Uptown is a large portion of New Orleans settled in the 19th century after the Louisiana Purchase, upriver from the older parts of the city around the French Quarter and the Central Business District. It includes the Garden District, which is popular with visitors. At the upper end of Uptown is the Audubon & University District, and just beyond that the Carrollton neighborhood. The majority of this historic section of the city escaped the great flood of 2005.
Uptown New Orleans was developed during the 19th century boom when New Orleans was one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. The concentration and variety of intact 19th and early 20th century architecture make it a treat for those who enjoy the architecture of those eras, as well as a frequent setting for movie scenes.
Although predominantly residential, there is a wealth of local shops and restaurants -- many clustered along "neighborhood main streets", others scatted here and there.
The main streets of interest to visitors, stretching in gentle curves reflecting that of the Mississippi River from one end of Uptown to the other, are St. Charles Avenue with its famous streetcar line, and Magazine Street, a commercial hub with a bus line. Those visiting with a car or bicycle may also wish to check out Prytania Street, which parallels St. Charles a couple blocks closer to the river, competing with St. Charles for beautiful architecture along with a smattering of local businesses.
The parts of Uptown "back of town" (furthest from the river) near Claiborne Avenue experienced some flooding in the Federal levee failure disaster during Hurricane Katrina. For the most part it is still less thriving and of less interest to visitors. A notable exception is a section of Freret Street between Jefferson Avenue and Napoleon Avenue. This circa 1900 neighborhood commercial street was in decline for a generation before it was flooded chest deep in 2005. By 2011, however it was one of the success stories of the New Orleans rebirth. While a few parts are still on the ragged side, the 8 block stretch of Freret is now hopping with new innovative local restaurants, shops, cafes, a comedy club, and a monthly market.
While a busy section of town, car is still an effective means of getting around Uptown, unlike the CBD, French Quarter, or Marigny. Parking is seldom too hard to find, outside major events like Mardi Gras, although you may sometimes have to park around the corner from where you're going, since many of the old commercial buildings have little or no off street parking. Traffic is often slow on major streets, especially during rush hour.
The St Charles Streetcar is quite a convenient way to get around Uptown, running along the main street from the edge of the French Quarter through the CBD, all the way through Uptown to Tulane University and then on to the main section of Carrollton.
Bus 11 is the most useful public transport route (aside from the streetcar), coming from Canal St in the CBD and then running the length of Magazine St through the shopping corridor and on to the Audobon Zoo. Bus 16 runs along Claiborne from Canal and bus 10 along Tchoupitoulas.
Bus 27 is another useful route if you are near the shopping corridor. It runs along Louisiana and will take you to the most popular (and safest) cemeteries. The Cemeteries terminus also connects back up with the Canal Streetcar.
Taxis are reasonably easy to hail off the street throughout Uptown, provided you are on one of the main roads.
The green Saint Charles streetcar line, with 1920s vintage trolleys, was restored post-Katrina by 2008.
Whether traveling on streetcars, driving or biking, St. Charles Avenue is well worth a look for the mansions of the city's 19th-century "millionaire row".
- Garden District is a part of town known for the fine mansions. The official historical district is bounded by St. Charles Avenue, Jackson Avenue, Louisiana Avenue, and Magazine Street; historically some definitions have defined the boundaries otherwise, and more equally fine historic mansions can be found nearby outside these boundaries. The name "Garden District" came from early in the 19th century when this area was laid out with fine mansions of businessmen and plantation owners, building a couple of grand houses to the block surrounded by large gardens. In the late 19th century most of the land owners sold off most of the surrounding lots, on which wooden Victorian homes rich in architectural "gingerbread" were built. Thus, despite the name, the "Garden District" is now notable more for its architecture than for the gardens. Tours of the mansions of Uptown's Garden District are given by the Park Service and by private companies; there are walking and bus tours available. Walking tours typically cost about $25 per person (April 2018), and may sell out, so booking ahead is recommended.
- Lafayette Cemetery #1, Prytania & Washington. Historic old cemetery.
