The Central Business District (CBD) is the part of New Orleans similar to what many cities call "Downtown" (though in New Orleans this term is often used to refer to a broad portion of the city down river from Canal Street). Just "up" (meaning up the Mississippi River) from the French Quarter is the CBD. Like many other large American cities, this area has skyscrapers and modern office towers housing cooperate and regional offices; however some interesting 19th-century architecture is also preserved. The area also has hotels, residences, restaurants, museums, and art galleries. Located here are the Morial Convention center, Lee Circle, Champion Square, and the gigantic Mercedes Benz Superdome. The main avenues are Canal Street, Poydras Street, Loyola Ave and St. Charles Ave.
Some locals and guidebooks still refer to the CBD or the older part of it as the American Quarter, as it was the first part of town settled by large numbers of people from other parts of the United States, as opposed to the older French Quarter.
The portion of the "CBD" nearer the river is often called the "Old Warehouse District" or Warehouse District. In the late 20th century many of the 19th-century warehouses were converted into condominiums, art galleries, and restaurants.
- Art galleries line Julia Street. Evenings of the first Saturday of the month are festive with new exhibits opening.
- 1 Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. A fine aquarium at the foot of Canal Street. Take advantage of the combination ticket, which enables access to the Aquarium, the adjoining Entergy IMAX Theatre, and the Audubon Zoo which is uptown (shuttle provided).
- Entergy IMAX Theatre. Part of the Audubon Aquarium.
- 2 Audubon Insectarium, 423 Canal St. Tu-Su 10AM - 430PM. An attraction opened in 2008 in the historic old Custom House Building on Canal Street. As it's in a Federal building, you'll pass through a metal detector.
- Confederate Museum, 929 Camp St (just down from Lee Circle). Displays from the American Civil War.
- Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St (just up from Julia).
- 3 Lafayette Square, bound by St. Charles Ave, Camp St, N Maestri St, and S Maestri St (one block up from Poydras St). The center of what was the "Old American Quarter" in the early 19th century, with the city's neo-classical city hall and a belle epoch courthouse.
- Louisiana Children's Museum, 420 Julia St.
- Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Pl (at the riverfront at the upriver end of the CBD). The colorful floats for many of the parades of New Orleans Mardi Gras are made here. Experience a taste of Mardi Gras any time of year.
- 4 Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1500 Sugar Bowl Dr (between Lasalle and Claiborne). It was built as the Louisiana Superdome, and is home of the NFL's New Orleans Saints. When no games or events are scheduled, you can take tours.
- 6 Morial Convention Center, ☏ . The first part of the city's large convention center complex was built during the 1984 World's Fair and is named after a former mayor.
- 7 National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St (around the corner from the Confederate and other museums on Camp St). Formerly the "D-Day Museum". Exhibits on the United States in World War II on the battlefronts and the home front. It has a restaurant, the "Victory Theater" presenting multi-media historical presentation, and the "Stage Door Canteen" featuring live music shows in the style of World War II-era USO shows.
- 8 Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St.
- Walking tours of the buildings of the Old American Quarter.
- 1 Harrah's Casino, 228 Poydras St (at the foot of Canal Street, river end of Poydras, across from the Aquarium), toll-free: . The state's only land-based casino (there are riverboat gambling venues in the suburbs).
- Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles (on Lee Circle at Howard Avenue). Casual bar with local rock and other bands.
- FQB, on the 3rd floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal. Th-Sa nights jazz bands and singers, in the style and atmosphere of an upscale pre-World War II jazz club. They serve good meals as well. Not cheap, but truly swank.
- Howlin' Wolf, 907 South Peters (in the Warehouse district music venue). They host a good variety of local and visiting acts; definitely get a hold of their schedule in The Gambit, a weekly paper. (If you visited here before Katrina, they are now a block up the street from their former location.)
- Mulate's, 201 Julia Street. At Convention Center Boulevard. Cajun music.
- Orpheum Theatre, 129 University Place. Home of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Saenger Theater, 143 N. Rampart St. At Canal Street. The most gorgeous of the city's beautiful old picture palace theaters.
- Le Salon, 300 Gravier St (in the Windsor Court Hotel), ☏ . Swanky hotel bar often has good jazz pianists, vocalists, and small combos.
- True Brew, 200 Julia St, ☏ . Coffee house often has music or theater performances.
- Art at the galleries along Julia Street.
- Meyer the Hatter, 120 St. Charles Ave (just off Canal St). Has been selling a wide selection of men's hats here since 1894.
- Riverwalk. On a pier along the Mississippi Riverfront and connected to the New Orleans Hilton. In addition to a variety of shops, hosts a fine view of the Mississippi River.
- Cafe Du Monde, 500 Port of New Orleans #27 (Located in The Outlet Connection at the Riverwalk.), ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 8AM-7PM. Sells chicory-flavored coffee with New Orleans beignets.
- City Greens, 909 Poydras, ☏ . M-F. Soups, salad, wraps; breakfast & lunch.
- Mothers 401 Poydras. Great "po' boys" (New Orleans style sandwiches); Located at Poydras @ Tchoupitoulas in the lower CBD. Try the "debris" po'boy, made with the bits of beef that remain in the pan once the main cut is removed. The bread pudding is also famous and very good. Weekday lunch crowd of local business people, but the line moves fast.
