North Rampart Street, a Block-by-Block Guide
Rampart-St. Claude streetcar by Cheryl Gerber
For people who like living on the edge — of the French Quarter, that is — North Rampart Street is where it’s at. This street serves as the northernmost boundary of the French Quarter, dividing it from Tremé. You’ll find less foot traffic on this bustling thoroughfare than in other places in the Quarter, but no shortage of photo-worthy destinations. Plus, thanks to the recently installed streetcar line, getting around Rampart Street is a snap. Here are a few must-visit destinations on the historic thoroughfare, starting by Canal Street and going toward Esplanade Avenue.
Rampart-St. Claude Streetcar Line
Long ago, almost all of New Orleans was crisscrossed by streetcar tracks. In the mid-20th century, streetcars fell out of favor as buses became the norm, and many tracks were ripped up and repaved. Today, this charming, energy-efficient form of mass transportation keeps regaining popularity.
The newest streetcar line is the Rampart-St. Claude route, which travels from the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal to the intersection of St. Claude Avenue (Rampart changes to this name when it passes Esplanade Avenue) and Elysian Fields Avenue in the Marigny. Each ride costs only $1.25 (exact change required; or you can buy passes for up to one month online).
1111 Canal Street
The beautiful, 4,000-seat theater opened in 1927 as a silent movie destination. Eventually renovated after years of neglect following Hurricane Katrina, it shines more brightly than ever. One hundred and fifty lights twinkle in the domed auditorium ceiling, evoking a starry nighttime sky, and the entire interior resembles a 15th-century Italian courtyard replete with columns, arched doorways and mosaics. Broadway shows, touring musicians and comedians all make stops at this theater, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places — and you should, too.
222 N. Rampart Street
Established in 1872, this marble-clad, chandelier-hung gym boasts the Old World opulence you’d expect of a club where Tennessee Williams and Clark Gable once worked out. Modern exercise equipment meets luxurious amenities, including a saltwater lap pool, free parking, over 50 group exercise classes, and a full bar. Your hotel key, ID and $20 get you a day pass to this storied gym, and you truly can make a day of it. Start with free coffee and newspaper in the library, move on to a yoga class in the ballroom, then sit in the sauna, shower, grab a cocktail, and finally head out on the town feeling refreshed.
308 N. Rampart Street
This relative newcomer (since 2019) is a relaxed, brick-lined restaurant serving local, Mexican & Caribbean cuisine, plus wine and craft cocktails. Think laid-back, casual-cool fine dining.
700 N. Rampart Street
This dive bar has several pages’ worth of craft beer on the menu (50, in fact, and most come in a can). The space is both weathered and welcoming, featuring a refurbished bar, exposed brick and beams, and long booths.
Louis Armstrong Park
701 N. Rampart Street
Inside this leafy, 31-acre park, a large statue of Satchmo himself presides over fountains, walking trails, lagoons, and the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Armstrong Park is also the location of Congo Square, where enslaved Africans and free people of color congregated on Sundays to socialize, dance and sell goods in the 18th and early 19th centuries. This historic park is the birthplace of jazz, named for a jazz legend, and it’s definitely worth a visit.
740 N. Rampart Street
Self-billed as a “slice bar,” Rampart Treehouse is a colorful, well, bar that serves pizza. There are at least 10 pizzas on the menu, including vegetarian and vegan options, and available both to go or in-house, whole or by the slice. There are also a couple of salads and sandwich options on the menu, plus a whole lot of booze one would expect from a full bar.
820 N. Rampart Street
For the destination revered for its perfectly crafted cocktails, there’s not an ounce of pretentiousness about Bar Tonique. It’s small, cozy, and even romantic (there are comfortable couches, nooks, and a fireplace). Overall it feels more like a neighborhood bar, with specials chalked on the board (no food, no live music), not a cocktail lounge. The ingredients, however, are often house-made, and the extensive menu is staggeringly categorized. There are $6 daily specials (whiskey flights Tuesdays and caipirinha Thursdays, for example). Some are unique to the bar; others are modern twists on the classics, with welcome deviations and house-made syrups. Service industry folks enjoy a discount.
942 N. Rampart Street
Opened in 2022 (replacing the longtime neighborhood fave, Meauxbar), MaMou is a modern French brasserie from Executive Chef Tom Branighan and Sommelier Molly Wismeier. The menu is European continental cuisine with Creole influences, using mostly Louisiana ingredients and prepared with French techniques. The airy, whimsical interior serves as a perfect backdrop.
1014 N. Rampart Street
Think fresh, elevated takes on international fare like tuna tartare and curried cauliflower. Executive Chef Eason Barksdale brings with him 14 years of experience and training under Susan Spicer.
1036 N. Rampart Street
The French Quarter has a champagne-centric bar to call its own. Effervescence opened its tall doors on N. Rampart St. in March of 2017 and has become the destination for high-to-low sparkling wines from all over the world, champagnes, small plates, and live music. The setting is modern and polished, and there’s ample outdoor seating. There’s also a full bar, and dozens of still wines by the glass and bottle, plus a limited beer selection — but it’s the bubbles you’d come for. Check out a variety of themed flights, or order half a glass, if you’d like to try a variety. The small plates are meant to be shared — like the Gulf seafood plate or crispy Brussels sprouts. Effervescence is also a good spot to try caviar, from the prized osetra to the local (and more affordable) bowfin.
For more, check out our guide to the Famous Streets of the French Quarter.
Also, are you planning to spend some time in New Orleans soon? To stay close to all the action, book a historic boutique hotel in the French Quarter at FrenchQuarter.com/hotels today!