Hip New Orleans Neighborhoods: Your Guide to the Marigny and Bywater

Nestled by the Mississippi River, New Orleans’ Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods are known for colorful shotgun houses and fusion of art, music, culinary excellence, and authentic New Orleans culture. Situated downriver from the French Quarter, these two neighborhoods merge together, divided by Homer Plessy Way (formerly Press Street). If you feeling adventurous you can walk from the French Quarter to either of both of these neighborhoods.

Marigny and Bywater are a feast for the senses, from the jazz-infused atmosphere of Frenchmen Street to the avant-garde art galleries and buzzing coffee shops. Local eateries serve authentic Creole and Cajun cooking, and open-air markets sell handcrafted goods and vintage finds. The two neighborhoods are magnets for those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures, with unique things to do that encapsulate the soul of New Orleans.

Get ready for good art, good food, and good times. Here is your guide to the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods with all the best things to do:

Also check out our Free New Orleans Travel Guide

What is the Marigny Known for?

Check out Flora’s in the Marginy, a fun kinda funky coffee shop and gallery in the Marginy.

The Faubourg Marigny, known as the Marigny, is one of New Orleans’s most vibrant and colorful neighborhoods. Sandwiched between the French Quarter and Bywater, the Marigny sits across from Esplanade Avenue.

Bernard de Marigny developed this neighborhood in 1806 by selling his plantation into subdivisions. Aside from his role as the father of Faubourg Marigny, Bernard de Marigny is known for bringing the game of craps to the US. He allegedly modified the game and introduced it to New Orleans, forever changing American gambling and then proceeded to gamble his entire fortune away. He is a true New Orleans character.

Today, this community is celebrated for its bohemian spirit, lovely Creole cottages, and elegantly decayed mansions. Watch some of the best musicians on Marigny’s renowned Frenchmen Street, shop the handmade art scene, or order a famous New Orleans cocktail (or mocktail) at the iconic St. Roch Market. Marigny is a slice of local life when you’re in the mood for an authentic experience away from the more tourist-heavy areas.

The neighborhood thrives with a sense of community and openness, making it a must-visit for those who appreciate live music, New Orleans culture, and beautiful buildings.

What is Bywater Known For?

Bywater isn’t just a place to visit; it’s an experience—an authentic slice of New Orleans life with a uniquely artistic touch. Located just downriver (East) from the French Quarter, the area now known as Bywater began as plantation land and only began to evolve into a residential area in the 19th century.

Immigrants from France, Italy, and the Caribbean settled here, creating a vibrant, free-spirited neighborhood known for its eclectic charm and hip, artistic energy. Top things to do in the Bywater neighborhood include local art galleries, amazing food and drinks, and live music venues showcasing New Orleans’ legendary jazz scene.

How to Get to the Marigny and Bywater Neighborhoods

A bike is a great way to get around town, check out the Blue Bike Program or you can rent one!

Getting to New Orleans’ lively Marigny and Bywater districts is a breeze, with many convenient options available:

Car. If you’re renting a car while in New Orleans, you can find street parking along with a few designated parking areas.

Bike. Biking is a perfect way to embrace the neighborhood vibe. You can find a blue bike to use for the day or rent them from a local shop

Walking. The walk from the French Quarter takes about 15 minutes. Follow Royal Street to window shop local boutiques and art galleries
while you walk.

Streetcar. Ride the Rampart-St. Claude Streetcar, which cruises along the neighborhood’s edges. If you’re paying with cash, the streetcar costs $1.25 per ride and only accepts exact change.

Bus. The #5 Marigny-Bywater bus offers a more in-depth route through the heart of the area. Grab unlimited rides on the Jazzy Pass for only $1.25.

Tip: Use the RTA GoMobile app to plan your trip and buy digital streetcar and bus tickets.

With so many ways to get to Marigny and Bywater, there’s no reason not to treat yourself to a fun day in two of NOLA’s hippest neighborhoods.

Top Things to Do in Marigny

Where to see live music in New Orleans

Marginy is home to world famous Frenchman Street!

The Marigny is a lively and fun neighborhood in New Orleans, a fusion of food, culture, and eclectic live music. A visit here promises a truly local experience, with all the flavors and sounds of the Quarter- just at a slower pace.

