New Orleans has been known for its bawdy acts since the days of Blaze Starr, but in the past few years, a series of scandals have closed clubs and forced our lawmakers to ban opening new venues. The good news is that there are still plenty of places to let the bon temps rouler in our fair city -- on Bourbon and beyond. Here’s our list of the finest gentleman’s clubs the city has to offer.
The Penthouse Club has long been the king (queen?) of the New Orleans strip club scene. Known for having the most beautiful dancers in town, the space itself is downright opulent, with two floors and three bars -- all brightly lit, so you can see the club is something straight out of Scorsese’s Las Vegas, right down to the "Executive Suite" and neon-lit Penthouse Suites overlooking the main stage. Covers are a fairly reasonable $12, and dances will run you around $40. However, beware the upsell; everyone from dancers to servers is looking to keep the chandeliers on in such an impressive setup. It’s certainly your classiest option for a New Orleans bachelor party, with VIP packages starting at $350.
Best club in the Quarter
Rick's Cabaret has that intoxicating balance of gentility and sleaze that New Orleans is known for; it’s also one of the most massive structures in the Quarter, at 18,000ft, with two floors and two main stages open to all guests... plus VIP and Champagne rooms. Rick’s is the club of choice for most NOLA dancers, as it’s the go-to club for visiting businessmen, and while the cover is just $10, the lap dances will seriously cost you: at $60, they’re the most expensive in the city. However, with a town full of dancers clamoring for a chance to dance at Rick's, you won’t be disappointed.
Best place to watch something other than dancers
Rick’s Sporting Saloon
If you’re torn between watching the game and watching the talent, look no further. It has big screens near the main stage showing games of all kinds, and even a bar away from the stage for sports fans who don’t want any distractions.
Best Bourbon Street bachelor party
Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club/Barely Legal
If your boys aren’t up for the price tags on the Penthouse bachelor party packs, or simply don’t want to leave the Quarter, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club offers bottle service for eight for just $400. Plus, the club is known for having some of the best pole dancers in the city, and the 40ft stripper pole at the Hustler Club is the perfect place for them to showcase their talents. Reservations are a must, since both clubs are standing room only on weekends during peak season.
Best Quarter club for the weekend
Yet another club owned by the group that owns the Hustler Club and Barely Legal, but this one is generally less crowded than the giant stripper-plex that is the Hustler Club. Prices are the same, but on weekends, it’s generally not standing room only. It’s also a great club for quirkier acts like the Voodoo Burlesque show, if you’re bored of traditional clubs, or you’re hanging with hipster-y friends.
Where the locals go
New Orleans East
With free parking, cheap(er) drinks, and the benefit of being away from the vomiting tourists on Bourbon Street, New Orleans locals looking for a night at the strip club generally opt for this more out-of-the-way venue. Dances also run around $20, which is half the typical price of those in the Quarter.
Best no-cover club
Listen, no one’s going to pretend that Scores Mansion is the nicest club in NOLA, or even the nicest club on Bourbon Street. In fact, it’s one of the clubs that lost its liquor license in the recent strip club sting. But Scores has one thing going for it: no cover charge, even at night. So if you’re just a French Quarter looky-loo, or are trying to get your club on for a bargain, you could do worse.
Best of the suburbs
OK, so this club will take you out to the suburbs, and local bylaws mandate that the dancers wear pasties. That said, strip club aficionados and locals alike swear by the laid-back attitude at the club (no waitresses hounding you to order more drinks) and the general friendliness of the talent.
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Fran Fleming once watched a very sexy situation go down in one of the clubs on this list, but she'll never tell which one... mostly because she was too blotto to remember.
1. The Penthouse Club727 Iberville St, New Orleans
2. Rick's Cabaret315 Bourbon St, New Orleans
3. Rick's Sporting Saloon522 Bourbon St, New Orleans
4. Babe's Cabaret433 Bourbon St, New Orleans
5. Larry Flynt's Hustler Club225 Bourbon St, New Orleans
6. Barley Legal423 Bourbon St, New Orleans
7. Deja Vu Showgirls226 Bourbon St, New Orleans
8. Centerfolds411 Bourbon St, New Orleans
9. Temptations327 Bourbon St, New Orleans
10. Scores416 Bourbon St, New Orleans
11. Stiletto's325 Bourbon St, New Orleans
12. Visions Men's Club4000 Downman Rd, New Orleans
13. Club Eden3229 Lisa Dr, Metairie
Sitting on the same stretch of street as three great oyster bars, Penthouse has a secret weapon that other strip clubs don’t: light. The boastful amounts of it they splash on the joint allows you to see that the inside is meticulously clean, the customers (for the most part) aren’t slobs, and you’ll swear some of the dancers walked straight out of Penthouse magazine.
This is one of the easiest strip clubs in NOLA to blow dough, since it's basically a strip club for businessmen. But it's modern, chic, spacious, and looks like a regular night club, and the entire second floor is a VIP area, which contains an upstairs bar.
Rick's Sporting Saloon breaks all the normal strip club rules (not those rules) by loading their club with TVs, pool tables, and several oversized screens that always have games on. And should you want a dance and normal strip club views, they have those too.
Babe’s is more subdued that the party clubs on Bourbon, and even moreso than the other top-shelf clubs. It’s rare you won’t be able to find a table or stage seating -- even on the busiest Saturday nights -- this is one of the best places to sit at the main stage and take in a few dances.
With many locations around the US, the Hustler Club is always one of the best strip clubs to visit, and this one in NOLA is no exception. It's one of the largest clubs in the city and it comes complete with a second-floor VIP area, balcony overlooking Bourbon St, and there’s even a 40ft stripper pole.
A Hustler-owned club, this French Quarter favorite is probably the best establishment to go to for a bachelor party in the city, with large VIP areas, a balcony overlooking Bourbon St, and some of the best pole dancing in town.
Deja Vu is owned and operated by the same group that owns the Hustler clubs in NOLA, but is a notch below, being not quite as big, though the prices are exactly the same. All the same, that also means it’s a little less well know, and therefore likely less crowded.
It may be the smallest strip club on Bourbon St, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in terrific sight lines (seriously!), with a layout that gives pretty much all off-stage seating a good view of the main stage.
Come for the girls, stay for the... architecture?! Yes! Temptations is one of the few places left on Bourbon that has some of the building’s original architecture: medallions on the ceiling, chandeliers, some really intricate crown molding… and really old foundation. It looks like an old-style French Quarter mansion. It’s also got one of the best setups for private dances and VIP rooms of any club in NOLA.
While the downstairs is nothing to behold, the upstairs Champagne rooms are nice -- in fact there are three floors to this sucker, including a billiards room and a cigar room. There are regular drink specials at their two bars, a balcony overlooking Bourbon, and actual-gentlemen's-club-style leather armchairs.
This is the best gentlemen's club in NOLA for cheap thrills. It won't burn through your wallet, there's quality talent, but you probably shouldn't expect a super-high level of classiness.
Visions is a locals-heavy spot, partly because the parking is free, partly because it’s outside of the tourist crush of Bourbon, and partially because the drinks are amazingly reasonably priced.
This Metairie club is far away from tourists, making it a prime location to hit. The hustle is low, the atmosphere is relaxed, the dancers are forced to wear pasties (thanks to lame local bylaws), but there is nonetheless fun to be had, and they curb the practice of overly persistent waitresses and showgirls angling for you to get another drink every few minutes.