Ah, New Orleans, the city where being LGBTQIA+ friendly is as obvious as saying gumbo is delicious! The New Orleans gay clubs have always been a home for everyone – from the creatively inclined to those who groove to their own tunes. While Decadence (the gay version of Mardi Gras) is the epitome of party madness, fear not, because there's a whole array of gay and inclusive bars and clubs ready to welcome you and your fabulous self throughout the year. And hey, cis-genders, you're invited too!
Picking your ideal hangout spot is all about the vibe you're going for. Are you in the mood for a cozy, Cheers-like bar where even your pooch is welcome (and might even snag a seat)? They've got you covered! Or maybe you're after some New Orleans hookups that reel in stunning gay clubs? Done deal.
And hey, let's not overlook those fantastic bars/cafes dishing up drag-errific shows and brunches – because honestly, who could say no to a fierce performance paired with a tasty eggs Benedict?
Top New Orleans Gay Clubs You've Got to Check Out!
If you're on the hunt for that sparkly, razzle-dazzle scene along the "pink" stretch of lower Bourbon, nestled closer to Marigny than the CBD, you're in for a treat. And for those with a hankering for a touch of the leather life, The Phoenix on Elysian Fields is the go-to spot for the gay, bear, pup, and leather crowds. Trust me, New Orleans has got a little something for every flavor of fabulous, so buckle up and get ready to unleash your inner diva!
The eclectic vibe at The AllWays Lounge will make you feel alive
So, picture this: a lounge-theater combo that's like the beating heart of the local indie, avant-garde, and art scenes. Imagine a place that takes you back to the 1930s Berlin vibes, with a black-and-red color scheme and an art deco style that's charmingly rough around the edges.
At this joint, you'll find musicians, burlesque dancers, clowns, artists, and all sorts of talented folks taking the stage almost every night of the week. It's like a wild, creative extravaganza! And if that's not enough for you, just head to the back, where the 100-seat AllWays Theatre hosts plays and other performances over the weekends. Trust me, there's never a dull moment at this place!
Dance your heart out at Bourbon Pub & Parade
Let me tell you about this absolutely incredible two-story dance club that's been rocking the LGBTQIA+ scene since the 1970s. Its name? Bourbon Pub & Parade! Here, you'll be grooving to all your favorite top 40 songs remixed with a house beat, and the fantastic wraparound balcony offers unbeatable views of Bourbon Street.
Oh, and I can't forget to mention the irresistible eye candy – super attractive guys dancing on the bar in their underwear. Trust me, you won't want to miss out on this amazing New Orleans hotspot!
The Phoenix in Marigny is the place for leather fans to let loose
So, there's this place called The Phoenix in Marigny – it's a dark, seedy leather bar known for its epic Southern Decadence block parties. Since 1983, this Marigny outpost and its mysterious, anything-goes second floor have been a sex-positive sanctuary for the leather and bear communities.
Times have changed a bit, though. A Starbucks opened right across the street, and The Phoenix faced some citations from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control for lewd acts, according to Ambush Magazine. Some people worry that the leather bar's best days might be behind it, but the recent renovation and an even bigger Pride block party (headlined by Big Freedia Queen Diva herself) say otherwise.
Mojitos never tasted better than at Napoleon's Itch
So, back in 2003, Napoleon's Itch opened with a no-smoking policy, and let me tell you, it was way ahead of its time – smoking wouldn't be officially banned in New Orleans bars until 2015. This decision turned Napoleon's Itch into a popular spot for queer folks who wanted a healthier, cleaner environment to hang out in – and they've got pristine bathrooms and amazing craft cocktails to match.
Every year, Napoleon's Itch puts on a fantastic show during Southern Decadence – the annual Bourbon Street Extravaganza. It's a free three-hour concert that attracts Grammy-winning artists and over 20,000 party-goers. If you're in town, you've got to check it out!
Feel like a queen at Golden Lantern’s Queer Bar
There's this place called Golden Lantern, and guess what? It's the original home of Southern Decadence, that fantastic annual celebration of queer happiness in New Orleans. During the festival, this bar is all about jazz, non-stop parties, and that classic New Orleans burlesque. They even help crown the Southern Decadence Grand Marshal!
But the fun doesn't stop there. Golden Lantern keeps the party going all year with weekly events, Liquid Brunch, and Sunday Funday, complete with fabulous divas and DJ "MK Synclaire." Whether you're up for a chill evening or a wild night out, Golden Lantern has you covered and will show you every side of New Orleans' vibrant queer scene.
