Gentilly is a broad neighborhood of New Orleans bound by Lake Pontchartrain to the north, Bayou St. John to the west, St. Roch to the south and New Orleans East to the east. Intersected by the long, neighborhood-spanning boulevard of Elysian Fields Avenue, Gentilly is home to many in New Orleans, lined with single-family houses and family-owned restaurants. Both locals and visitors can enjoy the beauty of Gentilly with a visit to Pontchartrain Park or the Lakefront, stopping in a neighborhood restaurant for a quick bite to eat. Here are our top ten spots to visit in Gentilly.
Flanking the east edge of Gentilly, Pontchartrain Park is 640-acre greenspace complete with a golf course, tennis court, baseball field and playground. The subdivision surrounding the park was one of the first developed specifically for African Americans in the segregated South. Today, it remains a gathering spot and an urban oasis for the residents of Gentilly.
Cookies, cakes, donuts, pies – whichever sweet treat you have a craving for, Heavenly Sweets has it. Be sure to order a king cake once Mardi Gras season begins (on the 6th of January).
This golf course located within Pontchartrain Park is named for legendary New Orleans golf course designer Joseph M. Bartholomew. Bartholomew was the first African American to be inducted into the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. Tee up on Tuesday-Sundays year-round. After a round on the green, relax with a delicious Creole meal from The Munch Factory.
Got a craving for pizza? This neighborhood joint located off Elysian Fields Avenue close to the University of New Orleans won’t disappoint. Signature sandwiches, salads and funky pizza combos are available for dine in, take out or delivery – you choose.
Every fall, Pontchartrain Park transforms into a hub for the community, complete with stages for live music, food and drink vendors, arts and crafts and children’s activities. The festival has been cancelled for 2020 due to the Covid, but you can mark your calendar to attend next year’s Gentilly Fest from October 8-10, 2021.
When you walk into Zimmer’s you’ll think you’re walking into a boat in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain – that’s how fresh the seafood is. Whether you want fresh crabs, shrimp, catfish or any other catch raw or prepared, Zimmer’s Seafood has you covered.
When most think of Bayou St. John, they think of Mid-City, but let’s not forget that part of the bayou lies in Gentilly, bounding it westward. Pick a fishing spot, feed the ducks, have a picnic along the banks or take to the water via kayak or paddleboard. This part of Bayou St. John is much quieter than what you’ll find to the south.
Italian meets New Orleans classics at the Original Fiorella’s Café, with a menu consisting of veal parmesan, Stromboli, po-boys and seafood.
Pontilly Coffee is a neighborhood coffee shop located right off of Chef Menteur Highway in Gentilly. Cool off with an iced coffee or stop by for a croissant, pastry or one of their signature “Nola-ches,” a twist on the kolache.
New Orleans Lakefront
There’s no better way to end a day in Gentilly than with a trip to the Lakefront. Watch as sailboats float by and take in the breeze off the water. There are plenty of great spots to choose from to watch the sun set on a great day in the neighborhood.