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No More Excuses



New Orleans may be a small city, but it contains a whole lifetime worth of experiences. Get out there to explore, sip, savor and taste all our wondrous city has to offer.

cochon1Lunch at: Hailed as one of the best places to score Cajun cuisine in the Crescent City, Cochon has more than earned its popularity. With James Beard award-winning chef Stephen Stryjewski at the helm, who would expect anything less than perfection? Consider yourself lucky if you manage to score a table at lunchtime, and take advantage of offerings like fried alligator with chili-garlic mayonnaise, onion-braised pork cheeks with grits, Louisiana cochon with cracklins or a fried oyster and bacon sandwich. 930 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 588-2123, cochonrestaurant.com

Sip at: Enjoy the oncoming warmth of spring with an ice cold beer in hand at The Rusty Nail’s expansive outdoor courtyard. They offer 16 beers on tap, 40 single-malt whiskeys (among others) and a total of nine flat-screen TVs — so you can catch whatever game might be on. The Rusty Nail also hosts local food trucks, like the Electric Eggroll and Burgers Ya Heard for your nibbling needs, and local DJs who keep the party going. 1100 Constance St., (504) 525-5515, therustynail.biz

Enjoy the music at : Catch some live local music at The Howlin’ Wolf, located on the corner of South Peters and North Diamond streets in the Warehouse District. Open since 1988, The Howlin’ Wolf offers a stage for New Orleans’ finest bands like George Porter Jr. & the Runnin’ Pardners, Dumpstaphunk and Rebirth Brass Band. The club also features a weekly Nawlins’ Comedy Gumbeaux show and other local musicians like the Hot 8 Brass Band in the Den. 907 S. Peters St., (504) 529-5844, thehowlinwolf.com


Revive at: Wake up to the aroma of freshly baked bread at Breads on Oak in the Carrollton neighborhood. Located on the corner of Oak and Monroe streets, this niche bakery offers excellent pastries and breads made with organic flours and all-natural ingredients. Chef and owner Sean O’Mahony aims to make New Orleans the best bread city in America, offering old-world French breads and baking styles to the denizens of the Crescent City. Breads on Oak also features fresh-roasted coffee from Orleans Coffee Exchange and Hey! Cafe & Coffee Roastery, plus an array of vegan and non-vegan pastries … even gluten-free! 8640 Oak St., (504) 324-8271, breadsonoak.com

Shop at: Owned an operated by the vibrant Elizabeth Barry Ahlquist, Blue Cypress Books is a haven for book lovers in the area. Offering both used and new books of the highest quality, this quaint, cat-inhabited shop buys and sells everything from contemporary fiction and first-edition collectibles to history books and fiction by local authors. Blue Cypress Books also offers a ton of children’s books, local author signings and an International Book Club that meets the third Wednesday of every month. 8126 Oak St., (504) 352-0096, bluecypressbooks.blogspot.com

Dine at: Even though it prides itself on “warm beer, lousy food and poor service,” Jacques Imo’s Cafe is easily one of the hottest dining destinations in the city. With a line out the door and spillover waiting to be seated at the Maple Leaf next door, Jacques Imo’s has been serving both tourists and locals since 1996. Chef and owner Jacques Leonardi keeps things lively by entertaining customers with his hilarious antics and serving up Nawlins-style cuisine like crabmeat-stuffed shrimp in a magnolia sauce, shrimp and alligator cheesecake, pecan-crusted drum and chicken Pontalba. 8325 Oak St., (504) 861-0886, jacques-imos.com


Brunch at: With Executive Chef Christopher Lynch at the helm, Atchafalaya Restaurant on the corner of Louisiana Avenue and Laurel Street was recently voted one of the 10 Best Urban Brunch Spots in the U.S. by Fodors.com. Offering brunch Thursday through Monday every week, Atchafalaya features dishes like duck hash with blackberries and mangoes; eggs Treme Benedict with boudin; chicken and biscuits with sausage gravy; and French toast with a Bananas Foster rum sauce. 901 Louisiana Ave., (504) 891-9626, atchafalayarestaurant.com

Shop at: Who knew that blending the culture of Tokyo and New Orleans into one fabulous little boutique would be so successful? Kawaii NOLA owners Kanako and Adam Richard, that’s who! Offering everything from Japanese candies and fashion to king cake pins, colorful costuming wigs and fake eyelashes, Kawaii NOLA steps completely outside the typical boutique box. By the way, Tokidoki and Hello Kitty fans would definitely be remiss if they left Kawaii NOLA out of their shopping plans. 3512 Magazine St., (504) 899-2426, kawaiinola.com

Relax at: Hankering for ramen? Look no further than Noodle & Pie located Uptown on the corner of Magazine and State streets. Opened almost three years ago by Dante’s Kitchen chef and owner Eman Loubier and Brian Armour, Noodle & Pie offers an odd combination of hearty, soul-warming ramens and plates plus decadent pies. Try the Okonomiyaki fries with garlic mayonnaise; cured-then-fried spareribs; the House Bowl of ramen with Shoyu chicken broth, slow-cooked pork shoulder and a soft-boiled egg; and a slice of Almond Joy pie with chocolate whip and syrup. Talk about comfort food! 741 State St., (504) 252-9431, noodleandpie.com