Grab your bike and lace up your tennis shoes — we’re heading to the Lafitte Greenway, the 2.6-mile trail that can take you from Mid-City to Downtown New Orleans in as little as 15 minutes. But why zoom through when there’s so much to do along the way? Here’s a guide to spending the perfect day on the Greenway.
You might know the classics and the go-to spots like Parkway Bakery & Tavern and Wrong Iron as well as Bayou Beer Garden and Bayou Wine Garden, but there are more places to grab a bite nearby.
The Lafitte Greenway starts at the N. Alexander Street Trailhead at the intersection with St. Louis Street. But before you hop on the trail, stop at Trep’s. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. Its menu blends classic New Orleans dishes like gumbo and shrimp & grits. There are also sandwiches and salads you can enjoy on the patio or take your meal to go for a picnic on the Lafitte Greenway.
Neyow’s feels like a home away from home. The Mid-City restaurant has been serving Creole cuisine since 2010. From red beans and rice Mondays to fish Fridays, Neyow’s is the place to get a taste of the city. The menu is full of options, including pasta, po-boys and seafood, with much more to enjoy. And don’t worry, if you find yourself in a food coma, you can rest a while right down the street on Bayou St. John.
MORE: Put the pedals to the pavement: What you need to hit the bike trails in New Orleans
Coffee & Snacks
They say, “the early bird gets the worm.” In this case, the worm is a warm cup of coffee in the morning. If you need a little boost, there’s not just one but two places to get coffee or a snack on the Greenway.
French Truck Coffee
Coffee lovers could spot this building from a mile away. The bright yellow French Truck Coffee is located on the Lafitte Greenway, and it has spots to park bikes. French Truck is known for its unique coffee blends like Big River, Festin’ and Commander’s Palace Coffee & Chicory. If coffee isn’t your thing, take your pick from its range of caffeinated and decaffeinated tea. There’s food too, but you may need to get there a little early for a bite because the kitchen closes at 3 p.m.
On the other side of Broad Street, you can find Hey Coffee Co. There are tables outside for you to enjoy the fresh air and watch other pedestrians and cyclists pass by on the Greenway. All the coffee necessities are here, including cold brews, cappuccinos and lattes. If you prefer to make your brew at home, you can order a bag of coffee beans online and pick it up on your ride. Hey Coffee serves breakfast items too. On special days, you can also find treats from local eateries like Bywater Bakery.
There are no quiet weekends on the Lafitte Greenway. Whether it’s an outdoor concert, a farmer’s market or a fitness class, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Did you know The Broad Theater has a sister? Well technically, it’s a sister business. The Broadside is an outdoor venue that hosts movie screenings, live music shows and more. It’s the perfect place to catch an intimate performance from some of New Orleans’ best like Tank and the Bangas, Soul Brass Band and Big Freedia. If you want to grab a seat, make sure to buy a ticket ahead of time online because capacity is limited.
Friends of Lafitte Greenway hosts free outdoor fitness classes a few times a week, and the best part is that they’re all free. Some of the classes include yoga, kickboxing and a bodyweight boot camp. The fitness series is put on in partnership with NORD to “build strength, flexibility, and community.” You can reserve a spot on the Lafitte Greenway’s website.
If you’re someone who likes to spend hours at museums, the Lafitte Greenway is still a good spot for you. It’s basically an outdoor art gallery with pieces that can be viewed all day and night. The trail features temporary pieces and installments that can be viewed year-round.
The most prominent sculptures on the Greenway are located right across the street from each other. Turning by Michel Varisco –which is all about the influence of the Mississippi River on our lives– can be found at the center of the roundabout on Norman C. Francis Parkway. The interactive sculpture was the first piece to be dedicated to the Greenway. Another piece is Iris of Memory by William Nemitoff, modeled after a Louisiana iris flower. Iris of Memory can be found in the Greenway Plaza, with the best time to see the sculpture being at night because of its glowing light.
Local artist Brandan ‘BMike’ Odums has two must-see murals on the Greenway. The first one is special for soccer fans. It’s called “Paul Pogba is Larger than Life,” dedicated to French soccer star Paul Pogba, part of a nationwide series celebrating France’s 2018 World Cup victory. It can be found at 2500 St. Louis Street. The other mural is on the side of the former New Orleans Coliseum Arena, paying homage to the historic building. You can stop across the street from the baseball field and basketball court on St. Louis Street.
Looking for other places to explore on your bike? Check these out:
- Get on your bikes and ride: top 5 bicycling adventures in New Orleans
- ‘Get Outta Town!’: Biking from brewery to brewery on Lake Pontchartrain’s Northshore