Here’s what to do in the Marigny neighborhood:

Frenchman Street

When you think of the best places to see live music in New Orleans you probably envision the loud, lively streets of The French Quarter. However, there’s another live music mecca in New Orleans located in the Marigny neighborhood.

What started as only a few local clubs in the 80s has evolved into one of the world’s top jazz destinations. Frenchmen Street is the pulsating, live music heart of Marigny, synonymous with jazz and street entertainers. At night, a symphony of jazz and eclectic beats fills the air, captivating anyone who wanders this iconic street.

We like that Frenchman is much more local friendly than the French Quarter. It’s quieter than Bourbon but still has amazing live music venues, incredible food, and tons of local art. Are you a beer nerd? Right off Frenchman is Brieux Carre at 2115 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116 pop in, rest your heels and have a pint.

With so many clubs which are the best to check out? You could just walked the street or you could check out our Free to join guided tour of the district on our free walking music tour. Learn the real history of live music in the Marigny from Sal, an expert who has been a gigging musician on Frenchman Street for over 15 years. Our guided walking tour is free, fun, and one-of-a-kind!

You can also check out our free guide to where to see live music in New Orleans

Did you know that Frenchman street is more than just music? Peruse local art at The Palace Art Market in the Marigny’s famed Frenchman Street, artists display their work from 12pm at 12am daily. You will never know what sorta things you can see.

What are you favorite things to do on Frenchmen Street? comment below and let us know yours!

Flora's

2600 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117
A great place to start any exploration of the Marginy is at Flora’s Cafe and Gallery. On the surface, Flora’s is a cute coffee shop filled with local artwork, a vintage piano, and lots of outdoor seating. But step inside, and you’ll find a beacon for fun personalities, artists, and creatives. Flora’s would be the first choice if anyone wanted to make a sitcom about a local New Orleans coffee shop.

Mardi Gras Zone

2706 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Located just down the street from Flora’s, Mardi Gras Zone is Defintally a “only in New Orleans” place. It wouldn’t be New Orleans if you couldn’t buy Mardi Gras gear 24/7. At Mardi Gras Zone, you can grab unique eats, pizza, and beads any time of the day or night. As a bonus, vegans and vegetarians will find tons of options in the deli.

Feel the nostalgia at a local arcade

Bring back the nostalgia by spending some coins in a local arcade…or a bar with an arcade. Playing old-school games is a fun thing to do on a New Orleans family vacation because there’s something for everyone!

Emporium Arcade Bar (2231 St Claude Ave)
Located right next to Siberia, Emporium features live performances and happy hour cocktails.

Sea Cave (3000 St Claude Ave)
is your throwback arcade, complete with retro floors and neon colored tossed in. $8 for all day play is a great deal for vintage arcade fans.

Siberia

2227 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Three of New Orleans hippest venues are all in this stretch of St. Claude. Siberia is the more Punk/Metal of the three. When’s the last time you had a fresh plate of Slavic soul food while watching a live performance? If you’re like most people, the answer is never. Check the box at Siberia in the Marigny neighborhood. Expect food with metal and punk music in the background, candlelit tables, and oversized portions.

AllWays Lounge

2240 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Located right across the street from Siberia, The AllWays Lounge is known for being fun, funky, and inclusive, always. This alternative theater has a calendar of live performances, plays, concerts, and burlesque shows all year. If New Orleans was a High School Siberia would be the long haired metalhead and Always would be the theater kid.

Hi-Ho Lounge

2239 St Claude Ave

Located across the street from Always. The Hi-Ho Lounge is known for its eclectic and lively atmosphere, hosting a variety of events ranging from live music performances to dance parties and art shows. It has become a hub for local artists, musicians, and the creative community in New Orleans. The venue often features a diverse lineup of musical genres, including jazz, funk, soul, rock, local brass bands and electronic music.

Kajun's Pub

2256 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117-8439

Do you like Karaoke? How about Karaoke 24/7 ? If so Check out Kajun’s Pub. Located just down the road from Siberia and always lounge. It’s there for you to belt out your favorite pop song at anytime, day or night!

Banksy's Rain Girl

1434 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Artist and activist Banksy created Nola, also known as Rain Girl, to monumentalize the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Snapping pics with this famous work of art is one of the top things to do in the Marigny neighborhood.

