The Essential New Orleans Itinerary

Commander's Palace

Must-see spots in The Big Easy.

New Orleans is one place where brand-new rarely seems quite as good as tried-and-true. The right way to do a long weekend is by eating and drinking at the legendary spots. Our favorites, below.

Commander's Palace
Sunday jazz brunch at this Garden District stalwart is a must for its set menu of Southern staples and music by Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio. Walk it off at Lafayette Cemetery across the street before riding the St. Charles Avenue streetcar back to your hotel for a sieste. commanderspalace.com.

Central Grocery
Get to this French Quarter mainstay early and split a muffuletta, the hearty disk-shaped Italian sandwich. When the store runs out, it doesn’t make more. centralgrocery.com.

Columns Hotel
At this 19th-century mansion in the Garden District, try a mint julep at the Victorian Lounge. Arrive by late afternoon for a seat on the veranda. thecolumns.com.

Getting Around
There’s no need to rent a car in this walkable city. And when your feet give out, Ubers are plentiful. For an airport pickup, contact A-Z Private Transportation (504-307-1599) at least three hours before your arrival.

Café du Monde
The 24-hour coffeehouse on Jackson Square needs no introduction. Go during off-hours. No seating? Grab a beignet to go and sit alongside the Mississippi River. cafedumonde.com

Pontchartrain Hotel
The 1940s Garden District neighborhood landmark (rooms from $279; thepontchartrainhotel.com) completed a $10 million renovation last year, with chef John Besh reviving its menus. The view from the rooftop bar is the best in town. Another luxe option is Windsor Court (rooms from $380; windsorcourthotel.com); book a Club Level room.

Brennan's
Breakfast in NOLA means one thing: Brennan’s and its eggs Benedict. The French Quarter’s famous pink house was recently redone with a new bar and a Mardi Gras–themed dining room overlooking Royal Street. brennansneworleans.com.


Courtesy Josephine Estelle/Ace Hotel

Galatoire's
There have been a few lows (family squabbles) and many highs (the 2013 opening of Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak next door) in its 112-year history, but Galatoire’s, in the French Quarter, remains a Friday lunch tradition for locals. galatoires.com.

Arnaud's French 75
Since 1918, this elegant bar has been the antithesis of everything else on Bourbon Street. Its signature champagne cocktail, the French 75, is the specialty of barman Chris Hannah, who’s known as one of the best in the business. arnaudsrestaurant.com.

Ace Hotel Bar
When the stylish 234-room hotel opened in the Warehouse District last spring, its Art Deco–inspired bar became an instant classic. Order a Sazerac. acehotel.com.

Antoine's
A prime French Quarter spot for original French-Creole fare, Antoine’s, which gave birth to oysters Rockefeller, is best for a big group or a private party. antoines.com.

 

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