This neighborhood is so cool, I feel unworthy even writing about it. It encompasses a lot of area, but you can explore the heart of it if you follow Magazine Street west of the Garden District all the way to the Loyola and Tulane campuses. This district is way outside the French Quarter, but it holds just as much history and–many would argue–even more culture.
Uptown is worth at least a few days and evenings of exploration if you visit New Orleans. Here are a few of my very favorite nighttime hangouts.
I love this bar and highly recommend it for many reasons. Here are several exceptional aspects of its greatness:
2. Every Friday night, the Taceaux Loceaux food truck parks in front. In the dark photos below, if you kick up your screen brightness, you will see something truly spectacular from the menu: Deep fried guacamole. I am not kidding. Life changing.
3. Cheap but tasty alcohol.
4. Location location location – it’s in a lovely NOLA neighborhood where there are friendly cats and a home-y, comfortable atmosphere.
Taco from Taceaux Loceaux
Deep Fried Guacamole
My research indicated this was the place to get the “cheapest alcohol in Uptown.” The bar lived up to the hype with great prices as well as a fun, welcoming atmosphere. Also of note: here, we encountered, instead of cats, dogs.
If you visit NOLA, you must go to this famous, historic music venue. See a show… any show! The bar is colorful, with neon signs and fun chalk drawings on the walls. The stage is huge, and there’s plenty of room for dancing in the audience. The night I visited, I lucked out and discovered an amazing new artist, Maggie Koerner. She has long-time ties to New Orleans, having been in other local bands. Her voice is one of a kind and truly phenomenal. If I’ve piqued your interest, you can find her music everywhere online. Either way, if you can swing a show at Tipitina’s, do so. You won’t regret it.
Maggie Koerner performing at Tipitina’s Uptown
Le Bon Temps Roule
Let the good times roll you… right over to this other famous Uptown bar and music venue. In the front room, I caught a cool cat playing jazz standards on piano. In the back room, I found Little Freddie King, a bad ass New Orleans institution who sings beautiful, soulful blues. The venue is so intimate, I even got to talk to him after. Also? There’s an alligator on the ceiling! This bar, for me, is a perfect example of the authentic Uptown New Orleans experience.
Little Freddie King performing at Le Bon Temps Roule
Alligator on the ceiling at Le Bon Temps Roule
Little Freddie King
This modern, charming wine bar looks empty in the photo, but that’s only because we arrived early. They have great wine and yummy small plates. It feels rather Parisian to me, and it fits in well with the ‘college town’ culture of the area, which is near the famous Tulane and Loyola campuses.
Maple Leaf Bar
If you like Tipitina’s, you’ll love the Maple Leaf. It’s a smaller, more intimate venue, but it still has all the history. No matter your budget or scheduling constraints, if there is any way possible, you must try to go on Tuesday evening to see the Rebirth Brass Band, an amazing New Orleans institution. This band is the most authentically NOLA sounding band I heard on my trip. The Maple Leaf itself is friendly, welcoming, and full of lively, smiling, happy people enjoying life.
Love, and Shut Up And Drink. Signs at Maple Leaf.
The Rebirth Brass Band’s equipment on stage before the show.
If you visit any of these places, comment and let me know what you think! And if you’re curious for more, see my other posts on New Orleans.