Gay New Orleans Guide
Gay New Orleans is a decadent and stunning Southern Capital offering visitors a heady mix of superstition and cajun spice.
New Orleans, the perfect blend of history and good times!
TThe birthpace of Jazz, New Orleans has always welcomed those that refuse to conform. It is a true beacon in the conservative Deep South. New Orleans is host to some of the world’s sexiest gay events. The Lavender Line, the city’s gay district, is fused into the fabric of the city and is home to the oldest gay bar in the United States. It is also the starting point for the annual gay pride parade.
New Orleans has blurred the lines of what is gay and what is straight! Whether it is Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Halloween or just a regular Tuesday, every night is a party night in gay New Orleans.
Everywhere you look, you can see the influence of the city’s Spanish and French colonial roots, from its architecture to its cuisine. Add in the cultures of Creole, Irish and Italian immigrants and you have a city that is truly unique. There is no other place like New Orleans. Explore our insider guide to New Orleans’ gay scene and discover the very best places to play and stay.
Gay New Orleans Hotels
New Orleans has a wide range of hotel options, from boutique gay guest houses to 5 star luxury retreats.
Gay Map of New Orleans
New Orleans Gay Scene
New Orleans has a very laid back attitude when it comes to sex. You are very unlikely to experience any discrimination on your visit.
Gays and straights share Bourbons Street, home of most city’ gay bars and clubs. Gay visitors tend to gravitate past St. Peter street on the northern end. You can carry drinks into the street, but only in plastic cups, not in glass or cans. Most bars never close, and all are now 21-plus only.
The district of Marigny in the French Quarter is also a popular spot, offering a more relaxed vibe. It is easy to reach by going up Chartres, and get back on Royal.
Getting here and getting around.
Louis Armstrong International Airport is 11 miles from the French Quarter. Most hotels offer a courtesy shuttle. Taxis are plentiful. There is also an Airport Shuttle (USD 24 approx) and the Express Bus.
Those traveling by train arrive at the Central Business District, a short taxi ride away from the French Quarter.
Getting around gay New Orleans is easy. The city is made for walking. The French Quarter is just 14 blocks from beginning to end and Marigny is a short stroll away.
The Street cars will take you to most of the tourists spots, They are a fun way to explore the city. For something different, Take the Canal Street Ferry and enjoy a crossing on the Mississippi river with great views of downtown.
The Gay Neighbourhoods of New Orleans
Take a walk in the Marigny district and explore old New Orleans.
The French Quarter
Known to locals as “The Quarter”, the French Quarter or the Vieux Carre, is the beating heart of gay New Orleans. Most first timers spend much of their time in this district. The area is bordered by the Rampart, Esplanade, Canal and the Mississippi River.
Visitors to The Quarter can enjoy a unique mix of Spanish, French and Creole architecture as well as the ubiquitous cast-iron balconies from which gay boys dance and dangle every night of the week!
Marigny is just a short trip northeast of the French Quarter. This district is famous for its 19th century quaint Creole cottages. The scene here is quite relaxed, more “grown-up” some would say, when compared to the raucous of Bourbon Street. The busiest gay bars and restaurants are centred along Frenchman Street and Elysian Fields.
The Garden District
The Garden district is home to the city’s stunning old mansions and is just south of the French Quarter. It is a lovey area to wander where you can enjoy the unique homes and old-world architecture of New Orleans.
New Orleans Gay Bars & Clubs
New Orleans blurs the line when it comes to what is a gay or straight bar. This is after all a place where diversity is celebrated as can be seen in festivals such as Southern Decadence. Even Easter has a gay parade.
Most of the famous gay bars are on the French Quarter’s “Lavender Line,” a stretch of St Ann Street that bisects Bourbon.
- The Allways Lounge is an alternative theater & bar putting on plays, burlesque shows & indie music concerts in funky digs.disco, Boys on Parade home to Sunday Tea Dances and drag shows.
- Cafe Lafitte in Exile is the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the United States. The bar is home to the Sunday Trash Disco, regular karaoke nights and daily happy hours. The Cafe is the most entertaining gay corner during Carnival famous for its beads flung from the balconies, and what boys will do to earn them!
