The Uptown Experience
A Guide to Life Along The River’s Big Curve
A selection of menu favorites from Freret Street's new Bar Frances
Photographed by Marianna Massey
Uptown New Orleans encompasses several neighborhoods, each having a distinctive lifestyle. Depending on whether you frequent the Freret commercial district or businesses along Magazine Street, there are enough restaurants, galleries, bars, antique emporiums, dress shops, houseware stores and more to ensure you never have to leave! Oh, and there are also millshops, shoe repair places, gas stations, stationers, grocery stores, music clubs, bakeries and more..
Exactly what is “Uptown”? If you follow the historic district boundaries, Uptown includes everything from S. Claiborne Avenue to the river and from Toledano Street to Lowerline. The Garden District, Lower Garden District and the Irish Channel are distinct historic districts but often thought of as “Uptown” neighborhoods. Magazine Street stretches the full width of New Orleans upriver of Canal Street, travels through the CBD, the Warehouse District, the Lower Garden District, the Garden District, the Irish Channel and Uptown, changing personality as continues westward of downtown. If that sounds confusing, it’s because it is!
Neighborhoods upriver of Canal Street have more in common than they have differences. Most were settled by Americans – as opposed to the French, Spanish or Creole – after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In general, the neighborhoods – such as Bouligny, Hurstville and others – began as plantations but were subdivided for development by their namesakes as the 19th century progressed.
You will find a few early 19th century Creole cottages in the area, but otherwise, double gallery houses form the 1840s to 1880s, center halls from the 1850s to 1900, bungalows and raised basement homes of the 1910s to ’40s, and ranch houses form the ’50s on dominate the streetscapes. Shotgun houses (singles and doubles) appear in the 1840s and continue through the 1940s, styled according to Greek Revival, Italianate, Eastlake and Arts and Craft fashion, and are the most abundant house type throughout.
Magazine Street was originally more residential than commercial, so that’s where you’ll find businesses in one-time doubles and singles. Freret Street, on the other hand, began as a commercial area, so that’s where early 20th century buildings – and new 21st century ones – are home to businesses.
With that in mind, we have compiled a guide to Uptown New Orleans to help acquaint you with all it has to offer. We have blurred boundaries a bit, as we focus on Magazine Street and the Freret corridor, with a few shout-outs to nearby places worth a visit. Think of this set of lists as a starting point and use to explore on your own.
Where to Eat When a Sandwich or Pizza Will Do …
Roasted Carrot Pizza: goat cheese, red onion, brussels sprouts, beets, hazelnuts >>
4933 Magazine St. / 301-4978 / PizzaDomenica.com
Forget your ideas about pizza – chef Alon Shaya’s thin-crust creations, fired in a wood burning oven, bear no resemblance. Happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday means half-off pizza prices.
<< Roast beef poor boy
Freret Street Po-Boys and Donuts
4701 Freret St. / 872-9676
One of the earliest food purveyors to open during the Freret Street renaissance, this corner restaurant serves a mean roast beef poor boy and makes its own "donuts.
4508 Freret St.
4330 Magazine St.
Don’t look for this old-time oyster bar and restaurant to be open in August, but go during months with “R” in their names to taste what locals have been praising for decades. You can’t beat the “pan bread” with fried oysters.
4600 Freret St.
5030 Freret St.
3336 Magazine St.
Magazine Po-Boy Shop
2368 Magazine St.
3454 Magazine St.
4725 Freret St.
5301 Freret St.
3244 Magazine St.
5961 Magazine St.
Stein’s Market and Deli
2207 Magazine St.
Freshly made bagels and an assortment of deli products combine to produce an irresistible attraction at this homey place. Do not mind the crowds – you’ll end up sharing a table with a stranger anyway.
5538 Magazine St.
2604 Magazine St.
On the Fringes
Central City Barbecue, 1201 S. Rampart St., 558-4276, CentralCityBBQ.com;
Where To Eat When You’re In The Mood For Candles and a Tablecloth…
Beet Tartare aioli, pickled mustard seed, sweet potato chips >>
4525 Freret St. / 371-5043 / BarFrances.com
One of the chicest members of the Freret Street restaurant revival scene, Bar Frances offers seasonal small plates during Happy Hour, as well as gourmet main course options for brunch, lunch and dinner; sit outside for optimal people watching and dining.
