My mom and I have always wanted to travel to New Orleans to experience the culture, vibrant music scene, and of course, the food. This trip gave us a look into all of those things and so much more and I’m excited to bring you along on our journey.
Right off the bat, we found New Orleans to be a random food gem with shops and restaurants everywhere we turned. While walking around, I kept getting distracted by everything I saw but I had an agenda: find a place that served po’boys and gumbo in that order.
Our first stop was Daisy Dukes an eatery near our hotel that has chains throughout the city. We found just what we were looking for, a simple lunch packed with all the flavors of NOLA. I think I am in love with gumbo now! If you have a favorite recipe, please share it with me because I would love to recreate the dish at home!
St. Charles Streetcar
After lunch, we hopped on the Saint Charles Streetcar which was the perfect mode of transportation for my mom and I. Riding the streetcar out of the downtown area gave us a different perspective of New Orleans for sure. The cost was $1.25 each way for a standard ticket but if you purchase a one or three-day pass, you definitely save money which is always ideal.
Dinner + Dessert
Willie’s Chicken Shack was so good and 100% met my expectations! I honestly couldn’t believe fried chicken from a fast food joint could taste so good. It was way better than KFC, for sure. Just a quick walk down Bourbon Street, this convenient location really saved my hunger in a pinch.
After dinner, beignets were calling my name. And by chance, we happened to stumble upon Café Beignet, a shop famous for their delicious New Orleans-style donuts. My dessert whim turned into reality and I was so happy! From the food to the live Spanish guitarist, I felt like our first night in New Orleans ended perfectly.
The next day we were on the hunt for shrimp and grits, per my mom’s request. We decided to take the trolley and buy the day pass just in case we wanted to explore more of the city, which we did.
About 15 minutes into the ride, we decided to hop off the trolley and explore the city on foot. While walking we stumbled upon Luke a brasserie that serves elegant French and German-style food. Before entering we looked at the menu for shrimp and grits, which we found; although pricey, we went for it!
We also ordered a salad because we were slacking with our vegetable consumption during our trip. The salad we ordered was amazing. It was packed with delicious vegetables, yummy beats, and a tasty dressing.
A tip to help you save money: if you’re with another person or multiple people during a trip, consider sharing your meals. It’s a lot cheaper if you can split a dish versus each person paying for their own. Doing this also gives you a chance to taste multiple items.
The service that Luke was great! Our full order of shrimp and grits was made into two single cast iron half servings for my mom and me to have our own. It was truly unexpected but so nice and classy. I’m pretty sure this was my favorite meal so far. We killed it!
One of my favorite things to do while on a trip is to check out local shops and food stores. As we ventured through the city it felt like we walked into each store that sold souvenirs and food. One shop had alligator heads and jerky, another shop had a bunch of pralines for sale, and there was a whole shop dedicated to tea and spices. Anything people could sell was on display throughout the city and I absolutely loved it!
Shopping + Music
We eventually found ourselves back on the trolly. We decided to head to the French Market via Canal Street. The ride was really nice and a great way to see a completely different part of New Orleans. High on my list was to hear live music. Just about everywhere we walked had a live band playing or a soloist sharing their music with the masses. As a musician myself, I felt really lucky to be blessed by so much art.
Cafe Du Monde
Since we were in the area, we decided to check out the famous Café Du Monde. Opened before Café Beignet as a coffee stall in 1862, their beignets are said to be the best in town. This eatery is usually packed to the brim with hungry customers, but we visited at 5:00 PM and were seated inside immediately.
I was excited and ordered two hot chocolates and three beignets. The initial bite was hot due to the freshness of the pastry. The difference between these beignets and the ones at Café beignet is their crispy texture, the amount of powdered sugar piled sky-high, and the addition of hot chocolate, which to me, is a perfect pairing. I personally think Café Du Monde has the best beignets in town but my mom disagrees. She says Café Beignet wins. My advice for your trip to New Orleans: try both cafes for yourself and let me know your thoughts on who has the best beignets in town!
Exploring My Heritage
On our last day, we decided to go on one more adventure. We drove about an hour from the city to a little café near the Whitney Plantation called the Fee-Fo-let Café. It was a good resting point rich with culture, stories of folklore, and food.
After 30 minutes, we finally made our way to the Whitney Plantation. I couldn’t film much while I was there but I did not mind. I wanted to be as present as possible and pay my respects to the slaves who lived on the plantation, especially the children.
Pay a visit to this memorial site yourself. It was such a life-enriching experience for me and I think you will feel the same.
The last thing I ate in New Orleans was this random Mediterranean salad with chicken from a food court shop and it was delicious. I also decided to try New Orleans-style chips called Zapps. They weren’t as great as I thought they would be. I’m obsessed with salt and vinegar chips (basically any brand) but unfortunately, these did not satisfy my craving.
I am so thankful I got the opportunity to travel to New Orleans with my mother. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I can’t wait to do more of these in the future with her.
Stay tuned for future travels. I am planning a couple more adventures for 2020 and I would love for you to join me through my travel diaries.
Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I know it’s been a while since my last post but I plan to be more consistent in 2020. Subscribe and follow The Jazzy Nation so you don’t miss out on a future post!