It’s no secret that folks are spending more time at home these days and investing in their own space, where pretty much everything takes place. Many are using this opportunity to research alternative neighborhoods and seek out a new location.
New Orleans’ rich history ensures every single city neighborhood is a cultural gem in its own right. And while we wish we could spotlight each one, we’ve talked with local realtors, historic house specialists and residents to highlight a handful of great areas to consider when looking to relocate. Many of the spots mentioned here need no introduction, but we’re calling them out as a reminder of the delightful mix that makes each of these areas a unique draw.
The Bywater is full of striking shotguns and Creole Cottages that date back the mid-to late 1800’s. Offering all of the quirks and charm you would expect to find in a historic New Orleans neighborhood, the area has a great mix of residential and commercial throughout. After Katrina, many flocked to this part of town due to the slightly higher elevation closer to the river.
Quiet, yet lively, this portion of the “sliver by the river” feels tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The neighborhood tends to draw creatives who appreciate the eclectic vibe and general joie de vivre.
“The Bywater is vibrant with colorful historic architecture and a strong sense of community,” said George Jeansonne with French Quarter Realty. “Residents love the dining spots, bars, art galleries, and friendly neighbors. Homeowners also appreciate the high ground and low inventory protecting their family’s investment.”
Hailed by many as the best BBQ in town, The Joint, serves wood-fired barbeque and side dishes in a rustic, cypress-paneled space. Menu highlights include slow-smoked barbecue brisket, pork, chicken and sausage, house made slaw, beans, custom cocktails and daquiris. 701 Mazant St., Alwayssmokin.com
On the edge of the Bywater sits Bacchanal, a wine and cheese store offering small plates, an extensive wine list and live music in a large backyard festooned with twinkling string lights. Walk in, select a bottle of wine and a bite to eat and find a spot in the back to enjoy a lovely evening. 600 Poland Ave., Bacchanalwine.com
Step back in time while browsing Lucullus’ unparalleled collection of finely curated antiques. The Decorations Lucullus team – Patrick Dunne, Nathan Drews and Kerry Moody – offer interior design, decorating and styling consultations by appointment. 915 Kentucky St., Decorationslucullus.com
This captivating neighborhood restaurant and wine bar specializes in French cuisine often infused with a Japanese touch. The charming off-street setting amidst a lush garden feels like a scene straight out of “Midnight in Paris.” 1117 Montegut St., N7nola.com
This casual, counter-service spot with a hip ambiance, lives up to its name, serving NY-style, thin-crust pizzas, pastas and salads. With creative daily specials, there is something for everyone, but you can’t go wrong with the mouth-watering familiar favorites. 617 Piety St., Pizzadelicious.com
This unassuming neighborhood watering hole has a steady flow of regulars who come back time and time again for the cheap drinks, friendly atmosphere and Monday night trivia. 640 Louisa St.
Harold’s has everything for your gardening needs, from large trees and container gardens to pots, tools and other accessories. Just strolling through the lovely space is a treat in itself, and you will almost certainly be greeted by one of Harold’s infamous adopted cats, perhaps even Little Harold himself. 1135 Press St., Haroldsplants.com
Music Box Village
Created and built by New Orleans Airlift, an artist-driven nonprofit, this whimsical village is made of interactive musical houses, with instruments imbedded into the walls, floors and structures, for a one-of-a-kind interactive experience. The village stage has hosted hundreds of musicians since opening, including Norah Jones and Tank and the Bangas. 4557 N. Rampart St., Musicboxvillage.com
Crescent Park’s 1.4-mile green space along the Mississippi offers walking paths, bike trails and picnic spots. Walk to the top of the pedestrian bridge for a fantastic view of the city skyline while watching barges float down the river. Crescentparknola.org
This modern Honduran café is quickly becoming a popular spot, featuring bold flavors by Chef Melissa Araujo. Alma’s menu focuses on fresh and local ingredients from Bellegarde Bakery, Inglewood Farm, Southern City Farm and more. 800 Louisa St., Eatalmanola.com
Bayou St. John
“Bayou St. John is the festivalgoer’s dream neighborhood,” said Rachael Kansas with RE/MAX. “Most (Bayou St. John) residents share one thing in common – a die-hard love for Jazz Fest. Plus, the central location makes it incredibly convenient for getting around town.”