Where to Eat and Drink: Marigny

snug harbor food

When it comes to flavor-packed food and genre-defining cocktails, New Orleans is king. Here’s where to wine and dine in the Marigny-

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro
snug harbor

626 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Come to Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro on Frenchmen for seductive live jazz and upscale Creole dishes. The warm brick and wood walls make the tiny space feel intimate and romantic, perfect for date night.

Three Muses
three muses

536 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
A popular stop on Frenchmen Street, Three Muses has live jazz music and tasty cocktails in a small, intimate setting. Although best known for their cocktails, don’t skip the food menu; we like the Korean fried chicken!

The Spotted Cat Music Club
Where to see live music in New Orleans

623 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70117
The Spotted Cat is one of Frenchmen’s most quintessential live music venues. Musicians play on a tiny stage to a standing crowd, making for a unique experience. No two nights are the same at The Cat. One of the best places in all of New Orleans to catch live jazz music.

Dat Dog

601 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Nobody leaves Dat Dog without a smile on their face- who doesn’t love bratwurst and vibrantly painted walls? Come for the hot dogs (or veggie dogs!), and stay for the fun colors and people

Anna's

2601 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Located right across the street from Flora’s Cafe, Anna’s is another dive bar loved by locals. Women owned, Anna’s was opened by a veteran of the New Orleans bar scene back in 2021. With two floors, great well priced drinks and amazing decor Anna’s a great place to cool your heels while planning your next adventure. Don’t leave without trying the tacos.

Top Things To Do in Bywater

The Bywater neighborhood in New Orleans is brimming with artistic flair and outdoor things to do, like art galleries and scenic Crescent Park. Bywater is more laid-back than the nearby French Quarter, but it still has plenty to eat, drink, and shop.

These are the top things to do in the Bywater neighborhood:

Crescent Park

Crescent Park Trail, 2300 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Crescent Park is a gem with breathtaking views of the Mississippi River, a serene escape in the Bywater neighborhood. The 1.4-mile linear park has paved paths with incredible views, making it one of the best places to walk in New Orleans. Take pics and take in the views at the Rusty Rainbow, a bridge with panoramic views of New Orleans.

Music Box Village

4557 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Music Box Village is an outdoor art installation of whimsical, musical designs you can interact with. The Village is one of our favorite weird things to do in New Orleans because everything you touch is made to play music. Here, you can become part of the art, making unique musical arrangements using the houses as instruments!

Note: Music Box Village is temporarily closed. But check out our weird things to do in New Orleans

Jam Nola

2832 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Jam Nola is a must-visit for those who love color! This funhouse celebrates the festive spirit of New Orleans through art. Each of its 12 rooms has bold artwork, interactive exhibits, and Instagram-worthy photo ops showcasing local artists and the city’s love of color.

Studio Be

2941 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Studio Be is an art gallery highlighting talented New Orleans artists from the Bywater neighborhood and beyond. This gallery invites you to feel with powerful works that cut to the core of your soul.
Tip: The Studio is in a converted warehouse that is not air-conditioned, so dress accordingly and bring water, especially if you’re visiting in the summer months.

Country Club

634 Louisa St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Anywhere else in America a Country Club is usually where you go to golf in New Orleans The Country Club is a historical cottage turned social club, with day passes or annual memberships available. The Club features a heated pool and a sauna perfect if you need to recharge after a long night on Bourbon Street. Gourmet food and happy hour cocktails keep the restaurant busy all year, but the pool and cabana bar are the place to be in the summer. The County Club is a hidden gem in the Bywater neighborhood, a wonderful way to spend a day or weekend in New Orleans.

Dr. Bob's Folk Art

3027 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Dr. Bob is a New Orleans folk artist famous for his trademarked Be Nice or Leave and Be Gay or Leave slogans. Bob’s paintings and assemblages are proudly displayed throughout New Orleans establishments, which inspires so much of his work. Check out his studio in the Bywater neighborhood to purchase finished art, see works in progress, and chat with Bob himself.

Take a stroll through some art

As two of New Orleans’s most creative and soulful neighborhoods, Marigny and Bywater have a monthly art walk on the second Saturday of every month. Galleries like The Front open their doors and offer a showcase of local fine artists

Another thing not to miss is The Palace Art Market in the Marigny’s famed Frenchman Street, artists display their work from 12pm at 12am daily. You will never know what sorta things you can see.

