Tremé is the oldest African American neighborhood in the United States and a site that has shaped African American history for over 200 years. Many famous artists and musicians hail from the neighborhood like Kermit Ruffins, John Boutte, and Terrance Osbourne.
Though New Orleans is widely known for larger attractions like the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, the historical legacy and culture of Tremé fascinates lifelong residents and visitors alike.
Top 10 Things to See & Do in Tremé
1. St. Augustine Catholic Church
1210 Governor Nicholls St., (504) 525-5934, staugchurch.org
Built by free people of color in the 1830s and dedicated in 1842, St. Augustine is the Black Catholic parish in the United States. The historical place of worship for both free people of color and slaves, the church is one of the sites on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.
If you are interested in visiting during services, the church has Mass every Sunday at 10 a.m. Donations towards St. Augustine's historic restoration project can made through its website.
1535 Basin St., (504) 264-7899, fritai.com
Founded by Chef Charly Pierre, Fritai offers a menu chock full of Haitian street food. New Orleans and Haiti actually have a long historical connection during French colonial times, so the restaurant is a great way to experience that shared history through its food.
Try tasty traditional Haitian entrees including sos pwa, griyo, or the restaurant's special Fritai sandwich. Make sure to order a glass of one of Fritai's craft cocktails like their Daiquiri, Ti Punch, or the Old Haitian.
3 - Dooky Chase's
2301 Orleans Ave., (504) 821-0600, dookychaserestaurants.com
Indulge in an authentic Creole meal at this historic restaurant known for its contributions to African American cuisine. This eatery started as a sandwich shop and lottery ticket store and later expanded into a full service eatery with a bar.
A favorite of many influential figures and made famous during the tenure of the iconic Leah Chase, Dooky Chase's Restaurant is loved for the cozy dining atmosphere and the distinct emphasis on the family that opened the establishment in 1941. Dooky Chase's gumbo and red beans and rice are not to be missed!
4. Li'l Dizzy's Cafe
1500 Esplanade Ave., (504) 766-8687, lildizzyscafe.net
Owned by New Orleans' famous Baquet family, Li'l Dizzy's Cafe provides the Tremé community great tasting Creole Soul food. The menu has all kinds of classic NOLA dishes like gumbo, po-boys, fried seafood, and more.
Li'l Dizzy's Cafe has daily specials that can be enjoyed such as red beans and rice on Mondays, smothered okra and rice with fried chicken on Thursdays, and the restaurant's amazing catfish jourdain on Fridays. The restaurant also sells its own merchandise, as well as a cookbook full of the Baquet family's recipes.
5. Louis Armstrong Park
701 N. Rampart St., nola.gov/parks-and-parkways/parks-squares/congo-square-louis-armstrong-park
The gem of Tremé, Louis Armstrong Park immerses visitors in African American history dating back to the 18th century. The park pays homage to those who made a lasting impact on the neighborhood through sculptures and historical monuments detailing the areas cultural impact.
This 32-acre park, which is home to the historic Congo Square, hosts free event like Jazz in the Park every Thursday and is the site of the Creole Gumbo and Congo Square Rhythms Festivals. The park is free to the public and open daily until 6 p.m.
6. Kermit's Tremé Mother In Law Lounge
1500 N. Claiborne Ave., (504) 435-8763, kermitslounge.com
This legendary music venue is known for its captivating live music performances, often featuring Kermit Ruffins himself. It holds historical significance as a hub for local musicians where visitors are serenaded by New Orleans' rich musical heritage.
The laid-back and welcoming atmosphere makes it a great place to relax and enjoy live performances while savoring local cuisine and drinks. You'll gain a distinctive insight into the neighborhood's history and ongoing cultural contributions.
7. New Orleans African American History Museum
1418 Governor Nicholls St., (504) 218-8254, noaam.org
This museum showcases the struggles, achievements, and resilience of African Americans throughout history in both New Orleans and in diaspora. It offers visitors a chance to learn about the significant events, individuals, and movements that have carved a path for everyone today.
The New Orleans African American History Museum features a collection of art, documents, and multimedia exhibits that highlight the creative and intellectual contributions of people of color. Make sure to visit the museum's website to check out their special events calendar.
8. Le Musée de f.p.c.
2336 Esplanade Ave., (504) 323-5074, lemuseedefpc.com
This museum is dedicated towards honoring New Orleans' free people of color and the unique legacy they left on the city. The building the museum is housed in was originally a part of Spanish colonist Domingo Fleitas' plantation, and the house was done in a Greek Revival style.
Le Musée de f.p.c. offers 45-minute long tours on Fridays at 1 p.m. and on Saturdays at 11 a.m. for $25 per person. All tours must be booked in advance and can be done through the museum's website.
9. Tremé's Petit Jazz Museum
1500 Governor Nicholls St., (504) 715-0332, facebook.com/tremespetitjazzmuseum?mibextid=LQQJ4d
This museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing Treme's rich jazz history. Peruse a collection of authentic jazz artifacts, including sheet music, instruments, photographs, and memorabilia.
Don't miss out on an opportunity for education, appreciation, and celebration of jazz's enduring evolution. Tremé's Petit Jazz Museum is a must-stop for interactive experiences to expand your knowledge about the musical genre.
10. Backstreet Cultural Museum
1531 St. Philip St., (504) 657-6700, backstreetmuseum.org
Founded by the late Sylvester Francis Sr. in 1999, Backstreet Cultural Museum is dedicated towards the documentation of New Orleans' Carnival celebrations, jazz funerals, and second line parades. The museum houses loads of items that demonstrate NOLA's African American culture like costumes, artifacts, photographs, films, and more.
Visit the museum and take in numerous exhibits centered around cultural figures such as the Mardi Gras Indians, the Skull and Bone gangs, and the Baby Dolls. Visitors will also be able to view films of African American parading culture dating back from the 1970s and filmed by Francis himself.
Make a Trip to Treme
Visiting Tremé allows you to immerse yourself in a vibrant and unforgettable experience. From exploring the neighborhood's jazz history and delighting in delicious cuisine to delving into African American history, there's something exciting for everyone.
Tremé is a dynamic New Orleans neighborhood where history, culture, and community coalesce to create a truly unique and immersive experience.