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New Orleans is a town full of excitement and history. Having visited this town too many times to count, I have noticed there is always various work conventions here. While most of museums close up around 5pm, there are countless other ways to enjoy the city literally all night long. If you are in New Orleans for work, it is most likely you will be staying just on the outskirts of the French Quarter in the Central Business District. Downtown New Orleans is easy to navigate on foot and if you are in the CBD, you are just a few steps away from French Quarter. No need to have a car, you can walk easily everywhere.
Central Business District
The Central Business District (CBD) is the modern neighborhood of New Orleans. There are several restaurants and bars within footsteps of any hotel, and many open late. New Orleans is recognized as one of the foodie capitals in the United States. Many chefs have been inspired by the rich flavors that have risen out of the blending of cultures in New Orleans. There are several innovative and delicious ways to spend your evening. One of my absolute favorites is Seaworthy. This charming spot features a late night happy hour menu that includes oysters and other delicious small plates and some of the best craft cocktails I have had in New Orleans. Balise is another spot for absolutely incredible food set in a picturesque and charming ambiance.
The Garden District
Known for some of the most beautiful historic homes and mansions, a walk through The Garden District is like stepping back in time. Many of these homes have been lovingly restored to their original glory of more than 200 years ago.
You can take the St Charles Street Car out to the Garden District Area. While in The Garden District for the evening, consider the historic Commander’s Palace for dinner then peek through the gates of the Lafayette Cemetery #1.
Magazine Street is the place to be for food and drinks. Literally miles of options, for great cuisine, live music and plenty of bars to order another drink and keep on strolling (yes…you can order your drinks to go in this city!) A few of my favorite spots for dinner along Magazine Street are Croquette for innovative interpretations of classic Southern cuisine, or try The Vintage for delicious food and an impressive wine selection.
The French Quarter
If you are in New Orleans for more than two nights, chances are you will end up in The French Quarter, and most likely explore the famed Bourbon Street. Music from either live bands or energetic DJs pumps boldly from almost every bar and club along Bourbon Street.
There are still options for various tours available after 5pm. Grab a cocktail ‘to go’ and enjoy one of the various tour packages available around The French Quarter. I have done several tours, and one of my favorite groups is The French Quarter Phantoms. Their tour guides are witty and energetic and they lace history with legend and they encourage you to keep on sippin’.
Food in the French Quarter is amazing too. For oysters, I prefer Felix’s Oyster Bar. Felix’s offers oysters prepared various ways as well as classic New Orleans cuisine. Tableau is another regular stop for me in New Orleans. Delicious food, great craft cocktails and an elegant but comfortable ambiance. While in The French Quarter you have to stop by the famed Carousel Bar inside the Hotel Monteleone. Most evenings they offer live music, and the bar really is a carousel that rotates very slowly during your stay.
One of my go to spots every time I visit New Orleans is Bourbon O bar for some of the best live jazz and craft cocktails If you’ve danced the night away along Bourbon Street, Crescent City Pizza will help with that late-night hunger surge. Order a few slices to keep munching on your walk back to your hotel.
There really is so much to enjoy that would be within walking distance of your stay. But New Orleans consistently raises the bar in creative dining concepts that I wanted to be certain you had two other memorable dining experiences to consider after 5pm. Bacchanal is an absolute delight. Choose from hundreds of bottles of wine from all over the world, then head out back to grab a lawn chair and enjoy live music, incredible locally sourced cuisine and a great way to spend an evening in New Orleans. Vessel is another favorite spot of mine in New Orleans. Set in an old church, Vessel offers amazing craft cocktails and truly memorable cuisine options that makes this spot worth the drive as well.
Enjoy the Southern USA in:
- Check out parks and markets in Atlanta After Five
- Pull out your cowboy boots in Austin After Five
- See that there’s more than theme parks in Orlando After Five
- Is TSA Precheck worth it?
- Is the Away Bigger Carry-On too big?