clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A sandwich of Rye bread, coleslaw, collard greens, and sauce is cut in half on a white plate.
Turkey and the Wolf’s collard green melt
Bill Addison/Eater

A Guide to Dining and Drinking in the Lower Garden District (LGD)

The New Orleans neighborhood’s growing dining scene is funky, fun, and sometimes kinda fancy

View as Map
Turkey and the Wolf’s collard green melt
| Bill Addison/Eater

The Lower Garden District, or LGD, is a fairly large neighborhood that runs roughly from the Expressway to Jackson Avenue and St. Charles Avenue to the river. Not to be lumped in with the Irish Channel or Garden District neighborhoods, the LGD is home to some of the city’s most creative food, including nationally-acclaimed sandwiches, steaming bowls of ramen, contemporary Cajun, and gifted pairings of cocktails and cake. To wash it all down, there are lively settings for beer, cocktails, whiskey, and wine.

Here are 16 Eater picks for dining and drinking in the LGD — a mix of longtime breakfast haunts, quiet corner bars and breweries, Magazine Street hotspots, and neighborhood standbys for coffee, pho, and steak — arranged geographically as always.

Don’t see your favorite LGD restaurant? Leave a comment or let us know nola@eater.com.

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Mr. John's Steakhouse

Copy Link

This classic Italian steakhouse with an old school feel and attentive service has been around for more than 20 years, and the atmosphere and approach embrace that history. Stick to classic cuts served medium rare, au gratin vegetables, twice baked potatoes, and the perfectly-browned French onion soup.

Mr. John’s Steakhouse

Jack Rose

Copy Link

Jack Rose is a swell spot, an art-filled oasis with seating options that include the leafy patio a stone’s throw from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar tracks. Perfect for cocktails and bites or a celebratory feast, chef Brian Landry’s creative menu offers small plates like seafood arancini with lump crabmeat and housemade pasta dishes like fettuccine with scallops, wild mushrooms in a vermouth cream sauce. Stay for outstanding live jazz at the Bayou Bar next door.

Avenue Pub

Copy Link

The Avenue Pub’s vast beer selection features local breweries as well as relatively unknown, seasonal, and artisanal ales from around the world. Bartenders are knowledgeable and ready to help; downstairs the focus is on beer and pub grub, upstairs is a smaller bar with an impressive selection of bourbon, whiskey and rye, as well as a wrap-around balcony overlooking the streetcar line (and Mardi Gras parade route). As for its impressive food, an ever-changing menu from the guys at Blue Oak BBQ combines classic Cajun flavors with elevated pub food.

Mayas | Nuevo Latino Cocina

Copy Link

Mayas has been serving Latin American fusion since 2007, and remains an under the radar destination for ceviche, empanadas, ropa vieja, and fresh, creative cocktails — as well as an excellent Cuban sandwich available only at lunch. Dine at the restaurant’s center bar or at a sidewalk table, and settle in to try a little of everything, and a lot of drinks — palomas are two for one all day Saturday, and brunch cocktails go for $5.

HiVolt Coffee

Copy Link

This third-wave coffee shop with a vegan-friendly (but not exclusively) menu is frequented by laptop-toting artists, young professionals, writers, and chefs. Try a single source pour over, a fresh breakfast burrito, slice of quiche, or the breakfast sandwich with pork sausage patty, fried egg, jalapeno, carrot, cucumber, and sriracha mayo. Sit back, eat and drink, and enjoy the free wifi, inside or out.

Brasted/Eater NOLA

Turkey & the Wolf

Copy Link

The nationally-acclaimed sandwich shop is hot for good reason: the fried baloney, layered with potato chips and hot mustard on toast; the collard green melt with cherry peppers that is easy to forget is meatless; and a classic-but-different smoked ham with cranberry sauce, mayo, aged cheddar, and arugula on a perfect baguette loaf. It’s also known for wedge and cabbage salads, deep-fried chicken pot hand pie, and hogs headcheese tacos, but keep an eye out for specials.

