The Lower Garden District is one of the most popular thoroughfares in New Orleans–full of shops, restaurants and bars. Anchored by a stretch of Magazine that runs through the neighborhood (from around Jackson Avenue to Calliope Street beneath the interstate), the LGD has its own quirky, artistic vibe. You can spend a whole day ducking in and out of casual eateries, coffee shops and boutiques. Here are a few spots to check out.

Note: Most of the businesses below are operating at reduced capacity or offering special, takeout-only menus due to restrictions under the city’s phased reopening plan. Be sure to call ahead or check their social media to see the most up-to-date hours and offerings. 

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

You can find French Truck coffee at several restaurants and grocery stores, but you can’t beat visiting the actual shop. Grab an espresso and a pastry at one of New Orleans’ favorite local establishments to start your day.

Paul Broussard, NOTMC

This trendy spot serves some of the most unique donuts you have ever scene. Think Sriracha-flavored, bacon and banana filled or s’mores, just to name a few. If you're not into sweets, their breakfast tacos, kolaches, sliders and sandwiches are just as good!

Photo courtesy of Stein's Deli

This popular Jewish and Italian deli serves traditional and specialty sandwiches in the middle of their grocery store. This is a great stop for breakfast, lunch or a snack! Plus beer nerds will love their selection of craft brews available by the bottle.

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

One-of-a-Kind Shopping

Local boutiques line the street and offer everything from jewelry to clothing, accessories and more. If looking for a unique, vintage pieces, head to Century Girl. For something more modern, Monomin and Elle offer contemporary looks. If you’re inspired by the glitter, sequins, textures and patterns are what embodies New Orleans style, there’s no better place to check out than Saint Claude Social Club. Inspired by women’s parlors of days past, Saint Claude feels like the type of place where you could stop and stay awhile, and maybe even make a friend or two. Check them out for everything from unique, handmade jewelry to vintage finds, housewares and more. 

Image courtesy of @beebetran @studiotranphotography

Sometimes all it takes is a comforting bowl of ramen to calm all your worries. This Japanese-New Orleans fusion restaurant (try BBQ stuffed squid) started out as a pop-up before finding a permanent home on Lower Magazine. They take their broth seriously at Union Ramen - both the poultry and plant-based broths have layers of flavor. 

Justen Williams

Located just off Magazine Street, you’ll find Thalia, a neighborhood restaurant-turned-temporary-community market. On Saturdays, visit the restaurant for seasonal produce, fresh bread, local ice cream, sustainably raised seafood and more. Then be sure to bookmark the restaurant itself for once it returns to its standard operations–their Bolognese gemelli was one of our top 20 dishes to eat in 2020

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

Looking to get the day started on a healthy note? Grab a pour over and a breakfast bowl from this ultra-hip coffee shop, which specializes in exotic coffee and light fare. This vegan-friendly cafe also makes for a great lunch pick, with its menu of seasonal salads and sandwiches. 

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

Sample some Vietnamese Food

Hungry for Vietnamese? New Orleans has tons of great options, including everything from super traditional spots to more modern takes. Stop by Pho Noi Viet for a quick banh mi or try out Lilly’s for specialties like spicy shrimp, shrimp and strawberry spring rolls, or a piping hot vegan pho washed down with a Vietnamese iced coffee. 

Sam Hanna

Oozing with ambiance, Claret is the perfect Lower Magazine spot to unwind with a glass of wine or craft cocktail.Lounge outdoors on the patio while enjoying light bites from sister restaurant The Bower. Enjoy selections of cheese, charcuterie, grilled avocado and other delicious snacks. 

Paul Broussard

Enjoy a picnic in Coliseum Square Park

Break from the hustle and bustle of Lower Magazine Street with a stroll or picnic in Coliseum Square Park, located one block north of the busy street. This greenspace offers plenty of shady trees and benches for a much-needed rest stop. Order takeout from one of the aforementioned restaurants and enjoy a relaxing picnic near the one of the fountains.