Sixthman's Concierge Class


Along with LIVE LOUD, our company motto here at Sixthman is to make our guests, partners, and team the star. This blog is called Behind the Seas, after all – so here’s an inside look at how we make the Sixthman team the star! 

We LEARN LOUD during our time on land by going on "Shore Excursions" to companies we admire, host a variety of leaders via our Pool Deck Speaker Series, and we grow leaders through our professional development program, Concierge Class.  Each year two Concierge Class team members are given carte blanche to explore each department within Sixthman, learn about Norwegian operations on board, pursue continuing education opportunities, and question everything. So far, we’ve had 7 team members graduate from the program. Concierge Class has gone through several iterations, and we think we just might have this thing down to a science at this point.

Here’s a look back at the experiences of five Concierge Class graduates in their own words.


Geoffrey Stephenson

Title: Senior Web Developer & Launch Manager

How Long I’ve been at SXM: 7 Years

Why did you apply?
I had been at Sixthman for almost five years when they announced the inaugural Concierge Class program in 2014. At the time it was first mentioned, to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what the program would entail. I felt I had already learned quite a bit about the company and my role in it, but at the same time this program seemed like a great opportunity to continue gaining knowledge and expand my leadership training. I was excited to push myself in varying professional and personal ways outside of my current department and normal day-to-day exposure. I was very honored and grateful to be chosen as the guinea pig for this program.

What did you learn about Sixthman or Norwegian that really surprised you?
Being in the Concierge Class gave me the ability to get some greater exposure to things on board the Norwegian ships. I gained access to their Hotel Directors meeting, where a leader from each department on board gathers with a group from Sixthman to discuss the issues and schedule for that day. I also shadowed the security department for a night, including a visit to the ship’s brig. After being at Sixthman for a number of years, it was eye opening to see some of what were previously behind the scenes things that happen every day for Norwegian. We have since opened up more exposure to these types of experiences to other Sixthman employees.

Do you have a favorite moment from the program?
I would have to say my favorite moment from the program would be the one-on-one meeting I had with Andy Stuart, who is now the President and CEO of Norwegian. It was a quick chat, but I was lucky enough to ask his advice about leadership, discuss some directions we thought Sixthman might be heading, and even talk about running half marathons.  I also want to mention that it’s been great to watch Concierge Class continually grow and evolve over the years. I’ve had the pleasure of working with other graduates to help refine the program. It’s become somewhat of a passion project for me. It gives me so much enjoyment watching others go through and learn and succeed. 

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Jen Wedick

Title: Creative Manager, Senior Warrior and Partner Relations

How Long I’ve been at SXM: Started full time in June 2010. (I was “unofficially” around a while before that.) 

Why did you apply?
I had been a Warrior at Sixthman for several years (leading The Rock Boat and several other communities), but because I’m a creative person in general, I ended up also spending a lot of time on creative projects that were on a Sixthman brand level, not specific to my events. I applied to the program because I was interested in seeing where I could offer more creative help, and Concierge Class gave me free reign to observe any department. I ended up working with our CEO, Anthony Diaz (who led the program at the time) to develop a new role called Creative Leader, something that allowed me to dive into the Sixthman branded creative projects more officially, while still keeping the Warrior and Partner Relations responsibilities that I wanted for The Rock Boat. I didn’t exactly apply to the program to get a new role… but since it allowed me to see Sixthman through a broader lens, it helped us create a more fitting role for myself in a way that also added value to the company.

How did the program contribute to your professional development?
Being part of the program completely changed my professional path at Sixthman. I was at a point where I really wasn’t sure what my next step was, though I really did love what I was doing at the time. With us being a smaller, young(ish) company, there really weren’t a ton of corporate ladders to climb that were laid out for me when I was hired (which is a positive in this particular case, because it allowed me to create my own path). Sixthman has been great for learning what my passions and strengths are, and then tweaking my role to play that up. The concierge program kind of allowed me to take a step back to explore, learn and observe, see what made sense for my next step. 

Do you have a favorite moment from the program?
Full disclosure – I was one of the first people to go through the program, so it wasn’t as structured as it is now. The people that followed me in this program probably have better answers. :) However, I got to do some pretty cool things and really enjoyed stepping outside the walls of Sixthman to hear from creative and interesting people. I attended several conferences, speaker series, and other events (like Leadercast, Creative Mornings, Plywood's Black Box Sessions) that served as a great mental break from the day-to-day grind and I always left inspired.

