I think I finally understand why they call New Orleans the Big Easy. It’s probably because it’s so easy to fall in love with this vibrant, historic, and exciting city! And as my home away from home while filming the next season of Queer Eye, I’m discovering all the unique attractions and southern charm that make Nola truly one of a kind. So I’m bringing you all my favorite spots, from where to grab a famous beignet, shop for home decor, or spend a relaxing (or raucus) Saturday – with my complete guide to all things stylish in New Orleans!
For more of Bobby’s travel guides, check out Bobby’s Complete Guide To Austin and Bobby’s Guide To Austin Part II: His Favorite Stylish Spots On South Congress Ave.
Where To Eat & Drink
From po-boys to beignets, gumbo to snowballs, New Orleans has no shortage of delicious dishes. Here are a few of my favorite spots.
For classic creole cuisine, you can’t go wrong with Arnaud’s. They offer a unique Jazz brunch (complete with live performance) and the attached bar, French 75, is an elegant spot to enjoy the classic New Orleans cocktail, the Sazerac.
An uber stylish bar and restaurant whose interior design is just as exciting as its menu. The perfect spot to unwind with a cocktail after a long (and humid) day in the sun.
Cafe Du Monde
This dining institution (which originally opened way back in 1862) is a must-visit for its strong coffee and irresistible powdered sugar beignets.
A more contemporary take on Creole cuisine in a warehouse-style, modern industrial space. Trust me when I say the wood-fired oysters are a must!
Hansen’s Snow Bliz
Home of the iconic New Orleans sweet treat, the snoball, made from fluffy shaved ice and flavored syrups.
For another Nola classic, head to Mahony’s for a perfect po-boy. Their traditional sandwiches are served on sub-style French bread and stuffed with mouthwatering meat or seafood.
Where To Shop
Whether you’re shopping for your home or your wardrobe, there are plenty of stores to discover in the Crescent City.
Dop Antiques & Architecturals
A vast warehouse full of antique European furniture, lighting, and architectural salvage items. I could spend hours (and a lot of money) browsing here!
As the name implies, the home store and design firm offers an eclectic array of home furnishings, from furniture to lighting, art, and accessories.
A covered market that dates back to 1791, it features hundreds of vendors selling art, collectibles, crafts, and food.
Located in the Ace Hotel, this shop offers a curated collection of colorful and cool men’s clothing and accessories.
A New Orleans-based eyewear brand that sells super chic sunglasses at their (equally chic) store in the lower garden district.
Where To Stay
New Orleans is home to a bevy of stylish new hotels that capture the city’s unique architecture and character. Consider this array of options for your next trip.
For a more budget-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on style, the Ace is the place. It’s just a short walk to the bustling French Quarter and features a restaurant, oyster bar, cafe, and rooftop pool.
Hotel Peter and Paul
Housed in a former church, school, and convent, this unique hotel features 71 rooms, a lounge, bar, cafe, and event space. Every room is unique, with a paired back, elegant feel accentuated by gingham curtains and antique furniture.
Hotel Saint Vincent
Opened in 2021, this new hotel offers chic accommodations (and a gorgeous pool) in the laid-back garden district. But don’t let the historic exterior fool you – the rooms actually have a modern meets funky feel.
The Drifter Hotel
This 1950s-era motel is now a cool and eclectic hotel. It embraces many of the original Mid-Century design features while bringing in modern updates and decor for the discerning traveler.
This 9-room B&B is actually run by a team of artists who live and work onsite. And the minimal and bright rooms are the perfect escape from the colorful hustle and bustle of the city.
What To Do
From the famed French Quarter to the perfect spot to stay cool, here is where I’m spending my time off while in Nola.
The Country Club
Equal parts swim club, spa, restaurant, and lounge, the Country Club is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon lounging poolside. They also have an amazing drag brunch every Saturday and Sunday.
The French Quarter is certainly New Orleans’ best-known neighborhood and the center of the action. It features just about anything you could want, from people-watching to late-night antics.
Honey Island Swamp Tour
For an up-close look at the unique Louisiana ecosystem, book a tour of Honey Island Swamp. You’ll be guided by boat through this habitat (about an hour from New Orleans) and have a chance to take in local wildlife like alligators, egrets, and wild boars.
New Orleans City Park
At 1,300 acres, this is one of the largest urban green spaces in the country. So when I need a nature fix, I take a long evening stroll and enjoy the amazing mature oak trees (some of which are 800 years old!)
Let me know your favorite sspots in New Orleans in the comments below!
Hi Bobby- I love all of you! My husband is a NOLA native who grew up near Audubon Park. His mom still lives there, so we visit often. There is nothing like taking the streetcar from the French Quarter to uptown Garden District and Audubon Park. Most food is fantastic but we love Dragos – famous for charbroiled oysters. Also Guys and Parkway Bakery have the best poboys and Commander’s Palace in the Garden District has a great Jazz brunch. Mother’s restaurant has fantastic soul food & Antoines has great classic Creole food – check out their special rooms. We are so excited that you all are there! There’s no place like New Orleans.
Thanks so much for sharing all your favorite spots! I definitely will have to visit them while I’m still here. xx -B