When you think of New Orleans, what comes to mind is Mardi Gras, live music, great food, and beignets in the French Quarter. This was exactly the perception I had in mind when visiting, however, I quickly realized that it was slightly overrated, especially when it came to food. I then began to look up food and attractions outside of the French Quarter.
Don’t get me wrong, the French Quarters is amazing in itself but it definitely a tourist trap filled with overpriced food and attractions. We wanted to still get the full New Orleans experience but didn’t want out pockets to suffer, so we ventured out!
Food Outside Of The French Quarter
After spending two days eating the overpriced, subpar food, we started to venture out to get some real Cajun food. We knew we weren’t getting the best prices for food in the French Quarters and the food just didn’t taste as authentic. Here are some restaurants that are locally approved and absolutely delicious!
Located at 2520 Felicity St in New Orleans and this restaurant does not disappoint. The food here is top chef-quality but for affordable prices. Most plates range from around $10-$15. They have a few outdoor benches and indoor seating. The shrimp and grits were my favorites from this restaurant!
Located just a few blocks away from Heard Dat Kitchen at 2908 Martin Luther King Blvd, these crabcakes are like no other I’ve ever had. There is no indoor seating but you can call your order in or wait in line when you go. This place is so popular amongst the locals that they opened up a second location at 4500 Old Gentilly Road.
The BEST soul food is located at 2401 St. Ann Street and 234 Loyola Avenue at Willie Mae’s. Get your comfort food fix here of perfectly fried chicken and catfish and the best side dishes. Keep in mind that Willie Mae’s Scotch House is closed on the weekends but the second location on Loyola is open every day.
Don’t judge this book by its cover! They have a whole crawfish house on the inside. I enjoyed a perfectly proportionate Po Boy filled with shrimp!
If you’re looking for beignets outside of Cafe Du Monde, Uptown Coffee’s are equally, if not better than Cafe Du Monde! They also serve deliciously fresh coffee!
Attractions Outside Of The French Quarter
Finding things to do outside of the French Quater was a fun adventure. We knew we wanted to do things that were unique to New Orleans but wasn’t overly popular.
DeGaulle Manor Apartments
I know, an apartment complex as an attraction? But the DeGaulle Manor is an abandoned apartment complex that artists turned into a giant mural. It has also been in a few films, including ‘Black and Blue’. There are gates that say no trespassing but there are a few entrances to get into the complex if you are willing to take a risk. The graffiti is worth seeing and makes for a great photo shoot!
You can’t come to New Orleans and not experience the gators right? You may get lucky and see a gator on your own, but if not, you can book a tour and even hold a baby alligator! The specific tour we chose was on land that was owned by the company so they were familiar with the gators in that area. Most of the alligators come up to the boat (hoping the tour guide will throw food) and allow you to take great pictures of them.
City Park is 1300 acres and contains many attractions such as mini-golf, boat and bike rentals, Storyland, a sculpture garden, a botanical garden, and more! Needless to say, you can easily spend a whole day here. Read about my adventure in the botanical gardens here!
New Orleans is a great city with so much culture and delicious food. Be sure to explore outside of the french quarters for the full experience!