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On the weekend, walking down Bourbon Street – the storied main drag of New Orleans’ French Quarter – can feel like walking into a stag party. But don’t be so quick to dismiss the French Quarter. Come on a weekday, and veer a few blocks off Bourbon Street, to find an elegant, time-warped neighbourhood that still reveals vestiges of original Creole culture.

1. Galatoire’s Restaurant
No other restaurant epitomizes classic New Orleans cuisine – or society – better than this Bourbon Street fixture that’s been in operation since 1905. The trick to getting the best experience is dressing right. Arrive in shorts or a T-shirt, and the hostess will lead you upstairs to the dank second-storey dining room reserved for tourists. (Think of it as Galatoire’s walk of shame.) Instead, come in early evening wearing a blazer or skirt, so you can snag a table in the original downstairs dining room – a sea of seersucker suits and outsize hats, where New Orleans’ upper crust comes to socialize over shrimp étouffée. The rest of the menu is a history lesson in Cajun and Creole comfort food, including our favourites: duck crepe enrobed in cherry sauce and a crabmeat Sardou smothered with hollandaise.
• 209 Bourbon St., 504-525-2021, galatoires.com


M.S. Rau AntiquesM.S. Rau Antiques

2. The Antique Shops of the French Quarter
The district’s long-standing antique shops are packed with pickings from opulent local townhouses. Holdovers from when the Quarter was the centre of the southern antique trade, these showrooms display the kind of unrestrained, go-for-baroque pieces that NOLA’s famous for. Among the best shops is Whisnant Galleries, where tortoiseshell cabinets compete for shop space with glass chandeliers. Also worth a visit are M.S. Rau Antiques – famous for its shelves of Meissen – and Lucullus Antiques, devoted to culinary pieces, where you can browse old cookie moulds and plantation dinner sets.
• Lucullus Antiques, 610 Chartres St., 504-528-9620, lucullusantiques.com
• M.S. Rau Antiques, 630 Royal St., 888-711-8084, rauantiques.com
• Whisnant Galleries, 343 Royal St., 504-524-9766,
whisnantgalleries.com

3. Tujague’s Restaurant Bar
The setting at Tujague’s bar is like a tranquil period piece, anchored by an ornate French mirror shipped over from Paris in 1856, when the establishment opened its doors. Back then, it was a watering hole for NOLA’s Democratic politicians and aristocrats as well as labourers from the nearby port. The bar’s biggest claim to fame, however, is its assertion that owner Philip Guichet invented the grasshopper – a bright green post-meal cocktail made with crème de menthe, white crème de cacao and cream. These days, most of the drinkers at the long cypress bar order from the snaking list of bourbons, but the grasshopper is still made to order with the original Guichet recipe.
• 823 Decatur St., 504-525-8676, tujaguesrestaurant.com

4. Hermann-Grima House

Not many of the Quarter’s 18th- and 19th-century townhouses reveal their secrets. Hermann-Grima House is different: Not only does it open its doors, it offers hourly tours. Built in 1831 by a German-Jewish immigrant to the city and zealously restored by its current owners in 1975, it is one of the area’s largest private mansions and embodies 19th-century New Orleans grandeur – from the rococo revival parlour furniture to the bedroom’s canopy beds to the swag curtains dripping with tassels. Come in the holiday season, and the house offers an exhibit of Christmas dress and decor.
• 820 St. Louis St., 504-525-5661, hgghh.org

St. Louis CathedralSt. Louis Cathedral

5. Jackson Square
Jackson Square is the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Take a self-guided tour starting at St. Louis Cathedral, where the central dome is flanked by paintings of 16 angels. Then make a pit stop at the Cabildo museum, a Spanish colonial landmark stocked with historic artifacts, including an original copy of Napoleon’s eerie death mask. End up where everyone does, at New Orleans’ original coffee stand, Café Du Monde, established in 1862. The café’s signature pillowy beignets are some of the finest fritters you will ever eat.
• The Cabildo, 701 Chartres St., 504-568-6968, louisianastatemuseum.org/museums/the-cabildo
• Café Du Monde, 800 Decatur St., 504-525-4544, cafedumonde.com
• St. Louis Cathedral, 615 Père Antoine Alley, 504-525-9585, stlouiscathedral.org

Tags

LOUISIANA     NEW ORLEANS     UNITED STATES    

Getting There

Air Canada Express offer convenient non-stop service to New Orleans from Toronto, with convenient connections to Air Canada’s extensive Domestic Canada and International network.

Comments… or add another

Milagres Rodrigues

Monday, January 18th 2016 10:33
Celebrating our 45 Anniversary Oct 09/16. Would love to spend a week in Loisianna.

Debbie Gallant

Monday, January 18th 2016 15:41
I was in New Orleans a few years ago with the girl's and would love for my husband to experience it.

Peter Soumakis

Monday, January 18th 2016 16:01
My wife`s dream destination would love to go there

Teresa Belller

Monday, January 18th 2016 22:19
Would love to visit at the Jazz and heritage festival

Bonnie sykes

Sunday, January 31st 2016 10:04
New Orleans is not a cajun city. It is creole. The difference is the creole came directly from France or spain. The Cajuns came from Canada and live in southwest Louisiana. I don't know who does your research but they are not good at research.

Air Canada enRoute Magazine

Wednesday, February 3rd 2016 10:14
Hi Bonnie Sykes,

Thanks for your comment and your keen eye! Yes, as the article says, the city is Creole. The reference to Cajun elements is in regards to the food served at Galatoire’s Restaurant, which has a few Cajun-inspired items on the menu, like okra gumbo.

Hope this helps clarify things!

All the best,
The Air Canada enRoute Team
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