This post covers some of the best New Orleans souvenirs, as well as tips and tricks to help you save both time and money.
Shopping can be a very entertaining part of any travel excursion.
Having such a unique culture, New Orleans makes shopping a priority.
Traditional New Orleans Souvenirs
Carnival Season can be the time to live out your wildest fantasies, or maybe that is just anytime in New Orleans?
However, if you want to hide your identity the city has quite a few different types of masks.
The French Market is the best location for cheap feather ones, and you can get deals on them if you buy multiple designs.
Sometimes you’ll find stores offering 4 for $20 discounts on masks.
If you would like to purchase a high-end porcelain mask, we suggest The Mask Store on St. Ann in the Quarter. They will have whatever you want at any price.
2. Hot Sauce
Louisiana is known for its hot sauce. Yes, you can buy Tabasco at any grocery store. But, why not try a bunch!
We suggest going to the specialists at Pepper Palace in the French Market.
They have a plethora of vinegar-based sauces, as well as salsa’s, bbq sauces, and mixes for chicken wings.
If you like their product, it’s worth noting that they will ship for you.
Local New Orleanians will suggest Crystal for your table, FYI.
They have large and small amounts for sale, and you can sample many of them before you actually purchase them.
3. Voodoo Doll
Voodoo Dolls are one of the cheapest and simple to pack souvenirs you can buy in the Big Easy.
Traditionally made out of Spanish Moss, twigs, fabric, and pins, they are about 4 x 2 inches in size.
The best place to get these cheap is The French Market. If you want one that is blessed and traditional, we suggest Voodoo Authentica on Dumaine Street.
They have Gris Gris potion bags and candles for any of life’s occasions or nuisances you might be dealing with.
Why not stop by after one of our Voodoo Tours?
For even more info on where to find voodoo dolls, check our post covering the best Voodoo Shops in New Orleans.
If you find yourself Uptown, Miette on Magazine has plush ones for sale that are kid-friendly.
4. Cafe Du Monde Beignet and Coffee Mix
The only Beignet mix to buy and take home is the famous Cafe Du Monde blend. These delectable pastries are easy to make at home.
You can find their mix at their French Quarter location, as well as at any local grocery store. The closest in the French Quarter is the Rouses on Royal.
If you want to buy Chicory Coffee blend, it is a good accompaniment to Beignets and can be bought anywhere the mix is sold.
Cafe Du Monde also has an online shop where these items can be purchased.
In addition to their coffee, you can also get a variety of souvenirs from Cafe Du Monde including official mugs, keychains, shirts, tumblers and more.
5. Mardi Gras Beads
If you do not feel like doing something indiscreet for these plastic baubles, you can purchase them at many of the t-shirt shops in the Quarter.
At these locations, they have Mardi Gras beads for every major college, NBA, NFL, and maybe even NHL team you love.
We always snag some crawfish beads when we are in the Quarter.
If you are looking for cheap beads, head to the French Market where you can haggle for a better price.
6. King Cake/Baby
If you are lucky enough to be in New Orleans during the Carnival Season, you must try a King Cake!
You may even want to ship one home!
You can pick them up at locally owned Rouse’s grocery stores.
But we suggest trekking Uptown to Magazine Street to either try a high-end cake from Sucre, or pick a traditional one up from the Haydel’s pop up down the street.
Another popular option is Randazzo’s, as they specialize in the treat. You can even order them online and have them delivered to your house.
7. Cajun Spices
If you wanna make a roux or maybe try an etouffee you need to get some quintessentially New Orleans spices.
We suggest the World Famous N’awlins Cafe and Spice Emporium, which is a top on our free French Quarter Food Tour.
They have national brands as well as local small-batch spice packets.
This business ships directly to your home, but if you’re in the city, you can go to the source at The Cajun Store.
The Cajun Store sells everything representing Cajun Culture, and that includes their spices.
Pralines are candy, so they might not be the healthiest thing to eat in the Big Easy.
However, you’re on vacation and you might want to understand New Orleans food culture a bit better. So maybe you need 1 or 2 – or maybe 12 pralines to take home.
We make a stop at Leah’s Pralines on our free food tour.
They have dark chocolate, creamy, traditional, and many other types of pralines. They also have peanut brittle and fudge.
Leah’s Pralines has been at the same location for over 72 years, so we stand by the fact that they know what they are doing.
9. Fleur de Lis
Fleur De Lis is the symbol of the Royal House of Bourbon and Louisiana. You will see it everywhere and on practically everything.
Some of the most unique items we have seen it on are flags, earrings, and paperweights.
Fleurty Girl has several locations and has tons of accessories and household goods with the Lis on them.
Royal and Toulouse will also have t-shirts and household goods featuring this familiar symbol.
If you wanna sift through stacks of vinyl, Louisiana Music Factory is the best place in the Quarter to find local music to purchase.
They have a varied selection and frequent in-store live music.
If you are in Uptown, check out Peaches on Magazine. They have had several locations over the years, but this is where you’ll find them today.
This store has a selection of artists that you can’t find in other places.
If you are a collector of rare 45’s, head upstairs at Euclid Records in the Bywater and you may find a true gem.
11. Local Artwork
There are a lot of local art markets in New Orleans. You can shop Royal or Julia Streets art galleries and spend thousands of dollars, but you don't have to break the bank at other markets.
Many jewelry makers and local artisans sell their wares at the Piety Street Art Market and the Palace Art Market.
Alternatively, you could head to Jackson Square where many painters will negotiate on price with you.
If you’re Uptown, the Zele Market is a permanent place with photographers, sculptures, clothing makers, and much more.
12. Shot Glasses
If you’re looking for shot glasses that will remind you of your time in New Orleans, you’ll find them at a variety of different stores throughout the French Quarter.
One of the best places to find them is Royale and Tolouse, which we’ve already mentioned several times due to the sheer amount of great souvenirs they offer.
Additionally, you can find some more unique shot glasses at locations like Cafe Du Monde and Mardi Gras World.
BONUS - POSTCARDS
For all attendees of our free walking tours, we hand out postcards of the city. Below is just one example.
Tips and Tricks
- If you want typical t-shirts, shot glasses, and sunglasses you will find those items all over the French Quarter, they are a dime a dozen. Many of the shops have the exact same merchandise.
- If you are looking for uniquely New Orleans gifts and wares check out some of the local markets and food stores instead.
- There are usually unique souvenirs related to popular events in the city. For example, if you plan to come during a celebration like Mardi Gras, make sure to look out for souvenirs specific to that activity.
- You can usually barter with some stores for better deals. It may not always work out, but it’s definitely worth a shot if you’re finding the prices a bit too high.