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Rachel Voorhies

Title: Senior Operations Manager

How Long I’ve been at SXM: 6 Years

Why did you apply?
I applied when I was switching into a new career here at Sixthman. For those of you who know Andy Levine, I was fortunate to have worked side by side with him for 3 years as his Executive Assistant. I learned a lot about the business during that time and absorbed many of his best practices. I will always strive to Make It Right, go Above and Beyond, create the right ambience in a room, and have meals/conversations at round tables. I transitioned into Operations where I was now working with many new team members and departments. I used my time during the Concierge Class to do a deep dive into learning about how the teams operated and then integrated into the bigger picture. I was fascinated by the how we are all interdependent. One decision can affect so much. It truly takes an army to do what we do…

How have you applied what you learned to your role? 
Being exposed to wonderful speakers and sitting in on other Sixthman team meetings, I am constantly reminded that you can gain knowledge from everything around you. Listening to others and learning from them is one of the most powerful tools. 

Do you have a favorite moment from the program? 
I had the opportunity to hear Rebecca Messina speak to a small group here in Atlanta. Her resume is wildly impressive and she had the stories to match. She was asked how she was able to do it all between her career endeavors, being a wife, mother, and avid runner. Her response was “I’m messy, disorganized, and late!”. I loved that she was real and honest by acknowledging that to be all of those things she can’t be perfect at them all. So, while I may kill it every day at the office to help execute moments that make life rock, I am perfectly fine to let my laundry sit unfolded for a bit and drink a glass of wine instead. 

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Jon Owen

Title: Senior Manager of Finance & Accounting

How Long I’ve been at SXM: 3 Years

Why did you apply?  
I’ve worked in Finance since I joined Sixthman in 2014. In that role, there are certain teams and individuals within the company that I rarely (or never) get to work with. The thing that most drew me to this program was the prospect of getting to see all of Sixthman’s teams in action so that I could better understand how they worked and how the pieces of the organization fit together.

How did the program contribute to your professional development? 
Many of the external events I attended focused on leadership. This coincided with me entering a leadership position for the first time in my career. I hope that this timing will help me grow into a better leader. 

Do you have a favorite moment from the program?
Some necessary background info: I went through the program with Nadine Phelps who worked in Guest Services when we started the year. As we went through the program, it became clear to me that her natural skills made her a perfect fit for a need we had in Finance, and I eventually convinced her to come work on our team. My favorite Concierge moment was seeing Nadine grow in her new role and spearhead a new mentorship program at Sixthman. I’m proud to have her on my team and I don’t know if that would have happened if we hadn’t gone through Concierge together.

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Nadine Phelps

Title: Financial & Reservation Accountant

How Long I’ve been at SXM: 3 Years

Why did you apply?
I’d been at Sixthman for two years and although I really loved my role, I was itching to stretch my legs and explore my path. It was a pretty crowded field that year and I almost didn’t apply but our inaugural concierge class graduate Geoff Stephenson encouraged me to apply (thanks Geoff!).  Concierge gave me exposure to each department, its structures, leaders, workload, and at the tail end of my year in the program I moved to the Finance team.

How did the program contribute to your professional development?
In addition to my new role at Sixthman, I learned I have an interest in culture. It’s the people that make Sixthman such a special place to work and I wondered how I could best to serve my fellow team members. I worked with our Concierge leader Sarah to develop a mentorship program and I hope to have the opportunity to work on more of these kinds of projects in the future.

Do you have a favorite moment from the program?
Too many to count! Jon and I went to a podcast festival, we judged festival pitches at Kennesaw State University, and we attended countless speaker series in Atlanta. Recently, all of the concierge graduates attended Plywood Presents where we heard Inky Johnson speak. I’m not really a sports fan, but Inky’s talk on persistence, hope, and joy in the face of adversity absolutely blew me away. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. I’d recommend the talk to anyone, it may change your life!

Meet the Sixthman Office Dogs!

One of the most fun things about our Atlanta-based office is that we usually have a few pups hanging around. Take a moment to meet the regulars!



