If you’ve visited New Orleans, you’ve not doubt felt the irresistible pull to go back. Despite the controversy and tragedy—from political scandals to disease epidemics and a storm so infamous, it goes by a first name only—that have characterized the city for much of its existence, New Orleans is buzzing with life, creativity, and an irrepressible spirit.
Sure, the French Quarter is a must on your New Orleans itinerary, but if you want to experience two of its signatures—the real-deal food and jazz—put down the cocktail, march off Bourbon Street, and head downriver to Faubourg Marigny. This hip little neighborhood, full of blue-ceilinged Creole cottages, a handful of B & B’s (we love the Crescent City Guest House), and several cafes and restaurants, is a bit snoozy by day but comes to wildly vibrant life at night.
On Frenchmen Street, you’ll hit the mother lode: a tiny Creole-Italian restaurant called Adolfo’s. Tucked above the Apple Barrel bar, where you can sip hurricanes while waiting for your table, Adolfo’s has been catering to discerning locals for 15 years. We especially love the crabmeat and corn cannelloni, fish Michelle (fish of the day topped with a lightly spiced ocean sauce), and oysters Pernod (in a creamy, booze-spiked sauce served with crusty bread). This is not the kind of place that will fawn over you, but put up with the scatterbrained service and you’ll be rewarded with a truly memorable meal.
Once you’re happily full, walk a few paces down the street to the Spotted Cat Music Club —more of a speakeasy, really, with live bands from 4:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. channeling classic 1920s and 1930s jazz. Go early and you’ll get a seat at the bar or along the wall; go late and you’ll stand shoulder to shoulder on the dance floor along with a hundred or so of your closest new friends. But you won’t care. It’s that good.
611 Frenchmen St.
623 Frenchmen St.