4729 Magazine St.
5831 Magazine St.
Anton and Diane Schulte offer American bistro fare inside a charming shotgun house on busy Magazine Street. Step inside and you’re miles away from the bustle.
3607 Magazine St.
5757 Magazine St.
La Petite Grocery
4238 Magazine St.
A one-time corner store serves as the location for this award-winning place of chef Justin Davillier. Stylish but unpretentious, the cuisine matches the restaurant’s décor.
3637 Magazine St.
On the Fringes
Atchafalaya Restaurant, 901 Louisiana Ave., 891-9626, AtchafalayaRestaurant.com; Clancy’s Restaurant, 6100 Annunciation St., 895-1111, ClancysNewOrleans.com; Commander’s Palace, 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221, CommandersPalace.com; Patois, 6078 Laurel St., 895-9441, PatoisNola.com; Upperline Restaurant, 1413 Upperline St., 891-9822, Upperline.com. It isn’t easy to find true Creole food on the menu in Uptown, but that’s why proprietor JoAnn Clevenger’s art-filled restaurant is always busy.
Where to Eat When You Crave Sugar …
<< Strawberry Lemonade, Chocolate Sprinkles and Fluffer Nutter
2209 Magazine St. / 5637 Magazine St.
570-6945 / DistrictDonuts.com
Insanely scrumptious and irresistible, the “donuts” come with fillings like champagne cream or Boston cream pie, and are slathered with thin glazes of dark chocolate icing or even a curacao frosting at Carnival. Always original; always delectable.
4600 Magazine St.
4716 Freret St.
Casey Mackintosh and Tara Mikhail figured that if they hand-made kettle-boiled bagels in small batches, New Orleanians would catch on. We did. Get there early – the bagels are so good they often sell out.
6033 Magazine St.
Nancy Nguyen operates a genuine French patisserie out of an unassuming spot, but her pastries and cakes are unforgettable. Try the German chocolate or almond butter cream cake to find out why.
5601 Magazine St.
3025 Magazine St.
On the Fringes
Creole Creamery, 4924 Prytania St., 894-8680, CreoleCreamery.com
Where to Eat When You’re In The Mood For an International Dining Adventure …
Avocado Rolls and Grilled Shrimp Steamed Buns with Lemonade >>
5100 Freret St., 218- 5534, MintModernBistro.com
Mint Modern offers a unique take on Vietnamese cuisine, with traditional and vegetarian pho options, pork belly tacos and burger menu marsh-ups, such as the Kimchi Burger and Vietnamese Banh Mi Burger.
Del Fuego Taqueria
4518 Magazine St.
Juan’s Flying Burrito
2018 Magazine St.
La Thai Uptown
4938 Prytania St.
1813 Magazine St.
Lily Vong makes everyone feel welcome at this terrific café in the Lower Garden District. Even if she didn’t, her take on the pho, banh mi, and other well-known dishes would be a draw.
Magasin Vietnamese Café
4201 Magazine St.
2027 Magazine St.
4126 Magazine St.
5130 Freret St.
Master New Orleans Sushi Chefs Mitsuko Tanner, Atsushi Morisita, and Thuan Vu serve dazzling sushi and Japanese fare at this bright and comfortable restaurant. Consider a well-mixed cocktail to complement the meal.
The Rum House
3128 Magazine St.
2830 Magazine St.
4520 Freret St.
4213 Magazine St.
4519 Magazine St.
On the Fringes
Casa Borrega, 1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 427-0654, CasaBorrega.com
What to Eat When You Don’t Know What You Want…
<< Shrimp Remoulade Wedge Salad
4500 Freret St. / 754-1336 / HighHatCafe.com
High Hat’s take on the traditional Southern blue plate special goes above and beyond bland; with specials tailored to what’s fresh and in season, highlights include fried chicken and okra, handcrafted ginger ale and fruit-infused sodas and cocktails, and luxurious pimento mac and cheese.
