There is no shortage of amazing food, music, people, sights and experiences in this beautiful crescent city. Here are 5 not to miss New Orleans moments for those coming to BEST Doula Training in April.
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1. Hansen's Sno-Bliz
This is Hansen's 78th year. The shop is ran by the lovely Ashley Hansen, the granddaughter of the founders. You think you've had a snow ball in some-other-town, USA. You haven't. Hansen's owns the patent on their ice shaving machine, has never sold it, - and for real, it is like no other. If this were the only thing that set Hansen's apart that would be enough, but it's not. Add to this Ashley's homemade syrups. Cardamom, Vanilla Bean, and Grapefruit are just a few of my favorites. Unsure what to order? Here's my advice 1. Ask Ashley. 2. Order a bunch of smalls and get a bunch of flavors. No regrets!
2. Sweet Olive
There's really no exact place for this, it's just all over New Orleans. Sweet Olive blooms twice a year. Breathe it in. It's intoxicating and will make you want to do nothing more than soak in the sun and laze the day away.
3. Food, Food, Food, and More Food
Really, there is no shortage of incredible restaurants here, but Shaya is going strong and still standing out. Eat it all. Lutenitsa, baba ganoush, hummus, falafel . . . all served with as much homemade pita as you can eat in a beautiful setting. The hummus - seriously - they remove the skins of the chick peas before making the most amazingly creamy hummus ever.
Local Grub - check out Chef K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. You'll be delivered an incredible basket of bread and will eat until you can't anymore. You only live once.
Pizza - Pizza Delicious. This former pop up has had their own spot in the bywater (a popular New Orleans neighborhood) now for some time. Get the cauliflower roll, a cesar salad and their pizza of the day. After you eat take a walk over the bridge to crescent park and take in the river. This water has journeyed it's way here and it brings with it soil from the north, currents that should not be underestimated and stories of Twain and music.
Coffee - Cherry Espresso Bar and District Donuts have my favorite lattes in the city. Cherry is in uptown, you'll likely find some sweet olive if you head this way! District Donuts is in the garden district of New Orleans. I love their breakfast taco and the nola creme donut.
This isn't just for tourists, we love them too. There are a number of places to have beignets these days, but check out these and skip the rest. If you want to visit the French Quarter, then it's Cafe Du Monde. It's cash only and here's a local tip: you don't have to wait in line, tables are first come first served. You can also visit the beautiful City Park and enjoy beignets between the sculpture garden and bayou at Morning Call, also cash only. Not one of these is more nola than the other - choose your setting, or choose both. Can you eat too much? In fact, you could take the red street car from the river to the park and go from one beignet to the other!
You can't come here and not catch some music. Frenchman St. used to be our little secret - well, the word's out and it gets crowded, but it's still a great place to catch some tunes and even dance. There's also a great late night art market featuring many New Orleans artists on Frenchman St. Other venues not on Frenchman you might like to check out are Tipitinas and One Eyed Jacks.
Can't wait to see you in New Orleans!