Today I bring you the New Orleans French Quarter Guide- a primer in food, drink, shopping, and language lessons. In a matter of weeks, thousands will descend upon New Orleans for THREE major interior design events- KBIS, Vision and BlogTourNOLA. If you are attending one of them, you may have booked your flights and hotel but are perhaps now wondering where to go and where to eat. Fear not, no worries of falling in to the jaws of a tourist trap if you are a first timer to the Crescent City. Note: today’s post is just on the French Quarter. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on other areas of New Orleans- there is PLENTY to do so plan to pace yourself.
The map is key and many places are already on it (some not mentioned in text) for your convenience so don’t overlook it. I have linked all restaurants and bars mentioned for those of you who are anxious to explore menus or make reservations. (all above photos via Courtney Price Design EXCEPT for the shark attack photo, via Eddie Wilson, who will never, EVER, be accused of being a “fun-dodger”…)
French Quarter Shopping Highlights:
Animal Art Antiques- Find this charming shop!!! Only a block away from Cafe du Monde, a block away from Jackson square. A must for animal lovers, majolica collectors. This famous store always has one of a kind treasures from European shopping adventures. Antiques, art and new.
Lucullus- Culinary Antiques. Yes, KBIS & BlogTourNOLA attendees, kitchen antiques just for you!
MSRau- Famous New Orleans Antique store, with a presence in NYC. Jewels, art, antiques…
Lots of great stores along Royal Street and Chartres … See map above
photo courtesy of Windsor Court Hotel
Again, photos courtesy of Betsy Minetree Khashoggi, a recent stylish visitor to NOLA who knows how to enjoy the city (thank you Betsy!).
French Quarter Food a Local would recommend:
French Quarter Cocktails:
So you won’t feel like you are in a foreign country, allow me to decode a few things in advance…
NOLA: Short for- New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy- same, see above
Directions: There is no West, East, North, or South in New Orleans. We head uptown, downtown, lakeside and riverside. And anywhere the music is. (to anybody who knows me personally, this IS my excuse for not having a sense of direction.)
Laissez les bons temps roules! (less-say lay bon tonh roo-lay): Let the good times roll~
New Orleans: Pronounced noo aw-lins or new or-lins or new or-lee-yuns, but not new orleens. Unless referring to the street or the parish of or-leens. Or when you’re singing. Confused yet? Just stick with new or-lins.
Street Names: We’ve got some strange pronunciation. A sample:
- Burgundy (bur-gun-dee)
- Melpomene (mel-puh-meen)
- Tchoupitoulas (chop-ih-too-liss)
Vieux Carré (vyeuh kah-ray): Literally, “Old Square” or “Old Quarter,” it refers to the French Quarter. Before it was “Old,” “French,” or a “Quarter” of any kind, the area was just the “Ville,” the entire city of New Orleans. Today, its 90 city blocks hold about 2,700 European and Creole-style buildings, most with a long and fascinating history.
Yat: A local denizen. Or local slang for saying hello. Named for the Ninth Ward greeting, “Where y’at?”
Neutral Ground- not a therapy term. It’s the median where you wait for the street car. Which currently costs $1.25 FYI.
Open Container Laws- Yes, it is legal to walk around with a cocktail in hand. Only in New Orleans…
That’s all for today, stay tuned for more to come on New Orleans (say it right…) … Any questions yet?