Fun on Frenchmen Street
Take time to CLICK HERE and read last week’s blog to refresh your memory. Now, we’re moving on to take a closer, more detailed look, at Frenchmen Street -- or, to repeat ourselves – the “local’s Bourbon Street” where the real New Orleanians go to drink and listen to music.
HERE’S A QUICK OVERVIEW
#1 Start at Esplanade and Decatur where you’ll find CHECKPOINT CHARLIE’S at 501 Esplanade. At first, you may think this spot is a little rough looking. But, as they say, don’t judge a book by its cover. The live music is great, the bartenders are on point and the cheeseburgers are pretty good, too.
#2 Moving right along into Faubourg Marigny, you’ll find VASO located at 500 Frenchmen. Stop here if you’re in the mood for jambalaya or a bayou quesadilla while listening to jazz and R&B. Then go on to RARE FORM at 437 Esplanade for Cajun and Creole food, drinks, live music and an outdoor patio.
#3 Around the corner look for DRAGON’S DEN at 435 Esplanade, a two-floor bar with a dance floor, balcony and courtyard – that features an eclectic range of music: everything from reggae to jazz. Then make a stop at 421 Frenchmen where you’ll find the LOUISIANA MUSIC FACTORY (we’ve written about this place before). CLICK HERE to find out more.
#4 Are you starving and in the mood for eats? Stop at MONA’S at 504 Frenchmen, a Middle Eastern restaurant and market for falafel, pita, hummus and kebabs. Go off Frenchmen a bit and you’ll come across the BRIEUX CARRE BREWING at 2115 Decatur. This is a microbrewery with 12 rotating taps and an outdoor seating area.
#5 THE MAISON at 508 Frenchmen is an upbeat music club that hosts a diverse, jazz-oriented lineup on three stages and offers eats, drinks and dancing. This bar and nearby BAMBOULA’S at 514 Frenchmen attracts a younger crowd on weekends. At Bamboula’s the bands start at noon – there’s lots of blues and jazz all day long plus drinks and food: delicious crab cakes, catfish and fried oysters are served by a friendly staff.
#6 Go across the street to 13 MONAGHAN at 5l7 – it’s often called “13” for short and serves diner-style food with a New Orleans twist into the late hours. Breakfast is served throughout the day. Or, you can order tater tot nochos at 3:00 am.
#7 Further down you’ll come to the BLUE NILE at 532 Frenchmen – a great jazz club. It has been the home of countless top funk, blues, soul and brass shows, featuring local, national and international acts. It’s one of the longest-standing music clubs on the Frenchmen strip.
#8 THE THREE MUSES at 536 Frenchmen is a spot we’ve covered before. CLICK HERE to learn more. Don’t forget: make a reservation – a table is yours for 90 minutes – then you have to move to the bar.
#9 Finally, the PRALINE CONNECTION is situated at 542 Frenchmen where you can enjoy Southern cooking and soul food. Their pralines are handmade daily by the old-fashioned, spoon dripped method.
We’re now finished with famous Frenchmen Street where NOLA locals and the rest of mankind hang out. We’ve reviewed 13 spots: take your pick.
ANOTHER PLACE YOU MIGHT WANT TO VISIT
TIPITINA’S or “Tips” as the locals call it is located at 501 Napoleon Avenue and is one of New Orleans great musical spots. This nightclub takes its name from Professor Longhair’s 1953 hit single. It features outstanding local talent and is one of the few non-French Quarter bars that tourists go to. This joint really rocks in the weeks prior to Mardi Gras and during Jazz Fest.
TWO DRINKS YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY
They call them “tourist’s drinks” but who cares? THE HURRICANE was created in the 1940s, courtesy of Pat O’Brien’s bar, at 718 St. Peter Street. It is made with rum, passion fruit syrup and limejuice. For added punch, this drink is served in a hurricane-shaped glass with an orange slice and cherry garnish. THE HAND GRENADE is a mix of melon liqueur, grain alcohol, rum, gin and vodka. It’s called “New Orleans Most Powerful Drink” and can be found at the Tropical Isle located at 455 Bourbon Street. Good luck with both of these legendary drinks.