Things To Do In The Treme

This post covers things to do in Treme, one of New Orleans unique neighborhoods, including tips on what to see, where to eat, as well as where to dance. 

 

 


PLAN YOUR VISIT

A visit to New Orleans would not be complete without spending some time in one of its most famous locations. As one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, there is much to learn and experience when you are there in the Treme.

From its earliest beginnings as one of the nation’s few multicultural communities, its character was developed with a combination of immigrants, refugees, and Free People of Color all converging on the area from as far back as the 1700s.

The significance of such a community growing against America’s tumultuous background has created an area known for its famous jazz funerals, Mardi Gras Festivities, and historical sites. 


Sample Itinerary

  • Partake in a morning tour of St. Louis Cemetery #1 with us (Free Tours by Foot).
  • Take a coffee or lunch break at Mr. Gregory’s after the tour. 
  • Enjoy a walk through Armstrong Park.
  • Enjoy a late southern lunch at Lil Dizzy’s.
  • Learn about Mardi Gras Indians at the Backstreet Museum in the late afternoon (be sure to confirm hours).

How to Get Here

A quick walk from the French Quarter, the Treme begins at Armstrong Park, 701 Rampart Street. Regardless of how you travel, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions to the park.

 

How to Get to Treme from French Quarter

 

We also created a Google map for you of all of the locations mentioned in this post.

You can walk away from the river on Dumaine St., Or, if you are at either end of the Quarter on Rampart you can ride the Rampart St. Car for $1.25. Read our post on how to ride the streetcars in New Orleans.

Why not join us for one of our pay-what-you-like tours of Treme offered @10:30 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays?

Our Voodoo Tour offered Wednesday through Monday and our Music, Arts and More Tour also visits parts of Treme. Check out our current schedule to see what is available. 

Lastly, we also offer a daily tour of St. Louis Cemetery #1. Though technically the cemetery borders Treme, it makes a lot of sense to combine a morning visit to the cemetery before heading off to Treme for lunch and more exploration. 


How Much Time to Devote Here

So, our tour of Treme lasts 2 hours, so we feel that is the minimum you should devote, but we feel at least a 1/2 day in the neighborhood is warranted. 

Just read the sections on things to see, things to eat, and nightlife, and see if you can’t help yourself from spending an entire day or night here. 


Special Events

In addition to the weekly Congo Square drum circle, there are several events or festivals taking place in the Treme.

  • Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival (March)
  • Jazz in the Park (Seasonal)
  • Tremé Festival (October)
  • Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival (November)

 


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TOP THINGS TO DO IN TREME

The Treme will keep you busy. Some of New Orleans top sights are located here. Below is our list of the top things to do, see and experience in this legendary neighborhood.

Be sure to also read our master post on things to do in New Orleans for more travel ideas.


St. Louis Cemetery #1

Established in 1789, it is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans. Located right at the edge of the French Quarter the tombs contain the remains of many of the old Creole families that lived there throughout history. Here you’ll see multi-story tombs of people from as far back as the French colonial days. Buried there you’ll find the first black mayor of New Orleans and Marie Laveau – the legendary voodoo queen. 

You can read a bit more with our self-guided tour of the cemetery, but you can only enter on a guided tour. 

Consider taking our St. Louis Cemetery #1 Tour, which runs every morning and is a great start to your exploration of Treme


Louis Armstrong Park/Congo Square

Located on the outer edge of the French Quarter, the Louis Armstrong Park is dedicated to one of the City’s most favored residents and traditions. This 32-acre green space with several kids playgrounds has played a significant role in the city’s history and is also known as the city’s New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.

 

 

From as far back as the early 1800’s all manner of events have been held nearly every Sunday in this prominent location. This was the only day of the week when African Americans, both slaves, and freemen, were allowed to openly gather and make music together. Those many Sundays of long ago were instrumental in the development of one of the purest of American styles of music – jazz.

Every Sunday @3 pm, you can join in on a free drum circle in Congo Square (video). It’s among the top free things to do in NOLA.

You can get a taste of the history and flavor of the park on our Music, Arts, and More Tour, which usually takes place on Fridays and Saturdays @2:30 pm. 


Backstreet Cultural Museum

The Backstreet Cultural Museum is home to a number of artifacts, memorabilia, films, and costumes that reflect the growth of the African-American culture in New Orleans.

Exhibitions include exquisite displays on the Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals, and the many social clubs that emerged over time and illuminate the struggles that African Americans had to overcome and their triumph over the obstacles that were represented in its music.

 

 

You’ll also see their famous Film Collection, voodoo artifacts, Baby Doll exhibits, collections from the social aid and pleasure clubs of the region. A trip to the Backstreet Museum is much more than fun; it is also educational and entertaining.

The Backstreet Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and admission is $8.00 per person. A guided tour will help you to rediscover and relive an integral part of African American culture.  http://www.backstreetmuseum.org/


Eat

Food, particularly soul food, is what you should seek out in the Treme! We suggest several restaurants and cafes here, including Lil Dizzy’s, Treme Coffeehouse, Fatma’s Cozy Corner, Willie Mae’s Scotch house, or the crown jewel Dooky Chase’s.

Read more about them in our section on restaurants and be sure to read our post on the 13 must-try foods in New Orleans

And in case you didn’t know, we offer pay-what-you-like New Orleans food tours.


Jazz Mass St. Augustine’s Catholic Church 

1210 Governor Nicholls St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Since its dedication to freedom from oppression in 1842, this Treme church was available to free people of color, who eventually purchased pews for enslaved people to worship alongside them since they could not pay for the pew fees in practice at the time.

 

 

In 2004, the church added a memorial to the slaves who lived and died in the area. The large chain cross is adorned by hanging angle shackles.

