I genuinely believe that every neighborhood in New Orleans has its own special charm, but if actions speak louder than words, I suppose I’m an Uptown girl since I’ve lived in three separate spots throughout the Uptown/Riverbend area. One of my all-time favorite memories is the afternoon I spent alone on the porch at The Columns Hotel on St. Charles, enjoying a cocktail and watching the streetcar roll by. There are so many things to do here that when I sat down to draft out an initial list of recommendations, I came up with nearly 50 things! As a disclaimer, these suggestions are structured around what my own perfect day in Uptown would include and is by no means a comprehensive look at all that the charming New Orleans neighborhood has to offer, so get busy exploring for yourself!
Top 10 Things To Do in Uptown New Orleans
1. Caffeine fix/Breakfast: Wake up and get your day started with some coffee and breakfast at Rue de la Course, Mojo (the barista here introduced me to Yerba Mate), Velvet, La Boulangerie (try the almond croissant – the bakery has been closed for summer break but will re-open August 8), Zotz, or Rivista (they have amazing gluten-free muffins!).
3. Retail therapy: There are plenty of shops on Oak, Maple, and Magazine Streets, and many more peppered throughout the surrounding areas. My favorites are Dirty Coast, Ah-Ha, and Hemline for clothing, and I always head to Scriptura for pretty stationery or cute cards.
4. Lunch: The options are endless: pizza from Slice, gourmet hot dogs from Dat Dog, the acclaimed shrimp po-boy from Domilise’s, burgers at Company Burger, a grilled cheese with caramelized onions from St. James Cheese Company, or a boudin plate with fresh juice from Surrey’s.
5. Books: I’m a total nerd, so I’d definitely make time to browse Maple Street Bookshop or Octavia Books – if you’re on a budget (who isn’t?), you can also check out the selection at Latter Memorial Library on St. Charles (they have been temporarily closed for renovations, so stay up to date on their Facebook page).
6. Something sweet: Try a cream of chocolate, sour apple, or wedding cake with cream snoball from Hansen’s Sno-Bliz or Plum Street Snoballs. If you’re not in the mood for a snoball, try a novelty ice cream flavor at Creole Creamery or an assortment of macarons from Sucre.
7. Sunshine: Take a walk in Audubon Park or lay out at The Fly (bring your new book and your snoball!). The Fly is right next to the river and is also a great spot to have a picnic with a group of friends.
8. Movie time: Catch the latest release at Prytania Theatre; they also play old favorites on Sundays and Wednesdays and late-night midnight movies.
9. Dinner: Again, there’re so many options: chicken “roasted under a brick” at Dante’s Kitchen, shrimp and alligator cheesecake from Jacques-Imo’s, pommes frites (fried in duck fat!) from Delachaise, or amazing sushi from Hana, Kyoto, or Origami.
10. Fancy drinks: I recommend sampling a gin fizz from Cure, cucumber cooler from Wayfare, mojito from St. Joe’s, or a glass of wine at OAK Wine Bar. If you like to party into the wee hours, stop by Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge (open till 7 a.m.!) for a cheap drink and guaranteed entertainment from the late-night crowd there.
Check out the list of hotels and guest houses in the Uptown area, and the streetcar line is oh-so-convenient to everything Uptown, so you should definitely be okay without a car.