Faubourg Marigny in New Orleans
The Faubourg Marigny (FAW-borg MER-ih-nee), or usually just Marigny, is a hip neighborhood just "below" (down river from) the French Quarter.
It has the air of what the French Quarter was a generation or two ago before there was so much tourist development. It has a few small hotels and many bed-and-breakfasts, as well as a number of good restaurants, coffee shops, and music venues. Part of the city's old high ground, it fortunately escaped the worst of the post-Katrina disaster.
Marigny is down river from the French Quarter, to the north-east by compass. Due to its odd shape (following a bend in the Mississippi River), locals often divide the Marigny into the "Marigny triangle" and the "Marigny rectangle." The triangle runs from Esplanade Avenue (abutting the French Quarter) to Elysian Fields Avenue. The rectangle begins at Elysian Fields and runs to the railroad tracks on Press Street, where the Marigny abuts the Bywater district (the "Ninth Ward").
Architecturally, the Marigny is known for its many styles of Creole cottages, most of which date to the 19th century. Its "heart" is Washington Square Park (bounded by Frenchmen Street, Royal Street, Dauphine Street, and Elysian Fields Avenue). Frenchmen Street is the main nightlife district, with half a dozen live music clubs and just as many restaurants in four short blocks.
At Mardi Gras, the Marigny is one of the city's hidden hot spots, popular with locals who enjoy partying in the streets without the drunken frat-boy atmosphere of Bourbon Street. Crowds gather at the corner of Royal and Kerlerec (outside the R-Bar), as well as at the intersection of Royal and Franklin. Elaborate costumes are the order of the day, along with brass bands and many drummers. Two weeks before Mardi Gras, the Marigny is also the starting place for the Krewe du Vieux, a satirical, raunchy parade in 19th-century Carnival style, complete with small floats drawn by krewe members and mules.
Known for its bohemian atmosphere and low rents (though the latter is changing), the Marigny is home to many artists and musicians, as well as a sizable gay and lesbian population. Among its notable residents are chef Paul Prudhomme, painter James Michalopoulas, and actors Harry Shearer and Jennifer Coolidge, who can be seen around town when they're not working in L.A. Local writers include New Orleans mystery writers Julie Smith and J.M. Redmann, as well as Andrei Codrescu, Michael Swindle, and Kevin Allman.
Frenchmen Street is in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood just below the lower edge of the Quarter. A 4 block stretch of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops mixed with live music venues make it one of the city's most hip places, catering more to locals than tourists (though tourists are certainly welcome, and welcomed).
On any given night, one might find modern jazz, swinging traditional jazz, Latin American style music, rockabilly, and more within this small area. Except for Buffa's, all the below venues are all either on this stretch of Frenchmen Street or just around the corner from it on Esplanade Avenue.
The best way to enjoy Frenchmen (particularly on weekends) is to walk the street with a drink in hand, listening to the music in each club. Many don't have cover charges, but most require at least a one-drink minimum to enter and listen to music.
- Blue Nile (address: 532 Frenchmen St) (directions: between Chartres and Decatur Sts) +1 504 948-2583
- Buffa's Lounge (address: 1001 Esplanade) (directions: at Burgundy St) +1 504 949-0038
Small bar room in the front; the big room in the back (also accessible from the side door on Burgundy Street) hosts live music and other events, including a popular jazz brunch on Sundays.
- DBA (address: 618 Frenchmen St) (directions: between Chartres and Royal Sts) +1 504 942-3731
Has a very large beer selection.
- Checkpoint Charlies (address: 501 Esplanade Ave) (directions: at Decatur St) +1 504 949-7102
This bar has bands, pool tables and laundry facilities if your clothes need awashin'. Local rock and jump bands.
- Dragon's Den (address: 435 Esplanade Ave) (directions: between N Peters and Frenchmen Sts, above Mojitos) +1 504 949-1750
A charmingly dilapidated, well-hidden club (go down the building's side alley, then up the stairs to your left), with a balcony on Esplanade and an opium-den feel inside. Live music, occasional poetry slams.
- The Maison (address: 508 Frenchmen St) (directions: between Decatur and Chartres Sts) +1 504 371-5543
- Snug Harbor (address: 626 Frenchmen St) (directions: between Royal and Chartres Sts) +1 504 949-0696
Perhaps the city's foremost modern jazz venue.
- The Spotted Cat Music Club (address: 623 Frenchmen St) (directions: between Royal and Chartres Sts) +1 504 943-3887
Cozy bar with good hot jazz.
