Converse Falcon Roberts
A globe-trotter and adventuress, Converse was born in Bombay, India, traveling to 13 countries before turning six months old. She hasn’t slowed down since. A classically trained fine jewelry designer and recovering advertising exec, she freelances in PR and marketing while traveling the world sourcing production opportunities in the jewelry industry.
Recently awarded the James Beard Award for Excellence (only a few short months after opening their doors), Shaya exploded onto the NOLA foodie scene as a refreshing curve ball to traditional New Orleans cuisine, adding Israeli fusion to the mix with modern Mediterranean décor. Request a table on the patio and indulge in their game-changing hummus, caviar ikra and pita “cake.”
4213 Magazine Street
The city’s select sandwich shop and wine counter is located a short stroll from the Arts District, serving up a delectably delicious culinary cocktail of octopus, salmon lox and a plethora of house cured charcuterie. Duck jerky reserve is sometimes secretly stashed behind the counter…ask to see if they have it on hand.
930 Tchoupitoulas Street
By far the best wine-by-the-glass venue. Loved by locals for long, leisurely evenings on the eclectic patio with prime views of St. Charles Avenue and Tennessee Williams’ legendary passing street cars. The goose-fried pommes frites are so addictive it is wise to order two.
3442 St. Charles Avenue
La Petite Grocery
This romantic café restaurant makes for a beautiful date night while in the Big Easy. Try the turtle Bolognese and blue crab beignets while watching the bustle of Magazine Street from a sidewalk table.
4238 Magazine Street
The place for crawfish pie. Sit at the bar for a craft cocktail or two in this demurely lit and sophisticated Marigny spot while enjoying their stellar collection of bold and unconventional contemporary art.
2600 Dauphine Street, at the corner of Franklin Avenue
Shaun Smith Home
Named by House Beautiful as one of 12 “Next Wave Designers,” this rising star’s stunning array of furniture and home accessories will make you wish you were working with a completely clean slate.
3947 Magazine Street
Popping by to shop inperson is a New Orleans must at tastemaker Jane Scott Hodges’ legendary house of fine linens. Plus it’s so much more memorable than placing orders online.
3806 Magazine Street
Alexa Pulitzer Stationery
Known for collaborations with Tory Burch and Calypso, Pulitzer’s whimsical stationery makes the perfect summer hostess gifts, but it’s almost impossible not to pick out something for yourself.
1325 N. Lopez Street
Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
A well-curated, cutting edge stalwart of both emerging and established artists, JFG represents a diverse portfolio including Mel Chin, Margaret Evangeline and Dan Tague.
400A Julia Street
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Simply one of the coolest of cool…a not-to-miss permanent collection exhibition includes outsider art and Thornton Dial.
925 Camp Street
Hip, modern power yoga studio. In the true spirit of Southern hospitality, they offer special visitor rate—because getting a dose of downward dog is imperative to balancing all the food and wine intake!
725 Magazine Street
The Maple Leaf
Life-changing, boogieinspiring and just all around awesome. The quintessential New Orleans music hall is another “must” while in town. One never knows who might stop by to for a surprise performance…Catch locals Rebirth Brass Band every Tuesday night and the chance to see special guests like Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.
8316 Oak Street
The International House
A little bit glam, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll with a side of Southern charm equals a perfect stay in this boutique hotel. If you’ve already stayed there, make the return trip as the hotel upholds a tradition of summer and winter dress for a whole new seasonal interior aesthetic.
221 Camp Street
Featuring classic and historic New Orleans grandeur, The Roosevelt (a Waldorf Astoria hotel) is located within a block of Bourbon Street for those who want to be close to French Quarter debauchery and action.
130 Roosevelt Way
Erica Reiss was born in New Orleans, raised in Dallas and attended the University of Texas in Austin. After graduating from UT, she lived and worked in California and began dating James, her husband of 14 years, who was a family friend from New Orleans. They are now “back to their roots” in the Big Easy raising their three children, Tatum (12), Brooke (11) and James (8).
Our favorite neighborhood restaurant! Owned by Patrick and Rebecca Singley and nestled away from the tourists in the Uptown neighborhood in a building that was once a pharmacy. You will be charmed by the cozy decorating combined with the delicious French/American dishes created by Sue Zemanick, Bravo Top Chef Alum and 2014 James Beard award winner “Best Chef South.” Gautreau’s is a wonderful dining experience not to be missed in New Orleans…definitely a favorite with NOLA locals!
