Abandoned after Hurricane Katrina, St. Roch Market is a long, narrow building with a history that goes way back.
Built in 1875, St. Roch Market started out as a fresh seafood and produce market. It went on to be a stall for po'boys and after a few year, a grocery store. Upon entering the building, there is a sense that, somehow, it was always meant to be a food market...
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the levees broke, the neighborhood of St. Roch found itself under two to ten feet of water. It's no surprise that St. Roch Market was then boarded up for years and years until the city of New Orleans decided to renovate it in 2014. They poured over 3 million dollars into remodeling the St. Roch Market and bringing it back in all its glory.
Although renovation had many benefits, there was another side to it -- locals who have been living in the area for decades were discontent about the renovation and the gentrification surrounding St. Roch Market. At one point, St. Roch Market was even vandalized during remodeling.
For local food entrepreneurs, it's a great benefit to have a place where they can rent a small portion of the building rather than a whole property. It's expensive to purchase a brick and mortar shop and this acts as a half way point. St. Roch Market has a mix of well-established vendors and local entrepreneurs. One thing stays constant across the board though -- they all have something exceptional to offer your belly!
As an eatery, St. Roch Market has done a great job of creating a welcoming, beautiful place to enjoy a meal. The mix of red brick exterior, the white columns lining the inside and the modern aspects of marble table and countertops creates an inviting, aesthetically pleasing place to meet with friends or catch a quick lunch.
Although I wanted to try all the different vendors, I decided to order a salad from The Daily Beet. I generally like healthy meals and their salads were oh so tasty! I have to say the King Cake latte from Coast Roast Coffee was very enticing. For an updated vendor list, check out the St. Roch Market vendor page.
I believe St. Roch Market is still mostly "off-the-beaten-path", so it's populated more by locals rather than tourists. I hope you enjoyed learning about the history and hope you are able to visit the market to support these local businesses!