Jan 15 Best Bars in New Orleans
New Orleans has not been immune to pandemic restrictions, but NOLA knows how to bounce back and retain its reputation as the party town it will always be. Strict shutdowns have protected the overall health of the service industry while keeping the doors open.
While you can no longer party 24 hours, bars, clubs, and restaurants are working within limited hours to provide guests with the full Cajun experience. Here are just a smattering of establishments worth patronizing.
The courtyard at the Saint-Germain offers a relaxing option for sipping wines from around the globe. Like discovering a hidden gem, the French-style bistro still has no sign of its own, found instead by the old Sugar Park neon blazing out front. Try the famous St-Germain spritz featuring elderflower and sparkling wine served by the pitcher. Be sure to make a reservation for the dining room – it’s worth it.
Self-proclaimed neighborhood joint, Longway Tavern, feels like a homey pub, and hosts an open-air courtyard to extend its famous hospitality. You’ll feel like you’re hanging at a friend’s house, assuming that friend had a full bar, amazing cocktails, and great food. You can sit inside or out while you enjoy the vibe or take it all to go.
Since even now, there is always something to celebrate, head to the bubbles-only Effervescence Bubbles & Bites. There are 18 sparkling varieties from around the world served by the glass including hard to find vintages. Like your bubby mixed in a cocktail? Try the French 75 or other handcrafted selections. Enjoy bites all day or come for brunch on Sunday. Be sure to make reservations for the courtyard or indoor seating.
For those with a sweet tooth, Bakery Bar is back in business with both in-house and takeout. Their truly famous doberge is classic New Orleans, and few do it as well. Pair the many layers of cake with a creative cocktail, a glass of wine, or selected beer. If cake isn’t your thing, try the trash fries or biscuit board while you imbibe.
For a taste of history in the Garden District, the Avenue Pup boasts their “Big Beer List,” one of the best in the country. Whiskey snobs, beer geeks, sports fans, and tourists will all be comfortable at this classic NOLA establishment. Like most places, there is limited capacity and robust takeout options.
For a sip-and-stroll around the Bayou St. John neighborhood, head to the takeout window of Pal’s Lounge. Try the watermelon margarita or any of the other specialty cocktails, then choose a snack from the visiting food truck. There are also plenty of brews to choose from as you enjoy the sights.
As always, check the websites or call ahead to ensure operational hours and any restrictions. Be sure to mask-up!