Ah..New Orleans, Louisiana. The city that runs deep in an array of French, African and American cuisine, food and history. The “Big Easy” sits just off the Mississippi River and close by the Gulf of Mexico bringing tourists and locals a southern experience like no other. It’s home to one of the ultimate festivals in the world during the late winter known none other than Mardi Gras.
But even before and after this annual epicenter of party mania, New Orleans boasts a mean lineup of hoppin’ nightlife and a slew of bars that adhere to any taste. Let’s take a look at Rad’s go-to watering holes in this ultimate bar guide to New Orleans.
Carousel Bar & Lounge comes in on our list at No. 1, and for good reason. This classic hit is home to a one-of-a-kind revolving bar that seats 25 people on a brilliantly glowing circus-clad Merry-Go-Round. The fully comprehensive cocktail menu brings out only the finest extravagant drinks inside the world famous bar. Like to people watch? The Carousel Bar is perched over Royal Street where hundreds of people from all walks of life stroll their merry way through the French Quarter. And if you have a few too many, the bar is connected to Hotel Monteleone for a relaxing stay in a historical accommodation head to the map below.
NOLA’s whiskey bars are at no shortage, but it’s best to hit only the finest of saloons when it comes to the dark colored rye liquor. Barrel Proof is just that. The spacious whiskey bar is located in the Lower Garden District that serves plenty of cocktails and beer specials. But when it’s all said and done, you best believe that patrons come in for the 288 varieties of whiskey to try. Feelin’ the drunchies? The kitchen stays open until midnight!
Location: Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street, New Orleans
Opening Times: 7 Days a week 11am until late
Location: 1201 Magazine Street, New Orleans
Opening Times: Daily 4pm – 12am
There is no doubt about it. If you like dive bars you like to have fun. No matter what part of the world you are in, there’s something about those sh*tty dives that really bring out the best memories. Luckily for you, New Orleans has plenty. Snake and Jakes is the legendary spot of Orleans and markets themselves as “your late nite dive.” Drinks are dirt cheap but the time you’ll have is priceless. Google it. Look at the pics. And just go. It’s literally a shack with endless amounts of alcohol.
Another stand out topping our list sits on the always trendy Magazine Street. Brothers III Lounge can’t be missed. The establishment’s brick is coated in bright yellow paint and houses the low key atmosphere of pool playin’ and background jukebox tunes. Stool bar seats and beer literally kept on ice in coolers will give you that sought-after dive feel.
Location: 7612 Oak St, New Orleans
Opening Times: 7pm nightly
Location: 4520 Magazine St, New Orleans
If not for the name alone, Parleaux Beer Lab is a go-to spot for those die hard craft beer drinkers. NOLA has seen dozens of breweries pop up in recent years but the Beer Lab truly checks off all the boxes. Although a bit farther out at the end of the Bywater, this unique beer garden brewery will satisfy the palate of any beer drinker. Tons of trucks cater on most nights of the week providing the perfect combination of street food and craft beer.
Right next door you’ll find the quirkiest of shops that has transformed into a wine garden and possibly one of the raddest spots to spend a night in New Orleans. The Bacchanal Wine Bar is open seven days a week. You can grab a bottle of wine, order cheese and vibe to live music in the torch lit ambiance. Head upstairs for an aerial view of wine-lover’s paradise.
Location: 634 Lesseps St. New Orleans
Opening Times: Thursday – Monday 12pm – 10pm
Location: 600 Poland Avenue, New Orleans
Opening Times: Friday — Saturday: 11am – 1 am and Sunday — Thursday: 11am — 12:00am
Is the food or the music better down in NOLA? If you’re answer is grub then you gotta check out Tipitina’s. Although there is no shortage of places to see a live performance in Orleans, this Uptown treasure is sure to get you groovin’. The venue has a great view with easy access to the bar and hosts everything from national acts to local brass bands.
To get that real historical feel of NOLA music, head over to One Eyed Jacks. It is the premiere venue for a heap of live performing acts from indie groups, hip hop locals and DJs spinnin’ tracks to wild dance parties. From college kids to old heads looking to turn back the clock, One Eyed Jacks is your destination for NOLA nightlife entertainment.
Location: 501 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans
Location: 615 Toulouse St. New Orleans
Related articles: 8 of The Best Festivals in New Orleans
Feature image credit: Ryan HarveyLast updated on Feb 13, 2021
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