New Orleans Nightlife

No American town places such a premium on pleasure as New Orleans. From swank hotel lounges and refined jazz halls to sweaty dance clubs and raucous Bourbon Street bars, this city is serious about frivolity—and famous for it. Partying is more than an occasional indulgence in this city—it's a lifestyle. The bars and clubs that pulse with music are the city's lifeblood, and are found in every

neighborhood. Like stars with their own gravity, they draw people through their doors to belly up to their bars or head feet-first onto their dance floors. Blues, jazz, funk, R&B, rock, roots, Cajun, and zydeco—there are many kinds of music and nightlife experiences to be had in New Orleans. On any day or night of the year, the city is brimming with musical possibilities.

The French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny are the easiest places to find great music and nightspots. The venues are numerous and all within easy walking distance of one another. In the nearby Warehouse District, New Orleans institutions like Howlin' Wolf, Mulate's, and Circle Bar have been joined by scores of new bars, clubs, and restaurants. Moving upriver through the Garden District and Uptown, you'll find some of the most famous music spots in the city, such as Tipitina's and Maple Leaf. Bywater, Mid-City, and Tremé are residential neighborhoods with fewer commercial strips, but they too have their crown jewels, like Vaughan's, Bullet's, and Rock ’n’ Bowl.

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New Orleans Nightlife

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The Spotted Cat

  • Music Clubs

Jazz, old-time, and swing bands perform nightly at this rustic club right in the thick of the Frenchmen Street action. Sets start at...


  • Music Clubs

Rub the bust of legendary New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair (or "Fess") inside this Uptown landmark named for one of the late musician...


  • Bars/Pubs

This cavernous sports bar and neighborhood pub comes with a back story. The owners used to manage Parasol's, a nearby dive famous for...


  • Bars/Pubs

Although it shares owners with Finn McCool's around the corner, think less "Guinness and soccer," more "sophisticated cocktails and art."...

Twelve Mile Limit

  • Bars/Pubs

This smoke-free neighborhood joint might be off the beaten path, but it's worth the trip for its unlikely combination of an innovative...


  • Music Clubs

Jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins's legendary Thursday sets (served up with free red beans and rice late in the evening) are the big draw...

Vic's Kangaroo Café

  • Bars/Pubs

This narrow Aussie pub has a dartboard, a good beer selection, and a menu sprinkled with Cajun-style dishes. It's especially lively on...


  • Bars/Pubs

Amid the city's drab business district hides another entry in the growing list of craft cocktail bars. Named for Daniel Victory, one...

Yuki Izakaya

  • Bars/Pubs

At this traditional Japanese izakaya—similar to a tapas bar, where the snacks pair perfectly with the list of beer, sakes, and shochus—options...


  • Bars/Pubs

At this southern outpost of a popular pair of bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan's East Village, the selection of drinks—including international...


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