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10Best places to shop vintage, antiques, art and more in New Orleans



Ask a visitor why they come to New Orleans, and food and music usually tops the list.  History, architecture, culture, we have it all here. But shopping? The riches of these assets are less apparent at first blush.  But for those of us in the know,  our shopping opportunities are diverse and vast.

New Orleans is a place filled to the brim with culture and zest for life and art. This makes for a unique shopping scene that begs discovery.

For admitted fashionistas, shopping is retail therapy. It soothes jangled nerves, stimulates the senses and gives us a fresh take on how we look and feel in the moment. The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is the latest destination for the fashion-forward, but there are plenty of others.  Antique and vintage shops line street corners on Decatur and Royal, frequented by locals and visitors alike.

Royal Street, just a block away from Bourbon and near to most hotels, is a terrific spot for locally made art, jewelry and higher end souvenirs. Near Esplanade in the FQ, visit the French Market, a mash-up of t-shirts and beads along with some local art and by the way very tasty eats.  Famous Magazine Street, with its plethora of home goods, boutiques and restaurants, is a quick streetcar ride away. Whether you are shopping for gifts for your kids or for a vintage furniture piece for your home, New Orleans has you covered. 


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French Quarter
Faulkner House Books


Faulkner House Books is a full service new and used book store located in the French Quarter in a property where William Faulkner himself penned his first novel. The store specializes in literature unique to the city and by authors who lived or wrote here. It's a great place for new and experienced collectors to find limited and first edition prints of books by Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and other classics. Manager Miss Joanne is supremely knowledgeable and can match make you with a satisfyingly good read. Sifting through the dusty classics and finding a signed first edition has been known to happen here.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: With its historic setting and crowded shelves, Faulkner Books is a throwback to a pre-e-reader age.

Beth's expert tip: There are a handful of good used book stores in the city, but this is the one to visit for collectors and lovers of the classics.

Read more about Faulkner House Books →




Fleurty Girl is wildly popular clothing and accessories shop with multiple locations and a decidedly local accent. The boutique's specialty is screen printed tees that feature New Orleans witticisms, catchphrases and pop culture references that make the shirts trendy yet timeless. Owner Lauren Thom started Fleurty Girl out of her house a while back, and her shirts have now become a staple around town, along with all kinds of Nola-centric gifts. Besides shirts, there are hats, boots and other accessories, many featuring the New Orleans Saints football colors black and gold.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: You can always find something unusual and offbeat at this fun stop with locations on Tchoup, Magazine, Canal and St.Charles.

Beth's expert tip: Though the store is named Fleurty Girl, many of there shirts come in unisex sizes for fleurty boys too.

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Riverbend

Oak Street has many claims to fame, including great local music and amazing food, but the compact street also offers some interesting shopping opps. Taking the St. Charles Streetcar from the French Quarter makes traveling here easy. When you get here, exploring the mile-long street is done by foot. There are a handful of vintage clothing shops, a few great second-hand stores and an amazing antique shop (Driscoll). Blue Cypress Used Book Store is one of the top book stores in the city, and More Fun Comics always entertains. There are also a few local art galleries where you can find a great deal on authentic streetscapes. Head towards the river and have lunch at Cowbell.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Oak Street is best known for the Maple Leaf music club, but its shopping is worth the trip.

Beth's expert tip: Call or check websites for stores you really want to visit because many of them keep zany hours of operation and most close Sunday.

Read more about Oak Street →


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7
French Quarter
Shops at Jax Brewery


The Shops at Jax Brewery, located in what once was the largest independent brewery in the South built in 1891, combine a riverfront location with a portfolio of national and local brands including Chico's and Gumbo Kids. The property has four floors of shops, cafes and boutiques, with the top floor offering some pretty spectacular views of the city. A few of the shops offer witty screen print t-shirts with local sayings and attractions that are sure to be a hit. Home Team Sportswear is a great place to pick up New Orleans Saints memorabilia. There's also an emphasis on local artisan jewelry.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Visitors love to shop, and this inviting indoor mall along Decatur Street fills the bill in the French Quarter.

Beth's expert tip: This light-filled former brewery offers stellar views of the Mississippi from its top floor.

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The Shops at Canal Place


The Shops at Canal Place is adored by locals for its upmarket shopping collection. Anchored by the fashion leader Saks Fifth Avenue, the tony Shops includes the swank Theater at Canal Place, Anthropologie and Tiffany & Co., home to the coveted little blue box. Situated at the foot of Canal, this climate-controlled shopping experience delivers retail élan for visitors and locals alike. There is a food court and the full-service movie theater serves nibbles, wine and cocktails right at your seat, which could turn "The Shops" into one of the best ways to survive a hot summer afternoon.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Saks is a much-loved institution here, right on the edge of the French Quarter.

