A famous and classic American party destination, New Orleans, the city of jambalaya, Hand Grenades, Mardi Gras, Emeril, the Saints, Louis Armstrong, and Bourbon Street took a huge hit in the tragedy 2005′s Hurricane Katrina. Boris and I made a brief visit there recently and are happy to announce that the party in New Orleans is still going strong. Amazing food, lots of live music, and plenty of heavy drinking make New Orleans a vacation destination worth visiting.
But, New Orleans is not a great single dude travel destination. High drink prices, stupid trashy locals, and the rise of hipsterism and douchebaggery have lowered the status of one of America’s former crown jewels to the back of the pack of so-so places to take a single dude trip. You can still make it happen there, but there are other places even in America that are much better choices as to where you spend your hard earned money and vacation time.
Flying into New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) can often be more expensive than it should be, so shop around. You can then take an extremely overpriced taxi to the city ($35) and get to work.
The good news is that New Orleans has a huge tourist infrastructure of hotels for all the partying and conventions there so as long as you aren’t there for a major event like Mardi Gras or Jazzfest, you will be able to Priceline or Hotwire a hotel very cheaply. A bid of $40-50 on Priceline should be enough to get a 3 star hotel in The French Quarter or the Central Business District. Do not, under any circumstances ,stay outside of the center of town. Everything takes place in the center and you do not want to be driving drunk or wasting money on taxis – central New Orleans is very walkable.
The most famous street in New Orleans and one of the most famous party streets in the world is Bourbon Street. Nightly the street is thronged with drunk kids, fat American tourists, confused foreign tourists and conventioneers looking for the party. On Mardi Gras the street is absolutely impassable and filled with screeching drunk college kids, floppy nasty boobs, beer bottles, and all types of human excrement. Even on a regular Saturday night it will be so crowded you’ll need to shove your way through. The bars on Bourbon Street, especially close to Canal Street are super douchey bars with ultra loud crappy hip hop and Sweet Home Alabama cover bands, really trashy strip clubs, foam cowboy hats and airhorns. The strip clubs are fun though. A good tip is if you want to pick up strippers go to the bars and restaurants just up the side streets, and catch them before and after their shifts. Just for the love of God, be careful. STDs and violent ex-boyfriends cling to these girls like Rosie O’Donnell to a turkey leg.
Bourbon Street is also home to some of the most overpriced drinks in America. You can easily go into a shitty bar and spend 7 dollars on a flat Miller Lite draft in a plastic cup. This is the number 1 reason why we recommend Austin’s 6th Street instead – the chicks are hotter and there’s $2 well specials and Jaegerbombs to be had everywhere there. Not in NOLA, Bourbon Street is a tourist trap. Go have a drink and move on. One more warning, Bourbon Street is home to the worst mixed drink in the world, the Hand Grenade. Don’t tell us we didn’t warn you. This is the first time I have ever seen Boris not be able to finish a drink.
Another formerly great street is Frenchman Street. Located just outside of the Quarter, a couple years ago it was an oasis of cool places with great music and smart alternative cute girls. Today the music is still good but the neighborhood has been absolutely taken over by hipsters. I went with Boris into my favorite bar there from years ago, The Spotted Cat, and the place was absolutely filled with losers in skinny jeans and ironic footwear with ironic mustaches and no life ambition outside of being too cool for everything, having the same tattoos as all the other hipsters and liking shitty emo bands that no one else has ever heard of. You can still make it work on Frenchmen, but the odds are much, much worse than they were in the good old days. Maison and DBA are decent options. If you have a date you can take her to Snug Harbor, one of the world’s best jazz clubs. That place still has awesome talent playing in a classy environment.
If you want to meet classy smart grown up women in New Orleans, don’t bother with the locals. It appears to us that most of the bangable local women are really skanky stretched out low class chicks with cheap fake boobs. Basically they’re all strippers or former strippers or soon-to-be strippers. As there is no major industry outside of tourism the quality locals are very few and far between.
If you’re looking to meet a high quality woman in New Orleans you have a couple options: tourists and conventioneers. The conventions are hit-and-miss depending on what convention is there – if it’s an insurance salesman or mortgage broker convention you’re in bad shape but if you catch a nurse convention or pharmaceutical rep convention you’ll be knee deep. If there’s something promising in town, go down to the convention center and set up shop in the local Starbucks and clean up. Convention chicks are usually on their one trip per year out of Omaha away from their fat husbands and screaming kids and are in the mood to laisser le bon temps rouler. Just get them away from their colleagues’ prying eyes.
The crown jewel of places to go is the Davenport Lounge in the Ritz Hotel. Trumpeter Jeremy Davenport plays there with his band Thurs-Sat and the place is absolutely filled with hot trophy wives, rich daddy’s girls, classy tourist girls, and gold diggers. Dress to impress and be content knowing that you will pay the same or even less for a beer there than you will on Bourbon Street (our experience $6.57 vs $7.00). It’s a tough scene in there, but the place is loaded with talent and the music is world class.
Now if you like food and music and are importing your own talent New Orleans is an excellent place for a trip. The hotels are good and cheap, and the restaurants are as good as the best in New York or San Fran at 40% of the cost. My favorite restaurant is Jacques Imo’s Cafe. The food is off the hook, so get as baked as possible and go eat your ass off there. The alligator cheesecake is legendary.
From Spencer at Cook to Bang:
The Ruby Slipper is the best breakfast joint in the world. Bananas Foster French Toast is A-mazing. Slim Goodies is another good one. Shrimp Etouffe and eggs.
You must also visit Cafe du Monde at 1039 Decatur Street. A landmark for years, they serve cheap coffee and the most delicious beignets 24 hours a day. Bring tourist chicks there for a classic and extremely cheap date.
It breaks my heart that a formerly great party city like New Orleans has fallen into the pack of mediocrity. It is unfortunately extremely difficult to find any good places that aren’t too douchey or hipster, or just plain trashy. We at Single Dude Travel hate to see the loss of one of our own. Join us in praying for this once amazing place.