Despite New Orleans being home to eclectic, free-spirited and queer-friendly people, it can often be difficult for an outsider to locate “off-the-beaten-path” spots, welcoming and beckoning to the fairer (nay: the favorable) sex. Fret not, as a more social breed of lesbian, I can count on a handful of places in town where I can be amongst my people. You’ll find them in the following three fabulous evenings I’ve planned for you.
DAY 1: Grub & Groove Night
Grub at Dat Dog
Everyone must visit this quirky hot dog joint while they’re in town. Their Frenchmen Street location is ideal to pop in and try a Crawfish Étoufée Dog. Hearing the street musicians from the balcony is an added bonus and is sure to get you ready for a night out.
Stroll through Frenchmen Street Art Market
Steps away from Dat Dog is the lively and incredibly romantic Frenchmen Street Art Market, a place where you can feast your eyes on a treasure trove of local art and culture. Personally, this is my go-to for visitors in search of the perfect, unique souvenir.
Groove at Bamboula’s
This recently renovated spot is also on Frenchmen Street and tends to be a favorite for lesbians, where live bands kick up the party for a diverse crowd. It’s a great pit stop at any point in the evening, but especially if you’re looking to meet local ladies.
DAY 2: Brunch and Bike
Brunch at Country Club
Years back, 21-and-up gay mecca The Country Club was the only place in town that boasted a clothing-optional pool. Today, those rules have changed, but it’s still a lesbian-friendly spot in a cool neighborhood. They also have a fabulous Saturday Drag Brunch with $15 bottomless mimosas. So grab your remaining $1s, $5s, and $20s (you big spender, you) from the night before, and get some queen entertainment with a side of heirloom grits.
Sip at Markey’s Bar
Once you’re done soaking up the rays and champagne at Country Club, stroll over to Markey’s. This is a true local gem and a lesbian favorite. Walk in, sit at the bar, and order a pint from the large beer selection to enjoy while you listen to the locals gossip. A plus: they have a great shuffle board table.
Bike Tour with Confederacy of Cruisers
The words “bike tour” tend to draw eye rolls from anyone seeking an authentic experience, but hear me out: this is one of the best, most authentic ways to experience the city. Their theatrical, passionate guides will teach you more in 3 hours than you’d learn in 3 days spent searching Google. Even if you aren’t a history buff or particularly into biking, you will leave thirsty for more of both. Any of their variety of tours will be the highlight of your trip. Plus, in New Orleans, it’s legal to ride a bike with beverage in hand.
Day 3: Stroll and Sip
Stroll Down Royal Street
Street performers and a variety of interesting shops and galleries make strolling down Royal Street quite the experience. It’s a great place to sit on the curb and enjoy some music, window shop, browse a variety of stores and even find a great “only in New Orleans” addition to your home.
Selfie at Jackson Square
End your Royal Street stroll with a photo-op at world-famous Jackson Square. It’s obligatory for first-timers.
Snack and People Watch at 700 Club
Take Saint Peter Street away from the river and you’ll find… wait… is this a Christian talk show themed bar? Nope! It’s an awesome gay bar that blasts the best of the best music. It’s a great pit-stop with equally great food and some of the strongest drinks in the Quarter. There’s a reason it tends to appear on a lot of must-do lists. For the local gays, this is the Cheers! of our community, but it’s also just as welcoming if you’re in town visiting.
Sip and Strut at Allways Lounge
From 700 Club, take the North Rampart Streetcar to a place that’s loved by locals from every walk of life. The Allways Lounge always has something going on. Nights of live music, burlesque, open mic night, burlesque, free swing dancing lessons, burlesque, comedy shows, did I mention burlesque? Settle in to see New Orleans’ favorite performers seductively covering themselves with giant feathers or putting on a fantastic show while shimmying out of their outer layers of glitz and glamour.
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