Help with itinerary!
My boyfriend and I are going to be getting away--FINALLY!--for a much needed vacation. This will be my first time to New Orleans and I want to make sure i am not missing anything. We will be there a week! I work for an accoladed fine dining restaurant group and have been doing a ton of research, trying to make sure I get to see and eat everything! We are staying in the French Quarter the first night and at the Chimes the rest of the time. We will have a car and will also use the streetcars often. We are extremely active .
I would love some feedback on what I have planned and what I have missed! I have been reading this forum for a few weeks and have really enjoyed reading all of the advice and trip reports! Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Dinner: Acme Oysters
Lunch: Willie Mae’s
Activity: Zoo/Carriage Ride/Explore the City
Lunch: Luizza's by the track
Activity: Historic Cemetary Tour 1:00
Lunch: Pick up Muffelata at Central Grocery and take with us
Activity: Honey Island Swamp Tour/ UCM Museum
Activity: 9th ward bike tour @9:30am
Lunch: Parkway Bakery
Activity: Laura Plantation
Activity: Le Monde Creole Tour 10:30
Activity: Insectatarium/ Aquarium
Brunch: Commander’s Palace 11:00 am
Go to Cochon Butcher for goodies for home. Stop for ice on way home…
Thanks so much!!!!
You may want to take advantage of summer restaurant specials:
Take a private carriage ride. Be sure to pick up some libations to take along. Driver will also stop for refills.
CIty park is beautiful offering an art museum, botanical and sculpture gardens, paddle boats, golf and tennis (weather permitting).
+1 on the rec for City Park. I would scratch Upperline for Wednesday night dinner and do Coquette or Patois instead. Much better food. Saturday is a bit ambitious food-wise. I'd skip Brennan's since you are doing Commander's on Sunday and will get the quintessential New Orleans brunch experience there. The food at Brennan's is mediocre, although the restaurant is lovely. Try Stanley or Green Goddess instead.
Fridays dining itinerary is quite ambitious - it might be a bit much to do both Galatoire's & August on the same day. I would swap August for Lola on Thursday & sub in Green Goddess on Friday.
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130
307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130
You chose Willie Mae's, Liuzza's, Lola's, Parkway, Central and Acme for 5 of your 14 dining events. I love NOLA local joints but I would drop a couple of those. WM's, Liuzza's, Lola's and Parkway are in the Mid City area which is a cab ride from your hotel. You can get fried chicken at home. I don't think Lola's take reservations and you may have to wait in line. The food at Lola's is a spanish or carribean influence and not true creole to me. You can get a good Po Boy at Johnny's in the FQ and share it with your boyfriend mid day one afternoon for a snack sitting in Jackson Square. You could do the same with the Central Muffelata. Share one in Jackson Square with your boy friend. Or you could get a Po Boy at Mahoney's and share it with your boyfriend for a snack mid day one afternoon walking down Magazine near your hotel looking at the shops.
I know it's fun but I would replace WM's, Liuzza's, Lola's, Parkway and Central with Coquette, Patois, Lilette and Clancy's for true creole cuisine. I would scratch Upperline until a new chef is in place and there are current food reviews. With 7 days I would make sure I had lunch or dinner at Clancy's, Patois, Lilette, Coquette and Brigtsen's.
I have been to Liuzza's a long time ago and don't remember which one. Probably the one on Bienville. I know they are both lovely neighborhood joints that are lots of fun. Are they both owned by the same family. Are they both similar in food style. I know the poboys are good at one but I don't like poboys. I like them but I don't like all the bread. I usually eat part of the bread and all the filling.
Column's Hotel is 4/5 blocks from Chimes. Walk up there for drinks on their porch one afternoon. Galatoire's and August the same day is too much creole for a single day on Friday. Rearrange those two but definitely go to both during your visit. I like Galatoire's for lunch moreso than dinner.
I would include a tour of the DD Museum in the CBD and lunch at American Sector which is in the museum and run by John Besh. I would also include happy hour drinks and appetizers at Luke one afternoon.
I would also go hear Jeremy Davenport and his jazz band at Davenport's Lounge at The Ritz Carlton on Canal on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
Here's my plan.
Sunday - Dinner at Mila. Stay in the FQ.
Monday - Zoo. Lunch at Galatoire's. Carriage Ride. Explore the City. Take your car or a cab to Patois for dinner. You could have drinks at Column's Hotel or The Bulldog which are both close to Chimes.
Tuesday - Lunch at Acme. Historic Cemetary Tour 1:00. Spend the day in the FQ if your tour leaves from there. Dinner at Cochon.
Wednesday - If the swamp tour leaves from FQ get a Muffelata at Central and go on tour. If it leaves from Uptown get a Po Boy from Mahoney's and leave on the tour. Don't go to FQ if you don't need to. Go on tour. Honey Island Swamp Tour/ UCM Museum. Return to Chimes and have dinner at Coquette.
Thursday - 9th ward bike tour @9:30am. Go back to Chimes and walk to Lilette for lunch and then shop or sightsee on Magazine. Have dinner at August.
Friday - Laura Plantation. I assume you are driving there in your car. Have lunch at Clancy's at 11:30 then the tour and dinner at Brigtsen's a little late like 8PM or so. It is a cab or car ride W of Chimes but not far.
Satuday - Have breakfast at Stanley. Tour and then lunch at Bayona. Insectatarium/ Aquarium. Then dinner at Stella.
