Have You Seen the REAL New Orleans? Whether you're headed to Mardi Gras or just planning your next great escape, we've rounded up the nightspots where New Orleans's in-the-know locals and regulars flock for authentic seafood, soul food, signature cocktails, and the Crescent City's hottest live music. Budget Travel Thursday, Feb 4, 2016, 8:00 AM Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel  (300 Bourbon St., irvinmayfield.com) is where you can hear Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. (Photograph by Rush Jagoe) Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

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Have You Seen the REAL New Orleans?

Whether you're headed to Mardi Gras or just planning your next great escape, we've rounded up the nightspots where New Orleans's in-the-know locals and regulars flock for authentic seafood, soul food, signature cocktails, and the Crescent City's hottest live music.

  • Mayfield “second lines” (a traditional New Orleans parade dance move) through the crowded room
  • Jamison Ross on drums at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel
  • Irvin Mayfield, jazz trumpeter and Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans
  • The piano at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel
  • Free raw oysters are an additional draw at Happy Hour
  • Le Bon Temps Roule is as known for its Bloody Marys as for its live music
  • Early in the evening, jazz pianists sit in for sets in the main bar room, and at 11 p.m. bands set up in the back of the establishment
  • Cajun chef Melissa Martin enjoys a festive cocktail
  • The Spotted Cat has long been a mainstay of the evolving Frenchmen Street live music scene
  • A clarinet awaits its call to the bandstand
  • Jayna Morgan and the Sazerac Sunrise Band prep for a set
  • A member of  the Sazerac Sunrise Band warms up on his clarinet
  • Today’s Riff drink special of the day
  • Today’s Riff, ready to drink
  • Chef Dan Esses’s celebrated Herb de Provence Roasted Duck and House Rigatoni
  • The bar and tables fill up as the Andrew Duhon Trio sets up to start its set
  • The nondescript corner building that houses Bullet’s
  • Locals and visitors converge on Bullet’s for soul food and brass music on Tuesday nights
  • A bartender pauses to enjoy the live music
  • Charbroiled oysters are just one of many traditional New Orleans favorites to chose from
  • The bar at Bullet’s Sports Bar in New Orleans’s 7th Ward
  • Pianist Leslie Martin warms up before a set

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel  (300 Bourbon St., irvinmayfield.com) is where you can hear Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Jamison Ross on drums at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Irvin Mayfield, jazz trumpeter and Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans, pauses while the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra takes the tune.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

The piano at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Le Bon Temps Roule (4801 Magazine St.,  504/895-8117) is the place to hear up-and-coming bands and nab reasonably priced beer and elaborately garnished bloody marys.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Le Bon Temps Roule is as known for its bloody marys as for its live music.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Early in the evening, jazz pianists sit in for sets in the main bar room at Le Bon Temps Roule, and at 11 p.m. bands set up in the back of the establishment.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Cajun chef Melissa Martin enjoys a festive cocktail at Le Bon Temps Roule.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

The Spotted Cat (623 Frenchman St., spottedcatmusicclub.com) is one of the most popular spots to hear jazz and blues.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

A clarinet awaits its call to the bandstand at The Spotted Cat.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Jayna Morgan and the Sazerac Sunrise Band prep for a set at The Spotted Cat.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

A member of  the Sazerac Sunrise Band warms up on his clarinet at The Spotted Cat.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

"Today's Riff" drink special of the day (a nod to the film noir classic Chinatown) at The Three Muses.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Bottoms up! Here's "Today's Riff," ready for a sip at The Three Muses.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Chef Dan Esses's celebrated Herb de Provence Roasted Duck and House Rigatoni at The Three Muses.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

The bar and tables fill up as the Andrew Duhon Trio sets up to start its set at The Three Muses.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Don't let the humble exterior fool you! Bullet's Sports Bar  (2441 A.P. Tureaud Ave., 504/669-4464) has been featured in the HBO series Treme and you should catch live R&B, jazz, and blues here, not to mention charbroiled oysters and other traditional favorites.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Locals and visitors converge on Bullet's for soul food and brass music on Tuesday nights.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

A bartender pauses to enjoy the live music at Bullet's.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Charbroiled oysters are just one of many traditional New Orleans favorites to chose from at Bullet's.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

The bar at Bullet's.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)

Fritzel's European Jazz Pub (733 Bourbon St., fritzelsjazz.net) offers first-rate traditional jazz and more in an 1831 building. Here, Pianist Leslie Martin warms up before a set.

(Photograph by Rush Jagoe)
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