Owners: Jen & Matt
Breed: Portuguese Podengo Medio + Muppet
Age: No one really knows… probably 16+ human years, 90-ish in dog years.
Fun fact: She’s afraid of the edge of the fake grass “carpet” in the office. When she needs to cross the edge to get on or off of it, she jumps way over it, as if it were a ledge. Totally unnecessary.
Hashtag: #mydogthemuppet


Owner: Jill
Breed: Toy Poodle
Age: 2 human years, 24 dog years
Fun fact: She loves to give high fives!
Hashtag: #PixiePeasPlace *coming soon* 


Owner: Carlee
Breed: Boykin Spaniel
Age: 4 human years, 32 dog years
Fun fact: He's a wild child. He's got a lot to say and more energy than most 6-month old puppies. He's always the first to let us konw when there's an intruder (aka mailman) in the office. 
Hashtag: #coopergramz (Ignore the silly white dog. He invaded a couple of years ago. My Cooper was first!)


Owner: Jon
Breed: Great Dane + Weimaraner Mix
Age: 4 human years, 32 dog years
Fun fact: Stella is the largest dog in the history of SXM office dogs.
Hashtag: picturesofstella


Owners: Natalie
Breed: Llewellin Setter
Age: 5 months in human time... toddler in doggie time.
Fun fact: Kevin sleeps on his back with all his legs spread into the air... weirdo! 
Hashtag: #misterkevindean or #softkevin


Owner: Ashley
Breed: Potcake (Really, look it up.) She's a mixed breed rescue so I'm not exactly sure. Her vet says she's likely part Whippet and Lab.
Age: 2 1/2 human years, 17 1/2 dog years. 
Fun fact: She was voted "Most Likely To Steal Your Chair" at the 2016 Sixthman Advance. She has more than earned that title. Ask anyone.
Hashtag: #lennongramz


Owner: Lauraine
Breed: Australian Shepherd
Age: 11 human years, 65 dog years
Fun fact: She's the unofficial office greeter - we're usually one of the firsts in the office and she'll run out to greet everyone at the door as they come in. She loves to roll around on the lawn during a Sixthman Session, or when I'm talking at a staff meeting.


Owner: Elise
Breed: Labradoodle
Age: 10 months, so approx. 10 human years
Fun fact: He has a bad case of “Resting Sad Face” and the most impressive vertical jump.
Hashtag: #ItsMillerTime

Keep track of all of our canine co-workers, plus some of our favorite doggie visitors by viewing the #sxmofficedog feed! For now, I'll leave you with a gallery featuring a few fun general office dog shots! 



Jayne and Nadine's Chankanaab Adventure

 So like, a year ago, the leadership team at Sixthman told us we needed to do some research about popular shore excursions so we could be more informed when describing them to our guests.

Um, chyeah. Count us in! Nadine and I did all of you (and us) a favor by checking out the Chankanaab Beach Park & Snorkel excursion in Cozumel, Mexico. I know what you’re thinking. “But Sixthman Jayne, how do I know if this is the excursion for me?”

Let me break it down for you.


 Price: $59.00 for Adults, $39.00 for kids

Duration: About 4 hours – but you can stretch it out if you take your own transportation back to the ship

Family Friendly: Absolutely. We had to get up pretty early in the morning, which means we were basically just like a couple of tired 8-year-olds, and we had a great time.

Opportunity to get kissed by a sea lion: Yes. More on that later.


 Step One: Get Your Tix

Once you have your Norwegian reservation number, you can log in to to research and book a shore excursion. We didn’t have that kind of foresight, so instead, we purchased our tickets on board the ship.

It was the CoverGirl of ticket buying experiences: easy, breezy, beautiful. (Duh). I went to the shore excursions desk (Atrium, Deck 7, MID), told the NCL team which excursion I wanted to purchase, handed over my keycard – one swipe later, and I had my tickets in hand.

Step Two: Meet at the Rendezvous Point

We were told to meet at the end of the pier at 8:45am. We gave ourselves a little extra time because, well, we’re not morning people. We were greeted by our tour leader, Jorge who was super nice – but he had to deliver some disappointing news. It was a windy day and the water was too dangerous, so they had to cancel the snorkeling portion of our excursion.

Not a problem for us. New plan: find the fruity drinks!

Step Three: Follow the Leader

Jorge showed us to our shuttle and it was a quick 20 minute ride from the port to Chankanaab. Once we arrived, Jorge gave us our wristbands and led us inside to show us all of the fun stuff we could do instead of snorkeling. There were replicas of prehispanic ruins, a Mayan house, a lagoon, a winding path through the property’s beautiful gardens, a couple of restaurants and bars, and THE BEACH.

