Above: Sculpture honoring the history of African dancing and drumming on Congo Square, New Orleans - ANDREW HARPER EDITOR

Three New Orleans Walking Tours

Sculpture honoring the history of African dancing and drumming on Congo Square, Jazz Tour with Urban Adventures, New Orleans - Andrew Harper editor

Eccentric and pedestrian-friendly New Orleans amply rewards the casual stroller. But since having a guide also bestows clear benefits, we tried out three small-group walking tours. On these outings, we discovered numerous attractions that we would never have seen or experienced on our own, and we met congenial groups of like-minded travelers.

New Orleans Secrets: Magazine Street Foodie Tour

Fountain of beer taps along Magazine Street - Andrew Harper editor
Eggplant napoleon with a shrimp and crawfish cream sauce, New Orleans Secrets Food Tour - Andrew Harper editor

Uninterested in a run-of-the-mill gumbo-and-jambalaya tour, we booked the three-hour Magazine Street Foodie Tour that concentrates on Garden District restaurants popular with locals. We met the other six participants at Mahoney’s, a casual po’ boy shop in what appeared to be a former house. Our guide, Roger, informed us that New Orleans was “a city founded by drunks, built by drunks and run by drunks.” He proceeded to encourage us to join them by proffering mimosas or bloody marys mixed with vodka infused with lemon, okra, bell pepper and onion. We sipped our drinks with half po’ boy sandwiches. Since there are seafood po’ boys everywhere, Roger explained, he had given us versions topped with long-cooked roast beef.

Roger requested that we not divulge the names of the other restaurants we visited, four more in all, interrupted by a tour of an excellent art gallery to allow us time to digest. But I can say that all the food we tried was absolutely delicious, including (but not limited to) an alligator-and-pork sausage covered in rich crawfish étouffée, flawlessly fresh chargrilled oysters, a decadent “eggplant napoleon” with a shrimp cream sauce and, for dessert, divine beignets enhanced with matcha custard, apple pie filling or a s’mores topping of marshmallow and chocolate.

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Above: Sculpture honoring the history of African dancing and drumming on Congo Square, New Orleans - ANDREW HARPER EDITOR

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The Latest From New Orleans Royal Street Antiques Shopping A Lesson in Classic Cocktails New Orleans’ Top New Jazz Clubs New Orleans Restaurant Discoveries Contemporary Art Riches in New Orleans New Orleans: Four New Luxury Hotels