NOLA City Guide: St. Charles Avenue

What to see, do, taste and experience along lower St. Charles

When most people envision St. Charles Avenue, they picture the Garden District with its sweeping oaks and stately homes. But the city’s main Mardi Gras route actually runs nearly five full miles, from Canal Street to the Carrollton neighborhood. Here, we explore the scenic stretch between Poydras and Girod.


Anchored by the circa-1865, Greek Revival Gallier Hall (formerly city hall), Lafayette Square has a decidedly governmental vibe. The Federal Reserve Bank is home to a free museum of trade and finance, while the art deco Hebert Federal Building starred in Oliver Stone’s “JFK.”

Gallier Hall Luna Fete New Orleans


On the Carondelet side of the block at the Ace Hotel, you’ll find local bands and DJs mixing things up in the downstairs Three Keys lounge, and hipsters hanging poolside at Alto on the rooftop. The French-accented Bar Marilou is just steps away. Sip an apertif while nibbling on crispy potatoes with crème fraîche and caviar.

Bar Marilou New Orleans


Grab a sidewalk seat at the James Beard Award-winning Herbsaint and watch the streetcar roll. Italian is the order at the adjacent Marcello’s and Josephine Estelle in the Ace Hotel. Oyster lovers will swoon over the bevy of bivalves at Seaworthy.

Seaworthy New Orleans


Chic women’s wear and locally made St. Claude Jewelry is the get at Freda, while Friend is all about the guys. At DNO (short for Defend New Orleans), the easygoing Ts, tanks and NOLA-themed gift items are designed for everyone.

DNO New Orleans