Want to party like a New Orleans native? Influencer David Nola has you covered with his favorite drinks, food and parades, parades, parades!
Q. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is David Mora (better known as @DavidNOLA on Instagram), and I’m a New Orleans ambassador. I was born and raised in the New Orleans area (Algiers/Westbank) and love showcasing the beauty and uniqueness of our city to all. My day job is in higher education, but photography is my true passion.
Q. When people check out your IG feed, what side of Nola will they see?
I try to showcase what inspires me about the city. For example, if I see architectural details or unique people or great food, I wanna share it. After 30+ years, I still get excited about New Orleans. I want everybody to come here and enjoy the wonderful things our city has to offer.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about Mardi Gras? What does it mean to you?
Mardi Gras is truly a celebration of life. It’s hard to pinpoint my favorite thing about it, but I just love the spirit of everyone in the city during Carnival time. Everyone is happy (must be the king cake) and ready to have a great time. While other cities celebrate Carnival and Mardi Gras, nobody does it like New Orleans.
Q. Uh oh! Your friends just told you they’re coming for Mardi Gras and know nothing about the city. Quick, where do you send them to Mardi Gras up?
I always tell people Mardi Gras is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to do the Quarter, the earlier before Fat Tuesday, the better. I love having people stay over during Carnival; if you’re lucky to have a friend with a home in the area, I’d recommend staying with them. I love our city’s hotels, but prices can be high during this peak time. You’ll find a lot of people on the route are happy to share their food and drink. I love seeing people make new friends waiting for a parade. I’ve had many a good conversation during Carnival time.
Some of my favorite French Quarter eats and drinks during Carnival time:
- Bourbon House (King cake frozen bourbon milk punch)
- Cafe Maspero or Napoleon House for cheap, good food
- Pat O’Brien’s for a hurricane (magnum if you dare)
- Lafitte’s for that purple drank
Q. Give us a few of your Mardi Gras “must dos”?
One of my favorite days during Carnival is the Friday before Mardi Gras (“Hermes Friday”) in the French Quarter/Bourbon Street area. It’s fun to see all the walking krewes going up and down Bourbon Street. I also bring a bunch of friends and splurge on the magnum hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s. It’s a lot of fun!
I love the King Cake kick off party at King Cake Hub (formerly Pizza NOLA). Seeing Benny Grunch and the Bunch live and enjoying king cake at the start on Twelfth Night gets me hyped for the rest of the season.
Parades. Parades. Parades. Parades are like potato chips; you can just go to one. From Krewe du Vieux in the Marigny to the super krewes leading up to Fat Tuesday, there’s a parade (or two) for everyone.
Q. What’s your favorite parade and why?
I’ve been a member of Endymion for 12 years. I love our parade so much, because we get to parade through Mid-City and we end up going through the Superdome. When we parade through the Superdome, it’s like being a rock star. There are spotlights on you, people screaming at the top of their lungs and great live music. I think that’s why I’m still a member after 12 years!
Other than Endymion, I love the female krewes – Muses and Nyx always have great processions. Where else will you have people screaming their lungs out for a shoe?
Hermes, Thoth and Rex are some of my other favorites. Rex is always gorgeous.
Q. Walk us through your Fat Tuesday itinerary.
- Get Popeyes Chicken at 5 a.m.
- Enjoy adult libations early in the morning (I love spending all day uptown drink hopping)
- Catch Zulu, Rex and the truck parades on St. Charles Avenue
- Take a nap and wake up in time for the meeting of the courts on WYES (Rex/Comus)
Want to see what happens on the other side of town? Check out Probably This’ Bywater/Marigny Mardi Gras.
And be sure to pick up our brand new 2019 Mardi Gras Field Guide to add even more flare to New Orlean’s favorite holiday.