This story was written for Very Local by Beth D’Addono. Check out some of Beth’s other very New Orleans stories here.
Taking the ferry across the Mississippi to Algiers Point, on foot or bicycle, is such a pleasure. Although old timers still grouse about having to pay when the ride was free for so long, the ferry across the Mississippi River is a heckuva deal. For $2 each way, you can get the absolute best view of the city skyline as you follow the river’s dramatic crescent bend.
Weaving through the traffic that makes the Mississippi the hardest working river in the nation, the double-decker ferry leaves you at Algiers Point, the second-oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, with a village vibe that’s sure to charm. Take a self-guided tour of the Jazz Walk of Fame along the levee, pop into local shops, and have a drink at the Old Point, a friendly watering hole with live music on the weekends.
And when it’s time to eat, there are options, more than there used to be for sure. Although it’s no French Quarter as far as the sheer volume of eats, there has been an uptick of cuisine choices in the past few years, with the opening of Plume, Cebu Lechon and (any minute now) Barracuda. And the neighborhood still feels ripe with potential. Still hoping that Shucks on Teche will reopen, fingers crossed on that one.
Now we know there are places a little further afield – closer to busy roads like General Meyer and General Collins, but the focus here is on places you can walk to easily from the ferry landing.
There’s always something interesting going on in the pink house on the corner of Vallette and Alix thanks to Chef Pete Vazquez and his creative cuisine. This one-man band cooks up whatever he feels like and is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Duck tacos, whole roasted pompano with shrimp, corn, and roasted hatch chile vinaigrette, spicy chicken curry, Texas chili with pork and beef – you just never know what this guy has planned. The chef, who cooked around at places like Marisol and Bacchanal before opening his own place, spins the globe for an array of flavors that keep his fans coming back for more. Call to place an order, and if there really is a heaven, jerk spiced rotisserie chicken with garlic chile sauce and crack-a-roni and cheese will be on the menu. The only way you know what is on the menu is to join the Facebook group Appetite Repair Shop, and he takes payments by Venmo @appetiterepair.
Poised on the brink of opening for what seemed like forever, this second incarnation of the popular Tchoup taco place gives us another former service station to patronize for food. The clue you’ve arrived is the retro Gulf sign. All the flavors are yum – the chicken turmeric adobo and red chili pork for sure, but also try the mushroom and the farmer, made with grilled sweet potato and sunflower salsa. Ask for extra salsa macha, it’s crack sauce. For $1 you can make anything deluxe with the addition of grilled cheese, beans and guac — do it!
Loy Madrigal opened this homestyle Filipino restaurant almost two years ago after buying the building at the corner of Hendee and Newtown for both his home and business. He lives upstairs, with the downstairs restaurant including a small dining room and party room up front, along with some outside seating. Madrigal, who learned to cook Filipino dishes from his mom, opens his doors from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Monday and does a brisk takeout business, with dishes like adobong pusit, made with squid and adobo spice, dinuguan, a savory stew made with pork simmered in a rich, spicy dark gravy of pig blood, garlic, chili, and vinegar, and lumpia Shanghai, a version of pork egg roll. A whole roasted pork is an occasional special and available special order.
This watering hole steps from the ferry is a go-to for boiled seafood, pub fare and tasty sandwiches. Try the seafood Delaronde, a skillet bubbling with crabmeat, shrimp and oysters in a cheesy pesto sauce. The homemade onion rings are addictive, same for the tangy barbecue shrimp served with a pistolette. This place is huge with the locals, but even if you’ve never been, it’s friendly. Potent cocktails, cold beer – what’s not to love?
Dip into this cool looking market for picnic fixings before grabbing a spot on the levee with skyline views. Local products – and a decent wine selection – are the order of the day. There’s fresh produce and meats, guac and salsa from Espiritu, Algiers Point pies in flavors like peach and blackberry crumble and NorJoe prepared entrees fresh and frozen. There’s even a free book exchange to make that picnic last even longer.
It was a huge leap, but that’s exactly what Chef Tyler Stuart and his partner Merritt Coscia took when they opened Plume Algiers in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic. The couple fell in love with the varied cuisine of India on a trek back in 2017. Although Stuart was working in some of the city’s best kitchens, including Carrollton Market and Ye Olde College Inn, he wanted to do his own thing. The couple tried some Indian pop-ups in their Algiers neighborhood before buying a building that is both home and restaurant. They welcomed baby Jules into their world a few months ago.
Stuart’s fine dining background and Johnson and Wales education shines through in the deft execution and careful attention to ingredients used in dishes like the kaathi roll, the Indian version of an egg roll, with tender tandoori chicken, fermented cabbage, yogurt and cilantro wrapped in paratha, a homemade layered flatbread. The menu also includes vegetarian dishes, fried rice with ginger, garlic and mustard seeds, and naan served with garlic ghee. For dessert, they’re now scooping Rahm Haus Ice Cream, founded in 2020 by pastry chef Jillian Duran, in flavors like ghee buttermilk ginger.
Pizza earns high marks at this stylish neighborhood Italian joint, but it’s the cocktail program that really gets raves, even better that there’s a grown-ups only lounge in the back. Start with an order of the addictive ping olives, fried veal and pork stuffed Castelvetrano olives that are a specialty in the Le Marche region of central Italy. There are a handful of pasta options, salads and thin crust 13-inch pies topped with the likes of fungi, carne and gorgonzola. The well-priced cocktail list includes winners like an $8 Tav negroni made with Jensen’s Londan Dry Gin, Atxa sweet vermouth and peychaud’s bitters.
This neighborhood coffeehouse serves a mix of French and Cajun fare for breakfast and lunch. serves French and Cajun-inspired fare for breakfast & lunch. Everything is fresh and tasty – try the pain perdu with almonds and orange zest, biscuits and gravy (extra gravy please!) and crawfish etouffee over grits and eggs. The avocado toast with cucumbers and feta is beyond refreshing.