When in New Orleans, do as New Orleanians do–so don’t stop after just one bar. There are more than a dozen LGBTQ (and LGBTQ-friendly) bars in the city, many of them located in walking distance of each other. In just one evening, you can experience high-energy club scenes, historical hangouts, and relaxing conversational ambiance. Here’s our favorite way to enjoy an LGBTQ+ bar crawl in the French Quarter.
From the former owners of the 700 Club, this bar and restaurant was recently renovated to include an outdoor courtyard where the queer community and allies can gather for delicious drinks and bites. The full bar offers local beers, an ever-flowing selection of wines, and signature cocktails like classic New Orleans daiquiris.
What to Order: a seasonal daiquiri and a peanut butter bacon burger to give you a good base for the journey ahead
The building, constructed in the French/Spanish colony during the 18th century, survived two massive fires in New Orleans and has been called one of the oldest bars in America. It’s also rumored to be the former site of the pirate Jean Lafitte’s smuggling operation, making this the perfect spot for discussing local lore in a historical setting.
What to Order: A VooDoo Daiquiri, more commonly known as a “Purple Drank.” It’s a local favorite but be careful: just one will have you swaying like you’re sailing the seven seas. If you’ve had a Purple already, try their version of a Hurricane. It’s a lesser-known but refreshing (and equally powerful) take on this iconic NOLA cocktail.
Not to be confused with the bar you just visited; this locale is the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the United States. Café Lafitte’s was previously located at the site of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop but lost its lease and was “exiled” to its current home. No hard feelings, though: you’re still in for gorgeous views of the French Quarter and a welcoming atmosphere where you can mingle with friends both old and new. Tip: A long-held tradition called the napkin toss can happen on Sunday, around 9 p.m. If you hear the song “Love is in the Air,” you’re in luck.
What to Order: A classic cocktail at the upstairs balcony bar while you enjoy a friendly conversation and a game of pool.
On the corner of St. Ann and Bourbon, the Bourbon Pub is a great place to enjoy a drink and watch throwback music videos until the sun comes up. The upstairs venue, Parade, regularly hosts drag shows and other live entertainment, while downstairs is your spot for karaoke and Show Tunes Sing-a-Long nights.
What to Order: $10 buckets of Michelob Ultra on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 3-6 P.M.
Good Friends is a casual local hangout with cozy finishes like a mahogany bar and brass railings. Watch music videos on the downstairs televisions, play a game of pool, or head upstairs to The Queens Head Pub. This level is decorated in a classic Victorian style and lets out onto a wrap-around balcony with sweeping views of the New Orleans skyline.
What to Order: A Separator, the delicious frozen drink with the taste of a milkshake and the power of a charging bull.
Walk out of The Pub on Bourbon Street, and you’re a few feet away from the #1 gay dance club in New Orleans. The top hits and remixes play all night, and it’s not uncommon to happen upon a drag performance, stand-up comedy, or go-go dancers.
What to Order: A bottle of water. Seriously, how long has it been since you hydrated? Alright, now that that’s taken care of–it’s time to dance!