Welcome to New Orleans’s premier nightlife guide.
On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in New Orleans. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.
A small introduction to New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a beautiful city of United States located alongside the River Mississippi in the southern state of Louisiana. It has an approximate population of 400,000, which makes it the most of populated city of the Louisiana state. The city was named after the Duke of Orleans, who ruled as Regent for Louis XV from 1715 to 1723. Moreover, the city has nicknames like Crescent City and The City that care forgot.
The city’s history dates back to its period under Spanish control, and then briefly back to French rule before being acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. With its rich and unique cultural and architectural history, it remains a major destination for tourism, and sports events even after the major destruction and loss of life suffered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
New Orleans is known globally for its unique music, cuisine, unique dialect, and its annual celebrations and festivals. Located along Bourbon Street, French Quarter is the historic heart of the city, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife. The city has been regarded as the “most unique” in the United States, owing in large part to its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. The city was founded in 1718 by French colonists, it was once the territorial capital of French Louisiana before being a part of United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. New Orleans in 1840 was the third-most populous city in the United States, and it was the largest city in the American South from the Antebellum era until after World War II. The city’s location and flat elevation have historically made it very vulnerable to flooding. State and federal authorities have installed a complex system of levees and drainage pumps in an effort to protect the city.
The city has many visitor attractions, from the world-renowned French Quarter to St. Charles Avenue, to Magazine Street with its boutique stores and antique shops. New Orleans is one of the top ten most-visited cities in the United States. In fact, 10.1 million visitors came to New Orleans in 2004. Before the catastrophic disaster, 265 hotels with 38,338 rooms operated in the Greater New Orleans Area. In May 2007, that had declined to some 140 hotels and motels with over 31,000 rooms.
The city also hosts numerous annual celebrations. The most well-known is Carnival or Mardi Gras. Carnival officially begins on the Feast of the Epiphany, also known in some Christian traditions as the “Twelfth Night” of Christmas. Mardi Gras, the final and grandest day of traditional Catholic festivities, is the last Tuesday before the Christian liturgical season of Lent, which commences on Ash Wednesday. The city also hosts mega-musical events like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which is the greatest. The nightlife of New Orleans is also very bright and vivid. The city some of the greatest bars, restaurants, and nightclubs which add value to your previously exciting tour, of which we’ll take an in-depth look in the later sections.
The Nightlife in New Orleans
The nightlife of New Orleans extends far beyond casual beer programs. Due to its historical affiliation, New Orleans is often a great location for top musical acts, national tours, comics, even avant-garde theatre groups. Though New Orleans looks good in the day as well, the city doesn’t truly come alive until its night and the neon lights glow across Bourbon Street. Many places in New Orleans stay open well after 2 a.m. – the standard closing time in most other American cities – making it a place where you can embark on multiple adventures in one night. Whether you’re into rowdy nights, arcade games, cult classic movies, fried food, live music or sweeping views of the skyline, this city has it all.
The city offers a vast array of watering holes–from bars and brewpubs to chic lounges and clubs can be found in ultra-funky. Though Nightclubs and bars are a good option to spend your night in the city, the city is tremendously famous for its unique set of activities that it provides after dark. These unique activities will make your tour unforgettable. With so many options available, we’ve come up with a list of activities or places which could be enjoyed during the nighttime in the city:
Dance & Live Music
The most engaged and hurried nightlife scene can be experienced on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood. It’s a slightly more low-key harbor for locals and the few in-the-know tourists, in recent years it has become an essential destination for bachelors and bachelorette parties, birthdays and for those who just want a wild and loud night out on the town. It’s home to a number of intimate live music venues including DBA, the Spotted Cat, and the Blue Nile, among others, that feature local bands and DJ’s. There’s also an outdoor art market if you need to catch your breath in between sets and plenty of street performers if you don’t feel like committing to the clubs’ cover charges. For late-night fare, head over to 13 Monaghan’s for a sandwich, wrap or their famous “tater tachos,” tater tots loaded with classic nacho toppings.
You can experience New Orleans’ extremely haunted history by connecting with one of the many guided tours around the French Quarter in the city. There is plenty of options available in these tours like vampire tours and even haunted pub crawls where guests are treated to a delightful mix of both fact and fiction. These guided tours are hosted by theatrical and knowledgeable guides and will take you to some of the city’s oldest and spookiest locales.
