For Jesse Bascle, a lifelong New Orleanian and self-described foodie, eating out can be a hit-or-miss experience. Although New Orleans is one of the world’s culinary and cultural capitals, there’s a dearth of information when it comes to local accessibility.
“Going out to eat with my friends a lot, it would be annoying not knowing which places were accessible or not,” said Bascle, who uses a wheelchair.
When Bascle started traveling internationally in 2015, visiting London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Munich, Prague, and Vienna, he employed an elaborate research system, cross-referencing Yelp reviews, travel blogs, Google maps, phone calls, and more to plan his trips.
“It’s hard to find stuff about accessibility,” Bascle said. “You have to go deep.”
Vienna was unusual in that the city website had a whole section devoted to accessibility—which gave Bascle the idea to create something similar for his hometown.
“I thought there was a need to do one for New Orleans, just to make it easier for people to travel here,” Bascle said. “They don’t have to research so much—they can just go to one place to find out if a restaurant is accessible and get tips to get around the city.”
Bascle launched Nola Rolla, a wheelchair user’s guide to New Orleans, in 2019. He plans to continue adding to its listings. Eventually, he will expand the site to include more cities.
In terms of accessibility, New Orleans isn’t the easiest city to navigate, but it also isn’t the hardest, Bascle said. Its cracked slate sidewalks can pose a challenge to wheelchairs, but they’re nowhere near as bad as Prague’s.
“Cobblestones are the worst,” he said, laughing.
Keep reading for Bascle’s favorite accessible destinations in New Orleans.Read More