New Orleans

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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  • 1. Bar Marilou

    Central Business District | Bars/Pubs

    An evening at this dimly-lit venue begins with an aperitif hour and ends with burlesque, a jazz trio, or other entertaiment appropriate for...Read More

  • 2. Bellocq

    Warehouse District | 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...Read More

  • 3. Cellar Door

    Central Business District | Bars/Pubs

    Travel through the narrow doors of this cocktail bar to rooms full of wood-panelled walls and exposed brick, dimly lit chandeliers, and a general...Read More

  • 4. Circle Bar

    Warehouse District | Live Music

    Like something out of a Tim Burton film, this teetering old Victorian house that straddles the concrete jungles of downtown and the Warehouse...Read More

  • 5. Ernst Cafe

    Warehouse District | Bars/Pubs

    Ernst has been operating as a bar since the first years of the 20th century, and the classic interior and upstairs balcony provide a welcome...Read More

  • 6. Handsome Willy's

    CBD | Bars/Pubs

    Sandwiched between a forlorn stretch of the Interstate 10 overpass and the Medical District, this friendly lounge—named for a dapper regular...Read More

  • 7. Harrah's New Orleans Casino

    Central Business District | Casinos

    Commanding the foot of Canal Street, where it anchors a cluster of restaurants and clubs, this beaux-arts–style casino is the largest in the...Read More

  • 8. Howlin' Wolf

    Warehouse District | Live Music

    This New Orleans favorite has long been a premier venue and anchor of the Warehouse District club and music scene. With a great corner location...Read More

  • 9. Loa

    CBD | Bars/Pubs

    In voodoo tradition, loa are the divine spirits, and this bar just off the lobby of the chic International House Hotel certainly strives for...Read More

  • 10. Mulate's

    Warehouse District | Live Music

    Across the street from the convention center, this large venue seats 400, and the dance floor quickly fills with couples twirling and two-stepping...Read More

  • 11. Piscobar

    Central Business District | Bars/Pubs

    Hidden on a small CBD side street, this chic little bar serves both inventive and traditional cocktails crafted from the Peruvian spirit, pisco...Read More

  • 12. Republic

    Warehouse District | Live Music

    Part of the new generation of music venues in the Warehouse District, this rock club retains the rough-timbered feel of the cotton-and-grain...Read More

  • 13. Rusty Nail

    CBD | Live Music

    Nestled in between the overhead highway and a series of converted 18th-century warehouses, this discreet neighborhood bar can be difficult to...Read More

  • 14. The Sazerac Bar

    Central Business District | Bars/Pubs

    One of the most famous bars in Louisiana, this art deco gem and slinger of fine libations has a pedigree that dates back to the mid-19th century...Read More

  • 15. Vic's Kangaroo Café

    Warehouse District | 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 Friday...Read More

  • 16. Victory

    CBD | 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 of the...Read More

  • 17. 12 Bar on Fulton Street

    Central Business District | Live Music

    Named after the 12-bar guitar chord progression made famous by blues artists, this downtown club features an array of the city's finest jazz...Read More

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