St. Charles Avenue is one of the most touristy avenues of New Orleans, mostly because it is one of the main Mardi Gras parade routes. The avenue is one of the best ways for plebeians without cars to reach the French Quarter by means of the streetcar, TapRide, Tulane Shuttle, Über, Lyft, etc. I’d like to walk you through the St. Charles Avenue that I know about, have visited, or have heard about during my time as a Tulane student. I’d also like to preface that I’m not a native, and I only have had my car since this semester, so I might be missing out on some great spots. However, I think that St. Charles should be explored on its own simply because it is a beautiful street with amazing places to stop and see.
St. Charles Avenue spans mostly from South Carrollton Avenue to Lee Circle. Starting from Carrolton, the area at the intersection has Daiquiris, La Madeleine, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, and Cooter Brown’s Tavern. I have not been to the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, but as a New Yorker, no pizza can ever make me as happy as Death™ by Papa John’s. A little outside of the intersection, you’ll some of my favorite restaurants (in this order) like: The Milk Bar (sandwiches), The Camelia Grill (diner food) , Pepperoni’s Café (café food—like Fresco Café), SNO-LA (snowballs), and Baskin Robbins. All of this is just around the intersection.
Moving down towards Downtown, we come across the superior Rite Aid (RIP Oak Street/S. Carrollton Rite Aid) on the intersection with Broadway. Just past this intersection you come across the Park View Historic Motel, which I’d recommend for your parents/guardians when they come to visit you during you college experience (let’s be honest, they don’t want to sleep in your terribly dirty dorm/house where your one of your friends probably destroyed when he puked all over it…not like that happened to me or anything). It’s also across from the beautiful Audubon Park. If you walk across Audubon Park, you come to Magazine Street, the zoo, and the aquarium.
Once you keep going for long enough (hopefully you aren’t walking this), you’ll come to the actually completed street intersection with Jefferson. For the first three years of my college experience, Jefferson was just broken and under construction. It’s fine now, I guess? If you head down south (or riverside), you’ll come to the Prytania Theatre, which is one of the more famous theatres in New Orleans with its productions of plays. If you’re a theatre geek like me, you’d be living under a rock if you didn’t know about this theatre.
A little bit further down east of St. Charles, you’ll come to the intersection with Robert Street which, if you follow down south (riverside), look for Prytania Street. There you will be met by two illustrious Chase Banks! I know, quite an amazing and rare sight, but only in New Orleans will you be blessed by such stupidity. Less amazingly, there are a lot of, I guess, nice places like Yogurtland (frozen yogurt) and lots of other dessert places (Creole Creamery) around there. It’s a weird conglomerate of different dessert shops to form this dessert block.
The next point of interest would be the intersection with Napoleon Avenue which houses Superior Seafood and Fat Harry’s. Superior’s happy hour is EVERY DAY from 4pm to 6:30pm. I recommend getting their Frozen Pomegranate Mojitos and 50¢ oyster specials (and crawfish is good there too, but I’d wait until the Spring season). Fat Harry’s is a bar and restaurant with your basic pub eats (burgers, po boys, fries, etc.) I have been there before, but I honestly only remember the fact that they have fries because I can’t remember much from that night. There’s also a New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood place a block further down.
Futher east, there’s a McDonald’s, Rally’s, and a restaurant called “The Delachaise” on Delachaise/Aline Streets. That whole double street is full restaurants, bars, and there’s a CHASE BANK. There’s also Commander’s Palace (fancy restaurant) nearby at Washington Avenue.
Finally, the last point of interest and the big bang at the end of this journey is everything after Jackson Avenue. I honestly don’t want to get into a lot of detail about this area because I think you should see it for yourself. It’s a beautiful little area before you reach Lee Circle, but I will point out some key places: Poseidon Oyster Sushi Bar, Mr. John’s Steakhouse, Tacos & Beer, and Hoshun. These are just some of the places I’ve either been to or heard good things about, but there are so many more places around here. It’s so compact and full of life. I went to visit it at a Friday afternoon once, and the lighting at that time was beautiful. Maybe skip the Fly once and check this place out?
Take the streetcar down and explore St. Charles for yourself! I promise you that you won’t be disappointed. Use this live map of the Streetcar to guide you! Good luck, and fair travels! https://www.norta.com/Maps-Schedules/System-Map/Line.aspx?ID=12
COVER PHOTO: Justin Haber