At the end of the 20th century, New Orleans was home to a growing burlesque scene as jazz music began to take shape quite rapidly. Today, there’s still a thriving burlesque scene with a number of local troupes and well-known performers, including Trixie Minx and Bella Blue, who exude old-school glamour, sauciness, and sex appeal. Some of the best spots to see a live burlesque show include One Eyed Jacks, which also hosts other live music events and theater shows, the Burlesque Ballroom at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, House of Blues and the AllWays Lounge. Do visit such shows in the city whenever you visit in order to calibrate your music senses.
Bourbon Street is a spot you really should cross off your bucket list and enjoy the nightlife of New Orleans fully, despite the fact that many would argue it’s a tourist trap. This place is internationally known for its overpowering neon drinks, late-night dance and strip clubs, the place where you catch beads year-round off the balcony, this iconic pedestrian street truly captures the spirit of New Orleans. All in all, this street will truly take you to the deep culture of New Orleans.
Sitting on the Gulf Coast in nearby Mississippi, Bay St. Louis is a mere 90 minutes from the Crescent City. But with its small, low-key, coastal-town atmosphere, it feels a world away. It’s been named one of America’s Coolest Small Towns, as well as one of the best coastal beach towns. After lounging on the beach, stroll around Old Town. Be sure to check out Gallery 220, a local artists’ co-op, and chat with locals at the Mockingbird Café. If you need a bit more time away from the Big Easy, spend a night at the Bay Town Inn.
New Orleans Museum of Art
Opened in 1911, the New Orleans Museum of Art or NOMA has gathered approximately more than 40,000 works of art an impressive compilation considering the fact that it was opened with just 9 art pieces. NOMA’s vast collection ranges from early Asian works to European masterpieces from the 16th to 20th centuries. Be sure to stroll through the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden located adjacent to the museum in City Park. Among the park’s Spanish-moss covered live oaks, you’ll find 64 sculptures designed by artists from around the world. Tourists say that this place is a must-see for any art-lover and is a great indoor attraction during the city’s high heat and humidity. Past travelers commented on the small size of the museum, but others noted that its size allows you to see all of the exhibits in just one visit and say not to miss the sculpture garden.
The park extends to approximately 1300 acres and is one of the oldest in the country. Founded in 1854, this grassy oasis attracts millions of locals and tourists every year – and for good reason, too. Stroll, run or cycle for miles, watching the boggy lagoons and the verdant serpentine landscape. As you wind your way through ancient oaks adorned with canopies of Spanish moss, stop for a spot of tennis on one of the 26 tennis courts or for some high-octane thrills at the Carousel Gardens amusement park. Be sure to take a ride on the namesake 1906 carousel which features hand-carved steeds with real horse-hair tails.
Best Bars in New Orleans
If there’s anything New Orleans has a many, it’s barred. From the origin of historic cocktails and tacky Bourbon Street walk-ups to expansive bars and restaurants, they take their drinking establishments seriously. Because, it’s near to impossible to make locals agree on the same place, due to many options. To make your life easier we have managed a list of the strongest joints in the city, that ranges from dives and icehouses to cocktail lounges and breweries, so you could enjoy the wholesome experience of drinking without needing to actually go through all options. Enjoy them with caution, because it’s hard to leave after just one drink at any of these spots, because of the great taste offered by them:
Cane & Table
Located at French Quarter, Cane & Table is another concept cocktail bar created by the proprietors of successful other ventures. This new spot, on Decatur, describes itself as a proto-tiki bar- so don’t expect little umbrellas in your drink. Bartenders formulate a variety of rum drinks in their rustic Colonial style location and pair those with an island-themed food menu that includes entrees like local yardbird with sesame and mole deep and fried ribs served with many side dishes. Out of all the arrangement it’s the drinks you’ll remember the most, refreshing coolers made with fresh juices and pot-stilled rum and interesting blends like the golden lion, a clarified milk punch with pineapple and sherry. All in all, it is a must-visit if you are a cocktail lover.
