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NYE in NOLA - First Time - HELP


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NYE in NOLA - First Time - HELP

Cerberus | | Dec 4, 2012 12:57 PM


First time poster here and this will be my first trip to NOLA! I had NOLA on my “to-do” list since I was 18, but unfortunately never made it down there. Luckily, my wife had suggested we spend my 30th birthday in NOLA, which is also New Year (yes, I am New Year’s baby) and I am beyond stoked for this trip. I always heard great things about the city and the people and my expectations are so damn high, but something tells me that I shouldn’t be worried ;)

But… I sort of am worried… there are just so many great places to eat and so little time that I am just not sure where to start or where to go first… and what if I miss a place?! I have already started to compile a list of places to check out while in NOLA which is based on the info on this board and the word-of-mouth from friends that have been to NOLA, but I figured I would post a thread here and get a response / suggestions from the “locals” on things to do / see and, most importantly, where to eat!

I have travelled the world and ate some interesting dishes, but I do have to say that Cajun is one of my favorite foods (and this is coming from a guy who when first came to the US from Europe could not eat pepperoni pizza because it was too “hot”). The reason why I say this is because I am interested in the culture and local cuisine vs. eating the “tourist-trap” food or the food I can get here in Ohio. This is also one of the reasons why NOLA is so appealing to me: fresh seafood, creole / Cajun food, French kitchen – all in one place. I am more stoked about the food then partying on the infamous “Bourbon” street (which I am still planning to do)!

So… what are some of the places a “local” would recommend? My wife and I will be in-town 12/29 - 1/2. I’m really interested in local cuisine: gumbo, jambalaya, oysters, seafood, benedicts, deserts (banana fosters!) and similar. Oh, and definitely jazz (during or after dinner)!

I know this is not related to chow (aka food) , but what are some of the sightseeing things we should check out? I’m not huge into football (I’m European, remember), but I do think we’ll go check out the Saints. I was told about the cemeteries and haunted houses as well so that’s something we may check out (yea, I know it’s touristy, but I may as well check them out while down there). Any other historical locations worth checking out? Yes, the primary focus of the trip is party and food, but like I had mentioned before, I am really interested in the local culture when visiting a new place.

Last, but not least, any suggestions what to do for New Year’s Eve? I have not made any reservations since I have been burned before (didn’t really like the event we had booked last NYE and we had more fun after the actual even and the day after).


Here’s my list of places to check out (I realize I do not have the time or money for all, but I figured if we’re close-by why not get a drink or a small appetizer just to try it). I'm staying in FQ, but which one’s would you definitely recommend?

Absinth House

Acme Oyster House






Café DuMont (spell?)

Café Pontalba

Cat’s Meow

Central Grocery


Commander’s Palace

Court of Two Sisters

French 75




Montrel’s Bistro

Mr. B’s Bistro



Original French Market Restaurant

Palace Café

Pat O’Brien’s

Preservation Hall

Ralph and Kacoo



Spotted Cat


Tropical Isle