Best Night Clubs in New Orleans

Hot Spots for Dancing the New Orleans Night Away

New Orleans is transformed when the sun goes down. Though people have just as much fun in the sunshine, it's not until the moon rises and the cocktails start to flow that The Big Easy really comes into its own.

Although live music is what most people want to hear when they come to town - it's the life force that oxygenates the culture and traditions in the city where jazz was born -  there is also a dance club scene if underground, EDM or house music is more your cup of boogie.  New Orleans has all the bases covered, whether it's on Bourbon, Frenchmen or at one of the larger club venues in the Warehouse District, a developing area frequented by young professionals.

The proximity of all these great venues, whether lined up along Bourbon Street, in the Warehouse District or on Frenchmen Street o makes nightlife easily accessible no matter where you're staying. There is a cluster of clubs in each 'hood, so once you get yourself there, simply hop from place to place to sample what the city's night club scene has to offer.

When you are in New Orleans, it's all about having fun.  Any of these spots will jump start your nights, New Orleans style.


Another warehouse dance destination, The Metropolitan Club is the premier video DJ dance establishment in town. The intricate lighting and smoke machines set the mood powered by a thumbing bass beat that never stops. The music offerings include top 40, hip hop, mash-ups, rock and pop in one room with house, techno, dub and breaks in another. Flat screen TVs line the walls, so the dancers can follow the DJ from any spot on the floor. Table service and valet parking is available. Unlike most clubs where one finds it hard to muscle through the crowds to get a drink, The Metro features 11 bar stations happy to pour.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: One of the few mega-dance clubs in town, this warehouse district space is an impressive venue.

Beth's expert tip: The Metropolitan is a big venue for private events but is open many Fridays and Saturdays - best to check the calendar online before you venture.

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French Quarter

Locally owned and operated, the Gold Mine Saloon has been a family business serving New Orleans since 1983. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, it has traditionally been a favorite of locals and tourists for late night dancing and great drink prices. Gold Mine Saloon is close enough to Bourbon Street to draw crowds for good dance music and flaming Dr. Pepper shots, which the club claims to have invented. The Gold Mine typically has a younger rambunctious crowd. Be prepared to grind, shimmy and shake the night away to one of the venue's killer DJs. In between 30-minute dance sessions, you can slink away and play pool or one of their retro 80's arcade machines.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: The Gold Mine is known for its late-night outrageous dance party scene.

Beth's expert tip: Head to Gold Mine Saloon, a quirky intimate lounge scene for a breather from the nutty crowds on Bourbon.

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French Quarter

Bourbon Heat is one of a hot spot on Bourbon, earning high marks for its happy hour and courtyard setting. The club portion is on the second level of the building, where you will find partiers of all stripes getting down on the dance floor. As soon as you hit the top step, you will hear the music pumping from either live or video DJs. The lights shine and smoke billows on the patrons as they dance away to their new and old faves. Take a break from the action out on the balcony, where you can overlook the Bourbon Street traffic while you catch your breath.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: Set in a historic Tricou House with the last traditional carriageway on Bourbon Street, this club is rumored to be haunted.

Beth's expert tip: When you claim your turf on the dance floor, make sure it is in close proximity to the balcony exit, because you will need to cool down.

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French Quarter

Right up the road from the infamous Pat O'Brien's you'll find the nearly as famous Cat's Meow. This Bourbon Street night club is known for its ridiculously good karaoke scene and great 3-for-1 happy hour drink specials. Rumor has it that The Smashing Pumpkins and Bill Gates have belted out a few of their favorites here, much to the dancing crowd's delight. The action is of the "all night" variety, as the Cat's Meow stays loud and packed until the wee hours of the morning. Whether you want to be the main event on stage singing your favorite karaoke song, or dancing along with your friends to the great Cat's Meow DJs, there is fun for everyone here.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: Karaoke rules at this free-spirited Bourbon Street venue.

Beth's expert tip: The Cat's Meow is a great place for bachelor(ette) parties, with an upstairs balcony and bar called Fat Cats geared to getting wild.

