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New Orleans/Central Business District

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New Orleans : Central Business District
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New Orleans/Central Business District

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The Central Business District ("CBD") is the part of New Orleans similar to what many cities call "Downtown" (though in New Orleans this term is often used to refer to a broad portion of the city down river from Canal Street). Just "up" (meaning up the Mississippi River) from the French Quarter is this district, with many 19th and 20th century office and business buildings. The last of New Orleans old independent department stores closed up and the buildings were generally turned into hotels in the 1980s and 1990s. The main avenues are Canal Street and Poydras Avenue. While not as picturesque as the French Quarter, many hotels and restaurants are here, and the Quarter is a short walk from the portion closer to the river. The area further inland, towards Claiborne Avenue, is less convenient unless your destination is the Superdome or one of the local hospitals.

Canal Street

Some locals and guidebooks still refer to the CBD or the older part of it as the American Quarter, as it was the first part of town settled by large numbers of people from other parts of the United States, as opposed to the older French Quarter.

The portion of the "CBD" nearer the river is often called the "Old Warehouse District" or Warehouse District. In the late 20th century many of the old 19th century warehouses were converted into condominiums, art galleries, and restaurants.

Get in


  • Art galleries line Julia Street. Evenings of the first Saturday of the month are festive with new exhibits opening.
  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas [8] A fine aquarium at the foot of Canal Street. Take advantage of the combination ticket, which enables access to the Aquarium, the adjoining Entergy IMAX Theatre, and the Audubon Zoo located uptown (shuttle provided).
    • Entergy IMAX Theatre, part of the Audubon Aquarium.
  • Audubon Insectarium 423 Canal St. [9]. New attraction opened in June 2008 in the historic old Custom House Building on Canal Street.
  • Confederate Museum, 929 Camp Street just down from Lee Circle, [10]. Displays from the American Civil War.
  • Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St. just up from Julia, [11].
  • Harrah's Casino, 512 S. Peters (at the foot of Canal Street, river end of Poydras) the state's only land based casino (there are riverboat gambling venues in the suburbs), across from the Aquarium
  • Lafayette Square, center of what was the "Old American Quarter" in the early 19th century, with the city's old neo-classical city hall and a belle epoch courthouse. On St. Charles Avenue a block up from Poydras.
  • Louisiana Children's Museum, 420 Julia Street, [12].
  • Louisiana Super Dome, [13]. When no games or events are scheduled, you can take tours.
    • New Orleans Arena beside the Superdome, hosts smaller shows & sporting events. [14].
  • Mardi Gras World 1380 Port of New Orleans Place (at the riverfront at the upriver end of the CBD) [15] The colorful floats for many of the parades of New Orleans Mardi Gras are made here. Experience a taste of Mardi Gras any time of year.
National World War II Museum
  • Morial Convention Center - the first part of the city's large convention center complex was built during the 1984 World's Fair and is named after a former mayor.
  • National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine Street, around the corner from the Confederate and other museums on Camp Street, [16]. Formerly the "D-Day Museum", has expanded in recent years. Exhibits on the United States in World War II, both on the battlefronts and the home front.
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art 925 Camp Street, [17].
  • Walking tours of the buildings of the "Old American Quarter"



  • Art at the galleries along Julia Street.
  • Meyer the Hatter, 120 St. Charles Ave. (just off Canal St) [18] has been selling a wide selection of men's hats here since 1894.
  • Riverwalk Marketplace, on a pier along the Mississippi Riverfront and physically connected to the New Orleans Hilton. [19] In addition to a variety of shops, hosts a fine view of the Mississippi River and the Southern Food & Beverage Museum.



  • Duffy's 1005 Canal Street (at the corner of Burgundy Street). Tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Daily 6a-10p Tel 592-1110
  • Liborio's 321 Magazine Street. Cuban, popular with local businessmen for lunch, also open for dinner.
  • Lil' Dizzy's 610 Poydras St. Casual Creole and Soul food in a century old bank building. Tel. 212-5656
  • Mothers 401 Poydras. Great "po' boys" (New Orleans style sandwiches); Located at Poydras @ Tchoupitoulas in the lower CBD. Try the "debris" po'boy, made with the bits of beef that remain in the pan once the main cut is removed. The bread pudding is also famous and very good. Weekday lunch crowd of local business people, but the line moves fast.

Coffee and snacks

  • PJ's Coffee popular local chain with locations at 622 Canal Street and 644 Camp Street.


  • Genghis Khan, 201 Barrone in the Barrone Plaza Hotel. Central Asian & Korean.
  • Michaul's 840 St. Charles, [20]. Cajun.
  • Mulate's 201 Julia Street at Convention Center Boulevard, [21]. The other well known Cajun place.
  • Liborio Cuban Restaurant 321 Magazine Street at Gravier Street, [22].


