A Night on Freret Street

cure freret street
Photo courtesy of Cure NOLA on Facebook

Once a sleepy neighborhood thoroughfare bordering Tulane University, Freret Street has undergone a revival over the past decade, becoming a food and entertainment destination in its own right. From Japanese to Southern soul food, there’s a cuisine for almost everyone — and Freret Street is only two blocks from the Alder Hotel.

Another plus? Freret’s Uptown location means it attracts a smaller, more local crowd, which equals shorter waits at excellent, off-the-beaten-path bars and eateries. Here’s a sample of what to do, eat and drink along one of the most vibrant, action-packed commercial corridors in the city.

High Hat Cafe (4500 Freret St.)

Part old-fashioned diner, part neighborhood bar and part Deep South food destination, High Hat Cafe is a great place to grab a plate of fried catfish, a bowl of chicken and andouille gumbo, or a shrimp po-boy. Huge glass windows offer a prime opportunity to people-watch while eating a slice of house-made pie. (Save room for a snack at the next Freret Street destination.)

Ancora (4508 Freret St.)

Ancora’s pizza is made Neapolitan-style, using wood-burning ovens and without commercial yeast. Ancora created its own starter in-house, and the dough takes three days to prepare from start to finish, with a crust that is unique to New Orleans. Drinks include seasonal Italian sodas, craft cocktails, and wines from the Campania region of southern Italy. Check out the house-made salumi and happy-hour pizza specials. Ancora is located in a renovated building next to High Hat Cafe.

The Rook Cafe (4516 Freret St.)

Looking for a quiet locals’ hangout with vegan pastries, locally roasted coffee, free wi-fi, and a vibe that encourages you to settle in for a few hours with a game of chess or a good book? The Rook is the place. The cozy coffee shop also hosts frequent gamers’ nights and pop-ups.

Bar Frances (4525 Freret St.)

Bar Frances has been operating since 2016, courtesy of Mark Latter, who also owns the historic Tujague’s in the French Quarter. It’s an airy, spacious and thoroughly modern bistro, with wood finishes, a marble bar that seats more than a dozen, and covered patio seating. The menu is seasonal, with small plates like tuna tartare and lamb meatballs. There’s also a full dinner menu featuring high-quality steaks, burgers and Gulf fish if you want to dig in. Wine rules at Bar Frances, offered on tap and by carafes, and through clever pairings. There’s a generous daily happy hour featuring a large selection of natural wines.

The Company Burger (4600 Freret St.)

The Company Burger on Freret and Cadiz streets offers a solid menu of delicious burgers, fries and milkshakes. The menu keeps it simple with the award-winning lamb, turkey, and beef burgers, plus sides, shakes, and cocktails. The house burger comes with a fried egg, two patties, and bacon. The “not burger” options are also kept simple: hot dogs, and grilled cheese and fried chicken sandwiches.

Midway Pizza (4725 Freret St.)

Deep-dish pizza isn’t that easy to find in New Orleans, and this restaurant housed in an industrial, high-ceilinged space uses an age-old family recipe. All of its pizzas, salads and flatbreads are made in-house.

Cure (4905 Freret St.)

The owners of Cure were at the forefront of Freret Street’s revitalization when they opened this chic craft cocktail bar in 2009. Located in a 1903 fire station, the James Beard Award-winning Cure is sleek, dimly lit, and filled with stylish nine-to-fivers, especially during its happy hour. The Washington PostEaterThe New York TimesTravel + Leisure, and many other publications have listed Cure among their picks for top U.S. bars. Get a classic or custom craft cocktail and a cheese plate, and enjoy both on a leafy, secluded patio to start the night.

Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret St.)

You’ll know you’ve arrived at this hip music venue when you see the psychedelic, black-and-white mural by Berlin graffiti artist MTO outside. Depending on the night, local or touring musical acts, comedy shows, burlesque performances, or movie screenings may be on the roster. The patio is a comfortable place to relax with a beer. And, if a hunger pang strikes, a food truck is never far away.

Freret Beer Room (5018 Freret St.)

This gastropub had a revamp in the summer of 2019, adding TVs and an updated menu that focuses on pairing craft beer with modern American cuisine (sandwiches, salads, cheese and charcuterie boards). Proprietor Eli Gay also runs a retail beer shop next door.

Dat Dog (5030 Freret St.)

Dat Dog’s both Uptown locations, including the Freret St. one near Soniat St., have dog-friendly outdoor seating, which is great for people-watching too. The affordable Dat Dog dishes out a wide variety of meat, fish, vegan and veggie hot dogs, sausages, and other kid-friendly comfort food like burgers and chicken. The dogs and the sausages come with a choice of more than 30 toppings.

Mint Modern Vietnamese Bistro & Bar (5100 Freret St.)

Mint’s streamlined menu is modern indeed, packed with specialty rolls, several varieties of pho, banh mi, and a kimchi burger. One of the unusual specialty cocktails is Fishy Surprise, which is made with whiskey, Drambuie, grapefruit juice, and fish sauce.

Things to Do in New Orleans: Year-At-A-Glance

Things to Do in New Orleans: Year-At-A-Glance

The New Orleans dance card is full all year round, from major music and culture events like Jazz Fest to honoring just about every type of food we enjoy in Louisiana with its own festival, to the unique traditions like Super Sunday and Reveillon. Check out these annual events grouped by the season.


The weather is mild, the streetcars are decked with wreaths, and the city is alight with the holiday sparkle. The family-friendly Celebration in the Oaks and NOLA ChristmasFest keep the dazzle going. The ChristmasFest is the only indoor Christmas festival in the area, taking over the Convention Center starting in the third week of December and wrapping on New Year’s Eve. The fest features giant slides, inflatables, rides, a gingerbread house display, and New Orleans’ only ice-skating rink.

