This blog post was updated on September 28, 2018.
In Nawlins for Mardi Gras and feeling guilty because certain friends, family members or colleagues couldn’t come with you to enjoy all the fun? Or maybe you’re hoping to rub it in about what a great time you had once you’re back? Here’s the low down on four fantastic French Quarter shops selling gifts that’ll help you make generous amends or rile the envy of others accordingly.
511 Dumaine Street, 70116
For the Chihuahua in your life who has everything, this “small store for dinky dogs” offers a range of canine clothing, grooming and accessories. Poochie pajamas? Check! The emphasis at Chi-wa-wa Ga-ga is on things (however ridiculous or superfluous) for dogs, especially little ones and particularly Chihuahuas. But the shop also carries items for cats, ferrets, rabbits and other small pets as well as a range of related dog collectables such as key chains, figures and more. Guaranteed to get your tail wagging, check out the shop’s website at chiwawagaga.com
714 St Louis Street, 70130
To be sure, the pralines here are divine but if ya really wanna wow the foodie folks back home with your French Quarter finds, I got three words for ya: bacon pecan brittle. Since 1944, the family of Leah Johnson has been sharing her original pralines and southern style confections with the world from the same humble shop. A delectable little New Orleans landmark (offering plenty of free samples), Leah’s Pralines is one sweet spot well worth visiting. Tempted? Have a look at leahspralines.com
New Orleans School of Cooking
524 St Louis Street, 70130
If you’ve ever wondered how to make etouffee, gumbo or any other creole or Cajun speciality, the New Orleans School of Cooking is for you! Believe it or not, this place is also a brilliant venue for a fun and fairly thorough introduction to the culture and history of one of America’s most idiosyncratic destinations. By all means take the time to sit in on one of the fantastic (and filling!) cooking classes offered here. Just make sure to browse the gift shop before you leave for a look at all the excellent regional cookbooks, seasonings, meal kits, kitchen utensils and more. For delicious details go to neworleansschoolofcooking.com
Voodoo Authentica of New Orleans Cultural Center & Collection
612 Dumaine Street, 70116
Providing a “complete line of locally handmade” Voodoo dolls, gris-gris bags, potion, oils and more alongside spiritual work and consultations by an “experienced team of in-house practitioners, Voodoo Authentica of New Orleans is a friendly one-stop shop for all your esoteric needs (whether they be of the kitsch or keenly observant variety).