Destinations

Your Guide to New Orleans — For Bartenders, By Bartenders

Bourbon Street at dawn
Need to know where to find the best beignets, tattoos, daiquiris, jaunty hats or voodoo dolls? We've got you covered. Photo: Timothy Neesam via Flickr.

Editor's note: This guide has evolved over the years, but its original purpose — to steer visiting bartenders toward the best bartender-approved food, drink and fun in the city — remains. Below, you'll find a slightly abridged version of the guide that we circulate to our CAPs each year. This is by no means an exhaustive list (because, let's be honest, it would take you a lot longer than a week to eat, drink and shop your way through this town) — rather, it's a handful of recommendations frequently made to our visiting friends in the service industry. Special thanks to French 75's Chris Hannah for working on the first few iterations, and to The Saint's Nicholas Jarrett for continuing the tradition. Check out the Google map (which you can bookmark here), and read below for a few tips and tidbits.


Breakfast, when you have a seminar (and need to stay in the French Quarter)

  • Stanley in Jackson Square on the St. Ann Street side
  • Jägerhaus at 833 Conti Street
  • Daisy Dukes at 121 Chartres
  • The Old Coffee Pot Restaurant at 714 St Peter
  • Red Gravy at 125 Camp St
  • Café Fleur-de-Lis at 307 Chartres St. just across from the back of the hotel and delivers as well.
  • Café Beignet at 334 Royal St., a block away from the hotel
  • Verti Marte at 1201 Royal St., other side of the Quarter, open 24/7, killer sandwiches and breakfast food, and they deliver


Breakfast when you don’t have a seminar (and have time to cab out of the Quarter)

  • Envie Espresso Bar & Cafe (It’s still in the Quarter, just on the other side; good breakfast)
  • Croissant D’Or Patisserie at 617 Ursulines
  • The Cheezy Cajun at 3325 St Claude Ave
  • New Orleans Cake Café & Bakery at 2440 Chartres Street
  • District: Donuts Sliders Brew at Jackson and Magazine (nitro cold brew and doughnuts)
  • Hivolt Coffee at 1829 Sophie Wright, swag baked goods, vegetarian fare, baller coffee
  • Horn’s at 1940 Dauphine Street, best breakfast in town right now, and a full bar.
  • Li’l Dizzy’s at 1500 Esplanade, comfort food, breakfast and lunch
  • Satsuma Café at 3218 Dauphine Street
  • Surreys Café at 1418 Magazine Street
  • Slim Goodies Diner at 3322 Magazine Street
  • Stein's Market & Deli at 2207 Magazine Street. Amazing. If you just need a bagel, Stein’s your man.
  • The Ruby Slipper Cafe at 139 South Cortez Street
  • Elizabeth’s at 601 Gallier Street
  • Il Posto Italian Cafe at 4607 Dryades Street. Bagels, salads, panini.
  • The Camellia Grill: take the St. Charles Streetcar, a great experience in itself, to 626 S. Carrollton Ave
  • Willa Jean, 611 O’Keefe — fancy breakfast in the CBD
  • St. Roch Market at St. Claude and St. Roch. Big indoor food court, lots of local vendors, a little bit of produce, bar. Coffee, bakery open at 7 a.m., food and bar begin at 9 a.m.


Coffee, part one: Fancy Coffee for Coffee People

  • Spitfire Coffee on St. Peter between Chartres and Royal (Panther espresso, pour-overs)
  • Arrow Café at 628 N. Rampart (Four Barrel off a GB5, pour-overs, bike repair)
  • Hivolt at 1928 Sophie Wright (Counter Culture, Oji drips, pour-overs, espresso)
  • Church Alley Coffee Bar at 1228 Oretha Castle Haley
  • Sólo Espresso at 1301 Poland Avenue (Panther espresso, best growlers of iced coffee)
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters inside the Ace Hotel at 610 Carondelet
  • Revelator Coffee at 637 Tchoupitoulas
  • Salon Restaurant by Sucré at 622 Conti: espresso and pourover, close to the Monteleone
  • French Truck Coffee at 1200 Magazine
  • Orange Couch at 2339 Royal Street in the Marigny is also noteworthy for their excellent Thai iced teas and café sua da
  • Cherry Coffee is uptown, by Cure


Coffee, Part Two: New Orleans-Style Coffee

  • Café du Monde at 800 Decatur Street, bottom of Jackson Square: chicory coffee, iced or hot, with confectioner's sugar-doused beignets. If you’ve never been, hit them at least once.
  • Café Beignet at 334 Royal Street, basically right next to the Monteleone: perfectly serviceable chicory-coffee and light breakfast; crazy later in the week.


