Garden District/Uptown: Magazine Street
“Magazine Street is world renowned for antiques shops such as Karla Katz, Wirthmore, Uptowner and Kevin Stone. But one of my favorites is Jon Vaccari
, housed is an exquisitely renovated Greek revival home on historic St. Charles Avenue.”—Actor/author/designer Bryan Batt (pictured), who grew up in New Orleans and co-owns the Magazine Street design boutique Hazelnut with his partner, Tom Cianfichi
Garden District/Uptown: Scriptura
“Margaret and Sallie Jones of Scriptura
offer the most gorgeous stationery and imaginative invitations in the city,” Batt says.
Garden District/Uptown: St. James Cheese Co.
The counter at St. James Cheese Co.
French Quarter: Nadine Blake
"I love the mix of the French Quarter's European and Caribbean influences. I find the neighborhood beautiful and truly unique."—Nadine Blake, owner of Nadine Blake Interior Decoration & Lifestyle (pictured)
French Quarter: M.S. Rau Antiques
Explore the eclectic Pharmacy Museum and sprawling M.S. Rau Antiques (Herbert Hoover’s lawn balls, anyone?).
French Quarter: Napoleon House
Stop for a Pimm’s cup at the sublime Napoleon House.
French Quarter: Hové Parfumeur
Pop into the just-opened outpost of historic Hové Parfumeur on Chartres Street for soaps, lotions and powders.
French Quarter: Sylvain
Finish off your tour with dinner at newcomer Sylvain, a bustling, dimly lit gastropub: Pair a potent Sazerac cocktail with the crispy duck confit.
Downtown/Warehouse District: Mesón 923
Start your tour with breakfast at the always-jammed Mother’s, then hit the cultural scene, from the galleries on Julia Street to institutions such as the National World War II Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Lunch on crawfish bisque at the throwback Bon Ton Cafe and shop for a homburg or planter at Meyer the Hatter. Try your hand at the slots at Harrah’s before sipping mixologist Lu Brow’s bloody mary at the jumping Swizzle Stick Bar. Finish off your day with dinner at industrial-chic Mesón 923 (pictured), where chef Baruch Rabasa crafts a stellar grilled gulf fish with couscous, almonds and kumquat.
Downtown/Warehouse District: Restaurant Ste. Marie
A meal at the sleek new Restaurant Ste. Marie is also a must.
Downtown/Warehouse District: Cochon Butcher
is not your traditional meat market or deli counter. The assortment of handmade sausages, chops and meats is some of the very best in the city,” says superstar chef/restaurateur/television personality Emeril Lagasse, who owns three restaurants in New Orleans.
Tremé: Congo Square
“Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park is one of the most important places contributing to the foundation of contemporary music. It’s one of the only places in North America where people of African descent were allowed to practice their native culture, pre-Civil War. They practiced their ancient rituals, drumming, singing and dancing here every Sunday. Africans who were enslaved could also sell goods to make money, and a number of them saved that money to buy their freedom. I started a cultural group called the Congo Nation to keep what I know of the square’s traditions alive. The people call me the Big Chief of Congo Square as I lead my group through Tremé on Mardi Gras day. The square is currently being revitalized to become a cultural park with performance theaters and outdoor venues.”—jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison (pictured near left).
Tremé: Brass Band
The Treme Brass Band at the Candle Light Lounge.
Marigny/Bywater: Cake Café
“For breakfast, try the Cake Café (pictured) in the Marigny or Elizabeth’s in the Bywater—it’s delicious and funky,” says Eric Overmyer, the co-creator of HBO's Treme series and a 20-year resident of the Marigny District.
“Check out music/performance venues such as the AllWays Lounge, Kajun’s Pub and the Hi-Ho in the heart of the St. Claude Arts District. Or backtrack to Mimi’s in the Marigny for late-night tapas and funky tracks from DJ Soul Sister (pictured). And then work your way back to the Back Room at Buffa’s on Esplanade to hear great musicians in an intimate, smoke-free, acoustic environment.”—Eric Overmyer
Mid-City: NOMA Sculpture Garden
"The Besthoff family gave our city the New Orleans Museum of Art and this incredible cultural legacy. Catch the streetcar from Canal Street for a scenic trip to this verdant gem," says restaurateur Ralph Brennan, a third-generation scion of the family whose name is synonymous with the New Orleans dining scene.