New Orleans is a cultural hub with rich history, exceptional foods, and lively musical traditions.
The city’s Mardi Gras festival regularly attracts thousands of tourists, most enjoying a night on the town partying through bars. The city can still be just as much fun during the rest of the year.
Whether you’re planning a visit and want to know where to get a drink or a local looking for fun places to go out, check out my list of the best bars in New Orleans.
The Carousel Bar & Lounge
214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The Carousel Bar & Lounge is a historical landmark in New Orleans, with classic decor from its 70 years in operation. You might be dazzled by the soft lights and whimsical feeling when the bar rotates as a carousel.
Its unique bar only has 25 spots, so you might have to wait for seating. In the meantime, you can soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the sounds of their live music.
The Sazerac cocktail originated in New Orleans, and I think The Carousel Bar & Lounge excels at serving them traditionally.
French 75 Bar
813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Next, the French 75 Bar is another classic staple of the city, with a vintage bar that dates back to the 1800s. It dedicates itself to serving local ingredients and homemade syrups.
You can find this bar on Bienville Street between Dauphine and Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter. Nearby, you can see the Mardi Gras Museum.
I especially enjoyed their decadent seafood bar plates paired with the La Dauphine cocktail.
The Avenue Pub
1732 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
The Avenue Pub is a casual, fun place to go out. It’s ideal for beer lovers, with local craft brews plus multiple taps. The Avenue Pub is one of the best bars in New Orleans for sports and a place to eat.
In recent years the menu has expanded, including smoked BBQ meats and full entrées.
If you’re looking for where to get a drink near the Convention Center or Caesars Superdome, you can find this bar within a mile of each.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Potentially the oldest bar in the US, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar dates as far back as 1722. This venue gets its name from Jean Lafitte, a New Orleans hero from the Battle of New Orleans.
The historic location is one fun place to get drinks, with hefty portions of classic and frozen cocktails. I loved their hurricane to cool off in the Louisiana heat.
You can find Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar directly on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. This street is the heart of New Orleans’ bar scene.
820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Bar Tonique is the best place to go when you’re looking for where to get a drink.
The staff strives to be inclusive and create a relaxed, friendly feeling. They offer an extensive menu of cocktails, wines, and beers.
After enjoying a day in Louis Armstrong Park, you can find Bar Tonique across the street.
700 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116
If you like low-key experiences, Black Penny is an ideal casual dive bar. I appreciated their extensive beer list, including plenty of local craft options.
It’s a place to go out where you can take a small, well-behaved dog with you. Being dog-friendly is excellent if you’re coming from Louis Armstrong Park or Congo Square across the street.
Locals tend to frequent the area, and you can find it on North Rampart Street.
Cane & Table
1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Cane & Table is another bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This venue isn’t just a fun place to get a drink but a great place to eat. Their menu has locally sourced ingredients and frequently changes with the season.
Seasons can impact their entrées and cocktails, so you can always enjoy something new when you visit. I loved their crispy rum ribs and frozen piña colada.
You can find this bar near the Old Ursuline Convent Museum, as the Ursuline Nuns originally commissioned the building.
Finn McCool’s Irish Pub
3701 Banks St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Next, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub is known for its sports experience. The pub plays almost every sport, with a special love for football.
The menu doesn’t only have a generous beer section but a wide assortment of Irish whiskeys. You can also order wines, and the pub offers plenty of food.
Finn McCool’s Irish Pub is at South Telemachus Street and Banks Street, not far from the New Orleans Museum of Art.
2031 St Charles Ave FL 14, New Orleans, LA 70130
For a modern feel, try out the Hot Tin bar. It has a view as it sits on the rooftop of the Pontchartrain Hotel.
I enjoyed sipping cocktails while looking at the city of New Orleans and the Mississippi River. Cool as a cucumber was a personal favorite, with cucumber vodka and maraschino.
You can find this bar at the corner of Josephine Street and St Charles Ave, close to The McKenna Museum of African-American Art.
Jewel of the South
1026 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Consider the Jewel of the South if you’re searching for an upscale experience. This award-winning restaurant offers exquisite meals and cocktails, including a caviar happy hour on Wednesday evenings.
Their menu tends to change with the seasons, including specialty cocktails and wines. A staple cocktail I enjoy is the night tripper.
Near the Mardi Gras Museum, the Jewel of the South sits close to the corner of St Louis Street and North Rampart Street.
Kermit’s Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge
1500 N Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116
Kermit’s Tremé Mother In Law Lounge is a fun place to get drinks in New Orleans. This location has a casual atmosphere and rich musical performances.
You can find authentic jazz, including performances by the owner Kermit Ruffins. He might greet you at the door with his famous trumpeting and singing.
Head to the corner of Columbus Street and North Claiborne Ave to visit Kermit’s.
508 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Another place to go out is Manolito, a bar loyal to its history. Many of the cocktail recipes remain the same as the classics from when New Orleans was a sister city to Havana, Cuba.
I enjoyed their selection of daiquiris, especially the strawberry daiquiri with elderflower. Each cocktail is handmade with the same techniques and care that Manolito has had for almost a century.
Close to the Mississippi River and Dumaine Station, Manolito is on Dumaine Street off Decatur Street.
500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The Napoleon House is known for its rich history and authentic cuisine. Its 200-year history and elegant appearance don’t stop it from being a relatively casual place to enjoy.
You might enjoy some New Orleans innovations while you visit, like the Pimm’s cup cocktail and muffuletta sandwich. You can also find an assortment of classic cocktails and other delicious foods.
Napoleon House is at the corner of St Louis Street and the historic Chartres Street.
The Elysian Bar
2317 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Next, The Elysian Bar offers a unique experience as the space reuses a hotel’s former rectory. You can enjoy a chapel café or sit in the courtyard surrounded by the old church bell towers.
This bar offers brunch, dinner, and a fun selection of cocktails. I loved trying Linnea’s garden cocktail with passion fruit and sparkling rose.
The Elysian Bar isn’t far from Washington Square, and it’s right on Burgundy Street between Marigny and Mandeville Street.
Twelve Mile Limit
500 S Telemachus St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Finally, Twelve Mile Limit is a fun place to get a drink with an extremely casual atmosphere. The building has been a bar since the 1920s, but the most recent owners bought it in 2010.
One of the unique features of this bar is that they feature a different pop-up food experience nightly. Along with the food, you can expect a nice collection of signature cocktails, beers, and wine.
It can be challenging to choose the best bars in New Orleans when the city has such a vibrant community and extensive bar scene.
You can choose to enjoy historical sites, upscale venues, or casual sports bars. No matter what, you’re sure to enjoy some well-made cocktails from these options.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
Best Bars in New Orleans
- The Carousel Bar & Lounge
- French 75 Bar
- The Avenue Pub
- Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
- Bar Tonique
- Black Penny
- Cane & Table
- Finn McCool’s Irish Pub
- Hot Tin
- Jewel of the South
- Kermit’s Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge
- Napoleon House
- The Elysian Bar
- Twelve Mile Limit
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