Local photographer and legal advocate Megan Trosclair decided to buy a home in the New Orleans Bywater neighborhood after renting in the area for three years. It is a choice she has never regretted. “What I like most about the Bywater is that I can walk from my house to get coffee, a lot of my friends live nearby, and all of my favorite bars are right down the street. Aside from the convenience, it is just a really beautiful, vibrant neighborhood,” Trosclair says.
If you’d like to see for yourself, here are my top 10 choices of things to check out in the Bywater. Keep in mind the Bywater’s size makes it easy to navigate, so you can bike between destinations and to the nearby French Quarter and Marigny.
1. Satsuma Café – Fuel up on green juice, coffee, and perhaps a tofu scramble. Enjoy your breakfast outside and watch the locals walking their dogs for eclectic people watching.
2. The Joint – This nationally-acclaimed BBQ spot has some of the best ribs and potato salad around, plus some of the best mac and cheese, pulled pork, brisket — you get the idea.
3. Pizza Delicious – Local favorite “Pizza D” serves up Brooklyn-style pizza, pasta, salads, beer, and wine. Try a side of their killer garlic knots with your pizza and enjoy their outdoor patio area when weather permits.
4. Bacchanal Wine – Order a cheese plate and enjoy it alongside your wine in this Bywater retailer and restaurant’s beautiful, quirky and spacious courtyard. At night, the lights in the courtyard give it an intimate feel, and there is often live music as well.
5. Euclid Records – Peruse the used and new vinyl at this top notch New Orleans record store, and hopefully catch some in-store live music. They’ve also got CDs and cassette tapes and a lot of jazz selections.
6. Dr. Bob Folk Art – New Orleans self-taught folk artist Dr. Bob has made the phrase “Be Nice or Leave” as much a part of his identity as the objects he transforms into his artwork. Common figures include creatures from the bayou, the characters of the Quarter, and the spirits and demons of the Crescent City. Stop by his studio in Bywater to purchase finished pieces, see works in progress, and to meet the man himself.
7. The Country Club – This neighborhood gem is a great spot to meet friends for socializing, and perhaps a swim in the pool or dip in the Jacuzzi. They’ve also got good food, and their Saturday and Sunday brunch features bottomless mimosas.
8. Vaughan’s Lounge – If it’s a Thursday night, you’re guaranteed to hear live music here (yes, it’s the one you saw on HBO’s “Treme”) – most likely it will now be Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet.
9. BJ’s Lounge – Visit this dive bar and play some old favorites on the jukebox. On Monday nights, they’ve got free red beans and rice and music by King James & the Special Men.
10. Saturn Bar -This offbeat nightspot featuring a full bar, alternative bands, guest DJs & dance parties is a local’s favorite in the Bywater.