Chuck’s Sports Bar
Located at CBD, Chuck’s Sports Bar is a place that is Open 24 hours. That’s what’s on the tired looking awning outside of Chuck’s Sports Bar, a fab dive bar located on a quiet street less than a mile from the Superdome. Cheap, strong drinks, a mostly local clientele, including plenty of bartenders late night and a smoke-away policy makes Chuck’s a divey gem. There are a pool table and a digital jukebox, but don’t come hungry. No chow is served but you can bring something in if you like. You won’t confuse this place for the Polo Lounge at the five-star Windsor Court Hotel two blocks away, but Chuck’s is a keeper.
Monteleone Hotel Carousel Bar
Located in Hotel Monteleone, Monteleone Hotel Carousel Hotel has a circular bar that revolves like a carousel. So, If you think the room is spinning after a few cocktails at the Carousel Bar, you’re really onto something. The ambiance is really romantic with a classic piano bar and the crowd varies from traveling business professionals to professional regulars. This place has been a favorite meeting place for locals and celebrities. Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams were some of its famous customers. The decor and vibe are exquisite and romantic. Local songbirds Robin Barnes and Lena Prima are some of the regular performers. Overall it’s a nice place to hang out at, with a romantic vibe and soft music.
Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits
Located at Marigny, Bacchanal is a wine-&-cheese store featuring globally accented small plates & live music on a back patio. Drinking heavy, extraordinary drinks or a bottle of wine in the outdoor courtyard at Bacchanal is simply one of the great ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. But really anytime is fine to visit this off the beaten path Bywater classic on Poland Street just a stone’s throw from the river. Pick up a bottle of wine at the shop out front and head outside where you can order an inspired cheese plate or just about anything from the kitchen’s inventive menu. The upstairs new made bar is also great especially if it’s raining, but when the weather is fine, the open air courtyard is the perfect spot for live music and conversation.
Located at 820 N Rampart Street, Bar Tonique is Valued bar for craft cocktails with house=made ingredients in a cozy space with fireplace. Bar Tonique is located on the edge of the French Quarter bar and isn’t your normal looking bar- not that there’s anything wrong with that flavor of the bar. But this is the place for a frothy Ramos gin fizz – a favorite libation of notorious past governor Huey P. Long – made with TLC by a friendly bartender. All drinks and cocktails are specially handcrafted. There is a rotating daily menu, offering drinks like a Pimm’s Cup, Mai Tai or Bloody Mary. The bar is directly across from Armstrong Park, which is a lovely place in its own self and can be visited before or after the bar.
Best Bar Restaurants in New Orleans
In New Orleans, people are crazy regarding their food, whether it’s the hue of the roux, the size of the Gulf shrimp or the dark crawfish goodness emanating. Here, chefs were rock stars way before The Food Network put locals like Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse on the national map. Center of attraction for all kinds of foodies, New Orleans is a growing feast of traditional Creole French fare and creative chefs using Gulf seafood and local ingredients in modern and classic ways. Crackling with an effusive gumbo of culinary history and cocktail culture, New Orleans can be termed as the best place to eat in America. Along with great food, these restaurants offer great options in the drink as well.
People here love sparkling craft beer, fancy cocktailing, margaritas, and freshly brewed wines. The city has many options to opt for, from age-old dives and secret speakeasies to classy rooftops and bars open late till dawn. To make your life easier we have compiled a list of the best and renowned options in the city, ranging from dives and icehouses to cocktail lounges and breweries, so you could enjoy the great experience of drinking without needing to evaluate all options:
Located at 301 Tchoupitoulas Street, Restaurant August is a smart restaurant in a chandelier-studded 19th-century space. It is a native of Southern Louisiana, chef John Besh crafts extraordinary Creole-influenced French cuisines in a 19th-century old building aglow with chandeliers, French doors, and red leather posh seating. This place is a winner of too many culinary awards, which testifies its great taste. Its menu always delights, with creative fare like his buster crabs, lettuce and heirloom tomatoes and Louisiana rabbit with morels served with sage grits. The award-winning boutique wine list is also an absolute stunner. All in all, it’s a lovely special occasion spot worth gussying up for and if you’re feeling flush, get the chef’s tasting with paired wine. Though it’s a bit expensive, the experience is worth the money.
