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GoNOLA Neighborhood Guide: Riverbend

Camellia Grill
The Camellia Grill (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Just above Uptown and nestled next to the Mississippi River levee, the Riverbend neighborhood of New Orleans is a residential oasis dotted with thriving boutique shops and restaurants. Before becoming part of New Orleans in 1874, the Riverbend was part of the city of Carrollton with Oak Street as its Main Street. You don’t want to miss the chance to walk down this historic commercial corridor while you’re in New Orleans, so we’ve created a guide to this quirky locals’ neighborhood.

(Photo: Rebecca Todd)

History of the Riverbend

 Carrollton was originally designated as a plantation belonging to Le Sieur de Bienville, who founded New Orleans. The plantation passed through several owners before eventually being split into plots. In the 1830s, homes began springing up in the area, and in 1845 it was officially incorporated as the city of Carrollton. 

The St. Charles Streetcar line was the first connector between New Orleans and the city of Carrollton (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Soon New Orleans and Carrollton were linked by the New Orleans and Carrollton line, which is today the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line. Though they could access the French Quarter and other parts of New Orleans, residents of Carrollton were more likely to shop in one of the city’s commercial corridors: present day Maple Street and Oak Street

Founded in 1834, Tulane University has long been a staple of the Riverbend neighborhood. Together with Loyola University of New Orleans, the area is a hub for education, each with gorgeous, walkable campuses.

Rue de la Course (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Riverbend Today

Today the Riverbend neighborhood is very much part of New Orleans, full of dive bars, neighborhood restaurants, coffee houses, and shops. We’ve got a few recommendations to help you make the most of your visit to the neighborhood.

Coffee

Sip bold New Orleans coffee at Rue de la Course, one of the city’s most elegant coffee shops, or get funky at Z’otz with artists, musicians, and other New Orleans characters. 

Breakfast

Grab some pancakes or Eggs Benedict at Refuel or try a shrimp and grits sandwich at Luca Eats. If you’re in the mood for a fresh bagel, head to Cibo, an Italian eatery and deli on Carrollton Avenue. 

Cowbell mac n’ cheese (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Lunch

The Riverbend has you covered for all your lunch cravings. If you’re in the mood for Vietnamese, try Ba Chi Canteen. For a burger, check out Cowbell, or munch on some wings on the patio at Bourree

Happy Hour

Sip wine and enjoy a cheese plate at Chais Delachaise or Oak Wine Bar. If you’re more of a beer drinker, head over to Ale on Oak, which is right next door. 

Dinner

Carrollton Market and Brigtsen’s are special occasion destinations for Riverbend residents, with menus featuring local produce and classic cocktails. Jacques-Imo’s is a New Orleans staple serving classic dishes such as jambalaya and étouffée plus funky twists like alligator cheesecake. 

Rebirth
Rebirth Brass Band performs at the Maple Leaf Bar (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Live Music

The Riverbend is home to the Maple Leaf, an iconic New Orleans music venue. Rebirth Brass Band and George Porter, Jr. frequent this classic club.  

Bars

Laid-back bars dot the Riverbend neighborhood. Carrollton Station is great for live music and comedy shows and Cooter Brown’s is the spot to watch a Saint’s game. Bonus points if you stay up late enough to make it to Snake and Jakes

Shopping

Shops dot Maple Street, but Gae-tana’s, which carries clothes, shoes, accessories, and gifts, stands out. We also love Blue Cypress Books, an independent bookstore on Oak Street.

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