New Orleans is one of those cities that I believe everyone should visit. It’s a place that is hard to describe until you are standing in it and then you feel the energy and the magic. New Orleans is a city filled with history. Wander the streets and you will be amazed by all of the plaques designating seemingly every other building. It’s a city of some of the kindest, strongest and most resilient people. It’s a city of bars. Bars built on its history. Bars built on cocktails. Bars built on the people.
If partying is what you are after, head to Bourbon Street which is usually overpopulated with tourists and Mardi Gras beads. Drinking on the street is allowed in the French Quarter so all bars have takeaway cups. There is also always usually water stations – take advantage when you see one because staying hydrated in this hot Southern city is a must. Here are six cocktail bars in New Orleans that are the classic and most obvious to check out while visiting. All of these bars are in the French Quarter (more or less) so are all walking distance from one another which means this is a REAL bar hop!
1/ Erin Rose (811 Conti St). Just off of Bourbon Street, Erin Rose is not just for the tourists. It’s for all of the people including locals and industry alike. When visiting Erin Rose, it’s basically mandatory to get the Frozen Irish Cream. Warning: they are dangerously delicious and are easily consumed much too quickly. Erin Rose is a tiny spot to grab your Frozen Irish Coffee, take a good gander of all of the signs and memorabilia on the walls and then head on out. Bonus: they sell PoBoys in the back including vegan ones so this is a great spot to not only get going on some sugar but to also get some food in that belly of yours.
2/ Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 (321 N Peters St). From Irish Coffee to a little Tiki! In the world of tiki, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is a legend. Latitude 29 is both a bar and a restaurant. It’s a great place to have dinner and get your night really started with cocktails dressed in the most beautiful and wild garnishes.
3/ Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge (Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St). The slogan for Carousel Bar is “we’ve been spinning for 65 years”. The bar is exactly what the names says: an actual spinning carousel inside the Hotel Monteleone and it’s beautiful. I don’t know if it’s better to have a revolving seat or to have one set back so you can actually take in the magic of the space.
4/ The Sazerac Bar (The Roosevelt, 130 Roosevelt Way). The Sazerac Bar inside The Roosevelt Hotel is where you really ought to order yourself a cocktail of its name – the Sazerac which is said to be the first cocktail concocted. The bar is stunning and we felt 100% underdressed there.
5/ Arnaud’s French 75 Bar (813 Bienville St). French 75 is another bar where, while it’s not mandatory to, it’s always a good idea to order it’s namesake cocktail (or two). This is a bar where I would have happily cozied up and stayed for the night watching the impeccable bartenders. It’s dark and moody and those monkey lamps are the icing on the cake.
6/ Old Absinthe House (240 Bourbon St). The Old Absinthe House is the perfect way to end your night. Order a bottle of beer or a shot of whisky and get lost in the space. It’s a big room and the walls are covered with business cards left by past patrons. This place is an institution in New Orleans. Atlas Obscura has an incredible story about the building and rather than me repeating it, you really should just read it on their site here.
Note: As with all Bar Hops, we are not encouraging getting inebriated. This is a list of great cocktail bars that we suggest visiting while in New Orleans. We want you to have fun and play safe. Check out How to Do a Good Bar Hop for some hot tips.