Group of girls, drinks, food, tours, music & fun in the French Quarter!
Hi! I signed up hoping to get some great feedback from Nola locals! I'm visiting your lovely city with a bunch of my girlfriends and we're staying in the French Quarter from Aug 31st-Sept 4. We're in our mid 30s and visiting for the first time. Any suggestions on how to best spend the 4-5 days incorporating amazing lunches and dinners (any $-$$$ range as long as it's grubbin'), bars, live music, and some sight seeing (Any suggestion on tours)? Although we don't have a car, we're open to venturing outside of the FQ. We're there to have fun and enjoy your town so any feedback is appreciated! Thanks in advance! :)
I recently did a thorough trip report after a six day stay (heavily researched in advance) covering restaurant meals (see: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/862346).
We had a very good tour experience with Tours by Isabelle (the City and Katrina Recovery tour). They pick up and drop you off right at your own hotel. Huge amount of information and territory covered in half a day.
Frenchmen Street (in the Marigny, right across Esplanade from the FQ) is ground zero for great music. Top clubs include Snug Harbor, Blue Nile, dba, Three Muses, and the Spotted Cat. In other parts of town, check out Chickie Wah Wah, Tipitina, Howlin Wolf, Rock'n'Bowl, Vaughan's and Bullets. In the Quarter, Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse and the Jeremy Davenport Lounge offer great music in a more plush environment.
My favorite tour as a tourist is the Grayline Tours Walking Cocktail Tour. We are returning over Labor Day weekend, with a couple who has never been and are taking that tour again. I think it's a fun twist on your usual tours, as it gives a little history as to how some of the drinks came to be (plus last time my mom and I took the tour, we ended up back at half the restaurants/bars we visited to sample their food.)
You might enjoy taking the street car uptown and having lunch at Commander's Palace (http://www.commanderspalace.com/). The Garden District is a great area to check out and Commander's has $0.25 martinis during lunch M-F.
When I was down there with a group of guys we had dinner at Cochon (http://cochonrestaurant.com/) and it was a great place to have different food and drinks. I think it wold also be good for a group of ladies as well.
Here's some fun bars. Arnaud's French 75 Bar is a good one. Chris Hannah is the barman and one of the best in the city. Hannah is also a bartender in the old fashioned sense and takes the role as host seriously.
French 75 Bar @ 813 Rue Bienville, New Orleans, LA. 504 - 523 - 5433.
Bar Tonique is at the N side of the French Quarter. Ed Diaz is the owner and he's serious about the cocktail program.
Bar Tonique @ 820 North Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 324 - 6045.
Bar Uncommon @ Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel
817 Common Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 525 - 1111.
Chris McMillan is the bartender at Bar Uncommon and he’s one of the best.
Bombay Club is a good one. Cheryl Charming is the manager and works behind the bar on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Bombay Club @ 830 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 586 - 0972.
The Chart Room is a fine place to get a cold drink and rest.
The Chart Room @ 300 Chartres Street New Orleans, LA 504 – 522 – 1708.
Napoleon House Bar & Cafe @ 500 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 524 - 9752.
Carousel Bar is a classic hotel bar. Marvin Allen is the manager and main bartender. He's solid and a great personality. It's a good for stop for classics.
Carousel Bar @ Hotel Monteleone| @ 214 Royal St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 523 - 3341.
Green Goddess has great drinks and good food.
Green Goddess @ 307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA. 504 - 301 - 3347.
Roosevelt Hotel Bar is a cool spot with great upscale bar food. Long drinks are well made and tasty. I would not stray too far beyond the list. It has no connection to the Roosevelt Hotel next door.
Roosevelt Hotel Bar @ 116 University Place, New Orleans, LA 504 - 566 - 9444.
Sazerac is an amazing restored art deco bar inside the Roosevelt Hotel. The Sazerac is done well. there are some serious bartenders here.
Sazerac Bar @ 123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 529 - 4733.
Swizzle Stick Bar at Loew's Hotel in the CBD takes classic cocktails seriously. The drinks are always reliable and it's a great hotel bar for the atmosphere.
Swizzle Stick Bar @ Cafe Adelaide @ 300 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 595 - 3305.
Storyville Restaurant is a nice joint with about 15 Wide Screen TV’s and good food.
Storyville Restaurant @ 808 Iberville Street, New Orleans, LA 504 – 565 – 5520.
Bouligny Tavern is a great bar in the Garden District that's a next door branch to Lilette which is a French bistro. The drinks at Lilette are weak but everything on the cocktail list at Bouligny Tavern is respectable. I'm not sure who the bartender is. And I'm not sure I would venture beyond the menu either. The room is gorgeous and it's a fun scene. The food is good too.
Bouligny Tavern @ 3641 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 504 - 891 -1810.
Giving a shout out to Rock 'n Bowl. Check the schedule and see if it fits your group but it's a pretty good alternative place. If you can dance and deal with bowling pins- it will be a great night.