Apr 20
2016

Drinking & Live Music in New Orleans

Just back from a brilliantly executed girlfriend’s weekend in New Orleans with my besties Lisa and Krista. We hit up so many great spots in the Big Easy for strong drinks, live music and a great party. Here’s where we went. You should probably check them out too. For where to eat, see last week’s post.

Loved this spot for its crazy atmosphere & absinthe frappes.

Loved this spot for its crazy atmosphere & absinthe frappes.

 

Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House: Come for the absinthe frappe, stay for the delightfully convivial dive bar atmosphere on the corner of Bourbon and Bienville streets. 240 Bourbon St., 504-523-3181; www.ruebourbon.com/oldabsinthehouse.

Mo' absinthe. Look at how fancy that preparation is.

Mo’ absinthe. Look at how fancy that preparation is.

 

Pirate’s Alley: Another den for absinthe tippling tucked away near Jackson Square with the traditional French preparation involving an absinthe water fountain, slotted spoon and sugar cube. 622 Pirates Alley, 504-524-9332; http://piratesalleycafe.com.

Maple Leaf: Next to Jacques-Imo’s, the Maple Leaf is a legendary music venue made famous in recent years as a film location for the movie Ray. On my visit, we heard a transporting, three-piece blues band made up of bass guitar, keyboard and drums. 8316 Oak St., 504-866-9359; www.mapleleafbar.com.

We caught this brass band at the Spotted Cat in the early evening. Photo by Krista Garabedian.

We caught this brass band at the Spotted Cat in the early evening. Photo by Krista Garabedian.

 

Spotted Cat: Frenchmen Street is a top live music destination just outside the French Quarter. Head to the Spotted Cat, a prime listening room for everything from brass bands to jazz. 623 Frenchman St., no phone; www.spottedcatmusicclub.com.

This woman rocked. Her band: Alien Knife Fight.

This woman rocked. Her band: Alien Knife Fight.

 

DBA: Another live music joint on Frenchmen, DBA has a slightly more rock ’n’ roll edge. 618 Frenchmen St., 504-942-3731; http://dbaneworleans.com.

The Swamp: It’s hardly worth distinguishing the venue on a Bourbon Street crawl. Just wander into whichever scene lures you — and remember, the open container laws allow you to take your drinks to go. Still, The Swamp, with its gator theme and neon green lights, is worth a gander for its upstairs, downstairs and outdoor patio space pulsing with a young, good-looking crowd. 516 Bourbon St., 504-528-9400; http://bourbon-swamp.com.

Saints & Sinners: Apparently Channing Tatum owns a bar on Bourbon. With a dude gyrating on the porch in baggy jeans, no shirt and a backwards cap, think of this as a hilarious Magic Mike-themed bar. 627 Bourbon St., 504-528-9307; http://saintsandsinnersnola.com.

Lost Love: A chill local haunt in the newly hip Marigny neighborhood. 2529 Dauphine St., 504-949-2009; http://lostlovelounge.com.

Getting loopdy-loop on that Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone where we stayed.

Getting loopdy-loop on that Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone where we stayed.

 

Carousel Bar: Located in the Hotel Monteleone, the trippy Carousel Bar rotates slowly, throwing off your equilibrium just so. We enjoyed killer Bloody Marys here to start the day on the right foot. 214 Royal St., 504-523-3341; http://hotelmonteleone.com/entertainment/carousel-bar.

A version of this story originally appeared in the Miami Herald
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