Coffee, Part Three: Frozen Irish Coffee

  • Erin Rose at 811 Conti
  • Molly’s on Toulouse at 732 Toulouse
  • Molly’s on the Market at 1107 Decatur


Coffee, Part Four: Café Brûlot (Flaming, Brandy-Spiked Coffee)

  • Antoine’s, oldest restaurant in New Orleans, come for the show.
  • Arnaud’s, tableside service, on a rolling cart. Dress up.
  • Galatoire’s, ultra fancy, old school, on Bourbon between Iberville and Bienville. Dress like you’re a Southern politician.


Lunch in the French Quarter

  • Café Amelie at 912 Royal Street (great cocktails, too… excellent courtyard)
  • Napoleon House at corner of St Louis and Chartres (muffaletta + Pimm’s Cups)
  • Green Goddess at 307 Exchange place (they close at 9, not open on Monday)
  • Coop's Place at 1109 Decatur Street (local favorite)
  • Port of Call on Esplanade (burgers, steaks, baked potatoes, super strong old school tiki drinks)
  • Killer Poboys at Erin Rose (closed Tuesdays)
  • SoBou in W Hotel
  • Kingfish at Chartres and Conti
  • Felipe’s at 301 N. Peters - Mexican with fresh margaritas (and a tiki bar upstairs on certain nights of the week)
  • Verti Marte at 1201 Royal Street for grocery po’boys: fried oyster, fried shrimp, shrimp Philly, “All that Jazz,” “Ernie’s Powerhouse.” They also have veggie sandwiches for the vegetarians.
  • see Breakfasts In French Quarter


Lunch Outside the French Quarter

  • Cochon and Butcher, both at 930 Tchopitoulas Street
  • Peche at 800 Magazine. James Beard's 2014 Best New American Restaurant
  • La Boucherie at 8115 Jeannette Street
  • Tracey’s at 2604 Magazine Street (roast beef po’boy)
  • The Joint at 701 Mazant Street
  • Company Burger at 4600 Freret Street or in the CBD off O’Keefe
  • Crabby Jacks at 428 Jefferson Highway (2 hour total time limit needed)
  • Parkway Tavern and Bakery (best po’boys)
  • Café Bamboo 435 Esplanade Ave. @ Decatur
  • Willie Mae's or Dooky Chase in the Treme for legit New Orleans fried chicken
  • Tan Dinh at 1705 Lafayette Street, Gretna, the West Bank. This is the best Vietnamese food in America. It’s across the river, a ten or fifteen minute $12-15 car ride. Go, but plan for transport back beforehand. Have the quail.


Good Eats to Google on your own time…

  • Sylvain
  • Domenica
  • Cane & Table
  • Boucherie
  • Root
  • La Boca
  • Herbsaint
  • Three Muses
  • Mariza
  • Meauxbar
  • SoBou
  • MoPho
  • Oxalis
  • Shaya
  • Angeline
  • Casa Borrega
  • Primitivo
  • August
  • Galatoire’s
  • Arnaud’s
  • Broussards
  • Commander’s Palace
  • Geautreau’s
  • Square Root
  • Patois
  • Clancy’s


NOLA Institutions

  • Café du Monde
  • Central Grocery (lunch/muffalettas)
  • Clover Grill (24-hour greasy spoon diner in the quarter)
  • Mothers (breakfast and lunch)
  • Pascal’s Manale (lunch and dinner, original BBQ shrimp, blocks from Cure)
  • Hansen’s Sno-Bliz
  • Tujague’s (lunch and dinner) Home of the Grasshopper


