The CBD, just across Canal Street from the French Quarter, contains the bulk of New Orleans’ office buildings and includes the Warehouse District and the newly-coined “South Market District.” Typically the go-to area for travelers conducting business in the city, it has blossomed into a hip hub for food, drink, and culture. The Warehouse District, which began its transformation in the late 80s, is now a full-on arts district, with renowned art galleries and museums. The CBD also includes the Orpheum and Saenger Theaters, and the Superdome - home of the New Orleans Saints. You’ll find a wealth of places geared towards office workers for a quick, inexpensive bite, but you’ll also find some of the city’s most talked-about restaurants, including Cochon, Peche, and Emeril’s. Younger travelers will be drawn to cool hotels with rooftop bars like the Ace, Moxy, and Troubadour, but you’ll also find renowned landmark hotels like The Roosevelt, Windsor Court, and Le Pavillon. Both the Warehouse and South Market Districts feature buzzy restaurants and food halls with an array of crafty bites and cocktails. For a more modern vibe and trendier offerings, the CBD is a good choice for its walkability and proximity to the French Quarter.
A smaller spinoff of Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski’s famed Cochon, Butcher has now come into its own as a top destination for a Cajun-influenced, meat-centric meal. Grab a deli sandwich at the counter or take home house-made meats, sausages, terrines, pickles, sauces, and jams. (Don't miss out on taking some Andouille and tasso home with you.)
This elegant bar within the landmark Roosevelt Hotel was a favorite of Huey Long’s. Sidle up to the long wood bar, order a Sazerac or a Ramos Gin Fizz, and admire the famous Paul Ninas murals. A New Orleans icon, the Sazerac Bar has long been one of the city’s most popular pre- or post-meal gathering spots for friends, families, and business dealings.
“Gallery Row” on Julia Street in the Warehouse District is a series of more than a dozen art galleries occupying former storefronts. The architecture creates a unique setting for browsing classic and cutting-edge art. On the first Saturday of every month, galleries host coordinated openings with a festive atmosphere. White Linen Night - held the first Saturday in August - is the premier opening, when hundreds of people come out in white linen to enjoy art, food, and music.
The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery
This renovated 1854 warehouse features hardwood floors and exposed brick walls paired with modern design and local art. It’s in a prime location, just three blocks from the French Quarter. Best of all, award-winning chef Nina Compton’s restaurant Compère Lapin is here, so you won’t have to go far for exceptional cocktails and delicious, Caribbean-inspired New Orleans cuisine.
If you do just one thing…
Visit the National WWII Museum, a world-class complex with award-winning exhibits showcasing the stories of those who served in WWII and on the homefront. Highlights include a theater with WWII-era musical performances, a restaurant, and a fantastic gift shop with 1940s-inspired gifts and clothing.