La Crepe Nanou
1410 Robert St.
3001 Magazine St.
A big menu filled with N’awlins food and featuring daily specials has kept this neighborhood restaurant on the list of many regulars for 25 plus years. Cindy and Sam Farnet were right when they figured we’d like a place that offered home cooking – nothing fancy, just good food.
Surrey’s Café and Juice Bar
4807 Magazine St.
4510 Freret St.
This addition to the lineup of food spots on Freret filled an important niche: Great sandwiches and salads plus plenty of choices of beers and bar drinks. Décor emphasizes salvage wood, but in a sophisticated way.
On the Fringes
Coulis, 3625 Prytania St., 304-4265, CoulisNolas.com; Frankie and Johnny’s, 321 Arabella St., 243-1234, FrankieandJohnnys.net: Once a genuine dive before changing hands, this Uptown stalwart has cleaned up its act and its service too. The big menu runs the gamut from stuffed artichokes to fried shrimp; oysters on the half shell are a treat. Sit outside and eat boiled crawfish when the weather is right; Manhattan Jack, 4930 Prytania St., 897-5551, ManhattanJack.com
Where To Go When You Need A Caffeine Bump …
Cold Brew coffee >>
5720 Magazine St. / 897-5131 / HiVoltCoffee.com
Known in the Lower Garden District for its carefully curated coffee program, HiVolt Bakery Uptown also features super creative breakfast (and lunch) sandwiches on freshly baked bread, bagels and croissants, gourmet vegan muffins, house yogurt parfait and more.
CC’s Coffee House
2917 Magazine St.
900 Jefferson Ave.
French Truck Coffee Shop
1200 Magazine St.
Hey! Café & Coffee Roastery
4332 Magazine St.
Mojo Coffee House
1500 Magazine St.
4700 Freret St.
This small batch coffee roaster offers ethically sourced brews at its two locations – one in the Lower Garden District and the other on the Freret corridor. Whatever the source of the coffee, their products and laid back atmosphere have made the Mojo coffee houses top attractors.
5432 Magazine St.
4516 Freret St.
Just when you thought all coffee houses were au courant, here comes this friendly throwback to the 1960s. Ready for a game of chess or Parcheesi? Buy a coffee and have a seat – you’ll find a board game buddy soon enough.
On the Fringes
Still Perkin’, 2727 Prytania St., 899-0335
Where To Drink a Cocktail ...
<< El Topo cocktail
4905 Freret St. / 302-2357 / CureNola.com
Award-winning Cure continues to lead the craft cocktail movement in New Orleans, serving both traditional speak-easy-inspired drinks and modern interpretations of the cocktail, paired with bar snacks and small plates that will have you lingering, and imbibing, well past Happy Hour.
Le Bon Temps Roulé
4801 Magazine St.
3641 Magazine St.
3236 Magazine St.
Freret Beer Room
5018 Freret St.
This new addition to the bar and food scene offers craft beers to pair with delicious menu items.
Henry’s Uptown Bar
5101 Magazine St.
Not yet taken over by yuppies or hipsters, this ancient watering hole is all cash. Go to watch Saints games.
4336 Magazine St.
5535 Magazine St.
On the Fringes
The Bayou Bar, 2031 St. Charles Ave., 323-1456, BayouBarNewOrleans.com: The repositioning of the Pontchartrain Hotel as an elegant place to stay has relaunched the Bayou Bar - complete with murals - as a sophisticated venue for a martini. Love the piano music; Delachaise, 3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858, TheDelachaise.com; F&M Patio, 4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-6784, FandMPatioBar.com; The Kingpin, 1307 Lyons St., 891-2373: Food trucks line up at this neighborhood bar, attracting a young and hip crowd; The Mayfair Lounge, 1505 Amelia St., 895-9163; The Tchoup Yard, 405 Third St., 895-6747
Where To Shop For Clothes ...
5521 Magazine St. / 899-4118 / PiedNuNola.com
Offering a carefully curated selection of luxury clothing and lifestyle items – such as candles, trays and rugs – each item is handpicked and lovingly included. When you’re looking for the perfect piece for the woman who has everything, whether that’s you or a friend, start here.
