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My New Orleans: 20 Questions with Justin Shiels

“My goal is to tell the stories of people in this city who are doing interesting things, things that might otherwise stay under the radar,” Justin Shiels told me as he handed me a copy of The Invader’s Guide to New Orleans, his new printed guide to bars, nightlife, culture, food, and fashion in New Orleans.

Justin Shiels

After working in advertising for four years, Justin noticed that there were lots of interesting things happening in the city, but some were getting lost in the frenzy. “I want to highlight all the people, places, and projects in this city that might not otherwise get attention,” Justin said.

The Invader’s Guide to New Orleans is a resource for both locals and visitors who are looking for an authentic, off-the-beaten-path experience. The guide grew out of Justin’s well-established culture There will be a new issue of The Invader’s Guide to New Orleans every year, highlighting up-and-coming projects and exciting new finds.

I asked Justin about some of his favorite ‘under the radar’ listings in the guide. “NOLA Fashion Week has really worked hard to create a place for fashion innovation in New Orleans,” he said. “It’s growing every year and I really think there is an interesting fashion culture in this city that many visitors, and even locals, aren’t aware of.”

Faubourg Wines and Casa Borrega are some of the drinking/dining establishments that have caught Justin’s eye this year, and he has noticed the musical stylings of singer/songwriter Kristin Diable.

To find out more about Justin’s favorite spots, check out his answers to GoNOLA’s 20 Questions below and order The Invader’s Guide to New Orleans on or on Amazon. You can also find copies of The Invader’s Guide to New Orleans for sale in some of Justin’s favorite shops about town. So keep your eyes peeled.

Twenty Questions with Justin Shiels

1. Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?

I’ve always been intrigued by Marie Laveau. She’s just one of those interesting characters who makes New Orleans what it is.

2. What first brought you to New Orleans?

I’m from Memphis, Tennessee, and I first came to New Orleans to attend Loyola University.

3. In your opinion – what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans? 

I recently moved to Central City, and I really love what is going on around Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.

4. City Park or Audubon Park?

City Park – I especially love the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

5. Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans.

It’s a tie between Booty’s and The Joint. The Joint has the best barbecue in the city, hands down.

6. Where’s your favorite brunch spot?

Surrey’s on Magazine Street. I love the scrambled eggs with salmon.

7. What’s your favorite po-boy? Where do you go to get it?

I get a half catfish, half shrimp po-boy from Parkway Bakery and Tavern. And I pile on the hot sauce!

The Invader's Guide to New Orleans

8. You’ve got friends visiting and it’s their first time in New Orleans – where are you taking them?

Frenchmen Street for sure. We’d grab food at Three Muses and then head to Spotted Cat or Maison for some live music.

9. What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?

Pal’s Lounge or Twelve Mile Limit.

10. What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail and where do you go to get it?

I love an old fashioned from Bellocq.

11. Snowball or Daiquiri? Where from and what flavor?

I like the house special at Gene’s.

12. Best spot to see live music?

Recently, I’ve been loving Hi Ho Lounge.

13. Favorite New Orleans musician or band?

John Michael Rouchell.

14. Favorite New Orleans Festival?

Buku Music + Art Project.

15. Favorite Mardi Gras parade?


16. Where do you shop in New Orleans?

Funky Monkey on Magazine Street.

17. What is your favorite New Orleans Museum?

The Ogden. I love their Thursday ‘After Hours.’

18. Where do you go to watch the Saints Play?

Bayou Beer Garden in Mid City.

19. Describe New Orleans in one word.


20. When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans?

My friends and I had a crawfish boil in City Park this summer. It  was a perfect day and we supplemented the crawfish with some daiquiris from Gene’s.