Firmidable’s Picks,
Just For You /

Greetings, lucky visitor! If you’re on this page, it means you’re visiting New Orleans soon.

Here at Firmidable, we think New Orleans is the best city this planet has to offer. But maybe we’re biased. We do live here, after all.

Get ready for the best food you’ve ever eaten, the best culture you’ve ever experienced, and a trip you’ll remember forever.

If you’re in town for NOSSCR, great news: Your visit coincides with New Orleans Restaurant Week (September 9-15). Check out this page to see specials across town.

Keep reading to find out the best way to navigate this amazing place.

CHECK OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST:

RESTAURANTS /

The food, the food, the food. This should be at the top of anybody’s agenda of things to do in New Orleans. There are too many restaurants to cram into a digestible list. Here are some local favorites from Firmidable team members.

For any of these, we strongly recommend making reservations.

CLASSICS /

Antoine’s /

One of the most recognizable New Orleans institutions, this fine dining restaurant claims to be the inventor of Oysters Rockefeller.

VISIT Antoine’s

Brennan’s /

A bit newer to the fold (it only opened in 1946), Brennan’s is another stellar representation of the cuisine you’ve seen and read so much about.

VISIT Brennan’s

Galatoire’s /

This place is legendary for both its food and its dress code—after 5 p.m., gentlemen are required to wear jackets.

VISIT Galatoire’s

Mr. B’s /

You won’t find this place on many lists, and we think that’s a good thing: more great food for us. Feel like a true local at what we think is one of the best French Quarter restaurants.

VISIT Mr. B’s

Commander’s Palace /

A short jaunt uptown from where you’re likely staying, Commander’s holds a special place in New Orleans food history. Go for lunch and get the 25-cent martinis.

VISIT Commander’s

Café du Monde is the perfect place for a quintessential New Orleans breakfast or even a late-night snack! It’s open 24/7.”

ELLIE PLATTART DIRECTOR

MODERN /

Meril /

Accessibility and deliciousness are the highlights at Emeril Lagasse’s newest showcase. Tables are usually available in the large dining room and the food is surprisingly affordable.

VISIT MERIL

Sylvain /

Housed in a beautiful, romantic French Quarter cottage, it’s hard to pick what’s more delectable here: the modern Southern food or the outstanding bar program.

VISIT SYLVAIN

CompÈre Lapin /

A critical darling, and for good reason. Superstar chef Nina Compton delivers innovative, breathtaking dishes you won’t find anywhere else in New Orleans.

VISIT COMPÈRE LAPIN

Justine /

Imagine if fantastic, classic French cuisine went to Las Vegas for a weekend. The drinks, the atmosphere and the food are all fantastically hip here.

VISIT JUSTINE

Restaurant R’evolution /

Located conveniently in the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street, this fine dining experience features the famous “Death by Gumbo.”

VISIT R’EVOLUTION

Seaworthy, nearby in the Warehouse District, serves an impressive array of delicious oysters alongside maybe the best cocktail program in New Orleans.”

ALEX LUDWIG SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

CASUAL /

Parkway /

Often hailed as the best po’boy sandwich in the city, this Mid-City haunt sees locals and tourists alike enjoy happily waiting in line for its offerings. Get the fried shrimp.

VISIT PARKWAY

Central Grocery /

New Orleans’ “original muffuletta” sandwich hails from this French Quarter deli and grocery. You can even take some of their famous olive salad home as a delicious souvenir.

VISIT CENTRAL GROCERY

Casamento’s /

This tradition-steeped haunt opened in 1919 and remains famous for its oyster loaf, which piles fried oysters high between two thick slices of toast.

VISIT CASAMENTO’S

MAHONY’S /

A newer spot accessible for the whole family, Mahony’s serves the classics and updated twists on New Orleans favorites.

VISIT MAHONY'S

MANDINA’S /

It’s OK if you don’t consider New Orleans a place filled with great Italian food—it doesn’t make the headlines. But the red sauce tradition runs deep here, nowhere more than at Mandina’s in Mid-City.

VISIT MANDINA’S

“It can be kind of a tourist trap, but you have to go to Drago’s and get some charbroiled oysters. They’re the best.”

MANDY LEEMEDIA MANAGER

WHERE THE LOCALS EAT /

Jacques-Imo’s /

Located in a zany house in the Riverbend neighborhood, this place is legendary for its setting and outlandish, but delicious fare. The alligator cheesecake is always a hit.