2917 Magazine St., #105
4119 Magazine St.
5631 Magazine St.
This is where you’ll find witty T-shirts with New Orleans centric themes. You always need one, right?
4122 Magazine St.
3308 Magazine St.
3117 Magazine St.
6070 Magazine St.
2930 Magazine St.
4011 Magazine St.
Where to Shop for Art ...
Cole Pratt Gallery
3800 Magazine St. / 891-6789 / ColePrattGallery.com
Founded in 1993 by its namesake, this gallery features curated exhibitions once a month, with opening receptions on the first Saturday. Owner and longtime director Erika Olinger can point you to your new favorite piece of Southern contemporary fine art.
5256 Magazine St.
Alex Beard Studio
3926 Magazine St.
A not-to-miss studio, it features Beard’s “abstract naturalism,” paintings and drawings of wildlife that rely on his talent for gestural compositions.
Amanda Talley Studio
1382 Magazine St.
What published New Orleans interior does not include at least one work by this abstract painter? Talley has translated her paintings into wallpaper and textiles, all on display here.
4532 Magazine St.
Billy Solitario Fine Art
4531 Magazine St.
No one does clouds and skyscapes quite like this Tulane-educated artist. Realist still-lifes, studies and more are on hand at his shop, which doubles as his studio. If you’re lucky, you can watch him paint.
Carol Robinson Gallery
840 Napoleon Ave.
A mainstay of the Magazine Street art scene for more than 30 years, Robinson shows extraordinary works by local and national painters, realists, sculptors and abstract artists.
Kevin Gillentine Gallery
3917 Magazine St.
Melissa Bonin Fine Art
3714 Magazine St.
Thomas Mann Gallery I/O
1812 Magazine St.
Mann coined the word “Techno-Romantic” to describe his high-touch, high-tech jewelry. Visit the gallery for a full range of his works as well as those of other like-minded jewelers and homeware designers.
4537 Magazine St.
A celebrity in her own right (ask Vogue, Town & Country and Elle Décor), Longshore paints big, bold canvases of other celebs, including Frida Kahlo, Audrey Hepburn and Abraham Lincoln. Look for her colorful work in the Anthropologie catalogue and her book, You Don’t Look Fat, You Look Crazy, at book stores everywhere.
Where to Shop For Home Furnishings and Antiques …
3806 Magazine St. / 899-7833 / (800) 876-4799 / LeontineLinens.com
This isn’t your grandmother’s monogrammed linen. Founded in 1996 by Jane Scott Hodges, these couture products for the bed, bath and table are made to reflect your décor and complement your lifestyle, and are made to live in, not just for special occasions.
4021 Magazine St.
Aux Belles Choses
3912 Magazine St.
Sisters Bettye Barrios and Anne Barrios Gauthier travel to England and France to find “pretty things” for the home. Shop their finds in a sparkling white Italianate double at the corner of Magazine and Austerlitz.
3506 Magazine St.
3943 Magazine St.
5415 Magazine St.
Cameron Jones for Your Home
2127 Magazine St.
Dunn & Sonnier
Antiques • Florals • Gifts
3433 Magazine St.
5525 Magazine St.
Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi just moved (next door) to a bigger space to accommodate the popularity of this stylish homewares store.
Kevin Stone Antiques
3420 Magazine St.
Stone and Michael Diamond travel to Europe to find the most desirable of high-end antiques that they then stuff into their shop. If gilt clocks, wall tapestries, and Orientalist paintings are what you seek, search no more.
Mac Maison Ltd.
3963 Magazine St.
3944 Magazine St.
With 3,000 rugs from which to choose, you won’t have to tolerate bare floors any longer. Find everything from antique to modern to trendy overdyes.
Petricia Thompson Antiques
3522 Magazine St.
2844 Magazine St.
3947 Magazine St.
4112 Magazine St.
2929 Magazine St.
3727 Magazine St.
Owner Gay Wirth fills this cheerful corner cottage with 18th and 19th century French, Italian and Swedish antiques – all with a “country” accent. The astonishing array includes jewelry, trumeau, textiles, painted screens … the list goes on.