Where to Eat and What to See in New Orleans

road trip new orleans

Ryan and I went on a road trip! If you recall from my previous posts, on the day after Christmas we flew to Oklahoma to be with his parents for a week. Then, we flew to Florida for a week in Fort Myers. We had a lot of fun and spent most of the week relaxing on the beach and trying every single restaurant within walking distance.

Right before we flew to Florida, we decided that we wanted to take a road trip. Originally, Ryan was supposed to be in Fort Myers the following week for work meetings but then found out that he didn’t have to go. So we had a free week on our hands. We really wanted to visit New Orleans and Nashville but we had never made actual plan to go. When Ryan suggested we rent a car in Florida and drive back up to PA, stopping at a few destinations on the way, I was all for it. I love seeing new places and road-tripping is a great way to see more parts of the United States.

We only had roughly 3 days in each place but we tried to make the most of it! Here are the things we did in New Orleans:

French Quarter

We arrived on Sunday, January 8th around 3pm. We checked into our Airbnb which was in a perfect location within the French Quarter! That first night we took to the streets and walked around for over an hour. I spent the whole day in the car and ended up with over 10,000 steps after we walked around that night!

PS: If you have never tried Airbnb but you want to, now is the perfect time to sign up! When you sign up today you’ll get $40 towards your next trip and I’ll get $20!

airbnb nola

Blue Oak BBQ

Our first meal in New Orleans was Blue Oak BBQ. If you know us, you know we can’t turn down a good BBQ place. This one was really good and also pretty new!

blue oak bbq


The next morning we ate brunch at Stanley which was right in Jackson Square. We had a tour at 11 that met at the statue in Jackson Square so we looked for places we could eat breakfast nearby. I thought the food was good, but nothing crazy!

stanley menu

stanley food 2

Tour of French Quarter with Free Tours By Foot

Ryan and I signed up for a free walking tour of the French Quarter. I say “free” but it’s really pay what you wish. When the tour is finished you have the option to pay the guide whatever you felt the tour was worth. Our tour guide was super knowledgable and a New Orleans native so we obviously paid him well! We were really happy we did this tour because we got to learn a lot of the history of the French Quarter and it allowed us to see some places we didn’t see when we wandered around the night before!

nola french quarter

Cafe du Monde

Of course, we had to stop by Cafe du Monde for some beignets and cafe au lait! I’m not a big coffee person so I opted for a hot chocolate but I thought it was seriously good! I totally recommend stopping by even though it’s a super touristy spot. It’s open 24/7 so you can go anytime you want! We went around 2-3pm on a Monday and it wasn’t super crowded. We were able to grab a table easily and there was no line. The way you order is a little weird. It’s super packed but you just sit down at a free table and wait for a server to come over to you and take your order. Also, reminder that this place is cash only!

cafe du monde

Willie Mae’s

For late lunch, we went to Willie Mae’s because Ryan heard they had amazing fried chicken. They did, but the place was a little sketch for me and didn’t seem super clean. The fried chicken was really good though so I’d recommend ordering take out and bringing the chicken elsewhere to enjoy!

Bayou Beer Garden

On Monday night we went to the Bayou Beer Garden to watch the college football championship. This place was awesome. It had about 4 sections of “beer garden” space outside and then another big section for a “wine garden”. There were tons of people there watching the game outside on their multiple TVs. The only thing I wished was that it was warmer! It was pretty windy and therefore, chilly. We ended up staying for most of the game, leaving just before the 4th quarter began to head back to our Airbnb. The food was pretty decent bar food. It was nice because you could just sit around and drink and then decide to order food whenever you got hungry! There was a window inside you could walk up to and place your order and then they gave you a buzzer to let you know when it was ready. We loved that! It allowed us to not feel pressure sitting around for a few hours.

