Don’t Sleep on Tchoupitoulas Street

Don’t Sleep on Tchoupitoulas Street

Tchoupitoulas (pronounced chop-it-too-liss) Street used to be a sleepy thoroughfare on the New Orleans riverfront with plenty of abandoned warehouses, a couple of neighborhood dive bars, and Uptown’s only strip mall near the Children’s Hospital a few blocks from where it ends at Audubon Park. Over the years, other streets like Magazine, Freret, and St. Claude have gotten higher profile gentrifications, but Tchoupitoulas has managed to develop into its own with several great breweries, excellent restaurants, and softer zoning laws to entice further development. 

Not long ago, New Orleans had one of the weakest microbrewery scenes in the United States. ATC (Alcohol, Tobacco Control) laws in Louisiana made it downright impossible to produce, sell, and distribute beer out of the same facility, leaving Louisiana with one large player (Abita) to compete with the national brands. Post-Katrina brought a revival of sorts as Kirk Coco and Doug Walner fought the laws and won, opening NOLA Brewery in 2008 on a desolate stretch of Tchoupitoulas Street. Within ten years, there were over twenty microbreweries in and around New Orleans competing for market share, and four of them on Tchoupitoulas Street alone.

Further downtown, Tchoupitoulas between Canal and the overpass used to house little more than Emeril’s flagship restaurant, a couple of cheap hotel chains, and a few well-known bars like Vic’s Kangaroo and Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar. That too has changed with now over a dozen restaurants, Donald Link’s flagship Cochon, and a couple of the trendier hotels in the city.

With its proximity to the French Quarter and just steps from Harrah’s Casino and the New Orleans Convention Center, Tchoupitoulas was always ripe for development. Much of the once-abandoned warehouses and empty lots began redevelopment during the World Fair of 1985. It was only a matter of time before it became the hotbed that it is today. Without further ado, here is a list of the best of Tchoupitoulas Street from Downtown to Uptown.

Peacock Room

Fried Shrimp at the Peacock Room at the Fontenot Hotel

501 Tchoupitoulas Street


The newest development on the block is the Hotel Fontenot, an upscale boutique hotel that took over a former Staybridge Suites and turned it into a trendy hotspot on the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Poydras Street. The Peacock Room is built right into the lobby with a stunning renovation that includes high ceilings and furniture and fixtures in hues of aqua blue. 

The menu is super simple and approachable with the burger and chicken sandwich being two of the highlights. The burger comes with a thick layer of bacon boursin cheese, crispy shallots, and tomato jam and it truly is a standout. For now, this place is more style than substance, but a recent visit shows they know what they’re doing. The room was packed with well-dressed ladies eating small plates and sipping on fancy cocktails in the noisy room. 

Compere Lapin

The exterior of the Old 77 Hotel and Chef Nina Compton’s Compere Lapin

535 Tchoupitoulas Street


Chef Nina Compton was a fan-favorite and runner-up on season 11 of the hit TV show Top Chef in New Orleans. Compton and her husband Larry Miller loved the city so much they decided to make roots in the Bywater and opened their first restaurant Compere Lapin in the newly renovated Old 77 Hotel. 

The St. Lucia native draws on her Caribbean roots mixing it with indigenous local ingredients and her classic French culinary training to introduce something completely new and exciting to the local restaurant scene. The menu changes often, but the goat curry and sweet potato gnocchi has been a mainstay since its inception and is a must-order when you go. Compere Lapin also has an award-worthy cocktail menu and wine list.

Barcadia New Orleans

Barcadia celebrates Christmas with a lot of flare.

601 Tchoupitoulas Street


Owner Billy Blatty used to own the hottest club in town and hosted the coolest party around. When he lost the lease at Ampersand, he founded Barcadia and Ohm Lounge on the other side of the CBD/Warehouse District. Barcadia faces Tchoupitoulas Street across from the Plaza d’Italia (one of the few international exhibits still standing from the world’s fair) and features a couple of dozen old-school cool video games, a long bar with big screen TVs, and tables for dining. 