If you enjoy local music, colorful historic homes, and creative, vibrant neighbors who truly care about their community, this may be the hood for you. Amidst gorgeous oak trees, you will find stately historic homes along Esplanade and Ursulines. But, throughout the neighborhood you will also see plenty of shotgun doubles, single shotguns and cottages, a scattering of raised basement homes and unique commercial properties, like former corner groceries, a church and even a gas station, converted to residences.
Lamara Coffee & Kitchen
This organic coffee house features a West Coast-inspired menu of healthy vegetarian small plates, a superfood smoothie bar, gluten-free baked goods and all of your favorite caffeinated beverages. 1300 Broad St., Lamaracoffee-andkitchen.com.
A former sous chef at Brennan’s, Kelly Mayhew serves fresh sourdough breads, pastries, sandwiches, pizzas and coffee out of this much buzzed about bakery. 3201 Orleans Ave., Mayhewbakery.net
A long-standing neighborhood favorite, Lola’s serves authentic Spanish dishes influenced by Creole cuisine in a quaint space. Favorite menu items include paella, mariscos, ajoblanco and sangria. 3312 Esplanade Ave., Lolasneworleans.com
Parkway Bakery & Tavern
Everyone in NOLA has a favorite po-boy spot, and Parkway remains at the top of that list. With an indoor and outdoor patio, Parkway has been a go to spot for roast beef po-boys (and over 25 others), comfort food and drink for years. 538 Hagan Ave., Parkwaypoorboys.com
Swirl Wine Bar & Market
Swirl’s casual wine shop and lounge features a range of well-curated bottles, plus beer and delectable cheese plates and tasting events. 3143 Ponce De Leon St., Swirlnola.com
Liuzza’s by the Track
A hop skip and a jump from the Fairgrounds, and often referred to as the unofficial “Jazz Fest headquarters,” this causal tavern is well-known for its gumbo and signature BBQ shrimp po-boys. 1518 N. Lopez St., Liuzzasbythetrack.com
A spin-off of the popular Fat Falafel food truck, this neighborhood Mediterranean eatery features seasonal plates and reigns as one of the most popular vegetarian spots in town. 3141 Ponce De Leon St., 1000figs.com
Pal’s is a classic Bayou St. John neighborhood bar with a range of pop-up restaurants serving up delicious dinners regularly. If you love a good dive bar, Pal’s is your spot. 949 N. Rendon St.
Offering group classes and private sessions in a serene space, Thrive Pilates is a Bayou St. John resident favorite for unwinding and calming the mind. Thrive keeps group classes small, ensuring each participant is a priority. 3700 Orleans Ave., Thrivepilatesnola.com
Named after former mayor William Freret, this commercial corridor was filled with businesses and shops in the 1920s and 30s and even had a streetcar running down the main drag. But once residents flocked to the suburbs and began to look to big-box stores for their needs, the area saw a sharp decline. Since the 1990s, there has been a major revitalization, bringing people and business back to the now bustling area.
“There are local restaurants of all flavors and specialties on Freret Street and a new Rouses mini-supermarket is opening soon,” said Sarah Martzolf with The Martzolf Group/McEnery Residential. “Old blight has been replaced with gelato and acai bowls, fitness and yoga studios, salons, music venues, cafes, bakeries and bars. What you used to have to go to Magazine Street for, Freret corridor residents now have as their own walkable conveniences.”
The neighborhood is filled with mature oak trees, small neighborhood parks, and is an easy walk to parades and the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. You’ll find all of your favorite New Orleans architectural styles here – Victorian, craftsman and traditional cottages.
Opened in 2016, Good Bird is a healthy rotisserie chicken eatery serving sandwiches, wraps, salads, bowls and smoothies using fresh, local ingredients. 5031 Freret St., Goodbirdnola.com
Ranked by national media as one of the “Best Burgers in America,” this classic joint offers several house-made sides, toppings and drinks, in a modern counter-service space. Hot tip: one of the specialty mayos is a must to complete the perfect burger. 4600 Freret St., Thecompanyburger.com
The Gasa Alley Bar
The recently reimagined concert venue Gasa now boasts an alley bar filled with tables and chairs, featuring live music on select evenings and bites from well-loved local food trucks. 4920 Freret St.