Celebration in the Oaks is a beloved New Orleans tradition that has been around for over 30 years. It’s a dazzling display of holiday lights scattered throughout the 25 acres of the City Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. The park is swathed in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, with hundreds of visitors strolling through the grounds, riding the historic carousel and the miniature train, photo-opping with the iconic Mr. Bingle, and enjoying the caroling and the holiday shopping. Celebration in the Oaks typically opens on Thanksgiving weekend and runs up to the first week of January.

During the second weekend of December, the LUNA Fête light show illuminates the Convention Center. The annual large-scale light and sound installations are fascinating, and the fest is free and family-friendly.

The bonfires on the bayou, concerts at St. Louis Cathedral and Reveillon dinners are also the New Orleans holiday traditions that make the season so special. The New Year’s Eve in Jackson Square, the Sugar Bowl in the Superdome, and the popular Tet Fest, which celebrates the Lunar New Year with the help of the largest Vietnamese communities in the country, all ring in the new year. The Dick Clark Rockin’ New Year’s Eve near the historic Jax Brewery in the French Quarter features a live fleur-de-lis drop at midnight and the countdown on Jackson Square, followed by the fireworks over the Mississippi River and the night of revelry.

Just when the rest of the country settles down we’re just getting started, with the Twelfth Night marking the beginning of the Carnival season (always on January 6) with three parades. Phunny Phorty Phellows board the St. Charles streetcar line Uptown and ride it to Canal Street and back, with toasts and revelry along the way. In the French Quarter, the Krewe of Joan of Arc walking parade rolls from Jax Brewery and celebrates St. Joan’s birthday with medieval pageantry. Société Des Champs Elysée rounds up the night of festivities. Time for the first beads of Mardi Gras and king cake!

Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) always falls on a Tuesday, but the actual dates, occurring sometime between February 3 and March 9, change every year depending on Easter, tied to the Catholic calendar and counting 47 days before Easter Sunday. This year, Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, and there’s much to see and do.

Once that’s over, it’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day in one of the most romantic cities in the country! Need ideas of what to do as a couple near the hotel, in the Uptown area of New Orleans? We have suggestions!


The lovely weather brings the festival season this time of year, with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival (don’t miss the “Stella!” shouting contest on Jackson Square) and Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival in March. Also on the menu is the massive annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, including several parades and block parties, and the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday, a treasured tradition dating back to the 19th century and held on Sunday closest to St. Joseph’s Day (March 19).

The spring’s heaviest hitter is, of course, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, with its multiple stages and excellent lineup. The Bayou Boogaloo is held over three days in late May on the picturesque banks of Bayou St. John in Mid-City, and the Freret Street Festival in March is getting bigger every year. Then there is the immensely popular French Quarter Festival, held in April. It’s one of the largest free music festivals in the U.S., with multiple stages set throughout the French Quarter.

Crescent City Classic, the annual 10K run, is one of the largest athletic events in New Orleans. It’s usually held on the Saturday before Easter Sunday each year. Runners take off from Jackson Square, run through the French Quarter and the Tremé, then up the majestic Esplanade Avenue all the way to City Park.

Ready for more parades? New Orleans is one of the most Catholic cities in the country, and it celebrates Easter (Sunday, April 9, 2023) with three big parades, brunches, and parties all over the city.


Hotel rates are at their lowest and there’s plenty to do indoors to escape the heat. Presented by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival is a free weekend event held at Louis Armstrong Park in June. The best restaurants and bars in town celebrate Restaurant Week New Orleans in June, the ever-growing Tales of the Cocktail in July, and COOLinary New Orleans with prix fixe menus in August. You can also browse the galleries on the White Linen Night (or its cheeky cousin, the Dirty Linen Night).

The city comes to life for the Satchmo SummerFest and a slew of events over the Fourth of July and the Labor Day weekends, like Go 4th on the River, the Essence Festival at the Superdome, and the incomparable Southern Decadence festival.

The French Market Creole Tomato Festival is one the smaller fests to enjoy, and Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans, except the bulls are the Big Easy Rollergirls! And, speaking of running, the Red Dress Run, held on the second Saturday of August, is a fun fundraiser to don the red outfit and brave the heat for.


The temps are down and it’s time to hit the city’s parks and squares. The endless stream of food and drink fests continues with Boudin, Bourbon, and BeerNOLA on Tap (the largest beer fest in the Gulf South that benefits the LA SPCA), Tremé Fall Festival, Crescent City Blues & BBQ, Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, and the Fried Chicken Festival. Phew!

Held on the first Saturday in October, Art for Art’s Sake has grown and into a citywide phenomenon since the ‘80s, packed with openings at Julia Street galleries and special events along Magazine Street.

The fall in New Orleans also means the Saints football. New Orleans does Halloween like no other city, including the Krewe of Boo parade and the massive Voodoo Music + Arts Experience held in the City Park.

Rounding up the fall festivities is a four-day feast of events, when the Tigers of Grambling State meet the Jaguars of Southern University for the annual Bayou Classic, starting with a Thanksgiving parade and featuring a slew of amazing marching bands. Thanksgiving Day is also a traditional opening of the season at the racetrack, when the locals and visitors alike don their most elaborate and outrageous hats and stream to the Fair Grounds, kicking off the holiday season in a uniquely New Orleans style.

As you can see, there’s something always going on in New Orleans throughout the year, and we’d love to see you no matter what season. If you find lower rates on your Alder Hotel room(s) at the time of booking, call 1.888.626.5861, and we will match those rates! Stay in touch and save on rates and more at the Alder Hotel at https://alderhotel.com/email-offers/!

Rainy Day Fun Near the Alder Hotel

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Don’t let a little rain put a damper on your visit! Whether you want to burn some calories, soak up art and literature, slurp oysters and grab a drink, or take in a movie, you’ll find plenty of places Uptown.

Enjoy a workout at Anytime Fitness (4600 Freret St.) 

Get a workout 24/7 at Anytime Fitness, which offers state-of-the-art cardio machines, free weights and exercise classes. Grab your umbrella and ask the concierge for directions; it’s just a five-minute walk away.