Beth's expert tip: For those ladies and gentlemen who like the comfort of shopping for established name brands, this is the place for you.

Read more about The Shops at Canal Place →


The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk
Photo courtesy of The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk


A year under wraps, the $70 million redo of the circa 1984 Riverwalk Mall opened in 2014, the first Outlet Collection in any downtown in America. The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is gorgeous, airy, filled with natural light and river views, something the cavelike original center sorely lacked. Situated in the heart of downtown, The Outlet Collection is next door to the Convention Center and close to the Cruise Terminal and the French Quarter. For city-dwelling New Orleanians, the siren call of discount parking and mouthwatering brands like Neiman Marcus Last Call (the first in the state), Nordstrom Rack, Kenneth Cole, Coach and Forever 21 are irresistible.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This buzzworthy shopping destination in the CBD is easily accessible to convention-goers and cruise passengers.

Beth's expert tip: Discount parking is available at 740 Convention Center Blvd.

Read more about The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk →


French Market


The French Market is a bustling, open-air shopping center that can hold up over 220 vendors on a given day. You can shop for paintings, clothing and specialty items while enjoying the famous New Orleans street music and smells of fresh gumbo and jambalaya. The market has a ton of history, having existed on the same piece of land for more than 200 years. Some of the best items to find here are stylish hats to keep the sun out, graphic print coasters and great shawls and sarongs. While you would normally expect this to be a tourist trap, it is the farthest thing from that, with authentic goods and relatively decent prices.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The French Market is a must-visit for souvenir shopping.

Beth's expert tip: There are tasty food stalls in the market, including an oyster bar with fresh local seafood.

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French Quarter
Royal Street

While offering similar types of shops, the Royal Street experience differs significantly from Magazine Street. First, located a block away from Bourbon street, the area is more reminiscent of a European 19th-century city, with horse-drawn carriages and cobblestone providing the ambiance. Higher-end jewelry, art and antique shops are the specialties on this strip, which also has a handful of very nice hotels. And there are constant reminders that the French Quarter is a living neighborhood, as you pass an elementary school, a vet's office and a supermarket. The heart of the street is closed to car traffic during the day, making it an easy pedestrian destination.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Royal Street is an ongoing - and family-friendly - street party of shopping, buskers and good eats.

Beth's expert tip: Visit during the day and the street is a hub of live buskers showcasing all kinds of music.

Read more about Royal Street →


Magazine Street


Magazine Street, which runs from Canal Street to Audubon Park, is a six-mile-long shopper's paradise. With dozens of funky boutiques, galleries, and restaurants to choose from, Magazine Street is a terrific place to connect with local owner/operators and sample some famous New Orleans hospitality. Gallery and shop owners are all super friendly, displaying the New Orleans charm that never seems aggressive or pushy. Named for a "magazin," a warehouse that Spanish Governor Esteban Rodriguez Miro y Sabater built to house products awaiting export in the late 1700s, the street is lined with Greek Revival homes and Victorian shotguns, many now turned into shops. Expect a treasure trove of housewares, country and period furniture, chandeliers, clothing, books, silly toys, china, antiques, art, food, clothing and jewelry, costume and the real thing. Lots of best little buys and excellent quality items here (at every price) to impress shoppers.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Hunting for antiques and enjoying century-old cottages, there's always something of interest along this six-mile retail stretch.

Beth's expert tip: To plan your shopping attack, order a free Magazine Street Shopper's Guide online at www.magazinestreet.com.

Read more about Magazine Street →


Palace Market Frenchmen
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono


A beacon of locally made art and jewelry on Frenchmen Street since 2013, this evening market is open nightly from 7 pm to midnight or 1, depending on crowds. Right next door to the Spotted Cat and in the heart of the Frenchmen Street nuttiness, this brightly lit marketplace boasts a revolving roster of serious artists creating everything from sculptures made from flatware to Impressionist style streetcar scenes and inventive offbeat t-shirt designs. This is where locals in the know buy their gifts and art for the wall and wearing. Even if you've been before, new artists are always in the mix.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: It's the original open-air night art market on bustling Frenchmen Street.

Beth's expert tip: There's a nice seating area in the back of the market if you want to sit a spell and people watch.

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Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth

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