Cafe Du Monde: If you go to New Orleans and you don’t go to Cafe Du Monde, then we can’t be friends. It’s essential. Sure, it’s touristy and the lines can be long… but we’d swim through shark-infested waters for their beignets and iced coffees. Just go, and we suggest sitting at a table for the true experience. (@cafedumonde)

Spitfire Coffee: It’s easy to miss this 250 square-foot coffee shop in the heart of the French Quarter, and that’s one of the reasons why we love it. Order their signature Brown Butter Mocha (we love it iced), and get to know their friendly baristas! (@spitfirenola)

French Truck Coffee: Ask a NOLA local where to go for coffee, and chances are they’ll send you to French Truck! They have three locations in New Orleans, and each one is perfectly funky and unique. Try their famous New Orleans Iced Coffee! (@frenchtruck)

District Donut Bar: We can’t turn down a donut and coffee bar… that combo is our weakness! District makes some pretty amazing (and decadent) donuts, and their coffee is great too. Just don’t come here if you’re on a diet. Actually, you probably shouldn’t go to New Orleans at all if you’re on a diet! (@districtdonuts)


Willa Jean: This chic and trendy eatery is as Instagrammable as it is delicious! Their coffee is strong, the biscuits are perfectly flakey, and you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. (@willajeanneworleans)

  • Bobby’s pick: BBQ Shrimp Toast

  • Alli’s pick: The Grain Bowl

Molly’s Rise and Shine: If you grew up in the 90’s, you’ll be obsessed with this spot. From the vintage memorabilia on the wall (E.T., Power Rangers, Wheaties boxes, Chutes & Ladders), to the old school serveware and nostalgic menu… it’s fun (and quirky) trip back in time! (@mollysriseandshine)

  • Bobby’s pick: Grand Slam McMuffin

  • Alli’s pick: Whirled Peas on Toast

Elizabeth’s: Best known for their praline bacon, this quirky quintessential restaurant in the Bywater District is not to be missed. You’ll be dreaming of the praline bacon for weeks! (@elizabethsrestaurantnola)

  • Bobby’s pick: Eggs Elizabeth

  • Alli’s pick: Basic Breakfast

Ruby Slipper Cafe: They have six bustling locations all over New Orleans, a mean bloody Mary, and an extensive breakfast menu that’ll make breakfast lovers week at the knees. For a real treat, order “The Trifecta” - and come hungry! (@rubyslippercafe)

  • Bobby’s pick: French Toast Batons

  • Alli’s pick: Eggs Blackstone


Sylvain: Experience a different side of the French Quarter with a romantic and sophisticated dinner at Slyvain. This dark and trendy gastropub serves Southern bistro classics that are elevated and sophisticated - and they make some stellar cocktails! (@sylvainneworleans)

  • Bobby’s pick: Pappardelle Bolognese

  • Alli’s pick: Sylvain Burger

Arnaud’s Restaurant: It doesn’t get more “New Orleans” than a classy meal at the historic Arnaud’s Restaurant in the French Quarter! They’re the originators of the “French 75”, and have been serving traditional Creole cuisine since 1918. They also have a Jazz Brunch on Sundays, that we’ve heard is phenomenal! (Plus, Jay Z and Beyonce are regulars… so it’s obviously a must.) (@arnaudsnola)

  • Bobby’s pick: Stuffed Gulf Fish

  • Alli’s pick: Amandine

Desire Oyster Bar: We love restaurants that are in on the action (AKA, great for people watching), and Desire’s location couldn’t be better. Sit by a window, where you’ll be able to snack on char-grilled oysters enjoy the hustle and bustle of the iconic Bourbon St. You’ll be entertained for hours! Plus, their oysters are unreal. (@royalsonestano)

Central Grocery: If you haven’t heard of a Muffuletta, it’s probably because you haven’t been to Central Grocery. Consisting of sliced meats, homemade bread, and their family’s Italian olive salad all it takes is one bits of the famous sandwich to understand the hype. It’s been featured on USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Today show, and more! Share a half size - they’re huge! (@centralgrocerynola)