- 13 Monaghan (address: 517 Frenchmen St) (directions: between Chartres and Decatur Sts) +1 504 942-1345
open: 11AM-4AM daily
An Irish themed bar and grill, squeezed into an odd warehouse space. Good Irish beers and late-night grub, including Huevos Rancheros and pulled pork sandwich. Vegan options available.
- Cafe Rose Nicaud (address: 634 Frenchmen St) (directions: at Royal St) +1 504 949-3300
open: 7AM-7PM daily
Coffees, teas, and fresh deli sandwiches, quiches.
- Cake Cafe (address: 2440 Chartres St) (directions: at Spain St) +1 504 943-0010
open: 7AM-3PM daily
Great bakery with sandwiches.
- Desperados (address: 801 Frenchmen St) (directions: at Dauphine St) +1 504 943-9900
open: Su-Th 11AM-2AM, F-Sa 11AM-4AM
Pizza and sandwiches.
- Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop (address: 2600 Royal St) (directions: at Franklin Ave) +1 504 947-8358
open: 7:30AM-midnight daily
Ultra-funky coffeehouse with light fare, as well as poetry readings, board games, and the like.
- La Peniche (address: 1940 Dauphine St) (directions: at Touro St) +1 504 943-1460
open: Open 24 hours except W
- Mona's (address: 504 Frenchmen St) (directions: at Decatur St) +1 504 949-4115
Middle Eastern cuisine, with excellent shwarmas, and an extensive vegetarian selection. Other locations around the city.
- Schiro's Community Cafe & Bar (address: 2483 Royal St) (directions: at St Roch Ave) +1 504 944-6666
open: M-F noon-10PM, Sa-Su 9AM-10PM
Great food, reasonably priced. Great vegan/vegetarian selections, even for breakfast. Small community market attached.
- Sound Cafe (address: 2700 Chartres St) (directions: at Port St) +1 504 947-4477
open: 7AM-8PM daily
160 year old building. Very reasonably priced. Excellent coffee and home made sandwiches etc. Beautiful open ambiance. Art, pristine acoustics. Home to the Hot 8 Brass Band every Thurs. (5-7pm) and a regular line-up of local talent through the week. Very local meeting place of many post-Katrina survivor groups.
- WhoDat Coffee (address: 2401 Burgundy St) (directions: at Mandeville St) +1 504 872-0360
open: 7AM-10PM daily
Friendly coffee shop with free wireless internet and easy parking. Gourmet coffee and tea, soup, salad, sandwich and pastry selection, reasonably priced.
Coffee, snacks & supplies
- Alois J. Binder Bakery (address: 940 Frenchmen St) (directions: at N Rampart St) +1 504 947-1111
Breads and pastries to go.
- The Orange Couch (address: 2339 Royal St) (directions: at Mandeville St) +1 504 267-7327
open: 7AM-10PM daily
Coffee house with light snacks and ice cream.
- Adolfo's (address: 611 Frenchmen St) (directions: between Chartres and Royal Sts, upstairs from the Apple Barrel Bar) +1 504 948-3800
Cozy, slightly quirky yet charming Italian. Let the waiters guide you to the nightly specials.
- Feelings Cafe (address: 2600 Chartres St) (directions: at Franklin Ave) +1 504 945-2222
The way the French Quarter used to be 50 years ago. Great piano bar, balcony overlooking nice courtyard. Definitely a locals place and great value, but not for the homophobic.
- Marigny Brasserie (address: 640 Frenchmen St) (directions: at Royal St) +1 504 945-4472
open: M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-3PM
Good menu, and a popular wine and martini bar.
- Praline Connection (address: 542 Frenchmen St) (directions: at Chartres St) +1 504 943-3934
open: M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM
Much more than pralines (a sweet pecan candy), good Creole soul food at a reasonable price.
- Sukho Thai (address: 1913 Royal St) (directions: at Touro St) +1 504 948-9309
open: Tu-Su 11:30AM-2:30PM and 5:30PM-10PM
Authentic Thai food in a neighborhood cafe.
- Wasabi (address: 900 Frenchmen St) (directions: at Burgundy St) +1 504 943-9433
open: Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11:30PM
Excellent sushi and Japanese cuisine. Good selection of sakes.
- Apple Barrel (address: 609 Frenchmen St) +1 504 949-9399
Sometimes has live music too. Local characters, low prices, no attitude.
- All Ways (address: 2240 St Claude Ave)
Lounge in the front, small theater in the back. The hub of fringe theater, plays, bands, and variety shows often. Very friendly and comfortable for all.
- Buffa's Lounge (address: 1001 Esplanade Ave) (directions: at Burgundy St) +1 504 949-0038
Bar at the front of the building; back section sometimes has live music.