High Hat Café
Fried chicken is the star of High Hat’s menu with a supporting cast of Delta tamales, pimento cheese and other southern staples. This casual, family-friendly corner spot is great for anyone seeking gluten-free seafood options. 4500 Freret St., Highhatcafe.com
Ancora serves authentic Neapolitan pizza, other Italian dishes and drinks in a cozy, hip space. The restaurant’s wood-burning oven is made with materials from Mt. Vesuvius. 4508 Freret St., Ancorapizza.com
Housed in a vintage gas station, Val’s has quickly become a popular Freret Street hangout, serving Latin American street food, snacks and drinks. The large, covered patio with artificial turf is perfect for kids and friends of the four-legged variety. 4632 Freret St., Valsnola.com
Body Shoppe is a popular fitness hub offering an array of energizing classes, infrared saunas, and an on-site smoothie and coffee bar, Shake Shoppe. 4537 Freret St., Nolabodyshoppe.com
Piccola offers 18 different small-batch gelatos and sorbettos daily, in traditional flavors like Amarena Cherry and Pistachio and rotating options like Sea Salt Caramel and Rose Petal. Piccola also serves up coffee and crepes. 4525 Freret St., Piccolagelateria.com
Largely credited with pioneering the craft cocktail movement in New Orleans and the Freret-area renaissance, this James Beard award-winning bar, housed in a chic, dimly-lit former firehouse, serves a wide array of creative drinks and eclectic small plates. 4905 Freret St., Curenola.com
Tremé, one of America’s oldest black neighborhoods, was originally a plantation, until sold to the city of New Orleans in 1810. The land was subdivided and the new area became a cultural breeding place and respite for free persons of color.
“Tremé’s architecture represents purity of form – and it is New Orleans’ second oldest neighborhood,” said Peter Patout, historic house specialist and realtor with Talbot Historic Properties. “This historic area is full of extraordinary examples of Creole architecture with an abundance of cottages starting with Creole, then Victorian and Arts & Craft. You’ll also find Neoclassical & Italianate Mansions.”
Like the French Quarter, Tremé is traditionally a racially mixed neighborhood dating back to its origins in the early 19th century. The birthplace of jazz is a beacon for artists, musicians and interesting New Orleanians whose art and life are influenced by the history, culture and beauty of the area. The neighborhood’s proximity to the French Quarter, CBD, Bayou St. John and the Lafitte Greenway certainly add to the quality of life for residents.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House
In 2005 Ms. Willie Mae Seaton was honored with the James Beard award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region.” Established in 1957 as a bar, with many incarnations since, and designated “America’s Best Fried Chicken” by the Food Network and Travel Channel, Willie Mae’s is still family owned and operated by its namesake’s great-granddaughter. 2401 St. Ann St., Williemaesnola.com
St. Augustine Church
Founded in 1841, St. Augustine Catholic Church has served as a spiritual heart of the neighborhood for nearly 200 years. The church’s Jazz Mass is highly recommended and currently available to stream live virtually. 1210 Governor Nicholls St., Staugchurch.org
Armstrong Park/Congo Square
Armstrong Park is dedicated to one of the city’s most celebrated native sons and the history of jazz. Within the park is Congo Square, which took its name from the tradition of slaves who gathered there on their day off to sing, play drums, sell goods and celebrate. 701 N. Rampart St.
