The Ultimate Guide to New Orleans’ Historic Irish Channel Neighborhood


The Irish Channel is the most friendly neighborhood in New Orleans. Locals and visitors will find a host of welcoming residents, lively breweries, and historic flare around every corner. Strolling through the vibrant neighborhood is a pleasing visual experience. Even the hangout spots have a unique atmosphere perfect for mingling. The Irish Channel is walkable and accessible by bus or streetcar, making it the ideal escape from the busy French Quarter.

The History of the Irish Channel

The Irish Channel neighborhood gets its name from the first Irish immigrants to settle in the area in the 1830s. While fleeing from the great potato famine and searching for work opportunities, they found a community in New Orleans. African Americans, Germans, and Italians assisted the Irish in creating the charming area now known as the Irish Channel.

Today, the Irish Channel is a lively neighborhood centered around friendliness and community. It’s homey and character-filled, from the Creole cottages to bustling breweries. Many different cultures and ethnicities call the Irish Channel home. Still, the neighborhood fills up with block parties and merry people when St. Patrick’s Day comes around.

The Geographical Boundaries of the Irish Channel

The Irish Channel is a Garden District subdistrict, but its boundaries are as muddy as the Mississippi River. According to the City Planning Commission, the borders of the Irish Channel are Tchoupitoulas Street, Toledano Street, Magazine Street, First Street, the Mississippi River, and Napoleon Avenue. Like most New Orleans neighborhoods, the boundaries blend, regardless of what the officials declare.

Shop on Magazine Street in the Irish Channel

The Irish Channel’s proximity to Magazine Street creates walkable access to some of the best shops in the city. There are many boutiques, antique stores, art galleries, and vintage shops to splurge on. The Funky Monkey has one-of-a-kind pieces from past decades and numerous Mardi Gras costumes and accessories. Antiques on Jackson has a bit of everything — art, furniture, and housewares.

Visit St. Mary’s Assumption Church in the Irish Channel

St. Mary’s Assumption Church has been a pillar of the neighborhood since 1858. It is one of the oldest German Catholic churches in New Orleans. The stained glass windows and intricate architecture have been stunning visitors for over 165 years.

Eat Brunch in the Irish Channel

The Irish Channel is home to some of New Orleans’ infamous brunch spots. Molly’s Rise and Shine is known for its McMuffins and breakfast burritos. A few blocks away, Atchafalaya serves traditional brunch dishes like chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits.

In New Orleans, it’s easy to stay out late and miss brunch. Turkey and the Wolf has the best hangover-cure sandwiches in the city. In 2017, Eater named Turkey and the Wolf one of the 12 Best New Restaurants in America.

Drink at an Irish Pub or Local Brewery in the Irish Channel

Breweries and pubs thrive in the Irish Channel. NOLA Brewery and Taproom and Miel Brewery and Taproom provide the area with crisp craft beer on draft and upbeat hangout spots. On St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish pubs Parasol’s and Tracey’s throw the biggest street parties in the city.

For a relaxed drinking experience, visit Tchoup Yard, the Bulldog, or the Vintage. Their outdoor seating areas are full of greenery. On a nice day, locals spend hours catching up with friends over cocktails and tasty food.

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