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New Orleans, LA 70119
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IM’s Nola Dining Picks, 2022

New Orleans French Quarter

Welcome back to New Orleans!

After virtual meetings and Zoom parties for waayyyy too long, we know you’re stoked to be back among friends in the Big Easy.

Visiting New Orleans can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to fit a lot into a few short days. We at IM live, work and play here year-round—so allow us to be your ambassadors and steer you toward great experiences while you’re in town for Serious Business 2022.

As COVID vaccination or a negative test is required to enter indoor venues in New Orleans, make sure you pack your proof with your dancing shoes and eating pants! See Nola’s current guidelines here.

GETTING READY

Put yourself in a NOLA mood with this New Orleans feel-good playlist on Spotify, livestream New Orleans’ world-famous community radio, WWOZ, or explore the #OneTimeInNOLA hashtag on Instagram.

SUNDAY, JAN. 16

7am — Coffee & Brekky

Our true coffee aficionados swear by Mammoth Espresso and Mr. Wolf Espresso and Art & Design Bookstore (for excellent creative vibes to go with excellent coffee). If a full breakfast is what you crave, head straight to the deliciousness that awaits you at The Ruby Slipper , Two Chicks Café, or Commerce Restaurant.

 

 
 
 
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12pm — Lunch

Lunchtime on Sundays, and the restaurants in New Orleans fill up! Book in advance at one of these fabulous spots near the Saenger and you can stroll into excellent fare without missing a beat: Luke, Gallier’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Mr. B’s Bistro, or GW Fins. If a classic New Orleans po-boy is what you’re after, Killer PoBoys happens to be a short walk from the Saenger.

 

 
 
 
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8pm — Dinner, Drinks, Networking

Chef Nina Compton’s Compére Lapin features adventurous Caribbean and European takes on classic New Orleans cuisine, plus first-class craft cocktails amid a relaxing yet sophisticated ambience. Restaurant R’evolution has modern, inventive interpretations of Cajun and Creole cuisine with world-class service and stunning décor. 


If Contemporary Creole in a luxe atmosphere is your jam, Restaurant August is your reservation. When vibrant and low-key is what you’re after, Palm & Pine unpretentiously serves up some of the best seasonal dishes New Orleans has to offer.

 

 
 
 
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Dine early and you can catch the Elevate Hair Show starting at 8pm at the Toulouse Theater. This creative art, hair and music experience is a can’t-miss for inspiration, excitement and dancing ‘til you drop.

 

 
 
 
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10pm+ — Live Music

Can’t visit New Orleans without it! Browse WWOZ’s live music calendar for specific bands and musicians playing around the city, or pop by adventurous off-the-beaten path venues like Gasa Gasa, Chickie Wah Wah, Hi-Ho Lounge, or Music Box Village to see what’s up.

You can’t go wrong strolling down Frenchmen Street between Esplanade and Dauphine to check out one live music club after another to discover what sounds lure you in. For you dancers, one of our favorite Sunday-night activities is Swing Night at the Allways Lounge featuring live music and dance lessons.

 

 
 
 
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MONDAY, JAN. 17

7am — Coffee & Brekky

Late night got you feeling a little … less than perky this morning? Backatown Coffee Parlour or Spitfire Coffee is this morning’s stop for strong, flavorful, top-shelf coffee.  For a full-on nosh, head to Jimmy J’s Café or  Wakin’ Bakin’s French Quarter location to check all your breakfast boxes.

 

 
 
 
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12pm – Lunch

Relax and enjoy classic, no-nonsense New Orleans fare at fan favorites Mother’s Restaurant and Acme Oyster House. For a more upscale experience, get your reservations in early at Justine, Miss River, Copper Vine, or Bourbon House.

 

 
 
 
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8pm – Dinner, Drinks, Networking

It’s your last night, so make it memorable in one of these highly recommended locales. Jack Rose in the Pontchartrain Hotel provides an eclectic and fun dining and cocktail experience. Venturing out of the Central Business District/ French Quarter,  N7 is a hidden gem in the Bywater featuring French cuisine and small European winemakers.

Head Uptown and you’ll find Cavan, located in a decadent mansion, which provides a modern take on traditional Southern food. Brigtsen’s, namesake of famed chef Frank Brigtsen, serves up award-winning Creole fare in a homey setting—you’re usually welcomed personally by Chef’s wife, Marna.

For small-plate dining, Effervescence is a bubbly spot for champagne and tapas, while The Tasting Room in the lower Garden District pairs small plates with an exceptional wine & liquor selection that spans the globe. Of course, you can’t go wrong at New Orleans’ most famous (for a reason) restaurant, the world-renowned Commander’s Palace in the Garden District. 

 

 
 
 
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YOUR FREE DAY

Getting in a little early (or staying a little late)? Here are a few activities we recommend to our out-of-town friends who have a free day to spend in New Orleans:  

Take a Walking Tour — There are so many to choose from: Ghost tours, French Quarter tours, Voodoo tours, Tremé tours, Cemetery tours, Garden District tours, and more. Whatever you want to learn more about, you’ll be led to some of New Orleans’ most interesting spots and be completely entertained and educated by fun and knowledgeable tour guides. Free Tours By Foot has a great tour selection, as does French Quarter Phantoms

 

French Quarter Stroll — Nothing like ambling aimlessly around New Orleans’ oldest and most famous neighborhood and taking it all in, especially when it’s all decked out for Carnival. Walk the length of Royal Street with its elegant antique shops and art galleries, street musicians, and grand architecture. Take a lap around Jackson Square and check out the licensed artists and their offerings.  

To pause and enjoy a cocktail (or grab one to go), head into a classy establishment like Bar Tonique, Arnaud’s French 75 or the Carousel Bar, a dive bar like the Voodoo Lounge, Black Penny or Erin Rose, or gay bar like the Golden Lantern, Betty’s Bar & Bistro, or American Townhouse

 

 
 
 
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Magazine Street Shopping — Enjoy six miles of the best independent shops, restaurants and bars in the city. A quick rundown of some of our faves: 

Funky Monkey — A truly groovy clothing exchange that mixes new, used and vintage clothing for men and women.  

Billy Reid – High-end apparel and accessories for women and men.

Trashy Diva – Fun, vintage-inspired clothing and accessories for women.

Century Girl – Hand-curated, elegant vintage fashion and accessories for women.

Elle Boutique – Ultra trendy women’s clothing and accessories.

Hazelnut – One-of-a-kind gifts, housewares and accessories with a New Orleans flair.

Dirty Coast – Hip, edgy New Orleans-inspired apparel and gifts. 

  

 
 
 
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Now, this is only scratching the surface of all that New Orleans has to offer … so if you’d like any other suggestions, just give us a call or shoot us an email. And, if you find someplace not mentioned here that you love—stop by the IM booth and let us know! 

No matter what you eat, drink and do while you’re here: stay hydrated, take plenty of pictures and enjoy your time to the fullest!

 

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