What is the best New Orleans nightlife?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

It’s hard to come to New Orleans and not experience its famous nightlife. As one of the few cities that allows you to walk on the streets with an open container, Nawlins comes alive at night. It’s no mystery that the French Quarter is party central, but there’s a lot to cover in that vibrant neighborhood. From Hurricanes to Hand Grenades, Bourbon Street offers some of the most unique nightlife in the country.

Strolling down Bourbon Street, you may be thinking that these places never close. Well, some don’t and some close for just a couple of hours in the early morning. We can pretty much guarantee that no matter what night you paint Bourbon Street red, the entire street will be closed to traffic creating a full out block party. A stop at Pat O’Briens is a must in the Big Easy. Order up the signature Hurricane, but watch out: Though you may not taste it through all the sugar, these classic cocktails are extremely strong. You can enter through the courtyard restaurant or around the corner on St. Peter Street. After a Hurricane, you’ll need some karaoke in your New Orleans experience; head to Cat’s Meow, catty corner from Pat O’s. With great people watching, hilarious emcees and huge drinks, you can’t ask for much more from a bar in the Crescent City.

The entire French Quarter is lined with hole-in-the-wall bars ranging from frozen margarita stands to sports bars. And don’t forget the drink stands along the sides of the roads. You can pick up a large cup of beer (literally 30 ounces) or a Hand Grenade, one of the famous New Orleans drinks that are served in a neon green container resembling, yes, a hand grenade.

Karen Dalton Beninato

The best New Orleans nightlife combines its signature cocktail culture with some of the best dining and live music in the world.

Top level mixologists are found at SoBou, named for South of Bourbon Street and run by the purveyors of legendary Commander’s Palace. Follow cocktails with dinner at the Forbes Four Star Rated Bayona restaurant, run by iconic New Orleans chef Susan Spicer. Then stroll down Royal Street where you can shop to your heart's content on the way to the live music of Frenchmen Street.

Snug Harbor offers an evening of music from world-class New Orleans artists at the top of their game. Music flows from clubs up and down the street, so enjoy a stroll and see what tickles your ear. Celebrity-spotting is becoming more and more common on Frenchmen which is an integral part of the Hollywood of the South.

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