This post covers some of the best New Orleans souvenirs, where you can buy them, and tips to help you save both time and money.
Shopping can be a fun part of any trip to a new city. With its one-of-a-kind culture, New Orleans is the perfect place to find unique gifts.
Traditional New Orleans Souvenirs
Carnival Season is a special time in New Orleans where locals and tourists dress up in the most colorful, extravagant costumes.
Masks are one of the most popular items and there are plenty of gift shops where you can find them.
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 some different ones?
We suggest going to the specialists at Pepper Palace in the French Market.
They have a plethora of vinegar-based sauces, salsas, BBQ sauces, and others. If you like their product, they will ship it to 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 most 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 by 2 inches in size.
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 St. 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.
If you want to buy a 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.
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.
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's food culture a bit better. So maybe you need 1 or 2 – or maybe 12 pralines to take home.
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, from flags to paperweights to just about anything you can think of!
Fleurty Girl has several locations and has tons of accessories and household goods with the Lis on them.
Royal and Toulouse has t-shirts and household goods featuring this familiar symbol.
If you want to 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 45s, 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 at the Royal Street or Julia Street art galleries and spend thousands of dollars but save money at these local markets.
Alternatively, you could head to Jackson Square where many painters will negotiate prices 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 to remind you of your trip to Crescent City, you’ll find them at a variety of stores throughout the French Quarter.
Additionally, you can find some 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.
Other Gift Shops
If you have some items on your gift shopping list not mentioned above, try these stores that sell other types of souvenirs,
Combine your love of literature with your love of history. This vintage bookstore is in the former home of one of America’s greatest authors, William Faulkner.
The shop located on Pirate’s Alley, focuses on literature unique to New Orleans and by authors who lived or penned their works here.
This kitchenware and gourmet grocery shop has food-related souvenirs. What could be more fitting since food has likely been such a memorable part of your trip?
Pick up cookbooks with New Orleans recipes and aprons to wear when you are in the kitchen. Can't wait to cook up somethin’? Grab some chocolates and pralines to eat now!
This lovely boutique sells an eclectic mix of gifts, from New Orleans-inspired garments, jewelry, local art, candles, home decor, fragrances, posters, and more.
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 souvenirs related to popular events in the city. For example, if you plan to come during a celebration like Mardi Gras, 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.