For more information and updates about how New Orleans is addressing the Covid-19 outbreak – including restaurants that are currently open for takeout and delivery – please visit
No, thanks

Get the LOCAL Perspective!

Find hidden gems and get insider information on NOLA’s best restaurants, bars, attractions, and events every week.

Best Local Things to Do

Gay Man’s Guide to A Great Night Out in NOLA

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 I don’t remember for my local and visiting gays, and two I’ve always fancied myself more of a gay man than a lesbian. That is 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

Carousel Bar

We begin our French Quarter tour at the revolving Carousel Bar. It is the closest to Canal Street so you can dip your toe in before the full festive submersion. 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: a mixture of tourists and tourists who like a delicious drink with a side of fun scenery.

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. Hit or miss on the attractiveness, but fun and great music are guaranteed.

Good Friends

Good Friends is also a local favorite due to it’s 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. Faint memories suggest hot go-go dancers during busy tourist weekends. They have a great upstairs balcony that looks out onto the quiet residential French Quarter.

Who you’ll meet here: everyone.

Tropical Isle

You’ll stop by here for only two things: dropping off your fag hag at hetero hell and getting a Hand Grenade (order a small) to 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 there: the wasted gen pop.


If you’re in search of the thumpa thumpa, you’ve made it to your promised land. Get here before 11pm (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. Bathrooms are a hot mess but you may meet your new best friend there.

Who you’ll meet here: party gays.

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, you’ve been warned.

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

The Phoenix Bar

A true leather bar in the Marigny so you will get 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: leather daddies, bears, otters, Joe-Shmo-the-regular from down the street or around the corner, those into fetish gear and kink, and perhaps a puppy and his handler.

To cap off your night, here is a bonus bar that I cannot describe from personal experience because they don’t allow ladies, but I’ve dropped many a gay boy off here in the wee hours of the morning.


Women are not allowed here, so if you’ve hooked back up with your fag hag at some point during the night, kiss her goodbye and send her packing. I’m told the crowd is hit or miss but when it’s hit, it’s a hit. This is an advanced bar so don’t go sneaking in expecting PG fun.

Who you’ll meet here: leather daddies, regular daddies, twinks, otters, bears, and everyone in between with appropriately male parts.

Up Next:

Book Your Trip