Another weekend trip! This time it’s a New Orleans weekend. New Orleans is a eaters and drinkers paradise. The food is immensely flavorful and the bars don’t close here so your inner 22 year old can go wild in NOLA.
Luckily for us, there are direct flights out of Austin to NOLA and it’s a short hour and 20 minutes to fly into New Orleans for the weekend. So we hopped and skipped from work and yay! we’re in the French Quarter by 4pm. We checked into our Airbnb, right off of Bourbon Street. In my old college days, I spent the majority of my time in New Orleans on Bourbon St. But this trip would be decidedly different. We were ravenous when we landed so we wanted to check out the famed Acme Oyster House. The line was out the door and around the corner. So we decided to skip…we went to Bourbon House and it was definitely catered to tourists, however we still really enjoyed our meal! The chargrilled oysters…so on point! Definitely use the bread to soak up all the extra yumminess!
To officially start off the New Orleans weekend, we checked out the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. Such a cute atmosphere but drinks were quite pricey and no longer any seats at the actual bar. So we took the obligatory photo and went over to Pat O’Briens. The dueling piano bar here is super fun and they have the classic Hurricane as well as other drinks. Tip: they always serve their drinks in souvenir glasses which they’ll happily pack for you on your way out. If you’re like me and don’t like to take a lot of souvenirs home, especially glassware, you can also get $3 back if you return the glass on your way out. Make sure to keep your receipt for this!
Next on the itinerary: coffee and beignets at Café du Monde near Jackson Square. For about $6, you’ll get coffee and a heaping stack of hot fried dough covered in mountains of powdered sugar. Mmmm
Next, check out the local artists displays around Jackson Square and walk towards the Frenchmen Street bars. On the way, we saw a bunch of ghost/vampire/witch tours and you probably will too. New Orleans is an awesomely historic city and if any place has ghosts, it would be here. Frenchmen is a good 20 minutes away, but you’ll know when you hit it. It’s lined with bars filled with fun live music.
We opted to start the night at the R Bar, a wonderful place with an eclectic DJ, a pool table, and yummy frozen drinks. Next we hit up Bar Tonique where we ended the night as well.
We started the day with brunch at Surrey’s Café and Juice Bar on Magazine Street. The shrimp and grits here is divine. We walked around and stumbled upon a cute card shop, and made our way over to the Ace Hotel New Orleans for a coffee at Stumptown.
After a nap, (wow this is shaping up to sound like a super lazy trip!), we headed out for dinner and drinks. After some light browsing in the art galleries on Royal, we ended up with some more chargrilled oysters at Mr. Ed’s. Sleepy from food, we headed to Bourbon (our only time on Bourbon this trip!) and got a frozen hand grenade – a concoction of sugar and Everclear it seems… – from one of the Tropical Isle bars.
We wanted to try Mimi’s but it was a bit too chill for our vibe by the time we got there, about a 30 minute walk from Bourbon. However, the bouncer there grew up in a small town next to my hometown in New Jersey! Small world.
We walked a short few blocks to Kajun’s, a super fun dive-y karaoke spot, and sang our songs. Whenever, wherever, la la laaa…
At this point, I was pretty done with Cajun food. So we hopped in a Lyft and got some Thai food at Sukho Thai. The Duck Pad Kee Mao was so good! Next up was coffee at French Truck coffee. By 3pm I finally seemed ready to start the day…
We walked the shops around Royal, there’s some really cute stuff here! Got a drink at the Ace Hotel rooftop, and then hopped over to a place I’ve been wanting to try all weekend: Bacchanal
This place was adorable! When you first go in, it looks like a little wine shop where you can pick our your wine, a cheese plate, or continue onto the back patio where there’s a full bar upstairs. We opted for the latter option and got some drinks and snacks at the bar. The grilled peaches with mascarpone and a mezcal cocktail was the PERFECT ending to a wonderfully chill New Orleans weekend trip. Oh, and did I mention that Bacchanal has live jazz every night? Amazing.
What I didn’t do this New Orleans weekend:
- Bourbon Street – famous for it’s bars and party scene, this is not to miss if it’s your first New Orleans weekend. We found that just walking it in the daytime was enough though
- NOMA – New Orleans Museum of Modern Art – we got lazy, but this would have been super cool
- Swamp Tours – I can’t really believe I’ve been to New Orleans like 5 times and STILL haven’t done this