Unlike anywhere else, the unique culture in New Orleans makes the Big Easy a one of a kind place for shoppers. Antiques, vintage clothes, art galleries, and cigar shops are just some of the stores that exemplify this town’s historic culture. The two main areas of town for shopping are Magazine street (Uptown) and Royal Street in the French Quarter.
Royal Street\French Quarter
Royal Street is to the shoppers as Bourbon is to the drinkers. It’s “The Place” in New Orleans. For the most part, the stores define “upscale” and include art galleries, cigar shops, curio shops, and a multitude of other vendors of undefinable collectibles.
The amount of antique shops in New Orleans is nothing short of gluttonous. You will find a more unique brand of stuff here than in most other cities–ornate, opulent, austentatious. If you have some serious money to spend and are looking for something with regal, “old world” charm, this is your place.
Magazine Street is the second biggest strip in New Orleans next to the French Quarter. Residential homes, bars, antiques shops, art galleries, and all sorts of other establishments live side by side on Magazine Street. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between a “Permanent Garage sale”, and a real business here. It all lends to the charm which has warranted Magazine Street being named the “hippest” shopping district in the grand ol’ US of A by numerous well-respected national publications. It’s a little too long to walk for some, and most of the stores are in two main sections. Vintage clothiers, salons, spas, and several sidewalk cafes also lay claim to some of historic “Magazine row”.
The nicer shops are located in the French Quarter. You can watch a Caribbean master craftsman roll you a fine cigar while you wait. It’s a must stop for the enthusiast, and good fun for the rest of us that enjoy the occasional smoke.
Magazine Street is the place to go. Funky Monkey, Miss Claudia’s, Pinky and Blueboy, and Cool Stuff are your best bets.
New Orleans is home to a large number of small independent galleries located in the Quarter and on Magazine Street. From very upscale to the starving and eclectic, you can spend several days discovering the arts in the Big Easy.