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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in New Orleans

Moving to New Orleans? Known for delicious Cajun cuisine, vibrant arts and culture, and plenty of fun things to do, NOLA is a great place to live in the South. Check out these five safe, affordable neighborhoods in New Orleans!

Central Business District

Brick apartment building off the street of the Central Business District in New Orleans. Photo by Instagram user @419carondelet

Photo via @419carondelet

  • Home Price: $269,920 median purchase price; $730 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 72% of New Orleans neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals

Bordered by the French Quarter to the north and the Mississippi River to the east, the Central Business District is one of the best places to live in New Orleans. Residents can enjoy sleek bars and elevated Creole eateries, excellent shopping, performing arts venues, and many other things to do just a short walk from their front door. In addition to being highly walkable, this affordable NOLA neighborhood is also extremely bike-friendly, so getting around is easy! The Central Business District is popular among singles and young professionals not only because of its many fun activities and budget-friendly apartments and condos, but also because the neighborhood is a major hub for jobs in New Orleans.

Things to Do in Central Business District

Catch the free annual Wednesday at the Square outdoor concert series or other NOLA festivals and events throughout the year at Lafayette Square! Get tickets to see ballet, live theatre, and more at Canal Street’s historic Orpheum Theater. Learn about “the war that changed the world” through interactive exhibits like Final Mission: USS Tang Submarine Experience at The National WWII Museum. Immerse yourself in Southern art and history through photography, paintings, sculptures, and New Orleans events like the annual Magnolia Ball at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Wake up with a Short Stack or Smoked Salmon Toast for breakfast or brunch in New Orleans at Bearcat Cafe. Savor unique dishes that combine Southeast Asian and Southern cuisine, like Wok Fried Sticky Pork Shoulder or Citrus Chili Glazed Duck Breast at Maypop. Find classic NOLA food like a Fried Chicken Sandwich or Grandma’s Sausage Gravy Biscuit at Willa Jean. Or dig in to Caribbean-inspired eats like Crispy Shrimp Tacos and Braised Oxtail at NOLA Caye.

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Gentilly Terrace

  • Home Price: $168,785 median purchase price; $915 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 56% of New Orleans neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Quiet and low-key, Gentilly Terrace is a great New Orleans neighborhood for those seeking somewhere with a more suburban feel. Bungalows and Craftsman-style homes line the streets of this safe, affordable NOLA neighborhood, and the Gentilly Terrace and Gardens Improvement Association helps promote a sense of community with neighborhood events like holiday parties. This, along with the presence of schools like Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary Charter School and Brother Martin High School, makes the neighborhood popular among active families. Many students living in New Orleans also call Gentilly Terrace home, thanks to its close proximity to the nearby Dillard University. For even more amenities and things to do, residents can commute to the French Quarter and Central Business District within 15 minutes.

Things to Do in Gentilly Terrace

Play a game of tennis or baseball with friends or family at Pontchartrain Park. Eat a po’ boy, listen to live music, and shop for jewelry and home decor each October at Gentilly Fest. Take an art class, sign your kids up for swimming lessons, or attend special events like the Superhero Family Fun Walk at the Milne Rec Center. Order delicious American fare in a casual setting with menu items like the Stuffed Burger, wings in a variety of flavors, and desserts like the Praline Covered Brownie at Pra_LEE. Grab some Fried Fish and Mustard Greens or a variety of other soul food offerings at Ro’s Smokin Jo’s. Sink your teeth into Jamaican Creole fusion dishes, from the Crawfish Etouffee Plate to the Jerk Chicken Sandwich at Afrodisiac. Or check out a New Orleans restaurant that’s been a neighborhood staple since 1985, The Original Fiorella’s Cafe, for daily specials like Red Beans and Rice or Shrimp Creole.


  • Home Price: $356,393 median purchase price; $1,480 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 92% of New Orleans neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Bordered to the east by the massive New Orleans City Park, Lakeview is a safe, scenic NOLA neighborhood. The community is vibrant and active with many shops, restaurants, and outdoor recreation activities to enjoy—but it also has somewhat of a small-town residential feel. The real estate in the area consists of cottages and ranches, many with large backyards perfect for kids. Families living in New Orleans will also appreciate that the neighborhood includes NOLA schools like Hynes Charter School. Meanwhile, with major roadways like Canal Blvd and I-610 connecting the neighborhood to the rest of NOLA, getting around to the rest of the city is easy.