Explore Newcomb Art Museum (6823 St. Charles Ave.) 

Newcomb College at Tulane University was the first college in America to grant degrees to women. Its spirit lives on in the museum, which showcases Newcomb’s world-famous pottery, metal work and fiber arts, and presents rotating exhibits of socially engaged art. Admission is free, and the museum is open Monday–Saturday.

Curl up with a good book at the Milton H. Latter Library (5120 St. Charles Avenue) 

Housed in a stately neo-Italianate mansion, the Latter boasts an extensive collection of books, including a robust selection of volumes on Louisiana history and culture. You can also snag real bargains at the Carriage House behind the main library, which hosts used book sales every Wednesday and Saturday from 10–2.

Catch a movie at the Prytania Theatre (5339 Prytania St.)  

More than a century old, the family-run Prytania is the longest continually operating theater in the South. It screens first-run features daily and hosts 10 a.m. screenings of classic movies on Wednesdays and Sundays. Grab some buttered popcorn or a gourmet treat from the espresso bar, and sit back and enjoy the show.

Slurp oysters at Pascal’s Manale (1838 Napoleon Ave.) 

Belly up to the bar and enjoy raw oysters with premium cocktails, beer, and wine.

Architectural Landmarks — Uptown New Orleans

The Uptown District stretches from Broadway Street, incorporating the Garden District, and all the way into Carrolton and to the Mississippi River. It’s a heavily residential area peppered with grand mansions, lush gardens, and shopping and dining strips — all canopied by the majestic, centuries-old live oaks.

With its photogenic St. Charles Avenue (along which runs a world-famous streetcar), immaculate late-19th century houses, and small, unique shops and restaurants, it’s safe to say that Uptown is one of the most beautiful and heavily visited parts of New Orleans. Green and storybook-picturesque, Uptown retained a good number of historically significant 19th-century mansions built in Italianate, Victorian, and Greek Revival styles, many of which are painstakingly maintained and are in great condition.

The history

The area, now known as Uptown New Orleans, was granted to Louisiana Governor Jean Baptiste LeMoyne, Sier de Bienville, in 1719 and divided into smaller plantations in 1723. Uptown was laid out as an urban open system in 1806 by the notable Creole city planner Barthelemy Lafon. The idea was to intersperse and connect a series of parks and residential neighborhoods. It was especially thriving after the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition held in 1884. Parts of Uptown that now contain the stunning Garden District were inhabited by the well-to-do American arrivals after the Louisiana Purchase.

Uptown is easy to get to from other parts of the city, and easy to navigate, in part due to the convenience of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. On any given day you’ll see visitors hopping on and off the streetcar to take in some sightseeing.

The architecture

Uptown’s architecture is historically unique. It’s easy to fall in love with the area’s oak-lined streets, its lavish gardens that seem to be in bloom all year round, the grand mansions, and the well-preserved shotguns. Most homes aren’t open to the public but are still worth seeing for their exterior alone. Many houses still bear the names of the families that built them. One could spend the whole day on the historic St. Charles Avenue alone, getting a glimpse at 19th-century New Orleans. The sprawling avenue stretches from Downtown to Uptown, all the way to the river, hosting one of the best collections of historic houses in the South.

Notable houses

A few most notable ones not to miss, in the descending house number order, are the “Wedding Cake House” (5807 St. Charles Ave.), the 1896 Colonial Revival home with lots of Victorian splendor to offer; the “Anthemion” (4631 St. Charles Ave.), which used to house the Japanese consulate; the “Smith House” (4534 St. Charles Ave.), built in 1906 for the president of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange, William Smith; the “Elms Mansion” (3029 St. Charles Ave.), an 1869 architectural wonder; and the “Diocesan” (2265 St. Charles Ave.), designed and built by the prominent local architect James Gallier.

The Milton H. Latter Memorial Library

Another St. Charles Avenue gem that deserves a mention is the Milton H. Latter Memorial Library (5120 St. Charles Ave.). This restored neo-Italianate limestone mansion was designed by architects Favrot and Livaudais, and built in 1907 for a wealthy merchant, Mark Isaacs. It was donated to the city by the Latter family in memory of their son, and opened as a library in 1948. Inside, you’ll find the original ceiling frescoes and murals, and the well-preserved formal rooms on the first two floors.

Audubon Park and Zoo

The architectural wonders of Uptown also contain a park, a cemetery, and not one but two university campuses. The magnificent Audubon Park and the beautifully appointed Audubon Zoo are only a short streetcar ride away and probably don’t need an introduction. The historic park is a meticulously planned urban oasis and an architectural wonder interspersed with lagoons, picnic shelters, and walking paths.

Tulane and Loyola universities

Right across Audubon Park, you’ll find the campuses of Tulane and Loyola universities. Tulane started as a Medical College of Louisiana in 1847, in an effort to study and treat the deadly diseases like yellow fever, malaria and smallpox that the city was importing via its port. It morphed into what it is now after Paul Tulane, a wealthy merchant, donated more than $1 million in land, cash and securities in 1884. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places, Tulane University’s campus occupies more than 110 acres and extends north to S. Claiborne Avenue through Freret and Willow streets. From Italian Renaissance to Mid-Century Modern, the campus boasts many styles and is known for its large live oak trees.

You can find Loyola’s sprawling main campus adjacent to Tulane and facing St. Charles Avenue and Audubon Park. It was established in 1904 on the land purchased by the New Orleans Jesuits in 1889. Marquette Hall is the oldest campus building and is the iconic image of the university you’ll probably recognize the most.

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Temporarily closed.

Finally, no Uptown architectural tour is complete without hitting the above-ground Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 on Washington Avenue, in the heart of the Garden District. It’s the oldest of the seven city-operated cemeteries in New Orleans, with some interesting society tombs (the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Home For Destitute Orphan Boys among them) and over a thousand family tombs. The iconic cemetery has served as a popular backdrop for many music videos and movies over the years (Double Jeopardy, Dracula, etc.). As of 2022, it’s closed for maintenance and repairs, with plans to reopen.

