Lined with antique shops, restaurants, and hotels, Royal Street is a destination in New Orleans. Wander into its many unique stores and find crystal chandeliers, 19th-century absinthe glasses, and owner-operated gift shops. Royal is also where you can dine in hidden courtyards, listen to street buskers, browse art galleries, and visit historic museums. The street stretches from the Bywater/Marigny all the way to the French Quarter at Canal Street, where it then becomes St. Charles Avenue. Learn more about what makes Royal Street special and why you should bookmark it on your next visit.
As one of the oldest streets in New Orleans, Royal Street dates back to the early 18th century. By the early 19th century, Royal Street was one of the city’s chief streets for business and commerce. Royal Street has been home to the Louisiana State Supreme Court building since 1911, with renovations completed in 2004. Running parallel to Bourbon Street, Royal is bound by Canal and Esplanade in the French Quarter and runs through the Bywater/Marigny.
Royal Street is known first and foremost for its antique shops. From antique chess sets and porcelain dinnerware to grandfather clocks and music boxes, Royal Street has absolutely anything you could want. Since 1912, M.S. Rau has been a destination on Royal for antiques, fine art, and jewelry. Keil’s Antiques has been family owned and operated since 1899, and The French Antique Shop moved from Chartres Street to Royal in 1947. Every antique aficionado should visit Royal when in New Orleans. Other shopping is available, including Fifi Mahoney’s wig shop and Glitter Box N.O. for accessories and gifts from small woman-owned businesses.
Get hungry while you’re shopping? Fear not—Royal Street has plenty of dining options for traditional New Orleans cuisine. Indulge in coffee and beignets at Café Beignet on Royal, eggs at Brennan’s, gumbo at Mr. B’s, plantains and jama-jama at Bennachin, curry at Silk Road Restaurant, and crawfish and beer at Bywater BrewPub. Find restaurants on Royal Street here.
Royal Street isn’t all shopping and eating—there are quite a few museums located on the historic thoroughfare. Founded in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection is a free museum with exhibits chronicling the history of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Also a research center and gift shop, THNOC is a wonderful stop along Royal Street in the French Quarter. Located further down Royal in the Bywater, JAMNOLA is an interactive pop-up space that engages audiences of all ages in a topsy-turvy journey celebrating the art, music, and culture of New Orleans. Galleries of note on Royal Street include Rodrigue Studio and Elliott Gallery.
Staying on historic Royal Street couldn’t be easier. Hotel Monteleone is among the most famous hotels in New Orleans and is known as a haunted hotel. The Omni Royal Orleans and Royal Frenchman Hotel and Bar are two others, with plenty more to be found here.
For more information on the history of Royal Street, see here.