Union Ramen Bar

Copy Link

Union Ramen is a long-anticipated solo spot from Nhat Nguyen, and it’s lived up to the hype. The casual restaurant debuted on Magazine Street in 2020 with a menu of chicken broth-based ramen, salads, poke bowls, and a changing menu of Vietnamese small plates, and a bar that can be relied on for fresh seasonal cocktails.

Lilly's Cafe

Copy Link

Lilly’s sits on a busy stretch of Magazine Street and is usually packed for lunch. The interior is simple and clean, but the rich pho broth simmered for eight hours has a decadence that puts it at the top of the city’s crowded pho list. Any combination of beefballs, brisket, and rare flank steak is a highlight — but don’t overlook the spicy shrimp pho, something you don’t see very often.

Google Maps

Gris-Gris

Copy Link

Gris-Gris is an LGD standout. Longtime New Orleans chef Eric Cook has created a reliable neighborhood standby for contemporary Southern cuisine with refined versions of favorites like oyster pie, shrimp and grits, and chicken and dumplings. The upstairs balcony offers a special setting for happy hour drinks, weekend brunch, or dinner.

A bowl of shrimp and grits with cherry tomatoes, sausage, and green onion
Shrimp and Grits
Gris-Gris/Official

San Lorenzo at Hotel Saint Vincent

Copy Link

Hotel Saint Vincent opened at this historic LGD address in early 2021, and with it the elegant San Lorenzo, a restaurant bringing together coastal Italian and New Orleans with a focus on seafood. Go for the raw bar with oysters from the Northeast and Pacific Northwest; tartars and crudos; fresh pasta dishes with seafood and vegetables, and for San Lorenzo’s gorgeous patio seating. The attached Paradise Lounge is a must for a pre or post-dinner drink.

Surrey's Cafe & Juice Bar

Copy Link

Surrey’s serves both breakfast and lunch, but it’s the breakfast that attracts customers that spill out on the sidewalk while waiting for a table. Biscuits baked in-house every day, a fairly extensive fresh juice menu, and Latin American-inspired dishes like migas and huevos rancheros are unique touches that complement an all around solid breakfast menu. Pro tip: Surrey’s grit game is strong, both as a side and as part of its popular shrimp and grits dish.

Brasted/Eater NOLA

The Courtyard Brewery

Copy Link

There’s always a reason to visit Courtyard Brewery, even if it’s not for the many highly-acclaimed, original beers on tap. Formerly tucked away on Erato Street, the brewery’s larger new Camp Street location hosts the city’s top food pop-ups and hosts frequent art markets.

Barrel Proof

Copy Link

This cool, low-lit bar with a huge bourbon/whiskey list (along with a respectable beer list and a large amount of non-whiskey booze) is home to some of the city’s best pop-ups, though they change frequently. Grab food from the back window and a sidewalk table for solid Magazine Street people-watching.

Lengua Madre

Copy Link

Lengua Madre is Ana Castro’s modern Mexican tasting menu experience, a standout addition to the LGD’s growing culinary offerings. Castro, who was the chef at Thalia and a former sous chef at Coquette, serves courses like a fontal tetela, a light masa pocket stuffed with cheese and topped with charred avocado; Louisiana long grain rice with clams, shrimp, and mussels; and cobia al pastor in a dimly lit, sparsely decorated room with a minimalist, farmer-chic vibe. Reservations are required, and it’s one tasting menu truly worth the price tag.

Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Bakery Bar

Copy Link

Bakery Bar’s location in the shadow of the Crescent City Connection is just enough off the beaten path to make for a relaxing setting for a nightcap or solo happy hour drink. Brunch is the main attraction, and it’s now available during the week as well as Saturday and Sunday, but there’s also a new, Latin American-leaning food menu for lunch and dinner. Still, cake and cocktails rule the day here, so be sure to try a slice of whatever doberge cake is available that day or a few dobites.

