One of my favorite things about New Orleans is that it’s full of hidden treasures. If you’re open to suggestions or willing to wander around, you can find heaps of “off-the-beaten-path” restaurants, cultural experiences, bars, and miscellaneous fun in the most unlikely places. Gay bars are no exception. While everyone knows about the cluster of New Orleans gay bars surrounding the intersection of Bourbon and St. Ann streets, anchored by Oz and Bourbon Pub, there are plenty of watering holes scattered around the city and ready to cater to LGBT people and their allies. For a complete list of LGBT bars, go here, but here are five of our favorites.
1. Good Friends
Their tagline is “Always Snappy Casual,” and they live up to it. Cozy but never dull, Good Friends is aptly named – if you don’t see one of your good friends there, you’ll be able to make several new ones by the end of the evening. Saints games and RuPaul’s Drag Race are aired on the TVs here when they are both in season. Definitely don’t miss spending a Sunday afternoon on the balcony if the weather is nice.
Many gay bars cater primarily or exclusively to gay men, but Grrlspot is working to change that. Billed as a “pop-up” bar for lesbians, the queer community, and people who enjoy socializing with the lesbian and queer community, Grrlspot is a traveling event taking place every month at a different venue around New Orleans with regular draws of over two hundred women. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events.
3. 700 Club
A few blocks from the bigger gay establishments on Bourbon, 700 Club serves as a crucial part of the gay social scene, especially among locals. The club features a jam-packed calendar of events and drink specials such as Mexican Mondays and Drink & Drown Sundays. Indulge in their food menu which reinvents childhood favorites, with PBB&J Wings and and a Pizza Mac Skillet available for order.
4. The Allways Lounge
The Allways Lounge is one of the few gay bars located outside the Quarter, but that’s just one of the best reasons to go. The Lounge is located in the St. Claude Corridor, which has seen a major uptick in bars and restaurants in recent years. Every night of the week, there are multiple events and performances, including but not limited to comedy, drag, and burlesque.
5. Phoenix Leather Bar
How could you not love a bar that advertises “reasonable drink prices,” “plenty of free parking,” “never a cover,” and an “anything goes atmosphere?” At the Phoenix Leather Bar, the priorities are men, leather, and drinks, and it’s hard to argue with any of that. Even if this doesn’t sound like your typical scene, check it out – you may be surprised. Happy hour is Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 10 a.m and 3 p.m – 7 p.m.