If you are there on a Sunday, why don’t you check out the jazz gospel service (video above)?  

Welcome to New Orleans.


New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture, and History 

1418 Governor Nicholls St, New Orleans, LA 70116

This complex is currently closed for remodeling. When it reopens, it is the epicenter of activities in the neighborhood. You can still pass by and see the historical buildings that were typical of traditional Treme Homes.

Please check their website, http://www.noaam.org/ for an opening date.


St. Anna’s Episcopal Church

1313 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

St. Anna’s has always had an emphasis on social justice for all; they were the first church in the city not to charge pew fees since opening in 1846.

This is an Anglo-Catholic Church and certain Catholic rituals aren’t followed. In fact, one bishop destroyed the confessional booths with an ax in the 1940s.

The church also reaches out to our unique community with the Mission to Musicians program. St. http://www.stannanola.org/

Be sure to read our master post on things to do in New Orleans for more travel ideas.

 


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WHERE TO EAT IN THE TREME

Willie Mae’s Scotch House

2401 St Ann St.

A Food Channel favorite many of our guests ask about Willie Mae’s before we can suggest it. Originally it was a bar, but after a location change in 1957 the restaurant also housed a barbershop and beauty salon. Their Wet Batter chicken is what they have been known for ever since.

 

 
The Food Channel and the Travel Channel have both named it “America’s Best Fried Chicken”. So, maybe it is worth a trip to the Treme! 


Dooky Chase Restaurant

2301 Orleans Ave

Leah Chase is considered to be the Godmother of Creole Cuisine. So much so that there has been a documentary about her and Tatiana from the Princess and the Frog is based on her. Their lunch buffet is what we suggest, with an assortment of Creole and soul food cuisine.

Dooky Chase Restaurant is one of our top 10 places to get gumbo in New Orleans.

Make sure not to miss the pictures of celebrities and dignitaries that have sat at Leah’s table. 


Lil Dizzy’s

1500 Esplanade

Downhome southern fare with an affordable weekend breakfast buffet. Beyonce and Jay-Z swear by Dizzy’s!


Treme Coffeehouse

1501 St. Phillip St.

This family-owned coffee shop situated across from the community center is the Epicenter of the neighborhood. Tour groups, teachers, students, neighbors all Gather here. 


Fatma’s Cozy Corner

1532 Ursulines Ave

A new addition to the neighborhood Fatma’s offers Mediterranean/Turkish cuisine and beverages to the Treme. Fatma has owned many establishments in the Metropolitan New Orleans Area, so we are sure it will please your sense.

 


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MUSIC VENUES

If you venture out into the Treme for a night out, you won’t be disappointed. There are many locations to go to, and we highlight our 3 favorite places.

Be sure to read our post on things to do at night in New Orleans for more trip ideas


Mother-in-Law Lounge, 1500 Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

Beloved late local musician Ernie K-Doe opened the Mother-in-Law Lounge in 1994; it was named after his smash hit “Mother-in-Law.”  The bar is a shrine to the flamboyant character who would often greet guests at the door.

It was reopened one year after being flooded after Hurricane Katrina passed through by his widow Antoinette K-Doe. After her eventual death, famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins reopened the iconic bar as Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge in 2014.
 

 

Learn more about music venues in this neighborhood in our nightlife section and be sure to read our post on where to find great live music in New Orleans.

It is also a stop on our self-guided Hurricane Katrina Tour


The Candlelight Lounge

925 N Robertson St.

Definitely a dive, this is the place to see generations of New Orleans musicians play for each other. We suggest calling ahead to see if they have live music on the night you plan to visit.

If they do you will enjoy yourself and the cheap drinks. We do suggest getting a taxi or Uber in and out of the neighborhood at night. 


Bullet’s Sports Bar

2441 A P Tureaud Ave.

Featured on the HBO Show Treme Bullet’s is a neighborhood bar. Call ahead for live music, and you will get a truly authentic New Orleans experience.

 


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GUIDED TOURS OF THE TREME

As we mentioned above, we offer pay-what-you-like tours of Treme @10:30 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays (details below).

Our Voodoo Tour offered Wednesday through Monday and our Music, Arts and More Tour also visits parts of Treme. Check out our current schedule to see what is available. 

Lastly, we also offer a daily tour of St. Louis Cemetery #1. Though technically the cemetery borders Treme, it makes a lot of sense to combine a morning visit to the cemetery before heading off to Treme for lunch and more exploration. 

Lastly, if you are considering a tourist discount pass, keep in mind that the New Orleans Pass includes a free tour of the Treme.


FREE TOURS BY FOOT TREME TOUR

Items discussed include:

  • New Orleans’ role in the American Civil Rights Movement
  • Saint Augustine Church
  • Backstreet Cultural Museum and Skull and Bone Gangs
  • Storyville
  • Jazz, rock and roll, and bounce music
  • Congo Square
  • Slavery in the colony and U.S. city and what happened after the American Civil War
  • The lives of New Orleans’ free people of color
  • Mardi Gras Indians
Tour information

Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more persons should visit our group inquiry page

Treme Tour Meeting PointWHERE: Meet your guide at Mr. Gregory’s Coffee Shop 806 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (map).

WHEN: Meet your guide at 10:20 am.

DURATION: Approximately 2 hours.

DISTANCE: Approximately 1 mile (1.6 km)

COST: Pay what you like.

Save more money in New Orleans with a tourist discount pass and consider a swamp tour and a plantation tour.

 


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Be sure to read our other New Orleans neighborhood guides.

  • French Quarter
  • Garden District
  • Faubourg Marigny
  • Bayou St. John
  • Frenchman Street
  • Algiers

 

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