Have a New Orleans Summer

In the summer hotel rates are at their lowest, and there’s plenty to do indoors and out. Even in the heat and humidity, we are happily eating, drinking, dancing, mingling, strutting, and even running. From brass bands to block parties to parades to running in a fancy dress, there’s something going on every weekend. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss if you’re in New Orleans this summer.

Start off with a lovely, smaller French Market Creole Tomato Festival (June 11-12, 2022; 2023 dates TBA) that celebrates the arrival of the beloved Creole tomato. In its 36th year in the summer of 2022, the free festival features two stages for live music (French Market and Dutch Alley), kid’s activities, and vendor booths with all things creole tomato (think fried green tomatoes, sandwiches and Bloody Marys).

Produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the free Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival (June 10-12, 2022; 2023 date TBA) features top Cajun and Zydeco musicians from New Orleans and Acadiana on two stages at the Louis Armstrong Park, plus a big art market, cooking demos, and numerous food options from local vendors, with emphasis on Cajun and Creole food. Past festivals were headlined by Grammy winners (and festival regulars) The Lost Bayou Ramblers and Grammy nominees Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers.

Every year, the Independence Day weekend is spectacular as usual, filled with special events, fireworks, and — this being New Orleans — great food and music. Kick off the festivities with Go 4th on the River celebration, a free Dueling Barges fireworks show over the Mississippi River at the Riverfront.

Gear up for the best in R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and blues with ESSENCE Festival (June 29 – July 3, 2023), held at the Caesars Superdome and the Convention Center. Beyond the concerts held each night of the fest at the Superdome, the free daytime activities at the Convention Center include motivational seminars, beauty and style presentations, celebrity interviews, cooking demonstrations with top chefs, and lots more. The always-impressive music lineup included in the past such big acts as Brandy, Missy Elliott, Sheila E., Mary J. Blige, Nas, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and more.

Running of the Bulls brings Encierro to New Orleans on July 8-10, 2022 (2023 dates TBA), except the bulls are the Big Easy Rollergirls. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans pays annual homage to the world-famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, running through the CBD starting at the Sugar Mill.

Celebrate the French National Day in America’s most French city during the annual Bastille Day block party on Friday, July 14, 2023, in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street in the city’s historic Faubourg St. John neighborhood, adjacent to Esplanade Avenue. Live music and kid-friendly events abound, while dozens of local vendors present their food and drinks, many with a French flavor.

Some of the best restaurants and bars in town celebrate Tales of the Cocktail on July 23-28, 2023. Since 2002 the festival has grown from an annual walking tour of historic New Orleans cocktail bars into a series of dinners, tastings, seminars, and more. (It went virtual during the pandemic and is now a hybrid experience.) Expect over 300 events crammed into six days, including the always-popular “best of” Spirited Awards and many cocktail-themed parties.

Satchmo SummerFest (August 4-5, 2023), named so after one of Louis Armstrong’s nicknames, started as a tribute in 2001, on Armstrong’s 100th birthday. It has been traditionally held on the first week of August and marked by strong attendance. The three-day festival is held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint at the foot of Esplanade Avenue., and will have music all weekend on its two outdoor, tented stages. Other events will include a Sunday morning Jazz Mass at the historic St. Augustine Church in Tremé, seminars and film screenings, kid’s activities, and a second-line parade.

Browse the galleries on the White Linen Night on Saturday, August 5, 2023 (or its cheeky cousin, the Dirty Linen Night). White Linen Night is a block party and an open house for galleries on the 300-700 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District, with three stages for live music and dozens of food and drink stands. About 20 galleries on and around Julia St. will be open to the public, with an after-party traditionally held at the Contemporary Arts Center.

The Dirty Linen Night (Saturday, August 12, 2023) usually follows the White Linen Night on the second Saturday in August. It’s similar in format, though looser in structure and spanning more territory. Although Dirty Linen Night does riff off White Linen Night, it wasn’t created to compete with the Warehouse District event but to promote the many galleries and shops of Royal Street. The multi-block party takes over the 200-1000 blocks of Royal Street and some cross streets and adjoining areas in the French Quarter, including Jackson Square and Dutch Alley. Many galleries in the area participate every year, plus a number of shops and restaurants.

The Red Dress Run (also on Saturday, August 12, 2023) isn’t exclusive to New Orleans, but the local participants take it up a notch by costuming on top of wearing their best and/or most outlandish red dress, regardless of gender. This is an annual fundraiser run for local charities organized by hashing groups (adults-only, non-competitive social running clubs) all over the world. They call themselves “drinking clubs with a running problem” and the local group is no exception. Any adult can participate with registration, and the run traditionally starts at Crescent Park, though the route will not be publicized until the day of the run.

The incomparable Southern Decadence festival (August 31 – September 4, 2023) is traditionally held on Labor Day weekend. It started as a going-away party in the early 70s but is now considered the fifth-largest event in New Orleans. This massive four-day festival celebrates the LGBTQIA+ culture and attracts participants from all over the world. Every year, most activities are centered in and around the French Quarter, with lots of block parties and dance parties at bars and clubs on Bourbon Street, plus two parades.

There’s no better time to try out an award-winning restaurant or revisit the old favorite than August, thanks to the annual COOLinary program. COOLinary was conceived by New Orleans & Company (formerly the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau) as a promotion to lure diners to local restaurants in the slower summer months — the month of August especially — during which restaurants all over the city offer discounted dining deals. The deals follow the same format every year: the reasonably priced prix fixe three-course dinner and brunch menus and two- to three-course lunch menus. Participating restaurants run the gamut from the iconic high-end to super casual with everything in between.

