A Picturesque, All-American Main Street
New Orleans is home to some of the most unique and charming streets in the world - St. Charles Avenue, Royal Street, Magazine Street. But if you were looking for that picturesque, All-American Main Street, take a stroll down Oak Street. Located just off Carrollton Avenue, Oak Street has become a popular hangout and hotspot for visitors and residents alike. Oak Street is accessible by car or cab, or by taking the St. Charles Streetcar Uptown past the Riverbend onto Carrollton Avenue.
Oak Street has long been an active commercial "Main Street", dating back to the 1800s when it was the hub of the suburban New Orleans city of Carrollton. After a revitalization in the 1970's and 1980's, today, it’s never been busier, yet it still somehow retains the feel of an old Americana town. It is a popular filming location and pops up all the time in movies and tv that are filmed in New Orleans. Today, it is home to countless restaurants, shops, and bars is a popular hangout for students, artists, musicians, and more.
We highly recommend jumping on the street car and taking a couple hours strolling down this eight-block stretch and you’ll understand why it’s picturesque facades attract so many people.
Today, with eight blocks and nearly every type of small business imaginable, Oak Street is a strong commercial center and the pride of the city's Carrollton neighborhood. There are a lot of shops on Oak Street - from antiques and jewelry to funky and chic home decor, as well as local art and vintage and new clothing and shoes.
Eat and Drink
If you're looking for a pick-me-up, there are plenty of coffee shops and bakeries on Oak Street. Fuel up at Rue de la Course on the corner of Oak and Carrollton Avenue with an iced coffee, or world-class baked goods at Breads on Oak or grab a latte at
For lunch, hit up Cowbell at far end of Oak Street, near the Mississippi River. A casual restaurant in an old service station (closed Sundays and Mondays), Cowbell serves up refined versions of comfort food: thick, hand-formed craft burgers, tacos, and simple grilled fish, plus delicious homestyle desserts. Other great lunch options are Mellow Mushroom for pizza, or Chiba for some sushi rolls.
For dinner, check out Jacques-Imo’s, Oak Streets must-try restaurant. Their Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake, which is one of those “Only in New Orleans” dishes, has helped make them famous and unfortunately, can make wait times long. You will usually find five different types of fish on the menu every night, plus the soul food and bistro classics with New Orleans flair: incredible fried chicken, duck, rabbit and even a fried roast beef po-boy with debris.
One of our favorite bars, Oak, is located on Oak Street. Read more about is here. If you're looking for a good time, head to The Maple Leaf. Try and end up there on a Tuesday night - you'll catch the Grammy Award winning Rebirth Brass Band, a New Orleans institution much like The Maple Leaf itself. The Maple Leaf has been open continuously with live music nightly since 1976.
The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival
Oak Street is also home to the must-taste event of the fall, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. Thousands of locals and tourists will mingle in one of the largest, free outdoor street festivals around, enjoying traditional, old-fashioned and new twists on the classic New Orleans po-boy. In addition to dozens of unique and tasty po-boys, the Oak Street Po-Boy Fest boasts several live music stages throughout the street, perfect to dance off all the po-boys you’ll be eating.