The Ultimate New Orleans Food Bucket List

So if you haven’t noticed, I might have a thing for New Orleans. I went to college an hour away, and moved there after graduating. It would be downright shameful if I kept all of my favorite spots to myself, wouldn’t it? Don’t fret, right in time for Mardi Gras I bring you…. The New Orleans Food Bucket List. Click on each restaurant’s name to find hours and location.

Going to #Nola but not sure where to eat? Look no further! Here is a list of my favorite foods and where to get them || #travel #explore #mardigras

Po-Boy and an Abita Strawberry Beer

Tucked behind Carrollton ave in Uptown, Adam’s Street Market serves the freshest and fattest po-boys around. Fried shrimp is my favorite, but roast beef is another popular choice. The Oak Street Po-Boy Fest is held in the neighborhood every year, and Adam’s always comes through.


Boiled Crawfish

Stay in season, which generally goes form March-June, although the recent years have varied a little bit (thanks, global warming…) Ask someone to show you how to peel it, and then suck the heads! All the hard work of seasoning and boiling garlic, onions, and other greens goes right into the head. Most bars will serve crawfish during the heat of the season, but Deanie’s Seafood serves them most of the year.


Shrimp-N-Grits & Irish Coffee

One of the best breakfasts for fighting a hangover, shrimp-n-grits were perfected in New Orleans. Light, fluffy, warm grits covered in scallions, gulf shrimp, and bacon? I’ll take it. Ruby Slipper Café manages to do the BEST shrimp-n-grits and a kickass Irish Coffee with the perfect amount of whipped cream. Not a coffee/whisky fan? Try any of these local favorites.


Nut-Covered Gulf Fish

Gulf fish are generally very large, white, and delicate. Local chefs dust the fish with Louisiana pecans and bake, giving it a slightly crispy outside. Go to Antoinne’s and order the Filet de Gulf Poisson Amandine. You won’t be disappointed!


Shrimp Remoulade

The cutest family restaurant, Mandina’s Restaurant is one those beautiful blends of Italian-Creole cuisine. The result is families laughing, girlfriends catching up, and bankers at happy hour. Everyone feels at home in this big pink restaurant in mid-city.


Seafood Gumbo

Nothing warms your soul like a bowl of steaming gumbo, believe dat. Shrimp, sausage, Okra, and whatever else the cook deems delicious atop a bowl of white rice. Get it at Liuzza’s by the Track and toss a little Crystal hot sauce in it. IF you make it to Jazz Fest, you MUST stop by Liuzza’s- the surrounding neighborhood turns into a block party during the festivities.


Turtle Soup

For a city that rarely dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, we sure know how to stay warm. This savory little soup is perfect for a chilly fall night. Commander’s Palace has the best in town, and they make a killer martini to pair.


Bread Pudding

This gooey sweet treat is a Southern favorite. You can find it on pretty much every menu, but some truly are a step above the rest. Bon Ton Café has one of the damn best in town and it’s on Magazine Street, perfect for shopping after a delicious treat. Keep in mind it is CLOSED Saturday and Sunday. Can’t squeeze it during the week? Try Muriel’s by Jackson Square or grab it with your turtle soup at Commanders.



Yes, it is a Vietnamese dish, but there are plenty of places in New Orleans that will send you to Ho Chi Mihn City Perfect for lunch after a long night of partying. Try to get the beef- the more fat you get, the more it will soak up the alcohol. Dueces, hangover. Get it at Lilly’s, or any of the other 6 Vietnamese restaurants I mentioned.


Praline bacon, Redneck Eggs, & Brandy Milk Punch

Elizabeth’s is the best place in town for a little hair of the dog and a fulfilling meal. Get the sweet, salty praline bacon to start and get ready for the real deal (drumroll please)…. Redneck Eggs- a fried green tomato benedict. Keep the Brandy Milk Punch flowing and you’ll be back on Bourbon Street in no time.


Bananas Foster

Get it at the place it was invented and perfected, Brennan’s. Cooked bananas, vanilla ice-cream, and cinnamon brown sugar sauce make this sinful treat amazing. The mixture of warm and cold sensations with a hint of rum is almost too good to deal with. But you will manage, and love life.


