10 Must-Try New Orleans Bars - IMBOLDN
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Ah, New Orleans. NOLA. The Big Easy. Crescent City. The Southern metropolis known for its rich Creole food, debaucherous nightlife, and amazing live music scene is widely considered one of the most unique destinations in the US.

In a city with a clear drinking culture (nonexistent open container laws, anyone?) it’s imperative to plan out your bar crawl well in advance of your visit. Here are some of the best watering holes that city has to offer.

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This gritty looking brick building in the city's gritty Bywater neighborhood is actually a wine shop with a lush backyard and live jazz seven nights a week. Don't forget to order one of the legendary cheese plates while you enjoy the scene.

  • New Orleans Bars


This rooftop pool and cocktail bar at the newly-opened Ace Hotel is sure to be the go-to spot for spring and summer nights. Their website says it best: "A relaxed rooftop garden, Alto crowns Ace Hotel New Orleans with cinematic views of the city stretched out on all sides. Take it easy up top with poolside cocktails and Italian-inspired dining, both programmed by James Beard Award-nominated chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman — the brains behind our on-site osteria Josephine Estelle. It's magic up there.”

  • New Orleans Bars


A pioneer in the New Orleans craft cocktail movement, Cure is consistently listed on "Best of" lists, including Drinks International's prestigious ranking of the 50 best bars in the world.

  • New Orleans Bars

Patrick's Bar Vin

For wine lovers out there, this one is a must. Named a top 10 wine bar in the U.S. by both Gayot and Fox News, this elegant bar in the heart of the French Quarter offers an extensive wine menu, Belgian beers, and a host of signature cocktails. For those who see themselves spending an extended period of time in NOLA, there's a limited number of climate controlled personal wine lockers that can be engraved with the owner's name.

  • New Orleans Bars

Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29

Of Latitude 29, Esquire’s cocktail guru David Wondrich opined, “Damned if the drinks aren't the best of their kind.” This quirky tiki bar and restaurant, steps from the Mississippi, is the brainchild of Jeff Berry, who's been called one of the "25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century.”

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Carousel Bar

For the past 65 years, Carousel bar has been one of the city's hotspots, and is the only revolving bar in New Orleans (yes, it's an actual carousel). Once a haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, Carousel Bar has been named one of the 20 best bars in the world by Vogue Living.

  • New Orleans Bars

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

If you'll be on Bourbon Street (and, let's be honest, you will be at some point), a stop at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is a must. Built between 1722 and 1732 by Nicolas Touze, is reputed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the United States. It's also said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the city.

  • New Orleans Bars

Sazerac Bar

Named after what many consider to be the world's first cocktail, Sazerac Bar is housed in the luxe Roosevelt Hotel. Sip a Sazerac or a Ramos Gin Fizz (both were invented nearby and have been perfected by the bar's staff) while you bask in the elegant old-world vibe.

  • New Orleans Bars

Arnaud's French 75 Bar

Senior bartender Chris Hannah has been called "an alcohol alchemist and a cocktail world celebrity." If that isn't enough to convince you it's worth a visit to this French Quarter staple, we don't know what is.

The Country Club

The Country Club is about as different from swanky French 75 Bar as you can get. Opened in 1977, this Bywater hotspot offers great food and drinks in the historic Italianate cottage. But the real fun is to be had out back, where you can enjoy the saltwater pool, hot tub, sauna, and cabana bar.