- d.b.a. (address: 618 Frenchmen St)
New York style bar on Frenchmen, if you need a bit of sophistication when you drink. Great selection of beers.
- Dragon's Den (address: 435 Esplanade Ave)
Very hip but dark bar above Siam Thai restaurant on Esplanade across from the old Mint; Often has a band; serves food and has excellent atmosphere-get comfy on floor pillows and great balcony overlooking Esplanade.
- Friendly Bar (address: 2301 Chartres St) (directions: at Marigny St)
Gay neighborhood bar where locals gather to hang out in a no-pressure atmosphere.
- Iggy's (address: 1943 N Rampart St) (directions: at Touro)
Neighborhood bar with a lot of neighborhood characters; very friendly for all. Frequently serves food.
- The John (address: 2040 Burgundy St) (directions: at Frenchmen St)
Relaxed neighborhood hangout with rockabilly, country, and punk on the jukebox. Named for the gold-painted toilet seats that serve as stools at the tables. With inexpensive stiff drinks served up in Mason jars, this spot for locals offers one of the best deals on Frenchmen St.
- Lost Love Lounge (address: 2529 Dauphine St) (directions: at Franklin) +1 504 949-2009
A hip, upscale, dive bar. Features a small library, Vietnamese food, and great drink specials every day. As the saying goes "its always happy hour at the Lost Love Lounge".
- Mimi's in the Marigny (address: 2601 Royal St) (directions: at Franklin Ave)
The toniest bar in the Marigny (but hardly pretentious), with billiards, occasional live music, and tapas served from the restaurant upstairs. Good selection of beers and specialty drinks. Hip Hop and Funk DJs Friday and Saturday nights. Lots of singles on the weekends.
- Phoenix (address: 941 Elysian Fields Ave) (directions: at N Rampart St)
open: 24 hours
Gay neighborhood bar by day, catering to the leather crowd at night. Also the official United Cab stand for catching rides back into the French Quarter.
- R-Bar (address: 1431 Royal St) (directions: at Kerlerec St)
Hip but laid-back hangout that's comfortable by day and happening at night; great jukebox.
- Aaron Ingram Haus (address: 1012 Elysian Fields Ave) +1 504 949-3110
One and two bedroom suites six blocks from Bourbon Street.
- Auld Sweet Olive Bed and Breakfast (address: 2460 N Rampart St) +1 504 947-4332
Historic home with six rooms, each with private bath. Hand painted wall treatments, attractive gardens.
- B&W Courtyards (address: 2425 Chartres St) (directions: between Mandeville and Spain Sts) +1 800 585-5731
Three 19th century buildings connected by lush courtyards. Private baths. Architectural award winner. Just 4 blocks to the French Market.
- 1870 Banana Courtyard B&B (address: 1422 N Rampart St) (directions: between Esplanade Ave and Kerlerec St) +1 504 947-4475
In 1800s former elite bordello. B&B now, great location. Balcony rooms with a view or budget rooms, each w/different theme. Lagniappe: free soft drinks, bottled water, generous continental breakfast. Tropical courtyard with hammock, verandah with porch swing. Wi-Fi. New fangled stuff, ensuite like: private bathrooms, cable TV, phone, heat and A/C. Gated parking lot.
- The Burgundy Bed and Breakfast (address: 2513 Burgundy St) +1 504 942-1463
Gay owned and operated, affordable rates, walk to the French Quarter.
- Chez Nous Guest House (address: 825 Touro St) +1 504 432-7072
One and two bedroom private suites. Fantastic location, one block from Frenchmen St and three blocks from Bourbon St.
- Chez Palmiers Bed & Breakfast (address: 1744 N Rampart St) +1 504 729-8686
- The Claiborne Mansion (address: 2111 Dauphine St) +1 504 949-7327
An outstanding 19th century mansion, an impressive guest list, and a wonderful hostess, Cleo. In and of itself worth a visit to New Orleans.
- Creole Inn (address: 2471 Dauphine St) +1 504 312-2949
A cozy and affordable B&B in the trendy Faubourg Marigny, just a short walk to the French Quarter.
- Crescent City Guest House (address: 612 Marigny St) +1 504 944-8722
4 Guest rooms each with private bathrooms. All taxes, maid service and continental breakfast included. Free off-street parking and WiFi. 3 blocks from the French Quarter.
- Elysian Fields Inn (address: 930 Elysian Fields Ave) +1 504 948-9420
Convenient for walking into the French Quarter, 3 blocks from Frenchmen Street clubs. Hosts, Leigh and Jim are very knowledgeable of the NOLA music scene. Has secure covered parking.
