Though New Orleans has a universal culture that runs deep throughout the city, it is also broken up into distinct neighborhoods with their own traditions, cultures, even dialects. When visiting, be sure to make your way around the city in order to appreciate the variety that exists.
Mid-City is an up-and-coming neighborhood that is home to many residents, as well as some favorite eating, drinking and music spots. This was a neighborhood that was hit badly during Katrina, but in the past eleven years, it has been rebuilding and redefining itself as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city.
Mid-City stretches from about Esplanade upriver to Canal, from Broad Street up towards Carrollton. On Esplanade alone, there are dozens of things to do. You can stop into Lola’s for the best paella in town, or go to the Half Shell for their happy hour special – buy one dozen raw oysters, get a half dozen for free. Off a side street, you can find 1000 Figs, one of the best Mediterranean restaurants in the city, right next to Fair Grounds, a fair-trade coffee shop. You can continue up Esplanade all the way to City Park, where you will run into the New Orleans Museum of Art.
One of the newest additions to the city in the past year has been the Lafitte Greenway, a paved bike path that stretches from the French Quarter up through Mid-City towards the park. There are many places in the city to rent bikes, and biking down the Greenway is a great way to enjoy and explore different parts of town. The bike path winds past Bayou St. John, only two blocks from Parkway Bakery, one of the oldest places in the city where you can always find a po’boy to satisfy. Down the other way is Bayou Beer Garden, a favorite local spot with a large outdoor seating area to enjoy beers and food. The new expansion also includes a wine garden and a little more upscale food from the usual burgers and mozzarella sticks.
Down Banks St towards Carrollton, you can get crawfish at Clesi’s, or right across the street get some pizza (vegan options available) at Mid-City Pizza. On the corner is Banks Street Bar, a residential hangout that is often filled with a younger crowd and music.
Carrollton Street is home to many favorite Mid-City spots, including Anthony Brocato, a gelato shop that usually has a line out the door on any given night, Juan’s Flying Burrito, a casual American-Mexican restaurant, Bevi Seafood, a go-to place for boiled seafood and coffee shops like The Bean Gallery or the Monkey???
There’s no shortage of things to do in Mid-City. Whether you are looking for a park to relax in or a place to get a cocktail, you can find someplace in Mid-City to enjoy.