Fall in New Orleans means a few things to locals. First, it’s finally cooling down, so it’s time to dine outdoors, drink outdoors, and take advantage of parks and local gardens. Next, it’s officially Saints and Pelicans season. Whether you’re visiting New Orleans to attend a game, or you’re just in town on a day that the Saints happen to be playing, you’re bound to see black and gold attire across the city and hear a few “Who Dat!” chants. Or if basketball is more your style, deck out in navy and red and flock up.
Do game day in New Orleans right with our guide. Here, find our best recs for an ultimate game day itinerary. No matter which team you're rooting for, you're sure to have a good time in New Orleans.
On the morning of a game day, you’ll need lots of energy. Choose a delicious and convenient spot Downtown near the Superdome and Smoothie King Center, where you can be close to all the action. Willa Jean is known for breakfast and brunch: stop by for a coffee and a pastry or sit down and fuel up with their decadent meals. You can also grab a to-go frosé or cocktail here! Another great option is Copper Vine. Enjoy flat breads, wine, and some fresh air just steps from the Superdome and Arena.
It’s time for the pregame, which means drinks, big-screen TVs, and sports bars. Walk-On’s is a game-day favorite that’s close to the Dome, with tons of space and televisions for game-watching. Lucy's is a favorite hangout among the locals, especially for a post-win celebration. Watch the action from a giant projection on the building across the street. Close by, Barcadia has plenty of televisions as well. If you don't have a ticket to the game, stake out a spot at the Rusty Nail. Other sports bars all across the city host game day festivities too, so whether you’re Uptown or in the Bywater, expect a bar crowd with New Orleans pride and spirit.
Champions Square, just outside of the Superdome, is a huge outdoor space that accommodates thousands of fans before Saints games. There are drinks, food vendors, and sometimes even live concerts, but most importantly, there’s the one-of-a-kind NOLA game-day spirit. Near Champions Square, be sure to check out Club XLIV, a lounge with comfortable seating, air conditioning, TVs, and a bar that is free and open to the public every Saints game day, three hours before kickoff!
Tailgating in New Orleans is its own celebration, proving you don’t need tickets to the game to have a blast. If you’re traveling with a larger car/truck, head over to the area by South Rampart Street/Loyola Avenue near the Superdome and join the tailgate party with beers, grilling, and music. For a full guide to tailgating, see our guide here.
Game day in NOLA is a festive and prideful experience for locals and visitors with or without tickets. But everyone deserves a Saints game day experience in the Superdome at least once. Get ready for the most loyal (and crazily dressed) fans you’ve ever encountered and endless “Who Dats!”
Head to the Smoothie King Center to cheer on the Pels in true New Orleans fashion. Snap a photo with Pierre the Pelican and chant "Let's Dance!"