Whether you're in town for The Essence Music Festival (July 2-4) or for a business conference, you'll love our guide to the best food and culture New Orleans offers.
Cafe du Monde
(800 Decatur St.;  525-4544, cafedumonde.com)
This historic French Market cafe serves two of the city's must-have delicacies: beignets--deep-fried dough dusted with powdered sugar--and chicory-flavored coffee.
(1403 Washington Ave.;  899-8221, commanderspalace.com)
Located in a beautifully restored Victorian house, this elegant restaurant specializes in French creole fare and hosts a traditional jazz brunch on weekends.
(2301 Orleans Ave.,  821-2294)
Chef and co-owner Leah Chase continues her family's culinary tradition at this venerable three-star creole restaurant; it's a Black New Orleans treasure.
(401 Poydras St.;  523-9656)
This laid-back cafeteria-style eatery has been a local favorite for 51 years, serving killer po'boys, etouffee, jambalaya, and red beans and rice. Expect long lines during lunchtime.
(8400 Oak St.;  865-1559)
With a menu that combines down-home creole cuisine and stick-to-your-ribs soul food, this family-owned restaurant is renowned for its fried chicken, crawfish pie, and what some say is the best bread pudding in town.
New Orleans Museum of Art
(1 Collins C, Diboll Circle;  488-2631, noma.org]
Starting November 13, the museum will showcase Tools of Her Ministry: The Art of Sister Gertrude Morgan. A self-taught artist and evangelist street preacher who lived in New Orleans during the 1960's and 1970's, Morgan made her vibrant colored artwork an integral element of her ministry.
Stella Jones Gallery
(201 St. Charles Ave.;  568-9050, stellajones.com]
A prime exhibition venue for exceptional artists, including works by Elizabeth Catlett, Tayo Adenaike and Richmond Barthe. The gallery, curated by historians Samella Lewis, Ph.D., and Eloise Johnson, Ph.D., also conducts educational programs for the local public-school system.
(2 Canal St., 33rd floor;  595-8900, club360.com)
Movers and shakers in the Big Easy come here to jam to a groovy mix of smooth jazz, reggae, old-school, funk, R&B and crunk.
(626 Frenchmen St.;  333-2275, snugjazz.com)
A cool bar with ambience, this premier showcase for national and local jazz acts regularly features such musicians as Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis and Aaron Neville.
(1931 St. Claude Ave.;  945-9654, sweetlorrainesjazzclub.com)
This Black-owned jazz club, stylish in its art deco interior, attracts some of the biggest names on the local and national jazz scenes. It also hosts Latin, big band, blues and a weekly poetry night, with comfortable seating and a late-night menu to boot.
Africans in Louisiana Tours
(1265 Valcour Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana;  772-1281, africansinlouisiana.com)
With tours departing from downtown New Orleans, this intimate four-hour luxury motor-coach tour traces the city's slave history, Narrated by Leonard N. Moore, Ph.D., director of Louisiana State University's African and African-American Studies program, the tour includes visits to Evergreen Plantation (which holds 18 original slave cabins), the Slave Market, African-American cemeteries and the River Road African-American History Museum.
Louis Armstrong Park
This site on North Rampart Street encompasses Congo Square, which was where slaves were allowed to participate in Sunday drum-and-dance sessions. Today the park contains Elizabeth Catlett's majestic statue of its namesake Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong (below, lower right), and the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts.
St. Charles and Canal Streetcar Lines
Traveling in these replica street-cars is a great low-cost way to see the city's historic sights. Transit lines roll through the Garden District, Audubon Park and Zoo, from the Mississippi River to City Park.
Hubbard Mansion Bed-and-Breakfast
(3535 St. Charles Ave.:  897-3535, hubbardmansion.com)
Built by Don and Rose Hubbard, this is the premier African-American--owned and--operated B&B in New Orleans, with a facade modeled after a nineteenth-century Natchez, Mississippi, mansion. The establishment, with two two-bedroom cottages in the rear, offers five bedrooms, two luxurious suites and a N'Awlins-style to die for. Room rates start at $129.
THREE THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT NEW ORLEANS
1. It's the city of festivals. Besides our own, we love the Satchmo Summerfest (August 4-8). 2. It's the hometown of two preeminent musical families, the Neville Brothers (pictured, Aaron, at left, and Charles) and the Marsalis clan. 3. It has one of the oldest neighborhoods in America, Faubourg Treme, where freedmen and ex-slaves, even before the Civil War, owned more than $2 million worth of real estate.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Essence Communications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group