Oxtail croquette eggs Benedict. 
Bakery Bar

The Tell Me Bar

Copy Link

This lush, moody spot tucked away on a dead-end street in the LGD has taken over New Orleans’s wine scene. It highlights mostly young, small-production labels specializing in low-intervention winemaking — at least 10 wines by the glass, and dozens more by the bottle on an ever-changing menu. The beautiful space hosts DJs, serves a menu of tinned fish snacks from brands like Fishwife and Jose Gourmet (as well as Cajun caviar service with Zapp’s potato chips), and brings in food pop-ups Wednesday through Saturday. It’s an undeniably cool spot, but not one to be intimidated by — the staff is friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable.

Inside the Tell Me Bar.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Mr. John's Steakhouse

This classic Italian steakhouse with an old school feel and attentive service has been around for more than 20 years, and the atmosphere and approach embrace that history. Stick to classic cuts served medium rare, au gratin vegetables, twice baked potatoes, and the perfectly-browned French onion soup.

Mr. John’s Steakhouse

Jack Rose

Jack Rose is a swell spot, an art-filled oasis with seating options that include the leafy patio a stone’s throw from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar tracks. Perfect for cocktails and bites or a celebratory feast, chef Brian Landry’s creative menu offers small plates like seafood arancini with lump crabmeat and housemade pasta dishes like fettuccine with scallops, wild mushrooms in a vermouth cream sauce. Stay for outstanding live jazz at the Bayou Bar next door.

Avenue Pub

The Avenue Pub’s vast beer selection features local breweries as well as relatively unknown, seasonal, and artisanal ales from around the world. Bartenders are knowledgeable and ready to help; downstairs the focus is on beer and pub grub, upstairs is a smaller bar with an impressive selection of bourbon, whiskey and rye, as well as a wrap-around balcony overlooking the streetcar line (and Mardi Gras parade route). As for its impressive food, an ever-changing menu from the guys at Blue Oak BBQ combines classic Cajun flavors with elevated pub food.

Mayas | Nuevo Latino Cocina

Mayas has been serving Latin American fusion since 2007, and remains an under the radar destination for ceviche, empanadas, ropa vieja, and fresh, creative cocktails — as well as an excellent Cuban sandwich available only at lunch. Dine at the restaurant’s center bar or at a sidewalk table, and settle in to try a little of everything, and a lot of drinks — palomas are two for one all day Saturday, and brunch cocktails go for $5.

HiVolt Coffee

This third-wave coffee shop with a vegan-friendly (but not exclusively) menu is frequented by laptop-toting artists, young professionals, writers, and chefs. Try a single source pour over, a fresh breakfast burrito, slice of quiche, or the breakfast sandwich with pork sausage patty, fried egg, jalapeno, carrot, cucumber, and sriracha mayo. Sit back, eat and drink, and enjoy the free wifi, inside or out.

Brasted/Eater NOLA

Turkey & the Wolf

The nationally-acclaimed sandwich shop is hot for good reason: the fried baloney, layered with potato chips and hot mustard on toast; the collard green melt with cherry peppers that is easy to forget is meatless; and a classic-but-different smoked ham with cranberry sauce, mayo, aged cheddar, and arugula on a perfect baguette loaf. It’s also known for wedge and cabbage salads, deep-fried chicken pot hand pie, and hogs headcheese tacos, but keep an eye out for specials.

Union Ramen Bar

Union Ramen is a long-anticipated solo spot from Nhat Nguyen, and it’s lived up to the hype. The casual restaurant debuted on Magazine Street in 2020 with a menu of chicken broth-based ramen, salads, poke bowls, and a changing menu of Vietnamese small plates, and a bar that can be relied on for fresh seasonal cocktails.

Lilly's Cafe

Lilly’s sits on a busy stretch of Magazine Street and is usually packed for lunch. The interior is simple and clean, but the rich pho broth simmered for eight hours has a decadence that puts it at the top of the city’s crowded pho list. Any combination of beefballs, brisket, and rare flank steak is a highlight — but don’t overlook the spicy shrimp pho, something you don’t see very often.

