Celebrate the Season French Market Style

December 15, 2022
Make your holiday season merry and bright with a visit to the historic French Market District. Celebrating 200 years of commerce, community and culture, the iconic open-air market and neighboring areas that make up the French Market District are bursting with holiday magic and good cheer.

Catch the spirit of the season on Saturday, Dec. 10 during the French Market’s annual St. Nick Celebration, which takes place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. This festive, free event features live holiday music, fun-filled activities for kids of all ages, and the always jolly, St. Nick Second Line, which meanders from Oscar Dunn Park to the French Market starting at noon.

Seeking the perfect holiday gift? Santa’s workshop has nothing on the myriad French Market artist booths, specialty stores, art galleries and unique shops, where you’re sure to find that special something for everyone on your list. Skip the fruitcake this year and visit Evans Creole Candy Factory, Southern Candymakers and Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop, where you’ll discover tempting sweet treats like world-famous Creole pralines and decadent, hand-made chocolates, cookbooks, spices, and more sure to please the foodie on your list. Head over to Carnival Candle Company, the longest operating candle company in the French Quarter, where every 100% soy candle is hand-poured. Sniff your way through dozens of local and seasonal scents including balsam, mulberry, praline pecan waffle, bourbon barrel, coffee and beignets, king cake and even frankincense and myrrh. Deck out your fashionista from head to toe at Muse Inspired Fashions, which caters to style-conscious men and women, and offers an impressive assortment of designer clothing, shoes and accessories. Make your yuletide bright with fashion-forward clothing, intricate jewelry, stylish footwear and colorful scarves ideal for any celebratory soirée from Cella’s Boutique. Kick up your glam holiday look with a trendy pair of platforms from NOLA Foot Candy, where the curated collection of cutting-edge, designer shoes is sure to jingle your bells!

No visit to the Big Easy would be complete without a stroll through Dutch Alley Artist’s Co-Op, an artist co-operative gallery featuring the original works of 25 acclaimed regional artists and designers. Founded in 2003, the gallery is owned and operated by the artists themselves, who proudly display handcrafted jewelry, photography, paintings, pottery, wood and leather goods. Joyful stocking stuffers can be found at Pop City, a one-of-a-kind, New Orleans-centric boutique specializing in retro fashions, totes and purses, collectable art, locally published books, decorative housewares items, and funky kitschy objects. Sports fanatics will win big with a team jersey, baseball cap, and other cheerful gifts from N’awlins Sports. Check your list twice for the perfect present for the young and young at heart from Little Toy Shop, a family-owned, quaint toy store featuring children’s books, puzzles, games, figures, plush toys, music boxes, and more. And a stop at Merry Christmas & All That Jazz is a must to bring home a special commemorative ornament that can only be found in the Crescent City.

All that shopping is sure to work up an appetite, so kick back at Alberto’s Wine & Cheese Bistro with a signature salad such as organic mixed greens with goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, apple and pistachios with house-made balsamic vinaigrette, or specialty sandwich like the muffuletta layered with provolone, mozzarella, salami, chorizo and mortadella topped with house-made olive salad. Enjoy a taste of NOLA at The Corner Oyster House with classic local cuisine including red beans and rice with smoked sausage, a cup of seafood gumbo, or a hot roast beef po-boy smothered in gravy. ’Tis the season for oysters, so indulge in chargrilled oysters slathered in seasoned garlic butter and topped with Parmesan, or bacon-wrapped Gulf oysters with crawfish reduction. Get your java and dessert fix at world-famous Café du Monde, where café au lait served with warm, powdery, sugar-laden French doughnuts has been a tradition since 1862. Joyeux Noël!

For a complete listing of French Market shops and restaurants visit, frenchmarket.org.