- The Frenchmen Hotel (address: 417 Frenchmen St) +1 504 948-2166
- La Dauphine, Residence des Artistes (address: 2316 Dauphine St)
A Bohemian, laid-back, unpretentious, 2 room 1896 guest house for the budget-minded traveler- with a 3-night minimum; private baths, free Internet & great walking location for French Quarter-Marigny. Advance reservations required. Ray & Kim are the warm and friendly hosts.
- La Maison Marigny Bed and Breakfast (address: 1421 Bourbon St)
One of Travel & Leisure Magazine's TOP TEN B&Bs.
- Maison DuBois Bed and Breakfast (address: 1419 Dauphine St) (directions: between Esplanade Ave and Kerlerec St) +1 866 948-1619
Marigny bed and breakfast not far from the French Quarter.
- Marigny Manor House (address: 2125 N Rampart St) (directions: between Frenchmen St and Elysian Fields Ave) +1 504-943-7826
Step back in time and enjoy Southern Hospitality at it's best in this 1840's Grand Greek Revival Home just 5 blocks from the French Quarter and Riverside streetcar.
- Old Town Inn (address: 1001 Marigny St) +1 504 949-5815
Cool historic inn, three separate buildings, dating from the 1800's. Located across the street from the Phoenix and Cowpokes and three blocks from Washington Square. Good community feel in a very localized neighborhood open to all. One bright yellow building you shouldn't miss.
- Pierre Coulon Guest House (address: 714 Spain St) +1 504 943-6692
Comfortable small apartment very convenient to the Marigny bars and restaurants and an easy walk to the French Quarter. A great location from which to explore the many different attractions of New Orleans!
- River House (address: 625 Marigny St) +1 866-945-8142
A lovingly-restored antebellum mansion with three unique apartments, each like no other in the city of New Orleans. Located two blocks from the river, three blocks from the French Quarter.
- Royal Street Courtyard Bed & Breakfast (address: 2438 Royal St) +1 504 943-6818
- Royal Street Inn B&B (address: 1431 Royal St) (directions: at Kerlerec St) +1 504 449-5535
- Suite Jazz (address: 526 Frenchmen St)
Circa 1861, the building has typical high ceilings, chandeliers, hardwood floors, Cable TV, WIFI Internet Access, Central Air, a fully stocked kitchen and more! A queen sleigh bed, travertine tiled shower & original artwork by fabulous artists. This apartment is conveniently located above a bicycle shop, Bicycle Michael's. Minimum stay 2 nights, starting at $125/night. Located at the heart of the Frenchmen Street music & dining, between Snug Harbor and dba, facing The Spotted Cat, a few doors from Adolpho's, Marigny Brasserie, Cafe Rose Nicaud, Negril and the Praline Connection. Windows have added sound protection. Sylvia is one of New Orleans' best ambassadors and a great concierge/hostess/tour guide.
- Sunburst Inn (address: 819 Mandeville St) +1 504 947-1799
Historic Victorian house with one and two bedroom suites with private bath. A short walk to French Quarter. Suites has lots of nice ammenties, located in quite charming neighborhood.
- Cafe Rose Nicaud, 634 Frenchmen. Free wireless Internet (with purchase).
- Marigny Perks, 2401 Burgundy (at Mandeville). Coffeehouse with Internet service (bring your own laptop). Non-smoking.
- The Orange Couch, Corner of Royal and Mandeville. Coffeehouse with free wireless Internet service (bring your own laptop). Non-smoking.
Like with many urban neighborhoods, there have been problems with crime in Marigny and in the nearby Bywater neighborhood. The Frenchmen Street corridor with most music venues and restaurants is generally safe. Cabs are plentiful and are always a good idea if you're traveling to areas with less "foot traffic."
The lower part of the French Quarter is adjacent to the Faubourg Marigny just upriver. The Bywater serves as the Marigny's downriver neighbor, with a similar vibe but even less visited by out-of-towners. The 7th and 8th Ward neighborhoods begin just back across St. Claude -- while much of this section is still struggling 6 years after the Katrina disaster, it also has some attractive venues and sights just a short distance from Marigny. Drive, bike, or take the bus back on beautiful Esplanade Avenue toward City Park (located in Mid-City New Orleans) where you can visit NOMA museum and the free admission, not-to-be missed, Sculpture Garden; alternatively you can also get there by catching the Riverfront Streetcar just beyond the floodwall at the foot of Esplanade Avenue- this will take you lengthwise through the French Quarter along the Mississippi, then back along Canal Street.