- Latter Branch, New Orleans Public Library, 5120 St. Charles Avenue. M W 10AM-8PM; Tu Th 10AM-6PM; Sa 10AM-5PM. Yes, you can read a book or get a bit of internet time, but this branch of the library is in a 1907 vintage mansion, formerly the home of silent film star Marguerite Clark. This makes it a St. Charles mansion you can see the elegant interior of for free!
- Private and group escorted mansion walking tours
- Streetcar ride
- Freret Street Market. The first Saturday of most months, featuring produce, crafts, and free live music. Freret Street just upriver from Napoleon Avenue.
- La Nuit Comedy Theater, 5039 Freret Street.
Live music venues
- 1 Le Bon Temps Roule, 4801 Magazine St (at Bourdeaux St), ☏ . Local acts, good beer and burgers. Soul Rebels Brass Band play every Thursday night, it is standing room only and usually packed to the brim so get there early or expect to push your way through a crowd.
- 2 The Columns, 3811 St Charles Ave (between Peniston and General Taylor Sts), ☏ , toll-free: . Old mansion converted into a small hotel. One side of the downstairs front has a bar, the other side a live music venue. Cool jazz and gypsy swing in an elegant setting.
- 3 Dos Jefes, 5535 Tchopitoulas St (at Joseph St), ☏ . Cigar bar; hot modern jazz in a smoky atmosphere.
- 4 Neutral Ground Coffee House, 5110 Danneel St (between Soniat and Dufossat Sts), ☏ . Coffee House with more than the usual coffee-house folk singers; eclectic line up can also include blues, Cajun, dixieland combos, bluegrass, jug bands, even Hawaiian music. Live music every night.
- 5 Rosy's Jazz Hall, 500 Valence St (at Tchopitoulas St), ☏ .
- 6 Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave (at Tchopitoulas St), ☏ . Legendary Uptown music club with great local and national talent. Take bus, cab, or car, but well worth the trouble. "Tip's" has a 2nd location in the French Quarter too, but this is the famous one.
The six miles of Magazine Street offer a great variety of local businesses: antiques, art new and old, clothing, furniture, and curiosities, with local cafes and restaurants along the way. The greatest concentrations of interesting businesses are in the sections from around Felicity Street to Jackson Avenue, around the intersection of Louisiana Avenue, and from Napoleon Avenue to Nashville Street. However, other businesses are sprinkled along the route, in some places mixed with mostly residential blocks. There are shops for tastes from elegant to funky and for any price range.
A small sample of some of the more interesting unique shops includes the following.
- [formerly dead link] Blue Frog Chocolates, 5707 Magazine St. Variety of fine chocolates, both locally made and from around the world.
- Fleurty Girl, 3117 Magazine, ☏ . Popular creative New Orleans themed t-shirts.
- New Orleans Music Exchange, 3342 Magazine Street. From new guitars to 80-year-old trombones, numerous other musical instruments, audio equipment and accessories.
- Perlis, 6070 Magazine Street. M-Sa 9AM-6PM. Fine men's clothing. The late Hunter S. Thompson came to town to get a seersucker suit here.
- Silk Road Collection, 3714 Magazine Street. Exotic antique east Asian furnishings
The Rink 2200 block of Prytania at the corner of Washington Avenue. A small shopping center in a building that used to house a 19th-century skating rink. Notable shops include:
- Garden District Book Shop. Independent book store specializes in local subjects, and usually has a variety of signed copies of books by local authors. Also a small but select case of rare used books.
- Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St (1 block up from Jefferson Avenue, just back from the intersection with Laurel Street), ☏ . One of the city's top independent bookstores, tucked on an Uptown sidestreet. Often hosts author presentations and signings.
- Cafe Luna, 802 Nashville at Magazine. Coffee & tea, sandwiches & pastries.
