This week, our tour of New Orleans neighborhoods takes a stop in the 7th Ward. My girl Whitney was more than enthused to show us her version of the neighborhood.
Whitney has been in New Orleans for 10 years and has spent the last 3 of them living in the 7th Ward. She loves the proximity to the French Quarter, especially for Mardi Gras. She also noted it’s not “as loud as the Marigny.” She has seen a lot of new development happen in her neighborhood, but told me that it is still a mix of old and new folks. She has one of those older neighbors across the street from her that is “neighborhood watch”. Even though the majority of her block was abandoned 3 years ago, Whitney now knows all the folks on her street.
We began my tour at Pirogues. As soon as I stepped foot in there, I knew this was a locals joint. There were a couple of regulars sitting at the bar, complaining about the Saints and a bartender who seemed to know every person passing in and out. When I ordered my vodka & soda, and was handed a cup of what was essentially all vodka, it solidified it’s neighborhood bar status. With some Motown playing in the background, I perused their menu. It consisted of items that meat, and non meat eaters, would all be happy with. Whitney mentioned to me it was a great spot to watch Saints games, too.
We didn’t walk very far for our next spot on the tour. Whitney took me over to Kitchen Witch.
This shop was so fun and eclectic. First, they had a vegan pop up outside that had some wonderful stuffed peppers, delicious potato salad, and assortment of veggies. After we chowed down, we entered what could only be described as something a cook might see in their dreams.
This shop is filled to the brim with every imaginable cookbook. They have vegan, Israeli, Italian, local – like so local it’s the cookbooks your church used to sell in the 80s and 90s. There are kitchen aprons hung from the ceilings, old cast iron skillets for purchase, and I even saw some Corning ware! The shop’s owner was there to tell me about the vegan Taco Tuesdays they have with $1 wine & beer. She also showed me the homemade spice blends they sold. I grabbed one lemon pepper, that smelled amazing, and one “Kitchen Crack” spice blend, that appeared to be there version of Tony Chachere’s. You could spend over an hour just looking at the little displays they have. Of course, they had a shop dog who was snoozing away under the register. It was perfectly New Orleans.
Before I head home, Whitney took me to our last stop in the 7th Ward – Sidney’s Saloon.
Whitney said that Sidney’s tends to be more of a late night bar, so weren’t sure what to fully expect upon entering in the daylight hours. Well, it didn’t disappoint. There were some regulars saddled up to the bar. The banter between the bartender and them made it clear that they see each other frequently. I LOVE a little locals bar. They have occasional food pop ups, and while we were there, a tamale guy came through taking orders. While they have an array of beers, but the crowd pleaser seemed to be the 2 frozen drinks they offered. I ordered the Perfect Storm- which turned out to be the perfect blend of spiced rum, lime, and ginger. I’m always nervous about frozen drinks, since they seem to be too sweet. This cocktail certainly was not. By the time I slurped it down, I was feeling pretty good too!
Even as a New Orleans native, we can’t know every nook and cranny of the city. Sometimes we have to let others guide us. This 7th Ward tour was not what I expected, but exactly what I hoped for. Make sure to shop local and tip your bartender.
Want a list of homes for sale in the 7th Ward? Send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org