Jenny Peters is a columnist and travel writer and editor who has contributed to a number of New Orleans guides for Time Out. She has also written about food, wine, fashion and travel for National Geographic Traveler, Insider, USA Today and New York Magazine.
Start your day with the best breakfast in New Orleans
As the sun rises over the Crescent City, you’re bound to catch the scent of strong chicory coffee brewing. There are many ways to start the day here, be it with a cafe au lait and a fresh-baked croissant or a hearty spread starring eggs Benedict or thick French toast. Cafes and restaurants serving up breakfast in New Orleans have just the thing to fuel you up. It’s worth leaving the house a little earlier to spend your morning at these breakfast spots. From neighborhood cafes where regulars meet to start the day to famous restaurants that make any breakfast a special occasion, you’ll find classic breakfast fare and creative dishes that highlight the French, Creole, Italian and other influences that make the city’s food scene shine. You can wake up with beignets, praline bacon, pecan waffles, breakfast wraps or a simple, delicious pastry. Late risers (or those recovering from a night out at New Orleans’ best bars) can enjoy one of the city’s best brunches, but whatever time you get started, these New Orleans breakfast spots are the best way to enjoy the most important meal of the day. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in New Orleans
Indulge in the best beignets in New Orleans
Who doesn’t like fried dough? From donuts and funnel cakes to churros, buñuelos and zeppole, there’s nothing like this hot, fluffy treat. In New Orleans, the iconic beignet is the fried dough delicacy of choice. In their original and simplest form, the fried, pillowy squares are piled high with powdered sugar, producing a cloud of sweet joy with each bite (if you’re not covered in white powder, you’re doing it wrong). The best beignets in New Orleans include this traditional version as well as other creative interpretations both savory and sweet. From an order of three and a chicory cafe au lait at the famous Cafe du Monde to delicate, blue crab-stuffed versions at white tablecloth establishments, beignets are served at restaurants throughout the city. Innovative options include tantalizing, praline-filled beignets or indulgent beignets bursting with the likes of crawfish etouffee. You can sample some of the best and most creative versions at the annual Beignet Festival in October, or work your way through this beignet bucket list, one by one. You’ll definitely want to try them all.
The 17 best restaurants in the New Orleans French Quarter
If you’re in the city of jazz, we can bet that the French Quarter is at the top of your list. The French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, and every step feels steeped in New Orleans history. It’s all walkable on foot, and you can spend whole days dipping in and out of the many cafés, bars and restaurants on offer. And trust us, the restaurants are worth it. The French Quarter is home to everything from Creole fine dining classics to family-run Italians and fresh seafood, and more. There are cocktails a-plenty and huge courtyards to dine at, and when you’re full to the brim, you’re in a prime area to check out New Orleans’ best jazz clubs. Here are the best places to eat in the French Quarter. RECOMMENDED:🍴 The best restaurants in New Orleans🎷 The best spots to see jazz in New Orleans🍻 The best bars in New Orleans📍 The best things to do in New Orleans🏘️ The best neighborhoods in New Orleans
The best New Orleans festivals in 2022
After a seemingly endless hiatus, New Orleans festivals are back on the schedule, and the city is pulling out all the stops to let the good times roll. This year's slate of festivals are going the extra mile, with residents and visitors eager to celebrate the culture of the city.The city itself is known for taking any excuse to plan a festival—there are celebrations that honor some of New Orleans’ most famous foods (like crawfish, gumbo, and beignets) and festivals that spotlight various styles of music (from zydeco to blues and jazz). Sure, you’ve likely heard about the city's most iconic fests. And while Mardi Gras isn’t a traditional festival by definition, Carnival season—the period of time leading up to the big day—is a series of parties, parades, debutante balls, and a whole lot of revelry. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, too, draws thousands of visitors every year to celebrate local music and food. But there are many more festivals throughout the year that celebrate the unique culture of New Orleans and South Louisiana. No matter what time of year you arrive, you’re almost guarenteed to find something worth celebrating. Of course, you can check out all the best restaurants, iconic foods, and best bars while you're here, but planning a visit around one of these New Orleans festivals is a great way to take a deeper dive into what makes this one of the best cities in the world. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in New Orleans
The best New Orleans attractions
Visitors have always descended on New Orleans for major events like Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and a slew of annual festivals. Many are also drawn by the locally-grown music — jazz, brass band, funk, and more. Others come to eat (and eat and eat) at the amazing restaurants in the city. Aside from all that, both visitors and locals can spend time checking out the best New Orleans attractions. From historic properties and museums to colorful locales and Crescent City icons, these attractions are must-sees among the best things to do in New Orleans. In a city rich with history, each neighborhood — from the French Quarter to the Garden District — is an attraction. The Spanish, French, and Caribbean influences in the city are worth exploring in New Orleans’ museums, as well as its arts and cultural scenes. The city is evolving but rooted in its past, with the modern and historic mixing seamlessly. When exploring these New Orleans attractions, whether cemeteries, streetcars, or museums, you’ll get swept up in the unique flavor of NOLA. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in New Orleans