New Orleans, United States
Jonathan, 32
Financial Analyst & New Orleans Loyalist
see his New Orleans city guide

ask Jonathan about

cocktail bars breakfast and brunch music venues hole in the wall

What are the New Orleans spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Regardless of your scene, everyone in this space likes to have a good time. Any first time visitor needs to do at least two things: have a good meal and have a fun night out on the town. Some great first timer restaurants: Brennans, Compere Lapin, Willie Mae's Scotch House, Coquette, Doris Metropolitan, Dooky Chase, Jacques Imos, Le Petite Grocery, Herbsaint. Bars: The Avenue Pub (great beer spot), The Maple Leaf (music/late night), Tipitina's (Music), Lafitte's (open 24 hours/one of the oldest bars in the country).

Do’s and don’ts in New Orleans: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

Feel free to ask servers, bartenders, and fellow patrons for advice and guidance. Most people are nice enough to give you a real answer and won't blow smoke up your ass. Keep in mind that there are a wide range of personalities, often even in the same place, so be sure to let them know what sort of experience you're looking to have. In terms of safety, use the same common sense that you would use in any city. Don't stumble around drunk and aimless and keep a friend close by.

What do you do and why do you do it?

Healthcare Data Analytics

How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?

It's entirely possible to have a night out (with dinner) and spend less than $100. It all depends on your budget and the sort of night that you would like to have.

Which New Orleans shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

One aspect of the city that shines especially bright are the local costume shops. Lots of holidays and regular Wednesdays give people cause to dress up. It wouldn't be entirely unusual to see a Victorian era prostitute walking around Downtown. The only question one would have to ask: is this lady going to work? Does she have a big party tonight? Both? If she's in the Quarter she might also be a ghost, but that's for another time. Check out Funky Monkey, Uptown Costume and Dancewear, Southern Costume Company.

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

Days - Uptown/Magazine Street... Nights - Downtown/CBD. Isn't that the same in most cities?

What’s the one place in New Orleans you think is underrated?

Swamp tours. I know it's very brochurey, but the times that I've been, I've really enjoyed them.

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

I still believe in the value of a dinner then a movie/show combination. Sylvain is an amazing restaurant in the heart of the Quarter that will give you major Interview With the Vampire vibes. From there, take an Uber to Canal Street to see a show at The Saenger, which is grand and theatrical. This two step guide will show your date that you have range, from sensitive to sensational.

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in New Orleans?

Since you're likely in the Quarter anyway, try Clover Grill. Old school diner vibes with solid burgers and breakfast. You're probably not the drunkest person in there, so chances are you won't be shamed too badly.

It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?

Check their Google Maps because they're probably in a different city.

Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?

You can't go wrong with lunch or dinner at Galatoire's. It's probably the strongest representative of the white tablecloth scene. Classic, bustling, and delicious. You can't go wrong.

Your go-to brunch spots:

Atchafalaya, Eat, Brennan's, Commander's Palace

Your perfect night out in New Orleans includes:

One of my favorite nights of the year is always Krewe du Vieux. Approximately 3 weekends before Mardi Gras day, it jumpstarts the season and makes you get ready for Mardi Gras, regardless if you are or not. It's literally the easiest night out. Just figure out where some of your friends are and meet up (they're probably at Lafitte's). Everyone is in the best mood, you watch the parade and go out afterwards. All the work is done for you.

Which local creators do you admire?

Jacqueline Bishop. She's a nationally renowned artist who focuses a lot of her work on environmental topics. As most know, climate change poses an especially imminent threat to the Gold Coast region. Her work is breathtaking and brings attention to a critical topic.

Special views that mainstream tourists don't know about:

Crescent Park. I profile it in my spots.

Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:

La Cocinita Food Truck (typically in front of Rendez Vous Tavern Thursday - Saturday nights). Great tacos on-the-fly.

Tomorrow’s your last day in New Orleans. How do you spend it?

Despite all the foolishness, New Orleans is a family and friends town. I'd spend my last day here with a combination of my people boiling crawfish or frying fish. Casual, timeless, sure to end up absurd.

instagram profile

jforges

photos by

Trevor Mark