  • Emeril’s 800 Tchoupitoulas St. in the warehouse district. Lunch weekdays, dinner 7 days. Tel 528-9393
  • Grill Room @ Windsor Court Hotel: Contender for best restaurant, but very expensive; Located in the CBD just down from the Casino. They also serve a fine high-tea.
  • Herbsaint 701 St. Charles Av [23]. 11:30 a - 10p M-F, dinner Sat, closed Sun. Tel. 524-4114
  • Palace Cafe 605 Canal Street [24] French Creole, noted for the seafood and duck dishes, and the luscious white chocolate bread pudding. Lunch M-Sat, brunch Sun, dinner 7 days. Tel. 523-1661
  • Restaurant Cuvée 322 Magazine Street: Contemporary New Orleans Cuisine. Intimate dining, detailed cuisine, in-depth wine list. [25]
  • Restaurant August 301 Tchoupitoulas St [26] Renown Chef John Besh's signature restaurant featuring Contemporary French with a focus on local ingredients. Menu balances seafood, fowl and meat. Try either the 5 course tasting or the John Besh "Degustation" menu which changes nightly. Lunch M-F 11-2, Dinner nightly 5-10pm. Tel. 504-299-9777


  • Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles (on Lee Circle at Howard Avenue). Casual joint with good jukebox
  • Gordon Biersch 200 Poydras St., (504) 522-2739, [27]. Handcrafted beer brewery and restaurant.
  • Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar, 701 Tchoupitoulas, [28]. Relaxed. All-you-can-eat crawfish party Sunday evenings.
  • Sazerac Bar, 123 Barrone St. in the Roosevelt Hotel. Sip signature drinks like the original Sazerac cocktail or the Ramos gin fiz.
  • Whiskey Blue, 333 Poydras St. (in the W Hotel). Swank upscale bar

Live Entertainment

  • Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles, [29]. Classy bar with music, cabaret, and theater performances.
  • Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles (on Lee Circle at Howard Avenue). Casual bar with local rock and other bands.
  • FQB, on the 3rd floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal. Th-Sa nights jazz bands and singers, in the style and atmosphere of an upscale pre-WWII era jazz club. They serve good meals as well. Not cheap, but truly swank.
  • Howlin' Wolf, 907 South Peters in the Warehouse district music venue, [30]. They host a good variety of local and visiting acts; definitely get a hold of their schedule in The Gambit, a weekly paper. (Note: if you visited here before Katrina, they are now a block up the street from their former location.)
  • Michaul's, 840 Saint Charles, [31]. Cajun music.
  • Mulate's, 201 Julia Street at Convention Center Boulevard, [32]. Cajun music.
  • Orpheum Theatre, 129 University Place, [33]. Home of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (as of October 2009 still closed for post-Katrina repairs; the Philharmonic is playing Uptown at Tulane University and other venues)
  • Saenger Theater, 143 N. Rampart St. at Canal Street, [34]. The most gorgeous of the city's beautiful old picture palace theaters. Closed of mid 2010; scheduled to reopen after renovation in 2011.
  • Le Salon, 300 Gravier St. in the Windsor Court Hotel, (504)596-4773. Swanky hotel bar often has good jazz pianists, vocalists, and small combos.
  • True Brew 200 Julia St. Coffee house often has music or theater performances. tel. [524-8441]


Numerous hotels are in this part of town.


  • Les Carillons 842 Camp Street, towards the upper end of the CBD, close to the Julia Street art galleries. 566-9200 or 1-877-224-4637


  • Embassy Suites New Orleans Hotel 315 Julia Street - Official Website at [35]
  • Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras Street, 504-561-0500, [1]. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 11:00AM. 3-star Hilton located on the banks of the Mississippi River, in storied New Orleans, Louisiana adjacent to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and only three blocks from the French Quarter. From $79/nt.
  • Hotel Monaco, 333 St. Charles Avenue. +1 504 561 0010. [36]


  • Hotel New Orleans Convention Center, 881 Convention Center Blvd, [2]. Located across the street from the New Orleans Convention Center and offers upscale lodging
  • InterContinental New Orleans, 444 St. Charles Avenue, [37]. Luxury hotel located on the St. Charles Mardi Gras parade route.
  • International House Hotel, 221 Camp Street, [3]. Boutique style hotel 2 blocks from the French Quarter.
  • Le Pavilion, 833 Poydras Street, [4]. One of the fanciest hotels in the city with the exception of the Ritz Carlton and Windsor Court.
  • Loft 523, 523 Gravier Street, [5]. Boutique hotel 2 blocks from the French Quarter.
  • Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal, [38]. Top notch hotel in what had been the Maison Blanche Department Store building. It's the Windsor Court's rival for finest in town.
  • The Roosevelt 123 Baronne Street. [39] tel. 648.1200. One of the city's grand old hotels; reopened in 2009 after a 145 million dollar restoration modernized the rooms, returned the lobby to its historic glory, and reopened the famous Sazerac Bar and the Blue Room dinner & music venue. The lobby is worth a look even if you're not staying here.
  • The Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal St., Phone: 525-2500, [40].
  • The Whitney, 610 Poydras Street, +1 (504) 581-4222, [6]. A Historic New Orleans Hotel registered as a historic landmark
  • Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier Street (near where Canal and Poydras meet the River), +1 (504) 523-6000 (), [7]. One of the finer hotels in town, If you want the tops and are willing to pay top dollar for it, this is the place.

Get out

The convenient location of the neighborhood, especially the area between Rampart and the river, allows easy access to other parts of town: walk across Canal Street and you're in the upper part of the French Quarter. Take the red Canal Streetcar line away from the river to the attractions of Mid-City, or in the other direction the end of the line and you're at the edge of Faubourg Marigny. The green St. Charles Streetcar line takes you to Uptown and Carrollton. The ferry at the foot of Canal Street (free for pedestrians, $1 for cars) will take you across the Mississippi to the Algiers neighborhood, and give you a scenic budget mini-cruise of the River in the process.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!