It was still pretty early in the morning at this point, so we figured we probably needed to earn our adult beverages. We took a stroll around the lagoon, snapped photos with some of our favorite statues, and pretended not to be afraid of the giant alligators sunbathing in their garden cage.

 Step Four: Frozen Drinks!

After escaping an inevitable gator attack, we needed a piña colada to settle our nerves. We bellied up to the bar underneath a tropical thatched roof and enjoyed the cool ocean breeze. Who needs snorkels when there’s a perfectly delightful drink menu and sociable bartenders at the ready?

 Step Five: Guacamole (and no, it doesn’t cost extra)

The only thing that could have made our beach hut bar experience better was SNACKS. Jorge did not disappoint. He pulled out a tray of avocado, onion, tomato, cilantro, and lime: all of the ingredients for a giant batch of guacamole! He walked us through the steps of making this Mexican favorite. We laughed, we cried (um, onions!), and we snacked.

 Step Six: More Frozen Drinks + Beach Hangs

With a couple of satisfied tummies, the only logical next step was a nap on the beach. We found a sunny spot and started soaking in the rays. Oh, and did you know there are bartenders roaming the beach who are ready to bring you more piña coladas whenever you want?! True story.

We attempted a brief swim in one of the smaller coves. The water felt great – but it was still a bit choppy due to the high winds. We swam long enough to get that good salt water treatment in our hair, made friends with some fellow swimmers, and then spent a few minutes drying off in the sand.

 Step Seven: Tequila

A tequila tasting was included in the price of the excursion, and we were determined to get the most bang for our buck. We met up with Jorge in a little building with a big table and five types of tequila for us to sample. If you’re worried about our consumption at this point, don’t fret. We just had teeny tiny sips of each one. We tried strange flavors like coffee and blueberry, toasted each other en español, and learned all about the differences between tequila and mezcal (tequila is produced in the Jalisco region of Mexico and comes from the blue agave plant, mezcal is made from green agave), and I’m pretty sure we would do it all over again if we could.

 Step Eight: Sea Lions!

Your chances of getting some serious facetime with live animals at Chankanaab are like, 99.9%. (See also: Nadine with parrots). After our tequila tasting, we walked across the street to an outdoor pool – and thus began the greatest part of our day: THE SEA LION SHOW! We met three happy sea lions who waved, flipped, jumped, dived, and splashed their way into our hearts. At the end of the show when the sea lion trainers offered to take our photo with a sea lion, we jumped at the opportunity. And check it out – we got to first base! **smooch**

 Step Nine: Hit the Road

Apparently, the sea lions had to leave us because it was their “nap time”. (We’re pretty sure they were just tired of listening to us make all of those “awwww!” sounds). And with that, we began making our way back to the shuttle.

On our way out of the park, we made note of all the other fun stuff available at Chankanaab that didn’t fit into our schedule that day including a zip line course, swimming with dolphins, scuba diving, glass bottom kayaking, and more!

Another quick shuttle ride back to the port, a couple of high fives for Jorge, and our Chankanaab excursion came to an end.

 Step Ten: Tell All Your Friends

In case anyone at the Sixthman office was curious about how much fun we had at Chankanaab, we posted our sea lion pics on the wall for all to enjoy. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face or stop telling stories about guac and tequila and ocean breezes for at least 48 hours. Plus, that salt water treatment made my hair look fab.


Two enthusiastic thumbs up. Fun for the whole family. We’ll be back!

My First Sixthman Advance

With a solid two months of Sixthman life under my belt I was beginning to feel like I was finally getting the hang of life in my new gig. I had my morning commute down to a tight 12 minute ride, was chiming in on all the fun Slack channel conversations, and more importantly I was establishing supportive and loving relationships with the office dogs. But one aspect of Sixthman life was still looming – The Advance. Ever since my first day at Sixthman I knew The Advance was as important to Sixthman as Kanye is to Kanye. I’d had it on my calendar within the first minute of signing my contract, this was clearly THE event of a Sixthman summer.

