A romantic getaway in New Orleans just got sweeter with the return of COOLinary, an encore presentation of New Orleans cuisine with price-fixed brunch, lunch and dinner options. Over 50 restaurants are participating in COOLinary Encore, and this time, the most of the menus will change each week.
Enjoy menus based around seafood, New Orleans classics, po-boys and sandwiches, and soups and gumbos. Whether you choose to dine in or order takeout, these deals are so good that we created an itinerary around it. Attractions are open with new safety precautions, allowing for distance and time from one visitor to the next. Scoop up a hotel deal and plan to stay awhile during COOLinary Encore, which returns October 19-November 22.
Be sure to mask up when exploring New Orleans. For more information on the city’s reopening plan, see here. Plan your COOLinary itinerary in advance as some specials are not available on certain days and dining in requires a reservation.
Check into a New Orleans hotel
Start your mini vacation or staycation by checking into a New Orleans hotel. Over 50 downtown and Garden District hotels are offering discounted packages and various deals, with perks like free parking, food vouchers and complimentary high-speed internet. Choose from new accommodations like the Maison de la Luz and Hotel Fontenot, or landmarks like the Roosevelt. Perfect for a romantic getaway, these spots offer an urban oasis.
Chances are, your hotel will be located in or near the French Quarter. There are plenty of French Quarter area restaurants to kick off your COOLinary extravaganza, but please remember to wear a mask upon arrival or if you’re moving about the restaurant, and remain socially distant from others. Try the pork tenderloin roulade from Bourbon House, rosemary roasted chicken from Court of Two Sisters, or the duck with cherry bordelaise from Justine. Primed for a stroll around the Quarter, perhaps ending at the Riverfront, your vacation is off to a romantic start.
We especially love the COOLinary brunch options for those who want a taste of both breakfast and lunch. Settle in for brunch at Commander’s Palace, where they’re serving a few different options, including Gulf seafood gumbo, Miso Roasted Forest Mushroom Pasta and pecan pie a la mode.
Visit a museum or attraction
Now with timed entry tickets and social distancing, visiting a New Orleans attraction has never been a more personal experience. Book a date with your partner at Sazerac House, which takes you through the history of New Orleans’ cocktails and is a must-visit for every traveler. The latest New Orleans attraction to open is JAMNOLA, an Insta-worthy experimental pop-up dedicated to the art, music and culture bearers of New Orleans. We’re just scratching the surface; browse more open attractions here.
Enjoy COOLinary from your hotel room
The best part about this year’s COOLinary is that the program has expanded to include take-out and delivery orders, which means you don’t even have to leave your room to get in on these delicious deals. Maybe you’ll enjoy the burgers from Brown Butter, fried alligator and butter beans from Acme Oyster House or Spanish cuisine from Costera.
Explore Esplanade Ridge
New Orleans has many romantic neighborhoods, but one hidden gem of the city is Esplanade Ridge. From the French Quarter to City Park, the district anchored by Esplanade Avenue is a tree-lined paradise dotted with small restaurants and cozy shops. Start your day with a neighborhood stroll, taking in the exquisite architecture and stopping along the way for a morning coffee. For a daytime date idea that will leave you with a souvenir, book a private painting session at Artist Journey Allen Gallery & Painting Studio.
Have a COOLinary picnic
COOLinary takeout makes for an ideal NOLA picnic, and there are plenty of picnic spots around town to choose from. One delicious COOLinary-picnic combo is Ralph's On the Park located right outside of beautiful City Park, which includes a menu of soups, salads and burgers. Picnic Provisions & Whiskey, with their signature Crawfish boil hot fried chicken sandwich, is a seven-minute jaunt away from Audubon Park. Copper Vine located in downtown New Orleans has a half & half COOLinary lunch special just waiting to be enjoyed in nearby Lafayette Square.
Make plans to return to NOLA
There’s nothing wrong with extending your stay in NOLA, but if you must go, why not make plans to return? Stay in the loop of all the insider tips, neighborhood guides, and more with our Monthly Email Newsletter.