There are plenty of shops selling New Orleans-themed gifts and souvenirs, but not all of them are created equal. There's certainly a time and a place for garish t-shirts and Mardi Gras beads but, especially at the holidays, it can be nice to get your friends and relatives something a little more subtle. Here are some shops around the city selling gifts that convey a distinct New Orleans spirit without being too tacky.
629 N. Carrollton Avenue
4610 Magazine Street
This pair of shops Uptown and in Mid-City takes its punny name from founder Kristin Malone. The stores offer plenty of handmade goods from artisans in New Orleans and around the South, including whimsical maps of the city, alluring wall art, cosmetics, soaps and baby goods. Greeting cards are also available to accompany your gifts, and the Mid-City location is also next to bookstore Tubby & Coo's, which offers its own assortment of books by local authors.
Forever New Orleans
700 Royal Street
This shop, nestled amid Royal Street's antique stores and boutiques, proves it is possible to buy a novelty t-shirt in the French Quarter that you and your loved ones wouldn't be embarrassed to wear outside the house. It also boasts a collection of other actually useful gift items like themed salt shakers, as well as plenty of crawfish-themed memorabilia and keepsakes like wooden New Orleans maps.
Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry & Gift
337 Morgan Street
There's no reason to limit your gift shopping to the East Bank. Steps from the ferry to Canal Street, this cozy Algiers shop offers plenty of handmade jewelry created by founder Beatrix Bell, as well as other collectibles like mugs, coozies, and artwork. There's a special emphasis on gifts and prints with an Algiers Point focus, including depictions of the area's alluring shotgun houses and its historic courthouse. If you can't make it in person, you can also check out Bell's online shop on Etsy.
2841 Magazine Street
In the midst of the bustling Magazine Street shopping district is this multi-vendor shop offering a wide variety of art and other goods, many of them locally handmade. There's a little bit of everything, from pottery to prints to clothes and bags, as well as holiday-appropriate items like greeting cards and Christmas tree ornaments. Stop by for yourself to see the always-evolving selection.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
925 Camp Street
The Ogden Museum gift shop naturally offers catalogs, prints, and postcards depicting works from the museum's permanent collection and rotating exhibits. It's also a good place to pick up tasteful New Orleans and museum-themed apparel, including bow ties, scarves, and socks with the Ogden's distinctive O logo or other iconic New Orleans images. There are also plenty of gifts for art-inclined children and teens. Make some time to tour the museum before you shop and keep in mind that discounts are available for museum members.
Faulkner House Books
624 Pirate's Alley
If you're shopping for someone who likes to read, stop by this handsome old shop in historic Pirate's Alley, named for one-time New Orleans resident William Faulkner. In addition to a solid collection of new books by the store's namesake and other Southern authors, as well as plenty of general fiction, the shop boasts an interesting assortment of rare books in the back room. There's also a well-curated poetry selection for those looking to give the gift of verse.
600 Royal Street
The name is a play on words on Royal Street's French name and the butter-and-flour concoction that serves as the basis for so many local dishes. And inside the tasty-smelling shop you'll find plenty of New Orleans-themed cookware, dishes, aprons, and-for those who like to imbibe-flasks. You can also pick up cookbooks with local recipes, mixes for various local foods, and ready-to-eat items like pralines and chocolates.
Stop by any of Fleurty Girl's stores in New Orleans or its suburbs to find a cheeky mix of actually amusing t-shirts, housewares with a Louisiana bent, and plenty of black-and-gold wearable goods for the Saints fans in your lives. There's also an astounding assortment of non-New Orleans whimsical gift and birthday items-if you're looking to branch out from the strictly local theme.