- 21st Amendment Bar – I’ve been to New Orleans three times so far, and I make a point to stop by this bar at least once during each visit. It’s probably my favorite! 21st Amendment has an intimate setting, great bartenders, and excellent cocktails. It also has live music every day of the week. This is where I first heard the Christopher Johnson Quartet play. They’re an awesome band and Chris is incredible on the sax! 21st Amendment also features impressive groups like The Ibervillianaires, who I saw at Norfolk’s Bayou Boogaloo this past summer.
- Carousel Bar and Lounge – You’ve probably heard about the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a bar that spins around in a circle. It rotates at low speed, so don’t worry about motion sickness or injury. I’m not big into dark liquors, but my colleague said they have excellent Manhattans. And I recall enjoying my gin drink very much! Classic cocktails are $12, with premiums coming in at $15.
- Olde NOLA Cookery – I came here for dinner on my own. I got the friend shrimp platter ($16) and it was excellent! The staff were very friendly and served generous portions. In fact, I was so full when I left, I had to get a to-go box for dinner, and cup for my beer. It’s always fun carrying your drink down the street anyway! Check this place out for a quick bite to eat before heading out to the bars. Tip of the ToE: Staff often stand outside with coupons to use on your meal.
- The Sazerac Bar – Check out this swanky spot for prime cocktails with luxurious surroundings. I would try to go during happy hour because it’s a pricier bar with cocktails ranging from $13 to $18. I originally headed here because The Sazerac came up in a Google search for “rooftop bars near me”, but it’s actually on the lower level at the Waldorf Astoria.
- Palace Cafe – I went here for happy hour and got a few IPAs and a cheese board for sharing. Both were excellent. Even better, we had live entertainment out on the patio. A man played saxophone on the street and a giant parade crossed on the street corner.
- Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar – For anyone into history, Lafitte’s is a MUST visit spot. The blacksmith shop was built between 1722 and 1732 by Nicholas Touze. It’s the oldest structure used as a bar in the United States. Great drinks, good vibes, and unique ambiance lend appeal to this neat local spot.
- Oceana Grill – OMG, if you’re looking for a po-boy in New Orleans, look no further! I had never eaten a po-boy before entering this restaurant. I got the fried shrimp ($13) and it was amazing! On top of the great food and nice outdoor patio setting, every staff member that passed by welcomed and thanked us for dining with Oceana. It was an excellent experience all around.
- Cane & Table – Cane & Table serves rum-based cocktails and eclectic small and large plates in an environment that evokes Old Havana. A Monday through Friday happy hour features discounted food and classic cocktails from 3-6pm. Try the C&T Piña Colada for a lighter take on the traditional Latin drink. This unique spot also offers an all-you-can-drink brunch for $45.
- Bourbon O Bar – I decided to enter this place because the music drew me in. Like so many establishments in New Orleans, incredible jazz is just a step away. Shynola Jazz Band was playing the evening I walked by. I’m happy to report that a year after I first saw the Christopher Johnson Quartet at 21st Amendment, I found Chris on the sax again at Bourbon O. Not only was the music great (and free!), but the cocktail was excellent. My Pimm’s Cup was $12.
- SoBou – Here’s one of a few spots boasting 25 cent martinis! The special is available Monday through Friday from 11:30am to 3pm with the purchase of an entrée, and is limited to three per person. The atmosphere is very chic and the food is great.
10 Must Visit Bars and Restaurants in The French Quarter
For anyone into history, Lafitte's is a MUST visit spot. The blacksmith shop was built between 1722 and 1732 by Nicholas Touze. It's the oldest structure used as a bar in the United States.