The menu at Barcadia includes elevated bar standards like street tacos, chicken wings, and burgers, and the kitchen stays open until midnight. The back of the building holds Ohm Lounge where you can find anything from pop-up omakase to DJs spinning records on a crowded dance floor. Their annual Christmas popup includes tons of lights and a special cocktail menu, and their block parties on the side street for tailgates on Saints home days are worth a visit.

St. James Cheese Company

St. James Cheese Company is the only shop in New Orleans dedicated to cheese and upscale accoutrements

641 Tchoupitoulas Street


Shortly after Katrina in 2006, Richard and Danielle Sutton moved to New Orleans and founded the St. James Cheese Company. The couple honed their skills in London at Paxton & Whitfield, the 200 year-old cheese shop in the St. James neighborhood. After a few years as expats, the Tulane graduates decided to return to New Orleans and open a cheese shop in the Prytania Street commercial corridor. 

St. James Cheese Company’s unique offerings proved hugely popular with the locals, and after just a few years, they opened a second location in the Warehouse District on Tchoupitoulas Street. In addition to the hundreds of stinky, salty, creamy, buttery, hard cheeses they carry at the shop, they also have an excellent charcuterie board, a dozen formidable sandwiches and salads, and a selection of specialty food items from overseas. 

In a nod to their old English ways, you can always find the Ploughman’s Lunch on the menu, described as “Not too big, not too small, just enough to get through an afternoon at work! Portions of English Stilton blue cheese, cheddar, and a fresh goat’s milk cheese served with pate, chutney, bread, and a green salad.”

Emeril’s Restaurant

Emeril’s just revamped their food menu, and their cocktails are to die for. Photo by Allison Davis.

800 Tchoupitoulas Street


Chef Emeril Lagasse wasn’t the first celebrity New Orleans chef, but he may have been the most famous. Lagasse earned his stripes in Europe, New York, Boston, and Philadelphia before being lured down south to helm the kitchen at Commander’s Palace in the mid 80s following the departure of legendary chef Paul Prudhomme. In 1990, he set out on his own and opened his eponymous restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street in what was then a desolate stretch of the warehouse district.

Emeril’s accolades are too numerous to list, but after the success of his flagship restaurant, he went on to open over twenty restaurants across the country including three more in the Crescent City: NOLA, Meril’s, and Delmonico Steakhouse. In addition, he has hosted over 2,000 TV shows and appeared as a guest judge in four seasons of the hit Bravo series “Top Chef.”

Maybe his biggest contribution to New Orleans is his charity Emeril Lagasse Foundation, which has raised and distributed over $15,000,000 for children’s charities in Louisiana, Las Vegas, and the Gulf South. His popular food events in New Orleans include Boudin, Bourbon, and Beer, and the high-dollar Carnival Du Vin which raised over $3,000,000 in 2021 alone, and set a record for the highest winning bid on a bottle of wine at auction ($1,000,000).

Following the temporary closure of all of Emeril’s restaurants due to covid, the team decided it was time to revamp the menu at the thirty year mainstay in the warehouse district. In addition to a rich array of cold and hot appetizers, and entrees like Chilean Sea Bass, Roast Duck Breast and Wagyu Filet, Emeril’s menu now features a six-course tasting menu ($150) and vegetarian tasting menu ($125) that includes several items off the a la carte menu.

La Boca Steakhouse

La Boca serves up the largest selection of steaks in the city

870 Tchoupitoulas Street

(504) 525-8205

Chef Aldolpho Garcia brought his South American cooking techniques to the Warehouse District in the early 2000s and it was an immediate hit. The small steakhouse on St. Peters Street featured appetizers like empanadas and house-made chorizo, but the highlight was always the largest selection of cuts of steak in the city.

A decade later, La Boca moved to a larger location on Tchoupitoulas Street, while Garcia opened other restaurants around town, including pioneering the rebirth of Freret Street with his classic New Orleans gem High Hat and his brick oven-style pizza shop Ancora. As for La Boca, try the 14oz skirt steak with a variety of dipping sauces or dig into the 24oz boneless ribeye from Painted Hills Ranch in Oregon.

