Photo of Vaughan's Lounge in New Orleans, LA, US
Photo of Vaughan's Lounge in New Orleans, LA, US
Photo of Vaughan's Lounge in New Orleans, LA, US
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Vaughan's Lounge


Vaughan's Lounge24.5
cheap drinks • juke joint • local music • dive

800 Lesseps St
New Orleans, LA 70117, US
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Vaughan's Lounge has 22 Tips

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  • Photo of Hotel Indigo
    2 years ago
    Don't let the seedy environs deter you from this casual, comfortable Bywater hangout. Vaughan's is one of the best dive bars in town, brought to local infamy by Kermit Ruffins; regular Thursday night gigs. Kermit retired last year from late night shows, but Vaughan's is still home to funky live jazz every Thursday night.
  • Photo of Nic Brown
    3 years ago
    Live jazz (Meagan)
  • Photo of FreqTravW
    6 months ago
    On Thurday bnight we had loud funky progressive jazz that was enjoyed by all present. $10 a head cover charge and great fun was had by all.
  • Photo of Joe M
    7 months ago
    Fun night with friends and good music. This place is somewhat of a dive bar but thats good. Came in as a group fun was had by all. I for sure recommend you stop by.
  • Photo of Daniel O
    7 months ago
    We have visited here numerous times on our travels to NOLA. Always a friendly server behind the bar. It is an unassuming "dive bar" (in a positive way) with indoor and outdoor seating. The best part is that on every visit, we've had the great experience of talking to locals and hearing about the resurgence of the Bywater area and great recommendations for bars and restaurants to visit while in town.
  • Photo of Alice_Fuller
    10 months ago
    I went to Vaughan's this Thursday when I was visiting NO for the first time from London. I saw Corey Henry & the Treme Funktet and guests including the Mardi Gras Big Chief, and had the best night ever! I was a little nervous about venturing out of the French Quarter to visit here but got a taxi and although the journey passed through some sketchy places, as soon as I arrived I had no worries. It was $10 on the door. Don't hesitate in going to this fun, authentic place!
  • Photo of Tangi2
    a year ago
    Form the outside, this unassuming neighborhood bar looks to be just that: a neighborhood bar. But once inside you'll note that this place is on fiyo! On Thursday nights the have the best New Orleans music in town, and that says a lot in this town. And you never know what treats will come out of Chris's kitchen: from "berled" crabs to beef brisket, it's always on point! Don't miss this Bywater gem!
  • Photo of CarolynC2289
    2 years ago
    Great to catch a show here - especially if you can see Corey Glover. Full of NOLA decorations, cheap drinks, and a nice, sweaty atmosphere. Good place to jump into the spirit of the city
  • Photo of Americana29
    2 years ago
    This is old school cool. It's not a dive so much as an institution. It's a standard by which dive try to meet. The exterior looks like a juke joint. The interior is a little like a museum. The hour drink is a Moscow Mule made with fresh ginger. Perfect thing to revive a weary driver and set the mood for exploring the city. Tara rocks! She introduced us to the regulars in attendance and made us feel welcome. Thank you!!! Oh, and Thursday nights at around 10pm or after local music cranks up!
  • Photo of L B
    2 years ago
    We met an elected official who told us he moved to New Orleans years ago because of the music and when we asked him where was the best place in New Orleans to go to hear authentic, native sounds he promptly told us that we must go to Vaughn's Lounge. Take an Uber to this location because it is off the beaten path, especially if you are traveling alone. We arrived there well into the night, it was dark and everything had a soft glow of musical character mixed with lyrical light. If that sounds magical, it is purposefully If you think you have heard it all with Jimi Hendrix and his shrill twanging guitar or the complex chords of Billy Preston? Oh no, you have not heard the staccatto sounds of Corey Henry and his thunderous trombone with his band that includes an electric violinist! They hit notes so high your ears ring in joy, the rushing push of every beat propels sound waves through every body in the room and nothing else exists, except that sound, you want nothing else and cannot stand it to stop. Corey never seems to run out of breath and uses his lungs in a way that is nothing short of amazing. This performance is nothing short of incredible to watch and awe inspiring to hear and should be worth $50 dollars at the door but I think instead we paid $10. I paid alot of money to go the Essence Music Festival but by far Corey Henry topped them all.
