Explore New Orleans

A Perfect Day in New Orleans: Julia Reed’s Itinerary

The Garden + Gun columnist gives the lowdown on the Crescent City high life

Author and journalist Julia Reed has traveled the world writing for Vogue, Newsweek and other publications. After years of globe-trotting, she now calls New Orleans’ Garden District home. Here, the entertaining author plots out a full-day Crescent City itinerary.

9 am: Beignets vs. Donuts

“If you’re in the Quarter go to Café Du Monde. There’s a reason why it’s touristy and beloved: Because it’s good. Go get those coffees and beignets; you can’t at very many places. If you’re a little further afield, try District. They have about 20 different kinds of donuts, enough to compete with the awesomeness of Café Du Monde’s beignets.”

Cafe Du Monde
Beignets and cafe au lait at Café Du Monde, a New Orleans rite of passage. (©Cheryl Gerber/NewOrleansOnline.com)

10 am: The Art of the City

“Hit a gallery or two on Julia Street; I love Arthur Roger, Søren Christensen and Octavia. I also like George Schmidt, whose paintings are like mini history lessons of New Orleans. Then drop by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art or A Gallery for Fine Photography on Chartres Street.”

11:30 am: Milk Makes a Body Strong

“Once you’ve finished looking at art it’s time for a refreshing morning cocktail! Have a milk punch at the Royal Orleans bar.”

1 pm: Beauty and the Bistro

Lilette is a great lunch spot with a beautiful sunny room.”

2:30 pm: Louisiana Purchase

“Go shopping on Magazine Street. My favorite boutiques are Ann Koerner and Karla Katz, which are right next to each other. Every time one of my decorator friends comes to town they find amazing things there. There’s no shortage of antiques stores, but those are my top faves. There is also good clothes shopping to be had at Weinstein’s.”

Karla Katz Antiques
Magazine Street offers six miles of chic boutiques. (©Karla Katz)

5 pm: Chic Sips

“Head back toward Lilette; chef John Harris of also owns Bouligny Tavern next door. It has really chic, mid-century décor, which is unusual for New Orleans, and excellent cocktails and small plates.”

7:30 pm: Linked In

“For dinner try one of Donald Link’s four restaurants—Herbsaint, Cochon, Pêche or even Butcher, if you don't want a big, fat meal. Donald is not only the most talented chef in New Orleans but one of the most talented chefs in the country.”

10 pm: Night Moves

“You’ve got to go hear some music. In the CBD they’ve restored the Little Gem Saloon, a nightclub that was here a million years ago. Or you could go Uptown and go funkier at the Howlin’ Wolf or Maple Leaf, or on Frenchmen Street. One of those places always has something for somebody.