Lifestyle

How to escape The Big Easy's tourist traps

Published On 09/13/2013 Published On 09/13/2013
Credit: Goorin Brothers
Credit: Flickr / Jason Lam
Credit: Mandina's New Orleans
Credit: Flickr / Infrogmation of New Orleans
Yelp / Gloria H.
Credit: Flickr / vxla
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1. Goorin Bros. Hat Shop 709 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

Your head will thank you after a trip to these legendary hatters, who've been crafting stylish and functional lids since 1895.

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2. Morning Call 56 Dreyfous Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124

As NOLA's self-dubbed "most famous coffee drinking place," Morning Call has been brewing its prized French drip coffee since 1870, which has a rich chicory taste that goes all too well with the cafe's sugar-dusted beignets. Morning Call tends to be cheaper and less tourist-packed than some of the city's other coffee shops (ahem, Cafe du Monde), which means you don't have to wait as long to get your hands on the signature pastries. A short line-up of local cuisine (jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish bread) is worth a taste, too.

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3. Mandina's Restaurant 3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

This Canal St destination for Italian fare and creole seafood is renowned for its pink building as much as it is for its turtle soup and fried trout. The brick- and wood-accented space enforces a family-friendly atmosphere, and on any given night, you'll see tables packed with multiple generations of cajun lovers indulging on signature oversize portions of fried fish.

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4. The Spotted Cat Music Club 623 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

If you're looking for some live music (specifically some smooth jazz), you can't go wrong with the Spotted Cat, which hosts live bands every night of the week, just steps from the French Quarter.

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5. Blue Nile 532 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

When you're lookin' for a live music fix, swing on down to the Blue Nile, grab a drink, and listen to some of the hottest blues, funk, soul, and brass artists that NOLA has to offer.

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6. d.b.a. 618 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (Bywater)

This music club features performances by local and regional acts every night of the week, and all tickets are first come, first serve. When you're not nodding your head to some tunes, you can partake in the killer selection of wine, cocktails and draft beers that's available. Or you can do both at the same time, whatever.

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7. Cafe Negril 606 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (Bywater)

This dimly lit bar pours relatively cheap drinks and plays hosts to a myriad of musicians throughout the week, basically guaranteeing you a quality time out in NOLA.

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8. Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro 626 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Looking for some authentic regional grub and some outstanding live jazz tunes? Then look no further than Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro on Frenchman St.

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9. Verti Marte 1201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

Twenty-four-hour deli Verti Marte is housed in the back of a small, unassuming grocery store on a quiet French Quarter street. It's earned a devoted following among night owls, especially for its interpretation of that all-important Louisiana staple, the po-boy, made with crispy fried shrimp and oysters on a soft, seeded roll. That's not to say the po-boy is all Verti Marte has in store: its calorie-packing sandwich roster includes All That Jazz, a ham and turkey sandwich layered with sautéed shrimp and mushrooms, and Swiss and American cheeses. They deliver, but you may want to budget in some walking time to pick up one of these monolithic sandwiches yourself.

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10. Old Point Bar 545 Patterson Dr, New Orleans, LA 70114

Old Point may be as divey as a dive bar can be, but therein lies the charm of this popular Algiers drinkery. That, and the sweet live music.

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