If there’s one place that knows how to celebrate any kind of occasion, it’s New Orleans, and birthdays are certainly no exception. Whether you take vacation time from work or save the party for the weekend, check out these tips to plan your perfect NOLA birthday.
New Orleans is a great place to wake up on your birthday with so many great dining options in every neighborhood. A few places we’d recommend for a birthday breakfast or brunch include Up&Adam Eatz, Surrey’s Café & Juice Bar, Katie’s, and one of French Truck Coffee’s many locations.
Once you’re filled up on tasty food, head out to an attraction or two, or combine that first meal of the day with a show! New Orleans is home to a bevy of drag brunches and jazz brunches so you can start the party early and keep it going all day long. Be sure to make a reservation in advance. For a full list of our favorite breakfast and brunch spots, check out this list.
Spend the day exploring local breweries and taste-testing new beers at on-site taprooms. To check out multiple breweries, plan a crawl starting at NOLA Brewing, then heading to Urban South, and ending at Port Orleans. Not much of a beer drinker? Order some cocktails and relax amidst the ambiance at the Elysian Bar, or enjoy the view from the roof of the Ace Hotel’s Alto, either from the bar or poolside if it is warm out.
If you prefer something more low-key, be sure to check the festival calendar. Local markets are also held throughout the year and often feature live music. Check out Arts Market of New Orleans (the second and last Saturday of every month) or take a stroll (or a bike) down any of the city’s most iconic streets and experience the food, shopping, culture, history, and more that you can only find in the Crescent City.
As the sun goes down, it’s time to grab some dinner! Whether you want to keep the momentum going and stroll somewhere casual or go back to wherever you’re staying to put on your birthday best, New Orleans’ restaurant scene is the gift that keeps on giving. Book your reservation at one of the city’s most famous restaurants, treat your tastebuds to a meal from a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, or browse our restaurant directory to find a place that best fits your birthday vibe.
It wouldn’t be a birthday without a slice of cake! Browse the spots on our list of best cakes in New Orleans, which includes Bakery Bar and its by-the-slice doberge cake – thin layers of buttery cake with alternating layers of creamy filling. If ice cream is your preferred birthday treat, check out The Creole Creamery or Drip Affogato Bar.
After dessert, venture out to see live music, a play, a comedy show, or other performance. Check the calendars for the Saenger Theatre, the AllWays Lounge, the Joy Theater, the Civic Theatre, the Marigny Opera House, and the Music Box Village.
Nighttime is best for catching live music. Tipitina’s is an old favorite, and there’s always a wide variety of shows in tons of different genres – most of which you can find on our live music calendar. Alternatively, pop into almost any music club on Frenchman Street or St. Claude Avenue or one of our best places to hear jazz music. If you’d rather be the star of the show, check out one of city’s karaoke hotspots (Cats Meow and Kajun’s Pub are classics).
Kid's Birthdays in New Orleans
While this itinerary is clearly geared towards adults, there are plenty of ways to celebrate a child’s birthday in New Orleans for the whole family to enjoy. Explore, play, and learn a bit along the way at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the Audubon Aquarium, Audubon Insectarium, or to kooky world of JAMNOLA. After a busy day, treat them to dinner at Pizza Domenica or Dat Dog, then gelato at Angelo Brocato’s or beignets at Café du Monde.
For the night owls, catch a movie at the Prytania Theatre, get your game on at City Putt, enjoy the thrills of the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, or, for young music-lovers, drop into one of these places to see live music for people under 21. You can find even more kid-friendly fun in our family itinerary.