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Nov 24, 2010 08:20 AM

Visiting New Orleans -- Need Advice


We are leaving for New Orleans tomorrow and i would realy appreciate some advice. We are a tourist couple (from India) and just wanted to get a taste of Thanksgiving in New Orleans. We might not get to visit this city again so wanted to go around as much as we is not a riority as we are vegetarian and can survive on sandwiches! :)
We reach Thursday afternoon and leave Sunday Morning. We are on a budget, staying at radisson airport hotel, will have a car though.

Here is what we have planned so far:

Night of Thanksgiving
Bourborn Street to experience music, drink, and dinner. Po' boy and Italian Muffuletta sandwiches for dinner (also wanted to try out the famous rice and beans).
any cheap places you can recommend?

Friday morning
French Quarter include Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, our lady of guadalupe, st augustine cathedral and WWII museum
Mule drawn carriage at the french quarter
French Market (including Café du Monde, famous for café au lait and beignets)
Try out the praline (where do you get these?)

Friday Evening
Free canal street ferry from Algiers Point and back for a great view of the river, downtown, and the Quarter
Eat lucky dogs (whatever they are, any places we can try these out?)
gombo d'zherbes" (vegetarian) option for me, any cheap places for a good bowl of vegetarian gumbo?
Try out free oysters on friday nights at le bon temps roule, this is for my husband!
at night go to Harrah's for a taste of slots (this will actually ne our first time!)

Saturday Morning
Go for a Swamp Airboat tour. I've heard Jean Lafitte Nature Preserve, a free park, with as good a view of local swamp flora and fauna as various pay tours. Honey Island Swamp Tours Inc. - nearly 70,000 acres of the Honey Island Swamp is a permanently protected wildlife area. Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours - Cajun-style boat tour takes you out on an 1 hour and 45 minute trip through the heart of Southern Louisiana's swamplands.
See the Superdome
streetcar ride; the Canal Street route also provides a pleasant ride

Saturday Evening
Try out 100 year old restaurants like antoinnes, commander’s palace, and galatoire. which one is the cheapest and also sure to have vegetarian options? we do not eat beef, steak, baby alligators, etc.
Experience Live music at fulton or the frenchman street
Drink! the tourist favorite "Hurricane" (a fruit punch and rum drink), which originated at Pat O'Brien's bar but now common in the Quarter, and the "Hand Grenade" (billed as "New Orleans' Strongest Drink") at the Tropical Isle. However, drinking does not have to be about quantity. Popular refined local cocktails include the "sazerac" and the "Ramos gin fizz". Beer lovers should try local brews like "Abita" on tap, from light Wheat to dark "Turbodog" to the quirky "Purple Haze", a raspberry beer loved by some. New Orleanians also love wine.
any cheap places for trying these out?

Sunday Morning

See the mansions on st charles avenue
try out sno balls before returning home

I know i am asking for a lot of information but any help would be much appreciated. I've heard New Orleans is a beautiful city and would like to make our stay here memorable.

Thanks for your help in advance.

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  1. I'm afraid you have so problems..muffeletta's are no vegetarian nor are Lucky Dogs (but heaven knows what IS in them). Lucky Dogs are just hot dogs (of a fashion) sold from carts on the corners in teh French Quarter. they are famous principally for being famous. The major restaurants can all provide vegetarian food, if only side-orders, but obviously you would want to see if anything has been cooked with pork or in a beef stock etc. The city uses losts of sauces and these sauces have everything...beef stock, eggs, you-name-it. So, it is arather a more complicated matter than appears...

    1 Reply
    1. re: hazelhurst

      Hey Hazelhurst,

      Yes, i have been advised to stay off the streets....will probably try out Commander's palace and Green Goddess for meals. I'll also make do with some Subway sandwiches if all else fails.

      Do you think there is anything ive left out in the places to see list above? If yes, please feel free to advise. Thanks!

      Green Goddess
      307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

    2. You've been advised on the vegetarian front so I'll cover a few others. Pralines are available all around the French Quarter but there are specific sites near Jackson Square and Cafe du Monde. I'v e had Gumbe Z'herbes at the Gumbo Shop and liked it.

