The Honorable Trap Gentleman’s Guide to Mardi Gras for Foreigners.
The End-All, Be-All event of Louisiana culture.
Known across the world, often imitated, but NEVER done as big as it is in its home state.
In Louisiana, an entire week is dedicated to Mardi Gras. Schools and jobs recognize the holiday and everybody out.
Fat Tuesday is legendary and you’re a lame fonzanoon if you don’t get out and celebrate.
February is the month every citizen in Louisiana waits on every year, because the parties, drinks, food, music, and parades don’t stop. It’s a damn sin NOT to celebrate.
But, if you’re not a local, getting a real Mardi Gras experience can be tough. There’s a lot to do and see, but with a state that looks forward to this event, it’s easy to get caught up in tourist stuff and not see what Louisiana really has to offer.
The Honorable Trap Gentleman is Louisiana born and bred.
And I’m proud as hell to call this great state Home.
So, I put together a little guide for yall to do Mardi Gras like a local.
By the time you’re through with the lists on this guide, Louisiana won’t owe you nothing.
Mardi Gras is a celebration of the New Year and one HUGE party. It’s about enjoying life. A lot of folks wear costumes and collecting (or throwing) beads are a sports event. If you wanna be festive, but don’t want to go big like the over-the-top costumers, the Mardi Gras colors are green, purple, and gold. Sin like you mean it and be forgiven just in time for Ash Wednesday.
Here’s all the details on how to celebrate with food, drinks, and dancing during Mardi Gras.
Krewe for Life
Just in case you didn’t already know, parades during Mardi Gras are held by member organizations called Krewes. They body Mardi Gras every year, but many of these organizations are into giving back to the community year-round too.
4 Krewes to Catch with The Honorable Trap Gentleman:
Krewe of Highland in Shreveport, LA - New Orleans isn’t the only place to get down during Mardi Gras. I’m a member of this Krewe, so you know it’s a kick ass party. Our Krewe is famous for its unusual throws: candy canes, recycled beads, rubber chickens, Beanie Babies, and food, spaghetti and meatballs in Ziploc bags, pickles, hot dogs, Capri Suns pouches, Ramen Noodles, MoonPies, and even coined money. Our parade is always held the Sunday before Fat Tuesday.
Krewe of Zulu in New Orleans, LA - This Krewe is a good place for big social scenes because its members also host Zulu Ball. It’s a social club that’s big draw for tourists since they know Zulu Ball. Cool spot if you like a more laid-back parade and who’s who of Black New Orleans. They usually host one of the largest parades every year on the Monday before Fat Tuesday.
Krewe of Muses in New Orleans, LA - This Krewe made history as The Big Easy’s First All-Female Krewe to parade at night. If you know anything about Krewe history, Krewes used to be All-Male, and any female Krewes didn’t hit uptown New Orleans after dark. These ladies are also famous for their glitter shoe-themed throws. This Krewe parades the Thursday before Mardi Gras every year.
Krewe of Endymion in New Orleans, LA - Party with the largest Krewe in New Orleans. This parade is the only one of it’s kind to ride to and through the Mercedes Benz Superdome, which is also its home. It starts on Orleans Avenue and ends at the Superdome with the Endymion Extravaganza- a party to end the parade, with world-famous entertainers. This parade is on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday.
There are thousands of places to catch some entertainment during Mardi Gras, but...
3 Places That Make The Honorable Trap Gentleman’s Cut:
Zulu Ball in New Orleans, LA - This is an after five attire, star studded concert where you can bring your own catered food and alcohol… Yes, you can bring your own damn caterer! Get dressed to the nines, enjoy food and drinks of your choice, and entertainers in concert like The Isley Brothers, Fantasia, Juvenile and many more.
Bertha's Place Bar in New Orleans, LA - This joint is a good, old-fashioned hole in the wall! Better than a juke joint and the best food a creep spot can have. It’s a local hangout, so you’ll find fun and dancing. The space is small, so you can expect to be up close and personal with the locals. Check out her “Tapout Tuesday” night.
Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, LA - Frenchmen is a cleaner version of Bourbon Street. You’ll find it full of art markets, second line bands, great food, and more culture. It’s where the locals go to escape the tourists of Bourbon Street and enjoy the Quarter. Visit anytime during the day or night for a local experience.
Everybody hypes Cafe du Monde when the truth is, except for beignets, you can get Cafe du Monde’s entire menu at half the restaurants in the city. No shade to them, but they don’t make this list. There are just three places you should go.
3 Spots The Honorable Trap Gentleman Recommends:
Praline Connection in New Orleans, LA - Located on Frenchman Street, Praline Connection is one of the best restaurants in The Quarter and maybe the whole city. Grab a bite to eat and catch some great band music all on the same street. Favorite dishes are the catfish, fried chicken, cabbage greens and red beans. None of them disappoint.
Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans, LA - Right on Royal, Court of Two Sisters is another place to catch good music. It’s my favorite brunch house. Sit outside under the intertwined trees and let the breeze carry the soothing sounds of live Jazz music while you have a mimosa.
Eat At Melba’s in New Orleans, LA - This is the restaurant that’s home to the famous Melba’s chicken, located on Elysian Fields in the Lower Ninth Ward. Just 15 minutes from Frenchmen, it’s open 24 hours so you can get some food after a long day or an all-nighter. The shrimp and catfish po-boy with corn grits combo is a must-try on your first visit.
Drink In Style
This section needs no intro. Good drinking spots with what to order too.
5 Bars to Bury Yourself In:
Hotel Monteleone's Carousel Bar and Lounge in New Orleans, LA - A rotating bar in an elegant and classy hotel. You’ll find it filled with people from all walks of life. Order a French Quarter with a 1738 SideCar, meet another patron, and share a drink.
Fatty Arbuckles in Shreveport, LA - If you love karaoke, this is the place to be. Located in downtown Shreveport, all craft drinks at this place are changed out almost every month. Visit more than once to sample a new favorite drink.
Havana Sports and Cigar Bar in Shreveport, LA - The only place to get relaxation with lounge seating and live entertainment with your choice of cigars. Order one of the BEST Old Fashioned in the city and take in some music.
Bar Tonique in New Orleans, LA - Frenchman's Dark and Stormy are my favorite drinks here. This laid back and fun old school bar is a popular neighborhood spot just across from Louis Armstrong Park.
NOPSI Hotel’s Undercurrent in New Orleans, LA - Just like its name suggests, it’s a modern establishment with an urban feel. It’s a great place for work or relaxation, even during Mardi Gras. Try the Closed Circuit on your first stopover at this bar.
And there’s The Honorable Trap Gentleman’s guide to Mardi Gras for Foreigners.
The best places to lay your head aren’t included here on purpose, so be on the lookout for that post. It’ll be packed with information on where to stay for the most action at the lowest prices.
You might even see a discount code or two!
As we would say "Laissez les bons temps rouler and Happy Mardi Gras!!!!!".