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New Orleans - bits & bobs

1. New Orleans was actually the capital of Louisiana, not once, but twice.

2. The New Orleans classic, Eggs Sardou (made famous by Antoine’s restaurant in the French Quarter) is named for French playwright Victorin Sardou.

3. New Orleans has been founded, controlled, or ruled by three countries: Spain, France, and the United States.



Mardi Gras 2018 is Tuesday, February 13th


Mardi Gras Walking Neighborhoods In New Orleans

French Quarter & Mardi Gras Parade Route Adjacent Neighborhoods

Faubourg Marigny | The Bywater District | The Garden District | Central Business District (CBD)

Society of St. Anne Walking Parade in The Bywater District

One of the greatest barriers to enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans (NOLA) is simply getting form place to place. And, while it’s almost impossible to get everywhere you want to go without taking a cab, bus, or streetcar at some point, one of the best things Carnival visitors can do to avoid being stuck in traffic for hours at a time is to book their accommodations in one of the neighborhoods within easy walking distance of the Mardi Gras action (Bourbon Street and the French Quarter).

One of the side benefits of living in these "adjacent" neighborhoods is that many of the best Mardi Gras parades either take place entirely in, or pass through, these districts.

Though you may not like the idea of being on foot late at night, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it for a woman traveling alone, most people will be happier avoiding cars and taxis during Mardi Gras. And the exercise will help to burn off excess "Hurricane Calories".

Faubourg Marigny (The Marigny) -

Location: From roughly Esplanade to Franklin bordered on the north by St. Claude (or some would say I-10) & on the south by Crescent Park along the Mississippi River

Just east of the French Quarter along Elysian Fields, this gentrifying but still artsy and working class neighborhood is divided into Faubourg Marigny (on the southern end of the district, running almost to the river) and an area that some (mostly realtors) refer to as “"New Marigny" that runs north of St. Claude to the highway.” Bordered on one end by the Mississippi River, and tucked in between other neighborhoods like Bywater, the Marigny is oddly shaped, and locals may be heard to refer to its various parts as “"the triangle" and "the rectangle". Overall, Faubourg Marigny tends to be a quiet locals neighborhood, far more relaxed than the French Quarter, but close enough to allow visitors to enjoy Bourbon Street without having to drive.


Restaurants in ‘The Marigny’

Faubourg Marigny is dominated by a host of small (ish) cafes, bakeries and joints, but no big signature establishments. You won’t go hungry in The Marigny, and will meet lots of friendly folks as you sample your way around the neighborhood, but you probably won’t have the meal of your life there either.

Who Dat Cafe
2401 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70117
504-872-0360

Short Order (review): A well regarded local joint, colorful and cheery, bitter coffee, good scramble and fresh fruit plate.

New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery
2440 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70117
504-943-0010

Year-Round Attractions in ‘The Marigny'

Elysian Field - A wide boulevard with a pleasing greenspace in between the north/south lanes. Some say the center greenway was originally intended to be a canal connecting the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. When the railroad was built instead, the canal project was scrapped.


St. Roch Cemetery & Chapel
1725 St. Roch Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

Confederacy of Cruisers - There seem to be good reviews for these bike tours through the Marigny.


Mardi Gras-specific Attractions in “The Marigny”

The Society of St. Anne’s Parade (which originates in the Bywater) passes through The Marigny on its way to the French Quarter. This walking (non-float-oriented) parade is extremely popular with locals as it has a long history of honoring friends and loved ones who have passed away during the preceding year. St. Anne’s has the casual feel of friends and neighbors gathering for impromptu hoc celebration.


For those based in The Marigny, there’s plenty of Mardi Gras people watching to be done as you make your way to and from The French Quarter. Or you can simply sit on the front porch of your accommodations and watch the costumed revelers pass by.


The Bywater District ("Bywater") -

Location: Roughly southeast of the French Quarter and off the lower (south) eastern edge of the Marigny (Franklin & St. Claude), the Bywater District borders the river and runs from The Marigny east to the industrial canal (Inner Harbor Navigational Canal - IHNC)


Restaurants in the Bywater District

The Joint
Nationally acclaimed barbecue “joint”
 701 Mazant St
504-949-3232


Year-Round Attractions in the Bywater District

Bon Castor (Funky handmade boutique shopping)
3207 Burgundy
504-948-9987


Dr. Bob’s Folk Art
3027 Chartres
New Orleans, LA 70117
504-945-2225

 

Vaughan’s Lounge (Bar & Musical Lounge)
800 Lesseps St
504-947-5562

BJ’s Lounge(Bar & Musical Lounge)

4301 Burgundy

Mardi Gras-specific Attractions in The Bywater District
The Society of St. Anne’s Parade originates in the Bywater and passes through The Marigny on its way to the French Quarter.

This walking (non-float-oriented) parade is extremely popular with locals as it has a long history of honoring friends and loved ones who have passed away during the preceding year. St. Anne’s has the casual feel of friends and neighbors gathering for an impromptu celebration.

Garden District

Location: Loosely defined as south and west of the French Quarter and west of the "Lower Garden District - loosely defined as between St. Charles Avenue (north), 1st Street or Jackson Ave. (east), Magazine Street (south) and Toledano Street (west)

Located west of the French Quarter and the Central Business District, the Garden District is one of New Orleans' architectural prizes. For the most part this quiet neighborhood of tree-lined boulevards is filled with stately old wood-framed New Orleans “mansions” - the colorful ones with big, inviting front porches that many of us associate with life in NOLA. While the Garden District can be a convenient walking neighborhood, and a convenient corridor for getting to/from Mardi Gras attractions. It's also a bit of a walk from the heart of the French Quarter, particularly if you have to navigate street closings due to parades.


