NEW ORLEANS - BYWATER & MARIGNY DISTRICTS
The Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods were by far my favorite. Little neighborhood streets lined with colorful houses -- be still my heart! I highly suggest spending an afternoon (or full day!) here letting the houses lead the way, but there are def a few key spots to check out while you’re wandering.
Bacchanal - Bacchanal was our first stop when we got in to town which we also visited a few times after. Technically a wine bar, I suggest grabbing a bottle of wine and picking out a cheese plate when you first get in the door then find yourself a table to share on the backyard patio. There is also a small (yet very delicious) kitchen that you order from a window out back. In true New Orleans’ fashion, there is also live music every evening on the backyard stage. We ended up sharing a table with the owner of Red’s Chinese (think Mission Chinese of the South) and he tipped us off that Kim (aka Queen Kold Madina), whose experience of Hurricane Katrina was documented in the film Trouble the Water, was set up that evening selling her cds and merch to raise money for a local non-profit. (Side note: If you haven’t seen Trouble the Water DO IT NOW! It’s heartbreakingly wonderful and such an interesting and up close look during and after Katrina.)
St. Roch Market - St. Roch is the perfect stop any time of day with any group. This old market that first opened in 1875 has kept the victorian charm while updating the venue with a booming food scene of independent (and rather hipster) food stalls.
The Country Club - Apparently, The Country Club used to be pretty skaggy (in a totally good way), but they have stepped up their game with a newly renovated restaurant and bar. However, the real gem is the private pool tucked away in the back. Get an annual membership or get a day pass. Either way sit back and relax!
Rubber Library and Flower Bodega - I LOVED this little DIY-esque space. The beautiful flowers first pull you in the door and the intrigue of the library/bookstore leads you upstairs. It seems like a small but well curated selection of titles and while most of the inventory is indeed used books, the large tables in the middle invite anyone to hang out, grab a book, or doodle in your sketchbook. There's also a great little thrift store in this area and Satsuma Cafe, which is a funky little coffee house great for a quite bite or a juice to go.