The NYLON Guide to NOLA

    Where to eat, where to drink, and where to stay if you’re there for Jazz Fest

    by Irina Grechko · May 04, 2017
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    It seems like there is no city more universally beloved than Louisiana's New Orleans. The colorful streets, adorned with wrought iron balconies, scream to be explored and photographed; the best restaurants in the entire country lure you in to try some of the most delicious food you will ever have in your life; and the promises of live shows until 4am contribute to the you-can-have-it-all vibrations that circulate around the city; they don't call it "The Big Easy" for nothing. It's a city that somehow continues to stay untouched by time and geography, its DNA seemingly made of otherwordly components as hard-to-grasp and unravel as those of a perfectly improvised jazz composition.

    While some might point to Mardi Gras as the best time to visit this magical city, Jazz Fest is my personal favorite. It says a lot when someone who doesn't attend any music festivals, has been consistently going to this one for several years in a row now. There is a certain je ne sais quoi that surrounds the city, despite the actual festival taking place a little bit outside of the downtown area. The bars are filled with live music that spills onto the sidewalks, there are marching bands and dance parties that break out on every street corner at all times of day, and even the food tastes better than during any other time of the year, flavors coming alive with the energy of the city. With this in mind, if you find yourself in the city this week, here's a first-timer's guide to New Orleans that includes some of the spots that have made me fall in love with this extraordinary city.

    Now, this is not a guide meant for locals or people who call NOLA their home away from home. This is a guide for travelers who are in Crescent City for the first or second time specifically for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival—whose second round starts today and goes through Sunday—and want to get the most NOLA-like experiences out of their limited free time there. This might not list the newest or the hottest spots to visit right now, but ones that are most reliable, ones that have proven themselves over the years and contributed to the character of this one-of-a-kind city.

    Ahead, where to stay and what to eat (in two parts because that's how much great food there is in NOLA), drink, and do.

    Tags: culture, travel
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