To paint a picture of modern New Orleans without including the bounce scene would not only be a grave injustice, but grounds for the snappiest of disses from its unhinged, reigning queen bee, Big Freedia (fittingly pronounced “FREE-duh”). The 6-foot-2 NOLA native helped push queer bounce performers to the forefront in the late 1990s, and she’s now considered a pioneer of the bassy, boisterous, booty-popping call-and-response movement, which draws upon riotous Mardi Gras Indian chants and samples of early New York City hip-hop. Long before Busta Rhymes was telling us to “twerk it,” Big Freedia was living, breathing, and running this town. Here’s where she likes to play.
THE FRENCH QUARTER “The French Quarter has food, local artists, scenery, and the river,” says Freedia. “That’s where I go to get out of my zone.” FrenchQuarter.com
CABRINI DOG PARK “My babies Diva and Sensation love this park. They can meet some friends, and I can just chill out.” Dauphine St. & Barracks St.
DEANIE'S SEAFOOD “This is my favorite spot to eat authentic, New Orleans–style Cajun food. Their gumbos and jambalaya are not to be missed.” 841 Iberville St.; Deanies.com
HAYDEL'S BAKERY “When I have a party or an occasion to celebrate, I pick up Cajun Kringles or cake here. There’s just nothing like it anywhere.” 4037 Jefferson Hwy.;HaydelBakery.com
CAFÉ DU MONDE “When you leave the party, go here for hot chocolate or coffee.” 800 Decatur St.;CafeDuMonde.com
ENCORE “It is the spot if you wanna experience New Orleans bounce right now.” 3940 Tulane Ave.