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Six Unique Places to Drink in the French Quarter - The Best New Orleans Bars

A beverage for every mood!

Friends, it’s hard to find a bad drink in New Orleans. This town knows their alcohol and they do it well.

But you, you’re not the average tourist who plans to stumble from bar to bar on Bourbon Street. Never! You’re a discerning traveler in search of the best drinks in the Big Easy! Therefore, here is my list of my favorite places to get the best beverages in New Orleans.

a frozen irish coffee on a bar counter in New Orleans

For a blended Irish Coffee that will haunt your dreams…Molly’s at the Market (1107 Decatur St)

Friends. Molly’s on the Market features a Frozen Irish Coffee. Picture a Frappuccino, and then add whiskey. There’s literally nothing better on a hot day in the Quarter. Anytime I visit New Orleans, this is one of the first places I go. Often multiple times over the course of my stay. To make your frozen Irish coffee next level, ask for it with an extra shot of Jameson Cold Brew. It will rock your world.

For the best Bloody Mary bar in New Orleans…The Gazebo Café (1018 Decatur St)

I myself am not a Bloody Mary drinker, but I’m not here to step on anyone’s toes. If you want your alcoholic tomato soup, you do you babe!

A bloody mary and a mudslide on a table with a rainbow fan

One of my dear friends in New Orleans is a native of the city and a self-proclaimed Bloody Mary connoisseur, and he states that the Bloody Marys at the Gazebo Bar are unequivocally the best in the city. I’ll take his word for it, and my Bloody drinkers who have accompanied me to the Gazebo have agreed.

Even if you’re not a Bloody Mary person, the Gazebo Bar is conveniently located right near the French Market. They have a truly massive drink menu (I can personally vouch for the excellence of the Mudslides), and they also serve lunch and dinner. The food at Gazebo isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s hearty New Orleans classics and makes for a good pit stop, especially if you want to dine outdoors.

For exquisite craft cocktails…Cafe Sbisa (1011 Decatur St)

For a cocktail menu that makes you say “damn” at every other drink description, grab yourself a table at Cafe Sbisa. This upscale cajun restaurant has an exquisite menu, both food and drink. It’s the kind of cocktail-focused joint that made choosing just one to savor with dinner profoundly difficult. At the time of my visit, they served a ginger mint julep that ruined me for regular juleps, and one of my fellow diners had a passionfruit martini that’s what tropical drink dreams are made of.

For a one-of-a-kind drinking experience…The Carousel Bar (214 Royal St)

A cherry manhattan on a bar counter with a napkin from the Hotel Monteleone

For a beverage experience unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before, check out the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. This hotel has refurbished an old carousel into a bar that actually rotates. (Slowly. Imagine any rotating restaurant and that’s about the speed.)

There’s never not a crowd on the carousel, so be prepared to wait a little bit for your place at the bar, and be ready to pounce when those seats open up! But once you have your seat, the experience is worth it for the sheer novelty of drinking on an old fashioned carousel. The delicious (and powerful) cocktails are just the icing on the cake. My cherry Manhattan pictured here was absolutely delicious and also absolutely put me on my ass.

A beer on a table with a candle

For the feeling of falling back in time…Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (941 Bourbon St)

According to the lore, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is the oldest bar in the United States. While that’s tough to verify, what is easy to verify is the absolutely ancient feel to the interior. Most of the bar is lit only with candles. (No, the photo on the left is not edited. That’s how dark it is at Lafitte’s after sundown.)

For the full experience, order your drink at the front bar, and then head to the back where the piano is. If you want the party feel you can go to literally any other bar on Bourbon Street. When you’re at Lafitte’s, head to the dark back rooms and pretend you’re at the Prancing Pony and that Aragorn is watching you from the corner.

For stunning views of Jackson Square without the wait… the gallery at Muriel’s (801 Chartres St)

Perhaps the best kept secret of Jackson Square is the gallery at Muriel’s. Muriel’s itself is absolutely not a secret. It’s an upscale restaurant situated right off the corner from the cathedral. I’ve not yet had the pleasure of dining there, but I hope to on a future visit!

What most people don’t know about Muriel’s is that there’s an entire second level that contains both an eerie séance lounge (more on that later!) and a balcony with truly incredible views of Jackson Square and the French Quarter. Both, with only minor exceptions for events and such (like séances), are open to the public.

It’s good form to order a drink if you want to use either space, so tell the host that you’d like to get a drink at the bar, and they’ll direct you to the back where the bar is located. Order a drink from their extensive menu (I favor the Sazeracs here!), tip well, and ask the bartender if the séance lounge is open. Odds are the answer will be yes, and they’ll give you directions to the staircase that takes you to the second floor.

A Sazerac on a table with a lantern on a balcony in New Orleans

On your way up, say hi to Pierre Antoine, Muriel’s resident friendly ghost. You’ll walk right past his table. (To see signs of Muriel’s somewhat-less-friendly ghost, look for child-sized handprints on the gold leaf hallway upstairs!)When you get to the top, feel free to check out the séance lounge. The vibe in there is WILD.

But the highlight is definitely the balcony. The tables face the street and I’ve never once seen it full. It’s the perfect place to sit with your drink, read a book or have a heart-to-heart with your friends, and soak up the absolute best of New Orleans’s magical atmosphere.

Wherever you drink, indulge well and responsibly. Raise a glass to your adventure and don’t waste a drop!

Need a good southern meal to offset all that alcohol? Check this post out for my restaurant recommendations!

Wondering what to bring to New Orleans? Check out this guide!

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Love and Shenanigans,


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