#WhoDat: How To Spend a Weekend in New Orleans
Last year around this time, Robert and I took a weekend trip to New Orleans to get away for a hot second. Neither one of us has ever been the Crescent City so it was an experience. Personally, I’ve always had an obsession with the city because it isn’t like anywhere else in the country. It’s in its own little world with an entirely rich and colorful history. The food is insane too…I’m still having withdrawals from the beignets.
Spending a quick weekend out of town is always a treat because it resets how you look at everything and it’s always nice to see some new stuff. This is how to spend a weekend in New Orleans and leave satisfied:
Where to Eat
Food is a huge deal in New Orleans. From the Africans to the Cajuns, the influences come from everywhere. What I enjoyed most is the authenticity and knowing I’m tasting the real deal Cajun/Creole foods I see on tv.
Cafe Du Monde
It’s amazing that a place that only serves coffee and beignets is still open after a century. This was one of the first stops Robert and I made as soon as we landed. The popular landmark is open 24/7 because when isn’t it ever not a good time for fluffy, fried dough and mountains of powdered sugar? We got there after midnight and it was PACKED. Waiters were lined up against the wall waiting(no pun intended) for guests to sit. Beignets and coffee are made all day so a fresh batch is always ready to be served. I swear we were at Cafe Du Monde for 20 minutes total…that’s how fast it is.
Located in Jackson Square, this is a good option for brunch. We sat near a window so all the hustle and bustle of the day passed by as we waited for our food. I suggest getting the Eggs Stanley meal; you can never go wrong with an Eggs Benedict dish for breakfast.
Ray’s on the Ave.
This spot was low-key and a short walk from the craziness of the French Quarter. It felt like I was walking right into my aunt’s house. We had the luxury of being in town when the Saints and Panthers were playing so being in the company of all the Saints fans cheering excitedly for their team did something to my spirit. Black Excellence.
New Orleans Cake Cafe and Bakery
Faubourg Marigny, the area of town where the cafe/bakery is located, reminds me a little of Seminole Heights in Tampa. Old, colorful houses line the streets and you can smell the history in the air. The neighborhood is usually what you think of when you’re looking for a good brunch spot. It was packed from to bottom inside so we ended up sitting outside.
The Black history in New Orleans is completely different than anywhere else in the country. Here, slaves had a little more “freedom” than elsewhere. On Sundays, the slaves gathered at Congo Square to sell items, dance, and make music. The square is considered to be where jazz was created. Being there was something special for me. I felt like I was surrounded by the ancestors when I walked around. The Congo Square Preservation Society set up at the square every weekend to honor them and keep the traditions going. I had the pleasure of witnessing it and played the drums a little bit myself 🙂
We all know whenever you go to New Orleans, the French Quarter is where to go because that’s where it all goes down. We landed around 11 and was in the French Quarter by midnight. I’m not sure why I was surprised but the area was still alive and people were still out at the bars. Everyone in the Quarter is having a great time so it’s easy to make “friends”. It’s exciting to walk around the area because it’s like an entirely different world. It’s refreshing to be able to see historical houses like that in great shape; the French and Spanish influences are right in your face. I’m convinced every house there has some sort of historical value. I swear.
Anytime there’s some kind of movie or video or whatever, a shot of Jackson Square appears. We walked around here for a bit after eating at the Stanley Restaurant in the French Quarter(they’re right next to each other). The only “regret” I have for the square is not getting a picture with the Mardi Gras Indians there because they’re costumes are so beautiful. Any photo taken is so picturesque with either the cathedral and street performers in the background of any photo.
I’m still reminiscing over everything we we did in NOLA and I’m counting down the days until I can return. What city are you counting down the days to return to?