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And it’s true that while there’s a lot to discover in New Orleans, there also tourists who sadly never leave the neon of Bourbon behind.
But with all of that said, while it’s silly to spend the entirety of your New Orleans trip on Bourbon, it’s equally silly to never experience the most visited location in the city. It’s a thoroughfare with an utterly fascinating history, home to some of the oldest bars, family-run restaurants and gay entertainment districts in the country.
It can get crowded, but when the bar is (relatively) quiet, we like to order the signature absinthe and dream of boozy days (and famous patrons) past.
Still popularly known as Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, this is a legitimately lovely music venue in the heart of Bourbon Street.
That particular iteration of brown liquor had not even been invented when the street was laid out in 1721 by Adrian de Pauger.
The street, then located in the colony of New France, was named for the French royal House of Bourbon (which bourbon, the drink, was ultimately named for).
We’re partial to the ribeye, but then again, we’re always a bit partial to ribeye.The lobster chop salad, which comes with roasted beets drizzled in an avocado tarragon dressing, is also worth your time, as is the Gouté 33 signature appetizer: three different versions of deviled eggs, gulf shrimp remoulade, and ghost pepper caviar.Old Absinthe House (240 Bourbon Street) It’s always a good idea to sidle up to the classic copper bar, and you won’t be the first to do so: the Absinthe House dates to 1806, making it older than most American states, and has hosted Franklin Roosevelt and Oscar Wilde, among other patrons.Bourbon House The Bourbon House is one of the city’s grand dame old school seafood houses.
Run by the Brennan family restaurant empire, they serve excellent raw oysters, decadent ‘swamp pig’ pasta (crawfish tails and smoked pork belly in white wine cream sauce) and one of the truly great iterations of barbeque shrimp; their version is cooked in a buttery sauce that is balanced by a generous helping of rosemary. If you’re in the market for something simple and noticeably New Orleans, and you’re wandering around the 200 block of Bourbon, Olde Nola Cookery is a good choice.In short, while there’s plenty to discover off of Bourbon, there’s a lot to discover Let’s start, appropriately enough, with the history of one of the oldest streets in North America.