This Frenchmen Street landmark offers up a steady parade of remarkable local musicians from late afternoon until early morning, with an emphasis on foot-tapping traditional and swing jazz. Musicians play on a low stage against the front window; the curious wanderers outside press their noses up against the glass, providing yet another level of entertainment. Nobody comes here for elaborate cocktails—it’s more or less a beer-and-a-shot joint—but people do come here for music, and they come in droves. Plan to arrive early enough to nab a seat at the bar or along the wall, and you’ll have a good perch when things get going.
East of the French Quarter is the rickety, raggedy strip of Frenchmen Street, popular with music lovers, hipsters, young and old, the strange, and the strangely normal. We saw some great jazz piano at d.b.a. before listening to this chanteuse at the Spotted Cat. There were no cover charges at either place when we were there, though I do recommend you enhance your karma by contributing to the tip jar. There are any number of great jazz clubs in about a four-block stretch and, when we were there, a pop-up artist market too.