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Mardi Gras 2000 - The World's Biggest and Best Party

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the world's biggest and wildest party

Mardi Gras

Good Bars in New Orleans

New Orleans, especially the French Quarter, abounds with great bars.  Whether you're the laid-back type, a dancer, looking to mingle, or looking for any type of live music, you'll find it all in the French Quarter.  Below, I've listed the establishments that I've found to be the best overall.  Most are in or near the French Quarter.  If you'd like for me to add a particular bar to the list, E-mail me with the bar's name, address, phone # if available, Web address if available, and a brief description of the bar.  As long as it's not on my "blacklist," I'll be happy to include it in a future site update.

Mardi Gras

The Famous Door
339 Bourbon (Corner of Bourbon & Conti)

This is, hands-down and without a doubt, my favorite hangout in New Orleans. Being a musician myself, I certainly appreciate good, live music. The two main acts at the Famous Door are Jeff Chaz and "The Dream Band." While the former is more bluesy, the latter plays both contemporary and classic rock, pop and R&B. The dance floor is of a reasonable size, and the lights and sound system are second to none.  There is music, dancing, mingling, very cold beer, and excellent mixed drinks around the clock at the Famous Door. When the bands aren’t playing, a DJ takes over and does an excellent job of keeping everyone happy. The servers are great, and take great pleasure in spraying cream around your mouth, leaning you back, and injecting some alcohol concoction down your throat with an injection tube! Drinks are priced reasonably, and there’s an ATM inside. This is a GREAT place to stay and meet people until 5AM, then take a breather for an hour and come back for more music, drinks and fun! I really love the concept of being able to go out and drink, dance, and have a ball at any time of the day or night that I want to – and no place is better than the Famous Door! See ya there between March 4th and March 8th!

514 Toulouse Street (Corner of Toulouse and Decatur)
504- 529-1317

This is, in my opinion, the best Irish bar in New Orleans. And remember, since I myself am an Irishman, my opinion counts! There are three bars, a small courtyard, and a giftshop. There’s a wide selection of British, Irish and Scottish beers and stouts, as well as a number of Irish and Scotch whiskies and Irish food. Traditional Irish ballads are performed in the Informer Room, while the larger Ballad Room features Irish bands later in the evening. The Aengus Lounge, above the others and looking down on the Ballad Room, is opened for customers on crowded evenings and for private parties.

Donna's Bar and Grill
800 N Rampart Street (Corner of Rampart and St. Ann)

Open from 8.30 pm Mon, Wed-Sun. Admission: $5 No credit cards.

Donna's is the city's hotspot for brass bands, with performances nightly. Located directly across from the entrance to Louis Armstrong Park on the northern boundary of the French Quarter, it draws a predominantly local crowd. You can order food from the bartenders until late, and the cover charge is reasonable. The music is great, and the food is the BEST food served at any bar I’ve been to in New Orleans. Okay, okay damnit, I will admit it…Donna’s husband, the chef, happens to be a friend of mine (he’s also the chef on the Mardi Gras party train).

Pat O’Brien’s
718 St. Peter Street
(800) 597-4823

World-famous Pat O’Brien’s, with its six big areas and famous "Hurricane" drink, is one of the most sought-after tourist hotspots in New Orleans. There is a main bar, piano bar, bourbon bar, a patio with a flaming water fountain, and many more things! Pat O’Brien’s gained most of its notoriety from the unsurpassed popularity of the "Hurricane." Other Pat O’Brien’s venues have opened up in New Orleans, and the famous, "Hurricane" mix is a favorite the world over. This place is definitely worth a visit.  If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time, no problem – just walk by the Bourbon Street side of Pat O’Brien’s pick up a "Hurricane" to go!

Crescent City Brewhouse
527 Decatur Street (Corner of Decatur and St Louis)
504-522 0571

One of New Orleans's only two brewpubs, Crescent City offers jazz and Latin combos in the early evening and oldies' cover bands later. The bands play on the ground floor at street level, so the best seats are at the front of the main bar.

Funky Butt at Congo Square
714 N Rampart Street (Corner of Rampart and Orleans)

This is a great place if you’re into contemporary jazz. Located in a former restaurant with a refurbished art deco interior, Funky Butt serves up great music and Creole cooking in a unique, laid-back atmosphere. Cover charges can be outrageous, but you can be assured that the talent is top-notch!

Tipitina’s (French Quarter Location)
233 North Peters Street

Web Cam:  Click Here!

Opened in the spring of 1998, the club is within walking distance of many hotels in the French Quarter. The drinks, music and overall atmosphere are excellent. Local talent such as Kermit Ruffins, Henry Butler, Allen Toussaint, Cyril Neville, Marva Wright, and others appear here regularly.

House of Blues
225 Decatur Street (Corner of Decatur and Iberville)

Backed by the likes of Dan Ackroyd, James Belushi and Aerosmith, the House of Blues at its New Orleans location regularly hosts a number of big-name national acts in addition to local acts like Dr. John, the Neville Brothers, and the Radiators. The drinks are great, there’s a good dance floor and sound system, and there’s a variety of music to listen to – everything from gospel to alternative rock. My only negative reservation about this place is that due to it’s being so commercialized, cover charges are very steep. But it’s still worth visit or two!

Tipitina’s (Uptown)
501 Napoleon Avenue

Web Cam:  Click Here!

My personal favorite of the Tipitina’s venues, Tipitina’s Uptown was created in the mid-1970's by a group of local music enthusiasts and quickly became home to dozens of New Orleans rhythm and blues artists. The place houses several bars, has lots of great snacks – Jack Daniel's Barbecue just to name one, and features many well-known musical acts. Tipitina's takes it's name from a woman in a song by "Professor Longhair." This is a little out of the way of the French Quarter, but it’s well worth the trip!

Mardi Gras