If you’re looking for a taste of history and culture, look no further than the streets of New Orleans. Especially Bourbon Street – where the party never ends! This infamous thoroughfare has been around since the city’s early days.
Named after the French House of Bourbon during the 18th century, it has become a true cultural landmark. Come explore all that Bourbon Street New Orleans has to offer! From lively nightlife to fascinating history, this blog post will cover all the must-see places when you’re roaming through Bourbon.
Galatoire’s Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone interested in classic New Orleans dining. The establishment has been serving French Creole cuisine since 1905 and is one of the oldest restaurants in the city.
Located at 209 Bourbon Street, it is renowned for its shrimp remoulade and oysters en brochette. The atmosphere is truly unforgettable – you’ll feel as though you have stepped back in time as soon as you walk through the door. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, be sure to add Galatoire’s to your list of restaurants to try. You won’t be disappointed!
Old Absinthe House
For a taste of the city’s notorious drinking culture, head over to The Old Absinthe House. Located on 240 Bourbon Street, the building has been around since 1806 and has been frequented by some of the most famous people in the world.
Originally serving as an importing firm, it was later converted into a saloon named “Aleix’s Coffee House“ in 1815 by the nephews of Senora Juncadelia, the wife of the previous owner Francisco Jundacelia.
The coffee house was later renamed “The Absinthe Room” when mixologist Cayetano Ferrer created the famous Absinthe House Frappe here in 1874. The original Old Absinthe House bar was to cease serving liquor at the start of Prohibition—a powerful message delivered to one of New Orleans’ most significant watering holes.
Absinthe was outlawed in the United States in 1912 because its main ingredient, wormwood extract, was believed to cause harm and possibly even death. However, this turned out not to be true, and the ban was lifted in 2007.
However, after Prohibition ended, the bar reopened and even today continues to be a popular destination for celebrities and tourists alike. Some of the most famous people who have visited this historic New Orleans bar include Brad Pitt, Mark Twain, and even Andrew Jackson may have gone to consult with Jean Lafitte in the secret chamber before the battle of New Orleans.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
When it comes to the history of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (Located at 941 Bourbon Street), there’s a lot of speculation and legend. Though there may not be hard evidence supporting the legend, the building is still historically significant. The earliest notarial documents date the building to 1772, and it even survived the two historic fires — in 1788 and 1794 — that claimed most of the city’s original structures.
So, what’s the story behind Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop? Well, some say that famed privateer Jean Lafitte and his brother Pierre once owned the building and operated a smithy there as a front for their pirating operation. But there’s no real evidence to support that claim.
Jean Lafitte was born in the early 1780s, and by 1812 he had become the leader of the Baratarians, a group of pirates and smugglers. The Baratarians had their headquarters on Grande Terre, and Lafitte may have had around 1000 people working for him, which including runaway slaves and free men of color.
For many years, Lafitte was best known as a ruthless pirate who terrorized the seas around New Orleans. However, during the War of 1812, he reinvented himself as a patriotic American hero.
In 1814, Lafitte’s image began to change when British officials sought his help in attacking the United States from the Gulf of Mexico. Lafitte decided to warn American authorities and even offered to help defend New Orleans in exchange for a pardon for his men.
Although his warnings were not initially believed, Lafitte’s help was instrumental in defending the city and driving the British forces back. With numerous ammunitions, cannoneers and familiarity with the area that Lafitte had to offer, General Andrew Jackson finally accepted his help and as a result of his actions, Lafitte’s image transformed from that of a pirate to that of a patriot, thus becoming an important figure in American history.
Bourbon Street Balconies
One of the most iconic features of Bourbon Street is the wrought-iron balconies that line the street. These balconies are original to many of the buildings and date back to the 19th century. They are a true architectural marvel, and they offer a great vantage point for people-watching.
A spot on one of these amazing balconies is a great way to relax and even get a good look at the floats during Mardi Gras season! If you’re looking to get a taste of the local culture, spending some time on one of these balconies is a must. Be sure to bring your camera, as the balconies are one of the most photographed features of Bourbon Street.
Tour Bourbon Street with New Orleans Walking Tours!
As you can see, there is much more to Bourbon Street than just its nightlife. From historical landmarks to its stunning architecture, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Fortunately, New Orleans Walking Tours offers French Quarter tours, and our experienced guides will make sure you have an informative and awe-inspiring journey as you walk through the historic streets of New Orleans. So, the next time you’re in the Crescent City, be sure to take some time to explore all that Bourbon Street is about by booking a French Quarter walking tour!