Located at Garden District, it’s a great restaurant that serves Creole dishes in an elegantly restored historic building. When Emeril took over this longstanding institution he created quite a splash, poured millions into a sophisticated renovation and transformed a tired space into one of the many swankiest bar restaurants in the city. Portions are mammoth – try the 20-ounce Delmonico, the sauteed rainbow trout with rock shrimp and ultra-rich crab meat imperial. Delmonico’s white-tablecloth elegance provides the perfect backdrop to the Creole-accented steakhouse menu. The restaurant offers a fantastic wine menu and one of the best martinis in the city. Ride the Saint Charles Streetcar to dinner for an even more thrilling experience. Once here, it is quite an easy walk to the French Quarter. Check out the brand new regular happy hour which features charbroiled oysters and small plates prepared by Chef Anthony Scanio, along with half-price wines by the glass and select bottles. Overall it’s a great place to satisfy your craving for food and booze.
Located on a quieter end of the French Quarter, Irene Cuisine is a locally and family owned Creole Italian, which is a real gem. With a pleasant smell of food- you can smell the garlic a half-block away – for an inevitable seat in the piano bar for well-shaken cocktails while you wait for a table – limited reservations are taken, but in general it’s first come, first served. Eventually, you’ll be taken towards the charming warren of dining rooms to your table, and then the fun begins. Settle in for a treat, from house-made pasta topped with soft shell crab in a divine cream sauce to an assertive osso buco and the wonderful duck St. Phillip lacquered with a raspberry-pancetta demi-glace. Their Service is also exceptional along with the great taste.
Located at Old No 77 Hotel & Chandlery, Compére Lapin is a sophisticated eatery that serves Caribbean- and European-accented dishes with New Orleans flavors. Compere Lapin means “brother rabbit,” a reference to a mischievous rabbit featured in the Caribbean folk tales. This place is designed as a restaurant that features a mix of inventive flavors drawn from the New Orleans table, Compton’s Caribbean roots. The French culinary training of the chef and deep experience with Italian cuisine makes this place an absolute game changer. After even just a few bites, it’s not hard to conjure Compere Lapin’s nostalgic island roots. Small plates, which pair insanely well with the bold drinks menus designed by the beverage director. Overall, the restaurant offers exotic French flavors, tropical and tinged with just the right amount of heat, all nicely paired with great drinks.
Located at 417 Royal Street, Bremman’s is a Fine-dining landmark famous for its Creole cuisine, posh breakfasts and bananas Foster for dessert. Bananas Foster is a must eat dessert and the best place to get it is where it was first flamed, the redone Brennan’s. A theatrical presentation of caramelized banana fragrant with cinnamon and plenty of rum, it’s a treat that never gets old. Like Brennan’s itself, a gorgeously redone grande dame on Royal with a lovely courtyard garden, a lovely place to sip a glass of bubbly or a craft libation. Chef Slade Rushing has kept many of the Brennan’s classics along with a strong showing of modern Creole and even globally flavored dishes. Nothing cheap about this place, and the dress code is business, but it’s all part of the experience.
Best Nightclubs in New Orleans
New Orleans is totally transformed when the sun goes out of the sight. Though people have just as much fun in the sunshine, it’s not until the moon rises and the cocktails and drinks start to flow which gives this city its identity. Live music is one of those things, which the people from different locations come for in the city – it’s one of the driving force that oxygenates the culture and traditions of the city where jazz was born. There is also a dance club scene if underground, EDM or house music is more your cup of boogie. New Orleans has all the bases covered, whether it’s on Bourbon, Frenchmen or at one of the larger club venues in the Warehouse District, a developing area frequented by young professionals.
Apart from the culinary choices and cozy and swanky bars in the city, you may want to simply enjoy dancing on some great beats and enjoy a drink. Or, you just want to hang out with some friends at a nice place or want to make some new friends. Therefore, we’ve come up with the following list of some great nightclubs in New Orleans for all such needs. When you are in New Orleans, it’s all about having a great night because any of these places will jump start your nights:
Located at French Quarter, Goldmine Saloon is a locally owned and operated nightclub, it has been a family business serving New Orleans since long. Located in the center of the French Quarter, it has traditionally been an all-time favorite of locals and tourists for a late night dancing. Gold Mine Saloon is close enough to Bourbon Street to draw crowds for good dance music. The Gold Mine typically has a younger enthusiastic crowd. Be prepared to grind, shimmy and shake the night away to one of the venue’s most awesome DJs. In between 30-minute dance sessions, you can slink away and play games or one of their retro 80’s arcade machines.
