Over the past 10 years, the Bywater neighborhood has taken off. With quaint restaurants, unique artwork, and laid-back nightlife, the Bywater is a must-visit for any New Orleans trip. The colorful neighborhood will catch your eye and give you a weekend full of exciting finds. Here’s what to see, do, and eat in the Bywater.
Grab locally made pastries and coffee to start your day at this neighborhood bakery. You can’t miss their red building, and the food is as beautiful as it is delicious. They are also famous for chantilly cake, as well as their selection of king cakes come Carnival season.
Located right on the Mississippi River, Crescent Park is an ideal green space for walking, biking, picnicking, and watching the ships go by. It’s also one of the best vantage points for watching the sunset over the New Orleans skyline.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, Elizabeth’s is a must. This funky spot has been slinging comfort food and breakfast classics with a twist since 1998. Their praline bacon is a star dish, but the menu has plenty to choose from.
In many places in New Orleans, especially Elizabeth’s, you will see Dr. Bob’s eclectic art adorn the walls. Famous for his “Be Nice or Leave” signs, Dr. Bob is a local artist who uses various objects to create artwork. His studio is the perfect stop for a New Orleans gift or to just admire some of the city’s famous sayings.
If you’re looking for a festive way to spend your day, the Country Club is ideal. On weekends, their drag brunch is a hot commodity—so make sure to make reservations well in advance. Outside of the restaurant, you will find an inviting pool and cabana. Buy a day pass and take a dip!
Bacchanal is more than just a wine bar and is not your typical setup. Grab the wine of your choosing from their wine shop in the front, then head back to enjoy it in their shaded courtyard. Live music, cheese plates, and more add to the experience.
Speaking of plant-based eateries, you can savor fresh, local ingredients at this vegan-friendly cafe. During the day, Sneaky Pickle is a casual, welcoming, and delicious spot to indulge in healthy dishes. Then at nighttime, it shifts to Bar Brine, where you can expect elevated vegetarian and vegan options, as well as hand-made pastas, fresh seafood options, a killer cocktail list, and a cheeseburger that some claim to be one of the best in New Orleans.
Local artist, Brandan “Bmike” Odums, transformed a 35,000 sqaure-foot warehouse into his one-of-a-kind art studio. Tour the exquisite space that depicts revolutionaries, Civil Rights legends, New Orleanians, and more. You can’t miss his large mural across the building.
Award-winning chef, Nina Compton, opened Bywater American Bistro as her second restaurant in 2018, and it’s been a neighborhood favorite ever since. This casual eatery exudes charm. Enjoy great libations and interesting dishes inspired by local farms.
Music Box Village is a unique space where imagination, collaboration, and community collide. The Village is composed of artist-made interactive “musical houses” where sounds echo throughout the area. Spend your day exploring the space or check out their performance schedule. They often host concerts and special events.
Off the beaten path, you will find this secret garden and small bistro tucked behind a wooden fence. The atmosphere feels like you've been transported to Paris with tartines, charcuterie, escargot, and more.
Also with Parisian vibes, Saint-Germain is a French wine bar and restaurant specializing in natural wines. Their reservation-only dining room serves dinner Thursday-Saturday with a menu changing daily. The chefs interact with diners and explain each course. You can also enjoy a limited menu of bar snacks along with bottles or wines by the glass minus the reservation on their outdoor patio.
Find Brooklyn-style pizzas right in the heart of the Bywater. Locals flock to this laid-back pizzeria with great outdoor seating and a neighborhood vibe. Aside from their pies, they also have great pastas, salads, and vegan options.
This hole-in-the-wall bar offers some of the best in live jazz and blues in the city. Dance the night away with locals at this very New Orleans wateringhole.
Step into a world designed by local artists focused on representing the music, art, and culture of New Orleans. Mardi Gras Indians, jazz musicians, seafood, and alligators all serve as inspiration for the exhibits at JAMNOLA. Wind through a variety of colorful rooms as you make your way through the experience. Pose in a crawfish boil pot, next to a po-boy wall, or by any of the exhibits for the perfect photo op.