Spend the holiday season enjoying great food, drinks and festivities all throughout the Crescent City.
Lunch at: Spend lunch feasting on the finest gourmet cheeses at St. James Cheese Co. Richard and Danielle Sutton opened this casual neighborhood joint on Prytania Street in 2006. Trust the experts with a select cheese or charcuterie board, or try one of the cheese-centric sandwiches like a French brie and ham baguette or a Smokey Blue with house-smoked Mycella blue cheese, sliced roast beef and Worcester mayo. St. James Cheese Co. also has a convenient Warehouse District location on Tchoupitoulas Street. 5004 Prytania St., (504) 899-4737, stjamescheese.com
Sip at: Located in the historic French Quarter, Cane & Table was created by the same folks who brought us Cure on Freret Street. Imbued with a Caribbean vibe, this hip bar features dishes like black eye pea hummus with cashew tahini; green gumbo with andouille and braised collards; brisket ropa vieja; and pork loin Milanese with mojo aioli and a fried egg. Wash all of that down with one of the rum-centric cocktails like the Improved Bombo, made with a blend of Jamaican and Barbadian rums, Curaçao and tiki bitters or a Reveille Cocktail, made with fresh lime and grapefruit juice, honey and strong rum. 1113 Decatur St., (504) 581-1112, caneandtablenola.com
Illuminate your holiday at: Spend the evening downtown at Lafayette Square for the annual LUNA Fête, a celebration of our city’s creative industry in a wholly modern fashion. Created by the Arts Council of New Orleans, this festival of lights marries art and technology, with an emphasis on projection mapping, digital sculpture and light installations. Created to demonstrate how art transforms communities, LUNA Fête 2018 will feature an all-new projection on Gallier Hall December 6-9 along with a nightly arts market, food vendors, and local and international artists. artsneworleans.org
Revive at: Wake up with a great cuppa joe at Spitfire Coffee on Saint Peter Street. They’ve been brewing stellar java in New Orleans since opening in 2013, sourcing exquisite beans from roasters like Panther Coffee in Miami, Crema Coffee in Nashville and even our local Hey! Cafe. Enjoy the specialty coffee drinks, with from espressos and cappuccinos to lattes, macchiatos and cortados on the menu. You might also want to try one of the signature creations, like the Las Tres Flores – a latte with lavender milk, orange blossom syrup and rose petals. 627 Saint Peter St., (225) 384-0655, spitfirecoffee.com
Dine at: Opened approximately seven months ago, Luvi is the culmination of Chef Hao Gong’s culinary life, a Chinese chef who spent a lot of his life behind a sushi bar. His restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street is a unique combination of his childhood cuisine and a Japanese raw bar with dishes like the Snow White (white fish ceviche with fried garlic and yuzu sauce), Mala Holla (spicy beef shank with peanuts and ghost chili oil) or Mama’s Dumplings (filled with pork, ginger and cabbage and served in a rich, soy broth). 5236 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 605-3340, luvirestaurant.com
Scare yourself into the spirit at: On Dec. 1, the Krewe of Krampus will roll through Bywater, starting at Parleaux Beer Lab and winding down at Bratz Y’all. The krewe will be celebrating the age-old alpine tradition called Krampusnacht NOLA-style with a parade full of horrific horns, furs, baskets, chains and switches — and plenty of unique throws. Join in on the craziness and come face-to-face with Krampus and his army of mischief. Who knows? You may even score a coveted piece of coal.
Brunch at: Owned and operated by partners Alison Wild and Lana Banks (and named after their beloved Standard Poodles), The Standard is a casual neighborhood restaurant located on Magazine Street with not-so-standard American fare. Sit outside and people-watch or grab a table inside and enjoy dishes like the Cajun Benedict with tasso, fried crawfish and poached eggs perched atop a grilled baguette and smothered in hollandaise, or go big with The Frank, a flame-grilled New York strip steak with scrambled eggs and buttermilk gravy. 4206 Magazine St., (504) 509-7306, facebook.com/thestandardeatinghouse
Relax at: Copper Vine Wine Pub is the latest addition to downtown (it’s been open for about three months), featuring a chic interior and the only patio on Poydras Street. Located in the building that formerly housed the famed Creole spot Maylie’s, this CBD restaurant is owned by Brechtel Hospitality with Chef Mike Brewer running the kitchen. Copper Vine offers a good selection of wines on tap and a seasonal menu with dishes like deviled eggs with jumbo lump Louisiana crab meat, duck fat fries with garlic aioli, charcuterie salad with gruyere and pork belly with braised collards. 1001 Poydras St., (504) 208-9535, coppervinewine.com
Raise your voice in song at: A local tradition since 1946, Caroling in Jackson Square is once again ringing in the season Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. The historic square will be illuminated by hundreds of singers holding candles belting out all of the season’s favorites. The event is free and open to the public with free candles and song sheets passed out to whomever wishes to participate. Don’t forget to get there early, as it often gets pretty packed. patioplanters.net/caroling-jackson-square