New Orleans is a magnificent city. The sites, smells, stories and sounds are some of the most exciting, stimulating and vibrant I have seen in the world.
Heading down to the French Quarter or strolling down Magazine Street to the Garden District is like stepping into a moment in history. The classic architecture adorning the streets tells the story of the Creole people and the roller coaster of empowering highs and devastating lows they have experienced throughout history. Having endured some of the most horrific moments of American history, the people of New Orleans boast their own Southern outlook on life. The people I met while there were some of the most positive inspirational and free spirited people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
When you think eating in New Orleans you think gumbo, fried chicken, jambalaya and beans and rice. Warm, comporting and full of spice and flavour, Southern Cooking is true to its traditions and has thankfully not been over run by fast food American culture. You can get good Southern food anywhere in New Orleans, but if you want real authentic dishes prepared in family owned restaurants with age old inherited recipes head down to where the locals eat, Frenchmen Street.
Frenchmen Street is run by locals, and you know what, the vast majority of people you will see down on the Street are locals. No matter where you go you'll be privileged to hear proper southern Jazz, and enjoy a stiff bourbon. In the bars established bands play funky and raw jazz and on the streets the new kids on the block try out something different with makeshift instruments and a new sound.
If you're keen for a night out with lots of eating and probably even more drinking, by all means avoid Bourbon Street and head over to Frenchmen Street.