Things to Do in Lakeview

Go catch-and-release fishing at the Marconi Fishing Pier, attend the Thursdays at Twilight concert series, or enjoy any of the many other activities at the New Orleans City Park. Play pickleball or shoot hoops on the basketball court at the Gernon Brown Recreation Center. Bring your kids for hands-on learning experiences like Move With the River—an exhibit about the Mississippi River and its ecosystem—at the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Sample seasonal breakfast offerings or order permanent menu items like the Hash Brown Benedict and the Mardi Gras Omelette from Another Broken Egg. Drop by for a Chopped Kale Salad or Honey Citrus Shrimp Tacos for lunch at Juniors on Harrison. Order from a massive menu of Mexican eats from Chicken Fajitas to Vegan Tacos and so much more at The Velvet Cactus. Make reservations to enjoy elevated entrees like Filet Mignon and Shrimp Bordelaise from a family-owned and operated New Orleans restaurant that’s been in business for more than 40 years: Steak Knife Restaurant. Or indulge in Rosemary Peach Tea Sherbet or earn your place in the Tchoupitoulas Hall of Fame by eating your way through the massive, but delicious, Eight-Scoop Sundae at Creole Creamery.

Old Aurora

House in Old Aurora, NOLA. Photo by Instagram user @beneworleans

Photo via @beneworleans

  • Home Price: $148,818 median purchase price; $840 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 77% of New Orleans neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Tucked within the historic Algiers neighborhood, affordable Old Aurora is one of the best places to live in New Orleans! Just across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter, this safe NOLA neighborhood has breathtaking views of the Downtown skyline. Old Aurora residents have close access to the heart of the city but can enjoy a quieter way of life in their neighborhood. Residential areas consist of tree-lined streets with historical bungalows and charming Victorian homes, all with affordable prices compared to other areas in New Orleans. Low crime rates, a diverse population, and great schools—including PK-8 Alice M. Harte Charter School and New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy—make this an awesome neighborhood for raising kids in The Big Easy!

Things to Do in Old Aurora

Practice your swing on the green, catch a golf tournament, or enroll your kids in the nationally-recognized junior golf program at nearby Lakewood Golf Club. Bring your camera for a day of birdwatching or take the little ones for a fun afternoon on the playground at Brechtel Park. Find unique, stylish clothing to help you fit in with NOLA’s fashion scene at NolaGirlzBoutique. Shop at local retailers and nationwide brands or grab a cup of coffee or something to eat at Algiers Plaza. Get Bacon, Egg and Cheese on a Biscuit or Turkey Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on an English Muffin for breakfast at cozy NOLA coffee shop, PJ’s Coffee. Have an Italian Sub, Savory Cannoli, or a Personal Pizza Combo for lunch at Olive Branch Cafe. Enjoy delicious Vietnamese food like Turkey Banh Mi and Beef Pho at Thanh Lien Kitchen. Or drop by long-standing local favorite, Chubbie’s Fried Chicken, for a Catfish Dinner or 3 Piece Chicken Dinner.

West End

House in West End, NOLA. Photo by Instagram user @burkbrokerage

Photo via @burkbrokerage

  • Home Price: $181,000 median purchase price; $1,191 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 94% of New Orleans neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

As one of the safest neighborhoods in New Orleans, West End is a great place to raise a family. This affordable NOLA neighborhood offers a quiet lifestyle, plenty of green space, and waterfront recreation and views of Lake Pontchartrain and the 17th Street Canal. Some residents even choose to live on the water in boathouses, though cottages and other more traditional New Orleans real estate can be found at affordable rates in West End, too. Budget-friendliness aside, another major draw for families living in West End is its proximity to great New Orleans schools like Riviere Elementary School and Mount Carmel Academy.

Things to Do in West End

Have a picnic on the shore, go fishing in the massive Lake Pontchartrain, or go for a family bike ride on the paths at West End Park. Go on a guided history tour with a nautical twist at the New Canal Lighthouse. Take swing dancing classes as a group or in private lessons for all skill levels at Fleur De Dance. Go for a waterfront walk, bike ride, or jog with your four-legged friend along the 17th Street Canal Trail. Take in the waterfront view as you eat a Shrimp Platter or Catfish Po Boy at Russell’s Marina Grill. Savor Frozen Peach Belinis and Truffle Fries during Happy Hour or have upscale entrees like Golden Fried Fish Almondine or Chicken Caprese at Sala. Or sample a Ghost in the Machine IPA to go with sandwiches like The Pork, The Turkey, or the Boom Burger at The Backyard.


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

New Orleans, LA - 5 Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.