1728 Soniat Street
Established in 1918 and currently owned by the Casbarian family, this famous eatery is a favorite French Quarter restaurant. They serve classic Creole cuisine in the New Orleans traditional sense—white tile floors and servers in black tie—it’s a must when you visit! There is a live Dixieland jazz band in the Arnaud’s Jazz Bistro, and don’t miss the French 75 Bar. If you need private dining, Arnaud’s has multiple rooms throughout their property. Our favorite is on the second floor with a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. Definitely order their Shrimp Arnaud—their famous sauce is now sold in local stores—and the soufflé potatoes!
813 Bienville Street
More casual places I recommend in the French Quarter are Mother’s for the most amazing po’-boys (an original New Orleans sandwich) and Acme where the menu includes every type of seafood in the Gulf. Children really enjoy both of these places!!! Don’t forget to hit Café Du Monde for the beignets (donuts with powdered sugar)…yet another New Orleans original!!!
401 Poydras Street
Acme Oyster House
724 Iberville Street
Café Du Monde
800 Decatur Street
I have two favorite hotels that I always recommend for visiting guests…both are locally owned.
The Hotel Monteleone is in the best location for enjoying the French Quarter. It is walking distance to everything in the area. It is a beautiful hotel with the famous rotating Carousel Bar…the floor gradually spins while you’re entertained by live jazz musicians. It is so different and fun! The HM also claims to have a haunted floor, which my kids think is great!
214 Royal Street
Windsor Court Hotel
The Windsor Court Hotel is a little outside of the French Quarter and has always been considered one of the most luxurious hotels in the city. Purchased a few years ago by locals who wanted to maintain its reputation, this New Orleans gem has been lovingly renovated and updated.
300 Gravier Street
Magazine Street (between Joseph and Jefferson Street)
This area is two blocks with every type of store that you need to knock out your Christmas shopping in an afternoon! Azby’s and Angelique Boutique are great when you need the perfect dress, outfit and shoes. If I need lingerie to wear under this amazing new dress/outfit, I head to Basics a couple of stores down. I buy children’s birthday gifts at the wonderful toy store, Magic Box. My tween girls love B Kids clothing store…it has all the latest and appropriate clothing for their age group. Earthsavers has the perfect birthday gifts for my friends and every beauty lotion/potion you could want or need. Scriptura is a beautiful stationery store, a perfect place to find a NOLA original gift. Hazelnut has great knick-knacks for the home, and I always find something unique…like the New Orleans-themed toilet wastebaskets, shower curtains and Kleenex holders. The best part about this shopping strip is it’s less than a mile from my house and locally owned, so everyone is extremely helpful and pleasant.
5531 Magazine Street
5421 Magazine Street
Basics Underneath Fine Lingerie
5513 Magazine Street
Magic Box Toys
5508 Magazine Street
B Kids Boutique
5422 Magazine Street
5501 Magazine Street
5423 Magazine Street
5515 Magazine Street
Further down Magazine Street, between Napoleon and Louisiana streets, there are a variety of shops for your home. My favorite is mac MAISON owned by Michael Carbine, the premier restoration contractor in the city. He’s an architect, contractor and decorator, all-in-one! His shop is filled with amazing finds from Europe, and when he renovates he fills your home with the most beautiful and unique antique items—doors, mantels, chandeliers, sconces, etc. You can check out his treasures on 1stdibs.com. Side note: Right across from mac MAISON is the famous SnoWizard Snoball Shoppe…if you’re visiting in the spring/summer, you have to stop there for a refreshing NOLA favorite!
mac MAISON ltd.
3963 Magazine Street
SnoWizard Snoball Shoppe
4001 Magazine Street
If you want to learn more about the colorful history of New Orleans, head to the French Quarter mansion, the Hermann-Grima House. Built in 1831, this historic home has been meticulously restored to its original splendor and depicts the lifestyle of a prosperous Creole family. The courtyard is beautiful!
820 Saint Louis Street
The Audubon Nature Institute includes the Aquarium, Insectarium (both near the French Quarter) and Audubon Zoo (located uptown by Tulane University). All three are state of the art and interesting for
all ages. The Aquarium and Insectarium are perfect if you visit during a rainy day. Both have lots of interactive activities and feature animals that are special to the area. The Albino alligator is a favorite at the Aquarium, and my children love saying they have eaten grasshoppers and worms while visiting the Insectarium (there is a restaurant that lets guests try cooked insects!). Again, adults are just as entertained as the children!!!
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
#1 Canal Street
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
423 Canal Street
The Audubon Zoo is located Uptown in a gorgeous setting…oak trees dripping in moss, swamps filled with alligators and nutria. It’s truly a beautiful and special place to visit. During the hotter months, the zoo opens their water parks, Cool Zoo and the new Lazy River, so don’t forget your bathing suits. The food is really delicious too. My family especially likes eating the Cajun meat pies at the Swamp where live alligators are lounging and swimming in the water below the restaurant.
6500 Magazine Street