Neighborhood Watch: Bywater, New Orleans

Bywater, New Orleans is a vibrant neighborhood home to many of the city’s artists, musicians, designers, and other creative individuals. With the rising number of community art spaces, sculpture gardens, international restaurants, airy cafes, and a multitude of unique and eclectic boutiques showcasing local art and crafts, Bywater offers visitors an exciting look inside New Orleans’ wildly eclectic artistic heart.

Here are the local spots worth checking out in Bywater:

Elizabeth's Restaurant in Bywater, New Orleans

Elizabeth’s, home of the divine praline bacon.

Elizabeth’s Restaurant. A longstanding favorite with the residents of Bywater, the lines at this fun and casual brunch spot can flow out onto the streets any given weekend with people waiting for Elizabeth’s delicious Southern specialities and famous praline bacon. Locals claim the sweet, crackling bacon to be life changing and after trying an order, I’m inclined to agree with them! Another favorite on the menu is the house-made Bloody Mary, a tart, spicy concoction outfitted with olives, string beans, and a wedge of lemon. From the main menu, the “red neck eggs” made with lightly fried green tomatoes, poached eggs, and cheesy grits is a satisfying choice. To be fair, menu items are all mouth-watering, but make sure to check the display board for daily specials that are just as enticing. Elizabeth’s festive decor features colorful local artwork on the walls and bright floral prints on the table. If you have some time to kill before you can get seated, head across the street to Crescent Park.

Crescent Park in Bywater, New Orleans.

View of downtown NOLA from Crescent Park in Bywater.

Crescent Park. Hidden on the opposite side of the old train tracks and assessable only by crossing a foreboding rainbow-arched iron stairway, visitors can enjoy the understated yet lovely magnificence of Crescent Park and it’s stunning views of the New Orleans downtown area. Stroll along the pathways and enjoy the greenery before heading back into Bywater for more food and shopping.

Bon Castor, Bywater, New Orleans.

Inside the tiny Bon Castor.

Bon Castor. This small boutique packs quite a punch in its small space. The best part? All their products are sourced from local designers and artists. You can find handmade clothing and accessories, local artwork, unique cards and gifts, even a hair salon in the back of Bon Castor. Walk on in, strike up a conversation with the friendly proprietors, and support the local artists of New Orleans.

Euclid Records, Bywater, New Orleans

Vinyl reigns supreme at Euclid Records.

Euclid Records. Step inside Euclid Records and get whisked back in time to the days where you could spend hours at the record shop listening to the latest albums from your favorite bands or exploring new releases. Euclid brings that experience back perfectly with aisles of vinyl records ranging from contemporary albums, hard to find gems, and plenty of local recordings.

The Bargain Center, Bywater, New Orleans

Shopping at Bargain Center.

Bargain Center. This expansive thrift shop is a bargain-hunter’s dream. With a wide selection of products in its cramped aisles ranging from furniture to vintage clothing and Mexican folk art, you can easily spend hours perusing for unique gift items. There’s no website so it would be wise to call (504) 948-0007 to check on opening hours as they are loosely open 11am-6pm daily.

Satsuma Cafe. An extremely popular cafe, Satsuma Cafe is busy throughout the day serving up an extensive list of fair-trade coffees, fresh squeezed organic juices, and an extensive breakfast and sandwich menu centered on healthy choices. The outdoor seating area, if you can snag a seat, is a peasant spot to enjoy a brief respite from the day’s exploring.

Booty's, Bywater, New Orleans

Inside Booty’s in Bywater.

Booty’s Street Food. If you’re in need of an afternoon snack, look no further than Booty’s for their tapas-style international menu curated from the extensive travels of the two owners that features popular street snacks from all around the world. With its airy interior, there’s plenty of natural light and good vibes, making it yet another local favorite worth stopping into.

Oxalis. If you’re in the mood for a whiskey-inspired cocktail bar, give trendy Oxalis a try. Whiskey and New American cuisine pairings are the highlight here and it’s all designed for sharing. There’s also a nice courtyard available for dining if you arrive early enough to snag one of the coveted tables. The dessert sample should not be missed!

The eclectic district of Bywater.

Local theatre comes alive at Playhouse NOLA.

Playhouse NOLA. This small, intimate, and newly renovated theater space in the heart of Bywater is used primarily for rehearsals and acting workshops, but occasionally Playhouse NOLA will have staged performances with local actors. Check their Facebook page to see if there’s any performances going on during your visit.

Bywater, New Orleans is a vibrant and exciting neighborhood that deserves more attention. Be sure to stop by the next time you’re down in the Big Easy to experience the local flair!

Categories: New Orleans

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