Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
Established in the early 1700s, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is said to be the oldest bar in America. The only electric lights inside Lafitte’s are over the bar itself, and the rest of the space is kept naturally dim, lit only by the sun and by candles at night. It’s the kind of place that invites you to ponder the passage of time, admiring the old piano in the corner while listening to rap blasting over the speakers. Introspection aside, it’s also a great place to have drinks and relax.
Cane & Table
The peeling paint on the walls, big windows, high ceilings and glittering chandeliers at Cane & Table takes one back to the yesteryear of the French Quarter, or perhaps all the way to Havana. The Caribbean cuisine and the rum-heavy cocktails make this one of the best stops in the city for both dinner and drinks. Make sure to try the heavenly peas ‘n’ rice and fresh puffed pork skins.
A 200-year-old landmark building, Napoleon House captures the distilled essence of New Orleans’ history. The building’s first occupant, Nicholas Girod, was mayor of New Orleans from 1812 to 1815. Girod offered the residence as an asylum to Napoleon in 1821 during his exile, and although the conqueror never made it there, the name has stuck. Many patrons are drawn to this bar for its old world charm, with its cozy wooden furniture and paintings covering the walls (which often feature in their Trivia nights). But the star attraction of Napoleon House is the original Pimm’s Cup: a sweet, caramel-colored liqueur tasting of orange peel, spices and juniper. Though the Napoleon House is a popular spot with a very rich history, they’ve made sure to keep their menu affordably priced.
Napoleon House, 500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA, United States +1 504 524 9752
The Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge is the only revolving bar in all of New Orleans, located inside the Hotel Monteleone above Royal Street. Sitting at this lazily spinning carousel bar, you’ll be snagging one of the most treasured seats in the city. Customers flock to this bar not just for the novelty of its namesake, but for the range of local live music performances and the fantastic cocktail selection. Their drink list offers a perfect mix of local specialities and well-known classics, making this a great spot to start your bar-bopping rotation.
Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA, United States +1 504 523 3341
The Bombay Club is a swanky establishment which exudes the exclusive feel of an invitation-only club, with its sleek interiors, wood-paneled bar, and unending supply of martinis. Musicians perform nightly here, but you’ll still be able to hear your conversation over their ongoing jazz sets. The drink menu is a mix of Prohibition speakeasy staples and smart twists on old classics, like the ‘Oh My Word’ (a riff on the better-known Last Word cocktail). Their food menu also experiments with traditional dishes: instead of bangers and mash, you’ll find bangers and grits with black pudding and onion pan gravy.
Bombay Club, 830 Conti St, New Orleans, LA, United States +1 504-577-2237
French 75 is an enduring classic in the French District’s bar scene. The black-and-white tiled floors, gold lamp lighting, and courteous bow-tied bar staff create a truly elegant ambience. This atmosphere draws in a diverse crowd, from suits celebrating after work to cozy couples enjoying an intimate chat over drinks. Here you’ll find some of the best cocktails in town: their namesake French 75 (prepared with cognac) is not to be missed.
French 75, 813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA, United States +1 504 523 5433