The short strip veering off Esplanade Avenue and crossing N. Broad Street before turning into Gentilly Boulevard has flourished in recent years, now filling several blocks with a cluster of restaurants, a bookstore, a used record store and more. Since Hurricane Katrina, it’s also become home to a couple of arts institutions. The Joan Mitchell Center is a satellite program of the New York-based foundation, and its small campus at N. Rocheblave Street hosts artist residencies primarily for mid-career painters. Southern Rep Theatre opened its new home in September 2018 in the former St. Rose de Lima Church, part of a development housing other nonprofit organizations. The renovated church building has allowed Southern Rep to increase programming with a small cabaret space, classes and more.
Who you’ll see: Artists, neighbors.
Where to drink: Pirogues is a casual neighborhood hybrid, with regulars drinking cheap beer, Jell-O shots, frozen daiquiris or original cocktails — and snacking on a quixotic selection including loaded potato tots and happy hour sushi specials.
Where to eat: Among the oases of Caribbean culture in New Orleans is Coco Hut, a laid-back restaurant just off N. Broad Street that serves jerk chicken or shrimp, mango and coconut fish specials and other Jamaican dishes.
Where to caffeinate: Pagoda Café is the strip’s coffee hub, with a menu including baked goods, vegetarian sandwiches and a sausage roll with Italian sausage from nearby Terranova Brothers sausages. The kitschy building is from a Chinese-themed laundry service from the 1920s and 30s.
YOU OUGHTA KNOW
New Orleans hosted a World’s Fair focused on the cotton industry in 1884, and though a state official absconded with much of its budget, the event was a success. The fair took place in Uptown New Orleans, but a commemorative monument was moved to a tiny triangle at N. Tonti St., where Bayou Road forks off Esplanade Avenue.
You're likely familiar with New Orleans' most famous districts: the French Quarter, Frenchmen Street and the Garden District among them. Stret…