Coffee and snacks
- PJ's Coffee popular local chain with locations at 622 Canal Street and 644 Camp Street.
- La Boca, 857 Fulton St, ☏ . Argentine steak house.
- Genghis Khan, 201 Barrone in the Barrone Plaza Hotel. Central Asian & Korean.
- Merchant, 800 Common Street (in the Maritime Building), ☏ . 7AM-midnight daily. Crepes, quiches, sandwiches, salads.
- Mulate's, 201 Julia Street. At Convention Center Boulevard. The other well known Cajun place.
- Tomas Bistro 755 Tchoupitoulas. Contemporary Creole. Dinner nightly. +1 504 527-0942
- Emeril's, 800 Tchoupitoulas St, ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-2PM and 6PM-10PM, Sa Su 6PM-10PM. In the Warehouse District.
- Grill Room at Windsor Court Hotel. Contender for best restaurant, but very expensive; in the CBD just down from the Casino. They also serve a fine high-tea.
- Herbsaint, 701 St Charles Ave, ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa 5:30PM-10PM.
- Palace Cafe, 605 Canal St, ☏ . 11:30AM-10PM daily. French Creole, noted for the seafood and duck dishes, and the luscious white chocolate bread pudding.
- Restaurant August, 301 Tchoupitoulas St, ☏ . M-F 11AM-2PM and 5-10PM, Sa Su 5-10PM. Renown Chef John Besh's signature restaurant featuring Contemporary French with a focus on local ingredients. Menu balances seafood, fowl and meat. Try either the 5 course tasting or the John Besh "Degustation" menu which changes nightly.
- Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles (on Lee Circle at Howard Avenue). Casual joint with good jukebox
- Gordon Biersch, 200 Poydras St, ☏ . Handcrafted beer brewery and restaurant.
- Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar, 701 Tchoupitoulas. Relaxed. All-you-can-eat crawfish party Sunday evenings.
- Sazerac Bar, 123 Barrone St. In the Roosevelt Hotel. Sip signature drinks like the original Sazerac cocktail or the Ramos gin fiz.
- Whiskey Blue, 333 Poydras St (in the W Hotel). Swank upscale bar
Numerous hotels are in this part of town.
- 1 Hostelling International (HI New Orleans), 1028 Canal St (at Rampart), ☏ . This hostel offers both shared dorms and ensuite private rooms. Bathrooms for dorm guests are in the hallway, but they are all single-use. Dorms also have security lockers. Free breakfast and free wireless internet available. Dorms $23+, private rooms $99+.
- Les Carillons, 842 Camp St, ☏ , toll-free: . Towards the upper end of the CBD, close to the Julia Street art galleries.
- Embassy Suites New Orleans - Convention Center, 315 Julia St, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras St, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. 3-star Hilton on the banks of the Mississippi River, in storied New Orleans, Louisiana adjacent to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and only three blocks from the French Quarter. $79+.
- Courtyard New Orleans Downtown/Convention Center, 300 Julia Street, ☏ . Two blocks from Morial Convention Center. $89.
- Residence Inn New Orleans Downtown (Warehouse District), ☏ , toll-free: . $139.
- Hyatt Place New Orleans Convention Center, 881 Convention Center Blvd. Across the street from the New Orleans Convention Center. It offers upscale lodging.
- Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue (at Poydras Street), ☏ . Near the Superdome and City Hall.
- InterContinental New Orleans, 444 St Charles Ave. Luxury hotel on the St. Charles Mardi Gras parade route.
- International House Hotel, 221 Camp St. Boutique hotel 2 blocks from the French Quarter.
- 2 Le Pavillon, 833 Poydras St. One of the fanciest hotels in the city with the exception of the Ritz Carlton and Windsor Court. Elegant French and Old South stylings in the lobby. Featuring a Sunday "Jazz Brunch" with live music as well as a rooftop jacuzzi.
- Loft 523, 523 Gravier St. Boutique hotel 2 blocks from the French Quarter.
- Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal St. Top notch hotel in what had been the Maison Blanche Department Store building. It's the Windsor Court's rival for finest in town.
- 3 The Roosevelt, 123 Baronne St, ☏ . One of the city's grand old hotels; reopened in 2009 after a $145-million restoration modernized the rooms, returned the lobby to its historic glory, and reopened the famous Sazerac Bar and the Blue Room dinner & music venue. The lobby is worth a look even if you're not staying here.
- The Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal St, ☏ .
- The Whitney, 610 Poydras St, ☏ . A New Orleans hotel registered as a historic landmark.
- 4 Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St (near where Canal and Poydras meet the River), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the finer hotels in town, If you want the tops and are willing to pay top dollar for it, this is the place.
The convenient location of the neighborhood, especially the area between Rampart and the river, allows easy access to other parts of town: walk across Canal Street and you're in the upper part of the French Quarter. Take the red Canal Streetcar line away from the river to the attractions of Mid-City, or in the other direction the end of the line and you're at the edge of Faubourg Marigny. The green St. Charles Streetcar line takes you to Uptown and Carrollton. The ferry at the foot of Canal Street (free for pedestrians, $1 for cars) will take you across the Mississippi to the Algiers neighborhood, and give you a scenic budget mini-cruise of the River in the process.