Justin-Shiels-AIGA-Slide deck5

On behalf of the city of New Orleans and design nerds everywhere, I would like to personally say that we are jazzed you’re here!

My name is Justin Shiels and I am a graphic designer, illustrator, and Creative Entrepreneur that made New Orleans home 13 years ago.

So, yes, I evacuated for Hurricane Katrina and came back because I wanted to be a part of rebuilding one of the most magical cities in the world.

My first weekend in New Orleans as a chipper young 18 year old, was of course included a trip to the French Quarter. My roommate and I got beignets from Café Dumond, Hand Grenades from Tropical Isle and…well, you know what happened from there.

But there is so much more to New Orleans than Bourbon Street and Beignets.

New Orleans is one of the world’s most captivating places, home to a unique culture, decadent meals, and the best music.

I will be your unofficial tour guide and provide some insider tips, so you can do New Orleans like a local.

In preparing for my presentation for the AIGA Conference, I took the time to develop a down and dirty list of my favorite places in New Orleans. This was started by my friend Sky McElroy and adapted to include many of my favorites.

***Always updating. Disregard misspellings***

Places to Drink:

  • R Bar (Dive and awesome – In the Quarter: off Esplanade, near Frenchman)
  • Delachaise (Uptown, right off the Street Car; near Magazine)
  • Three Muses (Frenchmen St – great music)
  • Bar Tonique (Rampart, some of the best cocktails in the city)
  • Carousel Bar (touristy, but nice diversion. Sit at the revolving bar)
  • Mimi’s in the Marigny (Saturday & Fri. night especially, late night; dive bar downstairs, party upstairs, they have awesome tapas)
  • Kajun’s (karaoke–the natural progression is Kajun’s and then Mimi’s)
  • The Saint (not to be confused for The Saint Hotel, they’re in different parts of town; after Mimi’s, late-night especially Thurs-Sat., dive; go once)
  • Snake & Jake’s (4AM only, it’s a shack; get the cheese fries)
  • Maple Leaf (Tuesday night Jazz)

Places to Eat, Lunch/Dinner:

  • Parkway Poboys (lunch, MUST)
  • Dat Dog (try the crawfish dog if you’re feeling adventurous)
  • Jaques-Imo’s (dinner, MUST)
  • Cochon (dinner, dressy) or The Butcher (sandwiches behind Cochon)
  • Bacchanal (wine, food, cheese, live music)
  • The Joint (Lunch BBQ)
  • Green Goddess (best Vegan/veggie goodness)
  • Pizza Delicious (nom nom nom)
  • Booty’s Street Food (good bar, also has good food to eat)
  • Ursa Major (astrology themed restaurant with amazing world cuisine)
  • Willie Mae’s Scotch House (this fried chicken is the best in the South)
  • Willa Jean’s (great for lunch; fried chicken sandwich is the best)
  • Peche (live fire grilled seafood)
  • Cane and Table (dinner, MUST)
  • St. Roch Market (MUST; Lots of great food options all under one roof)

Places to Eat, Breakfast/Brunch

  • Stein’s Deli (like our Russ & Daughters, but…well super NOLA)
  • Commander’s Palace (fancy Jazz Brunch)
  • Surrey’s Cafe (Magazine St., great for brunch–busy)
  • Elizabeth’s (great Sunday brunch – in the Marigny)
  • Satsuma’s (coffee, organic juice, and brunch)
  • Orange Couch (great coffee and light breakfast)
  • Camelia’s Grill (Uptown, diner-style original)
  • Ruby Slipper (great local favorite; numerous locations)

Places To Go/Sight-Seeing:

  • Jazz Market (OC Haley – Live jazz most nights)
  • Frenchmen St. (Jazz/Late Night Revelry)
  • Snug Harbour (For Jazz, on Frenchmen St.)
  • Magazine St. (shopping)
  • St. Charles Ave. Street Car (Uptown) / Garden District
  • Oak St. (not really for sight-seeing as for bar hopping)
  • Marigny Riverfront Park
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art
  • Contemporary Arts Center
  • National World War II Museum
  • Fulton Alley (Downtown bowling with amazing food and drinks)
  • Julia Street Art Walk (First Saturday of the Month)
  • St. Claude Art Walk (Second Saturday of the Month)



  • One Eyed Jacks (Thursday 80s night)
  • Gasa Gasa (best small cap room, period)
  • Circle Bar (local right of passage)
  • Siberia (good dive bar, too–metal and punk shows)
  • Hi Ho Lounge (Saturdays from 11pm-3am for Soul Sister)
  • The Howlin Wolf (cool stage)
  • Tipitina’s Uptown (historic venue)
  • Republic (if you’re feeling super clubby)


Gifts and Trinkets

  • Red Arrow (Louisiana focused; amazing design)
  • Mystic Blue Signs (sign painting on fleek)
  • Ogden Museum Gift Shop (Amazing collection of great gifts)
  • Grove Street Press (beautiful letterpress cards)
  • The Stacks (Inside the Contemporary Arts Center; Best art bookstore in the city)
  • Exodus Goods (Solange’s shop; worth the visit)
  • Little Flea (Usually third Saturday of the month )
  • Box Paper Scissor (Unique gift shop)
  • Dirty Coast (Local tshirt shop, great design)
  • Funky Monkey (Magazine Street Thrift Shop)