  • Photo of Keith H
    2 years ago
    checked off my 'bucket list" as of Friday,Jan.29th,2016 A MUST GO TO !!! Get away from the French Quarter for a minute, get in a cab, take it to the corner of Dauphine&Lesseps, and BE AMAZED!!!! The place is a lot smaller than I imagined but on a Friday afternoon, it's THE PERFECT PLACE TO BE!!!!! We were the only "tourists" there that afternoon and the locals treated us like family. There was that "SCRATCHED RECORD SFX" moment when we first stepped thru the door, but after that, we were made to to feel completely relaxed and welcomed. THANX to MissKringle, (supposedly her real name) who was behind the bar. Miss Kringle pours with a heavy hand but doesnt charge an arm& a leg. Thursday nites is LIVE BAND NITE. I dont think anyone can get in the door on a Thursday nite. The place is just TOO COZY for a big crowd. We were happy to be amongst the only dozen or so patrons that day. So much so, that after 2 or 3 pounds of FRESHLY BOILED crawfish from 'someone's" back yard steamer, at only $5 bucks/serving, and GOD ONLY KNOWS how many rounds from the bar, we still didnt want to leave. GIRLFRIEND wanted to go back the next day, if only for the crawfish. The neighborhood people even invited us back for a backyard barbeque. SO FRIENDLY SO NON-TOURISTY Leave your inhibitions and snootyness in the French Quarter if you come here.
  • Photo of gotigersgo1
    2 years ago
    After a month-long visit to New Orleans (living in Bywater), Vaughan's ended up being one of our favorite spots. Friendly, kind bartenders (except the random bouncer guy that demanded $10 from us for music we didn't know was happening when we'd already been sitting there for an hour.) Every time we showed up at Vaughan's, there was some free food available: Gumbo, a delicious Christmas party spread, and then a cheese plate and dates one random night. Go there for the welcoming vibe, the divey atmosphere, and of course- the free food!
  • Photo of SeatOfMyPntsTravelr
    Locals spot for hanging out and live New Orleans music. Definitely a dive but in all of the best ways. You'll love the break from the tourists in the Quarter, the CBD, and the Warehouse District. Use Uber to get to and from!
  • Photo of Caley G
    3 years ago
    The music at this funky lounge is out of this world! Thursday nights are the best.The ride out to the lounge is not for the faint of heart. We're talking the lower 9th Ward. It's been 10 years since Katrina, and block after flattened block, looks like a war zone. I'm a single woman, and was wondering if I was foolish to venture out there. But once I emerged from the taxi, and into the club, I immediately felt relaxed and safe. There's a friendly vibe in Vaughn's. The jukebox was chock full of great music. When a Louis Jordan song came on, the whole club was singing "Caldonia,What makes your big head so hard"🎵 Then the band started up.That was some of the best music I've ever experienced! Funky,jazzy, Wild Tchapatoulus sounding. A trumpet player that blew us away. There's a big pot of beans & rice to the left of the bar, and folks were helping themselves. It gets mighty hot in that little club, so bring a fan. I give Vaughn's thumbs up for a genuine New Orleans experience.
  • Photo of hawaiianem
    3 years ago
    We came to listen to Trumpet Black and the Heart Attacks (A+++++) in this little hole-in-the-wall bar. Any jazz music probably sounds phenomenal here. This is a SMALL place (less than 100 people!) and super close quarters - but DANG, listening to amazing jazz here is by far one of the best parts of our trip! Happily paid a $10 cover charge to hear Trumpet Black... and would have paid more! What an amazing group! We stayed until 2am!
  • Photo of Pablobiz
    3 years ago
    This place is not in the French Quarter as most of the famous places in NOLA, it's in Bywater almost on the border to the Lower Ninth Ward, but it is definitely worth the taxi ride (even a public bus can bring you there on St. Claude Ave., but it's not fully recommended to walk from the center, even if I had a walk around looking for the place and I didn't feel unsafe at all). The place is a local pub with a small stage where Kermit Ruffin played every Thursday until a few months ago, we went there without checking the show of the night and we got a sort of Balkan music concert (the band was good, but we would have preferred local music... unfortunately it was the only free evening we had...). It seemed evident that a few tourists come here and that the audience is mostly done by locals, if you want to feel as a NOLA citizen it is surely worth to spend an evening here. On the night we were there the entrance fee was 10 USD (I suppose that it varies according with the show of the evening).
