If there is one thing that we have learned in New Orleans, it’s that the locals have a passion for good food, good music, and beads. Strolling around the city’s neighborhoods, enjoying the mouth-watering aromas wafting through the air from the kitchen, and listening to the live sounds of Bourbon street is what makes this city so magical. You won’t turn a street corner without seeing someone singing, dancing, or wrapped in a copious amount of beaded necklaces!
For those of you like S&J who are obsessed with Paris, it is evident that this old French settlement has developed the French attitude and cultural framework. This week, we bring to you the second UF Road Trip event of the year; the amazing game against LSU that brought us to the SEC Championship! If you’re planning a trip to NOLA any time soon, check out some of our recommendations below for a good time.
☆☆☆☆☆ Café Soulé After the 10-hour bus ride from Gainesville to New Orleans on Friday afternoon, we decided to stop for lunch at this French-inspired restaurant called Café Soulé. The menu consists of authentic Louisiana and French cuisine and they even have a Vegan/Vegetarian menu as well upon request.
☆☆☆☆☆ Sylvain Saturday morning we indulged on a delicious brunch at Sylvain. First of all, the ambiance is exactly what you’d expect from an authentic restaurant in the French Quarter. The entrance looks like a garden and, upon entering, we were seated at the bar in a quaint dining room.
Everything. Was. Amazing. From the ambiance to the food served, this restaurant is a must! Sylvain is also known for its cocktails and even has a Brunch-specific Cocktails Menu. If you’re ever in NOLA and looking for a ~Boozy Brunch~ this is the place for you!
Black Eyed Pea cake w/ Poached Egg Brioche French Toast
☆☆☆☆ Geisha Saturday night, after a long day on Bourbon (if you know what we mean), a group of us decided to go out to a nice dinner at a local Japanese restaurant called Geisha. The sushi was delicious, but for a city that is known for its seafood, the expectations were a bit higher. Halfway through the dinner, we decided to order lots of sake and beer… Yes, Sake Bombing is where we’re headed. Let’s just say that after a couple of hours, the other customers weren’t amused by our dinner table. Nevertheless, the dinner was delicious!
☆☆☆☆☆ Café Du Monde You can’t go to New Orleans and not eat some beignets! For those of you who don’t know what a beignet is, it’s a deep-fried pastry covered in powdered sugar. This delicacy was brought over by the French colonists in the 18th century and has been declared the Official State Doughnut of Louisiana! Fun Fact: Kim K hit up this iconic café during her pregnancy.
Bourbon street is like the Las Vegas Strip of Bars; there are way too many to list here, but we’ll share with you a few of our faves:
- SWAMP (9/10) This bar is two stories tall and has a huge courtyard with a mechanical bull in the back. This was the “faciest” place to be on Bourbon; meaning that if you wanted to see anyone and everyone from UF, you would go here. Drinks are great, music is great, atmosphere is great, but it’s a bit cramped inside and drinks take a while to order.
- Razzoo (8/10) During the day, this bar is an amazing spot with a spacious backyard and a great set-up inside surrounding a stage. This bar is definitely the place where the locals go to get rowdy in the night time.
- American Sports Saloon (10/10) This bar is very spacious and is the best place to watch a sports game with a large group of people. The patio on the second floor is equipped with sofas, patio sets, and individual TVs per “seating unit”. The view of the city is incredible and the staff is extremely friendly.
- Bourbon Heat (10/10) This bar is like an all-in-one special! Downstairs is a nice outdoors seating area where you could drink a nice beer and order food; meanwhile, upstairs is a club where everyone dances the night away. The drinks are pretty basic but the atmosphere is amazing and it would never old.
Shir’s Tips to Light Packing
So you waited until last minute to pack again? You’re unsure of how many outfits to bring or if you’ll even have time to change multiple times throughout the day? You only have a small carry-on sized suitcase? NO PROBLEM!
Boyfriend jeans from Henri Girl are multi-purpose (use code: SHIR15G)
All in all, New Orleans is an iconic American city which everyone should experience once in a lifetime. Each neighborhood has a different personality and there is so much to do aside from going to Bourbon Street to drink with a bunch of college students. The city is centered around Canal Street, which is lined up by horse-carriages, luxurious hotels, water-front bars and restaurants, and great shopping. Of course, we didn’t list everything that New Orleans offers because we mostly stayed in the French Quarter which was by our hotel. Regardless, NOLA is full of culture and great people and definitely worth a visit!