It's full-on Mardi Gras season this week, so I thought it might be a nice idea to share some ideas on the best gay (and gay-friendly) venues for partying in New Orleans. I was back there over the week after Christmas trying out a bunch of new restaurants (do not miss Borgne, Maurepas Foods, Root, and St. James Cheese Company) and mostly revisiting a number of still-crazy-after-all-these-years bars and clubs around the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny. I have a long list of favorites, including a number of mixed gay/straight neighborhood bars Uptown, but for starters, here's a guide to some of the must-see New Orleans gay bars. As usual, I'll be adding to this list over time, so if you happen to check back here prior to New Orleans Gay Pride in June or the riotously fun Southern Decadence celebration over Labor Day, you'll find lots more in this online nightlife guide.
Remember that Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday is a week away, on February 12 (it's March 4 in 2014, for those planning way ahead, which is never a bad idea, given how hard it is to score hotel rooms at this time. On that note, here's a guide to gay-friendly hotels and B&Bs in New Orleans, with specific ideas about places to stay as well as an overview of the city's best hotel neighborhoods.