As a first timer, I was completely blown away by New Orleans. If you followed me on IG, you already know that I basically ate my way through the neighborhoods..
While spirits tend to be the focus, I found a plethora of wine shops, bars, and amazing lists throughout the city.
The food was spectacular and I'm thankful I was able to consume 5 days of meals in this magical city. Read on..
WHERE I STAYED
The Ace Hotel New Orleans was perfect for my sister and I. Whether we were rooftop-poolside chillin or downstairs listening to live reggae in the intimate lobby venue, our stay was simply amazing. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and offer a super cool vibe. With a cocktail shaker in the room, (accompanied by a mixing guide), a sweet sound system and an extra-large bath, it's clear this place caters to a fun, young-ish crowd. Great staff, food, drinks, and restaurants, I literally have zero complaints. Come to think of it, I can't complain about any of the 4 Ace Hotels I've had the pleasure of staying at. Killing the game, guys.
RESTAURANTS and WINE BARS
There's so much great food in New Orleans, it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed. I'm so lucky that a few of my friends sent me recommendations and I didn't steer far from their lists. Here are my personal favorites, most out of the French Quarter.
Bacchanal (wine shop/bar) Located a bit out, in an area I'd consider the Brooklyn of NOLA, this combo joint is perfect for any wine lover. Buy a bottle, drink it on the patio while you order up some snacks and listen to live music, OR take a few to go. I did both.
Tableau is an upscale joint with phenomenal seafood gumbo and a creative take on a French 75.
Peche Seafood was the perfect spot to split a whole fish with 2 others. Very cool vibes.
Willa Jean for a mimosa filled brunch, in this bright, large space that's also great for to-go, fresh juices and coffee. I had the avocado toast and salmon tartine, both were great.
Toups Meatery is a meat-lovers dream. We enjoyed a fantastic elk, duck, chicken liver mousse, by this seriously talented chef in a quiet part of town.
Compere Lapin is located inside the lovely No 77 hotel. This dreamy Caribbean spot is known for their curried goat and jerk fish. Both were great, along with the ambiance and cocktails.
Lula restaurant and distillery is the laid-back spot for American-eque plates in a very fun part of town, just across from the Casino if you're feelin lucky.. I thought I was.
Shaya is a fantastic lunch/brunch spot with Israeli fare like lamb ragout hummus and chicken schnitzel. This place is family friendly and majorly award winning, rightfully so.
Bayou Wine Garden was the perfect place to spend a Sunday Funday. The international wine and cheese selection was most impressive. The Crawfish guy pulled up around noon and the line was around the block until we left at 4pm. It's also connected to the Bayou Beer Garden, so there's literally something for everyone. Venture out for this one, you won't be disappointed.
Everywhere! But we found the best on Frenchman's street
Don't miss Magazine Street (around 7 miles long, you can pop in and out of stores with a drink in hand, as there are several bars as well)