With Mardi Gras just around the corner (February 9!), our sights are set on the hub of the festivities: New Orleans. Ahead of Fat Tuesday, we tapped local lifestyle blogger Juley Le of Upperlyne & Co. to share the inside scoop on where to shop, dine and sight-see on a trip to Nola. Here, her chic recommendations for what to do in the storied city.
"I almost never make it out of the house on time for breakfast, but when I do I'm grabbing a fresh baguette or croissant from one of the many bakeries or my favorite avocado toast at Toast. Willa Jean makes hearty biscuits, which you have to enjoy with their ever-popular Milk Money Latte."
"There is a diﬀerent kind of coﬀee shop for every personality in New Orleans. I love to camp out at Mojo to work. When I’m strolling the French Quarter, I have to grab an iced vanilla latte at Spitfire Coﬀee. The French Truck also makes a mean latte and sells their fresh-roasted coﬀee beans to take home."
"If I'm feeling uninhibited, my go-to choice is a burger at Company Burger (Anthony Bourdain's favorite). For the healthier lunches, I'll grab a hearty salad at St. James Cheese Company or a classic sandwich at Stein's Deli."
"In the hot summer months, it's all about getting a satsuma snowball (or snow cone) at Hansen's Sno-Bliz or fresh homemade ice cream at Creole Creamery. For the fancier nights, drop by Bouligny Tavern for their mouthwatering gouda beignets. For a mid-day snack, pick up a kougn-amann (the sweet, crunchy cousin of the croissant) at District."
"It is impossible to pick my favorite dinner spot, but my first recommendation is always Cochon for a an elevated Southern family meal in a hip environment. You'll get to try fun and unique foods such as rabbit potpie, fried alligator and boudin. Compere Lapin's food is top notch (best biscuits in the world) and Israeli gem Shaya is a must-visit."
"The nightlife is lively but varies depending on your mood and crowd. I love to bar hop with friends. We usually start from my neighborhood wine bar Delachaise, stop by Barrel Proof for whiskey and then head over to Frenchman Street for live music. If the night goes on, it's time to dance it all oﬀ at Apres Lounge or Gold Mine, a dive bar with the best old-school hip-hop and '90s music."
"New Orleans is a photographer's and Instagrammer's playground. The French Quarter oﬀers plenty of architectural and historical homes. Take the streetcar uptown to see the historic mansions that line St. Charles Avenue."
"I'm drawn to inviting and casual stores to do my shopping. Billy Reid has my dream Southern wardrobe in a cool renovated shotgun home. Located on Royal Street, Krewe du Optic's flagship store oﬀers their signature sunglasses as well as a micro coﬀee shop."
Tips For Mardi Gras
"Get the parade tracker app to avoid running into traﬃc. Decide who makes your favorite king cake (mine is Sucre). Unless you have a balcony in the French Quarter, avoid the crowds—try to book a hotel in the Warehouse District or further away from the French Quarter. Uptown parades are a little less crazy for those who want a more relaxed Mardi Gras experience."