- Company Burger, 4600 Freret. Very high quality hamburgers
- Dat Dog≤, 5030 Freret (2½ blocks up from Jefferson Avenue; they moved across the street to larger space in 2012) +1 504 899-6883. Hot dog stand bammed up a notch, New Orleans-style. A variety of quality wieners and sausages, including Louisiana Hot Sausage and Alligator Sausage for the adventurous. Lunch & early dinner, Tu-Su, open late Sa night. Cash.
- Domilise's Po-Boys, 5240 Annunciation. Good neighborhood po-boy place has been here for generations.
- Frankie & Johnny's, 321 Arabella (just off Tchoupitoulas), ☏ . Local favorite for crawfish. If you're not on a diet, get a side order of the fried bell pepper rings.
- Freret Street Po-Boy & Donut Shop, 4701 Freret St, ☏ . M-Sa 6AM-5PM. Corner of Valance (halfway between Jefferson and Napoleon Avenues). The name explains it.
- Guy's Po-Boy, 5259 Magazine, 891-5025. Small traditional po-boy place. Mon-Sat 11a-4pm
- Joey K's, 3001 Magazine, 891-0997. Neighborhood po-boys, catfish, and fresh caught fish specials.
- Juan's Flying Burrito, 2018 Magazine St. Reasonably priced Mexican.
- La Divina Gelateria, 3005 Magazine St. Excellent Italian style panini sandwiches served from 11AM to 7PM, and they stay open 'til 10PM (F Sa 'til 11PM) serving some amazing gelato.
- Magazine Po-Boy Shop, 2368 Magazine Street. M-F 8:30AM-5:30PM. Traditional po-boy sandwiches, plus seafood and vegetarian dishes, breakfast omelettes and burritos.
- Mahony's Po-Boy Shop, 3454 Magazine St, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-8PM. Po-boys, plus a bar with local draft beer.
- Mona's, 4126 Magazine Street. Middle Eastern. Also has branches in Mid-City and Faubourg Marigny.
- Nacho Mama's, 3242 Magazine Street, ☏ . Mexican, lunch & dinner 7 days a week.
- Nirvana, 4308 Magazine Street, ☏ . Awesome $10 buffet every weekday lunch, as well as Thursday and Sunday nights. Great food, good value.
- Slice Pizzeria, 1513 St. Charles Ave, ☏ . Slice Pizzeria is one of New Orleans most popular pizzeria's and Italian eateries serving fresh pizzas by the slice and the pie.
- Stein's Deli, 2207 Magazine Street. Tu-F 7AM-7PM, Sa Su 9AM-5PM. Great fresh deli sandwiches.
- Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar, 1418 Magazine St, ☏ . 8AM-3PM daily. Breakfast and lunch, lots of fresh local ingredients.
- Taqueria Corona, 5932 Magazine: cheap good Mexican. Closed for siesta from 2PM to about 5:30PM in the afternoons.
- The Creole Creamery, 4924 Prytania, tel: +1 504 894-8680. Truly good ice cream, from a small cup or cone to a huge elaborate sundae. They also make shakes & malts in the old fashioned soda fountain style, and offer many locally made fresh flavors of ice creams, from standard to distinctive, and even a few sugar-free flavors. Open daily Noon - 11PM.
- La Divina Gelateria, 3005 Magazine St. The gelato here costs a little bit more, but it is some of the most amazing you'll have ever tasted. 11AM-9PM; they also serve fresh panini and salads during lunchtime.
- Hansen's Sno-Bliz. 4801 Tchopitoulas at Bourdeaux a few blocks up from Napoleon. The Commander's Palace of sno-ball stands; ice shaved microscopically fine, flavored with shockingly luscious syrups made fresh every day. Dozens of flavours to choose from, and you can also add whipped cream, ice cream, condensed milk, marshmallows or crushed pineapple. A local legend since the 1930s! Tu-Su 1PM-7PM, open May 1-Labor Day. If they're not open, content yourself with the next best from Tee Eva's or SnoWizard listed below.
- SnoWizard, 4001 Magazine (at Constantinople) Another excellent sno-ball place, a short walk down from Napoleon. Open during hot weather Su-F noon - 8PM; Sa noon - 7pPM.
