20 Tips For A Food & Drink Experience In New Orleans

Monday, October 12th, 2009


As you read the title, I’ll bet you are not thinking about the historic French and Spanish roots that reach back before 1776. I’ll bet you are not thinking about one of the biggest shipping ports in the country. Come on, admit it. You’re thinking P-A-R-T-Y! Food and drink accompanied by colorful beads around the neck, and big brassy, sassy music blaring. What better place for a girlfriend’s getaway? Let’s head for the Vieux Carre (the old neighborhood — French Quarter) and see how many food and drink activities we can find.


  1. The Bienville House, 320 Decatur, provides the perfect resting place between forays out to see the town. The boutique hotel clusters rooms around a lush courtyard with a salt water pool. On the top floor, suites open on to a landscaped patio. Recently renovated, each of the 83 rooms has a different, classy, historic look. The location, in the French Quarter near the Mississippi River, puts you within walking distance of shopping, dining, and attractions in the French Quarter and along the mighty river.



  1. Start with lunch at Lily, the Bienville House restaurant. The award-winning chef serves up luscious goodies like a fava bean and lamb meatball soup or giant scallops served on Asian greens and slices of grapefruit. One amazing dish combines baby vegetables with gnocci topped with a to-die-for truffle sauce.
  2. Visit the Southern Food and Beverage Museum located on the 2nd floor of Riverwalk. This fun museum unveils the mysteries of gumbo, muffuletta, crawfish, jambalaya and more.
  3. Skip the Riverwalk Food Court and get the real Muffuletta at the Central Grocery Company, 923 Decatur, where they invented that glorious round sandwich, the muffuletta. Order a 1/4 — or a 1/2 if you dare — and feel like a real native of the Big Easy.
  4. Cross the street from Central Grocery, to get your Beignet fix at Cafe Du Monde — beware of falling powdered sugar — and sip some chicory coffee as you munch a little bit of heaven.
  5. Take a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking where you choose a lecture style class or hands-on cooking.
  6. Take a walk through culinary history with a tour guide.
  7. Decide between historic restaurants like Antoine’s and Galatoires or famous Creole like Paul Prudhomme or the trendy new ones that pop up every week. (Ask your concierge for advice, or return to one of those places from the walking tour.)

Comment on this story:

What all the girls are saying:

  1. Komal says:

    Hi, It is nice to see…….
    I like it.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dian Emery. Dian Emery said: "20 Tips for a Food & Drink Experience in New Orleans" by @pen4hire on GirlsGetaway.com http://bit.ly/PsCqg #tt #travel #NOLA […]

  3. Frugal Kiwi says:

    No mention of early morning beignets at Cafe du Monde in the Quarter? Piles of beignets, covered in powdered sugar and a big hit of chicory coffee?

  4. judy stock says:

    Highly recommend Preservation Hall, some of the best music ever. Must go, must hear the tunes!

  5. Sheryl says:

    Wow, this is some list! I’ve been to N.O. a few times, but next time I go, it’ll be a whole new experience with all this info – thanks!

    • Dian Emery says:

      Thanks Sheryl for checking out our new website – hope you come back often! We will be posting new stories each week. And don’t forget to try out our trip talk section – let us know about your girl getaways!

  6. Dian Emery says:

    mmm, beignets my favorite food in the world! Thanks for tip about Cafe du Monde but we didn’t forget:) It’s # 5 on Vera’s list!

  7. Sheryl says:

    I’ve been to New Orleans a bunch of times and have always loved it. Next time I go, I’ll be armed with your list and it’ll be a whole new experience for me!

    And Frugal, I’m with you on the Cafe du Monde and beignets – the best!

  8. What a list! I’ve never been to New Orleans but feel like I need to. So much to do…thanks!

  9. Stephanie S. says:

    I have yet to visit ‘Nola, and I have to say I feel like there’s a hole in my life because of it. Must get out there!

  10. Susan says:

    I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I hope to visit someday and this gives me some great ideas!

  11. I was just in New Orleans yesterday on a quick assignment and we ate at Mother’s. Not a girls’ getaway but a great local joint full of character and craziness!

  12. Jennifer: I haven’t tried Mother’s, but have heard of it. Next time. And for those of you who haven’t been there–it indeed will steal your heart. Thanks for the outpouring of comments, everybody. New Orleans has that affect on people, doesn’t it?