The Best Bars in New Orleans
Collected by Wayne Curtis, AFAR Local Expert
From classy French Quarter cocktail joints serving Sazeracs and brandy milk punch, to neighborhood dive bars and campy tiki lounges, New Orleans knows how to slake a thirst.
813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
The French 75 is attached to historic Arnaud’s Restaurant, founded in 1918 and located just off Bourbon Street. Once you get through the doors, you’ll feel miles away from the crass college-age drinkers and luridly colored beverages a...
1179 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Cake and cocktails. It’s pretty simple, really, and a surprisingly winning combo. Bakery Bar doesn’t offer terrific promise from the outside—it occupies a former corner grocery store in the shadow of a noisy overpass linking to...
718 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to Pat O'Briens for a Hurricane. The story goes that in the 1940s, because it was difficult to import scotch during WWII, bar owners were forced to buy large amounts of rum and the...
321 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Owner and tiki archaeologist Jeff “Beachbum” Berry spent the better part of three decades researching early tiki drinks—he’s noted for unearthing the once-thought-lost recipe for zombies (dating back to 1934). He’s...
820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Tucked away on Rampart Street on the sliver between the French Quarter and the Treme enclave, this cool bar balances neighborhood dive-iness and of-the-moment popularity. Find yourself a cozy corner and order up an updated version of a Big Easy...
130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
A Sazerac is composed of whiskey and absinthe, and nowhere sports classier digs for this signature cocktail than the Sazerac Bar of the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans, where the low lights flow over heavy wood tables and the big leather...
536 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
The amazing music and cool vibe on Frenchman Street is irresistible. Some of the world’s best musicians are playing there every night of the week—just one of the many extraordinary things about New Orleans. While you are feeding your...
618 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
If Frenchmen Street were a republic, D.B.A. would be the capital. It’s an inviting music venue built around a compact beadboard music hall with low stage—the place feels as if you might find a bayou out the back door. It’s also...
221 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Alan Walter, the creative director at Loa, the bar at the International House, was stamping menus (on vintage game boards) when I wandered in. I was intrigued by his foppish hair and 70s style ensemble – and even more intrigued by his...
1107 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Molly’s is considered a journalists bar. When Andrei Codrescu lived in New Orleans he frequented the place. The owner keeps it open during hurricanes, and in the days after Katrina, the bar kept the neighbors that did not evacuate in warm...
600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
Why is a wine shop in a raggedy building at the far edges of a downriver Bywater neighborhood such a buzzed-about stop? Step out the back door and you’ll get your answer. The spacious if scruffy backyard—festooned with string lights...
921 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
It might be a sin to go to New Orleans and not hear jazz. Venues run the gamut from sophisticated hotel lounges, like trumpeter Jeremy Davenport's eponymous salon at the Ritz-Carlton, to dives like the Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street, where swing...
8100 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
Celebrate any holiday, birthday, or occasion with an on-the-go daiquiri. This place has got every flavor under the sun. So whether you like the fruity stuff, the chocolatey mess, the liquor-rich taste or the creamy flavas, Fat Tuesday's got it.
634 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
In case you've ever wondered what it's like to drink your way up Bourbon Street on a bike, Confederacy of Cruisers can provide the answer. As one of only two ways to speed through the city with an open container (the other way is on a horse), bike...
3001 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
The words "free beer" should get the attention of anyone of legal drinking age. I stumbled upon the free brewery tour at NOLA Brewing and highly recommend the experience as both informative and delicious. Free tours are offered Fridays, Saturdays,...
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