Best Desserts Near the Place d’Armes Hotel

Bananas Foster

New Orleans has a sweet tooth 24/7, from the first sugar-dusted beignets at  Cafe Du Monde to the last Grasshopper at Tujague’s, which invented the frothy green nightcap in 1918. But the real stars of the show are the city’s iconic desserts, all within blocks of the Place d’Armes Hotel. Even if you think you can’t eat another bite after dinner, who can resist the divine decadence of bread pudding, bananas Foster or a creamy praline?


813 Bienville St.

There are infinite variations of New Orleans bread pudding, but this oldest continuing operating family-owned restaurant in New Orleans (since 1840) offers a bread pudding that’s a must-try. Made with Leidenheimer French bread, it’s rich, creamy, laced with cinnamon and raisins, and served slathered with a hot buttered rum sauce.


417 Royal St.

All roads lead to Brennan’s when it comes to bananas Foster, which was invented by the family-owned restaurant in 1951. An outrageously rich sauce tops bananas and vanilla ice cream, swirling dark rum and banana liqueur into a roux of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. The best part? It’s prepared tableside by your server as a spectacular flambé.

Southern Candymakers

334 Decatur St.

Got a hankering for something sweet as you wend your way back to the Place d’Armes? Southern Candymakers has you covered. Made fresh daily in small batches, the award-winning pralines are the marquee attraction; try a piece hot off the slab for a slice of heaven. You’ll also find a bounty of tortues, toffees and other confections, gaily wrapped in gift boxes to take back home.

Remember, you can walk to all these places from your hotel! Take advantage of Place d’Armes specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous French Quarter cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

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.

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

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 the 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.

Prix Fixe 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 $24 lunch specials include a choice of appetizers like coconut shrimp bisque and equally renowned entrees like Gulf fish.

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 of oyster shooters with vodka and hot sauce and you’re all set for the day.

Burgers at Port of Call

838 Esplanade Ave.

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 Fodor’s, 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, there are dozens of choices. Seafood lovers gravitate to the classic 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 $20 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.

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

Classic New Orleans Dinner Dishes

New Orleans boasts a bounty of iconic foods, from po-boys and muffuletta 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 (Bayona’s menu is seasonal and subject to change).

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 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.

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.) or the Gumbo Shop (630 St. Peter St.).

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

Cool New Orleans Souvenirs for Kids

Photo by L. Allen Brewer

“Please, mom, can you buy me that?” Whether you’re visiting New Orleans with the kids in tow, or shopping for souvenirs for young ones back home, you’ll find a wealth of cool options in the Quarter for kids of all ages that are fun for parents, too.

Kids’ Clothes, Books & Accessories

If you’re looking for a one-stop shop, Nola Kids (333 Chartres St.) has you covered. It stocks a vast array of kids’ clothing with New Orleans motifs, like “Rollin’ with My Krewe” t-shirts, and plenty of Who Dat Saints gear for young football fans.

You’ll find sparkly tutus, body glitter, monster costumes for youngsters who love dressing up for Mardi Gras any old day, and a whole menagerie of animal plushies (including a mosquito!). The well-stocked library of books ranges from popular local classics (Cajun Night Before Christmas) to popular titles no kid could resist, while imaginative accessories include unicorn slippers, fancifully mismatched Story Time Knee Socks, and backpacks with butterfly wings.

Voodoo Dolls & Talismans

Voodoo casts a spell over the Quarter many visitors can’t resist, and kids are just as intrigued by the occult arts as grownups. Tourist shops abound with inexpensive voodoo dolls, but Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo (739 Bourbon St.) stocks the real deal. Handcrafted with Spanish moss and other natural elements, House of Voodoo dolls are specifically created for positive effects that help make dreams come true.

You’ll also find tiny Guatemalan worry dolls that take worries away at night when youngsters tuck them under their pillow, and kid-pleasing talismans like good-luck painted chicken feet and Turkish Evil Eye charms that ward off bad spirits. Sister store Reverend Zombie’s House of Voodoo (723 St. Peter St.) sells the same products.

Gators, Masks & Beads

The open-air shed at the historic French Market (1008 N. Peters St.), which dates back to 1791, is the best go-to spot for popular New Orleans souvenirs like feathered masks and boas, novelty gators of every sort, and a seemingly infinite supply of Mardi Gras beads of all varieties.

The price is always right. If you give the kids $20 to spend, they can score a whole lot of stuff. Immediately adjacent to the souvenir stalls in the shed is an open-air flea market, where local artists and crafters sell some cool handmade products that actually are made in New Orleans. Open daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Toys, Games & Books

Two bright red toy soldiers stand guard outside the door of the Little Toy Shop (513 St. Ann St.), a family-owned store that’s catered to kids for over 60 years. Chock full of all manner of toys, from old standbys like spinning tops and rubber duckies to classic toy soldiers and miniatures, Little Toy Shop also stocks a slew of branded lunch boxes and plenty of New Orleans-themed kids’ books like The Runaway Beignet. Games range from chess sets with dragon-themed pieces to several variations of Rubik’s Cube-style puzzlers.

Looking for something more artisanal? Idea Factory (924 Royal St.) makes delightfully creative toys handcrafted from wood, including Pinocchio and dinosaur marionettes, wooden cars and trains, and a polished-wood snake made of interlocking pieces.

Year-Round Christmas Shopping

Most kids wish Christmas came every day. Well, in New Orleans, it does! Get a jump on the season at Santa’s Quarters (1025 Decatur St.), which specializes in high-end ornaments like Christopher Radko’s hand-blown creations. The kids will likely have more fun checking out the glittery gators and guys-with-fish-tails ornaments just down the street at Merry Christmas & All That Jazz (820 Decatur St.).

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.