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French Quarter

Although One Eyed Jacks isn't just a dance club or a burlesque hall or a dance venue. Whatever you're seeking, most visitors fall in love with One Eyed Jacks, an unpretentious venue that offers outrageous comedy, live music, burlesque, leather nights and an always popular Thursday 80s night dance party. This local favorite is known for its flashy decor, complete with chandeliers and a grand staircase, excellent stage views and relaxed atmosphere. Great drink prices and hysterical comedy sketches seal the deal. Like so many things New Orleans, One Eyed Jacks isn't one thing, but you'll find something funny going on there most evenings.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: The funkiest spot to dance to DJs and live music is in the heart of the French Quarter.

Beth's expert tip: One-Eyed Jacks is a stellar venue notable for its faded elegance and offbeat entertainment options.

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French Quarter

The Beach on Bourbon is a hot spot and boy does it get wild. You walk in through a kind of narrow walkway, where you can't tell if you are still outside or inside (it's actually an air-conditioned courtyard). When you finally make your way to the back, you are immersed in a beach aura with tons of people dancing on what they claim is the largest dance floor on Bourbon. Everything is beach themed here, from the decor to the drinks (you will see a lot of girls drinking out of fish bowls). The main draw is the mechanical killer whale that rests front stage adjacent to the DJ.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: A go-to spot for the convention set, this Bourbon Street club is wildly popular.

Beth's expert tip: If you are the type of person who likes to do crazy things to impress your friends, riding the mechanical killer whale is right up your alley.

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Bourbon Pub and Parade is located in the cluster of gay bars heading into the residential end of Bourbon. The venue is known for its male go-go dancers prancing around the bars, regular karaoke and a spacious balcony for people watching. There usually is a cover, but the bar makes up for it by having a friendly staff that does its best to make each and every patron feel welcome. Although mostly a boy bar, Bourbon Pub and Parade welcomes all partiers and the dance floor is usually packed with a mix of customers, from bachelorette partiers to tourists and couples.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: Located at the "quiet" end of Bourbon, this 24/7 dance club is always high energy.

Beth's expert tip: This gay club offers $100 VIP wristbands that always sell out during Decadence, so get yours early.

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Blue Nile is a Frenchmen Street nightclub housed in one of the oldest buildings on the famed rue (1832). The club consistently draws some of the best local and nationally touring musical acts and offers a full bar to help ease their patrons into a night. The blue and gold interior sets a mellow vibe, making transitioning from business to pleasure rather simple. The establishment features entertainment on two floors, including an upstairs balcony which looks out over Frenchmen. Brass, funk, blues, reggae, it's all here depending on which night of the week you visit. Although the emphasis is on live music, DJs often spin reggae and Afro beats Thursday nights.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: Kermit Ruffins plays a late show most Friday nights, enough said.

Beth's expert tip: Frenchmen Street is a great place to do some people watching. The balcony on top of Blue Nile is prime real estate.

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The Maison is a popular nightclub on historic Frenchmen Street in New Orleans. Frenchmen Street is known for its great music and nightlife and The Maison offers some of the street's best live music and dancing opps. For the early birds, live performances start as early as 4 pm on the weekend and around 5 pm the rest of the week - usually accompanied by drink specials. At night, local brass and funk bands rock the house. The venue has three stages, offering multiple options to catch local talent. There is rarely a cover at The Maison, so feel free to wander here late night when you're ready to get down.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: The Maison is a multi-stage venue in the heart of busy Frenchmen Street.

Beth's expert tip: Frenchmen Street has a lot of tempting options, but Maison is definitely the place to go for dancing.

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The Republic is a massive dance club located in the Warehouse district in an actual warehouse space that dates to 1852. Just eight blocks outside the Canal Street end of the French Quarter, this historic space is carved into three distinct clubs, the main dance club on the ground level, the upstairs mezzanine and the intimate Green Room, great for a cozy private event. Giant chandeliers hang from the ceiling of the warehouse space, while partygoers below dance endlessly to DJs and live music. The Republic has bars on both sides of the floor to keep the mood loose. The crowd tends to skew younger so expect lots of energy on the dance floor.

Recommended for Night Clubs because: This DJ-powered club is one of the few around town that offers VIP bottle service.

Beth's expert tip: Republic is THE late night after party for the popular Buku festival in March.

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Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth