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Nightlife

New Orleans Nightlife: A Night on Louisa Street

Louisa Street in the Bywater neighborhood is truly unlike any other place in New Orleans. It’s a growing area that makes for an awesome destination for a night out. Louisa is a combination of residential and commercial, which gives it a unique vibe as far as “going out” locales go. Here, you won’t find business after business lined in a row. Instead, it’s more like walking through a charming neighborhood and stumbling upon a trendy, slightly tucked-away local joint. It’s really something special, and it’s hip in every sense of the word. Without further adieu, here’s our guide to a night along Louisa Street in New Orleans.

country club new orleans
Grab some drinks and take a dip in the pool at New Orleans Country Club.

Afternoon Activities

A dip in the pool with a cold drink in hand can work wonders on a sunny summer day in New Orleans. New Orleans Country Club is no doubt the place to do it and is the first stop on our Louisa night out. The clean, gorgeous club has a saltwater pool, hot tub, sauna, bar and restaurant. Snag a lounge chair and get working on your tan — you’ll really erase those lines, as swimsuits are optional here. The pool is open until 1 a.m., so you can enjoy the late-night swim your summer heart desires. And if you come after 5 p.m., you’ll be able to save a couple bucks on cover.

Cocktails and cheese at Maurepas Foods Snake Oil new orleans
Cocktails and cheese at Maurepas Foods (Snake Oil is on the right)

Cocktails and Small Plates

Head a couple blocks down Louisa to Maurepas Foods corner perch, a great place for small plates and drinks. Maurepas’ cocktails are absolutely gorgeous and insanely creative. The deliciously unique Snake Oil is a prime example; the whiskey and ginger cocktail is served over snowball-like shaved ice and topped with a dollop of coconut cream and fragrant curry herb. It is so good, and I’m 99.9 percent sure you’ve never had anything like it. Order a cocktail or two and munch on a cheese plate or some house made pickles before dinner.

Yuca mofongo and Brazilian cheese Booty's new orleans
Yuca mofongo and Brazilian cheese at Booty’s

Dining

Next up is Oxalis, which has a fabulous candlelit outdoor patio that’s perfect for a dinner date. And even better, the menu is built to be shared, as it’s separated into small, medium, large and social plates. Split an order of coconut milk-soaked mussels to start, and choose a couple plates to sample and share for dinner. The chic Oxalis is a haven for whiskey lovers. The whiskey list is extensive, and there are tons of tasty whiskey cocktails to match. Even if whiskey isn’t your thing (don’t worry, the servers are nice and won’t judge you), you’ll still have great options. I recommend the Pank Drank, which feels like a sophisticated strawberry margarita.

Post-Dinner Drinks

Markey's shuffleboard  new orleans bar
Markey’s giant shuffleboard table

Travel down the street (or just cross it) to Booty’s Street Food, where you can feel like you’ve traveled and eaten your way around the world. Hopefully you didn’t get too stuffed at dinner, because the street food here is truly irresistible. And of course you have to get a globally inspired cocktail, too. Everything at Booty’s is interesting, diverse and delicious. I can’t say no to the Bywater Bomber, which is the house’s signature frozen cocktail made with rum, pineapple, orange juice, rose and other tasty ingredients. Booty’s has a casual feel and a friendly, knowledgeable staff that will help you make some very tough and important decisions. The menu consists of small plates from all over the world that are eaten with your hands, from a cone or on a stick. Some of my favorites are the tacos, yuca mofongo and banh mi.

Circling back near to where we started is Markey’s Bar (next door to Country Club). I don’t think I’d call Markey’s a dive bar, but it’s got the casual environment, all-walks-of-life crowd and neighborhood feel that dives tend to have. Markey’s is the kind of place where neighboring restaurant staffers and the next-door neighbors come to have a post-work drink and unwind after a long shift. Grab a seat and chill at the long bar, or if you’re feeling active, you can take advantage of the giant, regulation-sized shuffleboard in the back. If you’ve got any ounce of room left, the bar food here — traditional as it may be — does not disappoint. Sometimes you just need some loaded fries to put a bow on a great night out.

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