Insider New Orleans Guide: Chef David Guas Finds a Proper Sazerac

David Guas is a New Orleans native now based in Virginia, where his Bayou Bakery turns out amazing Southern-style sandwiches and sweets such as superb beignets. Here, his favorite places to visit on a trip home.
David Guas's Insider New Orleans Guide
The City Park neighborhood in New Orleans during the holidays.
Photo courtesy of New Orleans City Park.

Best Brunch: Ralph’s on the Park

“There are 150,000 places to have a proper brunch in New Orleans, but this is one of my favorites.”

Home of the Ultimate Sazerac: The French 75 Bar at Arnaud’s Restaurant

“Go to the French 75 Bar for a proper Sazerac. That’s the original New Orleans cocktail—it’s hard to go any further back than that. Granted, mixologists will argue about what was first, but that’s what put New Orleans on the map. The restaurant even has a small Mardi Gras museum, with gowns and headdresses of the different krewes; there’s a lot of history in that little room.”

Perfect Pimm’s Cup: The Napoleon House

“The Napoleon House is perfect for a Pimm’s Cup, their signature drink. It’s supercold, but it’s great on a hot fall day in New Orleans, where nine months out of the year the temperature rises above 90 degrees.”

Live Rock, Blues and Jazz: Maple Leaf and Tipitina’s

“These are two of my favorite music halls that I grew up going to as a kid. And when I say as a kid, I mean sneaking in the back at age 13 or 14. I saw Dr. John, The Radiators, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, the Rebirth Brass Band.” and

Festive Drive: Celebration in the Oaks

“Where I grew up, in the City Park neighborhood, they decorate all of the beautiful 60- to 100-year-old oak trees with illuminations, then charge you a small amount to drive through. To me, that’s quintessential New Orleans Christmas. You’re driving 5 miles an hour past ancient oak trees with Spanish moss hanging down and fun holiday lights scattered throughout the park.”

Antique Shopping: Magazine Street

“It’s antique-ish. There are some great Civil War museum-type shops where you can look at rifles and swords and whatnot. Just park at the foot of Magazine and start walking. It doesn’t really matter if you start at Napoleon Avenue or Louisiana Avenue.”