From the pretty French Quarter to the hip Marigny district, each of New Orleans’ neighbourhoods jive to their own funky beat – learn all about them with our in-the-know guide.
The charming, walkable Quarter is full of step-back in-time architecture and venerable dining institutions that speak to its status as New Orleans’ oldest neighbourhood, but it’s also home to exciting, new foodie spots…
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For more than a hundred years, Galatoire’s has been serving trout meuniere (trout with a flour-based sauce), soufflé potatoes and champagne to the New Orleans elite in its mirrored, tiled dining room. The French 75 bar at Arnaud’s, has an eccentric museum of vintage Mardi Gras costumes hidden upstairs.
Built in 1886, the Hotel Monteleone breathes old New Orleans character, from its elegant Beaux Arts architecture to its many reported ghost sightings.
Preservation Hall faithfully presents traditional jazz each night, just like when it was launched in 1961, with musicians who were there when the genre was born in the early twentieth century. Expect intimate, late-night concerts with contemporary artists like Elvis Costello and Angelique Kidjo.
Just downriver of the French Quarter, the bohemian Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods have become a centre for hip, laid-back art, music and cuisine.
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Grab a bottle at tiny, jewel-like wine shop Bacchanal, then drink it in the expansive, magically lit garden where live bands provide the soundtrack. In New Orleans, there are gigs 365 nights of the year meaning your toes will always be kept tapping. A block from the Press Street train tracks in Bywater, the aptly named Junction features Louisana’s finest craft brews and gourmet burgers.
The cute Balcony Guest House oozes Creole charm with its pretty characterful rooms. Its eponymous balcony provides a wonderful vantage point to admire the area’s rainbow-coloured tiny ‘shotgun’ houses, and see Marigny’s creative types ambling through the streets.
At Euclid Records and the Louisiana Music Factory, stock up on sounds to remember your visit to the cradle of American music. Crescent Park runs for two miles on the edge of Marigny and Bywater, and has breathtaking river vistas, as well as running and biking paths.
A few blocks uptown of the French Quarter, this neighbourhood is packed with galleries, plus stylish hotels and restaurants.
The latest from celeb chef John Besh’s team is Willa Jean, an expansive, corner space specializing in delectable bakery items, and brunch accompanied by lemony frozen rosé. Grab a seat on the raw bar at the award-winning Peche, for the best seafood in the Gulf. In 2016, New Orleans had the most James Beard award nominees per capita over any American city, so come hungry.
The old Roosevelt Hotel epitomises grandeur, with a Guerlain spa and its historic Blue Room, where Louis Armstrong once performed.
Stop by the Ogden Museum and browse its collection of contemporary and classic Southern art. On Thursday nights, local musicians play in its soaring atrium. The National World War Two Museum houses an extraordinary multimedia collection dedicated to telling the story of the conflict that shaped the twentieth century.
UPTOWN AND THE GARDEN DISTRICT
Live oaks and magnolias provide lush natural canopies over some of the city’s most impressive architecture
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The relatively new Freret Street cultural district is home to a handful of laid-back, innovative bars and restaurants, from the home-style Southern cooking at High Hat Café to next-level cocktails at Cure. Hidden away on a residential street, Clancy’s where generations have enjoyed fried oysters with Brie and lemon icebox pie.
The Avenue Plaza Resort, is home to locals’ favourite Mr. John’s Steakhouse which serves up prime beef just steps away from oak-lined St. Charles Avenue, where streetcars rumble by.
Tipitina’s, founded in the 1970s to give rhythm-and-blues piano man Professor Longhair a place to play, brings in both major touring bands and local luminaries. Magazine Street offers brilliant shopping for miles, including handcrafted jewellery inspired by the history of South Louisiana at Mignon Faget’s