Concierge.com's insider take:
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).