VISIT JACQUES-IMO’S

SABA /

Superstar chef Alon Shaya’s New Orleans flagship is lauded as arguably the best modern Israeli cuisine America has to offer. Run, don’t walk, here.

VISIT SABA

Pascal’s Manale /

The purported inventors of New Orleans staple dish BBQ Shrimp, Pascal’s Manale is a mainstay for New Orleans powerbrokers. Tip: get there for the oyster happy hour.

VISIT PASCAL’S MANALE

Ralph’s on the Park /

Situated on the edge of beautiful City Park, Ralph’s serves elevated local cuisine in an elegant setting. Perfect for a romantic meal away from the tourist bustle of downtown.

VISIT RALPH’S

UPPERLINE /

A favorite of Uptown residents, Upperline serves luxurious New Orleans classics in a charming house adorned with local art and imbued with rich history.

VISIT UPPERLINE

Coquette is my favorite restaurant in the city. It’s a friendly neighborhood restaurant that happens to serve world-class food.”

MIKE CUMMINSDigital Manager

CLASSICS /

  • Antoine’s /

    One of the most recognizable New Orleans institutions, this fine dining restaurant claims to be the inventor of Oysters Rockefeller.

    VISIT Antoine’s
  • Brennan’s /

    A bit newer to the fold (it only opened in 1946), Brennan’s is another stellar representation of the cuisine you’ve seen and read so much about.

    VISIT Brennan’s
  • Galatoire’s /

    This place is legendary for both its food and its dress code—after 5 p.m., gentlemen are required to wear jackets.

    VISIT Galatoire’s
  • Mr. B’s /

    You won’t find this place on many lists, and we think that’s a good thing: more great food for us. Feel like a true local at what we think is one of the best French Quarter restaurants.

    VISIT Mr. B’s
  • Commander’s Palace /

    A short jaunt uptown from where you’re likely staying, Commander’s holds a special place in New Orleans food history. Go for lunch and get the 25-cent martinis.

    VISIT Commander’s
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Café du Monde is the perfect place for a quintessential New Orleans breakfast or even a late-night snack! It’s open 24/7.”

ELLIE PLATTART DIRECTOR

MODERN /

  • Meril /

    Accessibility and deliciousness are the highlights at Emeril Lagasse’s newest showcase. Tables are usually available in the large dining room and the food is surprisingly affordable.

    VISIT MERIL
  • Sylvain /

    Housed in a beautiful, romantic French Quarter cottage, it’s hard to pick what’s more delectable here: the modern Southern food or the outstanding bar program.

    VISIT SYLVAIN
  • CompÈre Lapin /

    A critical darling, and for good reason. Superstar chef Nina Compton delivers innovative, breathtaking dishes you won’t find anywhere else in New Orleans.

    VISIT COMPÈRE LAPIN
  • Justine /

    Imagine if fantastic, classic French cuisine went to Las Vegas for a weekend. The drinks, the atmosphere and the food are all fantastically hip here.

    VISIT JUSTINE
  • Restaurant R’evolution /

    Located conveniently in the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street, this fine dining experience features the famous “Death by Gumbo.”

    VISIT R’EVOLUTION
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Seaworthy, nearby in the Warehouse District, serves an impressive array of delicious oysters alongside maybe the best cocktail program in New Orleans.”

ALEX LUDWIG SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

CASUAL /

  • Parkway /

    Often hailed as the best po’boy sandwich in the city, this Mid-City haunt sees locals and tourists alike enjoy happily waiting in line for its offerings. Get the fried shrimp.

    VISIT PARKWAY
  • Central Grocery /

    New Orleans’ “original muffuletta” sandwich hails from this French Quarter deli and grocery. You can even take some of their famous olive salad home as a delicious souvenir.

    VISIT CENTRAL GROCERY
  • Casamento’s /

    This tradition-steeped haunt opened in 1919 and remains famous for its oyster loaf, which piles fried oysters high between two thick slices of toast.

    VISIT CASAMENTO’S
  • MAHONY’S /

    A newer spot accessible for the whole family, Mahony’s serves the classics and updated twists on New Orleans favorites.

    VISIT MAHONY'S
  • MANDINA’S /

    It’s OK if you don’t consider New Orleans a place filled with great Italian food—it doesn’t make the headlines. But the red sauce tradition runs deep here, nowhere more than at Mandina’s in Mid-City.

    VISIT MANDINA’S
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“It can be kind of a tourist trap, but you have to go to Drago’s and get some charbroiled oysters. They’re the best.”