For those of you who are like, “Okay, congrats on the new dog friendships, but what is an advance- I’m just trying to find more info on drink packages!?” Let me explain. The Advance is a three day, two night team building and bonding trip for Sixthman employees at Lake Lanier to reset before heading into cruising season. While some of you might think that sounds like a “work retreat” you’re totally and completely wrong because at Sixthman we don’t retreat, we ADVANCE!

The Advance proved to be every good thing I hoped it would be and more! I laughed, I cried, I learned and by the end of it quite a few people called me the F-word… FRIEND! So without further ado are my favorite moments from The Advance:

1.     Beach Party:

The day started with the Sixthman Olympics, where we tested new games to bring onboard Sixthman cruises. Not to risk any sailing spoilers, but baby masks, whipped cream, and a simulation egg laying contraption were all in the mix. From there we were treated to a delicious Mexican dinner and I watched a Sixthman beach volleyball game so intense Misty May herself would have had to tap out! But my favorite part of the night was when all my new coworker pals and I pulled chairs around a big beach bonfire, filled up our drinks and just hung out!

2.     Captain’s Dinner:

With everyone decked out in their crisp captain’s shirts we were all treated to a decadent dinner on a picturesque dock. We had four long tables set in the shape of a huge square so everyone was in each other’s view and before we were allowed to eat we had to play the biggest game of flip cup I’d ever seen-  it was awesome!

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3.     Sixthman Solves Sessions:

Contrary to what the past two moments express we actually did a lot of thought-provoking and productive team building exercises at The Advance and my favorite was being part of a Communication and Care Breakout Session. In this breakout session we were split into groups and prompted with communication based dilemmas to find solutions for. Being able to express real and honest opinions, and have actual input to the interdepartmental communications of the company made me feel heard and cared for by our Leadership team. Exercises like this helped me hone into how much of a collective effort Sixthman life truly is.

4.     Letters from my family:

During The Advance we stayed in adorable cabins on Lake Lanier that were stocked with snacks, drinks and my favorite part- a packet of letters from my family. Each person was given a packet of letters from their family, friends and other important people in their lives – it was such a touching and kind gesture that said so much about the values at Sixthman. It made me feel so happy to be a part of a group of people who value sentimental gestures and understand how to make their people feel special and remembered.   

5.     The Roadhouse:

Have you ever gotten such a nice compliment you started crying? Have you played the floor is lava in the past two months nay past two years?  Well I have, thanks to the Roadhouse. The Roadhouse was the party palace, The Advance’s hot spot, the most popular dorm… it just had that it factor … and by it factor I mean lots of snacks and even more booze. Nighttime dance parties, philosophical porch table debates and even watching grown men take “shots” of easy mac cheese powder defined the Roadhouse and reaffirmed why I was so excited to be a part of this crazy fun group!

The SXM Staff and their families on 'Family Day'

The SXM Staff and their families on 'Family Day'






Here at Sixthman, there's a term that has been in use for a while:

What does it mean?
Well, my name is Bear and it’s a way to describe the things that I do!


Where to start? I joined Sixthman in 2009, first as a Production Assistant, then as a full time Ninja and Host Ambassador. My wise and visionary leader, Joy, noticed that the various things I did had value and were important to the company. She challenged me to find a way to make a difference by doing BEARSTUFF. (All caps. One word.)

My mission became clear: Do everything in my power to make sure our guests have the best time possible. I took this on as a personal crusade. In an effort to define what BEARSTUFF is, here are examples of a few things I do: 

On land, I'm on the phones/chats/emails 10am-6pm, Monday-Friday, with one purpose: Make our guests feel special, informed, excited and ready for the best vacation possible! That could mean anything from helping a family work out a payment plan due to some unforeseen hardship, to empathizing with a guest whose favorite band is missing from the lineup. I've even explained geography and math to everyone from PHDs to Bank Tellers, and I've spent 57 minutes describing every possible detail of the buffet line. That's BEARSTUFF.

Here's a list of various scenarios which come across my desk on the ship:
(Just kidding about that desk... you'll never - ever - see me sitting at a desk when sailing.)

  • Coordinate a 50th birthday celebration for a 16 time grandmother on Sail Across The Sun
  • Find a place for a F#@K Cancer meet up on Kid Rock Cruise
  • Send a bottle of champagne and roses to a newly wed couple on Outlaw Country Cruise
  • Send a note and treats to new parents on PARAHOY
  • Help EVERYONE win big on the craps table on Cayamo or any of our cruises for that matter . . . BEARSTUFF.