Located at French Quarter, Bourbon Heat is one of the hot places in the city, earning high marks for its happy hour and patio sitting. The club portion is on the second level of the building, where you will find partiers of all stripes getting crazy on the dance floors. As soon as you hit the upper floor, you will hear the music pumping from either live or video DJs. The lights shine and smoke billows on the customers as they dance away to their new and old favorites. All in all, it’s a great option for some nice beats and great drinks to chill around in the city.
Located in an old building, Blue Nile is a Frenchmen Street nightclub that offers great beats with awesome drinks. The club consistently draws some of the renowned local and international musical acts and offers a full bar to help ease their customers into a night. The blue and gold interior sets a mellow vibe, making transitioning from business to pleasure rather simple. The place features entertainment on two floors, including an upstairs balcony which looks out over Frenchmen. Brass, funk, blues, reggae, it’s all here depending on which night of the week you visit. Although the emphasis is on live music and DJ’s but the place offers great drinks and cocktails as well.
The Metropolitan Nightclub
The Metropolitan Club is a premier video DJ dance establishment in town which is also located in the warehouse district. The complicated and posh lighting and smoke machines set the mood powered by a thumping bass beat that never stops. The music offerings include top 40, hip hop, mash-ups, rock and pop in one room with a house, techno, dub and breaks in another. Flat screen TVs line the walls, so the dancers can follow the DJ from any spot on the floor. VIP Table service and valet parking are also available. Unlike most clubs where one finds it hard to muscle through the crowds to get a drink, This place also offers happy hour for passionate drinkers.
Republic New Orleans
The Republic is a giant dance club also located in the Warehouse district in an actual warehouse space that gives 1800’s vibe. Just eight blocks outside the Canal Street end of the French Quarter, this old and historic space is carved into three distinct clubs, the main dance club on the ground level, the upstairs mezzanine and the intimate Green Room which is great for a cozy private event. Giant chandeliers hang from the ceiling of the warehouse space, while party dance on the lower floor to DJs and live music. The Republic has bars on both sides of the floor to keep the mood loose. The crowd tends to skew younger so expect lots of energy on the dance floor.
To conclude a little bit, we went through a brief introduction of the New Orleans along with a brief introduction of its prominent norms, and culture. We also went through different places to enjoy the nightlife of New Orleans like Burboun Street Walk, Ghost Tour, and Gulf Coast. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals as well.
We then went through the different options available in the Bars. No doubt, New Orleans has some of the swankiest and great bars to cater to your boozing needs. These exotic and swanky bars included Noble Experiment, Polite Provisions, and Cowboy Star.
To fulfill your food craving we also looked at a detailed list of bar-restaurants which provide delicious and exotic food along with a fine touch of booze. This delightful and amazing combination of food and booze really pushes the limits of Nightlife entertainment and adds a great value tour.
Finally, we explored a comprehensive list of nightclubs that provide premium nigh-time entertainment. Irene’s Cuisine, Emeril’s Delmonico and Emeril’s Delmonico were some of the clubs that provided the ultra-rich experience of dance and music.
Make sure to give try the above recommendation which will really add value to your tour, so that you won’t regret choosing bad options.
Video To Watch To Discover
Does New Orleans have good nightlife?
Nightlife in New Orleans’ world-famous French Quarter is far from singular. Unlike any other, it is well known for its versatile offerings such as historic bars, local hangouts, Bourbon Street-based clubs, craft cocktail lounges, lush cabarets and much more.
What do you wear on Bourbon Street at night?
What should I wear on Bourbon Street at night? I recommend wearing something casual, but fun/sexy! The crowd is wild and everyone is dancing in the street, balconies and bars. The summer months are hot and humid so consider wearing a casual tank dress or mini dress with sandals.