The Lafitte Greenway is an oasis, adding so much to the area with its trailhead beginning in Tremé and extending from Armstrong Park to Bayou St. John and beyond. The Greenway is now the Thursday home of the Crescent City Farmers Market. Lafittegreenway.org
Fatma’s Cozy Corner
This full-service coffee shop is open seven days a week, with outdoor seating, and serves delicious breakfast biscuits, and other morning dishes that hit the spot, Mediterranean sandwiches and plates for lunch, paninis as well as desserts. 1532 Ursulines Ave., Fatmascozycorners.com
Offering La Lousiane Bakery pastries and New Orleans Ice Cream Company treats, this spot is a neighborhood favorite for a low-key java fix. 1501 St. Phillip St., Thetremecoffeehouse.com
Founded in 1941 by Emily and Dooky Chase, Sr. as a sandwich shop and bar, this storied restaurant soon grew into a fine-dining establishment under the vision of Legendary Chef Leah Chase, “The Queen of Creole Cuisine.” It soon became a hub for music, entertainment, civil rights and culture, earning countless accolades, including the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for Leah from the James Beard Foundation. 2301 Orleans Ave., Dookychase-restaurants.com
Li’l Dizzy’s Café
For long-time owner Wayne Baquet, producing great fried chicken has been a matter of pride. Baquet and his wife recently sold the business to his son and daughter-in-law, assuring locals that the family’s celebrated soul food institution will live on. 1500 Esplanade Ave., Lildizzyscafe.net
Dedicated to the memory of one-time-owner Ernie K-Doe, this live music pub and shrine, now owned by Kermit Ruffins, is a go-to spot for sensational music, cheap drinks and a guaranteed good time. 1500 N. Claiborne Ave
Backstreet Cultural Museum
Visitors to the museum will see an amazing array of Mardi Gras, jazz funeral, second line and other cultural memorabilia found only in New Orleans. The museum also houses the city’s largest collection of brilliant Mardi Gras Indian costumes. 1116 Henriette Delille St., Backstreetmuseum.org
Named after Judah Touro who founded Touro Infirmary in 1852, this area’s central uptown location is hard to beat.
“The walkability to Magazine Street shops, restaurants and parades, plus the beautiful architecture makes this neighborhood very appealing,” said Margaret Stewart with Latter & Blum Realty. “This area is a great fit for a younger crowd who want to take advantage of all the location has to offer, plus there are still deals to be had.”
Stroll the streets and you’ll find historic Victorians, center homes and cottages. The close proximity to Touro Hospital, parade routes and the streetcar line are absolutely added bonuses for residents. If you are fond of historic homes and city living, the Touro area will not disappoint.
Dunn & Sonnier
This exceptional, full-service florist boasts an adjoining European antique and gift shop filled to the brim with a variety of fabulous home accessories and found objects. 3433 Magazine St., Dunnandsonnier.com
At NOLA’s first beauty and matcha focused café caffeine lovers can grab a daily dose in a colorful, posh setting, choosing from a fun menu of specialty lattes and wellness-boosted drinks, along with typical espresso, brewed coffee and treats. 3424 Magazine St., Drinkbeautynola.com
Brought to you by Chef John Harris of neighboring Lilette, this hip, Mid-Century modern spot with a cozy outdoor patio, offers a sophisticated small plates menu and an extensive cocktail and wine list. Do not miss the Fig Old Fashioned. The always fantastic music playing in the background will have you dancing in your seat. 3641 Magazine St., Boulignytavern.com
Dominating “Best Of” lists for 20 years now, Chef John Harris’ Lilette has been dubbed “one of the sexiest dining rooms in New Orleans.” Offering imaginative French and Italian-inspired cuisine in a sunny, wine-colored space with cream banquettes, this dreamy mainstay attracts a stylish crowd. 3637 Magazine St., Liletterestaurant.com
Verdure Olive Oil Co.
This specialty store shelves a wonderful selection of high-end extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegars and well as other excellent pantry staples like stuffed olives, syrups and preserves. Verdure’s staff and owners are extremely helpful and friendly. 3634 Magazine St., Verdureoliveoil.com
Café Abyssinia serves traditional Ethiopian dishes like Doro Wot and Yebeg Tibs in a cozy, colorful atmosphere. Great for take-out or dining in, with large dishes that are meant to be shared. 3511 Magazine St.
Baru Bistro & Tapas
Enjoy Latin-Caribbean small plates in this relaxed indoor and outdoor setting. Popular menu items include mazorca, arepas, langostinos, an assortment of fresh fruit mojitos and caipirinhas. 3700 Magazine St., Barutapasnola.com
Housed in a decadent two-story Victorian, Cavan serves American coastal fare, southern small plates and craft cocktails. Cavan also has a lovely outdoor patio perfect for a long, relaxed brunch. 3607 Magazine St., Cavannola.com
Opened in 2016, Susu Stall’s airy boutique showcases a finely curated range of eye-catching clothing and accessories from across the globe. 3427 Magazine St., Sosusu.myshopify.com