Local musician Robin Barnes has performed all over the world, but she resides right here in New Orleans where she was born and raised. Whether it’s watching Saints games with her family, leading a workout class in City Park, or singing in residency at the Windsor Court, Robin knows how to have a great time in New Orleans. Read on below for her favorite places to eat, relax, and hear live music in the city.
Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?
My mom, but if I can’t say my mom I have to say Chef Leah Chase. Her drive and passion for women was always so inspiring to me. She was always a great example and truly the heart of New Orleans. She was loved by all and balanced standing for justice as well as love and passion for her New Orleans. She was able to be an activist for equality, an incredible mom, and a successful entrepreneur.
What first brought you to New Orleans?
I was born and raised here!
In your opinion – what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans?
I love Gentilly because of the diversity and culture that makes up the neighborhood. I think it says a lot that so many musicians live in the neighborhood. It shows that it’s beautiful and culturally rich.
If it’s a beautiful day, where are you going to spend it?
City Park hands down, especially if it’s hot, the oak trees provide wonderful shade and are so beautiful. After setting up in a shady spot, next I’m finding a strawberry lemonade or frozen café au lait!
Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans.
Where’s your favorite brunch spot?
What’s your favorite type of po-boy? Where do you get it?
Fried shrimp–dressed–at Parkway Bakery, but I often get it on a bun when I don’t want a lot of bread. That’s saving calories, right?!
You’ve got friends visiting, and it’s their first time in New Orleans – where are you taking them?
Crescent Park for a walk to take in the view of the river and the skyline. Stop by Café du Monde. I prefer it if friends and family visit in the summer because it’s not quite as busy of a time for me so it is usually snowball season and that’s a must-do! I also love to take people to Frenchmen Street to hear live music. It’s such a treat to get to see my friends perform!
What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?
What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail, and where do you go to get it?
I don’t drink, but there is a great mocktail at the Peacock Room called The Songbird. They will add alcohol to it for those who would like it.
What’s your favorite dessert or sweet treat in the city?
Then I’ll do a Move Ya Brass class to work off the calories! Move Ya Brass is the program I started with an amazing team to offer free community programming to help locals have a healthy lifestyle.
Best spot to see live music?
Favorite New Orleans musician or band?
Pat Casey/Pat Casey and New Sound. I’m his #1 fan!
Favorite New Orleans festival?
French Quarter Fest because it's free and I love that it takes over the French Quarter.
What’s your ideal New Orleans date night?
My husband Pat and I are both musicians and between both of our schedules we play most nights, so we do a lot of day dates. We love to go for a walk in the park and have brunch. When we do get a night out, we love trying a new restaurant and then going to see live music.
What are your favorite local shops?
What is your favorite New Orleans museum?
Where do you go to watch The Saints play?
At my house with all my family. I’m one of seven kids and I have numerous cousins, so we all love to get together, especially to cheer on the Saints. If I did go somewhere else to watch a game, it would be Tracey’s on Magazine Street.
Describe New Orleans in one word.
When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans, and why?
We took our daughter Riley to her first festival and seeing the smile on her face brought me so much joy. I love that we get to raise our daughters in a city that celebrates food, history, culture, and life.
For more on Robin Barnes and where to see her perform, visit https://robinbarnesmusic.com.