- St. James Cheese Shop, 5004 Prytania Street. The staff of knowledgeable cheese mongers will help you fill your cheese needs. They also make tasty lunch sandwiches to eat there or take out.
- Sucré, 3025 Magazine Street. Artisan gelato, cakes, chocolates and pastries prepared daily by an award winning team of pastry chefs.
- Tee Eva's, 5201 Magazine St, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-6PM. Good sno-balls and tasty pies and praline candy. Try the miniature pies (pecan, sweet-potato, or creole cream cheese), just enough for a snack.
Some local places for a good cup of coffee, some light eats, and pleasant locations with people-watching.
- CC's, 900 Jefferson (at Magazine Street), has other locations too. Wi-fi.
- Cafe Luna, 802 Nashville at Magazine: Coffee & tea, sandwiches & pastries. Locals loved it even more when it was the first coffee shop Uptown to reopen after Katrina. Wi-fi
- Fuel, Magazine just up from Bourdeau Street. Wi-fi
- Mojo coffee house [formerly dead link], 1500 Magazine Street (corner of Race Street). M-F 6:30AM-midnight, Sa Su 7AM-midnight. Great coffee! lots of teas, sandwiches, soups, bubble tea and free Wi-fi. Mojo also features organic fair trade coffee.
- PJ's, 5432 Magazine (just up from Jefferson Avenue). Small local chain also has location in Carrollton and others around the metro area. Wi-fi
- Still Perkin', 2727 Prytania St. M-F 7AM-6PM, Sa Su 8AM-6PM. In "The Rink", a small shopping center at the corner of Washington Avenue.
- Ancora Pizzeria & Salumeria, 4508 Freret St (a block up from Napoleon Avenue), ☏ . M-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. Upscale pizzeria -- they imported a 3-ton wood-burning oven from Naples. Also makes salumi (Italian style cold cuts). Bar with draft beers, wines, cocktails.
- Cafe Atchafalaya, 901 Louisiana (between Magazine & Tchopitoulas). Seafood and decadent desserts. Look for the giant frying pan on the side of the building and get ready for great eats. An established restaurant for over 30 years, the Cafe came back big after hurricane Katrina with a new owner, a beautifully renovated interior, and full menu of New Orleans classics with an original twist. Come early for brunch on the weekend or stay late in the bar every night.
- Baru, 3700 Magazine St, ☏ . Caribbean Latin bistro & tapas
- Casamento's, 4330 Magazine St (just down from Napoleon), ☏ . Oysters, oysterloaf. A local tradition for generations.
- Crêpe Nanou, 1410 Robert (just off Prytania). Crêpes and other French taste treats, dinner only.
- [dead link] Dick and Jenny's, 4501 Tchoupitoulas St, ☏ . A casual fine dining contemporary creole restaurant set in a mid-nineteenth century barge board cottage. Reservations are not taken.
- High Hat Cafe, 4500 Freret (1 block up from Napoleon Avenue), ☏ . Casual Southern and Louisiana Cuisine.
- Ignatius, 4200 Magazine St. Cajun, Creole and po-boys, lunch and dinner. Try the roast beef po' boy, it is the bomb.
- La Thai 4938 Prytania (at Robert), tel: +1 504 899-8886. Thai
- Lilette, 3637 Magazine St. New Orleans Magazine Chef of the Year Chef John Harris cooks you an unforgettable meal in this neighborhood bistro.
- Martinique Bistro, 5908 Magazine St. French Caribbean, dinner.
- Mayas, 2027 Magazine St. Latin American & Caribbean cuisine, with Cuban predominating. Dinner Tu-Sa; lunch F Sa, brunch Su.
- Nirvana, 4308 Magazine, ☏ . Indian.
- La Petit Grocery, 4238 Magazine, ☏ . An old neighborhood grocery morphed into a fine restaurant. Veal, pork, duck, etc. Dinner M-Sa 6PM-10PM.
- Reginelli's. 741 State (at Magazine). Italian & pizza.