      It is late in the season for a swamp tour. It will still be pretty and the weather more bearable, but some of the foliage will be gone and many of the alligators have gotten ready for the winter so there may be limited 'gator entertainment. You mentioned air boat tour. An airboat tour is more like a thrill ride and is not the way to see a swamp. Stick to the regular swamp tour boat

      Since you will be staying near the airport think about parking free on St. Charles or Canal Street and using the streetcars to get to the FQ and other downtown sites. You can walk from the St. Charles street to the WWII museum but plan on at least 4 hours at the museum. You could easily spend 8 hours if you sample everything there such as the show and the oral histories.

      2 Replies
      1. re: collardman

        Thanks for addressing those points..I am swamped right now and the task of culling through the enormous and daunting schedule proposed seemed more than I could handle for the nonce.

        1. re: collardman

          Thanks for the info, appreciate the insight on swamp tour. will stick to the regular swamp tour boat.

          Yes, we are planning to park our car and use streetcars for travelling in the city.

          Will certainly try out the gumbo shop!

        2. You might have difficulty trying out snoballs. Most of the shops are only open during the season (late spring through early fall), and those that are open year round usually don't open until after 11 a.m.

          5 Replies
          1. re: tzurriz

            Thanks, i could go to some place after 11:00 am, where are these shops? which ones to try?

            1. re: deptt

              you could give meltdown popsicles a try....check em out on yelp, they look fantastic.

              1. re: yanks26dmb

                please forgive my ignorance, what's yelp?

                1. re: deptt

                  a great site for looking up restaurants (and other businesses) in various cities. its been a huge help to me in finding hole in the walls, and other gems I never would have heard about.

                  go to and type in a restaurant name for the city you want...or simply search general terms like "restaurant", "italian", etc. you can sort by highest rated..

                  1. re: yanks26dmb

                    Thank you, am searching as i type! :)

          2. Here is some honest advice for you. When planning a trip to NO, I spend several weeks planning out just the meals. Weather dictates activities in December there so we decide those as we go. I decide on however many places I think I can work in and add an extra 2 or 3 for backup. I keep a spread sheet that I print before I leave giving me all the details I need so I'm not wasting valuable NO time finding directions, phone numbers, hours of operation etc. When my trip is planned out in advance, I can relax and enjoy myself while I'm there. I hope you have a great time and let us know how your trip worked out.

            3 Replies
            1. re: texasredtop

              Hi Texasredtop,

              Thanks for the advice, yes, that's how i have worked this out too but i have a Word file. :) I am from San Antonio so we are driving down there. Will take a halt in Houston.

              I do have a long list of things to do so i will have backup in case one doesn't work out.

              Once again, thanks a lot and i will certainly get back and post my experience. :)

              1. re: deptt

                If you want, you could to Feast in Houston and save that meal for something else in NO. My two faves in NO are Mr. B's bbq shrimp and Boucherie boudin balls.

                Have lots of fun and save some of that great food for me, I'll be going mid December.

                8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                1. re: texasredtop

                  I will, thanks! :)

                  Hope you have a great trip too. Take care.

            2. You should eat at Tujague's on Thursday. It's the oldest restaurant in the Quarter, very traditional and they serve a good Thanksgiving dinner. Gumbo d'zherbes are good at the Gumbo Shop. Since it sound like you eat shellfish, almost any restaurant will be easy for you to find great food. I like the food the best at Commanders, Galatoire's second, Antoine's third. I think Antoine's is also the most expensive of the 3. Live music is better on Frenchman Street. Hurricanes are better than Hand Grenades. The Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel would be a great choice for sazeracs, especially if you want to follow it with dinner at Domenica. There's a bar on Frenchman Street called DBA that has a great beer selection. I prefer the Abita Andygator if you can find it on tap. Most sno ball stands are closed after Thanksgiving because they are really only good in the heat. My favorite drink in the city is the Frozen Irish Coffee at Molly's on the Market, but that is also better when it's hot outside. And finally, Lucky Dogs are only meant to consume after 2am when you are very, very drunk.
              Oh, and also, there's a football game this weekend in the Quarter that can attract a rough, college crowd. You might want to avoid the Superdome area. Be safe and have fun!

              Galatoire's Restaurant
              209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

              823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

              123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

              1 Reply
              1. re: shanefink

                Thanks, i really wanted to try Irish coffee so Molly;s it will be.

                Will avoid the Superdome this time, then. I have been advised to not have Lucky dogs so am skipping it. I am vegetarian but my husband will certainly try shellfish while in NO.

                Thanks and will let you now how the trip goes.