But there's more! BEARSTUFF is never over. I might tell a kid on The KISS Kruise where he should stand so that he might be able to bump into Paul. I once gave a Keeping The Blues Alive at Sea guest advice on which tequila store is the best on the strip in Cozumel and then went with them to do quality control. Football fans who need to keep informed of their scores while we are away, know where to find me. After a particularly jam packed day spent hosting Q and A's, flip cup tournaments, and manning a shift at the info desk, I sat with a Rock Boater who just lost their mother and watched an amazing sunset. Yup, BEARSTUFF.

BEARSTUFF works for my Sixthman family too. I want to play my part to help our whole team do what they do best: MAKE YOUR VACATION AMAZING. That means taking time to listen and personally study ALL of the good, bad, and ugly, translate all the facts and figures to graphs, charts, and actions designed to help make us the BEST and then EVEN BETTER. 

To wrap it up, its the little touches with big results. Just help out however you can because, why not? When we all go above and beyond just because . . . we ALL do BEARSTUFF. 


Sixthman Julie’s Guide To New Orleans

Eight out of our upcoming twelve cruises will be heading out to sea from the Port of New Orleans, and I couldn’t be more excited to spend time in my beloved old stomping grounds. Not only am I a proud Tulane grad and former resident, I can also credit the historic city with setting the stage for meeting my husband during a post – Hurricane Katrina service project.

Sure, you can - and should - research the best bars and restaurants when you're planning your trip. There are a ton of "Best Of" lists and websites out there, and I encourage you to use those and go with anything that tickles your fancy -- you truly can’t go wrong! But below is straight from a Sixthman source (so you know I know how to have fun!) that visits frequently enough to still consider herself a local. This is not a Top 10 list. This list includes my nostalgic favorites, some new-to-NOLA highlights, and everything in between. I’m here to share MY New Orleans with you - where to go, what to eat, and where you’ll catch me for a couple days either before or after our cruises.

If you’re coming to town a day or two before, or staying a few days after, your cruise – read on for tips, tricks, things to see, and places to eat. A LOT of places to eat. And before you dive in to this blog, tune to WWOZ 90.7 to get you in the mood (because that’s what I did)!


SAY IT RIGHT: First things first, it’s not really “N’awlins" anymore. As long as you don’t call it New Or-LEEEEENS you won’t stick out like a sore thumb, but most of us call it NOLA these days.

CASE OF THE MONDAYS: Check the hours before you make a trip! It’s normal for places to be closed on Mondays to allow the service industry employees at least one day off during the week, and because “people got to make groceries” -- aka go to the grocery store.

GO CUP: They don’t call it “The Big Easy” for nothing, including how easy it is to grab a beer and go!  Want to grab a cocktail but also keep it moving?  Ask for a “go cup” or pour it into a plastic cup yourself on your way out because typically there’s a stack by the door!

STREETCAR VS. TROLLEY: In San Francisco it’s called a trolley. In New Orleans it’s called a streetcar.

NEUTRAL GROUND: Meeting up with a friend or catching an Uber? New Orleans is built along a long, winding river so instead of directing people North or South, you’ll use River Side, Lake Side, or Neutral Ground – the median in the middle of a divided road.


I once won a Trivial Pursuit game by answering this question: “Which city consumes more mayonnaise per capita than anywhere else in the world?” You guessed it - New Orleans! (Or at least it was at the time, so don’t send me hate mail if that’s not true anymore.)  From poboys to remoulade, NOLA has all the delicious eats, and many of them contain mayo.  

There are a zillion options for where to eat the most delicious meal of your life. Some of the best restaurateurs and chefs call New Orleans home. (If you’re fan of Bravo’s Top Chef you’ll find at least ten restaurants with a former contestant in the kitchen!)

The cuisine has become incredibly ethnically diverse in the past several years, and some of my favorite restaurants include Vietnamese, BBQ, or some sort of Asian fusion, but I’m mostly sticking to the traditional faves here. Just keep in mind that a “Taste of New Orleans” isn’t solely poboys and jambalaya… although it CAN BE! YUM!


My favorite meal of the day! It’s totally acceptable to eat all of your favorite savory things topped with a sunny or poached egg, and it magically is called brunch.  Endless buffets to try a little bit of everything?  Bottomless cocktails?  You can count me in for all of these things. 

