Tulane University’s beautiful Uptown campus is on stately St. Charles Avenue, a short trolley ride from downtown New Orleans. Close to the historic Garden District and charming Magazine Street, students do not have to travel far to enjoy great restaurants, attractions, and shops. A medium sized school with close to 8, 500 undergraduate students; the university is linked intimately to its New Orleans home, a culturally rich city set to celebrate its 300th Anniversary in 2018. Tulane students work hard and play hard taking full advantage of all NOLA has to offer, all while actively giving back to the community. This Tulane guide focuses on places Uptown and in the Garden District, close to the university. For more on the best things in the city at large see our other itineraries below.
Transportation: Louis Armstrong International Airport is a quick 25-minute car ride to campus. Taxis are plentiful at the terminal. Are you traveling by train? Amtrak's serves New Orleans with daily City of New Orleans and Crescent routes, as well as the 3-days-weekly Sunset Limited route, through Union Passenger Terminal.
Stay: If it’s your style to roll out of bed and head to your college tours, check into The Park View Historic Hotel, just steps from the university. Also convenient, the Hampton Inn is located two miles down St. Charles. Heading down St. Charles another half a mile the newly renovated Pontchartrain Hotel has our vote while visiting Tulane. The hotel is a mix of old and new, nowhere more apparent than in the Bayou Bar, where a portrait of Lil Wayne by local artist Ashley Longshore hangs next to vintage floral paintings. The rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi River is wonderful. Many parents also choose the boutique Hotel Indigo, one block down from the Pontchartrain, also overlooking the St. Charles Streetcar line in the historic Garden District.
Coffee: Right on campus, PJ’s coffee has three locations-the breezeway of Percival Stern Hall, Willow Residence Hall, and Howard Tilton Library. Mojo Coffee House is a Tulane favorite, especially during exam week when students are actively cramming. There is a Mojo on Magazine Street, but the Freret Street branch is closer to campus. There is also a Starbucks on Maple Ave. If you have more time, head to Rue De La Course, on the corner of Oak and Carrollton, housed in a stunning historic bank building. (a quick 5-minute drive)
Breakfast: If you’re staying at the Pontchartrain (or at the Indigo) why stray further than the Silver Whistle Café, just off the lobby of the hotel. Load up on their famous giant blueberry muffins, or a breakfast po’boy. The Slim Goodies Diner is a quirky hangout on Magazine with creative takes on breakfast fare, mixing potato latkes with crawfish etouffee for example. Also on Magazine, enjoy made from scratch awesome donuts at the original branch of District: Donuts, Sliders and Brew. The morning menu has drool-worthy sweet and savory breakfast items plus Stumptown coffee, but be warned you may be tempted to return later in the day for the fried chicken slider. (The lunch menu starts at 11 am.) Near campus, a long walk or quick car ride, Satsuma Maple is many students’ favorite morning spot, not only for good coffee and freshly squeezed, organic juices but also for healthy-ish breakfast fare with gluten-free options. (Students flock here at lunch as well) Visiting on a Weekend? Brunch at Atchafalaya is a lively affair thanks to a winning combination of contemporary Creole food, live jazz music, and a Bloody Mary bar. Wear your stylish attire to Commander's Palace, Nola’s destination for refined Creole cuisine--the jazz brunch on the weekends is legendary.
