Named for a New Orleans Civil Rights pioneer, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard is a hub for food, music, and museums in Uptown’s Central City neighborhood. Spanning just about 10 blocks, the lively thoroughfare reflects authentic New Orleans culture and several community spaces. Get off the beaten path and onto Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard on your next visit to New Orleans.
Oretha Castle Haley was a born and raised New Orleanian who played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement. Her activism began when she was a student at Southern University of New Orleans. She stood to put an end to segregation and to promote equal voting rights for her community and in rural Louisiana. The street, located in Central City, was renamed in her honor in 1989. Today, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard is a thriving corridor of diverse restaurants and community spaces. It intersects with Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
There are a number of restaurants on or just off Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. Café Reconcile is a workforce development program for at-risk youth that serves delicious Southern staples. Café Roma serves simple Italian dishes, while Casa Borrega serves Mexican cuisine at its finest. Café Porche is a great spot for breakfast and sno-balls, and Central City BBQ is an award-winning BBQ joint nearby.
Visit Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard for museums and street art that’s off the beaten path. The Ashé Cultural Arts Center is a community space dedicated to showcasing the work of Black artists. They also regularly host pop-up art markets and block-party style events for holidays such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Juneteenth. The Southern Food & Beverage Museum is the spot for all things culinary nostalgia; in addition to permanent exhibits, the museum hosts cooking classes for adults and children, as well as special events.
The New Orleans Jazz Market is a performing arts venue and jazz community center right on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The Jazz Market features a 370-seat theater, the full-service Bolden Bar, a 500-piece reading library, and the Digital Jazz Archive. The stage plays host to performances by the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and other renowned musicians.
For more nightlife, The Rabbit Hole frequently hosts live music in an eclectic indoor and outdoor space.