Sometimes, you’re just hungry… and you can’t exactly pinpoint what it is that will sate you. But when you can choose from 13 vendors that include cocktails, local produce, Gulf seafood, and much more? Well, hunger is no match for St. Roch Market.
An open floor plan and plenty of marble give St. Roch Market a bright but luxurious aesthetic, perhaps belying its down-home, hyper-local attitude. Most of the employees live right within the neighborhood, and everything you’ll find is closely connected to local and regional agriculture.
“You can sit down and know that you’re supporting a family business,” says Will Donaldson, co-owner of the market.
What’s more, he says, the vendors really exemplify “the creativity and the mix of culture that is indicative of what New Orleans really is.”
You’ll see that mix in the variety of vendors, who serve everything from Creole-Korean barbecue to authentic Nigerian food to simple, perfect raw oysters. And because food ought to be a wholly sensory experience, perks like live music and a charming ambience add to the flavor of the space.
St. Roch Market Video Transcript
Will Donaldson (co-owner, St. Roch Market): The St. Roch Market is a place where you can get a plate of prepared food but also walk home with a bag of incredible locally focused groceries. It was originally constructed sometime around 1875. Unfortunately, it succumbed to Hurricane Katrina and was closed for about 10 years until we reopened it in April.
In the St. Roch Market we have 13 individual entrepreneurs that are all starting businesses. These are people that have all been in the food space for a long time and this building represents an opportunity for them to go out and do their own thing. And so you see the creativity and mix of culture that is indicative of what New Orleans really is.
Leslie Garrote (manager, Koreole): We have mostly Korean food with a little Creole twist.
Micah Martello (owner, King Creole): Upscale Southern comfort food.
Lesley Turner (owner, Dirty Dishes): Anything you want to put in a crepe, we can put in it.
Brandon Blackwell (owner, Elysian Seafood): We get on the phone with our purveyors every morning and see what’s coming fresh out of the water.
Will Donaldson: Ultimately you can sit down and know that you’re supporting a family business. Someone that’s based in New Orleans that’s starting something. That’s pretty cool. You also get a delicious plate of food so you’re supporting them while also having a good time.
Tunde Wey (owner, Lagos): It’s fun to introduce people to Nigerian food. The staple is Jollof rice, stewed in a puree of red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spiced. Really, really flavorful.
Micah Martello: This building was boarded up. Now we employ a lot of local people.
Will Donaldson: Most of the employees at the market live within the 7th 8th or 9th Ward, many within walking distance. So we have strong ties, I think, to our neighborhood.
Lesley Turner: I’m a New Orleanian. I’m from New Orleans. Anything growing in New Orleans, your heart is in it.
Quianna Flores (cook, Koreole): Come in with your friends. Sit down, relax and everything. Have a drink, have a bite to eat. And have a good day!
Will Donaldson: You can see business, you can see food, you can see music. You can see a little bit of everything.
Leslie Garrote: It’s just a great place to come and eat!