Attending SHRM17? Here Are 10 Places You Need to See in New Orleans!

May 26, 2017 by Raymond Lee

Growing up in New Orleans, I never realized how lucky I was to always have access to so much great history, culture, food, and entertainment. Since leaving New Orleans when I was 28 to pursue my career aspirations, I’ve come to appreciate all that New Orleans has to offer. When SHRM announced that their annual conference would be held here in 2017, I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to be home and attend the national SHRM conference all at the same time. I know that everyone who attends the SHRM conference in New Orleans looks forward to great learning as well as some downtime, so that is why I want to share my top 10 places to visit in New Orleans.

1. Stop and Get a Beignet at Café du Monde


Over the years, growing up as a Catholic, I remember going to mass at the St Louis Cathedral and looking forward to walking across Decatur Street to Café du Monde for fresh Beignets. For those who don’t know, Beignets are a French pastry synonymous with New Orleans. This iconic café is one of the most widely visited tourist places in New Orleans. However, for those who don’t like lines or crowded places, I would avoid the Café mid-day and go early morning or later evening.

2. Get a Muffuletta at Central Grocery and Deli

Another place my mom would take me growing up was Central Grocery. She would buy most of her Italian groceries here, such as authentic olive oil, olive salad, and, of course, a delicious Muffuletta. These sandwiches are the best and they are a bargain. You can buy one sandwich and it will feed a family. Central Grocery is also located on Decatur Street, just down the road from Café du Monde.

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3. The Gumbo Shop Located on St. Peter

If the Muffuletta and Central Grocery are too many carbs for you and you’re looking for some good ole New Orleans food for lunch, head over to the heart of the French Quarter to 630 Saint Peter, between Royal and Bourbon Street. The Gumbo Shop is literally my favorite restaurant in the French Quarter for lunch. You can get great food in a really nice courtyard atmosphere and the wait staff is wonderful. Have a Bloody Mary while you’re there! Drinking in New Orleans starts at 11:00 am. My favorite thing on the menu is the gumbo, of course, but I also love the red beans and rice. I promise you won’t be disappointed.


4. Try Oysters at Acme Oyster House

I have two must-try places for dinner. If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere and oysters are your thing, I would definitely hit the Acme Oyster House on Iberville, just one block off of Canal Street. Many people love the raw oysters, but I would definitely try them chargrilled as well. The chargrilled are cooked, so for those who don’t like them raw, this is a great way to go.  This is another popular place where the line can be long.

As a backup, Fitzgerald’s across the street is good too. Trying the seafood in New Orleans is an ultimate bucket list item.


5. Amazing Italian Food at Irene’s Cuisine!

Irene’s is one of those places you can go back to time and time again. It’s one of my favorites and because I love soft shell crab, this is the place I go for the best in the French Quarter. Be prepared for another long wait to get in, but I promise you the wait staff and chefs won’t let you down.


6. Catch Some Local Live Music at The Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street

Many visitors who come to New Orleans never leave the French Quarter for entertainment, but if you’re willing to venture to Frenchman Street, you can see some great live local music at The Spotted Cat. On Thursday at 4:00 pm, you can see Sarah McCoy, who is my personal favorite.  She is one of many great local acts who perform at The Cat. When you’re there, try one of the Abita Beers from the local brewery.

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7. Check out Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar on Bourbon Street

If you decide to walk back to your hotel or the French Quarter from The Spotted Cat, you can stop at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop for their signature Bloody Mary. Jean Lafitte was a “privateer, entrepreneur, sailor, diplomat, spy, and hero of the Battle of New Orleans.” Lafitte’s, by the way, is one of the most painted places in New Orleans. The picture below can be found in most art galleries in the quarter. Because of the neighborhood feel, patrons often hang out inside and on the streets of the bar. It’s a great time!


8. Try some Absinthe at Pirates Alley Café

Many people don’t leave the city without trying some absinthe. The Absinthe House on Bourbon is a famous haunt, but if your company is paying the bill, you should try Pirates Alley Café for an absinthe. The drinks are much cheaper and just as good in my opinion. The history with Pirates Alley is cool, too. This bar in the Vieux Carre was founded “in remembrance of those pirates from around the globe who walked these very streets.

9. Visit the 21st Amendment on Monday night!

Looking for something to do on your Monday night in New Orleans while in town for SHRM17?  Visit booth #3240 to get a free drink ticket to use at the iconic 21st Amendment Bar! The bar is also known for their live music and Moscow mules.


10. Visit Careerminds’ Booth #3240 to win some cash at SHRM17

Everyone who visits the booth will walk away with cash!



Careerminds Booth #3240

New Orleans, Louisiana

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

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