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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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What’s brewing: Popular Uptown coffee shops

(Sofie Duffner)

New Orleans’ status as a major port city makes it a cradle for commerce in the Gulf of Mexico. Coffee beans are one of the many goods imported into the city by ship. In fact, the Port of New Orleans is considered “the number one coffee port in the country,” according to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. It should come as no surprise that the city, especially around Tulane University’s campus, is home to some spectacular coffee shops.

Tulane’s fall semester is already underway, and many students may be in search of a new location to complete schoolwork or fraternize with peers. Coffee shops, with their comforting blend of caffeine and coziness, are conducive to such an atmosphere.

Rue De La Course, housed in an antiqued bank building, is located on the corner of Oak Street and South Carrollton Avenue. This airy cafe features two floors of seating, which ensures customers will always have a place to sit. The first floor is usually louder than the second floor, owing mostly to the open environment and high ceilings. However, once one ascends the stairs to the second floor balcony overlooking the entrance, the noise levels diminish almost immediately. It is here where one can zero in on their assignments in peace. Rue De La Course offers a wide variety of beverages to the public. Some highlights include their Caffe Latte and their Yerba Mate Latte. The coffee shop also sells locally sourced pastries and desserts to those with a sweet tooth.

Z’otz Cafe is one of the more eclectic coffee shops in the New Orleans area. This quaint cafe is also settled on Oak Street, surrounded by other popular eateries and drinkeries. The quirks of Z’otz can be spotted on entry, as the walls of the establishment are adorned with dozens of eccentric decor pieces. All of the artwork featured is visually impressive and truly speaks to the invitingness of the cafe. Every employee at Z’otz is a natural conversationalist who is typically more than happy to explain one of the new menu items offered. In the back of the shop lies a secluded room, ideal for those seeking intimate conversation or the peace to work. Z’otz boasts locally roasted coffee and delicious muffins among numerous drink and pastry offerings. Their menu is perfect for any time of the day, especially late at night, as the coffee shop is open until 11 p.m. all week.

The Rook Cafe can be found a mile from campus on Freret Street, conveniently located across from a comfort food favorite, Bearcat Cafe. Much like Z’otz, the walls of The Rook Cafe are covered with art pieces from local artists. Not a single surface lies untouched. The tables and chairs are a charming mix of weathered wood and leather. Comfortable seating arrangements can be found at the front window, allowing customers to people-watch while enjoying one of The Rook’s signature concoctions. If quiet is desired, one can simply make their way to the back of the shop where lamp-lighted tables offer the utmost peace for studying. Their robust food and drink menu includes chess-inspired names such as the “Queen” and the “Pawn,” as well as odes to pop culture with the “Millenium Falcon” and the “Holy Grail.” The coffee shop also allows customers to play one of their many tabletop games on hand. Of course, chess is offered. 

New Orleans’s rich coffee history lives on through these three cafes, as well as countless others throughout the city. By simply patronizing one of these establishments, you do your part to keep the coffee legacy flowing.

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