By Conor Riley

I definitely wanted to get out of the mayhem of NYC for New Years, and had always wanted to go to New Orleans, so without much hesitation, I decided to ring in 2017 in the Crescent City with five good friends in tow. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I certainly didn’t anticipate falling in love with NOLA like I did.

nyeHappy New Year Y’all!

New Year’s Eve itself was spent at a warehouse party and hopping around dive bars afterwards, but from the “Fruit Loop” (the series of gay bars that corner off one end of Bourbon Street) and The Corner Pocket in the French Quarter, to the Phoenix and Poor Boys – closer to where we stayed in Treme – there is no shortage of nightlife in New Orleans (and nothing really closes, so 6 AM creeps up on you very quickly). And when it comes to food, I believe one would have to actively seek out a bad meal to find one here.

britneyKentwood Historical & Cultural Museum. “Y’all must be here for Britney” is how we were greeted.

Otherwise, there’s plenty of both tourist-y and non-tourist-y things to do – My friends and I even took a day-trip to the Britney Spears museum in Kentwood (Your tour-guide here will be Fay, and she is everything.) – Here are just a few places you should check out should you ever find yourself in New Orleans.

walkingIn The Quarter; Formation.


hornsHorns, 1/1/17.

1940 Dauphine Street
Neighborhood: Marigny
Notes: Great corner spot for breakfast or lunch.

cochonGarden District building across the street from Cochon.

930 Tchoupitoulas Street
Neighborhood: Garden District
Notes: Came highly recommended by many. Everything is good, but don’t miss out the wood-fired oysters.

seaworthySpiced rum-based cocktail HolyWater at Seaworthy. It’s really good y’all.

630 Carondelet Street
Neighborhood: Central Business District
Notes: Right around the corner from the Ace Hotel. Oysters are their specialty.


3607 Magazine Street
Neighborhood: Touro
Notes: The food is fantastic and ambiance of the converted Victorian home only adds to the experience.

1728 Soniat St
Neighborhood: Uptown
Notes: Good for being slightly underdressed at New Year’s Eve dinner, and ladies in tiaras asking you how their hair is. But seriously, the food is outstanding and I could happily drink martinis and people watch here all night.

1109 Decatur Street
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Notes: The best gumbo and fried chicken you’ll ever have. 21+, and be prepared to wait in a short line on busier nights.


countryclubPoolside at The Country Club

countryclub2A portrait inside The County Club

The Country Club
634 Louisa Street
Neighborhood: Bywater
Notes: A once clothing-optional spot, Country Club is good for maxin’ by the pool on warmer days.

600 Poland Avenue
Neighborhood: Bywater
Notes: Wine-lab with outdoor seating and live music. Small plates are also served.

caneandtableMuch candlewax inside Cane and Table.

Cane and Table
1113 Decatur Street
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Notes: Havana-inspired bar/restaurant in the quarter that avoids feeling touristy. Go for their happy hour.

Hot Tin
2031 St. Charles Avenue
Neighborhood: Garden District
Notes: Sits atop the Pontchartrain Hotel with incredible views of the city (go at sunset). Rumor has it Tenessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire while living in the Pntchartrain.

altoPool boys at the Ace Hotel.

Alto at The Ace Hotel
600 Carondelet Street
Neighborhood: Central Business District
Notes: Whatever city you’re in, nothing beats a poolside moment at the Ace Hotel. Drink of choice: Mayon Mule.



Big Daddy’s
2513 Royal St
Neighborhood: Marigny
Notes: Gay-friendly dive bar with a jukebox. Good for decompressing after NYE warehouse parties.

bourbonI’m having fun, I swear!

800 Bourbon Street
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Notes: Drag shows every Wednesday night, and top 40 dancing otherwise. The most “clubby” spot on the list.


The Corner Pocket
940 St Louis Street
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Notes: Boys, boys all type of boys dance and strip atop the bar while top 40 plays. The only picture I was allowed to take here was the signed photo of Brad Pitt in the bathroom. Just sayin’.

oldhouseNeither Poor Boys nor The Phoenix, but I was really feeling this old Smith Tire on the walk between the two one night.

Poor Boys
1328 St Bernard Avenue
Neighborhood: 7th Ward? Kind of unsure, tbh
Notes: Spent two nights in a row dancing here. Hosts rotating DJs and parties, so check their Facebook for what’s up.

The Phoenix/The Eagle
941 Elysian Fields Avenue
Neighborhood: Marigny
Notes: Dive bar downstairs, darkroom upstairs (The Eagle).


740 Burgundy Street
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Notes: Leather bar with darkrooms and adult videos.

rbarNo stupid drinks or crying at R Bar.

R Bar
1431 Royal Street
Neighborhood: Marigny
Notes: Neighborhood bar, slightly off the beaten path.



voodooqueenVisitors pay their respects to Voodoo spirits with money, cigarettes and other trinkets

Voodoo Museum
724 Dumaine Street
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Notes: For something a little more fun and touristy, pay your respects to Marie Laveau and other Voodoo Queens here.

jacksonsqureThe Union Must and Shall Be Represented. Jackson Square, New Orleans.

mississippiCreole Queen riverboat on the Mississippi River.

Jackson Square
700 Decatur Street
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Notes: Again, very touristy, but combined with the adjacent bank of the Mississippi River, Jackson Square is insta-ready. Also, the world-famous beignets of Cafe du Monde are right across the street.

causewayCrossing Lake Pontchartrain on The Causeway

The Causeway
Lake Pontchartrain
Notes: This is going to sound super weird, but one of my favorite things I did when I was in Louisiana was drive back into New Orleans (from Kentwood) on the Causeway. It’s the longest bridge over a continuous body of water in the world, and the magic hour views are insane. Feels like you’re in Cruisin’ USA, with the NOLA city scape in the far distance.
St. Charles Line
Pick up the St. Charles Line Streetcar (the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world!) on Canal Street in the Central Business District, and ride to Uptown to check out some serious real estate. Walk a few blocks south to Magazine Street for shopping, and of course more eating and drinking.

St. Louis Cemetary Tour
425 Basin Street
Notes: Sadly due to some weather I missed out on this, but we were told this is the one to go to – also the burial place of Voodoo queen Marie Laveau.

merainMissing the cemetery tour but looking good in my poncho.