What’s old is always new, and that’s the case with Peacock’s latest reboot of Queer as Folk. Now set in 2022 in New Orleans, the new Queer as Folk follows a diverse group of friends who are shaken to their core after a tragic incident. However, the show isn’t all doom and gloom – there are plenty of bright moments among the darker ones.
The new Queer as Folk is filmed entirely in New Orleans. The crew even used an actual house in the Algiers Point neighborhood for filming (much to the delight of the owners). That wasn’t the only filming location – the series also filmed in Louis Armstrong Park as well as a few local bars and clubs.
It’s not exactly a surprise that the series is set in New Orleans. The city has long been a haven for our community. While the Crescent City is mostly known for Mardi Gras, multiple festivals are held throughout the year, including a Gay Easter Parade, Halloween Parade, NOLA Black Pride, and New Orleans’ largest gay event, Southern Decadence.
In honor of the new Queer as Folk reboot and in preparation for Southern Decadence or a fun NOLA getaway, we have created this handy-dandy travel guide for you!
Where to Stay
Since New Orleans is known as “the gay capital of the south,” most hotels are LGBTQ+ friendly. However, some hotels are specifically designed for everyone in our community. While the French Quarter is the most well-known neighborhood in New Orleans and is ideal for those who are ready to ‘par-tay,’ there are other unique and more relaxed areas to stay in.
If you want to stay in the center of the action and experience New Orleans’ history, consider booking a room at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. What originally began as a ballroom and theater in the 19th century, the Bourbon Orleans later became a convent before becoming the hotel that it is today. The hotel bar Bourbon “O” is considered one of the best in the city, and if you don’t mind a few ghosts lurking about, the hotel is one of the most haunted in America. The Bourbon Orleans isn’t the only haunt in town, just a few blocks away on Royal Street is Hotel Monteleone, a luxury hotel with a rooftop pool and bar and a few resident ghosts.
For a more hipster vibe, check in at the Ace Hotel. Located in the trendy Warehouse District, the Ace is known for its bohemian vibe and access to cool art galleries. For a more eccentric stay, consider the Catahoula Hotel. Situated inside a 19th-century Creole townhouse, the Catahoula is located in the central business district. If you don’t want to stay too far away from all the nightlife action, look into staying at Hotel Peter and Paul, which used to be a Catholic church and school.
What to Do
While New Orleans is known for its vibrant nightlife, there is plenty to do during the daytime! To get around town, hop aboard the St. Charles Streetcar. The world’s oldest operating streetcar runs up and down St. Charles Avenue, which is home to row after row of gorgeous mansions. The streetcar also passes by Audubon Park, where you can explore New Orleans’ majestic oaks, Spanish moss, and lagoons. Inside Audubon Park is the Audubon Zoo.
The St. Charles streetcar isn’t the only streetcar in town –there are three other lines: the Canal line, the Riverfront line, and the Rampart/St. Claude line. Each line will take you to various hotspots throughout the city. The Canal line will take you past the New Orleans Museum of Art, which is home to intriguing permanent and visiting exhibitions. The Riverfront line takes you down to the French Market, where you can shop local wares. Afterward, you can stroll along the riverfront to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, home to over 600 different sea critters. The Rampart/St. Claude line runs past Louis Armstrong Park, where you can saunter through the many statues dedicated to Louie.
If you prefer tours, then you’re in luck because New Orleans has a wide variety of tours that you could only find in the Big Easy. Local drag queen Quinn LaRoux hosts a historic drag queen tour and gay historian Glenn Louis DeVilliers runs multiple tours, including a gay heritage and drinks tour. No trip to New Orleans would be complete with a ghost tour – the city has dozens.
New Orleans itself has a long and fascinating history, much of which is covered in its array of museums. The Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Cultures is home to years of ensembles donned on gay carnival floats. To learn about the New Orleans connections to Voodoo, check out the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. The Crescent City is also known for its incredibly diverse population. It’s also home to many fascinating smaller museums dedicated to the city’s different cultures, including the Museum of Southern Jewish Experience, McKenna Museum of African American Art, and the Backstreet Cultural Museum, a museum that focuses on traditions that are specific to New Orleans.
Where to Eat
Wear your comfy pants because New Orleans has some of the best food in the States. You won’t want to stop eating all of the beignets, gumbo, and po’boys, and the hard part is deciding exactly where to eat them.
The first stop on your culinary adventure should be Cafe du Monde, known for its scrumptious beignets and jolting coffee. For a bigger brunch, head over to The Ruby Slipper. Another hot brunch spot is Who Dat Coffee Cafe. For a more traditional (and affordable) breakfast, check out Betsy’s Pancake House, which you can get to via the Canal line.
One of the city’s most famous dishes is the po’boy, a gargantuan sandwich served on a French baguette. Killer PoBoys is the place to go to try this delicacy. Another New Orleans specialty is the muffuletta, another sandwich consisting of cured meats, cheese, olive dressing, and bread. Multiple restaurants offer the muffuletta, but the Central Grocery & Deli is considered its “original home.”
When it’s dinner time, try New Orleans classic Commander’s Palace, where you’ll get to try traditional and not-so-traditional Creole dishes. At the Canal and Scott stop, you’ll find Mandina’s, home to incredible shrimp remoulade. If you love a good cheese and charcuterie board, The Italian Barrel is the place to go.
For a truly authentic Cajun experience, head over to Restaurant Rebirth, where you can try Louisiana native Chef Ricky Cheramie’s farm-to-table Cajun cuisine. For even more Cajun dishes, check out Galliano, known for its Cajun soul food including seafood gumbo and Trout Almondine.
If you want to try a little bit of everything, go on a food odyssey at Pythian Market. This food hall is home to chicken and waffles, Venezuelan dishes, and Caribbean cuisine.
The nightlife in New Orleans is diverse, to say the least. From quirky dives to cruisy dance clubs, you’ll find it here. The French Quarter even has an area affectionately known as “The Fruit Loop.”
The oldest gay bar in the U.S., The Cafe Lafitte in Exile, has been open since 1933 and served the likes of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. The largest LGBT nightclub in the city is The Bourbon Pub Parade, home to dance floors, go-go boys, and drag queens. In addition to being a club, Oz New Orleans also hosts karaoke, Wednesday night drag shows (fun fact: Bianca del Rio worked here!), and the sexy “go-go boy competition.”
The Golden Lantern is the original home of Southern Decadence. Slightly off the beaten path, The Golden Lantern is known for its fantastic drag queens. The Leather and Bear communities often gather at both The Phoenix and RawHide 2010. And if you’re looking for some live music, head over to Madame Vic’s.