7901 Maple St., Bywater
The Satsuma Café Kale Salad, made of all local ingredients, fresh, and organic, features Lacinato kale, Parmesan dressing, and (this is New Orleans after all) a piece of bacon on the side. This is the BEST SALAD in the city, hands down. A few blocks away from Desire Street, (which kind of says it all), and in the stunning Baywater, this is the hippyish place to go for great coffee and espresso, fresh ginger muffins, super great Nutella banana pancakes, fresh BLT’s with real tomatoes, hummus, bagels and lox with all the sides, and fresh juices made to order. It’s also all organic. Sit at the Squirrel Table and read the New York Times, or a local paper with the locals (and believe me, they’re there). It has a totally great vibe and fresh, fresh, fresh organic food. These guys make an effort and it shows.
600 Poland Ave., Bywater
Bacchanal is pure magic on a steamy New Orleans night. It’s part wine shop, part bar, and part music venue—you’ll want to make sure to spend time in the courtyard, bathed in torchlight. This is the place to take your glass of vino and cheese plate while enjoying some very talented up-and-coming jazz acts (check the website for a full schedule).
The Country Club
634 Louisa St., Bywater
This extravagant haven is New Orleans’s best-kept secret. It’s a mansion dating from the late 1800s, complete with a heated saltwater pool, sauna, and a restaurant serving up Creole fare that tastes just as good poolside as it does in the frescoed dining room. A mere fifteen bucks gets you access to this Bywater oasis. During the city’s muggy, humid months, escaping to the Country Club for fries and cold rosé by the water is akin to finding water in the desert. Trust us.
2941 Royal St., Bywater
Artist Brandan Odums (aka BMike) has made his 35,000-square-foot studio in the Bywater an ode to African American legends like Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X. These spray-painted murals take up entire walls that rise as high as twelve feet, providing social commentary, inspiration, and an education to the studio’s visitors from Odums’s point of view.