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New Orleans Like a Native: Food & Drinks

While in Tulum my friends and I talked about our next group trip, and New Orleans made the list. I'll be referring back to this article once we make our fun and tasty plans!

Excerpt below from 2/22/2022 updated Virtuoso article by Kelsey Ogletree ca be found HERE.

From the French Quarter to the Garden District, the beignets to the Pimm’s Cups, there’s no shortage of amazing restaurants and late-night haunts in New Orleans. “We operate more like a small town than a big city,” says Christa Cotton, the CEO of El Guapo Bitters, a nonalcoholic bitters company known for its inventive sweet and savory varieties. “Our culinary scene is close-knit, and we all help each other out. I love the camaraderie and teamwork just as much as the food, to be honest.”

Cotton is giving travelers one more tasteful reason to explore the Big Easy: She recently opened the country’s first bitters brewery in the Mid-City neighborhood. She hopes that soon, guests will be able to tour El Guapo’s 35,000-square-foot facility and sample some of its best-selling mixers, syrups, and bitters flavors, including chicory pecan and gumbo, which adds a surprising and next-level complexity to your standard Bloody Mary. (For now, you can order the goods online or find them at NOLA's Keife & Co. boutique.)

The longtime New Orleanian shares her top spots around town to eat and drink like a local.

Lengua Madre

At this tasting-menu spot in the Lower Garden District, executive chef Ana Castro, who was raised in Mexico City by her grandmother, cooks cuisine from her childhood. Mexican restaurants aren’t common in New Orleans, so Lengua Madre is a special experience if you’re looking for something beyond Cajun or Creole food. Don’t miss the cocktails made with agave spirits.

Bar Marilou

Bar Marilou, inside the 67-room Maison de la Luz in the Warehouse District, is fabulous. With its rich red interiors and French-inspired design, it's the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or end the evening with a nightcap. Plus, you never know who you might run into.


Cochon, a Cajun spot in the Lower Garden District, is the restaurant we go to the most. It’s a New Orleans classic, and the bar team is one of the most inventive in town. They always have a new riff on a mai tai and make their own syrups, such as orgeat or sweet potato.



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