Sunday - Brunch at Commander’s Palace 11:00 am. then go to Cochon Butcher for goodies for home. Stop for ice on way home…
The op never specified a desire for creole cuisine. In any case, Patois, Coquette and Lilette are not creole, rather eclectric/French bistro. Willie Maes has the distinction of being THE best fried chicken in the US. Regardless of whether or not it's true, it's become a "must do" for many visitors. To the op, WM's is not your usual flour coated chicken. It is made using a wet batter that gives it a crisp,shattering crust ( I love it).
3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115
Who gave Willie Mae's the distinction of the best fried chicken in the country? Not James Beard, I've heard Al Roker say it was the best in the country, but nowhere have I seen them win an award for the best fried chicken. They won a JB award for an American Classic place, which they give out quite a few of each year. I've had much better fried chicken at many other places in New Orleans and New York, chains excluded.
I would concentrate my eating on much better places in New Orleans, unless of course there is no fried chicken where the OP is or really bad fried chicken, then maybe WM would knock her socks off.
It's just been my experience that the chicken there was not that good, and I would not recommend it to someone who was in town for a short time and seems to have quite the list going.
I didn't catch when the OP was coming, but if it's in the near future, I would recommend a stop at either Plum Street or Hansen's for a sno-ball.
Re: WM, the same arguement could be made for po boys, yet you have no objection to Parkway or Liuzzas. Afterall, they are just sandwiches. Anyway, the food network gave WM's that designation, on their "best of..." series. Since then, that title seems to have stuck. In any case, many are aware of it. Even for my nephew, who is a partner in a couple of fine dining restos in Jersey, WM's was a must do. I think folks visiting the deep south want to try "real" fried chicken, which of course, can only be gotten.... in the south. LOL
Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
3636 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119
A friend of mine was at Dinner Bell in McComb, MS last week. It's a revolving table lunch place that's become famous. About 8 people sit at one table with all the food on the lazy susan. He sat next to a gentleman from DC and their conversation got to why he was eating at DB. The DC gentleman said he was in search of the best fried chicken and he had eaten at WM's in NOLA the night before but DB was better. Who knows. You can get good fried chicken all over the country and an argument over the best just like an argument over BBQ.
True, but I don't care for Liuzza's by the track for poboys. If I was going to recommend Liuzza's it would be the one on Bienville. Parkway is good but it's not my favorite, R&O's is.
What places is your nephew partners in? Always looking for good places up here, hopefully they are in North Jersey.
Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
3636 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Jazzy B.......I designed my post around the OP's schedule the best I could. I know I did not cater to all the exact needs of the OP such as WM's, Lola's, Liuzza's, Parkway and Central but I did think the OP would enjoy Patois, Clancy's, Lilette, Coquette and Brigtsen's moreso than the above. That decision is for the OP and not me. I just offered my kind advice whether it's considered or not.
One thing I tried to point out by including Patois, Clancy's, Lilette, Coquette and Brigtsen's is the location of the OP's hotel which is Uptown on St. Charles and within walking distance of Lilette, Coquette, Commander's and Mahoney's for Po Boy's. I styled my plan around convenience as well as food. If the OP wants to go to WM's, Lola's, Liuzza's, Central and Parkway that's fine with me. They are somewhat inconvenient for people staying Uptown when there are so many fine places Uptown that are very nice and very convenient.
I don't have an argument about WM's being good fried chicken or the type cuisine at Patois, Coquette or Lilette. They do have items on their menu's that are true NOLA syle food prepared with fresh NOLA seafood that I enjoy personally. The food in NOLA is one reason I travel there and the exact type cuisine does not interest me. I don't come to NOLA for other cuisine such as Ethnic, Asian or Italian. I come for what I consider true NOLA cuisine prepared with fresh local ingredients whether it's creole or not.
Also T&L did an article recently on the top 10 fried chicken restaurants in the U S and WM's was not mentioned. I did not agree with the article but I have never seen an article saying WM's was # 1. That does not mean there isn't one out there saying it is. My point is more about convenience and location as well as food. The OP is staying in the FQ the first night and I suggested a restaurant there that night for dinner as well as one in the FQ for lunch the next day. The other 6 days I tried to suggest restaurants convenient to their hotel and travel plans.
Regardless you made good points and I have no argument about them. Good luck to you.
Well, this is a place for opinions and you've gotten your share.
As far as the fried chicken argument, I wouldn't waste a New Orleans meal on fried chicken, no matter how much press a place gets.
If you did your muff then instead of fried chicken you'd be free to have a meal on the north shore.
While you will may get some disagreement, lunch at the Abita Brew Pub a block from the UCM museum can be as good as a Central grocery muff. Or a muff or po-boy from Pontchartrain Poboys in Mandeville (or one of their platters) would make a great NOLA lunch. I think that may be the Johnny's of the north shore. as it is packed at noon and five.
You could also skip Upperline and have dinner at someplace like Juniper in Mandeville after touring the north shore. Or maybe seafood at Mortons, maybe not the best in the world, but good, scenic and very local flavor.
1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA
Abita Brew Pub
72011 Holly St, Abita Springs, LA 70420
Collardman.........I have a friend who lives in Abita Springs. We had lunch at Abita Brew Pub several months ago. I thought it was one of the best restaurants I had been to in a long time with the exception of some fine dining establishments in NYC, Dallas and NOLA. Emeril's would exceed my expectations compared to ABP but it's a fine place. Mandeville is a nice town too. It must be. Sean Payton resides there. Good luck.
We all have our own "must dos". I would not waste a meal on either fried chicken or poboys. I'd skip breakfast as well and have an early "fine dining" lunch followed by a late-ish "fine dining" dinner. Some oysters 1/2 shell in between. The other stuff I can get variations of anywhere.