Explore New Orleans

NOLA City Guide: Oak Street

What to do, see, taste and experience along Oak Street

Popular among students of nearby Tulane and Loyola universities, Oak Street, easily accessible via the St. Charles streetcar, is often overlooked by visitors. After the streetcar rounds the bend onto N. Carrollton, disembark and explore a bit. Here, we’ve mapped out Oak’s first few blocks, between S. Carrollton Avenue and Cambronne Street.

SHOP

Oak Street has been synonymous with shopping since the late 1800s. Bag locally sourced goods, along with prepackage food items and made-to-order sandwiches, at Made Grocery, or sharpen up your knife skills at Coutelier, where the walls are lined with Japanese steel. Vintage fans will be stuck on Glue and the Uptown Home Shop.

Coutelier
Coutelier co-owners Jacqueline Blanchard (shown) and Brandt Cox, both former chefs, travel to Japan each year in search of the country’s best bladesmiths. (©Shawn Fink)

LINGER

Nurse a latte at roomy Rue de la Course (housed in a stunning former bank) or grab a Highlander Grog (a blend of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, rum and butterscotch toffee) at artsy Z’otz Café; be sure to check out the bathroom murals. Then rummage around More Fun Comics and Rabbit Ears for cool, kitschy collectibles.

Rue de la COurse New Orleans
Open from early morning until 11 pm, Rue de la Course is popular among both students and night owls. (©Rue de la Course)

EAT

Grab a Tru Burger (don’t skip the shake), or dive into kicked-up Cajun classics (mushroom boudin balls, crab-and-collard gumbo) at DTB. Offbeat Jacques-Imo’s is as famed for its quirky atmosphere (paintings on the ceiling) as it is for its shrimp-and-alligator cheesecake, “warm beer, lousy food, poor service.”

DTB restaurant New Orleans
Short for “down the bayou,” DTB serves up modern interpretations of Cajun standards. (©Max Cusimano)

PLAY

Generally low-key, Oak Street packs ’em in come November for the annual Po-Boy Fest, which features dozens of vendors and live bands. Wine lovers will fall for the Oak Wine Bar; beer geeks will want to hit Ale. A little late-night music? Head to the legendary Maple Leaf Bar, where it continues way into the wee hours. 

Maqple Leaf Bar New Orleans
Catching the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf is a Tuesday-night must-do. (©Cheryl Gerber/NewOrleans.com)