Emily Xie

Guide to New Orleans

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The "Big Easy" dazzles with its nightlife, Cajun food, and live music

Love it for its...

Lively atmosphere and seemingly endless bars

Cajun food

Live music and art on every street

Great walkability in the French Quarter

Relatively inexpensive prices for a tourist destination

But it's also...

Hot and humid in the summertime (and a bit smelly, especially on Bourbon Street)

Can't miss


If you are going to eat anywhere in New Orleans, it should be at Cochon, a must-eat pork-inspired restaurant with a Cajun twist.

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Hot, fresh beignets and Café Au Lait

Whether you go to the famous Café du Monde or elsewhere, you should absolutely get fresh beignets and café Au Lait (chicory coffee and hot milk) somewhere in New Orleans

Shouldn't Miss

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Swamp Tour

Get up close and personal with the New Orleans swamp creatures (e.g., wild boars, alligators) on a swamp tour

Definitely not a must-do while in New Orleans if this is not generally your type of thing, because it's quite a time commitment  (45 minutes there and back, plus the 2 hour tour), but I still absolutely loved the tour that we went on


Maybe Miss

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Commander's Palace Restaurant

Despite its reputation as the quintessential nice New Orleans restaurant, it doesn't necessarily live up to the hype and doesn't provide very good value for the relatively high cost

What else?

Since we were only there for a few days, there were plenty of places we weren't able to check out, but received as recommendations from friends; so if you're looking for a bit of extra inspiration, this might be a helpful place to start:

New Orleans Ghost/Voodoo Tours

Learn about haunted spots in New Orleans and its Voodoo history


Contemporary Louisiana fare with a great boozy brunch in the Garden District

Brieux Corre

New Orleans microbrewery with 12 rotating taps


Southern cuisine inspired by Northern Mediterranean cooking - as of June 3, 2018, Angeline was closed and moving locations

Carousel Bar

Bar at Hotel Monteleone with a circular bar looks like and revolves like a carousel

The Country Club

Drag-show brunch on Saturdays inside a 200 year old house

Coops Place

Casual place for Cajun food, fried chicken, and drinks