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Louisiana Shopping

Chartres Street Antiquing
New Orleans , Louisiana

Forget your first-semester Parisian French—the locals pronounce this curio-seeker's dreamland as "CHART-erz." It's an odd collection of shops, peddling amber jewelry or tin toys behind dusty picture windows; sales clerks (many cranky and getting on in years) like to haggle. If you're looking for a Tanzanian ceremonial mask, a ten-foot scale replica of a Great Lakes steamship, or assorted bronze and marble statuary, the Whisnant Galleries is your one-stop shop (222 Chartres St.; 504-524-9766; www.whisnantgalleries.com/content). Lucullus showcases an outstanding collection of culinary antiques from collectible linens and crystal to 19th-century absinthe spoons (610 Chartres St.; 504-528-9620; www.lucullusantiques.com).

Dirty Coast
5704 Magazine Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
70115
Tel: 504 324 3745
www.dirtycoast.com

If you've been wandering New Orleans's streets and have caught a glimpse of a local's clever, well-designed T-shirt, odds are it came from Dirty Coast, an active collective of graphic designers and entrepreneurs. From the classic "Be a New Orleanian, wherever you are" to their King Gator prints, these attractive tees are chock-full of local in-jokes and homages to Louisiana icons like "Jean Lafitte: Original Gangster." New Orleans Saints fans will find plenty of black-and-gold options for gameday, including a stylish Superdome festooned with a simple caption: "Church."

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 6 pm.

Faulkner House Books
624 Pirate's Alley
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
70119
Tel: 504 524 2940
www.faulknerhousebooks.net

Any other shop this size might be considered cramped, but Faulkner House does a lot with a tiny space. Shelves packed with Southern literature, rare first editions, and contemporary fiction are stacked up to the 15-foot ceilings. "But don't worry," says the friendly clerk, "we've got a good ladder." The staff can wax poetic and historical about the store's namesake; the shop was once William Faulkner's apartment and is where he wrote his first novel, Soldiers' Pay, in 1925.

Open daily 10 am to 5:30 pm.

Kitchen Witch
631 Toulouse Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
70130
Tel: 504 528 8382
www.kwcookbooks.com

A visit to the Kitchen Witch is like raiding your grandmother's prized cookbook collection. After Katrina, owner Philipe LaMancusa moved his funky culinary bookshop from Rampart Street to this location closer to the center of the Quarter with the help of co-owner Debbie Lindsey. Out of their selection of 5,000-plus titles, you'll find the latest Alain Ducasse tome, Creole cookbooks, first editions of Paul Prudhomme's books, and little-known New Orleans dining guides from the 1950s. They've also got a stash of vintage vinyl in the back.

Open Mondays and Wednesdays through Sundays 10 am to 6 pm.

Mignon Faget
3801 Magazine Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
70115
Tel: 504 891 2005
www.mignonfaget.com

Local jewelry designer Mignon Faget built her reputation on whimsical collections of Louisiana-themed rings, bracelets, necklaces, and other playful baubles. The selection runs the gamut from dangling okra earrings to tie tacks shaped like red beans. The newest symbol of New Orleans's rebirth, the fleur-de-lis, features prominently in recent collections.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm.

Plum
5430 Magazine Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
70115
Tel: 504 897 3388
www.plumneworleans.com

The city's initial recovery phase has been good to the Uptown stretch of Magazine Street, a former workaday commercial strip turned boutique row. This relative newcomer showcases a selection of funky housewares, messenger bags, jewelry, and work by local artists. Hand-painted "Saints for Sinners" charms provide colorful protection and support from an updated selection of Catholic saints. (Who knew that St. Isidore was the patron saint of Web surfers?) Facsimiles of New Orleans's familiar water-meter covers—an artsy moon-and-stars pattern—make a subtle statement as diminutive earrings.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 10 am to 6 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm.

Royal Street Galleries
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana

Art lovers could kill a weekend browsing the upper part of the French Quarter, where art galleries outnumber gaudy T-shirt shops. Whatever your taste, you'll find an artist's rep to match your art-buying mood. Local icon George Rodrigue maintains a Royal Street address at his eponymous studio stocked with more Blue Dogs (the artist's signature motif) than a Memphis kennel (721 Royal St.; 504-581-4244; www.georgerodrigue.com). Traditional streetscapes and poster prints abound, but for something a bit more surreal, visit the gallery space of "fine art body painter" Craig Tracey, who makes the nude human form his canvas for a wide array of painted treatments (827 Royal St.; 504-592-9886; www.paintedalive.com).

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.