New Orleans is heaven for foodies. The cuisine is a melting pot of French, Spanish, African, Creole and Cajun influences so there’s plenty of spice and richness. So what better way to experience traditional cuisine than to embark on a food tour?
We booked our food tour with Destination Kitchen and opted for the 6-hour walking tour, the NOLA Foodie for “A” Day. With our lovely friends from Atlanta, who came to see us specially, our guide Mary Eshenour led us through the sights of the historic French Quarter, providing an educational and culinary commentary. Along the way we stopped off at various points for little bites to eat. Some of my faves include eating a delicious Italian sandwich called a ‘muffuletta’ in the French Market, and settling down to a bowl of home-cooked gumbo at the New Orleans School of Cooking as well as enjoying the delights of a refreshing Pimm’s cup.
The legendary French Quarter is worth a big mention for its historic architecture, party atmosphere and jazz bars. Swamped with vibrant local art and talented street musicians, its not uncommon to pick up the party buzz with a cocktail in your hand as you walk the streets, bar-hopping and browsing eclectic boutiques. There’s the French Market for scrummy eats and bric-a-brac souvenirs, and the neighbouring Cafe du Monde for sugary beignets.
We headed to the infamous Bourbon Street within the French Quarter. Love it or hate it, you can’t miss the 24/7 party here, with its bars, neon lights and sleaze. We enjoyed a snack of breaded shrimp and fries with a tasty cocktail at the Desire Oyster Bar on Bourbon Street.
You can’t visit New Orleans without heading to a jazz bar. Frenchmen Street is where its at, musically, and so we got our fill at Rare Form. When we got hungry and headed to Dat Dog for hot dogs Jazz in Frenchmen Street, we were treated to a real blast of a brass street band, who literally blew us away with their bravado and force.
Our final stopping point of the trip was a visit to the famous New Orleans Cemeteries, distinguished by their above-ground crypts and mausoleums (to solve the problems of burial on swampy land).