If you love the Blues, there is no better place to go than New Orleans, Louisiana. Whether you're a NOLA local or are visiting the city, these ten Blues clubs are worth putting on your bucket list. You'll experience deep, rich, soulful music in one of the most historic cities for the Blues. Heading to a blues club is a great option from a night out from your New Orleans vacation rental, or for an evening with friends...or a romantic date.
Check Out The 10 Best Blues Clubs in New Orleans
Source: Flickr / Infrogmation of New Orleans
Just a block away from the French Quarter on Frenchman Street, Bamboula’s is housed in an old printing shop. They have live music nightly and serve up some tasty bar food, as well. Try their fried pickles, shrimp po’boys, or their oyster boats. The place doesn’t charge a cover, but is does seem to attract many tourists, so if that’s alright by you, head here for a night of dining, drinking, and live Blues music.
2. Maison Bourbon
They claim to be dedicated to the preservation of jazz, and they sure mean it. Located on Bourbon Street, but in the less touristy part, this place constantly has a live band playing on its stage. The interior of the place gives it a real old fashioned appeal, so you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to hear some great Blues and Jazz music. Their bartenders are knowledgeable and pour up excellent drinks, so stop in for one and catch live music while you’re at it.
Tipitina’s is one of the best live music venues in the city, and their celebration of Louisiana music and culture shows through their selected performers. It was originally opened in 1977 by a group of young music fans who wanted to provide a local pianist, composer and performer a place to perform in his last years. Catch the “Jazztival” at this venue and experience some great local Blues and Jazz musicians all in one night.
4. d.b.a. New Orleans
Opened in 2000, d.b.a. is a live music venue that boasts local and regional musical act on a nightly basis. It’s located on historic Frenchman Street and has a good selection of beers on tap plus a full bar. Most nights there is no cover charge if you arrive before 8 p.m., but if you’re a bit late it’ll cost you anywhere from $5-$15, depending on the performance that night. Customers love the wide open dance floor in front of the stage, so if you’re feeling the music, be sure to show some of your dance moves.
5. The Spotted Cat Music Club
No matter what time of the day it is, you’re sure to find a live performance at The Spotted Cat Music Club. Their calendar is chock full with daily musical acts starting as early as noon and going all the way until 10 p.m. See the New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings, Kristina Morales and The Bayou Shufflers, and Miss Sophie Lee all perform at this club. Get your Jazz and Blues fix here!
6. Apple Barrel Bar
Small but mighty, Apple Barrel Bar is a cozy spot to listen to great Blues music. It’s located on Frenchman Street, and it’s cash only, but the cocktails are strong and they have a decent beer selection. There’s no cover charge, so you can save a few bucks to tip the band and buy another drink. It may be small and unassuming, but don’t let that fool you. This place serves up good tunes nightly.
7. Balcony Music Club
With reasonably priced and tasty cocktails, high energy performers on stage, and no cover, this place seems to have it all. They also have a killer food menu and keep their seating area small and intimate so you can enjoy the live music without having to push through a crowd. Their laid back atmosphere will keep you relaxed as you enjoy a bite to eat, a drink, and listen to some awesome live Blues music.
8. Funky Pirate
If you’re on Bourbon Street, be sure to hit the Funky Pirate for your Blues music fix. There’s plenty of seating in this bar and the drinks are quite strong. Come during happy hour and you’ll be in the midst of their 3 for 1 special. There’s no cover so you can enjoy music without having to pay a hefty entrance fee. Stop in and see Big Al sing, trust us, you won’t regret it!
9. The Howlin’ Wolf
Named after legendary Bluesman Chester Burnett, The Howlin’ Wolf opened in 1988. Its exterior features a mural by renowned artist Michalopoulos and depicts the New Orleans neighborhood music scene, from Louis Armstrong to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. To make this place even sweeter, the bar is made of carved mahogany that was taken from Al Capone’s hotel, The Lexington. If you visit, you’ll catch some incredible music acts of all varieties. Blues performers play frequently, so be sure to check the venue’s calendar online before you show up.
10. Blue Nile
Located on Frenchman Street and a block away from the French Quarter, Blue Nile is an intimate music venue that often features Blues bands. The venue is housed in an 1832 building and was arguably the first to be constructed on the street. There’s a balcony overlooking Frenchman Street, so you’ll have a great view of all the excitement outside, as well. In the past, many renowned Blues artists have played on the Blue Nile’s stage. Today, there is live music nightly starting at 7 p.m. and sometimes going until 1 a.m. Don’t miss this place!