Events Not to Miss This Spring in New Orleans

New Orleans Spring
Photo by Chris Granger

New Orleans loves to throw a party, and this is especially true in the spring, when the weather is pretty much perfect, and there are dozens of festivals featuring the best of live, local music and honoring every type of food we love. There’s something to do every weekend starting in March and through June, and many events are free. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss this spring.

St. Patrick’s Day

Friday, March 17, 2023

There’s plenty of Irish in this town, so the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day is an important one for the city of New Orleans. Several parades kick off, including a procession that starts and ends in the French Quarter in front of Molly’s at the Market, and the infamous Irish Channel parade, where float riders pass cabbages to the screaming crowds. Also, the Downtown Irish Club Parade rolls from the Bywater to the French Quarter, making several pit stops on its way to Bourbon Street.

Super Sunday

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The annual gathering of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes is perhaps the most open means of accessing this unique element of New Orleans backstreet culture. You might see the Indians out and about on St. Joseph’s Day (which also falls on Sunday, March 19, 2023), and the tribes will be out in larger numbers on Super Sunday, which usually falls on the third Sunday of March, coinciding with St. Joseph’s Day this year.

While the Mardi Gras Indians have their set routes and parade areas, no one event packs the tribes into one public space like Super Sunday. In this case, said public spaces are A.L. Davis Park, at the corner of Washington and LaSalle streets; and Bayou St. John in Mid-City, at the intersection of Orleans and Moss streets, on the bayou’s banks and the Orleans Street bridge. The Indian procession usually leaves the gathering spot around 1 p.m.

We can’t stress this enough: Be respectful if you go. Take pictures at a distance, and don’t get in the way of marching Indians or their friends, family and attached bands. Super Sunday has been overrun with spectators in the past few years, so please do your part to enjoy this amazing cultural event responsibly.

To learn more about the Mardi Gras Indians please visit the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the historic Tremé neighborhood.

St. Joseph’s Day

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The New Orleans Catholics celebrate St. Joseph’s Day with elaborate altars that are open to the public and communal meals held at Catholic churches throughout the city (and even some private homes). You can usually find the up-to-date list closer to the event in local newspapers and on Nola.com.

The tradition began in the late 1800s, when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans in large numbers. The altars are a thing of beauty, laden with flowers, food, candles, wine, and statues. Because the day honors St. Joseph, who has relieved a famine in Sicily, food is the focal point, and a meal is usually provided as part of the festivities. You can also take some of the traditional Italian cookies with you, along with a prayer card and a fava bean, the “lucky bean” associated with St. Joseph because they sustained the Sicilians throughout the famine.

Also, don’t miss the Italian-American St. Joseph’s Parade on Saturday, March 18. It’s hosted by the American Italian Marching club and starts at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Convention Center Blvd. and Girod Street downtown, then making its way into the French Quarter. The parade rolls with over a dozen floats, several marching bands, and marchers dressed in black tuxedos and doling out silk flowers and lucky beans.

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival

Wednesday-Sunday, March 22-26, 2023

The Tennessee Williams Literary Festival celebrates this city’s love affair with the written word, as well as writers’ love affair with New Orleans. Notable authors will be in attendance, hosting seminars, workshops and lectures. Plus, this being the Tennessee Williams Festival, there is, of course, a “Stella” and “Stanley” contest, which involves folks screaming out the iconic scene from A Streetcar Named Desire to appreciative crowds on Jackson Square.

Saints & Sinners Literary Festival

Friday-Sunday, March 24-26, 2023

The city will also host the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival, an alternative literary event that celebrates LGBTQIA+ authors. The three-day festival will include panel discussions, master classes, and a fair amount of networking opportunities between authors, editors and publishers.

Congo Square Rhythms Festival

Friday-Sunday, March 24-26, 2023

The New World Rhythms Festival has been combined with the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival, It’s a celebration of global and local music, and offers both amazing food and a fantastic lineup of music. Held in Armstrong Park and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, this free festival features Mardi Gras Indians, African dance, brass bands, soul-funk, as well as indigenous music of Honduras, and highlife from West Africa. The large art market and a Soul Food Court complete the experience.

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

Monday-Saturday, March 27 – April 1, 2023

Things take a more serious turn with the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW). The weeklong series of events is produced by the A.B. Freeman Business School at Tulane University and The Idea Village, and takes place citywide. NOEW features notable speakers, covering such topics as business and innovation

Hogs for the Cause

Friday-Saturday, March 31 – April 1, 2023

Another popular March event is Hogs for the Cause, a meat-centric annual fundraiser for pediatric brain cancer held at the UNO Lakefront Arena. Dozens of barbecue chefs compete in seven categories, including fan favorite, whole hog, ribs, and sauce. Check the event’s website for this year’s music lineup and early-bird ticket deals.

Wednesday at the Square

On Wednesdays during March, 2023 dates TBA

Unwind with a cold beverage on any given Wednesday at the Square, a free concert music series held in the spring in Lafayette Park (located one block off of Poydras Street, between St. Charles Avenue and Camp Street) every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m., in the heart of the Central Business District. From March through May, these outdoor concerts feature a variety of jazz, rock, swam pop, brass, Latin rhythms, and more. Bring a chair or a blanket, or head to the front of the stage to partake in some dancing. You can bring your dog, and there are vendor booths surrounding the park where you can buy food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (no outside food or beverages, please).

French Quarter Fest

Thursday-Sunday, April 13-16, 2023

Next up is the immensely popular French Quarter Fest, also free. Held on the second weekend of April, it’s been around for almost 40 years, featuring the best the city has to offer in food and drinks, and several stages of non-stop live music. In the past years, you could dance in the streets of the French Quarter to Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers, Galactic, Rebirth Brass Band, Irma Thomas, Lost Bayou Ramblers, and many more top-notch acts. Expect an excellent lineup this year as well.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Friday-Sunday, April 28 – May 7, 2023

The last weekend of April and the first weekend of May mark one of the biggest, most anticipated, and always well-attended events this side of Mississippi. Visitors from all over the world flock to the Fairgrounds for the food and the music of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which is celebrating over 50 years of successful and exciting existence. The music is the focal point, of course, but don’t miss the second lines, the art vendors, and the local food favorites like Crawfish Monica and cochon de lait po-boys. The music schedule will be released in early 2023.