Alligator Sausage

My favorite choice from the funky and always fun Dat Dog. There are three locations in the city, but the one on Magazine draws a younger crowd. Pair it with their cocktail for the day- last time it was a blueberry mojito. AMAZING.


Burger and Monsoon from Port of Call

The secret is out, and everyone knows these are the BEST damn burgers in town. The side is a fully loaded, baked potato. The monsoon will help is a fruity concoction designed to get you drunk, so pace yourself.


King Cake Cheesecake

King cake (the large, braided, cinnamon pastry topped with icing and sprinkles) is great, but king cake cheesecake is to DIE for.  Get it at Mr. B’s Bistro, where they drizzle it with white chocolate ganache. Dress nice, the place loves to do service right!


Have you had any of these New Orlean’s treats? What looks the best to you?

Where to Fight a Hangover in New Orleans

Hungover in #NOLA ? Of course you are... Fight it with the best Pho in the city || #travel #neworleans #food

One of my favorite things about living New Orleans was heading to one of the many Vietnamese restaurants, ordering Pho Bo and spring rolls, and kissing my sorry-ass hangover goodbye. The best part? It didn’t matter where I was in life, broke, ballin’ or binge-drinking, there was always a pho for me! Promise if you visit, you will get some real  foreign soul food at one my favorite four Vietnamese restaurants!

For the drinker…

 514 City Park Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
Get you some crafted cocktails, like my favorite, the Viper (which is made with house infused ginger/galangal vodka) and sit down on the covered patio to watch fireflies and the people go by. But the best part? So. Many. Options. You can get anything from poached eggs to pork belly including which broth you’d prefer- vegi, beef with marrow, or fowl.


To feel like a local…

 Lilly’s Cafe
1813 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Ugh, I miss this place SO.DAMN.MUCH. It was actually one of the first dates my love took me on. But mostly because it is one of the most lush bowls of pho I have ever seen- I always have extra to bring home (bonus, bitches!)  Located on the quirky Magazine Street, people will drive from most of the city for this perfected place, so expect lunch time to be packed. Don’t forget to get a Lilly Roll!

On a budget…

135 North Carrolton
New OrleansLA70119
Talk about a LIFE-SAVER. This is great for budget travelers, students, AND when you’re too tipsy to drive. They deliver to most neighborhoods in the area (mid-city, treme, uptown) and get it quick. Don’t worry, it may be inexpensive ($8.00) but it gets the job done.

On a date…

Cafe Minh
4139 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
Nestled away on Canal street, hidden by great oaks and Spanish moss, Cafe Mihn is the ideal upscale(ish) vietnamese place.  With a wonderful assortment of wine and cozy setting, Cafe Mihn makes the perfect date pho. Indulge in whatever the chef’s option is for the day- one time it was duck! (insert o-face here)

What is your favorite hang-over cure? Any tricks you’d like to send my way?

Ballin’ on a Budget: U.S. Cities Edition Part 1

One of the most delightful parts of meeting travelers in SE Asia was that nearly everyone asked me where they should visit in the USA. Everyone knows about New York City and San Francisco (both extraordinary places!) but with 50 other states with countless cities, you’d be selling yourself short if you didn’t at least attempt to visit the following gems. 

I’ve seen many a beautiful budget busted on food and drink, including my own (damn you, Italian food).  American food can be quite pricey if you aren’t careful, but luckily the happy hour is still alive and kickin. More recently, food has been included (and encouraged) in the happy hour menu, which is a superb way to check out a restaurant you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.



Orange clay mountains make for a surreal backdrop. Arizona definitely seems like another planet, and I think it’s pretty out of this world (so friggin punny, I know). 

Ballin on a #Budget || a tipsy gypsy life #phoenix #travel


Camelback Mountain… a great way to see the city, literally. The top of the mountain provides a remarkable view of all things Phoenix. Be sure to go early in the morning and hydrate well, Phoenix can get up in the high 90’s.