Photo credit: wikimedia commons

Photo credit: wikimedia commons

Go fancy and all in for a brunch (some with live jazz) at any of these places that are well worth every penny:

If you’re feeling a little more casual, check out:

Any of the above places make for a great brunch OR breakfast but to me, brunch = cocktails! So below are top choice diners and breakfast spots that serve great morning treats (and lunch and/or late night snacks), minus the alcohol: 


My friends and I have a game called “ONE MEAL IN NEW ORLEANS”. If we are only in town long enough to enjoy one meal at one restaurant, where would we go? It’s the most difficult decision you will ever have to make, and these are our dinner MVPs:

  • Jacques-Imo’s: (Uptown) They won't take reservations for fewer than four people, so get there early, and order the Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake to start!
  • Dick & Jenny’s: (Uptown) Creole cuisine with a Southern twist.
  • LOLA’s: (Mid-City) Authentic Spanish food with a twist.
  • Mopho: (Mid-City) Vietnamese and New Orleans cuisine together.
  • Charlie’s Steakhouse: (Uptown) There's no shortage of great steakhouses in New Orleans, but if you want something extra New Orleansy, Charlie’s is your spot! Along with being the originator of steak here, it’s also the seventh-oldest restaurant in the city.  Ask for Glen or Matt at the bar, and tell them I say hello!
  • Cochon: (Arts/Warehouse District) Cajun, Southern cooking and butcher.  Also great for lunch!
  • Clancy’s: (Uptown) Elegant Creole classics and martinis in a bustling, homey space.
  • Brigtsen’s: (Uptown) Award-winning contemporary Creole cuisine in a cozy, Victorian cottage setting.
  • Cafe Reconcile: (Central City) Only open on weekdays for lunch and Fridays for dinner, but it’s worth noting because this is a restaurant with a mission! Not only is it old-school New Orleans soul food at its best, it provides a successful job-training program for at-risk children.


They’re satisfying for breakfast, brunch, lunch, second lunch, …you get the idea. Don’t let the line out the doors scare you away because they move pretty quickly.

  • Mother’s: (Central Business District – CBD) Order the Ferdi Special!
  • Domilise’s: (Uptown) The hubs loves the hot sausage, I love the fried oyster. Why choose?!  Get both and share!
  • Crabby Jack’s: (Jefferson Hwy) Remember how Jacques-Imo’s is on the tippy-top of the dinner list?  This is their more casual poboy spot.  The slow roasted duck poboy will change your life!


They’re not just restaurants, they’re not just bars, these places defy categories and hold a special place in my heart.

  • Bakery Bar: (Uptown/Garden District) It falls under the “delicious brunch” category but it’s SO much more. A cozy spot with incredible doberge cakes, desserts like salty balls (WHAT?), inventive cocktails, and yes, incredible brunch.
  • Twelve Mile Limit: (Mid-City) Want the experience of a fancy cocktail bar with the atmosphere of a dive bar? This is your spot. Great BBQ and the best juke box in city!  
  • Port Of Call: (French Quarter) This place has arguably the best burger in the city—also, do you want mushrooms on your baked potato? YES, you do. There’s usually a wait, but a giant Huma-huma or Monsoon will keep you company until your table is ready!
  • Lilly’s Cafe: (Lower Garden District) This is casual pho spot on Magazine St., and I love all their brothy goodness to help cure a hangover.  Best in the city!
  • Ninja:  (Uptown) Don’t ask me why this is a must stop for me, but it is.  I’ve even created my own roll here.  Ask for their Crunchy Roll INSIDE of a Rainbow Roll for my favorite sushi. 
  • F&M Patio Bar: (Uptown) (Also Grits Bar next door) Late night dance party! Hop up on that pool table and shake your thing.  Get the cheese fries. Your tummy and your tomorrow will thank you!


It’s the reason we’re all a part of the Sixthman family, right?! So it’s only natural to get out and discover all of the incredible music NOLA has to offer…Jazz, Blues, Irish, Cajun, you name it, and you can find it here. The best part is you can simply wander around the part of town you’re in, and when you hear something you like just pop in for a bit!

Frenchmen Street is THE street for the best variety of live music with tons of bars and venues to check out. You can’t go wrong anywhere on Frenchmen, but these are a few of my favorites:

Are you looking to get down and dirty in a dive bar? Get to know some of the locals at these venues:

Pro-tip: Expect to pay a cover charge at the above places. All of those artists are trying to make a living, after all!

