The Best Live Music Clubs in the French Quarter

house of blues live music french quarter
Image courtesy of Jeff Shewan

The live music scene in the French Quarter is a feast with many courses, and one that caters to many different appetites.

Looking for Dixieland jazz? Got it. Want to hear Cajun and zydeco rhythms? They come direct from the bayous to Bourbon Street nightly. Maybe you can’t make up your mind between rocking out at a club or cooling down with an intimate acoustic set. Don’t choose — you can easily walk from one venue to another to enjoy a variety of music in one evening.

What follows is a primer on some of the top venues delivering this nightly musical cornucopia.


1001 Esplanade Ave.

Although it’s technically just past the Quarter in the Marigny, Buffa’s has long been a character-laden outpost of great New Orleans music. The lineup here can range from soulful jazz crooners to piano masters stroking the ivories. It helps that the bartenders pour strong drinks and the food is great. Buffa’s is also open late, till 2 am Sundays through Thursdays and till 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Dragon’s Den

435 Esplanade Ave.

The eclectic variety of music hosted by the two-story Dragon’s Den matches the exotic setting in this singular club. Located at the edge of the Quarter, the intimate space creates a seductive atmosphere with lustrous red hues, Far East décor, a courtyard, and a wrought iron balcony over the tree-lined Esplanade Avenue. Look for all manner of music and a young, very local crowd.

Kerry Irish Pub

331 Decatur St.

It lives up to its Celtic billing with some of the best-poured Guinness stout in town and a welcoming atmosphere. There’s no cover charge for the nightly live music, which includes traditional Irish, alternative country, bluegrass, and rock.

House of Blues

225 Decatur St.

The highly successful House of Blues opened its New Orleans venue over a decade ago, and it has grown into the French Quarter destination to hear nationally touring acts. In addition to the main stage, the club often has music in its restaurant or patio bar, as well as the more intimate concert hall in the adjacent House of Blues Parish, which hosts many local performers.

One Eyed Jacks

1104 Decatur St.

One Eyed Jacks, a popular live music venue formerly located at 615 Toulouse Street, reopened for Mardi Gras 2022 in the space that was formerly occupied by Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and B.B. King’s Blues Club. One Eyed Jacks’ stage is big enough for touring rock bands and even 1950s-style burlesque shows, and the music lineup is as electric and eclectic as ever.

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