New Orleans is a haven for cool bars–throw a stone and you’ll hit one. The French Quarter especially has a bunch of great watering holes (and incredible food!), and the famous Bourbon Street is basically entirely composed of alcohol.
Even better, there’s no open container laws in New Orleans. This means if you don’t want to finish your drink at the bar, you can take it to go. What’s better than finishing up your drink while you stroll to your next destination?
We had a blast trying out a bunch of different bars while we were in New Orleans. And while we weren’t able to get to all of them, we did have the opportunity to visit some really great spots.
Here are the 7 coolest bars that we visited in New Orleans:
LaFitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
LaFitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar was one of our favorite bars in New Orleans. This casual spot might not look like much, but it’s actually one of the oldest bars in the country! They’ve been open since the 1700’s, which also makes it one of the oldest structures in New Orleans.
Whether you get a beer or one of their delicious frozen drinks, bring your drink to the candlelit backroom for a spooky experience. Some even say this place may be haunted…
Tropical Isle is the place to go if you are looking for a good time. Granted, some may describe this bar as a little “touristy,” but you won’t care as soon as you’re sucking down a Hand Grenade–their specialty drink. I’m not kidding when I say that the Hand Grenade is easily one of the most delicious–and strong–drinks I’ve ever had.
They also have a small stage for live music located in the corner of the bar. Stop by for some live music and a hand grenade, and it’s sure to be a night you never forget, or–more accurately–that you promptly forget.
This sleek restaurant and bar has one of the best atmospheres of any bar or restaurants we went to in New Orleans. The intricately designed interiors of Sobou are reason enough to make a trip to this chic Chartres Street stop. Our favorite feature? The little glass bottles lined up on mounted shelves near the entrance.
Sobou also has an extensive and creative cocktail menu. A few highlights are the grilled citrus vieux carre (with rye, brandy AND sweet vermouth), and the toasted pecan old fashioned. Yum!
Fritzel’s European Jazz Club
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a London pub the second you walk into Fritzel’s European Jazz Club. If it weren’t for the live jazz music playing in the background, you’d swear this pub is somewhere in Europe.
Stop by Fritzel’s European Jazz Club at night for their nightly live jazz music. It’s definitely a cozy bar, so you’ll be able to hear the music perfectly no matter where you sit. Order the spicy Bloody Mary and thank us later.
Willie’s Chicken Shack
Willie’s Chicken Shack isn’t a bar per say, but this local fried chicken chain is famous for their delicious–and strong–frozen daiquiris. It’s the perfect place to stop by if you feel like a casual drink at a local spot.
Try the Pina Colada or Green Apple flavored daiquiris if you’re feeling like something tropical and fruity. And guess what? If the daiquiri makes you hungry, you don’t even have to leave–just order Willie’s amazing fried chicken platter.
Bourbon Street Drinkery
Bourbon Street Drinkery is unsurprisingly located right on Bourbon Street. With rustic brick walls and modern furniture, this chic spot has the perfect combo of great atmosphere and extensive drink selection. The staff is also very friendly, and they often have live music playing at night.
When we visited Bourbon Street Drinkery, we felt like drinking tequila and ordered a pair of margaritas. They were absolutely delicious and definitely didn’t skimp on the tequila.
Taking a Stroll
That’s right, have a drink while taking a stroll. It’s not exactly a bar, but hey, New Orleans has no open container laws so you had might as well take advantage of it! Almost every bar that you go to has plastic cups and offers drinks to go. This allows you to sip your drink on the move while enjoying the beautiful sights of New Orleans.
We recommend grabbing a drink to go near Jackson Square, then strolling around the park. There are some cool street paintings for sale, and there will most likely be a jazz band playing somewhere nearby. Plus if you get hungry, Cafe du Monde is right around the corner! Fresh beignets, anyone?
There’s a few awesome spots that were either closed or we didn’t have time to try while we were in New Orleans. It didn’t feel right leaving them out, so here they are:
- Carousel Bar – This stunning bar not only looks like a carousel, it actually revolves like one!
- Pat O’Briens – If you’re looking for an authentic Irish pub to grab a beer with friends, this is the place to go.
- The Sazerac Bar – Located inside New Orleans’ famous Roosevelt hotel, the Sazerac Bar is a classy establishment for an evening cocktail.
- Erin Rose – Another famed Irish pub in New Orleans, Erin Rose is also known for having delicious pub food–like po’boys.
There are lots of things to do in New Orleans, but drinking your way through the city is definitely a fun way to get the vibe of the city and meet some friendly locals. Every place we went had great service, with bartenders more than happy to make a recommendation for our next stop.
And if you don’t plan on drinking during your time in New Orleans, remember that they also have a thriving food scene to try out. We loved everything we ate and are now big fans of gumbo!
Did we miss one of your favorite bars in New Orleans? Let us know in the comments!
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