Step back in time at, Cafe Lafitte in Exile, a historic gay gem
Let me tell you about Cafe Lafitte in Exile – it's been open since 1933, and it's said to be the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the US! Though, to be fair, a few other bars make the same claim. But hey, if it was good enough for Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote, it's definitely worth checking out, right?
Cafe Lafitte has been in its cozy, two-story location since 1953. Before that, it was in Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, an 18th-century building just a few doors down. The best part? The balcony-wrapped bar welcomes everyone – no side-eye for women or straight folks here.
A night to remember at Rawhide 2010, a French Quarter gem
Let me tell you about this awesome gay bar in the French Quarter called Rawhide 2010. They've got daily Fireball happy hours and fun weekly events like Hump Day specials on Wednesdays and Drink or Drown nights. Plus, you can even host your own Keg Party with up to 20 friends!
And get this – the bartenders are super talented and can speak multiple languages, including English, French, and American Sign Language. So, why not make Rawhide 2010 your next stop for a night out?
Dance the night away at Oz, New Orleans' ultimate gay club destination
If you’re all about bar-top guys and, music that makes your blood pump, Oz is one of the best New Orleans gay clubs. It is an absolute whirlwind of all things gay, located in the French Quarter. They even have a laser show, which takes things to another level.
Don’t just take my word for it. Gambit, along with many critiques, keeps calling Oz the number one gay club in New Orleans. Really, Oz has got it all, a balcony that overlooks the beautiful Bourbon Street and amazing views.
In all honesty, things can get a little wild and crazy during the wee hours—really, even those bartenders and go-bar guys might look like a snack. But don’t worry, they’re strong cookies and can handle most of your wildness. Not to mention, the drink prices are low, so you can have all the fun.
Feel the warm welcome at MAGS 940
Oh, let me tell you about MAGS 940! This place is like your best friend's living room but with way better drinks. Need to charge your phone? No problem! And the cocktails, well, they're as strong as they come. Keep your fingers crossed for the Princess to be mixin' things up behind the bar – her fruity creations are the talk of the town.
Besides being a mix-master, Princess Stephanie is a barrel of laughs when she takes the stage in this snug little spot. You'd be crazy not to try their signature drink, The Flaming Queen – it's the stuff of legends. Your girl Stephanie is a pro, getting those vodkas, concocting her own pepper mix, and ruling the roost like nobody's business.
The cherry on top? There are five guest suites right upstairs, and the location is smack dab in the middle of all the action. Talk about a win-win!
Find your perfect night at Good Friends Bar
This is the last one on my list. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one! Good Friends is one of the fantastic New Orleans gay clubs located in the French Quarter. It's widely known as the best sport for cozy evenings and romantic dates in the city. The best part? They celebrate the “Gay Mardi Gras” Parties during the Southern Decadence. I mean… these parties are NON-STOP!
But wait, there's more! Good Friends is one of the only gay clubs in New Orleans that hosts special events all year. To name a few, Red Dress Gallery and Pride Party are two of the biggest celebrations that are hosted throughout the year.
Not to forget, when you are tired from dancing, you can always go upstairs to the Queen’s Head Pub, where you’ll find the balcony to relax and have amazing views!
Frequently Asked Questions About Gay Clubs in New Orleans
Are gay clubs in New Orleans Safe?
So, you want to hit up some gay bars and make new friends who get you, right? Of course, you do! But remember, we want to make sure you're having a blast while also being respectful, safe, and true to yourself. So, let's dish out some tips for diving into the fabulous world of gay bars, shall we?
How to be vigilant at New Orleans gay clubs
Hitting up New Orleans gay clubs is all about having a blast, meeting new peeps, and maybe even finding that special someone (or just a casual fling). But hold up! Just like any other nightlife spot, there might be some sneaky characters lurking around.
Now, don't go all paranoid on me, but make sure you don't leave your drink hanging with a rando. And if someone's kind enough to buy you a drink, play it cool and take it straight from the bartender or server.
Ain't nobody got time for creepy predators, so grab your squad and hit those New Orleans gay clubs together. Stick with those you trust, and make sure to keep tabs on each other's plans for getting home.
if you're out there scouting for some steamy action after dark, let's chat about playing it safe, shall we? First off, don't forget to pack some condoms, and a few mini-lube packets, and make a mental note to take your PrEP. You know how things can get a bit wild when we've had a few drinks and we're feeling a little more daring than usual.
So, do yourself a favor and get to know your own boundaries and what you're into when it comes to casual fun. And hey, always keep some protection handy to avoid any unwanted surprises or infections.