OK, there would be lots of contenders for that title…but I nominate the Napoleon House, and I’m not alone in thinking this. One of the oldest bars in NOLA, it is dark and picturesque, with a marble bust of the great man residing happily alongside the many libations.
You can sit at one of the window tables, and peer out through the grill(seriously the place always looks like it’s closed because of those dark grills, and the bar doesn’t open til 5:00…you know, drinkie time…I would suggest to you their Pimm’s Cup, for which the bar is justifiably famous. If you’ve never had a Pimm’s, it’s a totally British concoction which is gin based, I think, with lots of mint and a little ginger ale. Anyway, a Pimm’s Cup is just the thing for refreshing drink on a hot New Orleans’ evening. And, for $5.00, it’s a bargain! Try getting a drink for that price almost anywhere else in a nice bar(that’s key…sure, you can find cheap “huge-ass beers” on Bourbon Street, but no).
And don’t forget a little shopping in New Orleans, and not just antiques along Royal Street. There are lots of really cute little boutiques all through the French Quarter and along Magazine Street, like Hemline. I found one of the new “cocoon” coats by Kenzie, black and white houndstooth….can’t wait to wear it!
And as you through the quarter, admiring the architecture, you will notice empty storefronts. I chatted with several shop owners, who are grateful for your business, and the all tell the same story. While that area looks back to normal, business is not at all back where it used to be, and many are struggling to make ends meet. Even residents you meet on the street, like some folks on their way to the Superdome to see the Saints in a pre-season scrimmage, said, “Thanks for coming to visit. We need it.”
Oh and on a safety note, we never felt at all unsafe in the French Quarter…and I’ll be honest, I was a little apprehensive before going there.
The city has gotten a rep about crime, and while there are no doubt pockets of problems(like any big city), we never saw anything amiss, and we did a lot of wandering, even at night.