New Orleans is the epitome of jazz and southern-style cuisine. Nicknamed the "Big Easy," this Louisiana city is beloved by both its unrelenting tourists and its locals. It's big on nightlife, music, and everyone knows about the annual Mardi Gras extravaganza. What more could you ask for?
Well in addition to New Orleans' exciting festivities, travelers have found some discreet locations that adequately reflect New Orleans' colorful atmosphere and culture. Here are ten hidden gems that you didn't know you could visit in the French Quarter.
10 Napoleon House
The Napoleon House had been owned and operated by the Impastato family since 1914. During that time, the family offered the place to Napoleon as a retreat during his exile. This, in turn, recharged the name to become forever known as the Napoleon House, despite the fact that the French military dignitary never made it there.
Today, Ralph Brennan helms this quaint little bar in the French Quarter. The 200-year old structure still holds fast New Orlean's rich and spicy cuisine and offers a Pimm's Cup cocktail like you wouldn't believe.
9 New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
Since 1982, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum has paid homage to New Orleans eclectic history. Filled with the narrations of the city's voodoo culture, this museum gives up the secrets, artifacts, and relics that have been preserved throughout the years.
In addition to seeing these curious fixtures, visitors can take tours to the City of the Dead (St. Louis Cemetery), and they even offer assistance in psychic readings. These people are the real deal, so if you have ever been curious about special gris-gris, rituals and ceremonies, this is the place to do it.
8 Jazz Museum
The building that houses the Nola Jazz Museum has a fascinating history in itself. It previously served as the New Orleans Mint, pushing out silver and gold coins since the 1800s. Before Hurricane Katrina blasted through in 2005, it was simply the Louisiana State Museum.
However, it became rejuvenated in 2007 and fashioned into the New Orleans Jazz Museum to specifically celebrate The French Quarters' role in the history of jazz music. Here you can learn all about the legends of this genre of music. It's especially fun to visit during Jazz Fest, which takes place every year around April.
7 1850 House
In order to celebrate New Orlean's thriving days of yesteryear, the Louisiana State Museum commissioned for one of the authentic 1850's houses in Jackson Square to represent a typical antebellum row house. Inside, visitors can see first hand how a middle-class family might have styled their home during this time period.
The home itself was built by Micaela Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba in 1950. Since 1949, it has been open to the public as a landmark where guests can see faithfully stylized home furnishings and antique domestic goods like Old Paris and New Orleans silver.
6 Claire's Pour House
At the heart of the French Quarter, Claire's Pour House sits as a local favorite dive bar. They are celebrated for their optimal bartending services, food menu options, and bona fide New Orleans aesthetic.
It's a strictly casual bar where you can easily blend in with the locals during their highly-raved happy hour. This quaint neighborhood bar is a perfect stop in between the more typical and tourist establishments which are prevalent along the French Quarter.
5 Green Goddess
You can enjoy a tasteful meal inside the Green Goddess' limited seating venue, but the coveted areas lie in its courtyard style patio off of Exchange Alley. This restaurant prides itself on its uninhibited food and spirits, with various cultural dishes finding a home in this one New Orleans restaurant.
But don't worry, the Cajun spice that is famous in Louisiana meals is always involved in the Green Goddess' rotating menu options. Enjoy a nice refreshing libation with your authentic repast and toast to New Orleans own crafted Abita Red Ale.
4 Spitfire Coffee
Opening in 2013, Spitfire Coffee serves as one of the more modern brick-and-mortars along the New Orlean's French Quarter. They specialize in Espresso, Cold Brew, and V60 Pour-over coffee styles and work indulgently on each one they serve.
Its space may be small, but their coffee is potent and you'll be able to smell them from a mile away. If you are in need of a recharge before your nightly activities, get a boost of energy from Spitfire's notorious cold brew coffees.
3 Southern Candymakers
This hand-made candy boutique will draw you in with their famous fresh hot praline samples that they have been giving out since 1992. The Candymakers are known for their neighborly approach and their dedication to the project.
Each piece of candy is specially molded into a treat so rich, it has been given the Best Candy Award and dubbed one of the best in the U.S.A. They are rampant in New Orleans' festivities and they offer exclusive candy boxes for businesses and special occasions.
2 Faulkner House Books
Literary tourist will enjoy this captivating little shop. Faulkner House Books was opened and named after literary genius, William Faulkner. In the fifteen years since its opening, this shop has been considered one of the world's most charming book stores, offering both new, used, and rare edition novels.
Besides Faulkner's largely displayed collection, their specialties include "Tennessee Williams, Walker Percy, Modern First Editions, Southern Americana with an emphasis on New Orleans and Louisiana-related titles, and Johnsoniana."
1 New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is a unique treasure. The old apothecary has been transfixed into an 1823 museum frozen in time. On display, visitors will find a mix of old herbal remedies, including superstitious cures and early medicines. On the ground floor, you'll be able to see antique, hand-blown surgical instruments and questionable potions compounded by Voodoo practitioners.
Here, you'll learn all about New Orleans' wayward medical practices, such as how no one was required to have official licensing in order to open their own pharmaceutical practice. This particular pharmacy has been around since 1816 and used by Louis J. Dufilho, Jr., America's first licensed pharmacist.