Planning in advance? Check your calendar for which artists are playing at these larger venues:


Spending a few days in New Orleans? Time to take it easy and explore! If you’re a go-with-the-flow guy or gal looking for a leisurely day, this section is for you and features my preferred paths to bop around.

GO DOWNTOWN TO UPTOWN ALONG ST. CHARLES ON THE STREETCAR:  This is my favorite stretch of road (and if you enjoy scenic exercise – favorite running path, too). Travel underneath the beautiful canopies of enormous oak trees decorated with Mardi Gras beads hanging around from years of Krewes tossing beads to Carnival revelers.

Notable Stops:

  • Igor’s: Combination laundromat and bar with the best Bloody Mary in town. What makes them so tasty? Someone told me the secret ingredient is BBQ sauce! It’s now a staple at my house for brunch.
  • The Columns Hotel: Beautiful spot to relax on the patio and listen to the streetcar roll by. I used to live next door, and I still miss the soothing sounds of the streetcar--not to mention the scent! It has been much debated, but I’m here to tell you that the smell of the streetcar when it passes by is that of ARTICHOKE.
  • New Orleans Original Daiquiris: (Uptown) When you’re Uptown on the Riverbend, hop off and grab a daiquiri and walk along the line. (Remember, you’re allowed to walk around with a cocktail here!)

WALK ALONG MAGAZINE STREET: For shopping, dining, or a casual stroll there’s no place that compares to this six-mile stretch. Stay hydrated and keep your energy up with drinks and snacky-snacks along the way.

Notable stops:

  • Bulldog: (Uptown) Fifty different beers on draft and cheese fries. All of my NOLA friends have a collection of Bulldog pint glasses from their “Keep your pint glass nights” on Wednesdays!
  • Casamento’s: (Garden District) Cash only for oysters and other seafood bites.
  • Coquette: (Garden District) if you’re feeling like a fancier cocktail or eats.


HAVE A CRAWFISH BOIL:  What's New Orleans without crawfish and local beer?!  Grab a heap of these delicious freshwater crustaceans at Big Fisherman and take it over to Audubon Park or The Fly (on the Mississippi levee) with a 6-pack of Abita Beer. My go-to's are the Amber Ale and Purple Haze.  We treat crawfish boils like tailgates! They're a great way to hang out with friends enjoying a day of good eats, drinks, and games.


THE INFAMOUS FRENCH QUARTER: You may already know about the powdered heaven beignets at Café du Monde and the nonstop party on Bourbon Street, and listen, those are important to see! Pro-tip: If you’re walking around the Quarter and someone bets you $20 that they can tell you where you got your shoes… spoiler alert - you got them on your feet!

Notable stops:

  • French Market: Take a walk through this outdoor space that combines farmer’s market, flea market, and more!
  • Pat O’ Brien’s Bar: Not just a place to grab one infamous Hurricane (…one and only one. You may regret a second.) It’s also a great place to hang outdoors on the patio or sing along with their dueling pianos! Make sure to grab a professionally shot black & white photo for approximately $7 to remind you of all the memories you are sure to forget. I have an entire album of these gems to look back on:  you can see my hair length go up and down, my waistline go in and out, and you can see every guy I ever dated… And now, the hubs and I always make a point to take a Pat O’s photo when we visit to keep adding to this album of memories and milestones! Happy to share this tradition with you to make your own if you decide to visit more than once!
  • Felix’s: Here’s a pearl of wisdom, Felix’s is a must for oyster lovers. Walk in, stand at the bar, and just keep ordering one at a time until you’re done!  If there’s a line, Acme across the street is also a great option!
  • The Gold Mine: Late-night dance parties and Flaming Dr. Peppers!


In a city so rich with culture and history, there is literally something for everyone in this city! Beyond the food and music I dived into above, here are a few more stops I recommend: 

I really could go on and on about the city I love the most, but that covers my top-ranked NOLA favorites! I hope you get to try a few of them and they become some of your favorites too. I’m beyond excited to set sail out of New Orleans, and as I've written this I'm reminded just how many things I love to eat and drink and do there!  BRB, I’m going to go run a million miles so I can eat all the things. Can’t wait to get back!