It's Not Just About The French Quarter | Outtraveler

It's Not Just About The French Quarter

It's Not Just About The French Quarter

Image via Facebook

If you find yourself in New Orleans, the French Quarter is almost unavoidable in its decadent display of culture and nightlife. But what most people don’t realize is that the Big Easy is bigger than the Quarter, and since Katrina hit the city, its many diverse neighborhoods have revived thier lively presence.

For a dose of artistic indulgence, follow the river to the city's Warehouse District. Also known as the Arts District, this neighborhood is a cultural hub of local art as well as international exhibits. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is a perfect place to enjoy regional pieces of all styles. For frequent exhibitions of various disciplines and communities, visit the Contemporary Arts Center. Add one more spot to the night’s agenda and see the galleries on Julia Street where the first Saturday night of each month is a gallery hop.

Image via Facebook

The restaurants in the Warehouse District are another draw for tourists looking for the local experience. Capedeville offers British-inspired pub food (think authentic fish and chips and a killer espresso rubbed steak), in addition to an extensive whiskey list. For southern flavor in an upscale atmosphere, Sac-A-Lait is a unique option for the traveler who has a taste for alligator and gumbo to eat alongside his or her cocktail. Once you've finished dinner, unwind at Compère LapinOwned and operated by Nina Compton of Top Chef fame, the restaurant combines the bold flavors of her native St. Lucia with the Creole cuisine and traditions of New Orleans. Located inside the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, the restaurant's bar serves up delicious reimaginings of classic drinks like a Pimm's Cup, Old Fashioned and Whiskey Sour. 

Image via Facebook

After you've had your fill of art and food, discover the LGBT scene outside the French Quarter. The neighboring Faubourg Marigny is widely considered the gay neighborhood in one of the South’s most gay-friendly cities. For a laid-back prelude to your evening, visit the locals at Mag's 940. Afterwards, walk across the street to The Phoenix or just around the corner is Kajun’s Pub, a local staple that offers karaoke in a friendly, unassuming atmosphere. And for a unique evening of queer entertainment, Allways Lounge has something for everyone, from burlesque to boylesque.

But if you’re craving a calmer night in the Marigny, there are plenty of great places to eat and to see art. Grab a bite at Adolfos for Italian fare inspired by Cajun-Creole flavors, or enjoy small plates and house cocktails at Three Muses, an intimate jazz spot. For entertainment outside of nightlife, there’s also Byrdie’s, an art gallery and coffeehouse, and the Frenchman Art Market where many local artists present their work late into the night. Then see who's playing at The Spotted Cat Music Club or d.b.a., two reliable music venues. 

Image via Facebook

With culture around every corner, do not limit yourself to one neighborhood. Get lost, keep exploring, and never stop trying new things. It's the NOLA way.

Tags: New Orleans

Latest videos on Outtraveler

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()