Garden District Restaurants

Commander’s Palace
Serving Cajun and Creole fare, Commander’s is perennially recognized as one of New Orleans’ top restaurants.
1403 Washington Ave
504-899-8221


Slim Goodies
Serving world-class breakfast and brunch fare, Slim Goodies is renowned as the first restaurant to reopen after Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing flood decimated much of New Orleans.
3322 Magazine St.
504-891-EGGS (3447)

 

Joey’ K’s
3001 Magazine Street
504-891-0997

 

The Grocery
Known for its pressed PoBoys
2854 Saint Charles Avenue
(504) 895-9524

 

Lilly’s Cafe (Lower Garden)
1813 Magazine St
504-599-9999

Year-Round Attractions in the Garden District

There are lots of walking tours through this area, or simply take the streetcar to an adjacent stop and go for a walk to “ooh” and “ahh” at the architecture and impeccably manicured gardens.

Lafayette Cemetery - One of the oldest cemeteries in the city. Lafayette Cemetery is easily recognized from its appearances in numerous movies.

Magazine Street - A quiet alternative to Bourbon Street, strolling among the shops and restaurants on Magazine Street is an immensely pleasurable way to spend an afternoon.

Streetcar Ride - Ride the trolley through these stately and majestic neighborhoods. You’ll save your legs, get a taste of public transportation the way they use to do it, and satisfy your cravings for architecture and “old” New Orleans all at once.

Mardi Gras-specific Attractions in The Garden District (parades, etc.)


Regardless which of these “walking neighborhoods” you choose as your base during Mardi Gras, you are sure to find lots to do, and will receive a friendly Southern welcome. From the hip and trendy Bywater, to the “Old New Orleans” Garden District, you’ll be much happier walking during Mardi Gras, and other times of the year, than trying to negotiate the French Quarter and parade routes by car or taxi (particularly during Mar Gras and Jazz Fest).


Central Business District (CBD)

Location: Located roughly from S. Claiborne to the Mississippi River between Iberville St. and the Ponchartrain Expressway

As a “business district”, the Central Business District (“CBD” for short) is geared more towards those staying in hotels/motels, and offers lots of restaurants and businesses, and is less of a family-oriented neighborhood with houses, BnBs and casual local “joints”. It’s not better or worse, just different from areas like the Marigny or Bywater. It’s still close and convenient to the French Quarter and generally a convenient place to base yourself if you want to avoid the traffic and walk to the main Mardi Gras events.


Central Business District (CBD) Restaurants

Antoine's

13 St Louis St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
504-581-4422

Mr. B’s Bistro

201 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
504/523-2078

Drago’s Seafood
2 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 584-3911

Dominique’s On Magazine
4213 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
504-891-9282

Year-Round Attractions in the Central Business District (CBD)

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
1 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 581-4629, (800) 774-7394
www.auduboninstitute.org

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
423 Canal St., Custom House, New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 581-4629, (800) 774-7394
www.auduboninstitute.org

The Civic Theater
510 O’Keefe Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 272-0865
www.civicnola.com

Entergy IMAX Theatre
1 Canal St.,
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 581-4629, (800) 774-7394
www.auduboninstitute.org

Fulton Street Square (Pedestrian District)
228 Poydras St.,
New Orleans, LA 70115

Harrah's New Orleans Casino
8 Canal St.,
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 533-6000, (800) 427-7247
www.HarrahsNewOrleans.com

Mardi Gras-specific Attractions in The CBD (parades, etc.

While precious few routes are listed as being "in" the CBD, quite a few pass through it or end up there, particularly the many that end on Canal Street (or nearby).

Sources (and External Links)

The author/editor is indebted to others for the content in this article. While the final product on this page is ours, and we claim full ownership and responsibility for same, what you read here is based on our research, which led us to the following sources of information:

1. Financial Times: "Sliver By the River"; by Mark Elwood

2. Mr. B’s Bistro -

3. Urban Spoon - "CBD Restaurnts"

4. NOLA (dot com): "CBD Restaurants"

5. Dominique’s On Magazine -

6. New Orleans Online: "Cebtral Business District"

7. National Historic Landmarks: "Garden District"

8. The Grocery -

9. Confederacy of Cruisers -

10. About Travel: "Lafayette Cemetary in New Orleans"; Sharon Keating

11. New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA):

12. Experience New Orleans: New Orleans Fact - History Eccentricity, and Originality

13. Movoto: 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New Orleans

14. Bella Online: Cajun & Creole Site; Eggs Sardou; Sandie Jarrett (Guest Author)

15. Fact Monster: New Orleans, LA

16. The Library of Congress: Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase

17. HIstory (dot com): New Orleans


New Orleans Feature Stories

HIstory of the French Quarter - History, Art & Architecture of the French Quarter

Family-Friendly New Orleans - NOLA Mardi Gras attractions, tips and tricks for all ages

The Krewe Of Rex - The King Of Carnival The Rex Organization, and Pro Bono Publico

Street Performers - Etiquette and standards for watching musicians and performance artists
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Simply Heaven - Muriel's Jackson Square: Gulf Coast Cuisine With Supernatral Sides

Pat O'Brien's - The Home of The Hurricane Is A Family Tradition That's Here To Stay

Local Hero - Breakfast At Slim Goodies Diner Feeds New Orleans In More Ways Than One


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