Google Maps

Gris-Gris

Gris-Gris is an LGD standout. Longtime New Orleans chef Eric Cook has created a reliable neighborhood standby for contemporary Southern cuisine with refined versions of favorites like oyster pie, shrimp and grits, and chicken and dumplings. The upstairs balcony offers a special setting for happy hour drinks, weekend brunch, or dinner.

A bowl of shrimp and grits with cherry tomatoes, sausage, and green onion
Shrimp and Grits
Gris-Gris/Official

San Lorenzo at Hotel Saint Vincent

Hotel Saint Vincent opened at this historic LGD address in early 2021, and with it the elegant San Lorenzo, a restaurant bringing together coastal Italian and New Orleans with a focus on seafood. Go for the raw bar with oysters from the Northeast and Pacific Northwest; tartars and crudos; fresh pasta dishes with seafood and vegetables, and for San Lorenzo’s gorgeous patio seating. The attached Paradise Lounge is a must for a pre or post-dinner drink.

Surrey's Cafe & Juice Bar

Surrey’s serves both breakfast and lunch, but it’s the breakfast that attracts customers that spill out on the sidewalk while waiting for a table. Biscuits baked in-house every day, a fairly extensive fresh juice menu, and Latin American-inspired dishes like migas and huevos rancheros are unique touches that complement an all around solid breakfast menu. Pro tip: Surrey’s grit game is strong, both as a side and as part of its popular shrimp and grits dish.

Brasted/Eater NOLA

The Courtyard Brewery

There’s always a reason to visit Courtyard Brewery, even if it’s not for the many highly-acclaimed, original beers on tap. Formerly tucked away on Erato Street, the brewery’s larger new Camp Street location hosts the city’s top food pop-ups and hosts frequent art markets.

Barrel Proof

This cool, low-lit bar with a huge bourbon/whiskey list (along with a respectable beer list and a large amount of non-whiskey booze) is home to some of the city’s best pop-ups, though they change frequently. Grab food from the back window and a sidewalk table for solid Magazine Street people-watching.

Lengua Madre

Lengua Madre is Ana Castro’s modern Mexican tasting menu experience, a standout addition to the LGD’s growing culinary offerings. Castro, who was the chef at Thalia and a former sous chef at Coquette, serves courses like a fontal tetela, a light masa pocket stuffed with cheese and topped with charred avocado; Louisiana long grain rice with clams, shrimp, and mussels; and cobia al pastor in a dimly lit, sparsely decorated room with a minimalist, farmer-chic vibe. Reservations are required, and it’s one tasting menu truly worth the price tag.

Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Bakery Bar

Bakery Bar’s location in the shadow of the Crescent City Connection is just enough off the beaten path to make for a relaxing setting for a nightcap or solo happy hour drink. Brunch is the main attraction, and it’s now available during the week as well as Saturday and Sunday, but there’s also a new, Latin American-leaning food menu for lunch and dinner. Still, cake and cocktails rule the day here, so be sure to try a slice of whatever doberge cake is available that day or a few dobites.

Oxtail croquette eggs Benedict. 
Bakery Bar

Related Maps

The Tell Me Bar

This lush, moody spot tucked away on a dead-end street in the LGD has taken over New Orleans’s wine scene. It highlights mostly young, small-production labels specializing in low-intervention winemaking — at least 10 wines by the glass, and dozens more by the bottle on an ever-changing menu. The beautiful space hosts DJs, serves a menu of tinned fish snacks from brands like Fishwife and Jose Gourmet (as well as Cajun caviar service with Zapp’s potato chips), and brings in food pop-ups Wednesday through Saturday. It’s an undeniably cool spot, but not one to be intimidated by — the staff is friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable.

Inside the Tell Me Bar.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Related Maps