New Orleans is known for its rich cultural and musical heritages. Frenchmen Street is filled with music clubs and bars with swinging jazz to folk blues, but there are also popular hot spots and smaller bars that book the best local acts around. Read ahead for our guide to the best bars and restaurants for live music in New Orleans.
The Spotted Cat Music Club
The Spotted Cat Music Club is one of the quintessential music spots in New Orleans. Located in the Faubourg Marigny, the local favorite offers all ranges of jazz, blues, funk klezmer and more. Local musicians play their hearts out, but international bands abound as well. Often rated #1 on most sites, tourists, celebrities and locals flock to enjoy the music and local brews offered at this music club.
The Spotted Cat Music Club, 623 Frenchmen St New Orleans, LA 70116 504-943-3887
Preservation Hall is heaven for jazz aficionados. Located in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the tiny 18th-century building with only a few benches for seating awes the crowds. The bar was opened in 1961 to protect New Orleans’ jazz tradition. Three live shows are played each night, at 8:15, 9:15 and 10:15PM respectively. They do not serve food or beverages, but patrons can bring their own in plastic containers–which actually ends up keeping the night budget-friendly.
Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter St New Orleans, LA 70115 504-252-4801
The charming Three Muses celebrates blues, jazz, New Orleans-style bands and a mix of many other musical traditions. Three Muses is a calmer spot where patrons can enjoy new wave southern and New Orleans style plates while listening to the bands throughout the night. The gastropub offers some of the best local folk musicians in the city — about two to three acts play per evening, and reservations should be made if you have a group. This spot caters to the late night crowds.
Three Muses, 536 Frenchmen St New Orleans, LA 70116 504-252-4801
Rock ‘n’ Bowl
Rock ‘n’ Bowl offers all types of fun, from delicious eats to bowling to live music. Patrons can listen to zydeco, swing, brass bands and other diverse genres on select evenings while they bowl or dance on the floor in front of the stage. Patrons can also find smaller acts and more well-known lineups. Offering a full bar with local drafts, the night becomes lively. There is a cover charge at the door and if you want to bowl, you’ll pay in the ballpark of $25.
Rock ‘n’ Bowl, 3000 S Carollton Ave New Orleans, LA 70118 504-861-1700
©Infrogmation of New Orleans/Flickr
Chickie Wah Wah
Chickie Wah Wah acts more as a gastropub music venue where you can easily catch a show. What makes it stand out from standard music venues is the food – chow down on their BBQ from Blue Oak. If you’re not into BBQ, then pick from their appetizers like nachos and gulf shrimp tacos all under $10. Monday through Friday you can catch happy hour from 5:30PM-7:30PM with free live music. The bands playing here consits of local folk musicians to national jazz bands.
Chickie Wah Wah, 2828 Canal St New Orleans, LA 70119 504-304-4714
d.b.a. New Orleans
d.b.a embraces great jazz performances and a fun atmosphere. The live music club showcases local and regional bands nightly. They also have a plentiful beer selection with over 20 tap selections and over 80 bottles. Patrons may even catch a free swing dance on the floor in the evenings, and the space is large with modern fixtures. They bring in some of the best bands and solo performers.
d.b.a New Orleans, 618 Frenchmen St New Orleans, 70116 504-942-3731