Cochon Restaurant

The dining room at Chef Donald Link’s and Stephen Stryjewski’s Pork-tacular Restaurant

930 Tchoupitoulas Street


Another big splash on the New Orleans restaurant scene after Katrina was Chef Donald Link of Herbsaint debuting his pig-centric restaurant Cochon. Link and partner Chef Stephen Stryjewski’s rustic decor on a corner lot in the Warehouse District featured the cajun and southern cooking and techniques that Link grew up with. On the menu, you can find boucherie like fried boudin, chili dusted cracklins, hog’s head cheese, and housemade sausage, and entrees like rabbit, a 32oz porterhouse, wood-fired gulf fish, and a daily selection of farmed pork.

Over the next fifteen years, Link and Stryjewski drew tons of accolades from the James Beard Foundation, including Best Chef South, and nominations for Best New Restaurant for Cochon and Peche, which opened in 2014. In addition to those restaurants, the chefs opened a butcher shop behind Cochon called Butcher and an Italian restaurant around the corner called Gianna. 

In addition to their amazing restaurants, Chefs Link and Stryjewski created the Link Stryjewski Foundation to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans.

Taqueria La Lucha

The large inviting patio at this new taqueria hotspot

404 Andrew Higgins Blvd. (corner of Tchoupitoulas)


Caddy corner to Cochon is a brand new taqueria with a spacious outdoor patio serving up a variety of street tacos and Milagro margaritas. Owner Ryan Hollard and head chef Parvin opened Rye and Pie at this location at the end of 2019, three months before the pandemic. After struggling through the first two years, they decided to shut it down and revamp the concept highlighting Parvin’s Mexican roots.

Opening in early November, the results seem promising. Taqueria La Lucha has a small menu of traditional street tacos including shrimp, chicken tinga, pork pibil, and mushroom, plus chips and salsa, queso and guac. Though the menu sounds ordinary, you can taste the authenticity in the flavors and the extra time spent on producing quality tortillas. Daily margarita selections include tamarind, hibiscus, and mango habanero. 

Urban South Brewery

1645 Tchoupitoulas Street


NOLA Brewery may have been the first to distill and wholesale beer locally, but Urban South has probably been the most successful. Their two most popular beers, Holly Roller and Paradise Park, can be found in grocery stores, restaurants, and bars all over the city. 

The Urban South taproom is family-friendly and includes games for all ages. The spacious warehouse offers over 30 beers and seltzers on tap and in cans. Their Lime Cucumber Gose and Raspberry Paradise Park seltzer have both won numerous awards at several coveted beer competitions. 

The Tchoup Yard

405 Third Street (corner of Tchoupitoulas)

It wasn’t long ago that New Orleans offered limited space for outdoor eating and drinking. Post-Katrina, there was a renaissance of sorts as restaurants and bars finally saw the light. In the past, the outdoor spaces were small courtyards or balconies already built into the space. Over the last decade, over a dozen breweries and pubs have sprouted all around town where the patio is the space and any exterior is superfluous to the business itself. 

The Tchoup Yard is the most grandiose of the Uptown patios. Developers purchased most of the land between Second and Third Streets and created a huge inner courtyard with multiple bars, shaded seating, adult games, and a permanent food truck. Despite the menu of traditional bar food, Karibu Kitchen is adept at creating delicious.dishes like quesadillas, tater tot nachos, wraps, burgers and more. 

With almost twenty beers on tap and a small drink menu, the Tchoup Yard has established itself as a go to spot with the twentysomething crowd.

Miel Brewery

405 6th Street

(504) 372-4260

Just up the block from the Tchoup Yard is the Miel Brewery & Taproom, founded in 2018 by Louisiana native Alex Peyroux and creative partner Janice Montoya. Miel may not look like much from the outside, but the former warehouse was renovated into a sleek modern tap room with table games and a lush back courtyard. 

In addition to rotating limited release small batch beers, Miel Brewery & Taproom offers nitro coffee, hard seltzer and slushies for the kids. Beers range in ABV from 5-9% so don’t expect to find anything too light on the draft menu. Food trucks pop-up out front often, and if you’re looking for a great space to hold an office party or special occasion, Miel Brewery has plenty of space to accommodate up to a hundred and fifty.

