To say I had an amazing time on my anniversary trip to New Orleans would be a vast understatement. It was perfection! Well, aside from the blistering heat one day.
I did a lot of planning for this trip, like I always do for vacations, and I basically planned every day around my favorite thing: food. I did my research and I filled our days with places that were both delicious and beautiful. If it wasn't both, I didn't want it on my list.
I posted lots from my trip and so many people were asking about the places I went and wanting more details, so I figured a full itinerary would be useful. I'm outlining every activity and meal. The trip was pretty charmed and I know it's because I did my research.
We got in late the first night and didn't have plans other than checking into our Airbnb. Guys, it was so pretty! The living room was just all the vibes and I loved the morning light through those big windows. I had some issues with it, like they didn't have a throw blanket and they left us with one roll of toilet paper, but it sure was pretty! Here is a link to it on Airbnb.
For dinner we went to a place called Olive. This wasn't a planned meal, but it ended up being something we repeated later because it was a) right below our Airbnb and b) DELICIOUS! Seriously, some of the best hummus I've had in a hot minute. They don't have a website, but their address is 339 Carondelet Street.
We went to enVie Espresso Bar & Cafe for breakfast and boy, it did not disappoint. This was a very casual morning, so I wanted to do something cheap. It was exactly what I needed. It was cute and had great coffee. We ordered donuts as well and were very happy campers.
We walked around that general area afterward and came across my favorite spot the entire trip. There were these stunning apartment buildings with so many flowers. It felt like a very idyllic NOLA scene.
Dave was probably the most excited about the New Orleans Botanical Garden. He's an avid gardener, so anything in that realm has him excited. The gardens were very lovely and they had a lot of very phallic cacti. Lol.
Napolean House was probably the only meal we had that I wasn't ecstatic about, but I loved the ambiance and the back patio was stunning. I still think it's worth a visit, but I would recommend a beer and bar snacks rather than a proper drink and a meal. Whatever is the safest bet that allows you to take in the experience at the lowest risk. Lol.
I like to stop by Mango Mango every time I'm in New Orleans. They don't have a website, but their address is 201 Bourbon Street. It's basically right smack in the middle of Bourbon and is generally a shit show. If you go midday/afternoon on a weekday it's much more enjoyable. It's one of the many establishments selling giant slushies on bourbon. It's probably the same as the rest, but it's nostalgic for me because that's where Dave and I went on our anniversary many years ago.
Luke is Dave's favorite restaurant in NOLA. We hadn't been in about six years and he's been talking about it for that long. The reason he loves this place is their mega fresh oysters. That's really all he eats there. Just mountains of oysters. The food in general is very solid and the staff is always insanely good at their jobs. 10/10 always.
A friend of ours was kind enough to show us The Elysian Bar, which was INSANE! We got to sit and drink booze in an old church. I just can't explain how beautiful and awesome it was. There was a live harpsichordist throughout the dinner, the drinks were perfect and the ambiance was just stunning. This is probably in my top 5 things we did in NOLA. I highly recommend. I just wish I had some more photos. Check out their site so you can get the full effect.
On the flip side, Old Absinthe Bar was mediocre at best. I really wanted to go because of the historical significance. You see, the local story is that the famous pirate Jean Lafitte met with Andrew Jackson at this bar to make a deal to give assistance in the defense against the British Naval forces. I love that bit of history, but it's just a bar with bad bartenders. I'm sorry, but that is what it is. They also serve absinthe for double the price I would pay considering how watered down they make it. I watched someone else order absinthe and was shocked. I'm a big absinthe fan and have had it all over the world at this point and I've never seen someone rip off a customer like that. I almost have to pat them on the back for that scheme.
Copper Vine was probably the most modern spot I chose for this trip. I'm generally more into the classic New Orleans faire, but I know Dave is more of a modern guy, so this was for him. I'm so glad we went though because the food was great. We went right when they opened and had the entire place to ourselves. We decided to order a bunch of things and treat it like tapas and the unanimous favorite was the fig and goat cheese flatbread.
I wanted to know for myself is Cafe Du Monde or Cafe Beignet was the best beignet in the city. I know Cafe Du Monde is the OG, but I always heard great things about Cafe Beignet. I don't want to get into it too much because I'll be doing a separate blog about this, but I'll just say that Cafe Beignet won fair and square!
Longue Vue House and Gardens was so beautiful and since we went during the week, we, again, had something all to ourselves. It's a bit of a trek from the tourist area of NOLA, but well worth it. The gardens are spectacular and the staff there was so happy to answer all our garden questions. We had a lot of questions and they were so nice to answer them all.
Jack Rose was our anniversary dinner and also my favorite meal of the trip. The decor is like it was pulled from my fantasies. It's exactly what I would envision a perfect restaurant to be, from the gallery wall to the floors. It's everything. It's just so lovely. Then, our waiter was so good and knowledgeable about the menu in a way you only see at truly amazing establishments. I had the fried chicken parmesan and it makes my mouth water to even mention it. It was that good! They even brought out dessert out with sparklers to celebrate out anniversary. It was really special.
Bar Marilou was the perfect end to our evening. I had a few different cocktails and they were all wonderful, as were Dave's, so I think it's safe to say they have some stellar mixologists and it's safe to order anything. I also had the goureres aux epoisses (French cheese puffs) and I devoured those. Mmmm mmm good! I also feel like we managed to get the best seats in the house without a reservation. I think we were just charmed because it was our anniversary.
I couldn't get a reservation at Brennan's, so we just showed up before they even opened and prayed and that would work, which it did. If this interests you, I highly recommend making this reservation first. Their claim to fame is the banana's foster because, well, they are the birth place of banana's foster! In the 1950s, Owen Brennan made it for the first time and named it after his friend Richard Foster. You should read the whole story under the "traditions" section on their website. Also, this is another spot that the decor is insane. The colors are gorgeous!
We went to Auction House Market for a drink after, but we didn't realize the bar section didn't open until 11am, so we had coffee until it was late enough to drink. Lol. This is a newer and more contemporary locale with the prettiest damn velvet chairs and the most Instagram worthy wallpaper in the bathrooms. It's the best spot for a selfie. I found my love for a French 75 cocktail thanks to the fabulous bartender who knew just what I needed.
The Carousel Bar @ Hotel Monteleone was a big ticket bucket list item for me and was actually as cool as it was cracked up to be. We got there right at open and that wasn't early enough. People literally ran to the bar once the doors opened and we didn't get a seat. It took a little less and hour to finally snag a seat and it was difficult. There were people waiting like vultures to snag a seat that had just walked up, so we had to have our game faces on and ready to jump, or at least Dave did. I'm not that cut throat. I was fully worried it was going to be silly and not worth it once we got a seat, but it was actually very fun to ride the carousel and the drinks were great. I had the hand shaken pina colada and Dave went with the amador old fashioned. We also had the fried chicken and biscuit sliders and they were wonderful.
We rounded out our dining with a meal with family at Broussard's. Dave has family in town and it was the perfect way to end the meal. I honestly can't remember what I ate, probably because the amazing company is what I really cared about, but I know we all licked our plates clean. But can we talk about the wallpaper and the sage green ceiling? Beautiful!
Just follow my itinerary and you'll be the happiest of campers, I promise. :) I have you covered!
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