Hancock Whitney Zoo-To-Do

Friday, April 28, 2023

Late spring also brings us Whitney Zoo to Do, an annual fundraiser for the Audubon Nature Institute and the chicest gala in town. It’s held on the Zoo’s grounds and features live music, a silent auction, and food and cocktails from dozens of the best restaurants and bars in the city.

Bayou Boogaloo

Friday-Sunday, May 19-21, 2023

This Mid-City-based music and food festival is held on the banks of Bayou St. John over the third weekend of May. Bayou Boogaloo grew from the post-Katrina scrappy little neighborhood festival to a four-stage, multiple-vendor extravaganza. Since its inception in 2006, the festival now draws upwards of 35,000 people and has become as much a fixture on the festival calendar as its Mid-City neighbor, JazzFest, and the city’s street-party season opener, French Quarter Fest.

Head to the sprawling, picturesque banks of Bayou St. John between Dumaine Streets and Lafitte Avenue to sample some of the best food New Orleans has to offer from the likes of Boswell’s Jamaican Grill and Ajun Cajun plus adult beverages from Pal’s, Pearl Wine Company, and others. The fest’s bucolic setting gives the three-day festival its own unique character. And, just like in the previous years, the festival is pet- and kid-friendly, and has a stellar lineup of live music on its four stages, including the best of the brass bands, zydeco, Mardi Gras Indians, and other incredible New Orleans and Louisiana acts.

Greek Fest

Friday-Sunday, May 26-28, 2023

Greek Fest takes place over the Memorial Day weekend at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (1200 Robert E. Lee Blvd.). This annual tradition beloved by locals is worth the trip to Lakeview for its food, music, cooking demos, Hellenic dance performances, and even a toga contest. Expect traditional Greek music featuring bouzouki guitar, dancers in traditional costumes, and kid activities. Greek staples like souvlaki, baklava, spanakopita, and gyro will be served (day and weekend passes available).

Freret Street Festival

2023 dates TBA

March in New Orleans marks the height of the festival season, starting with the annual Freret Street Festival, held in 2022 on March 26. This free neighborhood festival has been growing since the mid-1990s, with about 200 vendors participating and three music stages.

As you can see, the spring season in New Orleans is loaded with activities and events, and with the right planning and the willingness to eat and dance with gusto, you can have the best time the city has to offer!

Exploring Magazine Street Block by Block

Just like Freret Street’s revitalized strip, at least 13 blocks of Magazine Street are meant to be walked. It’s the main commercial artery that the Garden District and Uptown share, and it’s crammed with restaurants, bars, sidewalk cafes, and dozens of retail stores.

Post-pandemic, even more restaurants have mushroomed, making Magazine Street an essential dining destination. From the James Beard award winners to casual, budget-friendly popups, it’s a must on your New Orleans food bucket list.

Similarly, Magazine Street is a shopping haven, from high-end boutiques to vintage shops to unique local retailers with one-a-kind New Orleans-themed merch. So, if you’re looking to buy local art, antiques, vintage clothing or funky costumes, Magazine Street is where you’ll find it.

Here are our top recommendations for where to eat, shop, rent a bike or get your yoga fix on Magazine Street block by block. We couldn’t possibly include every place, but you can use this detailed guide to Magazine Street for a full list. Now, let’s explore.

Where to Eat and Drink on Magazine Street

Stein’s Market and Deli

2207 Magazine Street

A classic Jewish-Italian deli that’s popular for its specialty meats, cheeses, and brews. This is where you can get Cuban or breakfast sandwiches outside of the French Quarter (we’re talking about Verti Marte), or a corned beef special the likes of which you’d find at legendary delis like Katz’s in New York City. This is also a place for you if you’ve been nostalgic for a cheesesteak, a hoagie, a matzah ball soup, or a tuna melt from your home city. The Italian angle is represented by panini and other classics, and the sides include sauerkraut and Knishes with fillings like corned beef and cheese, and potato and onion. Nothing on the menu will break the bank, and everything is delicious.

Molly’s Rise and Shine

2338 Magazine Street

A sister restaurant of the nationally buzzed-about Turkey and the Wolf is worth a visit if you’re jonesing for breakfast. Only open Thursday through Monday, from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m., Molly’s serves a heaping breakfast menu full of items like bagel bites, burritos, the special called the Grand Slam McMuffin (pork patties, hashbrowns, onions, American cheese), but also lighter fare like the roasted carrot yogurt.

The Ruby Slipper Café

2802 Magazine Street

This locally owned mini-chain is a must-go for heaping Southern staples like eggs cochon, shrimp and grits, and bacon praline pancakes. It’s got its award-winning formula down with generous portions, killer cocktails, upbeat and quick service, and a down-home vibe. Even if there’s a wait, it will be worth it.

Another Broken Egg Café

2917 Magazine Street

This is a popular brunch destination on the bustling commercial corridor of Magazine Street with pancakes, brunch specialties like crab cake Benedict and eggs with crawfish and Andouille, signature omelets, and specialty spiked cold brews and Bloody Marys served in mason jars.

Slim Goodies Diner

3322 Magazine Street

An inexpensive local hangout with Southern staples and plenty of good vibes. Some of the house specialties are the inventively named slammers (different kinds of scrambles, from meaty to vegan, served with hash browns). The Creole Slammer, for instance, comes with a biscuit and crawfish étouffée. There’s also a lovely patio.

Dat Dog

3336 Magazine Street

Dat Dog’s both Uptown locations (there’s another one at 5030 Freret St.) have dog-friendly outdoor seating, great for people-watching too. At both locations, the affordable Dat Dog dishes out a wide variety of meat, fish, vegan and veggie hot dogs, sausages, and other kid-friendly comfort food like burgers and chicken. The dogs and the sausages come with a choice of more than 30 toppings.