NOLA Brewing Company

Live music in the warehouse at NOLA Brewing Company

3001 Tchoupitoulas Street


A few blocks up from Miel is New Orleans’ original craft brewery, NOLA Brewing Company. Founded in 2008 by Kirk Coco and Doug Walner, it quickly became one of the most popular breweries in Louisiana. In addition to the original NOLA Blonde, their line includes Hopitoulas, Hoppyright Infringement, Lemon Basil Wheat, Tangerine Twist, and the award-winning Irish Channel Stout. They have an additional dozen beers rotating on tap in the Tap Room.

The small kitchen has changed hands several times, but the latest installment looks like it’s here to stay. NOLA Pizza Company which has some of the best New York-style pizza in the city. The large warehouse has ample space for live music and mini-festivals and NOLA Brewery hosts some of the finest local bands around.


The heaters on the patio at Barracuda keeping the happy guests warm

3984 Tchoupitoulas Street


This Uptown gem made waves when it opened back in 2018 with its simple menu of elevated street tacos on house-made flour tortillas. Thrillist named Barracuda one of the best new restaurants in New Orteans and the fish taco won the Top Traditional Taco at Top Taco 2019. There are only 6 tacos (all priced below $4.25) to choose from, plus a few sides and chips and dips, but everything they put out is delicious. 

Enjoy a margarita or cocktail on their backyard patio while eating your tacos. You may want to look at your weather app when dining at Barracuda because they rely exclusively on their patio. No indoor dining for those hot, humid or rainy days.

Port Orleans Brewing Co.

The rollaway garage doors at Port Orleans are fantastic on a nice day

4124 Tchoupitoulas Street


The final stop on the Tchoupitoulas brewery tour takes us to the Port Orleans Brewing Company where former Saints tackle Zack Strief and partners have created a sleek, modern brewpub with rollaway windows for indoor/outdoor dining and drinking. They also have a side patio for additional outdoor dining, small festivals, and games like cornhole.

As for the beers at Port Orleans, the two most popular are the Dorado Mexican lager and the Gleason IPA which donates a percentage of sales to the Steve Gleason Foundation. This brewery also has the most extensive food menu. After changing concepts a few times, Port Orleans finally settled on Avo Taco, a gourmet taco concept with quesadillas, burgers, and chicken wings. The fancy tacos include items like the vegetarian Rastaman, Shrimp Remoulade, Buffalo Soldier, the Cowboy, and our favorite, The Juanita filled with pineapple soy marinated flank steak, roasted mushrooms, truffle horseradish crema, crispy onions, and scallions.

Mister Mao

One of the insanely creative dishes at Mister Mao

4501 Tchoupitoulas Street


There used to be a popular homey restaurant called Dick ‘n Jenny’s in a little cottage across from the Rouse’s Supermarket that turned out original and creative dishes to eager local diners. Alas, the original owners moved on and the quality declined over the years. When it closed, chef Sophina Uong and husband William Wildcat Greenwell took over the space and did a total renovation closing in the open courtyard and adding a tropical feel to the space.

Word traveled fast and Mister Mao quickly became the hip place to be. Their website describes it as a tropical roadhouse, quirky, eclectic, and unapologetically inauthentic, serving up locally sourced, global flavors through refined small plates. What that means is dishes like Escargot Wellington, Burrata Chaat, Spanish Octopus, and Korean Pork Bulgagi. Add in a robust drink menu from Greenwell and funky music on the soundsystem and you get the recipe for the hottest restaurant in Uptown New Orleans.

LUVI Restaurant

The fried fish on the Feed Me menu at Luvi

5236 Tchoupitoulas Street


Our final stop on the tasty tour of Tchoupitoulas Street is a tiny cottage on a non-descript block near the one strip mall in the neighborhood. Formerly a Blue Dot Donut, Chef Hao Gong took over the space and gave it a warm palette of light wood with blue and teal color on the walls and chairs. There are only a few small 2-top tables, 2 6-tops and about twelve seats at the sushi bar where Hao expertly serves up creative sashimi and dishes from his hometown Shanghai.

You’re not going to find your typical sushi and rolls at Luvi, but you will find fresh fish served Omakase-style for $45 with an optional $20 sake pairing and interesting hot plates like Dan Dan Noodles, Curry Flavored Dumplings, Spicy Chicken Wings, and Bam Bam Chicken. Chef Hao has gotten plenty of critical acclaim, even garnering a semifinalist award from the James Beard Foundation.

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