UPDATE: New Orleans Guide from a Local (Sugar Bowl)

Submitted by jlvanals on December 6th, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Here is the updated link for stuff to do in New Orleans.  Added in a few things I've sent to users who individually asked me questions as well as comments from the thread that I thought were good.  If I didn't give you proper attribution for what you added, I apologize, just doing this on my lunch break and I had a motion this morning.  Again, feel free to contact me via the email in the google doc, it is always a pleasure to talk to and help out fellow Michigan fans.  Hope to see you all in the greatest American city soon.  GO BLUE!!






December 6th, 2011 at 12:58 PM ^

Is also excellent.  Another one I should have added, especially as a pure cajun restaurant and for the general atmosphere of the place.  Maple Leaf bar next door is also pretty awesome and a little known fact is that you can cut the line by ordering your food from the maple leaf and eating it in there. 


December 6th, 2011 at 12:43 PM ^

I'm staying at the Sheraton on Canal:

1. You had said to take cabs everywhere.  My hotel is about a mile away from the stadium - is that too far and should cab on game day?

2. I was looking for a good sports bar to watch all the games on the 2nd, but Cooter Browns looks to be a hike from my hotel (thinking expensive cab ride).  I've also heard of Time Out's and Kabby's Sports Editions.  How are those bars?  Or should I just pay up to go to Cooter Browns?

3. I saw the alumni club/Victors Club is hosting their own tailgate for $55 (food/drink included).  Think its worth it or better off hitting the surrounding area?  Suggestions?

4. Is Willie Maes worth the drive out for the fried chicken?

Thanks for all the insight - VERY helpful.


December 6th, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

1.  Sheraton on Canal.  Great choice, great hotel, right in the middle of everything.  Gameday I would just walk to the game.   Now, I wouldn't go that direction on any other day as a general rule, but on gameday the whole area will be swarming with police and other fans, not a problem.  I would also walk to Bourbon St. or Harrah's.  When I say take cabs everywhere, I mean to anywhere you aren't sure of how to get to that isn't on a street car line.  You don't want to get lost in a shady area of NOLA. 

2.  Cooter Brown's for Jan 2.  Easiest way to do this is to get on the St. Charles Streetcar line headed uptown.  It is a beautiful tour of the best parts of new orleans and will drop you off right in front of cooter B's (just get off at the Carrolton Stop).  It is a long ride and sometimes it can be tough to tell exactly where you are, but just ask the driver or use a smartphone with some location service.  You can also take the street car back to the final stop which is less than a block from the Sheraton.  The street car is $1.25 each way, per person, EXACT CHANGE ONLY (unless you want to waste .75 cents or whatever denomiation you put in larger than $1.25).  Easiest way to avoid that hassle is to get 4 ppl together who want to ride the streetcar then its an even $5 for all of you each way. 

3.  Alumni club tailgate: I would hit that up.  The surrounding area isn't that great and its all one big tailgate anyway. 

4.  It is some badass fried chicken, that or McHardy's Chicken and Biscuits is my personal favorite in NOLA.  If you want the best fried chicken ive ever had period, you'd have to drive out to Reserve, LA to Connie's.  And that is only open from 10-3 M, T, Thr, and F.  Don't ask why, I still can't figure it out. 


December 6th, 2011 at 2:35 PM ^

Looking at the map, it seems like the Marriott is right across the street. (For those who care about such things, or want to window shop and mingle, I'm told it's the team hotel).  Good to know it's close to the Stadium, and various sights.

This has all been invaluable. I printed up the compilation to take with me.


Edit: Is the walk back from the Superdome ok? Should be getting late by that point.


December 6th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

Thanks for the post. Really appreciating the updates on the street car in particular, the hotel I'm staying at is right on the line (Maison St. Charles). I was just wondering if the car ran to the Quarter? Also, how frequently does it run and how late does it run? And is that area safe to walk to the Quarter or the Superdome (says it's about a mile in each direction).


December 6th, 2011 at 12:56 PM ^

To the Quarter:  I would not walk that.  Just jump on the st charles streetcar line (which ends  at bourbon and Canal) to get to the quarter, it runs pretty much all the time, but much more sporadically at night.  And it is safer.  I would also just pay the $10-$15 to cab back after drinking.  Costs much less than replacing your phone/wallet/etc.  Also of note: The street car drops you off at Canal and Bourbon coming from uptown, but to go back uptown (towards cooter brown's/your hotel), the streetcar starts the line on St. Charles ave.  Another thing to note is that all the street names change after you cross Canal St.  So, for example, I work on Carondelet St, which BECOMES bourbon once I cross canal into the French Quarter.  Similarly, Royal St in the quarter becomes St. Charles avenue once you cross canal.  So if you're looking for the street car in the quarter, remember you have to find canal, cross it and then go to st. charles, which is the same street as Royal in the quarter.  Confused yet? :)



December 6th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

On gameday, that could work, but I would walk up St. Charles to Poydras and then take Poydras to the dome. Not the quickest way to do it, but by far the safest.  Also could take the street car to poydras (big street near le pavillon hotel, hard to miss) and walk up Poydras to the dome.  Just don't trust google maps to take you on a safe route to the dome from that location.


December 6th, 2011 at 12:57 PM ^


"Times are not good here. The city is crumbling into ashes. It has been buried under a lava flood of taxes and frauds and maladministrations so that it has become only a study for archaeologists. Its condition is so bad that when I write about it, as I intend to do soon, nobody will believe I am telling the truth. But it is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio."

