NOLA

Compère Lapin // Hands down one of the best meals of the trip. This is Chef Nina's restaurant from Top Chef Season 11 and it is not one to miss! We dined during brunch and ordered the smoked hamachi everything doughnut (MUST GET), chilled shrimp tostones, truffle fonduta + poached egg and coconut french twice (so ridiculously flavorful that we ordered it twice #fatties).

District Donuts Sliders Brew // CREEKSTONE alert! We literally only came here as they serve meat sourced from Creekstone Farms. We got the Maple Sriracha and Vietnamese Coffee donuts (go for Vietnamese Coffee) which were both flavorful in their own ways. But the true winner here was the Bulgogi slider with Asian pear-rhubarb slwa and Kimchi mayo. So perfectly crafted. Quick tip: get there before 11 am.

Cafe du Monde // Just don't question it.

Sucré // Ran in here to avoid taking a shower outside (thunderstorms are no joke here, guys) and glad we did! Definitely a high end dessert spot that serves gelato, fine chocolate, and desserts. We got an 8-piece box and it was pretty good!

Willa Jean // Weekend brunch with an excellent selection of baked goods and pastries! Quick tip: don't miss the chocolate chip cookies + tahitian vanilla milk. It's no Dominique Ansel cookie shot, but a close second. 

Domenica // Also one of the best food experiences of the trip! After eating fried goodness every day, we were actually dying for some Italian fare. We started with the Octopus Carpaccio with fennel and citrus (so fresh and flavorful!) and Arancini (you can never go wrong with Arancini!). Main dishes included the Spaghetti and Margherita pizza. Quick tip: go during happy hour for half off pizzas!

Mahony's Po-boys // Stopped here for a mid-afternoon, late lunch upon Guy Fieri's recommendation - the po-boy's just lacked flavor and seasoning and were TOO pricey for a sandwich. Quick tip: if you do decide to try this place, get a small size to taste it first. 

Meril // This is one of Emeril's many restaurants; it features mainly small plates with some Caribbean, South American and southern influences. The notables here were DEFINITELY the deviled eggs with gulf shrimp and cajun caviar, fois gras buttermilk biscuit with blackberry preserves, yellowfin tuna wraps and the crabmeat fettuccini. Quick tip: make sure to book reservations in advance if you want to eat at a decent hour. 

Stumptown Coffee // This was my first stop in NOLA and let me tell you, it is a STUNNING space inside and out. And Stumptown Coffee always makes me happy, so win-win.

Magazine St. // Eat. Drink. Shop. Repeat. Quick tip: bring your walking shoes cause this street stretches 6 miles long.

Frenchman St. // THE place for music in Nawlins. 

Audubon Park // Flora and fauna x one hundred. 

Hope you guys definitely get a chance to check out New Orleans; it is one of the most soulful and colorful towns I've seen.

I’ve finally checked off a big bucket list item - visiting The Big Easy aka New Orleans! The weather, first off was pretty insane. We experienced a day of flash flooding which sort of took away from our itinerary that day; however, I will never ever forget walking 1.5 miles in the downpour and ducking for cover in the famous Cafe du Monde, only to eat piping hot beignets and look out to the torrential downpour while the most beautiful jazz tunes sing throughout the streets. It was a memorable scene that gave me so much insight to the people of New Orleans, rain or shine, the music and jazzgoers will GO ON!

I won't dive into the deep details of what we did each day but below is a guide of what I'd recommend to see/eat in the colorful town.

EAT:

Seaworthy // Part of the Ace Hotel but a world unto itself - this is a stunningly beautiful place, an 1820s style building. The range of seafood options is spectacular and though the flavor were on point with our oysters and ceviche, the portions were very small. Quick tip: go during happy hour.

SEE:

There's art in every corner of New Orleans and just catching a glimpse of the art community + culture was so touching.

St. Louis Cathedral // The cathedral is breathtakingly beautiful. It is the showpiece of Jackson Square and is a must see if you are ever in the French Quarter. 

Bourbon St. // I knew I wanted to "see" Bourbon Street to say I've seen it but I can safely say I'm never going back. It's not the cleanest street and it smells rather vile. Most of the area is under construction at the moment, with construction barricades making it difficult to navigate. There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area, but many of them seem like overpriced tourist traps. #notmyscene

SHOP:

Though we didn't do much shopping on this trip there were definitely a few areas I'd recommend.

Magazine St. Shops // Notables include Clover Boutique, Hemline and Pied Nu.

The Shops at Canal Place // An upscale mall, the AC is cold for getting off the streets on hot days ;)