MANDY LEEMEDIA MANAGER

WHERE THE LOCALS EAT /

  • Jacques-Imo’s /

    Located in a zany house in the Riverbend neighborhood, this place is legendary for its setting and outlandish, but delicious fare. The alligator cheesecake is always a hit.

    VISIT JACQUES-IMO’S
  • SABA /

    Superstar chef Alon Shaya’s New Orleans flagship is lauded as arguably the best modern Israeli cuisine America has to offer. Run, don’t walk, here.

    VISIT SABA
  • Pascal’s Manale /

    The purported inventors of New Orleans staple dish BBQ Shrimp, Pascal’s Manale is a mainstay for New Orleans powerbrokers. Tip: get there for the oyster happy hour.

    VISIT PASCAL’S MANALE
  • Ralph’s on the Park /

    Situated on the edge of beautiful City Park, Ralph’s serves elevated local cuisine in an elegant setting. Perfect for a romantic meal away from the tourist bustle of downtown.

    VISIT RALPH’S
  • UPPERLINE /

    A favorite of Uptown residents, Upperline serves luxurious New Orleans classics in a charming house adorned with local art and imbued with rich history.

    VISIT UPPERLINE
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Coquette is my favorite restaurant in the city. It’s a friendly neighborhood restaurant that happens to serve world-class food.”

MIKE CUMMINSDigital Manager

NIGHTLIFE /

It’s hard to recommend a list of things to do in New Orleans that doesn’t involve eating or drinking. Most any bar in the Quarter or downtown you stumble into will provide you wonderful libations. Below is a list of our favorites.

But our biggest tip? Any time you’re leaving a bar, you don’t have to desert the rest of your drink. You can ask for a go-cup and bring it on your merry way as you travel between spots.

OK, onto the hits:

Carousel Bar /

You’ll fittingly see this in every tourist guide. Located in the Hotel Monteleone, you can sit down at the bar and slowly make a circle while sipping classic New Orleans cocktails and listening to live music.

VISIT THE CAROUSEL BAR

French 75 Bar /

Situated adjacent to the main Arnaud’s, this bar serves some of New Orleans’ best cocktails. Wander upstairs to find the Mardi Gras Museum, which houses some early Mardi Gras ball dresses dating back centuries.

VISIT THE FRENCH 75 BAR

Pat O’Brien’s /

If you’re on Bourbon Street, you must stop at Pat O’s. Get the original Hurricane cocktail and let the famous dueling pianos set the tone for a lively evening.

VISIT PAT O’BRIEN’S

Hot Tin /

Newly renovated, this historic hotel has the best rooftop bar in the whole city if you ask us. The drinks are always great, and you can usually find good music, too.

VISIT HOT TIN

Bacchanal /

Head a little beyond the French Quarter to the Bywater neighborhood for New Orleans’ premier wine bar (which has great food, too.) A lovely patio with live music makes for one of the coolest spots in town.

VISIT BACCHANAL

“The Banana Froster (not a typo) at Palace Cafe is AMAZING! It's unique way to stay cool, with a hot concept to boot.”

KATHY PERRACFO
  • Carousel Bar /

    You’ll fittingly see this in every tourist guide. Located in the Hotel Monteleone, you can sit down at the bar and slowly make a circle while sipping classic New Orleans cocktails and listening to live music.

    VISIT THE CAROUSEL BAR
  • French 75 Bar /

    Situated adjacent to the main Arnaud’s, this bar serves some of New Orleans’ best cocktails. Wander upstairs to find the Mardi Gras Museum, which houses some early Mardi Gras ball dresses dating back centuries.

    VISIT THE FRENCH 75 BAR
  • Pat O’Brien’s /

    If you’re on Bourbon Street, you must stop at Pat O’s. Get the original Hurricane cocktail and let the famous dueling pianos set the tone for a lively evening.

    VISIT PAT O’BRIEN’S
  • Hot Tin /

    Newly renovated, this historic hotel has the best rooftop bar in the whole city if you ask us. The drinks are always great, and you can usually find good music, too.

    VISIT HOT TIN
  • Bacchanal /

    Head a little beyond the French Quarter to the Bywater neighborhood for New Orleans’ premier wine bar (which has great food, too.) A lovely patio with live music makes for one of the coolest spots in town.

    VISIT BACCHANAL
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“The Banana Froster (not a typo) at Palace Cafe is AMAZING! It's unique way to stay cool, with a hot concept to boot.”