Stingray Sushi… An ode to the wonderful West coast sushi. In other words, they don’t f**k around. Get delicious rolls anytime, and an impressive half-off happy hour from 2:30-6:30. Find what you’re looking for here.

Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve… Don’t get pricked! You can’t go to Phoenix without playing in the desert. Those cute cacti with the little arms are called Saguro Cactuses. Visit at dusk for surreal scenes and cool weather.

Where to Dine & Drink

Liberty Market
230 N. Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ
An ungodly amount of meat and full bar, get The Tower Burger, Kettle Chips, and a Kir Royale

Humble Pie
2333 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ
Local organic vegetables and any pizza you can concoct, get a 10 in. Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Half Strawberry Gorgenzola Salad for $10.95. Add in the waiter’s wine suggestion. 

District Restaurant
320 N Third St, Phoenix, AZ
Nothing over 9$ at noon, get the 3rd Street Carnitas, S’mores Ice Cream Whoopies, and a Phoenix Ale Brewery Camelback IPA



One of the quirkiest cities in the U.S. is also quite different from the other major cities in Texas, Houston and Dallas. You might have heard of the SXSW (south by southwest) film and music festival that is held in here in March, while the festival is definitely an experience, Austin has SO much more to offer.

Ballin on a #Budget: U.S. Cities Edition || a tipsy gypsy life #travel


Baylor Street Art Wall – For a bit of art and a prime photo opp be sure visit this local favorite. For tips on how to photograph graffiti, look no further.

Food Trucks Galore Austin loves a good food truck and plenty of them are BYOB, like the Fat Cactus serving navajo tacos. Or go really Texas with it and get BBQ at La Barbecue. Check the city food truck map here.

Watersports on Lady Bird Lake- People in Austin are always playing outside and when you visit you’ll see there is no denying that. Try SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) if you’re looking for something new or you can pick a classic kayak. You’ll fit in fine.

Where to Dine & Drink

Austin is a come-back king of Happy Hour. The food is even better than the drinks, y’all.

Lucky Robot for Happy Hour 5-7
1303 S Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 
7$ Sake Carafes, 2$ Ichiban, and some of the best sushi in the city

The Hightower for Happy Hour 5-7
1209 E 7th Street, Austin, TX
 $5 cocktails like the deep eddy splash (waterloo gin, deep eddy ruby red grapefruit, and mint). Have some smoked redfish spread to go with it. 

The BuzzMill for Brunch
1505 Town Creek Drive, Austin, TX 
$7 bottomless flapjacks with house-made bacon and eggs, $4 make-your-own Bloody Marys, and $2 mimosas.


New Orleans

It really pains me to have to cut this so short- there are SO many died-and-gone-to-heaven meals in the Crescent City. When you think of foodie, you might think NYC or Paris, but don’t sell this southern gem short. Whether you desire pecan-crusted gulf fish (my FAVORITE), macrons, or life-changing coffee, NOLA has it.

Ballin on a #budget || a tipsy gypsy life #travel #wanderlust

Don’t skip brunch. Elizabeth’s is a local favorite, and for damn good reason. Praline bacon and the fried green tomato Benedict are must haves but if you’re hungover get the shrimp-n-grits. Oh did I mention pour-your-own mimosas, brandy milk punch, and the-best-damn-bloody-mary-in-the-world? You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to a diverse population, New Orleans has some of the best pho in the country. But if you think I’m full of malarkey, take it from cuisine king Anthony Bourdain. While truly every place you dine at will be remarkable, there are a few gems that are outstanding. Lilly’s on Magazine street is a guaranteed hit, just be sure to get her Lily rolls, a special take on the classic spring roll.

You can’t visit New Orleans without getting a po’boy. The sandwich was originally made for streetcar workers on strike in the 1930’s, and the city hasn’t let them go since. Crisp, delicate French bread stuffed with fried shrimp, lettuce, mayo, and tomato makes for the perfect hangover prevention. A meal for under $10 USD at Adam’s Street Market.


Where to Dine & Drink

It would be downright shameful to not catch all of the classic New Orleans drinks.

