Booze To-Go: History of the To-Go Cup in New Orleans

To-go cups in New Orleans
To-go cups in New Orleans | © brando.n / Flickr
Elizabeth Nicholas

New Orleans may be famous for a lot of things—jazz, delicious beignets, and Cajun food among them—but the city is arguably most famous for its love of a good party.

From Mardi Gras to the Jazz Festival, it seems like the city is always celebrating something. The French Quarter is the city’s most famous party neighborhood, and it is brimming with bars and restaurants that people mingle freely in and out of most nights of the year. And New Orleans has balmy weather year-round. All of this together makes for a pretty lively atmosphere, most of the time, in the city.

The French Quarter at night

So when it came time to come up with laws regulating how people in New Orleans can and can’t drink in public, it isn’t too surprising that the city’s laws are laxer than most.

New Orleans Municipal Code Sec. 54-404 allows anyone to carry an open container in the French Quarter on public streets, sidewalks, and parks. But there’s a catch—the containers aren’t allowed to be glass, so you won’t be able to pop open a bottle of Stella or pinot noir and wander freely.

Instead, the law requires a reversion to collegiate drinking accoutrements—plastic cups and bottles that you might otherwise drink from in the midst of a workout are the way to go while out in the city.

And drivers should be especially wary—for their own safety and that of others, as well as of running afoul of the law. Open containers of all kinds are strictly prohibited in cars, even if the person drinking isn’t the one driving. (And for those trying to get creative with their modes of transport—this applies to biking too.)

The French Quarter

New Orleans liquor laws are more lenient than others in the United States in other ways too. For one, liquor is sold 24 hours a day, seven days a week: no Sunday morning prohibition here.

And despite the moratorium on driving with booze that looks ready to consume, there is one way that a drive-in daiquiri stand manages to get around the law—as long as the daiquiri has a lid on it and the straw hasn’t been poked through the lid, the container counts as closed. So if you’re headed to a party and want to make sure you’ll have plenty to drink while you’re there, drive-in daiquiri stands are fair game.

As they say—laissez les bon temps rouler.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
Edit article