Will it be Mardi Gras?
Well, sort of. Carnival officially kicks off January 6 with a few parades, but it’ll be some weeks before anything else gets rolling through the streets. You’ll likely see an extra bit of purple, green, and gold ribbons as you explore the city, but you’ll have to come back in February to really see the city’s Carnival fever heat up.
Where can I tailgate?
Head to the parking lots around Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue to find the unofficial parties from fans looking to hang out before the big game. People-watching is encouraged, which is made all the more doable because open adult beverage containers are legal in New Orleans: Just ask for a go-cup when you leave a bar or restaurant.
Where should I eat and drink?
Happily, you have found yourself in one of the best cities in the world to either sidle up to a bar or tuck into an amazing meal. We’ve got lists to help you navigate the city’s menus, but these are the best spots in the immediate vicinity of Mercedes Benz Superdome.
The Company Burger
A classic burger joint with a healthy selection of local beers on tap, this place is stumbling distance from the Dome. Stop in for some pre-game brews and a signature burger draped in gooey American cheese. Don’t forget to make a pit stop at the mayo bar.
For those looking for something a little more culinary adventure, step in here for Michael Gulotta’s take on southeast Asian cuisine with a New Orleans flair. While the hot wings and steam buns make it a perfectly reasonable pregame happy hour option, you’d also do well to stop by for the dim-sum branch between 11am and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you’ve got a big crowd, head to this food hall for a taste of everything from poke bowls to banh mi sandwiches and perfect falafel. Grab a drink at the bar while you wait for everyone’s food to arrive, and watch the crowds heading to the game from the big windows facing Loyola Avenue.