Elizabeth’s for Brunch
 601 Gallier Street, New Orleans, LA
Bananas Foster French Toast, Red Neck Eggs, and a Ghetto Fabulous Mimosa 

The Ruby Slipper Cafe for Brunch
1005 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA
BBQ Shrimp n Grits, Hot Smoked Salmon Benny, and an Irish Cream Coffee 

Lilly’s Cafe for Lunch
1813 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA
Lilly’s Rolls, Pho Rare Flank & Brisket, and an Iced Vietnamese Coffe

Adam Street Grocery for Lunch
1309 Adams Street, New Orleans, LA 
Shrimp Poboy, Zapp’s Voodoo Chips, Abita Strawberry Harvest Beer 

Liuzza’s by the Track for Dinner
1518 N Lopez Street, New Orleans, LA
Creole Gumbo, Shrimp Remoulade, and a Pimm’s Cup

Mr. B’s for a Dinner Splurge
Oven Roasted Pork Belly and Fig, Pecan Crusted Redfish, Dirty Martini , and Bread Pudding



St. Petersburg

One of the reasons I refuse to move North of I-10 is because I grew up in the sunniest place in the world.* The main attraction is lucky free- the gorgeous white sand and greenish-blue sea. I’m sure it would be impossible to pull you off the beach, but in case you have a cloudy day there are plenty sights to see.

Ballin on a #Budget || a tipsy gypsy life #travel

For a real bargain… Visit the Wagon Wheel Flea Market, an indoor/outdoor monstrosity that has been family-owned since 1966. Open Saturdays and Sundays rain or shine, they also serve cold beer to beat the heat.

For a bit of brilliance… Visit the Dali Museum, one of the cities pride and joys. Get in for $10 on Thursdays after 5 pm.

For an aquatic adventure… Get over to Egmont Key, one of the areas many natural reservations. Snorkel in the crystal clear water with dolphins and turtles. If dolphins are near, there is a good chance they’ll swim to you or your boat. SO friendly, but they can also get a little frisky

Where to Dine & Drink

Since the city is surrounded by water, the seafood is exceptional. Redfish, grouper, and conch fritters are local favorites and the fish can be served blackened, fried, grilled, and anything else you can think of.

Red Mesa Cantina Happy Hour
128 3rd St S, St Petersburg, FL
Huachinango Ceviche, Crab and Shrimp Quesadilla, Cucumber Margarita 

Middle Grounds Grill
10925 Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island, FL
Key West Chowder, Coconut Almond Shrimp, Key Lime Pie Martini

The Oyster Bar 
249 Central Ave, St. Petersburg  FL
Smoked Fish Spread, Crab and Arugula Salad, Grilled Pineapple Mojito


Seattle has a reputation for rainy days and grey skies, which makes for great lighting. One of the biggest regrets I almost always have about traveling is not taking enough pictures. Don’t be selfish, inspire some wanderlust and share. I’m also a HUGE fan of Halloween and spooky things so keep that in mind 😉.

Ballin on a Budget US Cities Edition || a tipsy gypsy life || #wanderlust #travel #seattle


Gas Works Playground…  This former gas company building turned park is a local favorite. Get a cheap sheet to lay on and one of the many local microbrews  and enjoy the great outdoors.

Pike Place Market… You can’t really go wrong with a waterfront market. It gets pretty packed, so be prepared for flying fish and bargaining. It wouldn’t be a real visit without tasting some of the amazing food, now would it?

Kerry Park… The absolute best view of the city, with the Space Needle, snow-capped mountains, and the skyline. Visit it at both day and night for vastly different scenes.

Where to Dine & Drink
Food trucks are a common quick and delicious way to get your grub around Seattle. It also gives you a chance to mingle with some locals.

Fusion on the Run
Key flavors: fresh pineapple, pork, cilantro
Boneless Short Ribs Tacos and Jicama Slaw

Street Treats
Key flavors: coconut, brown sugar, chocolate
Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Sandwich and Pumpkin Pie Bars (it’s Fall y’all…)

Off the Rez
Key flavors: quinoa, slaw, raspberry jam
Indian Taco and Razzleberry Fry Bread