Heading to New Orleans for the first time? Here’s your crash course on what to expect on Bourbon Street! This wild party-filled street guarantees a night of fun – but it also includes a fantastic luxury hotel, incredible jazz bar and some great restaurants! Find the best balance of sophistication and shenanigans in this First-Timer’s Guide to Bourbon Street!
Where To Stay
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Located directly on Bourbon Street, in the heart of all the action, is a luxury hotel called Royal Sonesta New Orleans! I love this hotel because the rooms are surprisingly quiet, and the location is very convenient! Between the rooftop pool, endless in-house restaurants and attentive staff – I really can’t imagine staying anywhere but here. Read my full review of this hotel here.
Where To Eat
This restaurant is best known for their selection of bourbon – but I love them for their oyster happy hour! Enjoy $0.75 oysters every day from 4pm – 6pm. Stopping here for happy hour is the perfect way to start your night, and works as an ideal appetizer before heading to dinner.
This restaurant has been raved about in Conde Nest Traveler, so it comes as no surprise that this restaurant is the best on Bourbon Street! It’s located inside the Royal Sonesta Hotel, tucked inside a courtyard. It’s a great spot for a quiet dinner or romantic night because you can’t hear the street noise from inside.
You have to try crawfish when you’re in NOLA, and one of the best places to do it is Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant just off of Bourbon Street! The reason I love the crawfish here, is because they offer a “crawfish quartet” where you can try crawfish cooked four different ways. Delicious!
Where To Drink
The Jazz Playhouse
For authentic jazz music and a great selection of mature drinks, you can’t beat a night spent at The Jazz Playhouse! Shows start at 8pm every night, and you can view the schedule here.
You can’t visit New Orleans without trying a hurricane cocktail – and Pat O’Brien’s is the place to do it! Their outdoor patio is a great place to sit too. If you’d rather not be hungover then I suggest splitting a hurricane with your friends.
Another popular cocktail in New Orleans is the shark attack! This drink is way too sweet for my liking, but I love the fact that it comes with a toy shark. The best place to try a shark attack is Tropical Isle. Again, thanks to the high level of sugar this drink is basically a hangover in a glass….. so split one with your friends if you want to try it, but would rather drink something else all night.