Pack your party beads!
This year’s Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana, promises to be epic (cocktails, king cake, craziness) especially if you’ve scored tickets to the 3rd annual Krewe of Rocckus music experience hosted by the alternative rock band Better than Ezra (lead singer Kevin Griffin and guitar player Tom Drummond are Louisiana natives and call the Big Easy home; the band has played during Mardi Gras for the past 10 years.)
Tom has been living in town since 1993, and he knows the best places to imbibe, dance, dine, and make the most out of your time in the NOLA, baby.
Here’s his insider guide. *Disclaimer: Tom has many loves around town, so if he forgot to mention you, sincerest apologies.
Start the day with a fried food feast at…Mahony’s Po-Boys is a favorite, as is Domillse’s for their fried shrimp po’ boy. And try Ignatius Eatery: they serve incredible gumbo and red beans, and classic New Orleans dishes done right.
Now on to day drinking…The Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt has really good bartenders and you have to try a sazerac when you’re in town. The Delachaise has probably the best wine selection in town—great variety. Cure is a great upscale cocktail bar, and Frenchman Street is the hipster spot.
Where the locals hang out…Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar is the oldest operating bar in New Orleans. Very cool.
If you’re vacationing with the whole family…The Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas are awesome for families. The newer WWII museum is pretty amazing—I’ve always been an aircraft buff and it’s so cool to see the planes hanging in the lobby. For art, the Jamie Hayes gallery in the French Quarter has artwork very influenced by living here.
Dinner is delish at… Eleven79 if you like Italian, Brigtsen’s for seafood, Mr. John’s Steakhouse for—yes—really great steak. Sylvain is a cool, smaller place in the French Quarter for traditional New Orleans food—not a light menu!
After hours hot spot (is that a thing in New Orleans?)…Yes! Republic New Orleans and The Red Eye are fun at night—everyone is liquored up and dancing. Snake and Jake’s and One Eyed Jacks have cool, Indie-type bands. Gold Mine Saloon or Saturn Bar for the after the after party.
When you (finally) get some rest, stay at…Pretty much everything we planned for Krewe of Rocckus is within walking distance of the Hilton, and it’s near so many great restaurants. Great location.
Tickets for Krewe of Rocckus are still available.