3rd Street: Nice Architecture, Good Food, and Nightlife
This is kind of a general "Nightlife" Tip. If you are looking for interesting and historical architecture, a collection of restaurants with a variety of food to tempt you and an active, fun nightlife; I have two words for you "Third Street!". Third Street from the 200 block to the 400 block has some of the best dining and nightlife in Baton Rouge. The neighborhood is also historical and has great architecture. This part of Baton Rouge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
The Belle of Baton Rouge: Hotel, Restaurant and Casino
Although the complex that includes the riverboat the Belle of Baton Rouge includes a 10-story, 288-room hotel, and some fine dining most people (myself included) come here for the casino or the live entertainment (like MMA, boxing, music, etc). The casino is a three-deck paddlewheel boat with 28,000 square feet of gaming area filled with slots and table games like they have in Vegas and Atlantic City. It's neat just to tour the boat.
Dress Code: None really.
- Road Trip
- Casino and Gambling
Boudreaux and Thibodeaux's: Two Floors of Fun
Probably my favorite place for nightlife in Baton Rouge is Boudreaux & Thibodeaux's (commonly called B&T's by the locals). The nightclub downstairs is frequently filled with locals and tourists alike seeking the free live music (Rockabilly and Zydeco when I was there ;-)), good company, and strong drinks at a decent price. I prefer upstairs though. It is quieter and easier to get acquainted with a pretty Cajun gal named Laura. Easier to get drinks too. I also like the balcony which gives you a great view of Third Street and the crowd wandering through the nightlife in the area. B&T's serves Cajun food too; but I did not try it. Rumor is it is quite good.
Dress Code: I saw everything from jeans to suits.
- Beer Tasting
boudreaux & thibodeaux: eating, drinking, and live entertainment
boudreaux & thibodeaux is an interesting bar and restaurant located on third street in downtown baton rouge. a great place to eat and drink after work. they offer cajun food and a good beer selection. later they offer bands that play blues, jazz, and rock. a fun bar to visit when in downtown.
Dress Code: casual.
- Historical Travel
- Business Travel
Huey's: Great Old Tyme Atmosphere
Huey's is a bit hard to describe. It honors Huey Long the Governor of Louisiana who was assassinated in 1935 and the political and social atmosphere of the state and the country in the 1920s and 1930s. You expect to see hard-drinking men smoking cigars making back-room political deals. This is described as a "cocktail bar" and they do have a variety of mixed drinks that are well made and strong. They also have a variety of beer and wine.
Dress Code: I was fine in my jeans and hiking boots though most were better dressed than I.
- Historical Travel
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
The Wine Loft: Chill
The wine loft is pretty chill and laid back... go there on Wednesday for a wine tasting, or any day to hang out and chill. It is a good place to catch up with friends in the evening and chat (i.e., different from a regular bar) and you can catch a bite to eat.
Dress Code: No LSU ballcaps allowed... I guess they are trying to class it up a bit (but come on people, we are in Baton Rouge).
- Wine Tasting
Coffee Call: Not into the whole bar thing?
Coffee Call has been in Baton Rouge for a long time, but has recently moved to a new location. They serve up great cafe au lait (hot coffee with milk) that is second only to the Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter (which is famous for it!) and they serve up THE BEST biegnets (pronounced like ben - yeas, and actually out does the Cafe Du Monde!). They also have great hot chocolate. They serve lunch during the day, but I have never eaten there. It stays open till 2 AM weekday, stays open all the time from Friday through Sunday then closes at 11pm on Sunday. Since it moved, they no longer allow smoking inside, which has attracted a lot (perhaps too many) preteens and old people to hang out there. If you go late enough (like past 11pm) you should be fine. Great place to hang out with friends and talk.
- Family Travel
The Argosy is a three-deck riverboat casino on the Mississippi River in the downtown historic district. There is over 29,000 square feet of gaming area. There is a bar on the 2nd level and a Deli on the 1st level. The Casino is connected to the Sheraton
Convention centre and hotel.
The Casino is just across from the State Capitol. It is an authentic turn of the century paddle wheeler which now has 30,000 sqft of gaming facilities. It also has an International Marketplace Buffet and live music in Jesters Bar.
