New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana and has many businesses and places steeped in history and tradition. Tourists come from all over to experience the city, but not everyone comes for pleasure. People also travel to the Big Easy for business trips, conferences, and everything in between. But what do you do after the business is wrapped up for the day? Read on to find out.
Jimmy Buffet said it best: “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” Once you’re done for the day, check out the many bars in the city. You might consider starting at one of the most famous streets in the country, Bourbon Street!
Bourbon Street is more than just a partying street. There are bars to suit all tastes. Consider starting off at one of the oldest establishments in the country, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar. Located at 941 Bourbon Street, this restaurant is named for the 19th-century pirate and has various drinks sure to quench anyone’s tastes. Another historic place to visit is Pat O’Brien’s bar, which is home to the world-famous cocktail, the Hurricane. They have a location at 624 Bourbon Street and 718 St. Peter Street. Initially opened in 1933 at the end of Prohibition, this continues to be a local’s favorite today. If you’re looking for a sports bar to catch up on the latest games or highlights or just looking for a place to relax, Pat O’Brien’s has two locations to pick from.
If you want to stay away from crowds and are looking to relax and have some fun, why not get musical about it? Found on Bourbon Street, the karaoke bar The Cat’s Meow and Fritz’s jazz bar offer fun of all kinds. The Cat’s Meow is located at 701 Bourbon Street and has been operating for over 25 years. Fritz’s is located at 733 Bourbon Street and has nightly jazz shows. Either one can be an excellent activity solo or with work colleagues!
If you’re not much into the drinking scene and see what other options there are, you should check out the guide to finding mocktails in New Orleans. There is bound to be something to suit everyone’s taste.
After a day of meetings and conferences, you’re probably hungry or could use one last caffeine boost before bed. New Orleans has a lively culinary scene and is also known for coffee houses. Why not experience the different types of cuisines that call the city home?
Begin at Cornet Nola Restaurant at 700 Bourbon Street. Cornet is more than just food; it’s a balcony, where you can sit, eat dinner, and watch Bourbon Street with a birds-eye view of everything going on. You can also check out August, which is found in the New Orleans Business District at 301 Tchoupitoulas Street. This contemporary restaurant is perfect for business dinners or relaxing at the end of the day.
If you’re looking for somewhere more casual to catch dinner, there are a lot of choices as well. The first stop should be Johnny’s Po-Boys, located at 511 St. Louis Street, which offers a variety of po-boys and casual fare. Another place to check out would be Coop’s Place, located at 1109 Decatur Street. They’ve been around since 1983, have plenty of cajun cuisine for everyone, and all for a great place. Unfortunately, you must be over 21 to eat and drink here. We like their sampler platter and their jambalaya.
Another unique thing about New Orleans is that the city is home to a large Vietnamese population that came here after the end of the Vietnam War. As a result, there are also a lot of restaurants and shops to visit that showcase Vietnamese cuisine. One place to check out is Le’s Baguette Banh Mi Cafe at 4607 Dryades Street. This shop has a wide selection of lunch, dinner, and drinks for any time of the day. Another shop worth checking out is Mr. Bubbles Cafe at 1441 Canal Street; their website offers online ordering for easy convenience.
In addition, there are a number of coffee and cafe shops in New Orleans. Some of the more iconic places are Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignet. Cafe Du Monde has been a mainstay in New Orleans since 1862 and has various locations throughout the city. In addition to being known for its beignets, Cafe Beignet has coffee, breakfast, and multiple locations throughout the city. We like getting coffee and beignets there at night after dinner when it’s much quieter. Check their websites for hours; breakfast tends to be the busiest time, so plan accordingly. Other coffee shops worth visiting are Flora’s Gallery and Coffee Shop and St. Coffee at 2718 St. Claude Ave. Flora’s is a local’s favorite for hanging out or relaxing; they’re also typically open late. St. Claude is near art markets, so you can browse local art while enjoying your coffee. Another place to visit is Envie Espresso and Cafe on Decatur Street. In addition to enjoying coffee or espresso, this is a great place to watch people and take in the sights of the city.
While in New Orleans, you’ll probably be crunched for time, with the business itinerary taking up most of your day. That leaves little to do or explore. But here are some must do things to experience in the city.
The first thing there is to do is music! You must first visit Preservation Hall at 726 St. Peter Street. Founded in 1961 to help preserve New Orleans’s jazz tradition, there is a performance three times every night for you to check out and enjoy. You can visit their website for exact times and information. Other jazz venues are to see, including The Spotted Cat on Frenchmen street. We think everyone should stroll down Frenchman street at-least once on their visit. You can check out the complete guide on where to catch live music in the city for additional ideas. Also, you can almost see a Second Line Parade or any number of street musicians in the city as well.
If you’re on a budget or prefer to do something on your own time, you should check out the guide 15 Free (or Near Free) Things to Do in New Orleans From a Local. There are also plenty of museums worth checking out. If you’re interested in learning about World War II, you can visit the National WWII museum. If you head to Jackson Square, the colonial seat of power in New Orleans, you can visit two museums there. The Cabildo, which was the site of the transfer of power with the Louisiana Purchase, has many exhibits detailing the city’s history. Also found in Jackson Square is the Presbytère, which highlights the city’s connection to the present and future. You could also visit the legendary St. Louis Cathedral. The city also has numerous historic homes with excellent museums, such as the Hermann-Grima and Gallier homes. If you’d like to see the inside of a historic home in the French Quarter.
But, if you have free morning or afternoon, the best way to explore the city is with a walking tour! Nola Tour Guy offers daily walking tours through the Garden District, the French Quarter, and a cemetery tour of St. Louis #3. These daily walking tours are FREE, and you only pay what you feel the tour deserves. There is no better way to learn about the city than up close and personal with a walking tour. You can visit here for more information or make a reservation. If you don’t have the time to make a walking tour, check out one of the free self-guided tours.
Even while you’re in the Big Easy for business, just make sure to spare some time for fun and exploring all the city has to offer.