For shopping or just a casual stroll, no place in New Orleans is quite like Magazine Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares. The six-mile-long stretch from the Garden District to Uptown, following the curving course of the Mississippi River, has some of the best antique stores, art galleries, craft shops and boutiques to be found anywhere in the city. Lined with mostly 19th-century buildings, including bright Victorian cottages trimmed in quirky gingerbread millwork, Magazine Street has the low-slung scale and mix of small stores — many with one-of-a-kind merchandise — that makes it an enduring hot spot for locals and visitors alike.
The French Library
This Francophile-themed book store caters mostly, though not exclusively, to les enfants. The owner, Katrina Greer, opened the shop in 2015 after she was unable to find French language books for her own children. The store now has one of the largest selections of French children’s books in the United States. It also hosts story hours and birthday parties as well as weekly French classes for tots, all in an expansive, light-infused space that is furnished, naturellement, à la Francais.
3811 Magazine Street, thefrenchlibrary.com
Dunn and Sonnier
Part high-end antique emporium, part florist and part gift shop, Dunn and Sonnier covers a wide swath of the interior design landscape. The heady fragrance — a mixture of fresh flowers, scented candles and soaps — as well as the eclectic array of objects encourage lingering as you wend your way through the various rooms of this longtime shop. In the market for a pair of French gilded chairs upholstered in a tiger silk fabric, glitter-encrusted glass macarons, or an elegant, oversized vase from Holland? Then look no further — they are all here.
3433 Magazine Street, dunnandsonnier.com
Petit Paris Market
With Gallic charm, this shop has offered a well-chosen selection of French sweets and treats since 2015. Kylie Lariviere, the shop’s owner, visits France twice a year to scout out new merchandise, and she’s the only distributor in the United States for Henri le Roux, makers of silky-smooth chocolate bars and delectable caramels. Also available are Pralines de Montargis, made with almonds instead of pecans (less cloying than their American cousins), pate de fruit — jewel-tone artisanal fruit jellies — savories, cookies, single-sourced French honey and a charming selection of glazed pottery from the Loire Valley.
3719 Magazine Street, petitparismarket.com
This cheerfully cluttered store is one of Magazine Street’s contributions to the city’s lively dress-up scene, where costume shops seem to spring up like mushrooms after a good rainfall. Selling glad rags since 1997, the space has gently used contemporary wear, vintage looks and an impressive selection of costumes for men and women. Silver lame short shorts, a hot pink feather boa, wigs in rainbow hues, and men’s lace-up disco platforms in zebra, glitter or metallic were among the finds on a recent visit.
3127 Magazine Street, 504-899-5587
Mahony’s Po’ Boys
Need some serious, New Orleans-style nourishment after all the shopping? Then stop by this spot (going strong since 2008), where high-gloss wooden tables, ceiling fans, a wall-mounted television and a mellow sound track of Goldie Oldies create a relaxed retro vibe. The food is authentic, messy and delicious — you’ll find a roll of paper towels on your table and you’ll need it. Recommended highly are the po’ boy with pulled pork and coleslaw, and grilled shrimp and fried green tomatoes. Finish the meal with a generous serving of bread pudding, studded with plump, gooey raisins and drizzled with vanilla rum sauce.
3454 Magazine Street, mahonyspoboys.com