We also like to consider many of the beautiful restored homes in the Bywater and Marginy as works of art in their own right so be sure to set some time aside to just take a long stroll and keep your eyes out (and not in your phone) and take in some of the most beautiful homes in New Orleans.

Live music and events in Bywater

Live music and good times extend beyond Frenchmen Street and St Claude. Check out our favorite old-school dive bars in Bywater, they often host live music and events. Rub shoulders with friendly locals in these handful of bars that operate as the Bywater’s Living room.

J&J's Sports Lounge

800 France St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Go to J&J’s when you’re looking for great prices, better beer, and a cozy atmosphere. With six beers on tap all priced under $5 Locals know J&J’s is the place in Bywater to watch the Saints game, play pool, and kick back in the courtyard.

Vaughan's Lounge

4229 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Vaughan’s Lounge has been serving bywater residents beer for as long as any one can remember. Made briefly famous in an appearance in HBO’s Treme this rundown little shack still hosts some of the best music in town and affordable prices. You almost always guaranteed a good time at Vaughan’s

Note: The Lounge is cash only.

BJ's Lounge

4301 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117
I always think of BJ’s Lounge as a sorta sister bar to Vaughn’s, located just a block away and in a similar run down state. They both offer the same no frills experience that appeals to locals, bottle beer, basic cocktails, a lineup of live local musicians, and TVs for sports games. If you wanna know where locals go, it’s this place and places like it.

Where to Eat and Drink: Bywater

After all that off-the-beaten-path adventuring you just did you might find yourself hungry and deep in the Bywater. Here’s where to get the best food and cocktails in the Bywater neighborhood-

Bacchanal Fine Wine and Spirits

600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Live music, wine, and handcrafted small plates in the Bywater neighborhood- it doesn’t get much more New Orleans than that. Choose your favorite local bottle of wine and a cheeseboard, then sit back and enjoy the show in their massive outdoor space.

The Joint

701 Mazant Street, New Orleans, LA 70117

For a city located in the Southern US and a city famous for it’s food New Orleans is not famous for BBQ. The Joint opened to change that. If you love smoked meats, check this spot out. Their sides are also killer. Did I mention it’s reasonably priced?

Elizabeth's

601 Gallier St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Elizabeth’s is one of those places that you walk into and feel instant belonging. Known for its Southern plates and laid back atmosphere dotted with local art, the restaurant’s motto is “Real food, done real good.” Their brunch is to die for.

Frady's
Wierd things to do in New Orleans
Wierd things to do in New Orleans

3231 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117
You might be surprised that a humble convenient store in the Bywater has some of the best food in town. Well if your a local you wouldn’t. You can’t miss the sunshine yellow building on the corner of Dauphine and Piety. Frady’s is a humble convenience store that just so happens to throw down some truly incredible po-boys. Get there early for the very cheap “old man breakfast” to soak up whatever mistakes you made last night

Note: Frady’s is cash only.

Parleaux Beer Lab

634 Lesseps St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Are you a beer nerd? Then check out Parleaux Beer Lab with a rotating menu of small-batch beers. The industrial setting is the fun, laid back atmosphere you’d expect from a brewery, with plenty of outdoor seating. Food trucks pop up occasionally, and the ‘beer garden’ is full of good vibes year-round.

What's Next?

So, now you know all the coolest, weirdest, and most popular things to do in this little corner of New Orleans, and you’re ready to hit the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods. Comment below if you found this post helpful, feel like there’s something we need to add or let us know your favorite things from the list.

If you’re visiting New Orleans soon, consider taking a free guided walking tour of The French Quarter or Garden District. If you liked this guide check out our Free Guide To New Orleans which includes more tips on places to check out. You can also check out free self-guided tours with maps.

What is The Garden District Known For?
Free Travel Guide

What we are about:

Nola Tour Guy is a collective of passionate guides, both men and women, who are experts in the history of New Orleans. Our goals are to give tours that are intellectually stimulating, historically accurate and FUN. We only offer walking tours because we believe that walking is the best way to see a city and learn about it and at a price everyone can afford. Nola Tour Guy offers no novelty tours only the real history brought to life by our passionate guides. Join us, you won’t be disappointed..

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