New Orleans is often recognized as one of the queerest and most welcoming cities in the world. Whether you’re parading through the streets in colorful costumes, attending a drag brunch or strolling through the French Quarter hand-in-hand with your partner, this southern haven invites LGBTQ people of all experiences and identities to live without judgment. And although there are no specific lesbian bars, several local hangouts have become hotspots for queer women. Here are some of our favorite places.
Pal’s is a woman-owned bar and has long been a staple of queer-femme life in New Orleans. On any given night, you are bound to sip shoulder-to-shoulder with a mostly local (and completely eclectic) crowd. You’ll find LGBTQ folks and allies slinging some of the city’s most interesting beer/shot combos until closing time.
Faubourg Wines is a Marigny hot spot with a large selection of wines and cheeses, and it’s a great place to relax with other queer women and build community. As an added bonus, there are plenty of nearby restaurants nearby to try after you have had a few glasses of wine. Some notable stops are N7, Margot’s, and Bar Brine.
This seventh ward hotspot boasts predominantly queer bartenders and numerous events throughout the week. From food pop-ups, queer skate meetups and a regular lineup of local musicians and DJs, Poor Boys has become a staple in the New Orleans queer community for out-of-the-box entertainment and its inclusive atmosphere. Prepare to dance the night away with friends both old and new.
GrrlSpot is the premier queer women’s hangout in New Orleans, with each pop-up dance party attracting hundreds of lesbians and queer-femmes from around the city gather for a night of dancing and euphoria. You never know when or where GrrlSpot will pop up next: past locations have included House of Blues, One Eyed Jacks, and Santos Bar, and you can always expect special events around Southern Decadence, Pride, and Mardi Gras. Stay tuned to GrrlSpot’s social media to make sure you don’t miss the next unforgettable dance party.
This monthly zodiac-inspired dance party held at Cafe Istanbul is an infusion of soulful music, visual art, spiritual practices, and communal affirmation. Every Ascendance party offers something unique, from new colors and themes to artisanal vendors and tarot readers. No need to wonder if you’ll be welcome here: Ascendance centers on a safe and inclusive experience, welcoming all ethnic, gender, and sexual identities while centering Black and Brown cultures. Come for the good music, stay for the community.
For queer women seeking a relaxing hangout outside the French Quarter, look no further than QiQi, an Uptown bar with a cozy atmosphere, welcoming staff and delicious drinks. It’s a perfect spot for either starting or ending the night–or striking up a conversation with a friendly stranger.