Originally Posted by mushroom22
Im heading to New Orleans for a week for work. Anyone have any suggestions for good restaurants? Any good places to go out at night?
Man, I love New Orleans!
It's one of my favorite cities in the US because it has a flavor and character like no other (even not factoring in the "party" aspect of it). The last time I was there was the end of October for the Voodoo Music Festival...fellow T-Punker foofiter
was there also (we both stayed at the India House Hostel) and it was QUITE the shit-show.
The default answer for nightlife is obviously the French Quarter.
It depends on the kind of experience you want to have. For starters, no matter what you plan to do, you have to have a Hurricane from Pat O'Briens (Bourbon & St. Peters) and a Hand Grenade from Tropical Isle (Bourbon & Toulouse). Those two drinks are world famous, as are the bars that serve them.
If you want a touristy experience with getting drunk in the French Quarter (think drunken spring break type experience)...then you won't have a problem finding bars on Bourbon to cater to that experience. Razzoo's, Utopia, and The Cat's Meow are the bars that are best for that.
If you want more of a "local" flavor, even on Bourbon, I recommend The Old Absinthe House (Bourbon & Bienville). The classic drinks served up by this establishment are an excellent Sazerac and a very good Pimm's Cup. Of course, as in the namesake, this bar also serves absinthe. Another great historical bar is Jean Lafitte's which is on the far end of Bourbon (Bourbon & St. Phillips). That's the 900 block, so I have a little caveat for you. Past the 700 block of Bourbon (Bourbon & Orleans) is primarily the gay district. If that makes you uncomfortable, you may not want to go down that far. If it doesn't
bother you, I can almost guarantee you will get one of the best burgers of your life at The Clover Grill (Bourbon & Dumaine).
Still in the FQ but off of Bourbon is the Chart Room (Chartres & Bienville, 2 blocks from Bourbon). It's got cheap cheap drinks (such as import beers for just a few bucks) and is popular amongst locals.
Just past the FQ is the Fauborg Marigny. This is a more "artsy" district since it offers lower rents than the FQ. Frenchman Street is the street close to the river that has a number of great bars. Off the top of my head, I can't remember the names of the bars I was at there...but in general, you'll have a good time at any of them.
Outside of the FQ & Marigny, you've got the Warehouse District, Uptown & The Garden District, and Mid-City. I've been to some bars uptown, etc but I spend most of my time in the Quarter/Marigny so I don't really have many personal recommendations. Two I'd say you could check out are The Balcony Bar (1104 Harmony St) which is pretty good, as is The Boot (1039 Broadway St) which is right by Tulane and popular with students.
I haven't done much "finer" dining in New Orleans. Most of the time, it's just been to soak up some of the alcohol! :D I recommended the Clover Grill for hamburgers of course, especially at 3/4/5 AM. There was a grocery around from the India House that had excellent gumbo, but I can't remember the name or exact location. foofiter
might remember, but we, along with our hostelmates, were in a constant drunken state during Voodoo Fest! :D
Hope all of these recommendations come in handy for you. While looking up addresses for this post, I learned that Jazz Fest this year happens during my birthday weekend...now I'm strongly considering spending my golden birthday in 'Nawlins!