While most cities have thriving weekend culture, few can boast buzzing weekdays like New Orleans. It is, after all, the city that turns a Tuesday into the largest party of the year. So it’s perhaps no surprise that the preceding day benefits from the NOLA treatment, too. Mondays in New Orleans are often busy. From happy hours to weekly shows, here’s a look at what’s happening every Monday.
Come Monday, most locals look forward to red beans and rice for dinner. Mondays have historically been wash days in New Orleans, and New Orleans’ earliest residents, who desperately needed to laundry, still needed to have dinner on the table at the end of the day. Since red beans and rice simmers on a stove for hours, the beans could be set up in the morning and left to cook themselves while the wash was being done.
Every local you meet will tell you that the best red beans and rice you’ll ever eat are their mama’s. But for those who don’t have a local mama to cook for them, hop on over to favorites like Joey K’s on Magazine Street or Sammy’s Food Services & Deli on Elysian Fields. Other hotspots include Johnny’s Poboys, Mother’s Restaurant, The Praline Connection, and Willie Mae’s Scotch House. The name suggests it’s a vegetarian dish, but many red beans and rice variations include meat; ask your server depending on your diet requirements.
While the weekend brings plenty of fun in New Orleans, Monday brings the start of New Orleans’ incredible happy hours. You can find weekday deals at most of the city’s restaurants and bars, including Johnny Sanchez’s half-priced house margarita pitchers all day long on Mondays. You can find other great happy hour deals at Borgne, Latitude 29, Bar Tonique, Domenica, and Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar.
In New Orleans, music is a lifestyle, and Mondays are no exception. Almost every venue in New Orleans features a show on Monday nights. Catch Charmaine Neville, of the Neville family, at 10 p.m. every Monday night at Snug Harbor. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, stop in at Preservation Hall to see the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. nightly. Already on Frenchmen Street? Chicken and Waffles graces the stage at The Maison every Monday at 5 p.m., and Glen David Andrews takes over d.b.a. at 9 p.m.. For an interactive evening, head over to Hi-Ho Lounge for their weekly Bluegrass Pickin’ Party. You can bring your own instruments to jam, or you can just enjoy the music along with $2 plates of red beans and rice starting at 8 p.m.
Not all museums in New Orleans are open on Monday, but nationally acclaimed The National World War II Museum welcomes visitors seven days a week. Spend your day learning about the war and its lasting effect on this country, and stop in at the museum’s newest interactive exhibit, Campaigns of Courage, which allows visitors to experience the war from individuals’ perspectives. History not your thing? The Southern Food and Beverage Museum has you covered. The museum features exhibits on the cuisine of all Southern states and houses the Museum of the American Cocktail.
If you’re looking to incorporate some motion into your Monday, New Orleans Museum of Art holds a Tai Chi/ Chi Kung class in the galleries at 6 p.m. in collaboration with the East Jefferson Wellness Center. Instructor Terry Rappold will help you unwind among the museum’s works of art.