New Year in New Orleans
- Lee Anderson
we are two males travelling to New Orleans on 28th December. It will be our first time here. We just want to party and have a good time, but we dont want to spend the first few days trying to find out where all the best places are as we are only there for a week. We are both straight and in our mid 30's. We will be staying at the Omni Royal Orleans. So if there is anyone out there who thinks they could help us then please get in touch as soon as possible.
Lee , Nottingham England.
We love N.O. & go 5 times a year. We always stay at Le Richelieu Hotel on Chartres. The staff is very friendly & many locals hang out in the Hotel bar & are very helpful with great locals restaurants. We have become good friends with them all. We arrive on the 30th & will be returning on the 6th. We will visit several great bars & restaurants & still the best times will be at the Richelieu. Hope you have a great holiday.
Bars: Bourbon street will keep you sufficiently soused, but it might get old after a while. Some of the best clubs on Bourbon St. are the Cats Meow (karaoke), Famous Door, and of course Pat O'Brien's. They are all very touristy, and all seem to blend into each other after a while.
Go to Frenchman St. one night to see what's going on down there. Cafe Brazil, dba, and El Matador are all really neat places, and are not as crowded with tourists. Ask your consierge where Frenchman is--it is in Faubourg Marigny, which begins at the far end of Bourbon St.
Restaurants: I know you don't want to get romantic, but there are some fabulous restaurants talked about on this board (Bayona, Peristyle, August, Galatoire's) that are all in the French Quarter and a short walk from your hotel. Galatoire's especially is a must--go for lunch and linger, it's what the local businessmen tend to do.
There are cheap eats to be had down in the Quarter, but don't get duped by tourist traps. ACME oyster house is great, as is the muffaletta at Central Grocery (you have to like olives to eat it, though), and anything at Mother's. Johnny's po-boys is good for a quick fix as well.
Brothers from England: Be smart, and be SAFE! We just had a tourist from Seattle mugged and killed as he was walking back to his hotel in the CBD. He was drunk, and wearing Mardi Gras beads, and he was all alone.
The quiet parts of the FQ can seem really peaceful at night, but if there is no one else around you, and you're all alone, you should feel slightly unsafe. Be vigilant and aware.
if yer looking for live music, pick up the offbeat and
gambit weekly....both good free music rags, both
available at louisiana music factory on decatur btwn.
iberville & bienville. tune in to WWOZ to get into dat
and if ya'll do like live music...especially funk & jazz there's
a few venues/bands you may wanna check out:
maple leaf bar (uptown)....snake & jakes xmas tree lounge
is near by and really get's cranking sometime after midnight.
check out some music at the maple leaf and keep the party
rolling at snake & jakes.
tipitna's (uptown) a new orleans institution! papa grows
funk & the rebirth brass band are throwing down there on
New Years. also the F&M patio bar is nearby and a fun spot
to hit up after as well....chili chees fries, cute co-eds....
some other great music spots: dba, el matador, rock&bowl,
snug harbour, mermaid lounge, funkybutt, howlin wolf, circle
bands/artists: papa grows funk, rebirth brass band, troy
andrews, clarence "gatemouth" brown, walter "wolfman"
washington & the roadmasters, dirtydozen brass band, eric
lindell, tab benoit, anders osborne, johnny vidocavich, stanton
moore, galactic, quintology, anyone named marsalis or
neville, jon cleary, bonerama, big sam's funky nation.....
Hey guys, I've been to New Orleans before, but it was before Katrina. I don't know how much has changed, I'll actually be there tomorrow and leave on the first. One thing I can tell you is that the Ghost Tours are the same as anywhere else, you walk around with families and wierdos swear they see ghosts. But it's not the worst way to get to see the town, and you pick up a bit of history. The food is great almost everywhere, but like anywhere else just make a tiny turn off the main street and you'll get the real stuff. We're staying off Canal street, I don't know where that is from you, but if you find out anything great for New Years, let me know!
Sadly, the posts that mention El Matador are outdated as it has been closed for a while now. The owner now operates One Eyed Jacks on Toulouse btwn Chartres and Royal.
If you are into live music, definitely pick up an Offbeat or Gambit. Both are also online (offbeat.com & bestofneworleans.com)
As for bars, there's lots of them right in the French Quarter where you will be staying. You should probably hit Bourbon Street at least one night, or everyone back home will look at you funny if you skip it. Don't stay too long because the area is very touristy and most of the bars are overpriced. Most anything off bourbon is a better bet.
There's the carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal St.) which is one of my favorite in town. Also hit up:
Molly's at the Market (1107 Decatur)
Frenchman St. bars and clubs (as someone already mentioned) Bombay Club (830 Conti St.) great Martini Bar
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop (941 Bourbon St.) the exception to bourbon st. tourist traps
Napoleon House (500 Chartres St.) nice bar, great lunches. order the pimm's cup
Coop's Place (2 doors down from molly's) for good late night eats
Mimi's in the Marigny (2601 Royal St.)outside the quarter, but good drinks and they serve tapas upstairs till 4 am. definitely recommend taking a cab from the quarter if you go at night.