- Savvy Gourmet, ☏ . 4519 Magazine, Gourmet food and cooking utensil shop also serves fresh made sadnwiches, salads, and treats at lunch time.
- Voodoo BBQ, 1501 St. Charles Avenue (at Melpomene), ☏ . 11AM-10PM. Trendy barbecue.
- Zea, 1525 St. Charles Av. 11AM-10PM. Popular local chain.
- 1 Clancy's, 6100 Annunciation St, ☏ . Popular and local uptown Contemporary Creole bistro.
- 2 Commander's Palace, 1403 Washington Avenue (Towards the river from Prytania), ☏ . One of the most highly regarded traditional upscale restaurants.
- 3 The Delachaise, 3442 St. Charles (One block up from Louisiana Avenue), ☏ .
- 4 Emeril's Delmonico, 1300 St. Charles Avenue (Short distance up from Lee Circle, next to St Charles at Erato streetcar stop.), ☏ . Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's third restaurant in town; he bought out the venerable New Orleans Delmonico's.
- 5 Gautreau's, 1728 Soniat St (past Napoleon on the streetcar line), ☏ . Excellent uptown restaurant!
- 6 Pascal's Manale, 1838 Napoleon Avenue (A few blocks back from St. Charles), ☏ .
- 7 [dead link] The Upperline, 1413 Upperline (off Prytania towards St. Charles), ☏ .
- 1 The Bulldog, 3236 Magazine St (between Pleasant and Toledano Sts), ☏ . M-Tu 2PM-2AM, W-Th Su noon-2AM, F Sa noon-3AM. One of the city's largest selections of beers on tap and in bottles, also serves burgers and delicious waffle fries.
- 2 The Club Ms Mae's, 4336 Magazine St (at Napoleon Ave), ☏ . Open 24 hours. Friendly dive. Cheap! $1 drinks all the time ($2 doubles!)
- 3 The Columns, 3811 St Charles Ave (between Peniston and General Taylor Sts), ☏ , toll-free: . Very classy (but not high-hat)! Has nice patio overlooking St. Charles Avenue. Free food during Friday happy hour from 5PM-7PM. Small combos play live music many evenings.
- 4 Cure, 4905 Freret St (at Upperline St), ☏ . Su-Th 5PM-midnight, F Sa 5PM-2AM. Upscale cocktail bar in an out-of the way neighborhood; also serves gourmet small plates. Not cheap, but obsessively high quality.
- 5 F & M Patio Bar, 4841 Tchoupitoulas St (at Lyons St), ☏ . Su-Th 7PM-4AM, F Sa 7PM-5:30AM. A favorite local dive famous for dancing on the pool table.
- 6 Fat Harry's, 4330 St Charles Ave (at Napoleon Ave), ☏ . College bar with typical bar food.
- 7 Half Moon, 1125 St Mary St (at Sophie Wright Pl), ☏ . 1PM-4AM daily. Laid back dive. Lots of locals. People like to bring their dogs here.
- 8 Igor's Lounge and Game Room, 2133 St Charles Ave (at Jackson Ave), ☏ . Open 24 hours. Drink and have a burger while playing the slot machines or doing your laundry in their coin operated machines.
- 9 King Pin, 1307 Lyons St (between Prytania and Perrier Sts), ☏ . Nice laid back bar. Mostly locals. Shuffleboard!
- 10 Milan Lounge, 1312 Milan St (between Prytania and Perrier Sts), ☏ . Little neighborhood bar. Very friendly bartenders. Chicago Cubs memorabilia all over the place.
- 11 Parasol's, 2533 Constance St (at Third St), ☏ . 11AM-2AM daily. Old Irish neighborhood bar. Also serves po-boys and seafood. Their block party on St. Patrick's Day is always jammed.
- 12 The Saint, 961 St Mary St (at Hastings Pl, a block towards the River from Magazine Street), ☏ . 8PM-6AM daily. Hipster dive.