Tabby's Blues Box: Low down Blues
Tabby's is the only Blues bar that I've ever visited, and I've only been once. I can't compare it to other places, but I enjoyed it a great deal. Tabby Brown is a well-known Blues singer in the area, and his place attracts some good Blues talent.
Tabby's Blues Box proudly bills itself as a little "hole-in-the-wall" Blues joint. The entrance leads to a small area where customers pay the cover charge. Tinsel streamers block the view of the room beyond. Two steps lead down to the rest of the place. A bar is on the right roughly in the middle of the room. The stage is on the left. Small tables and diner chairs are arranged on each side of the stage and in a little alcove to the far side of the bar. The area in front of the stage is left open for those who want to dance. At the far end of the place is an unused fireplace on one side. A hall in the back leads to two restrooms. Nothing is very fancy, but things are clean. The appeal of the place is in the music.
From what a friend has told me, the crowd is usually about equally mixed racially between black and white and ranges in age from 30ish to 60ish. The exception is on Thursday nights when free draft beer brings a big crowd of young folks (largely white) from LSU. The big nights are supposed to be Thursday and Saturday. I was there on a Friday, and it wasn't crowded.
Dress Code: I don't recall seeing any notices about special dress requirements. I saw a great variety in dress when I was there. Two younger women were dressed fairly well in party style. Other young people wore jeans and T-shirts. Other people dressed more formally but still in more of a party style.
The Varsity: Old School
The Varsity is right at the north gates of LSU. It can be cheesy, just like all the other clubs on the planet, but you can always expect a packed house. Different nights have different music. The best night is normally the retro night. Many costumes, many good looking people. The building itself is really old with a cool history, which you can read about right as you walk inside. It has recently been "connected" to the Chimes restaurant through a side door.
Dress Code: Semi-nice is the norm, but you'll see shorts also.
You could stay at the Chimes...
You could stay at the Chimes and hang out at the bar, or if you would prefer to have a little club action, you can head to the Varsity, which is right next door. There are plenty of bars to go in Tiger Land. Baton Rouge also has two River Boat Casinos. Going out totally depends on what you want to do. I like to dance (swing) so the location changes night to night.
Another bit about beer around the world... you get your name on the wall! My buddy Matt and I hope to one day get our names up there (you can see part of it behind us).
Dress Code: The Chimes, Varsity, and Tigerland bars are all pretty well casual, so no worries there. Just make sure you wear the right shoes for DANCING!
Coffee Call (for beignets): Coffee Call (for beignets)
This isn't really a restaurant or a 'nightlife spot' but it is open all night, sometimes, it depends on how the people working there feel as to whether or not they stay open. They serve Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Tea, and BEIGNETS! It's a great place to go before or after you go out in Baton Rouge.
Dress Code: You will see people there wearing anything from jeans (most typical) to formal attire, and maybe even hardy anything at all!
There are 2 Riverboat Casinos in Baton Rouge: Casinos
One is called The Argosy Casino and the other is Hollywood Casino (old Casino Rouge). They are both pretty easy to find (big signs) and since they are boats, they dock by the River. Docking is really a misnomer... when Edwin Edwards was governor, he really laid the path for gambling in Louisiana. In trying to look like he was pleasing everyone while lining his own pockets, Baton Rouge ended up with the non-land based casinos, that were supposed to sail on the river, but after a short time, everyone just gave up on the whole sailing thing. Too bad, because I think that would be the best part of going.
I'm not really a good judge of which one to go to (lack of gambling experience) although I can say that The Argosy has live music in its Pavillion (before you enter the boat). Casino Rouge has live music too... in the "Rythems Lounge". They've got a pretty decent dance area too, perfect for when Stormy (my favorite dance band in Baton Rouge) plays there - usually once per month.
Dress Code: Wear whatever you want.
Chelsea's: Live music
Chelsea's is BR's foremost club for live music. Great sound system, great bands, reasonable covers. All-in-all - a good place to hang and meet new friends.
The food is pretty good too!
Parking can be a problem -- too many people and not enough spaces!!!
Dress Code: College casual.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip