Open all night. Those words convey a certain mystique; of the life that exists beyond the ordinary margins, of revelry unabated ’til dawn’s early light, or of spectral grey figures filtering in and out of smokey florescent enclaves, somnambulistic night shift peregrinations, or poetic revelatory reveries replenished by endless servings of savory comestibles and coffee, of parties that do not really end, but fade, dazed and attenuated into oblivion, under the new day’s bright solar onslaught.
Traditionally in most cities, it is cabbies, cops and criminals. In this city it is everyone sooner or later. Up late, or out all night—don’t ask why, just find the right place to roost and replenish, with the proper accomplices to savor the nocturnal conspiracy.
Fortunately, in this late night town there is no shortage of co-conspirators, and Open All Night is a way of life for Crescent Citizens just as Mormonism is in Utah. Open all Night places are of particular relevance to neighborhoods and lifestyles, but the night is a great equalizer, and sociological trajectories are apt to cross under the nocturnal shroud. So the following guide is descriptively brief and socially problematic—the after hours haute monde is as apt to end up at the Humming Bird as the Fairmont.
In the Central Business District those latter two are your primary options. Bailey’s at the Fairmont is pretty nice, albeit for a price. Both service and food here are decent—the preparation usually recent. The Humming Bird, on the other hand, compensates in cost for what it lacks in gloss, and so remains in perpetual demand. Sandwiches and plate specials are best bets here, and its popularity with cops means there’s little to fear.
In the Faubourg Marigny the all night place is La Peniche, at 1940 Dauphine Street (telephone: 943-1460). This is a nice place with good food and good service at good prices—24 hours a day, seven days a week (How do they do it?). A full menu includes steaks and burgers, dinners and breakfasts. Perfect after a night out in the Quarter, or after some sublime sets at Snug Harbor.
Also in the general French Quarter vicinity is of course Cafe du Monde, the 24-hour place for coffee and beignets, at 800 Decatur near Jackson Square. And the Quarter Scene, a few blocks away at 900 Dumaine, offers a wide variety of cuisine, including breakfasts, salads, sandwiches and 33 types of hamburgers.
And then there’s the Avenue Pub, a little ways uptown at 1732 St. Charles Avenue, a traditional nighthawk haunt. And elsewhere about town there are those friendly franchise chains, Denny’s and Steak and Egg Kitchen, traditional beacons in the night for sleepless suburbanites and interstate insomniacs.
And while there may be others, we’ll just end it right here, since here is where this page seems to be ending, all right. So bon appetit. And good night.