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Jan 26, 2009 08:02 AM

First Trip to N.O.

Hi There! Making a trip with a few friends weekend of Feb. 12-15 and hoping to get some recommendations on restaurants and night life! And anything else you can recommend! =)

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  1. Jnspaz, you will probably get better and more useful responses if you are a bit more specific in your request. NOLA has a bewildering array of food and drink spots. Where are you staying, what sort of food/drink are you seeking, what is your budget, etc.

    Good luck!

    1. will you have a car or be relying on public transportation?
      there are parades that weekend; are you looking for something along a a parade route or for before/after a parade?

      1. If you want to eat anywhere decent you'll need to make reservations as it's Valentine's Day weekend. Also...I usually don't recommend eating out on VDay.

        1. Almost everyone who goes to New Olreans for the first time spends much or all of their time on Bourbon Street and the Frech Quarter. You have to see Bourbon Street if you've never been. However, if you have time then you should try to take St. Charles (in a street car if you have no car) or Magazine (in a car or taxi) towards Uptown just to see a different side of the City.

          1. I've been there twice and love the city. Here are some must-hit spots for a first timer. I can't remember the name of the bar, but if you ask where Pirate's Alley is in the French Quarter there's a great hole-in-the-wall bar where you can get the old fashioned absinthe cocktail where they light a sugar cube on fire. Very fun. John Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is a laid-back piano bar with what I think are the best hurricanes in town. It's really old, dark and cool and if you venture to the back you can sit around the piano. Razzoo is fun for live music. They'll do live hiphop with great singers and is really cool. If you like karaoke you also have to hit the Cat's Meow. It's a lively karaoke bar with good happy hour specials too. Although it's a bit cheesy, you have to hit The Funky Pirate and get a hand grenade. Big Al sings live music and it seems like everyone who's been to Nola once knows who he is. There's another bar off the main drag called Tujague's. It's kind of a hole in the wall but another historic bar. When we went the last time, we scheduled a cocktail tour, which again although cheesy was pretty fun. If you've got a group you might be able to schedule a tour just for you. It's like $25 a person and I think totally worth it. They take you to historic bars and off-the-main drag bars that you might not find otherwise. It's also worth it to do a ghost tour. You get to learn some of the history of the area in a fun, spooky way. And since it's New Orleans, they'll even incorporate a stop at a bar in the middle! Outside the French Quarter, the Faugourg Marigny area has a great live jazz scene. If you like jazz, you'll want to visit The Spotted Cat and some of the other hip bars along the street.

            For food, I think Nola is a must-do once. The tasting menu is reasonably priced and good. You also have to hit Acme oyster house if you like raw oysters. They are some of the best I've tasted and this is a great no-frills spot to suck 'em down. Commander's Palace is another must-hit restaurant. I didn't go the first time I went to Nola because I'd heard so much about it. I assumed it would be one of these places that's been around forever and isn't that good. I thought it was really good. There is a fun app where you can get mini bowls of all their soups including turtle stew. I braved it and it was good. Another fun way to spend an afternoon or evening is at WINO (Wine Institute of New Orleans). They've got wines on tap and you can spend an hour (or more) sampling wines in all price ranges. It's fun.

            3 Replies
            1. re: princsoreo

              Where is the WINO located, that sounds fun!!! Hurry with replies I am leaving in less than 24 hours!!! thanks!!!

              1. re: princsoreo

                thanks for your help princsoreo! sorry to the rest, i'm new to posting and should have been more specific...will do better next time! ;) we'll be staying in the french quarter...actually, just watched an episode of man v. food in new orleans where he took the 15 dozen oyster challenge at acme's! won't be doing that, but would def try out the oysters! mother's and deanie's seafood were also featured...def look like places to check out. do you know what time bars/restaurants close? we're getting in around 11pm on Wednesday and want to go out as soon as we're settled in...any suggestions there? we'll be around rue charles.