Live music can be found in New Orleans everywhere you turn, from the late-night clubs on Frenchmen Street to the larger-than-life sets on the main stage of festivals. When you’re downtown, though, the Superdome and Smoothie King Center outshine the rest, drawing in large crowds from New Orleans and beyond. For everything from where to eat before the concert, to what to do after, here’s our guide to the perfect concert experience in downtown New Orleans.
Dinner before the show
Within walking distance to the Smoothie King Center and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome are a crop of great restaurants just a few blocks away. We’ve selected a few of our favorites that are just a 10-15 minute walk from the venues. There’s no better way to kick off your night than with a meal from a local New Orleans restaurant.
If you’re traveling with a large party, the Pythian Market is ideal. With 14 different food vendors and dozens of options, everyone is sure to be satisfied. The best part is that this food hall is located just minutes from our biggest concert venues, making the stroll to the show enjoyable.
South Market District
If you’re looking for a sit-down experience, head to one of the restaurants in the South Market District. Contemporary-chic Willa Jean, vegan eatery The Daily Beet, and Asian restaurant Maypop are favorites within the neighborhood.
If you’re looking for great seafood, Borgne, located inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel offers a taste of classic New Orleans dishes. Enjoy a menu filled with oysters, fresh fish, soft shell crab, and other hearty meals. Borgne also has a full bar and makes a mean Bloody Mary.
Along Poydras Street and surrounding it, you’ll find Italian favorite Reginelli’s and Mexican-American restaurants Johnny Sanchez and Juan’s Flying Burrito, just a short walk from the concert venues. You’ll also find Copper Vine Winepub, a fun place to enjoy a glass of wine and a meal before a show (the flatbreads are delicious). Eat as much as you’d like, then walk it off as you head to your show.
Late Night Bites and Sips
The show might be over, but the fun isn’t. Keep the night alive at any one of these awesome bars downtown. Open late each night, these are a few spots perfect for capping off a great night.
Vintage Rock Club
The newly-opened Vintage Rock Club is a blast from the past. Jam out to your favorite music videos on the big screen while enjoying a drink from the bar, and a view of downtown from. Head to the club, located at 1007 Poydras St., before the concert starting at 4 p.m. for a pre-show party with drinks, music, and videos from the Stones on the big screens.
If you’re looking for a nightcap, Victory is a good call. This eclectic spot offers a nighttime lounge vibe with creative cocktails like the “Little Boy Blue” and “Beetin’ The Lime.” Hungry for a post-concert snack? Pair your drink with one of Victory’s light bites like Truffle Popcorn or the Spicy Sprouts. The best news is that Victory is just a short walk away from both the Superdome and Smoothie King Center, so skip the post-concert traffic pass and make the night last.
The Pisco Bar at the Catahoula Hotel
The Pisco Bar is our personal favorite spot to snag a drink downtown. “Pisco” is an unaged grape brandy and the national spirit of Peru (think Pisco Punch and Pisco sour). You’ll find this specialty spirit among other cocktails at the Pisco Bar, along with other delicious bites. Inside, Midnight Noodle offers plant-based, Chinese comfort food like scallion pancakes and Major Potstickers. Bonus: Catahoula’s courtyard offers some of the most Insta-worthy spots in the city. Come for the drinks, stay for the vibe.
Monkey Board at the Troubadour Hotel
Easily offering one of the best city skyline views, the Monkey Board is a relaxed rooftop bar with craft cocktails like the “Stone Pie” with spiced rum and pumpkin spice syrup and the “Razz-A-Pazz” with Stoli Razberi vodka and lemon juice. Named for the highest platform of an oil rig, this rooftop bar located on the 17th floor of the Troubadour Hotel is in the heart of the Central Business District. The menu offers perfect size post-show snacks like the Fried Chicken Sandwich and the Baked Asian Wings. The best part is that the bar is open late (until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday), and is the perfect landing pad after your weekend show ends.
The Lobby Bar inside the Ace Hotel
Ahh, the Ace. For a look at the hippest travelers in the city, the Ace Hotel Lobby Bar is the place to go. This French Deco-inspired living room style bar serves up cocktails all night long. Inside, you’ll find some of the most eclectic and enjoyable entertainment downtown offers at the Three Keys. If you want to take a little break after the show, grab a drink of your choice from the bar and a spot on one of the cozy couches here and enjoy some of the most interesting people-watching you’ll find downtown. And the next time you’re thinking of catching a concert in town, add Three Keys to your list.
Whether you choose to walk from a restaurant, drive yourself, or get dropped off by a ride-sharing service, the earlier the better when it comes to getting to the show. Be sure to check the venue’s website on whether or not there is a clear bag policy. Once you’re inside, kick back and relax before the show begins, then enjoy!