The French Quarter is my favorite area. I love walking, listening to music and eating some great, great food. The architecture is really amazing. I have never seen it look so clean and so good! But once I experienced Bourbon Street I avoided it totally by walking Royal, Chartres or Dauphine, which are far nicer.
Royal Street Galleries: I enjoy walking along Royal and checking out the antique stores and galleries. M. S. Rau is known for its fine arts and antiques at 630 Royal.
Bourbon Street is great to experience in small doses as it can be a little crowded and tacky. But you need to see it. Stop in at Maison Bourbon to listen to some great jazz. Around the corner is Preservation Hall at 726 St. Peter; check out a performance at this legendary New Orleans jazz venue. Have a drink at Pat O’Brien’s at 718 St. Peter. The outdoor patio is great on a warm night.
St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square: An attractive square with many artists showing their work surrounding this Cathedral which was dedicated in 1794.
Where to Eat in the French Quarter
Cafe du Monde, 1039 Decatur: Located in the French Market, this is the place for beignets and chicory coffee au lait. Just don’t wear dark clothing as the powered sugar from the beignets can be lethal! Trust me on this.
Galatoire’s, 209 Bourbon Street: One of my favorite restaurants in the US. For over 105 years, this is the grand dame of New Orleans’ old-line restaurants. I love the atmosphere of the first floor. Jackets are required for gentlemen so be prepared. My favorites are the Oysters Rockefeller and the redfish with lump crab meat. My server was Wayne so ask for him; he was really good. As a tradition, people normally request their favorite waiters.
Gumbo Shop, 630 St. Peter: This was recommended. I really enjoyed my lunch. The combination platter of Shrimp Creole, Jambalaya and Crawfish Etouffee is the way to go. The Etouffee was really wonderful!
Bayona, 430 Dauphine St.: This is the restaurant of well-known chef Susan Spicer that opened 21 years ago. The restaurant is very attractive and the food really excellent. The menu offers specials each day along with the most popular dishes. I thought the freshness of the ingredients was wonderful.
Antoine’s, 1730 Rue St. Louis: Since 1840, this restaurant has amazing food and ambience and is not to be missed! They did have a Spring and Summer lunch menu with 3 courses for $20.16. A great value. Make sure to visit the rooms in the back which are like visiting a museum as they have displays of crowns, dresses and photographs of the kings and queens of the Krewe Rex from past Mardis Gras.
Broussard’s, 819 Rue Conti: Enjoyed Easter brunch there. Good food and service in a lovely room. They also have a nice patio.
NOLA, 534 St. Louis: Had a wonderful meal at one of three of Emeril’s New Orleans spots. Loved the salmon and the barbecued shrimp.
Make sure to stop in at Salon by Sucre for a wonderful pastry and coffee. It is around the corner from Brennan’s at 622 Conti St.
Brennan’s: Recently closed for 17 months for an extensive remodel, this legendary restaurant is now back open. The decor is really outstanding and the service exceptional. I had to try the Eggs Hussard which is an eggs benedict with the addition of a red wine and mushroom sauce to the dish. Make sure to ask to see the wine cellar and the elegant Rex rooms upstairs used by the Kings and Queens during Mardi Gras. 417 Royal.
Muriel’s Jackson Square: Located at 801 Chartres, this is a popular restaurant serving classic Creole cuisine for lunch and dinner. It is located in a large, historical house that was originally built between 1743 and 1762 by the Royal Treasurer of French Louisiana Colonies. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it was converted to a series of commercial businesses. Muriel’s Jackson Square opened in 2001 after an extensive restoration of the building. Make sure to go upstairs to see the lovely private dining rooms and lounges, all elegantly furnished and decorated.
Stanley Restaurant on Jackson Square is a great spot for breakfast. 547 St. Ann.