The Big Easy for Non-Beginners


June 24, 2013 by paiday

There is no other place like New Orleans. Now, I know that there are those that say it is dirty or touristy or otherwise distasteful, but those are the uneducated opinions of the uninitiated. 

New Orleans tumbles over with a raucous attitude that is anything but protestant but also far from blasphemous. I could wax philosophic all day about what makes this so but truly travelers just have to be there. They have to see the brass band on the corner in the Marigny or the artist row that springs up in an alley of a residential neighborhood. They must sit in the corner bar with the locals who want nothing more than to tell you why they love the city. Go to the local corner store and eat a po boy on soft french bread with flat top seared roast beef dripping with gravy. New Orleans is a town about experience and Lord knows that I could spend a whole blog series on just one experience or another – ratings would certainly vary – but I have done the research visited a number of times so I’m going to share some of my favorite activities to help and guide you. 


The French Quarter boasts many amazing street scenes, but the Marigny, the Bywater, and the Garden District also offer great touring locations to round out your visit to NOLA.

Reader beware: I don’t wear beads or drink hand grenades. I have when I was in my twenties but now I go for authenticity. This is a list of authentic places to visit where you will be welcomed, eat delicious food, and get a real insider view of the city. 

Best Eats: 

Galatoire’s – This is the ultimate scene for southern decadence. If you can make Friday lunch, all the better. Show up early and be ready to wait but don’t think that the waiting will be anything but enjoyable. You will be ushered to the upstairs bar for some drinks that pack a serious punch. Suit jackets are required for men as well as a completely hedonistic attitude. 

Cochon – This is one of the most popular restaurants for dinner in the city currently. The menu reads like a southern grandma’s kitchen blended with a high cuisine. Think fried chicken livers on buttered toast points with pepper jelly or beer battered soft-shelled crab on a bed of arugula. A butcherie is next door whose sandwiches get rave reviews for those looking for lunch or to save a couple of bucks. 


Beer-battered soft shelled crab and smoky pork ribs are just a few of the southern offerings at Cochon. There are specials daily, so be prepared for even more tempting dishes.

Angeli’s – This 24 hour stop has delicious pizza, is located on Decatur in the Quarter, and projects movies on the wall. Just what you need at 3 a.m.

Gene’s Po-Boys – Most people do not know that name of this shop. The best advertising they have is the Pepto pink building on the corner of Elysian Fields. For under $8.00 you can get the best roast beef Po-boy in town and a drink. Walk up to Washington Square park and enjoy. 

Luke’s – This is the best happy hour in town. From 3 – 6, they offer 50 cent oysters on the half shell and 1/2 price wine by the glass, draft beers, and specialty cocktails. Forget the long line at Acme.


Things to do: 

Frenchman Street – Just walk along and listen. You are sure to find some music that moves you. Some of the best music is on the actual street with roaming musicians on the corners. There is also an artist row if you are looking to take something home. 

Magazine Street – This little strip in the Garden District has great boutique shopping and plenty of places to stop and cool off with an Abita. 

Ride a street car – Hop on for $1.25 one way or pay $3.00 for the whole day. If you get on at the Canal Street stop you can ride all the way along St. Charles and hop out and wander through the Garden District admiring the palatial houses. 

Confederate Bike Tours – This is the best tour that I have taken in New Orleans. Biking allows you to see more of the city than on foot and the guides are knowledgable and fun. Our even gave us a tour of his house in the Bywater. If tours aren’t your thing, you can rent a bicycle for 24 hours for $30.00.

Vaughan’s Lounge – On Thursday night this place is happening. Kermit might not be playing on Thursday but even if you miss him, the band promises to be one of the most soulful in the city. 

I also have a long list of things that I would love to do but haven’t crossed off my list just yet. Some of these include eating/ visiting at Siberia, Love’s Lost Lounge, Clover Grill, Arnaud’s French 75, and Tipitina’s. 


A plate of oysters at Luke’s for happy hour is a must. Luke’s offers their own brews of 1/2 price draft beers from 3 – 6.

If you have questions or additions please let me know with comments.  


One thought on “The Big Easy for Non-Beginners

  1. your fellow sophomoric new orleans traveler says:

    The real problem is that N’awlens is far too interesting a place to spend your time writing. Much more fun to get drunk and lost (and invited to crash a wedding).

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