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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Fodor's Choice


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French Quarter 40

Faubourg Marigny, Bywater, and Treme 21


Bywater 7

Faubourg Marigny 12

Treme 2

CBD and Warehouse District 17



Warehouse District 1

Uptown and Carrollton-Riverbend 16


Carrollton-Riverbend 3

Uptown 13

Mid-City and Bayou St. John 12


Bayou St. John 2

Mid-City 7

Garden District 5

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Bars/ Pubs 70

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 1

Cafes–Nightlife 3

Casinos 3

Dance Clubs 4

Music Clubs 38

Themed Entertainment 6

Wine Bars–Nightlife 3

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Family 2

Gay and Lesbian 14

Trendy 1

New Orleans Nightlife

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AllWays Lounge & Theatre

  • Music Clubs

This lounge-theater combo has become one of the centerpieces of the local indie, avant-garde, and art scenes. Evoking 1930s Berlin, the...

BJ's Lounge

  • Bars/Pubs

This gritty corner bar is a beloved neighborhood joint. Sometimes it hosts music, like Little Freddie King (most Fridays) and King James...

Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits

  • Bars/Pubs

In the far reaches of Bywater, Bacchanal is part wine shop, part bar, part music club—and one hundred percent neighborhood hangout.

Banks Street Bar and Grill

  • Music Clubs

This comfortable Mid-City nightspot has become one of the city's most reliable venues for local music, with live shows—sometimes several...

Bar Tonique

  • Bars/Pubs

An eclectic spot on North Rampart Street, this brick-walled room with private nooks and a beautiful outdoor courtyard looks like a cross...

Bayou Beer Garden

  • Bars/Pubs

Claim a seat on the sprawling multilevel outdoor patio at this low-key neighborhood pub and sip a pint from the great selection of beers.


  • Bars/Pubs

Pre-Prohibition drinks are all the rage, but this Lee Circle lounge goes deeper into the past with a menu focused on the cobbler, a popular...

Bourbon Pub

  • Bars/Pubs

It's impossible to miss this 24-hour video bar at the corner of St. Ann and Bourbon streets, especially in early evenings, when the doors...

Bullet's Sports Bar

  • Music Clubs

For a real taste of New Orleans, drop by on a Tuesday night, when Kermit Ruffins is playing. Not just the soul of the city, but the soul...

Café Lafitte in Exile

  • Bars/Pubs

This Bourbon Street stalwart attracts a somewhat older and very casual group of gay men. The second floor has a pool table, pinball machine...


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