This weekend, the NBA’s top players will descend upon New Orleans for an action-packed series of All-Star festivities. So in the spirit of celebrating the Big Easy, we talked to New Orleans’ Pelicans standouts Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis about their favorite local haunts. Davis, the Pelicans’ 20-year-old power forward, was just added to the All-Star roster—for the first time—as the injury replacement for Kobe Bryant.
“The food is great and the people are awesome,” Davis, a Chicago native, says of New Orleans. “It’s really like no other city in the world.” Both he and Anderson (who’s originally from Sacramento) have come to love the city’s lifestyle and, below, share their insider tips to eating and drinking in the Big Easy.
Power Forward, #23
Best Gumbo… Emeril’s. “I don’t really like seafood, but the gumbo down here has been awesome. I love gumbo. Every time I go to Emeril’s I have to have the gumbo.”
Best Festival… “I haven’t been to Jazz Fest yet, but I hosted VooDoo fest last year. There’s always something exciting going on down here. That’s the beauty of New Orleans. You get the chance to do so much. You can never say you’re bored.”
Power Forward, #33
Weight: 240 lbs
Best dish in all of New Orleans… “The duck wings at Emeril’s are the first thing that comes to mind. That’s the hardest question ever.”
Best place to grab a drink… “A hurricane at Pat O’Briens.”
Best place to listen to live music… “My favorite place for music is just walking down Royal Street. You’ll always hear a little band playing on the corner.”
Best Po’boy… Parkway Bakery and Tavern.
Best brunch… Commander’s Palace.
Best place for a pre-game meal… McAlister’s Deli.
Best place to watch a football game… Manning’s.
The NBA All-Star weekend kicks off on Friday, Feb 14 (ESPN, 7 p.m.) with the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, featuring Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton, comedian Kevin Hart, actor Michael B. Jordan and more. The 63rd NBA All-Star Game airs on Sunday at 8 p.m. on TNT.