There’s nothing quite like the beauty of the first weekend of July in New Orleans. The convergence of music, soul, and beautiful brown folks is not to be missed!

Last year I shared a list of local BOB’s (black-owned businesses) to support while enjoying the Essence Festival scene. It was one of my most popular posts ever!

As a black business owner in New Orleans, it’s so good to feel an abundance of support during such a stimulating time for the New Orleans economy. Often, BOB’s are left out of the equation because visitors just don’t know who or where we are.

So, for the second year in a row, I’ve compiled a list of even more amazing businesses to patronize while you’re in town!

BEST FOOD:

The Munch Factory : 1901 Sophie Wright Pl New Orleans, LA 70130

Just off Magazine St.,  The Munch Factory is a DELICIOUS, modern, and fun take on classic New Orleans cuisine. 

I recently had the Salmon and Grits with Asparagus. I’ve been in the south my entire life and I don’t think I’ve had grits that good – EVER! 

Their Munch Punch is a MUST if you’re in New Orleans to party — who’s not in New Orleans to have a good time?

Highly recommended for those looking for the BEST in authentic New Orleans cuisine. Also available on the Waitr app so you can order to your hotel.

Check out the menu here.

Nourishing and delicious salad from Meals from the Heart

Neyows Creole Cafe: 3332 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Neyows Creole Cafe comes highly recommended by…everyone. I haven’t been in a conversation about black-owned restaurants in New Orleans in the last year where Neyows wasn’t mentioned. 

Not far off the beaten path of the French Quarters, they offer southern soul food options like authentic red beans and rice, fried chicken, mustard greens, and more.

Ms. Beasley’s Vegan Food Truck: 1415 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

What’s is there NOT to say about Ms. Beasley? She’s such a sweet and spicy ball of light! Her amazing food and her service has been featured as far as the Ellen DeGeneres Show!

The selection is not only fully vegan and plant based, it’s actually GOOD! Not all vegan food is created equal and Ms. Beasley’s takes the top spot for me. 

Her veggie burger is flavorful with great texture, her Caribbean style sweet potatoes are whipped to perfection, and my favorite – the Mighty Protein Plate – is everything you need to keep your energy up to enjoy all of the festivities!

Add a Berry Up smoothie to your order for good measure. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

Meals from the Heart Cafe: 1100 N Peters St #13, New Orleans, LA 70116

Located right in the French Market, Meals From the Heart is easy, healthy, home cooked fare that will fill you up after a night of fun. The open air environment is perfect for people watching, Insta-worthy photos, and only steps away from the unique French market vendors. (Many BOB’s there too!)

SERVICES:

Nola Therapy Room: 2800 Manhattan Blvd C, Harvey, LA 70058

If you’re worn out from all the walking or just in need of a little R&R, make sure to tap into Nola Therapy Room. New Orleans premiere black-owned spa offers individual, couples, and group packages. From a date night with a private chef to a fun girls day out. Nola Therapy Room is a beautiful break from the hustle and bustle of downtown. 

Owner, Tedra Chaney (R) with Anthony Johnson of the New York Jets

 

Nola Organic Spa: 211 S Broad Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

If you’re looking for a great mani and pedi, right off the beaten path – Nola Organic Spa is a cool new locale for – organic nail services. 

They’ve also added mink lashes to their offerings so you can have the no-makeup makeup look all weekend. It will be hot! Ain’t nobody got time for a full beat in this heat!

NuRLens Renaissance Photography: 2801 Monticello Ave.

If you want reeeeally Instagram worthy photos of your New Orleans adventure, NuRLens Renaissance Photography is my go-to photographer – not to mention my husband. 

Packages include full and half day shooting with images auto-delivered to your email or device! Yes, you can get your professional photos instantly available for posting, right on the spot.

In town on business, or planning to pop the question? What better way to document than with real, top of the line photography services? Email for schedule and rates: NuRLensRenaissance@gmail.com

GOOD TIMES:

Victory Lounge: 339 Baronne St, New Orleans, LA 70112

From the well-stocked bar to the delicious gourmet bar food (truffle popcorn & baked brie anyone?!) this black-owned bar in the warehouse district is sure to please.  

The drink I’d recommend? “Paging Dr. A!” It’s a fusion of goodness that you don’t want to miss!

Check out the food and drink menu here

AbstractNOLA: Sundays 9p-2a at Gravier Street Social

If you’re looking for the artsy crowd, this is it. AbstractNola Summer SunDaze is a Sunday series highlighting amazing local talent and culture. Each week features a different musical performance, live painting, and an array of artisans from dancers to avant-garde fashion. 

Set to the sounds of the best mixes from the 90’s to today, there’s just enough room to get up and dance, with more than enough comfortable seating to rest and enjoy the show.

 

If you’re looking for your favorites from last year, like Blackstar Books & Cafe and that Soul Salmon San’mich, checkout the #EssenceFest2016 Black Owned Business Guide here!

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