  • Photo of Tour1252
    4 years ago
    Local musicians, friendly staff, inexpensive drinks. Take a taxi to this location in the Bywater, it is not walkable from the French Quarter. Street parking is available. Take cash for drinks and there will be a cover if there is live music. It's a shame that Kermit is no longer playing on Thursday nights, that was an amazing show.
  • Photo of Cameron K
    4 years ago
    Located in the very eastern part of the French Quarter, Vaughn's is a cool little hangout with a Jukebox and Local live musicians on some nights. We love the jukebox here, full of Motown and assorted classics. Bartenders are nice and the drinks are good
  • Photo of ShannonWL
    5 years ago
    I remember stumbling upon Kermit's Thursday night jazz on Lesseps in 95. The place felt like it was literally hopping up and down with energy and the music of Kermit's trumpet playing, his band, and those musicians waiting to sit in with him. People were dancing, drinking, and just having a raucous, wild time--whites, blacks, and Asians...and everyone in between were all together enjoying the music, and the scene. during the break Kermit lights up and tends to his BBQ and people get in line for the red beans and rice. Art kids were there (not called hipsters at the time), locals, and maybe a couple tourists. But the place was PACKED. Now, Kermit is laid back, only a couple musicians waited to play--and his once 6--8 piece band was reduced to three people. A drummer, electric bass, and keyboardist--and then Kermit. Kermit played no traditional New Orleans songs I was expecting, mixed with the hard-hitting rhythms and melodies of contemporary jazz--brought by Kermit and the young bloods sitting in. Instead, it was smooth jazz numbers, R&B and popular funk, and a particular low point in the evening when Kermit sang Black Eyed Peas, "I've got a feeling." Kermit didn't play any of the high notes (that got him named as MODERN DAY LOUIS ARMSTRONG), and the authentic N.O. trad-jazz music that he is known for... But yes, scenes change, and so do institutions like Vaughans and the music that made them. Half the place cleared out mid-evening, and the place was more so filled with the young hipsters that have taken over the neighborhood post-Katrina. Maybe I am nostalgic for the old Vaughans and the old Kermit... On a positive note, the Baby Dolls did come in and energize the space and lifted us out of the trauma from the pop music. And there was a young vocalist who had an amazing voice, as well as a female Asian drummer who was phenomenal. So much so, she made Kermit's drummer look like he was playing a Kindergarten drum kit after she got off stage--and they didn't bring her back she was so good. My last comment is although New Orleans is called the "BIG EASY" and is known for its easy-going, festive, and party-scenes--doesn't mean we need to turn it into the BIG LAZY--which is what I feel has happened with the music, community, and musicians who once inspired me.
  • Photo of treewoman
    5 years ago
    My daughter lives in the Bywater and I wanted to see Vaughan's, just because it's famous and Kermit plays there on Thursdays. We were there on a Sunday night and sat at the bar for a drink or two. I don't like to complain about anything, but they have a very strange credit card rule...the woman working the bar couldn't speak English very well so she couldn't explain it very well. Let's just say that if you want to run a tab on a credit card, forget it. You can charge up to $50 on your first round of drinks, and they will give you the cash back. Then you spend the cash. I think there is a fee added on to this, but not sure. I listened to her explanation about five times but didn't get it. It's definitely a dive.....normally I love dive bars, but we had an obnoxious guy at the bar who listened in on our every conversation and tried to join in. I know that's not the bar's fault...but it just added to the credit card frustration. I'd love to go back and see Kermit, and hopefully will have lots of cash with me.
  • Photo of Allan H
    5 years ago
    Good lively local place. Great live music. Variety of alcohol.nthey allow food to be brought in - great tent food nearby - awesome fresh tacos. Kermit was amazing, as was the other act Nadia -great voice.
  • Photo of ckelley54
    5 years ago
    What a cool place. In the By-Water area just outside of the French Quarter. A classic dive bar with great music. Thursday Nights are must see...local legend Kermit Ruffins usually in the house playing.

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