Anytime of Day: The Camellia Grill, a landmark diner at the intersection of Carrollton and St. Charles is a famed NOLA institution serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is especially popular late night, open till 12 am weekdays and till 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. (Carrollton is a neighborhood of Uptown, very close to Tulane and farthest uptown from the French Quarter.) One alum reminiscences about his time at Tulane stating “It’s famous as much for its bow-tied waiters as the excellent food. I ended many nights at the Camellia Grill. “
Lunch: How can you visit NOLA and not have a po’ boy, Louisiana’s traditional sandwich. Some of the best are at Domilise's, a New Orleans institution. It may be a little hard to find, just look for the little yellow house and the typical line stretching out the door. Order the combination shrimp and oyster, and we’re sure you’ll be converted. It’s a casual affair at Stein’s Market and Deli in the lower Garden District, choose from one of the Jewish or Italian sandwiches, some traditional, some more inventive. St. James Cheese Company is a charming artisanal cheese shop and café, serving gourmet sandwiches and salads. (There’s a new bigger location downtown) With two locations, on Freret and Magazine, Dat Dog is fun for gourmet hot dogs and delicious fries. Also on Freret, students steered us to Company Burger. Almost everyone you ask will tell you the hottest restaurant in town is Turkey and the Wolf, the sandwich shop that Bon Appetit named the best restaurant of the year. The décor is kitschy yard sale cute, and it’s on an isolated stretch of Jackson Street just south of the lower garden district, but once you go, you’ll be a fan too. Known for the fried bologna sandwich don’t miss the collard greens, stacked with slaw, swiss cheese, and pickled cherry peppers, with a spicy dressing on rye bread--it’s a winning and addictive combination. Trust us, and get extra napkins—you’ll need them.
Casual: Tasty tacos and fun drinks make Caribbean style Rum House on Magazine popular. Pizza Domenica, also on Magazine, is a stylish rustic gourmet pizzeria; add some salads and antipasti to round out your meal. Jaques-Imo's is pure New Orleans—quirky, fun and original, serving Creole soul food on historic Oak Street in Carrolltown. Down the street on Oak, newcomer DTB, short for Down the Bayou, puts a modern twist on Cajun fare washed down with craft cocktails.
A Step Up: On a beautiful street near campus, Upperline is a charmer, housed in a 1877 townhouse, a real taste of authentic, old style New Orleans. Ask for a table in the back room, start with the outstanding fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade, before moving on to other classic ‘Nawlins’ dishes. Say hi to the owner, JoAnn Clevenger, and be sure to ask for her printout on her favorite spots in Nola with everything from art to antiques to books plus the dishes to order at her favorite restaurants. Locals love white table clothed Clancy's for classic Creole dishes. Don’t skip dessert-- the lemon icebox pie is famous for a reason. On Magazine, you’d be hard-pressed to choose between Coquette, a lovely farm to table corner spot serving creative Southern cuisine, perennially packed Shaya, serving excellent modern Israeli fare or Lilitte, a neighborhood gem known for both the lovely ambiance and stellar cuisine. If you only have one night, we’d steer you towards La Petite Grocery—everything from the kitchen of Chef Justin Devillier is a delicious twist on traditional NOLA fare. Start with the oyster beignets and fried green tomatoes, perhaps followed by shrimp and grits and it’s a good idea to have a Bloody Mary on your table.
Late Night Snack: If you can brave the crowds, there is nothing quite like sugar-dusted beignets at Cafe Du Monde, in the French Quarter, open 24/7. It’s worth leaving Uptown for, especially if this is your first time in New Orleans.
Local Attractions: In Uptown, right across from the Tulane campus, explore beautiful Audubon Park or Audubon Zoo. The 1.8-mile path makes for a nice loop, lined with magnificent ancient live oaks. Shoppers will be happy on Magazine Street filled with great boutiques, antique stores, cafes, and restaurants. Tour the Garden District with its grand historic mansions and walk through the Lafayette Cemetery. Daily tours are given by the Garden District Walks, departing and returning from the Spielman Gallery, located caddy cornered to Commander’s Palace and the Lafayette Cemetery. Tours last approximately 2 hours and are $30 per person, sign up here. The WWII Museum is incredible with exhibitions that are interactive and meaningful.
— QUOTES FROM CAMPUS —
TULANE FAST FACTS
Riptide the Pelican
Sky Blue & Olive
6823 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118-5680
(p) (504) 865-5731
(f) (504) 862-8715
Earl Retif, Vice President for Enrollment Management and University Registrar
NCAA Division I
John Kennedy Toole
+ TULANE UNIVERSITY CHEAT SHEET +
Mojo Coffee House
Rue De La Course
Silver Whistle Cafe
Slim Goodies Diner
Stein's Market and Deli
The Camellia Grill
District: Donuts, Sliders and Brew
Another Broken Egg Cafe
St. James Cheese Company
Turkey and the Wolf
La Petite Grocery
Cafe Du Monde
+ LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
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