There are some wonderful things that are just a few blocks from The Mariott. Want a break down? Of course you do!!
Fun Things That Don’t Involve Eating (Usually)
Insectarium. On the corner of N. Peter’s and Canal Street, just two blocks down from the Marriott, is the old Federal Maritime Commission building. Located in the building is the Audubon Insectarium. Even if you aren’t into bugs, this is a cool place to go and visit. Their best feature is the butterfly garden. A beautiful indoor environment to get out of the heat, sit down and see the most beautiful bugs. It was inspired by Japanese culture, including a beautiful koi pond. If you are feeling adventurous, the Insectarium also has some fun things, like a kitchen where you can taste-test bug recipes. The honey roasted crickets were pretty yummy.
Walk a little further and check out The Aquarium of the Americas, they just put in a Mayan reef which I heard is spectacular (end of Canal Street.
Shopping is Right around the corner at The Shops at Canal Place.
From Saks to Tiffany’s and even local favorites like Mignon Faget (unique jewelry and home furnishings), this is a great place to pick up a few expensive knick-knacks or a hot outfit. Check out Mignon Faget if you are into sparkly things, Mignon Faget is a New Orleans hot item and all the ladies like to sport her latest fashions. There is also a fantastic movie theater in Canal Place, that boast some really yummy popcorn with truffle oil. This isn’t your ordinary theater. The seating is for only about 30 or so and you can order a bottle of wine and a full dinner. Just a press a button for service. Ticket prices will be a bit higher.
Street Car Rides
Do you have $3 – good! You can take a Street Car down Canal Street or walk across the street and catch the St. Charles Street car – ride it for a great tour of the Garden Distric
For High-Class Eats & Drinks (dress nice!) try these NOLA Favorites:
Palace Cafe. In for some fine dining? Right across the street from the Marriott is a gem called the Palace Cafe. You are going to have to make reservations though, and if you have the kids along with you, this is fine dining, not really for them. Your bill for two people will probably be around $80, without drinks. So, not that expensive as some other fine dining experiences in the area.
The Ritz-Carlton’s Davenport Lounge. Just about five blocks up Canal Street is the Ritz-Carlton and within its depths is the Davenport Lounge, named after it’s headliner, Jeremy Davenport. Here you can actually do Afternoon tea, but that is not the lure. The lure is Jeremy Davenport. If you like Jazz, if you like upscale venues…you need to check out Jeremy Davenport.
The Roosevelt. Still in the mood for upscale venues? Walk across the street from the Ritz-Carlton and into the newly refurbished Roosevelt. Then go to The Sazarac bar. The Sazarac is an old New Orleans tradition and the bar is a legend. Restored to it’s former glory, you’ll be transported back to “good old days,” just if you see Huey P. Long….you might have had too much to drink.
The Carousel Bar – Right around the corner on Royal and Iberville, located in the Hotel Monteleone, you’ll find the famous Carousel Bar. You might think you’ve had too much to drink, but the bar IS actually spinning. It rotates slowly in a circle.
Cafe Giovanni – Located right around the corner on Decatur. You can grab yourself some authentic (or as authentic as we can make it in New Orleans) Italian food. This is a romantic stop and perfect if you get your hands on one of those cover models and hope to impress him 😉 Psst – I hear that the waiter’s sing opera. When I went they didn’t do it, but I believe they’re are certain days when it happens.
Exchange Place – Go a little further into the quarter and find Exchange Place, this cool little alley that boasts one of New Orleans most unique artist’s gallery. Michalopoulos. Then get your swank on at the Pelican Club. One of the best meals I’ve eaten has been at this particular fine establishment. The crab cakes. Yum.
Not in the mood for high-class? Let’s take it back a notch…
Felipe’s Taqueria is right around the corner from The Marriott and one of the best places to get authentic Mexican food in the city. It’s a relaxed environment that will not break your budget. I could eat at Felipe’s daily. Just walk one block South to Decator, take a left and walk two more blocks to Bienville, make a right and walk to N. Peter’s (South). Felipe’s is on the corner of Bienville Street and N. Peter’s.
