Frenchmen St: Bourbon St’s Authentic Musical Alternative


Colorful sidewalk view of the block of Frenchmen St with storefronts and sigh of Snug Harbor


Much to the chagrin of locals, Bourbon St and its associated partying and debauchery are often one of the first associations tourists have with the city. It’s a common destination—perhaps all too common—and it can sometimes trump the plethora of other music and activities the city has to offer. One of those beloved local attractions is just past the edge of the French Quarter in the Marigny—Frenchmen St.

Frenchmen St is a strip of music venues, restaurants and bars that runs in a diagonal between Esplanade Ave (at the eastern edge of the French Quarter) and Elysian Fields Ave in the neighborhood known as the Faubourg Marigny. Considered an artsy district with more alternative-styled inhabitants than other neighborhoods in the city, the Marigny is the perfect setting for the crowds that frequent Frenchmen St.

Music venues are the main draw to this iconic New Orleans street, and Frenchmen St is home to some of the best music you’ll find in the city. Looking for traditional jazz? Check out the small but intimate settings of the Three Muses or the Spotted Cat or the table-seated environment of SnugHarbor, a popular tourist destination. More interested in brass bands, funk or anything else you can dance to? Try the Blue Nile, Maison or Café Negril.

You’ll find a great selection of food on Frenchmen as well. 13 Monaghan is a late-night hotspot that serves a variety of bar foods like sandwiches, pizzas, breakfast foods and their signature tater tachos—tater tots smothered in black beans, jalapenos and cheddar cheese. For a more upscale menu, you can visit the Marigny Brasserie for lunch and dinner. And of course, several of the music venues offer food choices as well, such as bar food at Maison and Mexican at Café Negril.

If you’re looking for a more authentic NOLA experience—one that locals would highly recommend—visit Frenchmen St on your next trip.

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