Imperial Woodpecker Sno Balls

3511 Magazine Street

Classic, creamy, sugar-free, and all-natural flavors (strawberry-basil, watermelon-jalapeno) rub shoulders at Imperial Woodpecker.

Bouligny Tavern

3641 Magazine Street

This chic gastropub is located just outside the Garden District, right next to its sister restaurant, Lilette. There’s a heated patio that’s perfect for winding down with one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails and small plates like a shrimp roll or duck confit. It’s open later than most restaurants in the area — till midnight on Mondays through Wednesdays, and till 1 a.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays.


4226 Magazine Street

Nomiya defines itself as a New Orleans ramen bar and sticks to it by serving the traditional, pork-based tonkotsu plus two more types of broth. The menu is simple: pick your broth and the toppings, and maybe supplement with edamame and pork buns. The mochi ice cream flavors rotate.

La Petit Grocery

4238 Magazine Street

La Petite Grocery, the former 19th-century neighborhood grocery, was transformed by owner-chef Justin Devillier in 2010. A 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: South, Devillier puts his creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with dishes like blue crab beignets and shellfish stew.

Casamento’s Restaurant

4330 Magazine Street

A staple and a go-to destination for fresh seafood since 1919, Casamento’s is as New Orleans as it gets. Head on over to enjoy the oyster bar nestled inside a small, mosaic-tiled space, but also try any and all of the seafood offerings on the menu. Casamento’s should be on every local’s and visitors’ bucket list.

Piccola Gelateria

4500 Magazine Street

In addition to small-batch, house-made gelato and sorbetto in over a dozen flavors, this classic Italian-style gelato shop offers crepes (savory with meat, sweet with Nutella, and vegetarian). Piccola Gelateria sources local milk and cream, and sells its own, custom-blended, micro-roasted espresso. The place opens at noon, and could also serve well as a brunch destination.

Raw Republic

4528 Magazine Street

Raw Republic’s cold-pressed, organic juices are a healthy way to kickstart your day. The bright, modern storefront offers coffee, smoothies, salads, cereal, and grab-and-go vegan fare, too. Though the storefront is tiny, a staircase leads to an upstairs room with balcony seating — perfect for people-watching while sipping your green juice. They also deliver.

La Boulangerie

4600 Magazine Street

Tarts, scones, quiches, and muffins at this French bakery and cafe are almost too pretty to eat, and all menu items are hand-prepared according to traditional recipes. Sit at a sidewalk table with an almond croissant and a cafe au lait and feel like you’ve been transported to Paris.


4729 Magazine Street

Set in a renovated double shotgun cottage, Apolline spotlights chef Michael Shelton’s creative use of local ingredients in modern Southern dishes like veal sweetbreads and crawfish bisque. Impress your date with some elevated dining, New Orleans style, or bring the family for brunch/lunch.


4734 Magazine Street

A welcome addition to the increasingly thriving Middle Eastern newcomers on Magazine Street, Misa offers Israeli and Lebanese specialties on its menu and outdoor dining. The small dining room and the patio are both lovely and cozy, and a great way to pass some time people-watching while gorging on lamb kebabs and housemade desserts.

Tal’s Hummus

4800 Magazine Street

A great on-the-go option on the bustling Magazine Street, Tal’s is a quick-service-style tiny spot that specializes in Israeli-inspired food such as falafel, hummus, pita sandwiches, platters, kebabs, salads, and more. It’s fresh, quick, delicious, and made to order.

Tito’s Ceviche & Pisco

5015 Magazine Street

Tito’s Ceviche & Pisco is chef Juan Lock’s ode to the Peruvian culinary traditions, including ceviche, the national dish of his home country, and pisco sour, a popular national drink. The menu is laden with traditional Peruvian dishes made with love and fresh, local ingredients. Dine as a family, or bring a date — you won’t be disappointed either way.

Guy’s Po-Boys

5259 Magazine Street

Guy’s has been a beloved local lunch staple since the early 1990s. It’s often voted among the top five po-boy shops in the city, if not the top. The fried shrimp po-boy is definitely among the best in the city.


5757 Magazine Street

Alon Shaya’s Saba is the award-winning chef’s love letter to Middle Eastern cuisine, with a focus on Israeli culinary classics. Everything here, from hummus to labneh to falafel is worth sampling and very sharable. Saba is open for lunch Friday through Sunday.

Taqueria Corona

5932 Magazine Street

Taqueria Corona is a go-to for the whole family if you’re craving well-done classic Mexican food like tacos and burritos. The house margarita is a good deal, and tasty, too. This Uptown sit-down is popular for very good reasons and always seems to be packed, but the service is efficient, so you’ll be seated quickly. Taqueria Corona is not just our lunch recommendation, it’s a great pick for brunch and dinner as well.

Where to Shop on Magazine Street

Dirty Coast

1320 and 5415 Magazine Streets 

Dirty Coast is a New Orleans-based T-shirt company that’s been around since 2004, outfitting the locals and the visitors alike in the NOLA-centric tees, hoodies and tanks, and coining the ubiquitous phrase “Be a New Orleanian Wherever You Are.” Besides T-shirts Dirty Coast is packed to the gills with coasters, bumper stickers, home goods, merch for kids, and lots and lots of all things Who Dat and Mardi Gras. In addition to its two Magazine Street locations, the company has an outpost at the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

Century Girl

2023 Magazine Street

This elegant vintage boutique showcases a carefully curated selection of rare and gorgeous vintage pieces spanning the decades including Jazz Age, many of them designer (think vintage Chanel earrings, Gatsby-esque rhinestone headbands, and bridal romantic lingerie of yesteryear). Everything is in pristine condition and impeccably presented.


