Mardi Gras parade on Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
Mardi Gras parade of Krewe du Vieux on Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

Frenchmen Street, An Insider's Guide

by Ray Ruiz, La Dauphine B&B

Garden at La Dauphine bed and breakfast, French Quarter, New Orleans
La Dauphine B&B
Stay two blocks from Frenchmen Street in quiet and friendly surroundings.
 
www.LaDauphine.com
Entrance to La Dauphine bed and breakfast, French Quarter, New Orleans
Dog at La Dauphine bed and breakfast, French Quarter, New Orleans

 

Three Muses, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
Three Muses, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

Congratulations! You are visiting the hippest, coolest neighborhood in town.

Here's what Where magazine says about Faubourg Marigny, "...popular with French Quarter expatriates looking to escape the crowds... The hip district is the nightlife center of town for locals, and Frenchmen Street swings with live music clubs, casual restaurants, and other hangouts."

As Frenchmen Street rapidly becomes preferable to many French Quarter hot spots, it has also turned into "Restaurant Row" with a lively music scene.

The Minstrels at the Spotted Cat, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
"The Minstrels" band performing at the Spotted Cat,
Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

The Three Muses has live music and bar-food service. Their tapas-size portions are very tasty. The music is perfect for a dinner night club. No reservations, closed Tuesdays.

Marigny Brasserie, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
Marigny Brasserie, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

Wasabi (at Frenchmen and Burgundy) offers sushi and other Japanese specialties.
Marigny Brasserie anchors the "Row" at the corner of Royal and Frenchmen (with full bar), then, there's
Snug Harbor for dining and jazz club,
Spotted Cat (the new live music popular spot featured in national magazines),
Adolfo's (Creole Italian),
Cafe Negril (Jamaican music and dining),
Praline Connection (soul food),
Mona's (Lebanese food),
13 (cheap & good), and
Spotted cat
Mohito's Rum Bar & Grill where Frenchmen ends at Esplanade.

The
Blue Nile on Frenchmen features live music most nights.
Sukho Thai
is at the corner of Royal and Touro.

And, of course, there's the coffee house,
Café Rose Nicaud
at 634 Frenchmen.

On Dauphine and Touro, there's
La Peniche
24-hour diner.

Café Rose Nicaud, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
Café Rose Nicaud, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

Maison, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
Maison, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

Maison is a great place for live music on Frenchmen Street. It's a bar, restaurant, live music venue with three stages open 7 days a week. You will not find a club with more bands playing regularly anywhere in the city. Click here to go to the Maison video below.

And, there's always delicious Creole food at
Feelings
restaurant on Chartres and Franklin Streets.

You'll pass
Checkpoint Charlie's
en route to Decatur St., with live rock music most nights. Mick Jagger "jammed" there.)

Another hot spot on Frenchmen serving a couple hundred beers and liquors from all over the world is
d.b.a. Their first location is a big hit in New York City. We often send our European guests there and they love it. It's really a great place to just hang out, and the crowd there is so pleasant and attractive. It's also NON-SMOKING (Hooray!)

Maison, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
Maison, Frenchmen Street

Open air Frenchmen Street art market New Orleans
Open air Frenchmen Street art market, New Orleans

Take a break from the hot Frenchmen Street music scene in the Art Market courtyard. It features regional artists who create handmade art and goods. It's located at 619 Frenchmen Street next to the Spotted Cat, and is New Orleans’ only weekly night-time art market. Open Thursday-Saturday 7pm - 1am, Sunday 6pm - midnight. Click here to go to the Art Market video below

Open air Frenchmen Street art market New Orleans
Open air Frenchmen Street art market, New Orleans

Near Frenchmen Street

Dungeness crab at Jack Dempsey's, New Orleans
Dungeness crab at Jack Dempsey's, New Orleans

A fun coffee house with light fare, and where Brad & Angelina are known to hang out, is the stylish
EnVie
at Decatur and Barracks (just walk one block further than Checkpoint Charlie's on Decatur and you're there).

Here's another spot to try:
Satsuma Cafe - for gourmet organic food, open 7am-7pm daily. 3218 Dauphine St, tel: (504) 304-5962.

Jack Dempsey's in the Bywater is the "go to" restaurant for old time, New Orleans fried seafood and shell fish. The large Dungeness crab is awesome, steamed and served with drawn garlic butter. Their Bananas Foster ice cream cake is a winner also. You'll hear the real New Orleans accent here, an accent like in Brooklyn, New York, and be surrounded by friendly locals. If you're lucky, you might even be seated next to Fats Domino, a regular.

Also, the new
Maurepas Foods, 3200 Burgundy St. open lunch and dinner; closed Wed.

And new too on the scene are
Mariza on Chartres,
Booty's Street Food and
Prime Grille, both on Dauphine, the
Country Club on Louisa,
Café Nero/WhoDat Café (smartphone users may need to click here to avoid being taken to their gallery page), and
Suis Generis, both on Burgundy.

Café Néro/WhoDat Café, New Orleans
Café Néro/WhoDat Café, New Orleans

Ruby Slipper Café, finally, is a really cool place, a great place to meet up with friends for a weekend breakfast, and a great spot for tourists to see what true local New Orleans spots are all about. Fun, inventive breakfast and brunch menu. Open 7am - 3pm. Closed Wednesdays. Click here to go to the Ruby Slipper video below.

There are other little "hot spots" incubating in many areas of town-- but this seems to be ultra concentrated in a two block area, so near the French Quarter, and such a special, happening area from lunch time till the wee hours of the morning.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

P.S.: In case you're headed uptown, our seven favorite restaurants are:
Coquette,
Upperline,
Lilette,
La Petite Grocery,
Gautreau's,
Patois, and
Ciro's Coté Sud

 

Videos


Vibe on Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

 


Maison bar, restaurant, live venue on Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

 


Art market and gallery on Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

 


Ruby Slipper restaurant, New Orleans

 


© Copyright Ray Ruiz 2013. All rights reserved.
Photo credits:
"The Minstrels" band performing at the Spotted Cat: By Andrea Ciambra [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Spotted cat: By Jardindubonheur (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 
All other photos and videos by Ray Ruiz.
Ray Ruiz's Google+ profile