Things to Do in New Orleans | Food & Nightlife

Let the good times roll is more than a suggestion in New Orleans. It’s a way of life. If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans, spend some time mapping out what to do at night when the city seems to come to life.

Preservation Hall

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Preservation Hall is a quintessential New Orleans jazz hall, a spot where veteran musicians and newcomers meet each night to play traditional Dixieland jazz. This venue is more than a music hall. It’s a piece of American music history that helped keep jazz music alive in New Orleans. You won’t find any food here, so make this a stop on your way to or from dinner.

Charlie’s Steakhouse


Since the 1930s, Charlie’s Steakhouse has been a staple restaurant for New Orleans’ working class, making it the oldest steakhouse in the city. The restaurant has a comfortable, welcoming ambience and a simple menu consisting of quality steaks and assorted sides. This is a popular spot where locals dine, so make sure you secure reservations before heading over.

Antoine’s Restaurant

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Antoine’s Restaurant made culinary history in 1889 when chefs developed the dish, Oysters Rockefeller. The menu featuring classic Creole dishes has stayed the same for more than a century and includes dishes like pompano Pontchartrain, Eggs Sardou and Cafe Brulot. If you have to choose only one place to dine when you visit New Orleans, try to get a table at Antoine’s.

Maple Leaf Bar


Home of the Grammy-award-winning Rebirth Brass Band, Maple Leaf Bar is more than a run-of-the-mill jazz bar. It’s a complete artistic experience that encompasses music, visual art and spoken word. You routinely hear poetry readings and recitations mixed in with the funky music. On some nights, you can watch the resident painter work.

Frenchmen Street

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There’s a four-block stretch on Frenchmen Street in Faubourg Marigny that’s a nighttime hotspot for locals, and it’s one of tourists’ favorite places to visit in New Orleans. You’ll find live music, bars, restaurants and galleries where you can entertain yourself for the evening. There’s also an assortment of live music on the sidewalk, so you can find a party anywhere you go.

One Eyed Jacks


Located on the eastern side of the French Quarter, One Eyed Jacks features a smorgasbord of entertainment each night. The rotating schedule features jazz, funk and rock bands from all over the city. This former theater is also a hotspot for burlesque shows and themed dance parties that last all night. Settle in with the signature drink, The Matador, or some PBR shots and enjoy the show.

Brennan’s Restaurant

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A French Quarter staple since 1956, Brennan’s Restaurant on Royal Street serves classic New Orleans cuisine with a combination of traditional Creole and contemporary specials. From the architecture to the menu, this landmark restaurant pays homage to the cultures and flavors that blend together in New Orleans. Taste the flavor of freshly caught seafood and finish with the restaurant’s signature dessert, Bananas Foster.

Carousel Bar & Lounge at Hotel Monteleone

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Located in the iconic Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter, the Carousel Bar features a rotating bar. This intricately designed merry-go-round has 25 seats that give you the perfect spot for people watching as you enjoy one of the bar’s signature cocktails. Start your night here with a sample of bar bites and drinks or make it the final destination for an evening night cap.

Cafe du Monde

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When you need a break from the revelry, head over to Cafe du Monde for a late night snack of beignets and cafe au lait. This spot is a New Orleans landmark that first opened in 1862 and is a must-see site at least once during your trip.

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From the sidewalks to the iconic bars and restaurants, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in New Orleans. Make sure you have a cozy vacation rental where you can retreat after exploring the fun side of the city.

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