Our 9 Favorite New Orleans Cocktail Bars
If you want to get away from all that Bourbon Street rabble, we have a list of cocktail bars that is equal parts classic and soigné.
Nola isn't all beads, body shots, and daiquiris.
In fact, it's the birthplace of iconic cocktails like the Sazerac, the Ramos Gin Fizz, and the Vieux Carré. So if you want to hunker down in a quieter room away from all the Bourbon Street rabble, we have a list of cocktail bars that is equal parts classic and soigné.
It's the part of the MUNCHIES Guide to New Orleans that will give you a glimpse into the history of the Big Easy, but get you drunk at the same time, which is really the best way to get to know any city.
Barrel Proof: Set in the heart of the Garden District, Barrel Proof is a pretty serious whiskey bar. While it can get loud inside, the cocktail menu is intriguing and the bartenders are incredibly knowledgable. Plus they sell jerky, and everyone loves jerky. The interior is particularly beautiful with dark woods and a wood-paneled ceiling. It's a great joint to spend happy hour if you're walking to or from the Garden District from the French Quarter.
Arnaud's French 75 Bar: Bartender extraordinaire Chris Hannah is the big draw at this bar, though his colleagues are no slouches either. He'll mix you anything you know you want, as well as something you had no idea you needed. Whether you pick up the bar's namesake cocktail or decide to sip on something different, be sure to take it to the eerie Mardi Gras museum on the second floor. As you get drunker, really start to think about the curation decisions behind it. It's more fun than it sounds.
Twelve Mile Limit: All the comforts of a dive bar with all the talent of a cocktail bar. There's free pool, standup comedy, trivia night, and a DJ-curated dance party called Heatwave; it also has some of the best mixed drinks in the city. Meanwhile on the menu, you can order some decent barbecue or even a giant pretzel. It's in Midcity, so it's a little out of the way, but this is a place where you can meet locals and kill an entire night.
The Sazerac Bar: A cocktail bar inside the Roosevelt Hotel, the Sazerac Bar is worthwhile for its namesake. If you haven't had one before, this is the place to stop by. Or, if you're not into absinthe, get the Ramos Gin Fizz and think about the despicable yet old-school New Orleans memory that this bar serves with its African walnut bar and Paul Ninas murals.
Lobby Bar at Ace Hotel: It's not a huge bar, but who wants to be inundated by tons of people? Inside the hip Ace Hotel, the Lobby Bar serves up engaging cocktails every single day of the week. The bartenders are good folks who will take care of you and can make you a special drink if you have a certain spirit in mind. It's just a fine place to hang out on a lazy afternoon. Plus, the roof has a swimming pool that you can crash if the weather is holding up.
Bar Tonique: This tucked-away spot sits on the border of the French Quarter and the Treme. Inside you'll find an unassuming bar of dark wood with some of the best damn bartenders in the city. Check the chalkboard to remind yourself of the day of the week and figure out the daily special. Between Bacon Bloody Mary Saturdays and and Mai Tai Sundays, these guys will keep your ass drunk all weekend with a touch of class. The whiskey flights on Tuesday are a great entrance to the French Quarter if you're here in the middle of the week.
Cane & Table: In Trump's America, you may never be able to fulfill that dream of traveling to Cuba. Luckily, Cane & Table brings a bit of Havana to New Orleans. This French Quarter bar focuses on the historic connection between the island and the Big Easy, which means a lot of rum cocktails and a pretty great bar menu of food. Due to the mind of acclaimed bartender Nick Dietrich, the menu changes frequently—but don't worry, you're in good hands.
Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29: First off, Beachbum Berry is an actual guy, and he's a tiki expert. His bar is decorated with his own personal collection of tiki confections. While that's engaging unto itself, it's the drinks that are worth a try. These are the sweet abominations that you'll find on Bourbon Street. The daiquiris and tiki drinks are challenging, and mix truly fascinating ingredients and flavors. The Pontchartrain Pearl Diver is a great order, as is the Navy Grog. Order the food, too—it's good.