- Corner Pocket is a divey gay pub known for scantily clad men dancing on the bar each night from 9pm. Home to such parties as Wet Jocky Shorts, New Meat amateur strip and Barry Bareass Dancer of the Week.
- Cutter’s bar is located in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood bar. It is well known hunting ground for bears, big buffets, sports event specials, live talent shows and eclectic monthly art exhibits.
- Golden Lantern is a cash-only gay bar offering draft beer, cocktails & drag shows in a snug, brick-lined space. Famous as the bar where the Southern Decadence Parade begins each Sunday before Labor Day. Home to well-loved bartenders and drag shows.
- Good Friends is a Gay bar with a laid-back vibe, mahogany bar & a Victorian-styled upstairs with a balcony. Head upstairs to the Queens Head Pub with wrap-around balcony – famous for “Separator” milk-based frozen libations.
- GrandPre’s is a fun gay bar attracting a mixed crowd famous for its many shows including the Queerlesque drag burlesque shows.
- Mags 940 is a Gay Bar located in the Marigny that also doubles as a bed and breakfast. With live performances, creative cocktails, Mardi Gras Krewe royalty and guests from neighboring B&B, weekend shows.
- Napoleon’s Itch is rollicking gay nightspot known for signature drinks & its annual Bourbon Street Extravaganza. It hosts a famous male dance show, live concert and street party during Southern Decadence.
- Oz New Orleans is a 2-story, 24/7 gay dance club with DJs, drag shows, go-go dancers & a balcony for people-watching. . Fun all year with hot crowds, weekend male strippers, amateur strip-offs, burlesque, comedy cabaret and drag shows.
- Bourbon Pub & Parade is a 24/7 gay bar with 2 floors, a balcony & nonstop dance-club music keeping the party going. Upstairs you will find the Parade.
- The Phoenix Bar is a gay bar catering to the leather crowd provides a no-frills 24/7 hangout with a pool table. Renegade Bears’ is held on the 3rd Friday as well as monthly beer busts on the back patio. Upstairs Eagle is a touch-and-feel cruise bar and their COK store sells leather attire, kink, latex gear, underwear, lubes and more.
- Rawhide 2010 is a down-to-earth gay leather bar with daily happy hours, pool & adult videos on TV. It is one of the top leather bars in the US and home to Saturday Night Leather, blackout parties; open 24-hours every day.
Gay New Orleans Events
Gay Friendly Restaurants in New Orleans
- Jacques-Imo’s in Uptown’s Riverbend area offers unpretentious New Orleans dining with an eclectic mix of Creole dishes.
- The Pelican Club is a Stylish place with a sophisticated Creole menu, 3 dining rooms, a bar & weekend piano music.
Traditional New Orleans Cuisine
- Crabby Jack’s is a daytime place for hefty po’ boys, fried chicken & other Cajun grub in a funky counter-service space. A po’ boy is a traditional sandwich from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat, which is usually roast beef or fried seafood, often shrimp, crawfish, fish, oysters or crab. The meat is served on New Orleans French bread, known for its crisp crust and fluffy center.
- Seafood from a coal grill & raw bar, plus local brews, are found in rustic digs with weathered wood at Peche, New Orleans. Don’t miss the jumbo Gulf shrimp with bacon and shell beans.
- The Gumbo Shop serves Authentic, locals-approved gumbo simmered & served on rice, plus Creole staples & courtyard dining.
Burgers and Comfort food
- Clover Grill is a retro-styled diner with a camp vibe, drawing crowds from neighboring gay bars with burgers & breakfast served 24/7.
- Grab a burger at the Camellia Grill, a fabled institution for diner fare dished out by bow-tied servers, plus late-night dining.
- The Louisiana Pizza Kitchen is a comfortable Italian eatery serving wood-fired pizzas, salads, pastas & wine in a family atmosphere.
- Elizabeth’s Restaurant is a down-home country classics & a busy brunch restaurant located in a bustling space hung with local art, plus a bar, set in a funky century-old house in Bywater.
- Enjoy baby back ribs, beef brisket, sausage links, mac-and-cheese, and baked beans at The Joint! You can’t miss the unassuming striped yellow shack.