The Ruby Slipper Cafe

GUYS. This place. My mouth is watering just thinking about my cinnamon roll pancakes. They were SO good and just the perfect amount of sweet. Ryan got a really good chicken + biscuit combo and he also was a huge fan of my pancakes (he might’ve stolen a bite or two). Easily the best place we ate for a meal in New Orleans!

ruby slipper cafe

The Garden District

Ryan and I wanted to do another Free Tours by Foot walking tour of the Garden District but I dropped the ball and forgot to register the night before so we didn’t get a spot. However, on their website there’s a handy list of places to stop and check out in the Garden District so we decided to do that! The big one that we liked exploring was Lafayette Cemetery. There were also some really cool homes in the Garden District too! To get there, we ended up buying a day pass for the street car (trolley) which was cool. We got to see a lot more of the city that way!

lafayette cemetery

Cafe Beignet

After hearing there was a rivalry between Cafe du Monde and Cafe Beignet on who has the best beignets… we decided to check out Cafe Beignet on Day 2. We couldn’t really tell the difference. The beignets at this place did seem a bit more cakey but they weren’t THAT different. Obviously go check it out though because you need more beignets in your life!

cafe beignet

District Donuts Sliders Brew

After that busy day of walking, we decided we just wanted to keep it chill. We drove to District Donuts Sliders Brew for some tasty donuts for takeout! We got a bunch of different flavors including s’mores. They were a really good treat and we snacked on them the next morning on our drive up to Nashville.

Raising Cane’s

After we picked up the donuts we went to Raising Cane’s which is honestly one of the best fast food restaurants I’ve ever been to. They have amazing lemonade, chicken fingers, Texas toast, and Cane’s sauce. If you’ve never been there I highly suggest that you go! We rarely get to eat there because there are no Cane’s in PA so we stopped there for our dinner that night. We were having trouble figuring out what restaurant to go to so we ended up just settling on Cane’s so we could get to sleep early to be rested on our drive.

Have you ever been to New Orleans? Where were your favorite places? Stay tuned for the second part of this post where I talk about what we did and where we ate in Nashville!

  • Molly O’Connor

    Lol, love that Cane’s made the list! We used to go there all the time for late nights in college. I’m bummed we didn’t make it to Ruby Slipper Cafe- it was so crowded when we walked by! We went to several different places though, but glad we made it to get beignets AND donuts!!


  • Kathleen Brown

    Absolutely love New Orleans. Anyone who has never visited should go at least once in their lives. High energy.. fun ..and great people.

  • This makes me want to go NOLA.

  • OMG, this post is amazing! My friends and I hope to head to New Orleans next year and these are all awesome recommendations, I’m totally pinning this!
    Those beignets look DELICIOUS! I’m very curious about Airbnb and your experience…would be awesome if you wrote a post about it someday :)
    paige // eyeliner wings & pretty things

  • Yes! I just went to NOLA too, it’s my favorite place! So glad you tried the district doughnuts! it’s my new favorite place. My friends also tried the ruby slipper and they loved it too!

  • Good thing I just ate lunch. Otherwise I’d be drooling all over my keyboard with this post. LOL

  • My husband and I were just discussing planning a last minute trip to NOLA for Mardi Gras, so I’m definitely bookmarking this one :)

  • Greta Hollar

    I love New Orleans. I do nothing but eat when I’m there! I live in Nashville and can’t wait to see what you did!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  • Ashley Mason

    I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I’ve always wanted to go! All of the food that you got looks delicious!

  • Such a cute city guide! It looks like you got to hit all the popular spots!

  • I love Cafe Du Monde! I’m definitely overdue for a trip back to NOLA!

  • Isaly Fergg

    I can’t wait to visit New Orleans one day! It seemed like a peaceful trip and lots of delicious food!

  • Perfect timing: I’m headed to New Orleans with my daughter soon! District Donuts and Cafe Du Monde (I’ve been but my daughter hasn’t yet) are definitely on our itinerary. Looking forward to checking out some of the other places!

  • Miss Kim

    Hello. I was led here by the Blogger Community on FB. I haven’t been to New Orleans yet, but I’d love to visit some day, especially for the FOOOOOD~ That’s the best part of any travel, right?

  • This looks like SO much fun and such good food! I have always wanted to visit Nola!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

  • I want to go to New Orleans so bad! The food looks amazing!

  • mQs

    Looks like you had so much fun on your trip! Saving this guide for when I make it there someday!

  • I’d say you hit up all the right spots in Nola! You really can’t go wrong with the food choices we have down here! So good!

  • Looks like you had such a great trip! You can never goo wrong with food choices!!!

  • Victoria Stacey

    This is so high on my list for places to visit! I want to check it out so badly :) Thanks for the guide!

  • Everything looked delicious, especially that mac and cheese in the first photo! I have never been to New Orleans but I have heard such amazing things about it. I would love to visit one day!