featured photo: Kemberly Groue

On the night of Mardi Gras, as celebrations of Fat Tuesday heat up, little pockets of NYC will suddenly feel more like the French Quarter than the cold Northeast in February. You just have to know where to look. We put together a list of some local hotspots and restaurants that are sure to be hits during next week’s festivities.

Good Eats: Aqua Boil, The Jones

New York isn’t known for its Cajun cuisine, but you might be surprised at the hidden gems around town that make for a delicious Fat Tuesday. If you didn’t think a seafood boil was a reasonable ask in NYC, check out Aqua Boil in Hell’s Kitchen, and don’t be afraid to get a little messy. Shrimp, crawfish and lobster boils abound, plus starters like oyster sliders and lobster rolls. Also, be sure to check out the casual seafood concept The Jones, which replaced the longstanding The Great Jones in Noho in 2018.

Mardi Gras Celebration With Ross James’ Gotta Serve Somebody at Brooklyn Bowl

If Brooklyn’s nightclubs aren’t your scene, but you want to make your Mardi Gras musical, check out Brooklyn Bowl, where Ross James, of Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, is bringing his new project, “Ross James’ Gotta Serve Somebody: A Celebration of Dylan & The Dead” to this hotspot. Get ready to rock to Ross’ interpretations of his favorite Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan songs by some of the best players in the jam-band scene. Add that to a diverse food and drink menu, and you’ve got a Mardi Gras party. Get tickets to the show here.

Third Street Becomes Bourbon Street in Williamsburg

On the evening of February 25, South Third Street in Brooklyn will be transformed into Bourbon Street for just a few hours as New Yorkers gather for Cajun food, drinks, music and more. While the street will have no shortage of activity, try exploring tastes of local favorites like the southern fare of Root and Bone, where shrimp and grits won’t be in short supply on Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras Murder Mystery At Windfall

Go on your own, or grab friends and experience a totally different kind of Mardi Gras celebration where everyone plays a character, and every character is a suspect. The story of the murder mystery begins with the annual Mardi Gras celebration at Fat Tuesday’s Pub on Bourbon Street. The music, food and drinks are all “perfect” until one party-goer meets a mysterious end. Make this a Mardi Gras to remember and reserve your spot here.