Coffee and Brunch
- Stop for coffee or lunch at Press Street Station, a culinary project of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).It i an all-day option from NOCCA’s culinary students for sandwiches & other contemporary Louisiana plates.
- The Market Cafe serves great jazz buffet breakfasts and sublime Bloody Marys located steps from the French Market.
- In Bywater, take a fresh juice at Satsuma Café on Dauphine.
- Cafe Amelie is a romantic spot for elegant contemporary Louisiana fare, plus a lush Princess of Monaco courtyard with a fountain.
- Café du Monde is the world’s most famous coffee shop and a New Orleans institution on 800 Decatur St. Visit the original coffee stand in French Market since 1862, serving distinctive local coffee laced with chicory and delicious beignets (French donuts).
- Enjoy one of the most talked about brunches in all of New Orleans: Drag Brunch at the Country Club. Mimosas, lip-synching drag queens and eggs,
Top things to See and do!
- Take a tour of the Oak Alley Plantation, Upriver between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Pay a visit to the stunning main mansion as seen in a number of Hollywood movies such as Interview with a Vampire.
- Visit the Creole Laura Plantation and explore this one-time sugarcane operation.
- The Whitney Plantation offers the unique perspective of hundreds of first-person slave narratives.
- Enjoy a Honey Island Swamp Tours for fascinating excursions on quiet, small boats through one of the lushest and most beautiful wetlands on the Mississippi Delta.
- Explore Uptown and experience New Orleans renowned and opulent 19th Century mansions
- Go boutique shopping on Magazine Street, after you take in the 350-acre Audubon Park, with its pretty pathways shaded by ancient oak trees.
- Don’t miss the iconic Garden District where you can view event more ornate mansions. Then end your trip at the spooky Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.
- Visit the Presbytère where you can immerse yourself in the culture and chaos of Mardi Gras.
- Take a tour, Literary tours, ghost tours, cemetery tours, Segway tours, LGBTQ history tours, carriage tours, bike tours, the list is endless.
- Explore the shops on Magazine Street, five miles of fun. You’ll find antiques, home décor items, clothing boutiques and fun thrift shops
Highlights not to miss
- Watch the sunrise over the mighty Mississippi. One of our favorite locations for this is in Woldenberg Park. To get there, simply walk up St. Louis Street in the French Quarter until you see the river.
- Head to Hot Tin Rooftop Bar (at the Pontchartrain Hotel) and enjoy cocktails while checking out the city’s skyline.
- Take the historic St. Charles streetcar and admire some of the city’s best architecture on this iconic street.
- Grab your next wig and get some great outfit ideas at Fifi Mahony’s, the perfect shop for a city whose locals love to dress up for almost any occasion.
- Head to the Allways Lounge where you can check out some of the city’s best drag and burlesque performers.
A Streetcar named Desire!
Visit the for the Elysian Fields and trace the steps of Blanche Dubois!
Relive the magic of “A streetcar named desire” and explore Gay New Orleans like Tennessee Williams.
Take the St Charles line for a memorable streetcar experience. It is the world’s longest running streetcar line. The 13th mile route has been in operation since 1835 and takes you down the beautiful tree-lined St Charles street past the world famous antebellum mansions.
The streetcars on the St Charles line date back to the 1920s and feature the original mahogany seats and brass fittings. You are guaranteed to bump into fellow gay visitors on the line making it a fun experience and a way to meet new friends from around the world.
New Orleans Apartments
Bourbon Street Balcony Upscale Condo
8 guests · 2 bedrooms · 4 beds · 1 bath
Luxury, history, courtyard, high ceilings, location, Location! Balcony overlooking the famous Bourbon St. Newly renovated and furnished with new appliances, furniture, n linens. One of the most beautiful Condos in the area. Steps to the Marigny..
Deluxe Steps From Bourbon
6 guests · 2 bedrooms · 3 beds · 1 bath
Have the quintessential New Orleans experience by staying in the heart of the French Quarter in this historic estate dating from 1859. Enter at the distinguished brick archway on bustling St. Philip Street, walk through the luscious courtyard access .
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