KATHY PERRACFO

MUSEUMS & TOURS /

There are plenty of fun things to do in New Orleans that aren’t eating or drinking, too. This city boasts an impressive art scene, a nationally recognized museum and more.

Our recommendations:

French Quarter Walking Tours /

There are scores of these you can book, tailored to whatever piques your interest. Cocktail tours, ghost tours, general walking tours—pick your favorite.

BOOK THE WALKING TOUR

The National WWII Museum /

One of the world’s most decorated museums is located just walking distance from the French Quarter. Get in-depth with the American experience during World War II here.

VISIT WWII MUSEUM

NEW ORLEANS Pharmacy Museum /

Housed in a mid-19th Century apothecary, this museum can help you get in touch with the spookier side of our city.

VISIT THE MUSEUM

THE Ogden /

Located in the Warehouse District, this museum claims to hold “the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art.”

VISIT THE OGDEN

Contemporary Arts Center /

Just across the street from The Ogden, the CAC features unique, multidisciplinary art found nowhere else in New Orleans.

VISIT CONTEMPORARY ARTS

“Go to the sculpture garden next to the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park, which recently doubled in size. It's a (free) world-class art collection in a cool part of town.”

MARK WALLERSenior Writer/Editor
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“Go to the sculpture garden next to the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park, which recently doubled in size. It's a (free) world-class art collection in a cool part of town.”

MARK WALLERSenior Writer/Editor

KID-FRIENDLY /

Finding activities for the whole family in New Orleans can take a little digging. But don’t worry—we did that for you.

If you have the family in tow for your trip, check out these kid-friendly hotspots:

Audubon Aquarium /

Right in the heart of the city, the aquarium is a crowd-pleaser for all.

VISIT THE AQUARIUM

Insectarium /

Just a couple blocks away is the Audubon Insectarium, home to insects large and small. Don’t miss the butterfly aviary.

VISIT THE Insectarium

Audubon Zoo /

A short Uber ride away is the zoo, which is one of the top zoos in the country.

VISIT THE ZOO

Louisiana Children’s Museum /

The LCM just debuted brand-new digs in City Park, a short ride away from downtown. Its sleek new home is educational for all, plus a great way to get out of the sweltering heat.

VISIT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Mardi Gras World /

A short ride from downtown, Mardi Gras World is an interactive look at the history of Mardi Gras. See everything that goes into planning these parades. You even get free king cake.

Visit Mardi Gras World

“If you’re looking for an easy thing to do with kids, grab some daiquiris for the parents, po’boys for the whole gang, and head down to The Fly and watch the ships go by or toss a football around.”

KATIE BAXTERVP of Operations
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“If you’re looking for an easy thing to do with kids, grab some daiquiris for the parents, po’boys for the whole gang, and head down to The Fly and watch the ships go by or toss a football around.”

KATIE BAXTERVP of Operations

OTHER ACTIVITIES /

In South Louisiana, “lagniappe” refers to a little something extra. If you’re looking a few extra things to do in New Orleans that aren’t confined to the categories above, here are our suggestions:

Live Music /

Live music can be found all over the city. Head to Frenchmen Street for the highest concentration, or see concert schedules at popular venues like Tipitina’s, The Howlin’ Wolf, and Preservation Hall.

CHECK OUT LIVE MUSIC

Brewery Tour /

New Orleans is quickly becoming a city heavily populated with craft breweries. There are multiple places in town that do sanctioned tours, or head here to check out a list to make your own.

See the Spots

Magazine Street Shopping /

There’s no better street to get a taste of local shopping than Magazine, which stretches from downtown all the way to the Mississippi River.

CHECK OUT MAGAZINE ST.

Swamp Tour /

You’ll have plenty of options if you want to get up close with our local wildlife. The good thing: most of these companies will transport you to and from the bayou and back.

SCHEDULE A TOUR

ART WALK /

Check out the local art scene with a stroll down Julia Street in the Warehouse District or Royal Street in the French Quarter. You can usually browse with a drink in your hand, too.

VISIT ART GALLERIES

“One gem in the French Quarter, for music and food, but not on Bourbon Street is the Bombay Club. It’s a nice, tucked-away spot in the middle of all the action.”

NATHAN CHAPMANCEO
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“One gem in the French Quarter, for music and food, but not on Bourbon Street is the Bombay Club. It’s a nice, tucked-away spot in the middle of all the action.”

NATHAN CHAPMANCEO