“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.” ‒Tennessee Williams
(Updated April 28, 2017) New Awlins. The “Big Easy.” A round-the-clock street party where pretty much anything goes. The seemingly endless list of culinary extravagances can be daunting, particularly for those with limited time. So, Taste of Adventure has developed a 48-hour food-centric itinerary that promises to maximize your time in this vibrant city, and give you a taste of the French, Spanish, African, German, Italian, Irish and American-influenced Creole cuisine that makes NoLa so special.
Some people say you should save the best for last. Ignore them. Head on over to Coop’s Place for a late lunch or early dinner. You’ll probably have to wait in line outside for a half hour, maybe more —it’s worth it. The space is no-frills, the waiters are snarky, and the food is true New Orleans-style home cooking. Don’t miss: a cold Abita, marinated Louisiana crab claws, and blackened redfish expertly seasoned and seared in a hot cast iron skillet.
Save room for desert and head next door to Cane & Table. The space is elegant and the drink menu is a work of art with modern riffs on classic cocktails. Don’t miss: the Silver Tongue (a perfectly balanced blend of ginger, bourbon, Arrack—an exotic Indonesian spirit—and cream sherry), Mexican chocolate tart, and chia seed & coconut milk parfait.
From here you’re just a quick 6-minute walk to Frenchmen Street where you can take in world class live music.
Jumpstart your morning with a stop at the Orange Couch coffee shop in The Marigny, one of New Orleans’ up-and-coming neighborhoods with a distinct bohemian vibe. Don’t miss: the smooth-as-silk iced cold brew or hot cortado. Early morning is a great time to stroll around this funky, artsy neighborhood.
After a bit of exploring, head over to The Old Coffeepot Restaurant in the Quarter. Opened in 1894, this spot is beloved by locals (especially local chefs) for its excellent and affordable creole and Cajun cuisine. Don’t miss: possibly the best jambalaya in the city; a flavor-packed blend of chicken, Andouille sausage, tomatoes and rice.
After lunch, take a quick 5-minute walk over to The Spice & Tea Exchange on St. Louis Street. There you’ll find a vast offering of unique spices, salts, powders, and teas from around the world. Don’t miss: the bourbon black walnut sugar, pinot noir sea salt, and St. Augustine datil pepper.
Craving something sweet? Leah’s Pralines is just a block-and-a-half away. Sample the pralines and the bacon pecan brittle. Don’t miss: the semi-sweet coconut and dark chocolate haystacks.
For dinner, head to Jacques-Imo’s in the Riverbend/Carrollton area of Uptown New Orleans for one of the best meals in NoLa. No matter what you order, you can’t go wrong. Creative dishes like eggplant Jacques-Imo’s with oyster dressing and wild mushroom sauce, and shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake put this place on the map. Don’t miss: hot coal-fired oysters with caramelized parmesan cheese, butter and lemon. Top off the night with live music next door at The Maple Leaf, one of the oldest and most important clubs in the city.
Boozy brunches are a New Orleans institution. And there’s no place for boring scrambled eggs. Like most everything else, this city does brunch in style. Located in the edgy, on-the-rise Bywater neighborhood is The Country Club — “a neighborhood secret for over 35 years.” Don’t miss: the Saturday drag queen brunch, shrimp and grits, and bottomless mimosas.
After lunch, take a leisurely afternoon stroll through the Bywater to your final stop, Bacchanal Wine. Located where the Mississippi River meets the Industrial Canal, it takes some effort to get here, but the reward is worth it. Step inside and find a curated selection of Old World-style wines, chesses and more. Make your way to the outdoor courtyard where local bands play music seven days a week. Laissez les bons temps rouler! This is New Orleans living at its finest.
— Taste of Adventure