I’ve written quite a lot about New Orleans, so you might be thinking: What else is there? Believe me there is so much more, 7 visits later I am still discovering new things, not only in NOLA’s more well known neighborhoods like The French Quarter and Garden District, but in other less touristy areas of the Crescent City as well.
In recent years, areas outside the French Quarter are being revitalized, and it’s been great to see the transformations taking place. We will always love The Quarter, but we also love branching out to explore other neighborhoods as well.
Our new favorite area to explore is the Bywater, a neighborhood filled with colorful historic homes, many of which have been fixed up, trendy new restaurants, bars, parks and shops. A new life is being injected into this up and coming neighborhood and we’re excited to discover something different each time we visit.
Crescent Park is a recreational area, which runs along the Mississippi River for 1.4 miles between Elysian Fields Avenue to Mazant Street. The park includes 20 acres of landscaping with paths for walking, jogging, and biking, picnic areas, and a dog run.
I was most excited to visit the Piety Street Bridge, otherwise known as the Rusty Rainbow, which crosses the tracks from the Bywater to the Mississippi River. Walk across and you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of New Orleans and of course it’s unique shape makes it perfectly Instagrammable.
The Piety Street Bridge is located where Chartres Street meet Piety Street in the Bywater. There is no river access from Crescent Park.
Bao & Noodle
We stumbled across Bao & Noodle a few years ago, and loved it so much it’s now on our permanent list. Although it’s not your standard NOLA fare, the food is delicious, and a nice break from the norm.
Bao & Noodle is located at 2700 Chartres Street and is open Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 am-2:00pm Lunch and 5:00pm-10:00pm Dinner.
The Bywater is home to Studio BE, a 35,000 square foot exhibition space, which features large scale works by New Orleans artist and filmmaker BMike. Our visit didn’t coincide with the studios’s opening hours, but it’s on my list for next year’s visit, and we really enjoyed the brightly colored exterior of the studio buildings.
We found this unique lending library while wandering around the Bywater.
The Faubourg Marigny, or the Marigny as it’s often referred to, is within easy walking distance from the French Quarter. It is somewhat less touristy, but hurry because it’s catching on quick, this lively neighborhood is popular with locals and tourists alike.
The Marigny’s main street is Frenchmen, and you’ll find plenty of food, an art market, and fun shops, but the biggest draw is the music. There are Jazz clubs aplenty on Frenchmen Street, and I highly recommend spending at least part of one evening taking in the local sound and culture.
The Palace Art Market (formerly the Frenchmen Art Market)
We love visiting the family friendly Palace Art Market. The Market takes place in evenings and features over 80 local artisans. If you have younger kids, they’ll love the opportunity to draw on the “floor” of the market’s outdoor living room while you stroll around that admire the art.
The Palace Art Market is located on Frenchmen Street, and is open 7 nights a week Sunday – Wednesday 7:00 pm – 12:00 am, Thursday – Saturday 7:00 pm – 1:00 am and Saturday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
Dat Dog is a fun casual place to grab a bite. It’s always on our list as the food is great, and so is the service. If you’re not a beef eater, don’t worry they have lots of other options, including alligator and duck. Some of the more unusual toppings are: blackberry sauce, andouille sausage, and crawfish Étouffée.
Dat Dog is located on Frenchmen Street. The hours are Sunday – Wednesday: 11:00 am – midnight, Thursday: 11:00 am – 1:00 am, and Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am – 3:00 am.
The Spotted Cat
No trip to NOLA would be complete without music. You’ll find locals and tourists alike at The Spotted Cat a quintessential NOLA music venue. Check the website for a listing of what’s on, but if traveling with your family do keep in mind that this is a cash only 21 and over venue.
The Spotted Cat is located at 623 Frenchmen Street and is open Monday to Friday: 2:00 pm – 2:00 am and Saturday & Sunday: 2:00 pm – 2:00 am.
Not exactly off the Beaten Path, Magazine Street is the path. Running for six miles between Canal Street and Leake Avenue, it is a treasure trove of shops, restaurants, and bars. Many of the establishments are one of a kind. You’re guaranteed to find something of interest, along the way.
Because of its length many people choose to take a cab directly to specific locations, but if you have the time and inclination to walk you’ll have the opportunity to experience many of NOLA’s great neighborhoods including, the Central Business District, the Warehouse District, the Garden District, and Uptown. We chose to split our time and walked different sections of the street over the course of a few days.
Magazine Street Favorites:
Derby Pottery & Tile
If you’ve been to NOLA before you may have noticed that embedded into every street corner there are tiles spelling out the street’s name. They’ve become an icon of the city and we were delighted to visit the shop where they’re made.
We found out you can order your own custom NOLA tiles spelling out whatever your heart may desire.
Derby Pottery & Tile is located at 2029 Magazine Street check the website for opening hours.
A t-shirt shop of a different sort. Dirty Coast is where the locals shop, but visitors are definitely welcome. If you’re looking for something to bring home that feels more authentic this is the place.
We discovered District: Donuts, sliders and Brew while walking on Magazine Street a few years ago. They’re not beignets, but its become a tradition all the same. These guys really know how to make a donut, and their sliders and brew (coffee) are pretty great too.
District Donuts is located at 2209 Magazine Street and is open everyday from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.
We love to stop and get a sweet treat at Sucré where they have everything from giant ice cream sundaes to petite French macarons.
Sucre is located at 3025 Magazine Street and is open Sunday – Thursday 9:00 am – 10:00 pm and Friday – Saturday 9:00 am – 11:00 pm.
You may have heard of Cochon, which is a fine dining restaurant, but did you know they have a casual restaurant and wine bar just next door? The food is delicious, affordable and no reservations are required.
Cochon is located at 930 Tchoupitoulas Street and is open Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 10 :00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. Cochon Butcher does NOT except reservations.
The French Quarter
While its true that we’ve wandered the streets of the French Quarter for hours on end there are still many places we have yet to visit to discover.
French Truck Coffee
Self proclaimed coffee snobs, who are never content with the coffee in our hotel, we were delighted to find that French Truck Coffee has a location in The Quarter, and we found ourselves there multiple times throughout the visit.
French Truck Coffee is located at 217 Chartres Street and is open Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 6:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Red Truck Clubhouse & Red Truck Gallery
I’m not going to lie, it was the sight of this sparkling ceiling (this photo does not do it justice), peeking out from the partially opened doorway that drew us into the Red Truck Clubhouse, but it was the mouthwatering smell of the pizza that persuaded us to stay, and we were not disappointed.
While we were eating we discovered that the Red Truck Clubhouse is part of the Red Truck Art Gallery, which is located over on Royal Street. The gallery was closed for the evening, but these tiny replicas of everyday objects were in the window. What is about tiny things that makes them so cute? Have you ever seen an adorable dumpster before? Well, now you have!
The Red Truck Clubhouse is located at 740 North Rampart Street and is open 12:00 pm – 2:00 am everyday. The restaurant/art bar is located just across the Armstrong Park Arch, which is in itself is worth a visit. The Red Truck Gallery is located at 940 Royal Street and is open everyday.
Armstrong Park is located in the Treme, a neighborhood we have yet to explore, which means we will just have to go back…
Have you visited New Orleans? Do you have some off the beaten path favorites? If so, I’d love to hear about them.