Carousel Bar: “Take a spin” at this iconic revolving bar, that’s been a long-time New Orleans favorite - and their cocktails are expertly crafted! Speaking of which, one of our favorites, the Vieux Carre, was first concocted here! (Get there early for a better chance at getting a seat at the bar!) (@hotelmonteleone)

Parleaux Beer Lab: We love this neighborhood craft brewery because it’s casual, off the beaten track, and has a cozy patio that’s perfect on a sunny day. And because their small batch beer is really impressive. (@parleauxbeerlab)

The Gazebo Cafe: Three words: Ice cream daiquiris. Located right across from the world famous French Market, The Gazebo Cafe is our pick for a midday pick me up. The ice cream daiquiris come in a myriad of flavors (try the grasshopper or the mudslide), and their bloody mary isn’t too shabby either! (@gazebocafenola)

Napoleon House: This bar and restaurant has been a New Orleans landmark since 1914, and it’s the birthplace of the Pimm’s Cup! Grab a seat at their legendary bar, or take one to go (you can do that in New Orleans)! (@napoleonhousenola)

Le Pavillon Hotel: Elegant and ornate (without feeling pretentious), Le Pavillon is one of our favorite hotels in New Orleans, mostly because they have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich bar (genius, right?), which is free for hotel guests from 10-11pm! (@lepavillonnola)

Pontchartrain Hotel: Located in the Garden District, this charming hotel has been named the #1 Hotel in New Orleans by Conde Nast, and one of the best new hotels in the world by Travel and Leisure! The rooms are spacious and cozy, and they have one of the best rooftop bars in the city! (@thepontchartrain)

Bike Tour with FreeWheelin Bike Tours: One of the best ways to see and learn about the city (in our opinion), is on a bike tour. The friendly folks at Free Wheelin’ Bike Tours will not only give you a fascinating history lesson of the city, but they’ll also take you to some lesser-known sights, through some quaint neighborhoods, and you’ll even stop for  a drink or two at a few local spots. In 3 hours, you’ll learn more about New Orleans than you would in a day or two on your own! (@freewheelinbiketours)

The Louisiana State Museum: Conveniently located in the heart of Jackson Square, the Louisiana State Museum is home to a moving exhibit on Hurricane Katrina, and a fascinating look inside the history of Mardis Gras. We aren’t always big “museum people”, but thought this one was really well done! (@lastatemuseum)

Jazz at The Jazz Playhouse: You can’t visit New Orleans without seeing a live jazz performance, and we think The Jazz Playhouse is one of the best! Sip on a French 75, cozy up in a booth, and get ready for a jazz performance that you’ll never forget! (We suggest making a reservation in advance - you can do so here.) (@jazzplayhouse)

Pharmacy Museum: This 1823 apothecary turned museum has exhibits of early medicines, superstitious cures, and more… and it’s absolutely fascinating. Again, we’re not always big fans of museums, but this one is something special. You’ll be blown away by how far modern medicine has come! (@pharmacymuseum)

Above-Ground Cemeteries: History buffs will be mesmerized by the above-ground cemeteries sprinkled around New Orleans. The one that we visited was Lafayette Cemetery #1, and dates back to 1833! Wander on your own, or you can hire a guide to take you around.

National World War ll Museum: One of the biggest (if not THE biggest) museums we have ever visited, this visually stunning, world-renowned museum is not something you pack into a busy day. You need at least 3-5 hours, so keep that in mind as you’re planning your itinerary. We highly, highly recommend it. (@wwiimuseum)

Doctor Gumbo Cocktail Tour: This is a fun way to learn (and taste!) some of the city’s most historic cocktails. The tour takes you to four celebrated venues, and showcases some of the city’s most notable mixed drinks. You’ll even make some friends on the tour, which was one of our favorite parts! (@doctorgumbo)

While there are a handful of dog-friendly hotels in the city, we recommend you leave the pup at home. Like most big cities, the activities that we did/recommend aren’t inclusive of pets.

As much as we did enjoy Bourbon street, we did so in small doses. We suggest spending an afternoon and/or night to explore that area of the French Quarter, and then be done. There are better spots to explore that are, well, cleaner. And prettier. And safer. You get the picture.