I had planned to bring my sweetie to NOLA to celebrate his 50th birthday--he wanted his big birthday dinner to be at Galatoire's. Booked a room at the Meridien,
made dinner reservations, even requested his special waiter. Due to a family emergency, he will be unable to make it. I decided I'm coming by myself anyway, since I adore NOLA and I've already paid for the room and the airfare. I have two questions.
1. Any feelings or comments about safety at night for a woman alone in the Quarter, particularly walking back to the hotel, which is on Canal?
2. Any restaurants where parties of one are made to feel unwelcome?
Thanks for any guidance!
I'm sorry to hear about the family emergency. I have stayed at the Le Meridian a few times (nice hotel).
I think you will be fine - as long as you are not out
really late and keep an eye out. The Le Meridian is between St. Charles (Royal) and Camp (Chartes). There is usually a lot of foot traffic in that part of the Quarter so you should feel safe. On Canal - the really obnoxious pan-handlers are usually down closer to Magazine. I have always felt more confortable walking alone on the "Canal side" of the Quarter than on Esplanade.
I'm a woman and have visited New Orleans solo many times. I've never really had any trouble with being hassled. Just don't acknowledge anyone who tries to get your attention if you're not in a big crowd. You should be fine in the Quarter.
Recommendation: I had several lovely meals at Peristyle by myself. I sat at the bar; typically some other solo patrons or perhaps a couple will sit at the bar also. I've always been received warmly and given attentive service. (If you go, don't walk out towards the back of the restaurant to Rampart Street, walk the other way, towards Burgundy. You won't feel comfortable on Rampart alone.)
That post about eating at the bar at Peristyle reminded me of my experience at Jacques Imo's. Since I was in town on business I was alone as well. They had a pretty lively bunch of folks that were very friendly at the bar. Also since you are by yourself you can eat at the bar and beat the long wait at this place. Give it a try.
I just returned yesterday from my third solo trip to NOLA. I've generally had a fine time eating by myself, with the glaring exception of Palace Cafe--atrocious service. On my first trip down, though, I did try to eat at the bar at Bayona and couldn't get a seat (this was on a weeknight in December!) So it might be worth your while to call ahead, even for the bar.
I also travel to NO frequently by myself. I am in my late 50's. I have been very comfortable by myself on all of my trips, of course it is necessary to be observant to the surroundings, just as anywhere else.
I also had the most atrocious servce at the Palace Cafe the last time I visited.
The manager I spoke to regarding this problem was very nice and apologized for the poor service, however she also ignored a rquest made by me and my companion. I guess they could tighten up their act a bit..
I do love their Crab Cheese cake and their White Choclate pudding though..
There are areas of New Orleans where you should be concerned about your safety. But assuming you're talking about walking back frpm Galatoire's to the Merdien before 10PM, you should be quite safe. There is a lot of foot traffic in that area, including people such as yourself returning to the Marriott and the Sheraton. Don't appear drunk and don't engage with suspicious looking people. But you already knew that.