- 13 St. Joe's Bar, 5535 Magazine St (at Joseph St), ☏ . M-W 5PM-1AM, Th 5PM-2AM, F 5PM-3AM, Sa 3PM-3AM, Su 6PM-1AM. Just an off-beat little bar that knows how to make good drinks. For something different on hot summer days, try the blueberry mojito.
- 1 Auberge NOLA (Auberge Nouvelle Orleans), 1628 Carondelet St (at Euterpe St), ☏ . Hostel offers mixed dorms, female-only dorms, and one private apartment with its own bathroom and kitchen. Security lockers provided in dorms. Dorm guests from abroad must provide a foreign passport; American dorm guests need an out-of-state ID and a student ID. Dorms restricted to guests under 40 years of age. Apartment guests need an out-of-state ID or foreign passport and can be of any age. Office open 8:30AM-10PM; arrivals outside these hours are possible if arranged in advance. Dorms $26-33, private apartment $105+.
- 2 Marquette House (New Orleans International Hostel), 2249 Carondelet St (between Philip St and Jackson Ave), ☏ . A block from the St. Charles Streetcar line (Jackson Street stop), features free but slow Wifi, free parking. The place is not clean and the kitchen has two microwaves but no stoves, cutlery or crockery. There is no TV room or lounge area. Dorms $25.
- 3 The Quisby, 1225 St Charles Ave (between Erato and Clio Sts), ☏ . Hostel housed in the former Audubon Hotel, offering both dorms and private rooms. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Free wifi and free breakfast included. Full bar on site. Dorms $28+, privates $112+.
- 4 Quality Inn Maison St. Charles, 1319 St Charles Ave (between Erato and Thalia Sts), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. On the streetcar line in the lower part of Uptown, an easy walk from several restaurants. $109+.
- 5 Southern Comfort Bed and Breakfast, 1739 Marengo St (at Baronne St), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 2 blocks from the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line and minutes from the French Quarter. $109+ off-season, $140+ regular rate.
- 6 Creole Gardens Bed and Breakfast Inn, 1415 Prytania St (between Thalia and Melpomene Sts), ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. One block from the St. Charles Ave. Streetcar Line. Next to the Warehouse District, and 12 blocks from the French Quarter. Famous for colorful banana courtyard, kid and pet friendly and great hot breakfast.
- 7 Clarion Grand Boutique Hotel, 2001 St Charles Ave (at St Andrew St), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 3PM. $79-279.
- 8 Columns Hotel, 3811 St Charles Ave (between Peniston and General Taylor Sts), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Small elegant hotel in a Victorian mansion. Also has a great bar and live music downstairs. $120+ M-Th, $160+ F-Su.
- 9 Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast, 2727 Saint Charles Avenue, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Historic bed and breakfast in the Garden District. Complimentary breakfast, private baths, free wi-fi, steps to the street car $165-300.
- 10 Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District, 2203 St. Charles Ave., ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This hotel is on the Mardi Gras parade route. Rooms from $159.
- 11 The Green House Inn, 1212 Magazine St (Lower Garden District), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3:00PM, check-out: 12:00PM. A pet friendly, adults only inn featuring a clothing optional swimming pool/spa set in a tropical garden. Amenities include self-serve Continental breakfast, free WiFi, and one free, gated off-street parking space per guest. $150-200.
An hour of internet time at New Orleans Public Library branches:
- Latter Branch, 5120 St. Charles Avenue.
- Napoleon Branch/ Children's Resource Center, 913 Napoleon Av., just back from Magazine Street.
Wi-fi offered at several of the coffee houses listed above.
Uptown is a large section of the city. Being a relatively high-end area, it is one of the safest in New Orleans. The parts of most interest to visitors are generally some of the safer in the area, but neighborhood conditions can change dramatically within a few blocks. Be aware of where you're going if you venture away from major streets like St. Charles, Prytania, and Magazine. Parts of the Garden District are bordered by housing projects and unsafe neighborhoods. Be cautious if parking on dimly lit side streets at night. If you're unsure of an area ask in advance or play it safe and take a cab.