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Three Days in New Orleans: Gay Man’s Edition

Fellas, here’s a sure-fire way to up the fun on your next trip.

Gay Man's Guide to Nola
New Orleans is one of the few cities in the country where you can catch a live show anytime, anywhere. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

I know what you’re thinking. Why is a lesbian writing a blog about a gay man’s night out on the town?

Well, two reasons, really: one, I have planned countless nights (many I don’t remember) for my local and visiting gay friends, and two, I’ve always fancied myself more of a gay man than a lesbian. That’s backed up by far too many men who can show you the receipts. From the bits and pieces I’ve gathered along the way, here is a fool-proof list to have a great 3-day weekend here.

Day 1: You’re A Tourist. Embrace it.

Puffy pastries of deliciousness you can only get here – a tourist must-stop. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Carousel Bar

We begin our French Quarter tour at the revolving Carousel Bar. It is the most upscale place on the list, and not particularly gay, but it is always a visitor favorite. Also, the perfect place to start your night and take some selfies.

Who you’ll meet here: Locals and tourists looking for a little history and culture to go along with their night on the town.

Café du Monde

You simply have to stop here, and get a frozen cafe au lait and some delectable beignets. There’s a walk-up window if you would like to skip the line and grab these items to-go. Don’t worry, you’ll burn off the calories while you explore.

Who you’ll meet here: Gays who aren’t calorie counters

French Market

Continue meandering through the Quarter long enough and you’ll reach the crazy, loud, wonderful world of market vendors. Want to buy a souvenir alligator head? They’ve got it. Want to buy tiny harmonicas? They have it. Want to purchase hot sauce for the heat fiend in your life? Done.

Who you’ll meet here: Everyone from everywhere.

Tropical Isle

You’ll stop by here for only two things: a Hand Grenade and a Hand Grenade. Wait? Did I say that twice? Yes, I did. But that doesn’t mean you should order two! These puppies are strong, so order a small and cross it off your list. This infamous cocktail is the perfect way to really get your night going. They do have a sugar-free option for the perpetual twinks and calorie counters.

Who you’ll meet here: Fun folks from all over the country and those looking to experience the pizzazz of the Quarter.

Day 2: Shake it like a Polaroid & Burn Some Calories.

If you’ve never been to New Orleans, you have to go to Port of Call.

Port Of Call

Start your night by visiting Port of Call. It’s sandwiched between the touristy French Quarter and the more local/neighborhood-y Marigny. You’ll want to get a burger (your choice of which one) and baked potato. Once you’ve licked your fingers clean, head back to the Quarter for a night of dancing.

Who you’ll meet here: a mixture of locals and tourists who like a delicious drink with a side of fun scenery.

Oz

If you’re in search of the thumpa thumpa, you’ve made it to your Promised Land. Get here before 11 p.m. (sometimes earlier) to avoid a cover and get ready to sweat. It’s hot, dark and provides a booming soundtrack to your evening. I definitely recall the go-go dancers here, and they are hot and know how to get the party going.

Who you’ll meet here: A wild mix of party gays looking to let loose and get down.

Bourbon Pub and Parade

Across the street from Oz with an upstairs bar that is used for karaoke, dance parties, bachelorette parties, and drag shows alike. Depending on which night you go, one or more of these events will be happening. Drinks are a bit more expensive compared to the surrounding bars, so consider yourself warned.

Who you’ll meet here: Plenty of bears and party gays who needed a break from Oz.

If you’re a first-time visitor to New Orleans, you have to make it to the Phoenix at least once. The atmosphere is laid back and the drinks are strong, just like the men. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

The Phoenix Bar

A true leather bar in the Marigny gives you a reprieve from the craziness. The bartenders and patrons are sweethearts and very welcoming to out-of-town visitors. Drinks are cheap, and there are plenty of choices for local and craft beers on tap. Their prices never change, unlike other places on this list, so you’re always getting a good deal. Just know that if you head upstairs to the Eagle bar, keep the cell phones tucked away and let the night take you away.

Who you’ll meet here: Bears, wolves, otters, and more — oh, my!

Day 3: Act like you’re from here.

You have to go here. It’s really fun and it’s in the heart of everything. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Mr. Gregory’s

Start your morning by doing what all respectable tired gays do, go get brunch at Mister Gregory’s. It is gay-owned and operated.

After stuffing your face with delicious food, rent a bike from Bike NOLA or American Bicycle Rental and go for a spin. Take the roads down to the river and ride along towards the Marigny to reach Crescent Park. There you’ll coast through beautiful scenery with tons of Instagram or Snap opportunities.

Who you’ll meet here: A few people you may have shared a tasty adult beverage with the night before.

Good Friends

Good Friends is also a local favorite due to its slightly out-of-the-way location. I’ve started many nights here and finished many nights here since it tends to fill up later in the evening. They have a great upstairs balcony that looks out onto the quiet residential French Quarter.

Who you’ll meet here: Everyone and anyone you can imagine.

700 Club

A local favorite with plenty to offer in the way of food, drinks, and music. Bartenders are a combo of my favorite things: friendly, in-the-know and heavy handed. The kitchen in the back has an incredible fried catfish sandwich to line the stomach for later. Drinks are cheap and strong so load up on your way to Good Friends.

Who you’ll meet here: Regular Joes getting off work or starting their night on the town. Fun and great music are guaranteed.

For more information and news on the city’s LGBT community, sign up for New Orleans’ LGBT e-newsletter here.

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