Inventing New Orleans: Writings of Lafcadio Hearn



December 6th, 2011 at 1:20 PM ^

Thank you VERY much!  I too am going (staying at the Ritz) - any suggestions for places nearby there?  How about getting to the game itself?

Also - I asked our fearless leader if he was going and if had considered hosting a party for the MgoBloggers making the trip.  Have we ever done anything like that before?  I think it would be a blast to meet up with folks and have a drink or two.



December 6th, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

For the Ritz: Sazerac bar is right across the street, very nice place, upscale.  Also, Carousel bar right down the street and Bourbon is within walking distance as well (whole host of options there).  As for the game, I would walk it, especially from the Ritz, but I wouldn't normally walk that direction not on gameday. 

I also agree that an mgohappyhour would be a great time, I could think of a few bars in the downtown area that might work.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:28 PM ^

Quick question about food....


I would love to try some crawfish.  Are there places where you can get a crawfish boil meal in New Orleans, or is that more in other areas of Louisiana?  


Thanks for all the info, it is a great help!


December 6th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

is that it isn't crawfish season.  Good time of the year for oysters though (its an R month!!).  Even if it was though, rarely do you get crawfish from a restaurant (at least boiled and not in a dish).  It's just something you have, kind of like a backyard BBQ.  Google cooter brown's menu... they might offer boiled crawfish all year and if they do I'd be willing to bet its pretty good.


December 6th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

They are listed on the menu there, and it doesn't seem to indicate only at certain seasons, so hopefully they have them.   I know it is cliche, but I really really want to try some crawfish while I am down there.  


Thanks again for all the help!


December 6th, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

but for some reason I always end up at Cafe Du Monde at 2:00am eating beignets and trying to find a clean cafeteria chair to sit on whenever I'm in NOLA.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^


Try the Tchoupitoulas Challenge at the Creole Creamery if you happen to go uptown on Prytania!  8 scoops of ice cream, 8 toppings, plus whipped cream, cherries and wafers.  You don't get anything free if you do it, but they do put your name up on their wall in a nice little nameplate, and apparently you get on the website too.  I don't recommend participants making many plans in the immediate aftermath, however.  Regardless, the ice cream is tasty.

Also... I haven't lived there since the Huey P. Long bridge construction started in earnest.  Is it still a nightmare to cross, or is it more bearable now?  If it is, I almost might recommend adventure seekers give it a whirl.  It's easily the most nervous I've ever been while driving on a bridge due to the tight side walls, but the view from the top is pretty cool.  You can see the city skyline on one side, and the other has a shipyard that usually has some pretty impressive ships in it (I have no idea what they're working on now... presumably some of the last LPD-17 class ships?).



December 6th, 2011 at 2:06 PM ^

You know, Creole Creamery is my favorite ice cream place ever and less than 3 blocks from my front door, but damn if I've ever been man enough to take on that challenge.   All I can say is from the pictures in the store it looks MASSIVE.

As for the Huey P., it is a gigantic clusterfuck right now.  Closed every other day, down to one lane, recommend against that one. 


December 6th, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

Preservation Hall is a must see. Classic jazz in a classic setting.

Cafe Du Monde is also a must do, those beignets at any time are outstanding.

Agree on the zoo and the aquarium and insectarium, all pretty cool.

I have always stayed in the Garden District and do the cable car + walking thing. Never had any trouble. I haven't found NOLA that much different than other major cities in terms of creepiness/crime, though more random drunks perhaps.


December 6th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

Having used to bartend in the quarter, you have a great list.
<br>I would however add "Harrys Quarter" which is located on Chartres past the cathedral at Jackson Square. Cheap, good drinks in the quarter. Great atmosphere, locals and service industry joint.
<br>It was my 5 night a week hangout, go there and if Paulie or Bill is bartending, tell them Bill from Michigan sent ya.


December 6th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

Thanks for this.  It's extremely helpful and well put together.  But what's the rule about not betting ppl where you got your shoes?  I didn't get that one.  


December 6th, 2011 at 4:20 PM ^


It's an intimidation scam involving word play.  Where do you got dem shoes?  On your feet!  You are best off getting the hell out of there if somebody asks you that, because it's likely you will soon be parted with your money one way or another.

It might be out of date for all I know, but I heard about it a few times while I was living there.  If nothing else it's good information to have at least.


December 6th, 2011 at 8:56 PM ^

Frenchmen St was my favorite place in NOLA - I spent some time in mid-city shortly after the hurricane. Any chance you could add the Apple Barrel to your list? It was my personal favorite.

Le Bon Temps Roule is where I first heard the Soul Rebels. One of those bands that made me fall in love with music all over again.


December 10th, 2011 at 12:48 AM ^

This is a great thread. I'm a diligent MGoBlog reader, though I haven't posted much. I also live just a block from Bourbon Street. A few people have asked what sports bars are best. Most of you will be staying in the French qtr/CBD vicinity. Down here, there are surprisingly few dedicated sports bars. Hopping the street car to cooter browns is a great idea, but if you want somewhere downtown, I suggest Ryan's Irish Pub or the Checkered Parrot. The checkered parrot has plenty of TVs and cheap food/drinks. If you are looking to mainline football on Jan 1st, these two bars will have a the games (it's maddening that so many games overlap on Jan 1).

Keep in mind that the LSU/Alabama game will be later that week. The fans vow to descend on the city early and tailgate all week, so I think there will be overlap of football tailgating. Depending on how the Saints season goes, there could be a home playoff the day before te LSU game. In short, the whole city is preparing for this football week, and the Michigan game is only the third most important to the locals.

Most importantly, why dont we have an MGoHappyHour? Maybe a few of us locals could put something together for MGoBlog readers.