2841 Magazine Street

This permanent indoor market features more than 100 shops under one roof. There you’ll find locally made art, clothing, crafts, home decor, and jewelry you can take home. The eclectic inventory is mostly handmade and maintains the green theme by featuring recycled and repurposed items.

Magazine Antique Mall

3017 Magazine Street

This sprawling indoor haven for antique and vintage shoppers is brimming with estate jewelry, vintage clothing, 70s tchotchkes, antique furniture, collectibles, and anything else you can dig out. It’s a 6,500 sq. ft. trifecta of a walk down memory lane, a bargain hunt, and a trip down the rabbit hole, all under one roof.

Funky Monkey

3127 Magazine Street

The affordable, quirky and locally owned Funky Monkey mixes new, used and vintage clothing and accessories for both men and women with costumes, trendy basics, and contemporary indie labels. Come Halloween or Mardi Gras this is your destination for seasonal gear like vintage ballgowns and costume jewelry.

Fleurty Girl

3137 Magazine Street

A successful vision of New Orleans-native Lauren Leblanc Haydel, Fleurty Girl was founded in 2009 and has since expanded to eight locations in Louisiana, including one Uptown, and the latest addition at the new North Terminal at the Louis Armstrong International Airport. The boutique T-shirt chain sells New Orleans-inspired apparel, accessories, home decor, and gifts. Fleurty Girl’s specialties are Who Dat shirts and “Shirts With Y’atitude” for men, women, kids, and even dogs — very New Orleans pride.

United Apparel Liquidators (UAL)

3306 Magazine Street

This small Southern chain has three locations in the New Orleans metro area (the others are in the French Quarter and Metairie), offering up to 90% off on past-season and overstock items obtained directly from high-end boutiques and department stores. They also work directly with designers to purchase their samples and overruns, so this is a great shop for one-of-a-kind pieces from designer brands at a fraction of the original price.


3310 Magazine Street

This is just one of many outposts of the popular French Quarter boutique. There are eight stores in Louisiana alone, including a popular location in the French Quarter. Owner Brigitte Holthausen built her style empire starting in New Orleans in the early 90s, eventually ending up with 30 locations throughout the South. Hemline excels at expertly curating a rotating collection of covetable fashion from premium brands, luxe to casual, including high-quality denim, cocktail dresses, and shoes and accessories.

Buffalo Exchange 

4119 Magazine Street

A trendy nationwide chain that buys, sells and trades vintage and used clothing and accessories for men and women, Buffalo Exchange is a reliable stop for gear ranging from designer evening dresses to basics to funky accessories. Located on a bustling stretch of Magazine Street and surrounded by boutiques and restaurants, Buffalo Exchange is popular among locals and visitors alike. Thanks to its affordability and proximity to the Loyola and Tulane campuses, it’s also frequented by college students.

Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothing & Costumes

4204 Magazine Street

Small but mighty, Miss Claudia’s is a goldmine filled with majorette boots, funky vintage costumes, wigs, dazzling accessories, and other everyday and festive essentials for your one-of-a-kind Halloween or Mardi Gras outfit. Follow the store on Instagram and see for yourself.


4529 Magazine Street

Magpie is an absolute treasure trove of unique vintage items, from sparkling 1920s art deco engagement rings to the colorful 1960s caftans. Prices are surprisingly affordable for vintage and antique items in such good condition, and the cozy, wood-floored shop is as inviting as a friend’s living room. Out-of-towners who fall in love with Magpie can shop the store’s Etsy page once they return home — a visit to this boutique is only the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Ashley Longshore

4537 Magazine Street

Join pop artist Ashley Longshore‘s legions of fans, which include 312,000-plus Instagram followers and clients like Blake Lively and Cher, when you visit her Uptown studio gallery. Longshore playfully skewers trophy wives, excess, designer labels, and celebrity in her work: butterfly-bedecked silhouettes of women, champagne bottles, renditions of media personalities like Anna Wintour, and sassy phrases. All in all, Longshore’s large-scale acrylic paintings mirror her personality: glittery, hilarious, and larger than life.


5007 Freret Street

Babe is one of very few retailers to open on the revitalized Freret Street corridor, which boasts a wealth of bars, restaurants and venues. While the nightlife is sparkling on the commercial stretch, the daytime shopping opportunities at this contemporary casual women’s boutique also are not to be missed. Find the perfect romper, chambray off-the-shoulder frock or statement jumpsuit at this bright and airy boutique (then wear it out on the town that night).

Victoria Boutique

5420 Magazine Street

Upscale, understated, and home to luxury designer brands, Victoria Boutique is the retail equivalent of Posh Spice. It’s the destination for New Orleans’ well-heeled crowd, boasting exclusive labels and high-end items. Shop at this gorgeous, sprawling boutique and you just may brush shoulders with a former Carnival queen.


5505 Magazine Street

This hip local chain is well stocked with enviable designer denim, plus things like graphic tees (JTees) for men, women, and kids. Think lots and lots of football-fan gear to represent your Saints/LSU pride. Jeantherapy has another location in metro New Orleans, at the Lakeside Mall.


6070 Magazine Street

Perlis has been going strong since 1939 as a family-run clothier in Southern Louisiana, now with four locations including Baton Rouge and the Jax Brewery in the French Quarter. If you have a hankering for southern-style clothing Perlis has you covered with designer brands and made-to-measure items. The company caters heavily to men, but you’ll also find lots of clothing for women and kids, plus Louisiana-themed gifts. One of the best-known collections by Perlis features a crawfish logo — where you’ll find the famous mudbug gracing shorts, shirts, polos, socks, and wallets — very Louisiana.

Staying Fit on Magazine Street

Mike the Bike Guy

4411 Magazine Street

For bike rentals Uptown, try Mike the Bike Guy within cycling distance to Audubon Park, St. Charles Avenue, and the campuses of Tulane and Loyola universities.

Live Oak Yoga

6113 Magazine Street

Get your yoga fix at Live Oak Yoga, which occupies a lovely, sunlit space and offers private and group classes.

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