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. The staff is supremely knowledgeable and can help find or even recommend a good read. Sifting through the dusty classics and finding a signed first edition has been known to happen here.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Not sure what you want? Consult with manager Miss Joanne, whose rich knowledge of New Orleans-centric books will help you fill your list.
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.
Owned and operated by glass and metal artist Arden Stewart, Nuance offers handmade Louisiana crafts in the Riverbend section of uptown. Pottery, blown glass, unique jewelry and fleur de lys mementos line the inside of the cute little shop. Located on the the far end (from the Quarter) of the St. Charles Streetcar line, Nuance offers shoppers a great escape from the bustle of French Quarter perusing. Spend a day Uptown, and enjoy this gem of a store as well as a handful of restaurants and bars nearby. If you find something you fancy, purchase knowing that you are supporting the local art community of New Orleans.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Nuance's New Orleans-themed jewelry is one-of-a-kind and would be a treat for someone to unwrap during the holidays.
Beth's expert tip: The shopkeeper doubles as the resident glass-blower and metal worker.
This fascinating shop specializes in culinary antiques, from antique china and silver settings to rustic farmhouse implements and accoutrements for the ritualistic serving of absinthe. There is vintage barware galore, cookbooks of all kinds, country French sideboards tables for dining and wine-ing, iron tools and curiosities for the kitchen. A fantastic spot for browsing, Lucullus focused on everything foodie, from lush paintings that look good enough to eat to imported table linens, silver candlesticks and flatware and English china so translucent it glows. The shop is owned by Patrick Dunne, a Martha Stewart fave and the author of Epicurean Collector.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This Chartres Street culinary antiques emporium will wow with vintage pieces dedicated to the grand pursuits of gastronomy.
Beth's expert tip: Buy vintage absinthe accoutrement here to impress serious cocktail lovers.
Originally a Choctaw trading post, the French Market dates back to 1791, one of the oldest documented farmer's market in America. Organized like a giant swap meet, you can find inexpensive silver jewelry, $5 sunglasses, stuffed animals for the kids and all kinds of tasteless items made from alligator hide. You can try your hand at bargaining – depending on the shop owner's mood and how much you're planning to buy, you might get a deal. Although many of the items for sale are imported from China or elsewhere, the prices are good and you'll find some local artists depending on the day. The food offerings are better than any mall food court.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: You may see and hear carolers, marching bands and of course a brightly lit holiday tree when you visit the French Market during Christmas time.
Beth's expert tip: This can be a great place to pick up New Orleans gifts on a budget.
Fleurty Girl is an popular clothing store with many locations in New Orleans (Magazine St. and the French Quarter among others). Their main specialty is screen printed tees that feature New Orleans witticisms, cliches and pop culture references that make the shirts trendy yet timeless. Owner Lauren Thom started Fleurty Girl out of her house a few years ago, and her shirts have now become a staple around town. Beside shirts, there are hats, boots and other accessories, many featuring the New Orleans Saints football colors black and gold. Though the store is named Fleurty Girl, many of there shirts come in a unisex style as well.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Fleurty Girl has a great selection of Christmas gifts, including an adorable Santa countdown calendar.
Beth's expert tip: A great place to grab New Orleans-themed tees for the women and girls in your life.
Razzle Dazzle is located on famed shopping street Royal in the French Quarter, bling central and home to all kinds of New Orleans-centric eye candy.. The storefront is known for the elaborate vignettes that fill the windows, beckoning passersby in to shop. A wide range of gift items include New Orleans-themed doodads like Mardi Gras masks, jewelry and home decor items. Guests lose themselves among the over-the-top inventory, and often spend time chatting with the jubilant staff on hand. This is a great place to go to find original New Orleans art, with prices a bit less than what you might see when visiting a gallery.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Razzle Dazzle is more than festive during the holidays when the window and store display turns it up to 11.
Beth's expert tip: If it glitters or contains a fleur de lys, it's on display at this fun French Quarter spot.
Come to this long awaited museum along Central City's Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and find a cavernous new 16,000-square-foot space with an ambitious mission. The museum is home to an exhibition kitchen in the rear, a soon to open restaurant, Purloo by chef Ryan Hughes, a fab gift shop for foodies up front, and a series of central exhibits called Gallery of the Southern States of Taste. Here you can see a somewhat higgledy-piggledy series of displays dedicated to the food culture of 15 Southern states and the District of Columbia. The museum's home is part of the conversation. Formerly an old Dryades Street Market that dates to 1849, the building's terrazzo floors still bear the dividing marks of the original vendors' stalls. The Rouse's Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-air/Whirlpool, a demonstration kitchen in the rear of the building, sits where the fish market used to be.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: It's a new and wonderful creative space for lovers of words and art and images.
Beth's expert tip: Don't worry about gulping that drink - you can wander with a cocktail at this ode to Southern food and drink.
A beacon of locally made art and jewelry on Frenchmen Street since 2013, this evening market is open from Thursday through Sunday from 7 pm to midnight or 1, depending on the 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 whimsical 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 wall and wearing. Check out the fun feathered hair barrettes.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This is the only open air night art market in town and it's on happening Frenchmen Street.
Beth's expert tip: Head to the uplit couch in the back to sit a spell and people watch.
A must for lovers of the city and for history buffs, the Historic New Orleans Collection connects the dots in more than three centuries of New Orleans lore. Don't miss a stop at The Shop at the Collection, the perfect spot to get unique, local gift items, exclusive reproductions of maps, prints, gorgeous books published by THNOC, and one-of-a-kind pieces by local artists. A great spot if you're looking for authentic Louisiana and New Orleans gifts. After shopping, check out the collection - a museum, research center and publisher, the collection was founded in 1966 to preserve the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Located in a historic complex of French Quarter buildings, the Historic New Orleans Collection also includes an impressive staffed research center – for doing some checking up on famous residents like voodoo queen Marie Laveau, should you get the urge. The research archives are especially focused on documents relating to the Battle of New Orleans and the War of 1812 in the South, including rare books, maps and plans that collectively tell the story of one of the greatest military upsets of all time. You can also tour the historic Williams home, which is full of gorgeous Louisiana antiques and a collection of Chinese porcelains.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This is the perfect place to find great gifts for anybody in love with history or New Orleans.
Beth's expert tip: A French Quarter location and fascinating array of artifacts make this spot a must for history buffs.
Bon Castor, which means "by hand," is the funky vision of Amy Knoll, who opened her New Orleans shop in the Bywater in March 2012. Situated in the 3200 block, along a hopping stretch of Burgundy, next to the wonderful Webb's Music, restaurant Suis Generis and Bud Rip's bar, Knoll's shop showcases handmade crafts, repurposed textiles and fashion statements, gifts and jewelry, all made by local hands. What might you find at this cheery spot that showcases a fluid array of work by 80-plus artists and artisans? Beautiful dresses from Esther Rose, asymmetrical minis with unhemmed edges, tulle and sequin fringe. Repurposed art, like New Orleans-centric Scrabble tile earrings and vinyl records turned into whimsical clocks by Bayou St. John artist Judy Gamache Digeorge, who also makes gorgeous hand-etched metal jewelry and takes custom orders. It's all fun and quirky and offbeat, which means Bon Castor perfectly New Orleans.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Bon Castor is a fab spot for one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.
Beth's expert tip: Ask about the Nola-inspired baby gifts.