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Cocktail Culture

Mid-Week Guide to New Orleans: Live Like A Local

Crescent City Farmer's Market (Photo: Justen Williams)

If you happen to find yourself in New Orleans during the week and are itching to discover unique pockets of culture and activity, you are in luck because there is plenty around the clock and throughout the year. In between the hustle and bustle of the weekends, mid-week travel to New Orleans can provide visitors the opportunity to expand beyond the usual tourist haunts into less familiar but just as engaging ones enjoyed by locals. Whether you are looking for a cheap happy hour, music to soothe your soul, or a daytime activity, we’ve got you covered all week long.

Things to Do on a Mid-Week Trip to New Orleans

Monday

Bluegrass Pickin’ Party at Hi Ho Lounge – The Hi Ho Lounge has been a fixture on St. Claude Avenue since before the corridor was designated a burgeoning arts scene. Every Monday, stop by from 8:00-10:00 p.m. for their Bluegrass Pickin’ Party. You can play along or just watch while sipping a cold beer for this unique, free jam session. And bonus: get your Monday red beans & rice for $2.

Hi Ho Lounge is located at 2239 St. Claude Ave., can be reached at (504) 945-4446 and the Bluegrass Pickin’ Party is on Mondays from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Cost: Free.

Tuesday

Crescent City Farmers Market – New Orleans’ food is at the heart of its identity. Mingle with locals and farmers at the Tuesday Crescent City Farmers Market. New Orleans’ public markets, which had heavily declined since their heyday in the 1800s have seen an upsurge in popularity in recent years. Grab some fresh fruit to snack on or a quick lunch prepared by the month’s local chef-in-residence (June’s chef is Chef Doyle from Maurepas Foods).

Crescent City Farmers Market is located at 200 Broadway (Tulane Square parking lot), can be reached at (504) 861-4488 and the Uptown market is open Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cost: Free, but purchases are encouraged.

Wednesday

The Classics at Prytania Theatre – The Prytania Theatre, now in its 100th year, is everyone’s favorite neighborhood theatre because, well, it’s got a lot of history. Several generations of New Orleanians and visitors have watched movies here, and it is a tradition certainly worth supporting. Get up early and go back in time every Wednesday (and Sunday, too) at 10:00 a.m. with a classic movie and a Grindhouse Café coffee.

The Prytania Theatre is located at 5339 Prytania Street and can be reached at (504) 891-2787. The Classics play Wednesdays (and Sundays) at 10:00 a.m. Cost: $5.75.

Thursday

Vaughan’s Lounge – Vaughan’s Lounge was a sleepy little neighborhood bar in the Bywater for a long time, gaining nationwide fame after HBO’s Tremé captured the electrifying energy of Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers. While Kermit Ruffins has retired from his longtime Thursday night gig, new blood has filtered in. Corey Henry’s Tremé Funktet has been playing at Vaughan’s every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. (except when Corey is on the road with Galactic) for about a year now.

Vaughan’s is located at 4229 Dauphine St. and can be reached at (504) 947-5562. The Thursday show starts at 9:00 p.m. (call ahead). Cost: $10.

nola-brewing-taps
The taps at NOLA Brewing (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Friday

NOLA Brewing Tour – New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company has been around since 2008. If you are looking for a brewery tour and a sample of some tasty local beers, you don’t necessarily have to cross Lake Pontchartrain. Located on Tchoupitoulas in the Irish Channel neighborhood, this little brewery has a free beer tasting and brewery tour every Friday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Reservations are not necessary; just pop right in for a late lunch break or if you have the day free. It also doesn’t hurt that NOLA Brewery is doing some good in the community– this year, it has supported both The Roots of Music and the Humane Society of Louisiana.

NOLA Brewing is located at 3001 Tchoupitoulas Street, can be reached at (504) 896-9996, and brewery tours are offered Fridays from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Cost: Free.

Can’t get enough? Here are a few more can’t-miss, mid-week options.

Comedy Beast presented by The New Movement – If you are looking to get a good chuckle in before bed, head over to the Howlin’ Wolf Den on Tuesday nights when The New Movement presents Comedy Beast. Local and out of town comics take to the stage in this cozy venue, and they promise it will be funny.

Howlin’ Wolf Den is located at 901 S. Peters St., can be reached at (504) 302-8264 and Comedy Beast is on Tuesdays from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Cost: Free.

Wine Tasting – Faubourg Wines calls itself “your friendly & fearless neighborhood wine shop,” and indeed it is. Located on St. Claude Avenue near the Marigny-Bywater line, Faubourg Wines has free wine tastings on Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Enjoy sipping while feeling the rumble of tractor-trailers crossing the railroad tracks.

Faubourg Wines is located at 2805 St Claude Ave., can be reached at (504) 342-2217, and wine tastings are Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Cost: Free.

Emily Ramírez Hernández is the child of New Orleans natives whose families have been in the city for generations. Emily's earliest memories of New Orleans include joyful car rides over bumpy streets, eating dripping roast beef po-boys at Domilise's, and catching bouncy balls during Mardi Gras parades with cousins. An urban planner by day and freelance writer by night, when she is off the clock she enjoys biking around town, belly dancing, and catching nerdlesque shows.

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