Carrollton Carrollton Neighborhood Guide
This mixed-use neighborhood is known for its oak trees, landmark restaurants and music venues, and a laid-back vibe.
The area of the historic neighborhood of Carrollton is the most upriver stretch of New Orleans and includes the Carrollton Historic District (since 1987). Carrollton was its own city, laid out in 1833 and annexed by New Orleans in 1874 (becoming the city’s 16th and 17th Wards). Although it is part of a larger area of Uptown, it is its own neighborhood with history and traditions, and it retains its distinct identity to this day. The area on the river side of Claiborne Avenue is sometimes referred to as “Old Carrollton.” Expect to pay, on average, $281 per square foot.
Read on to learn more about this neighborhood’s residents, notable features, hotspots, and history. Are you looking to buy a house in Carrollton, New Orleans? Our experienced Realtors can make the home-buying process seamless and swift. Contact us online or call (504) 483-8884 to discuss your real estate needs and goals.
Where Is Carrollton Exactly?
Carrollton is a subdistrict of the Uptown/Carrollton Area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it has a total area of 0.64 sq. mi. (including Uptown) and 0.38 sq. mi. (East Carrollton only). East Carrollton was a portion of what was the city of Carrollton, Louisiana, before it was annexed to the city of New Orleans in the 19th century.
Historically, the boundaries of the city of Carrollton were the Mississippi River, the downriver border of Jefferson Parish, Fig Street, and Lowerline Street. The boundaries of East Carrollton, as defined by the City Planning Commission, are:
- Northeast: Spruce Street
- Northwest: South Carrollton Avenue
- Southwest: Charles Avenue
- Southeast: Lowerline Street
What’s to Love About Carrollton?
Carrollton is a laid-back, mixed-use commercial and residential area lined with Southern live oaks and populated by small businesses, iconic music venues, popular restaurants, and the charming Palmer Park known for its monthly art market. There are many things to love about Carrollton, including:
Architectural Styles: Italianate, Craftsman, Colonial Revival — are all represented in this historic area. The Carrollton Courthouse building near the Mississippi River is a fine example of neoclassical style. It was designed by prominent New Orleans architect Henry Howard, who also designed Nottoway and Madewood plantations. The building served as the courthouse for Carrollton and Jefferson Parish until the town was annexed in 1874.
Shopping and Dining on Oak Street, Maple Street, and Riverbend: Two of the Carrollton neighborhood’s funkiest streets are packed with trendy restaurants, quirky shops, and live-music venues. There’s also a cluster of attractions where the St. Charles Avenue streetcar turns onto Carrollton in the Riverbend. Although you’ll see an occasional mini-strip mall, specialty shops and locally owned restaurants dominate.
Mardi Gras Celebrations: Both the Krewe of OAK and Phunny Phorty Phellows, who ride the streetcar on Twelfth Night to mark the beginning of the Carnival, parade through Carrollton.
Proximity to the University District: East Carrollton in particular has very high walk and bike scores (86 and 84, respectively). The area is easy to reach by the St. Charles streetcar, and is pedestrian-friendly, especially within the six-block radius of the Riverbend, where Carrollton Avenue ends at the Mississippi River and the streetcar turns onto St. Charles Avenue.
The Many Prides and Pearls of Carrollton
Carrollton is dotted with pedestrian-friendly clusters of venerable restaurants, interesting cafes, and small retail shops. Here are a few of our favorite highlights:
- Shop on Oak Street, one of Carrollton’s main streets, packed with small stores in converted Victorian houses. It’s also home to the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, held in the fall.
- Get a late-night bite at the famous, diner-style Camellia Grill near the corner of St. Charles and Carrollton avenues.
- Enjoy a deep-fried roast beef po-boy at Jacques Imo’s, or hit up Dante’s Kitchen come brunch time for the Louisiana crab and brie omelette and other seasonal fare.
- See Rebirth Brass Band on a Tuesday night at the famous, tin-ceilinged Maple Street Bar.
- Walk by John Kennedy Toole’s house if you’re a fan of “A Confederacy of Dunces.” The Pulitzer Prize winning author’s former home is on the corner of Hampson and Adams streets. It’s a private home, but there’s a historic marker in the front.
- Check out the art market on the last Saturday of each month in Palmer Park, at Carrollton and Claiborne at the end of the streetcar line.
- Meet the sunrise at the dimly lit Snake & Jake’s Christmas Lounge, one of the city’s best, most surreal dives.
A Brief History of Carrollton, New Orleans
Although Carrollton is now known as part of Uptown, it was a city, starting in 1833 and until it was annexed by New Orleans in 1874. The historic town of Carrollton came into existence when New Orleans Canal and Banking Co. bought half of the McCarty Plantation in 1833.
Several investors bought the other half and paid the planner to lay out the street grid. Before the Civil War, the area was ethnically mixed, populated by free people of color. Immigrants from Germany and Ireland also settled there in the 19th century.
By the 1850s the town of Carrollton had a train station, a racetrack, a hotel, and elegant houses with gardens. It was said the town had served as a resort and had received many Creole residents of the French Quarter and adjacent areas outside the American sector, who would take a train to visit Carrollton for a short vacation.
Here are three interesting tidbits: The riverfront area of Carrollton has been known since the mid-20th century as “Black Pearl,” and the “Queen of Gospel Music,” Mahalia Jackson, hails from the Black Pearl section of Carrollton. Also near the riverfront there was the so-called “Rising Sun Hall,” documented in the 19th century and apparently used for dances, Social Aid & Pleasure Club meetings, and other functions. It is said to have been the inspiration for the legendary song “The House of the Rising Sun.” Finally, the post of “mayor of Carrollton” survived to the 1980s, though informally. Well into the 2000s, the USPS would deliver mail addressed to “Carrollton, Louisiana” in the zip code of 70118.
Katrina-related flooding spared the neighborhood because it’s located on high ground. The charming neighborhood of Carrollton continues to thrive, with many college students moving into its oak-shaded Victorian houses every year to attend Loyola or Tulane. Most of the commercial activity is still centered around Carrollton’s three main streets: Oak, Maple, and Carrollton.