Acme Oyster House – For the best oysters in the city, not to mention some of the best red beans and rice outside of my Mother’s house, get yourself to Acme. They serve some of the best charbroiled oysters around (aside from Drago’s located in the suburb of Metairie). Prepare to wait in line though, but you don’t have to dress up and you don’t have worry about getting friendly with your neighbors. It’s a tight fit. Acme is located right near Bourbon Street on Iberville, basically, go behind the hotel one block and walk toward Bourbon Street.
Please go without Starbucks for this particular vacation. The PJV recommends two New Orleans local shops, which you should see as your walk around the city. PJ’s and Community. I personally prefer Community, but PJs is still pretty good. Your closest Community is located on the corner of Saint Louis and Decatur. There is a PJs on Canal Street, directly across the street from the Marriott and if I’m not mistaken, they have them in some of the local hotels, like The Monteleone.
Other Hot Recommends:
- Daisy Dukes – Damn good Breakfast and to-go cups full of Bloody Marys
- Canal Street Ferry – Walk to the Ferry and take a quick trip across the Mississippi for free
- Court of Two Sisters – Sunday Brunch – not to be missed
- Red Fish Girl – Yum and different
- Galatoire’s – A New Orleans tradition. You go there to be seen and to see local and big name celebs. Over-dress and bring $$. They expect you to dine, for hours and drink a lot
- Dickie Brennan’s – High priced, but another New Orleans traditional fare, yummy steaks, similar to Ruth’s Chris
- Br. B’s – Similar to Dickie Brennan’s, high priced and traditional, great food
Go A Little Further – These Aren’t Right Around The Corner but We Had To Mention Them!
- The National D-Day Museum | 945 Magazine St
You will walk out overwhelmed with big feels and proud to be an American. Do. Not. Miss. 10-bajillion stars.
- Drago’s | 2 Poydras St
Acme has good oysters, Drago’s is 10x better, but it is not in walking distance
- Cochon Butcher | 930 Tchoupitoulas St
If you want to bring back a story of a completely original eatery. Venture to the Butcher. Order a traditiona Cochon du Lait or get a little adventurous and try the alligator sausage
The Best Eats in the City & Burbs (or so we think):
- Dominique’s – 4213 Magazine St
- Kenner Seafood – 3140 Loyola Drive
- Zea Rotisserie – In Clearview Mall
- Commander’s Palace – 1403 Washington Ave
- Galatoire’s – 209 Bourbon St
- Port of Call – 838 Esplanade Ave
- Mulate’s – 201 Julia St
- Dooky Chase – 2301 Orleans Ave.
- Jacques-Imo’s – 8324 Oak St.
- Venezia – 134 N. Carrollton Ave.
- Rock-n-Sake – 823 Fulton St.
Mexican & Tex Mex:
- Juan’s Flying Burrito – 2018 Magazine St.
- Felipe’s Taqueria – 301 N. Peters St.
- The Velvet Cactus – 6300 Argonne Blvd.
Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean:
- Mona’s Cafe – (Mid-City Location)
- Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse – 716 Iberville St.
- The Buffet at Harrah’s – 4 Canal St
- Court of Two Sisters – 613 Royal St.
Late Night Eats:
- Root – 200 Julia St.
- Camellia Grill – 540 Chartres St.
- Green Goddess – 307 Exchange Place
- Angelo Brocato – 214 N. Carrollton Ave.
- The Creole Creamery – 4924 Prytania St.
Best Places to Eat Gumbo:
- Mandina’s Restaurant BEST!!! – 3800 Canal St.
- Gumbo Shop – 630 St. Peter St.
- Liuzza Restaurant – 3636 Bienville St.
- Central Grocery – 923 Decatur St.
- Parkway Bakery & Tavern – 538 Hagan Ave.
- Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar – 5240 Annunciation St.
- Mandina’s Restaurant – 3800 Canal St.
Best Boiled Crawfish: