I took a trip on down to New Orleans, Louisiana a few weeks back with a few of my favorite gals. It was a lot of fun, so I thought I’d share my favorite sights, eats, and experiences with you!
We flew in from Boston early on a Saturday, and arrived mid-morning! We tracked down our gorgeous Air BnB in the Marigny District, then headed down towards the river to explore the French Market!
We were pretty hungry from all of our exploring and flying, so we hit up Dat Dog on Frenchman Street for some lunch. I am gluten-free, so I got myself a “greenie weenie” and a sweet tea. It was delicious!
For desert I hit up a shaved ice stand near the French Market. I got strawberry and banana syrup, and it really hit the spot!
True Life: My friends are so fabulous!
We spent the afternoon wandering the French Quarter, checking out some of the cool little galleries and art stands around. I wish I’d bought this inspirational unicorn painting!
That night we got gussied up and went to Commander’s Palace in the Garden District for dinner. Commanders is a MUST TRY if you’re headed to NOLA. This was my first five-star dining experience, and I hope I used the right forks at the right times. The staff was super accommodating of our dietary restrictions; I’m gluten-free, and one of my friends is a vegetarian. I got the pan-seared tuna steak and had some life-changing bananas foster for dessert. My friends and I tried out some of the fancy cocktails, as well, one of which came with sunglasses!
I got up early for a 5-mile run along the Mississippi! I was so excited that Runners World Magazine published a runners guide to New Orleans the month before I traveled there:) I used their suggested route a few times, and it was terrific!
After my jog, I showered off, threw a protein bar in my purse, and headed to the acclaimed Cafe Du Monde with my friends. Although there was not gluten free beignet option, the blended frozen coffee at Cafe Du Monde was delicious, especially when paired with my banana bread Quest Bar:)
We sat in Jackson Square and people-watched while my friends devoured their powdery pastries, and I downed all the frozen coffee.
We did some more exploring, and paused for lunch at one of the oldest resturaunts in New Orleans, Antoine’s, before walking on. One of the coolest things about New Orleans is how present music is there. There’s music around every corner, it seems!
We did dinner at the Green Goddess, a (rare) health-food restaurant in the cutest little alleyway.
The next day we stopped by the Voodoo Museum! It was super fun, and gave me some insight into such an interesting and misunderstood culture. We also stopped by the Louisiana State Museum to check out their moving exhibit on Hurricane Katrina.
We also stopped by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and it was absolutely incredible. I love art, and I try to go to a museum in every city I travel to. I’ve been to the Victoria and Albert, the Louvre, and the Met.
This was my #1. It was well curated, bright, lively, and really stuck to its theme.
We hopped on the Ferry to Algier’s point at sunset, and didn’t regret it one bit.
Then we Ubered out to the Garden District for dinner at Shaya! Once again, we were greeted with a staff who was willing to and able to adapt dishes to our dietary needs and restrictions, and provide us with an incredible dining experience. Gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian…everyone at the table left feeling satisfied and, like, joyful.
The next day we channeled our inner senior-citizens and took a bus tour out to visit a small plantation and to go on a swamp tour.
Once a Theta…always a Theta. Even on a swamp tour. KAPPAALPHATHETA 4LYFE.
And then I held an alligator, and smiled like a toddler.
Overall, my trip to New Orleans was very fun. I didn’t have pictures of it, but I really enjoyed spending time sipping cocktails and listening to music on Frenchman’s Street, and poking around all the outdoor art markets New Orleans had to offer. We went out to dinner at Nola, one of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants, and it was also so, so delicious.
I will say, though, that besides the fancier restaurants my friends and I went to, it was really hard to be gluten-free in New Orleans. I brought a lot of protein bars and oatmeal packets, and I was glad I did. At one point we looked up and went to a restaurant in the French market that claimed to specifically cater to gluten free diets, and I ended up getting charged $25 for a few blueberries, wilted lettuce, and a poorly-cooked scrambled egg on a paper plate. Once I ran into a CVS, hoping to grab a yogurt and some almonds for lunch while my friends were ordering poboys, only to find that the CVS carried nothing but wheat-bread-and-cheese sandwiches and soda.
So, if you have dietary restrictions, and you’re traveling to New Orleans, PLAN AHEAD!! Bring snacks, do research, and scope out eating locations before you’re starving. Know your limits, get ready to be flexible, and make sure to have a protein bar in your purse for emergencies.