French Market Hot Sauce
For authentic New Orleans style hot sauce, head over to the French Market District where you’ll find a ton of specialty shops with an extensive inventory of Louisiana-made salsas. And, if you’re looking to bring some more mementos home, the market, which has been open for more than 200 years, features two shopping sights, a crafts bazaar and a community flea market, all within a five to 10 minute walk of each other.
Café Du Monde Beignet Mix & Coffee
Since a trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without the necessary Café Du Monde stop, be sure to grab a bag of beignet mix as well as a can of dark roasted coffee and chicory on your way out. The historic coffee shop, which was established in 1862, is open for service 24 hours a day, everyday of the year, except for Christmas Day.
Royal Street Artworks
If you’ve fallen in love with the landscapes that compose the city of New Orleans, there are great NOLA-inspired depictions to be found all over Royal Streets’ galleries. With prices ranging from one month’s salary to very reasonable, this picturesque block, which dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, is the go-to spot for purchasing (or just appreciating) quality, local art. While exploring Royal St., be sure to make a stop at Gallerie Rue Toulouse, where you’ll see works inspired by the city’s multicultural heritage.
Mardi Gras Beads
It’s no wonder Mardi Gras Beads are included in this list. Not only are they a synonym for New Orleans, but also one of the city’s most coveted items because of its ability to invoke a good time. The carnival jewelry, which began to be thrown into the crowds during the late 1800s, comes in as many different styles, shapes, colors, and designs as one can think of, and can be purchased in every single specialty store in NOLA.
Those who just can’t get enough of the city’s authentic Cajun cuisine can head over to the World Famous N’awlins Cafe & Spice Emporium, where you’ll be able to find a very pleasing variety of spices, blends, sauces, and salts as well as Cajun coffee. This seasoning joint, which also serves top-notch po’ boys, is open at their French Market location everyday of the week from 8am to 6pm., featuring local favorites such as the ‘New Orleans on Rails,’ the ‘Voodoo Seasoning,’ the ‘Garlic Hot Sauce’ and the ‘French market Hot and Spicy Sea Salt.’
New Orleans’ Music
Whether you’re into CDs or vinyls, these are, perhaps, one of the most authentic tokens of remembrance one can take home from New Orleans because they carry with them the city’s unmatchable musical legacy. Ranging from jazz and blues to bounce and zydeco, these plastic melodies can be purchased from one the the city’s many record stores. Local favorites include Peaches Records, which also features an eccentric mix of locally-themed books and apparel, Mushroom New Orleans, who offers visiting customers T-shirts and posters aside from their music-related merchandise, and Skully’z Recordz, a pint-sized indie store offering a large selection from the Crescent City’s all-time classics.
Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Glass
The Hurricane, Pat O’Brien’s world-famous cocktail, is one of the souvenirs you are going to want to bring home. Not only because the drink originated more than 76 years ago and is now a must-have when visiting New Orleans, but also because you’ll be able to revisit the day you spent at the bar’s legendary Piano Bar, singing the night away while gulping down from your hurricane-shaped glass.
By Rebeca Trejo