7 Expert tips to do New Orleans like a local

St. Patrick’s Day 2016 is upon us and it’s time for me to share with you my secrets to having a good time in New Orleans, America’s #1 party destination. You may be saying to youself, “Who is this guy and why I should I listen to a word he says?” Well, for starters, I’ve been to New Orleans twice and had a pretty great time. Plus, this is my Medium and I’d like to think that makes me an expert.

Simply beautiful. Photo via redbeansandlife.com
  1. While in New Orleans you may be tempted to use up some of your precious BAC level on an “authentic” New Orleans cocktail like a Sazerac or a Vieux Carré. Don’t waste your time. The grain alcohol infused deliciousness of a Hurricane or Hand Grenade has all the authenticity you need. It’s what the locals drink!
  2. While we’re talking about booze, ever heard of something called three for the price of one beers? You read that right. THREE! FOR THE PRICE! OF ONE! Sounds too good to be true, I know, but on Bourbon Street it’s not!
  3. New Orleans’ culinary scene is world-renowned. Shrimp and grits, po’ boys, and boiled crawfish are all staples of the New Orleans diet. Make sure to check out the most famous Louisiana restaurant of them all, Popeyes! Best of all, with over 2,000 restaurants nationwide, you may not need to travel to New Orleans to get your hands on some pop’n chicken!
  4. The beignets that they serve at the Cafe du Monde are literally just oddly shaped doughnuts piled high with powdered sugar. Plus the Cafe du Monde is like a packed out version of a Greyhound bus terminal. Hard pass. Head to the Dunkin Donuts on Veterans Memorial Boulevard for a real NOLA treat!
  5. Strings of plastic beads are basically currency in New Orleans. Beyond their more obvious uses, they can also be traded for goods and services. You just have to ask! Not enough cash to pay your taxi cab driver? Give him some beads! Did your server provide particularly attentive service at dinner? Say thanks with an extra string of beads! The possibilities are endless!
  6. It’s a poorly kept secret that New Orleans, as a whole, smells pretty bad. Wear a medical face mask to protect yourself. You may get some funny looks from tourists, but locals will know what’s up.
  7. You’re not going to read this in any guide book, but it’s legal to pee in public as long as it goes directly into a storm drain. If you’re spotted by police officers, just give them ol’ “NOLA Nod” and they’ll leave you in peace.
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