 25-cent martinis, which practically demand a long, leisurely lunch.

 Charbroiled Oysters at Acme Oyster House (724 Iberville St)

Visitors love to belly up to the oyster bar at the Acme, where entertaining staff members make time fly while you feast on fresh raw oysters. But save enough room for must-have charbroiled oysters! Jazz it all up with a couple oyster shooters with vodka and hot sauce and you’re all set for the day.

Burgers at Port of Call (838 Esplanade Avenue)

There’s a reason why you always see a line of hungry people waiting outside Port of Call. Its signature burgers have been hailed as New Orleans’ best by everyone from Zagat’s to Citysearch, while its signature cocktails are infamously strong. The menu description of Neptune’s Monsoon says it all: “An old recipe used frequently as a last request by pirates condemned to walk the plank.”

Po-Boys at Johnny’s Po-boys (511 St. Louis St.)

Looking for a real deal old school New Orleans po-boy joint? Local favorite Johnny’s delivers and, like Port of Call, is worth the wait. Heaped high on Leidenheimer’s, the only true po-boy French bread, are five classic choices. Seafood lovers gravitate to fried shrimp and fried oysters, but the roast beef po-boy is also one of the city’s best, and laden with gravy debris.

Gumbo at Restaurant R’evolution (777 Bienville St.)

Gumbo is on the menu all over town, but one of the most memorable versions is found at R’evolution, an elegant nouveau cuisine restaurant that puts a unique spin on classic Cajun and Creole cooking. The seafood gumbo is a solid choice, but cognoscenti head straight for “Death by Gumbo,” which is worth every cent of its hefty $18 price. Steeped in a dark roux, its centerpiece whole semi-boneless quail is stuffed with smoked Andouille sausage, file rice and poached oysters. Overkill? Sure. But death never tasted this delicious.

French Quarter Transportation Options for Place d’Armes Hotel Guests

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

There’s plenty to see on foot in the Quarter, and clip-clopping through its streets in a mule-drawn carriage is très romantique. But there’s so much more to New Orleans than the 78 square blocks that comprise the city’s historic heart.

Make the most of your trip to New Orleans by sightseeing on City Sightseeing’s Hop-On Hop-Off buses, riding one of its legendary streetcars, or hiring a human-powered pedicab that can get you to that dinner reservation much faster than you could hoof it.

City Sightseeing’s Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

With multiple 18 stops all over town, and great combo packages with walking tours and harbor cruises, Hop-on Hop-Off bus tours from City Sightseeing New Orleans give you the most bang for your buck and lets you explore New Orleans at your own pace.

City sightseeing tours start at $39 for a one-day pass, but the best deal is the three-day pass ($49), which includes two free walking tours in the Quarter and the Garden District. Sit on the upper deck for the best views, and listen to savvy guides explain exactly what you’re seeing. You can even venture beyond New Orleans’ boundaries by booking tours that visit Louisiana’s swamps and bayous, or Oak Alley Plantation.

 Royal Carriages (700 Decatur St.)

The king of mule-drawn carriage tours, Royal Carriages was named Louisiana’s #1 attraction of 2018 by the Louisiana Travel Association. Enjoy an impromptu 30-minute ride by hiring one of the carriages parked in Jackson Square, or book a one-hour tour online ($40/person).

Need a Ride New Orleans Pedicabs (1025 Bienville St., Suite 3)

Recently introduced to the bicycle-friendly streets of New Orleans, pedicabs are a clean, green way to get around town. NOLA Pedicabs’ motto is “we pedal to please,” and they can take you wherever you want to go, whether it’s the Fairgrounds during Jazz Fest or a Saints game at the Dome. Need a Ride serves the Quarter, CBD, the Arts District and Faubourg Marigny. Both companies employ savvy seasoned bicyclists who know their way around town.


 A streetcar named Desire hasn’t rattled through the streets of New Orleans since 1948, when many of the old neighborhood lines were replaced by diesel buses. But the historic St. Charles line never stopped rolling, and several new lines have been added that make streetcars the most charming, and most economical, way to explore the city.

Quarter visitors can hop the St. Charles line at the corner of Canal and Carondelet, go through the CBD and Garden District and continue uptown past the stately St. Charles mansions. The Riverfront line is a fun way to see the Mississippi, and connects to the Canal St. line, which runs all the way to City Park. The fully air-conditioned Rampart/St. Claude streetcar, the network’s newest addition, runs along the rear of the Quarter on Rampart St. to Elysian Fields and St. Claude, near several lively Marigny music spots.

Streetcars run 24/7, and cost just $1.25 per ride, plus $.25 per transfer. (Exact change only, please.) Visitors can also buy a variety of Jazzy streetcar passes good for designated periods of time. Check the RTA pass info page for details.


 Everyone knows about Uber and Lyft, which function the same way in New Orleans as they do in any city. You can also go old school and hire a taxi, still the preferred form of motorized transportation for many New Orleanians. There are a number of local cab companies, but the biggest and most reliable is United Cab.

All New Orleans cabs take credit cards, and have the same set fee schedules. Travel to and from the airport is $33, plus $14 per passenger for more than two people. Cab rides within the city cost $3.50 plus $2 per mile, or $.25 for every 40 seconds of stuck-in-traffic waiting time, with an extra $1 charge per additional passenger.

Staying Fit in the French Quarter While on Vacation

The French Quarter is full of temptations, from the rich dishes to decadent desserts and drinks. You can eat whatever you want and still maintain your exercise regimen when you’re in town with our tips below.

Take a Guided or Self-Guided Walking Tour

City sightseeing bus tours from Hop-On Hop-Off New Orleans come with a major bonus: the unlimited 3-day package ($49) includes two free walking tours. Guided French Quarter tours depart daily from Jackson Square every hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can also hop on the bus and hop off at the Garden District, where you can take an escorted tour of the neighborhood or a self-guided tour of Lafayette Cemetery #1. You see more on foot, and burn calories, too.

 Rent a Bike and See the Sights

Many locals get around town on bikes and you can too, seeing all the sights along the way. Book a three-hour bike tour with Flambeaux Tours ($45/person) or Freewheelin’ Bike Tours ($49/person). Both companies offer a variety of routes through different neighborhoods, led by experienced guides.

 Burn Fat While Getting Funky

Shake you body while burning off some fat! Move Ya Brass offers two free weekly classes on the Mandeville Wharf: Move Ya Brass (Tuesday, 5:45) and Twerk Ya Brass (Thursday, 5:45).

Practice Yoga in Historic Surroundings

You can practice yoga anywhere. But here in the Quarter, you can breathe, stretch and strike classic poses in one of the city’s most historic buildings. Yoga at the Cabildo is held in a light-filled gallery hung with flags from all the countries that once raised their flags over New Orleans. Hour-long classes every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. cost $15.