next stop: nola.
by Leslie Santarina comment


next stop: nola via almost makes perfect. / sfgirlbybay

almost makes perfect.

taking a quick spring break escape to new orleans next week and would love any recommendations. it’s been ten years since my last visit and the purpose of my trip then was to assist with the relief efforts. this time it’ll be on a more happy note and i’ll have time to explore and discover some of the gems in the city: the french quarter, garden district, jazz halls, creole cuisine and yes—the beignets! i plan to do some antiquing and plenty of strolling, especially in the garden district where I’m staying.

for those of you that have been recently or live in the area, what are your favorite spots to eat, shop and visit? great cafes are a must! and any bloggers, instagramers or makers i should follow?

i came across these beautiful photos and guides in my bit of research and they’re surely providing plenty of anticipation and inspiration for this trip.

what else do you know? where should I go? please share all your wonderful suggestions below. thanks everyone!

~ leslie, spotted sf

new orleans travel photos via almost makes perfect. / sfgirlbybay

almost makes perfect.

the first new orleans guide i came across was from molly of almost makes perfect. it was instant love and these first several photos are from her beautiful site.

nola carousel bar via almost makes perfect. / sfgirlbybay

the carousel bar via almost makes perfect.

brennan's in nola via almost makes perfect. / sfgirlbybay

brennan’s via almost makes perfect.

next stop: nola. / sfgirlbybay

almost makes perfect.

commander's palace via almost makes perfect. / sfgirlbybay

commander’s palace via almost makes perfect.

nola travel pics via almost makes perfect. / sfgirlbybay

almost makes perfect.

bri of designlovefest has a fun nola guide and her pics always catch my eye.

nola french quarter via designlovefest. / sfgirlbybay

french quarter via designlovefest.

arnaud's restaurant via designlovefest in nola. / sfgirlbybay

arnaud’s restaurant via designlovefest.

napoleon house in nola via designlovefest. / sfgirlbybay

napoleon house via designlovefest.

and dabito of old brand new is now living in the big easy, so i’ve been following his feed and finding the spots below on his site.

pink and green buidling in nola via old brand new. / sfgirlbybay

old brand new.

cafe du monde in nola via old brand new. / sfgirlbybay

cafe du monde via old brand new.

district donuts in nola via old brand new. / sfgirlbybay

district donuts via old brand new.

sterling provision in nola via old brand new. / sfgirlbybay

sterling provision via old brand new.

color blocked nola wall via old brand new. / sfgirlbybay

old brand new.

wall in nola via old brand new. / sfgirlbybay

old brand new.

and dabito of old brand new in french quarter. / sfgirlbybay

french quarter via old brand new.

39 responses to “next stop: nola.”

  1. Do not miss the WWII museum! I have been both before and after Katrina and it just keeps getting better. I have seen groups of teenagers, there under duress, sitting on the floor in front of interactive exhibits totally lost in the experience. I have seen the elderly in their wheel chairs weeping from door to door. It is a one-of-a-kind museum that has something for everyone. It gives you hope for this country.

  2. Mother’s is great comfort food. Emeril’s original NOLA makes the best straight up margarita I’ve ever had. Loved the WWII (D-Day) Museum and the Jean La Fitte Bayou.

  3. I have a friend who does walking culinary tours. I think that sounds like an amazing way to spend an afternoon! I can send you his info if you want me to.

    • Thank you for the recommendation. I’ve planned so many stops at restaurants, bars, sweet shops, etc. I’ll have to walk off all this food and consider this my culinary tour:)

  4. I second the WWII museum! I’m so not into military history and it was fantastic. Also the Confederacy of Cruisers food bike tour, food was fantastic and the bike riding was easy, city is totally flat and you got the chance to bike through some really neat neighborhoods. The tour guide was really great and good for more restaurant recommendations.

  5. The bywater district! Tons of great, colorful homes and beautiful shops, a photographers dream! Make sure to hit up St. Roche Market.

    • The Bywater district is amazing! Be sure to visit Satsuma Cafe for breakfast or lunch – great scene and even better food. You will find a ton to photograph in this area.
      Frenchmen Street
      Coop’s Place
      Cafe Du Monde
      Louis Armstrong Park
      Cochon/Cochon Butcher/Herbsaint – any Donald Link restaurant is not to be missed
      Lilette on Magazine Street
      Tipitina’s for music
      Don’t leave New Orleans without trying the fried alligator!
      I can’t wait to see the pictures! Have a great time!

    The chef owners can give you so much info, born and raised in Louisiana. Don’t miss this amazing shop.
    My fave spots to eat:
    Patois (uptown)
    Coquette (uptown)
    Shaya (uptown)
    Red’s Chinese (bywater)
    Stein’s Deli (uptown)
    Comperé Lapin (warehouse district)
    MoPho (midcity)
    Willa Jean (cbd)
    Pascal Manale’s (best oysters, uptown)

    Fave bars to drink:
    Pascal Manale’s
    Avenue Pub
    The Bourbon Orleans
    Yuki Izakaya 
    St. John

    Coutelier NOLA
    8239 Oak St.
    New Orleans LA

    • This is beyond amazing! Really appreciate all your insight. Thank you for taking the time to write this up!

    • I agree with Port of Call. Local joint that is known for their burgers but there Steaks are out of this world too! If you want a good hunk of meat for a decent price – try this place.

  7. I second Port of Call! Also make sure to visit the Garden District. Great shopping. Hattie Sparks is wonderful-clothing, accessories, unique gifts specific to our area. Just pack some comfy shoes. Have a great trip!

    • Fun! I did the same, but I only have a handful on mine. Thanks for sharing yours and I hope you have a terrific time on your trip!

    • I love all the Ace Hotels around the globe. Definitely popping in to check this out. I saw that music shows are free with no cover for now.

  8. Absolutely second the recommendation for Shaya – it’s my absolute favorite! Happy hour at Domenica (another of Alon Shaya’s restaurants) is amazing – I could live off his roasted cauliflower.
    The sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art is unbelievable, and not to be missed!

  9. If you like noodle bowls with the freshest ingredients, try Noodle & Pie. Small restaurant with great atmosphere, fantastic food & the most amazing home-made pies for dessert. Went last year to NoLa for spring break with my kids, everyone left with empty bowls & full stomachs. Have a terrific time!

  10. I just discovered @ashleylongshoreart on instagram. She seems like a really cool person who lIves in Nola. She might be fun to reach out to! Have a great trip, Victoria!

  11. So many great suggestions -I agree -WWII was such a pleasant surprise, and don’t miss French Street for the best music and if your timing is right The French Quarter Music Festival is our favorite
    Here are some other favorites:
    If you’re there on a Tuesday dinner at Jacques-Imo’s Café is a must fun atmosphere, great food then head next door to Maple Leaf Bar for Rebirth Brass Band 10 pm show-they will blow your socks off (if you have sensitive ears, ear plugs might offer a welcome reprieve)., the place will be packed and the energy high- a definite not miss
    Although I wouldn’t say G.W. Fins is truly representative of Nola, but I I will say we had one of my favorite meals of ALL time there- still dream about the oysters!
    If you want a walking tour that is filled with well researched facts about Nola from a master story teller named Tree (yes that is his “real” name) then Racontours is the walking tour for you! It takes place in the Garden District and ends with lunch at Commanders Palace…need I say more?!
    Don’t think he’ll be around when you’re there, but if you ever get the chance, definitely recommend Jon Cleary one of our favorites

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