Cocktail Bars

  • Cure
  • Sylvain
  • Catahoula
  • The bars at the Ace Hotel
  • SoBou
  • Cane and Table
  • Carousel Bar and Back Bar
  • Oxalis
  • Barrel Proof
  • Tiki Tolteca
  • Swizzle Stick
  • Bourbon O
  • Herbsaint
  • Domenica/Sazerac Bar
  • French 75 Bar
  • Broussards
  • Tujague's
  • Compere Lapin
  • Bouligny Tavern
  • Coquette
  • 12 Mile Limit
  • Delachaise
  • Loa
  • Tonique
  • Victory Bar
  • Bombay Club
  • Kingfish
  • the Mayhaw at the St. Roch Market
  • Latitude 29
  • Cafe Henri
  • Bar Revel


Dive Bars in French Quarter

  • Erin Rose at 811 Conti Street (remember, there’s a room in the back)
  • Cosimo's at 1201 Burgundy Street
  • B Mac's at 819 St Louis Street
  • Chart Room at 300 Chartres Street
  • Three Legged Dog at 400 Burgundy Street
  • Toulouse Dive Bar/the Dungeon at 730-8 Toulouse Street
  • Molly’s at the Market at 1107 Decatur Street
  • Abbey at 1123 Decatur Street
  • Jimini at 141 Chartres Street
  • Alibi at 811 Iberville Street
  • Flanagan’s at 625 St Phillip Street
  • Aunt Tiki’s at 1207 Decatur Street (interesting people hang out here late night)
  • R Bar at 1431 Royal Street

Dive Bars Outside French Quarter

  • The Saint at 961 St. Mary (Chris Hannah’s neighborhood bar, and Nick Jarrett’s main squeeze)
  • Pals at 949 North Rendon Street (Midcity’s jam)
  • BJ’s at 4301 Burgundy Street, live music
  • J and J’s, at 800 France, just south of BJ’s
  • Saturn Bar at 3067 St. Claude, New Orleans institution. Consistently noted as one of America’s great dive bars -- you’ve seen their logo in your own town on a bar wall, I almost guarantee you.
  • Poor Boys at 1334 St. Bernard -- old school set-up bar recently taken over by friends on St. Claude. You’re guaranteed to see a mix of real neighborhood folks. Plus, set ups before 10 pm. That’s the old school buy-a-half-pint-of-liquor-and-mixers and a fingerbowl of ice service. Some real New Orleans right there. And a who’s-who of the best downtown dive bartenders and artists behind the stick.
  • Bud Rip’s at 900 Piety, one of the oldest unrenovated bars in New Orleans, under new ownership and an up-and-coming hipster hot spot. Where the hot people are, if you’re into bikers, rockers, and tattoos (dudes and ladies both). Plus, the roomiest pool table in town.
  • Lost Love Lounge and Mimi’s in the Marigny at the corner of Franklin and Royal (go to both, when you’re at one, ask where the other one is…then go back and forth if you wish)
  • Big Daddy’s across the street from Mimi’s is legendary as well. Misty is the best, shower her with tips and affection. All roads lead to Big Daddy’s, but be very careful, the place is a time-warp and never closes. Before you know it, the sun is going down… again.
  • Brothers III Lounge at 4520 Magazine Street. Cure’s after-hours jam.
  • Miss Mae’s at 4336 Magazine Street is where nights go to die.
  • Snake and Jakes at 7612 Oak Street (mandatory if you go to Cure, according to Chris Hannah)
  • Crown and Anchor at 200 Pelican Avenue in Algiers Point, not a dive but a dreamy English Pub, take the ferry across right below Harrah’s, it’s free/cheap for foot traffic.


The Bourbon Street Experience

  • the Original Tropical Isle at Bourbon and Toulouse. Skip the hand grenade, get the Shark Attack. Have Kyle make it for you if he’s there -- tell ‘em Nick from the Saint sent you.
  • Pat O’Brien’s on St. Peter between Bourbon and Royal -- fire fountains, dueling copper pianos, the quintessential Bourbon Street haunt. Hurricanes. It’s the original. Everyone should have one once.
  • Oz on Bourbon and St. Ann, the Quarter’s gay bar
  • Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar at Bourbon and St. Philip. Usually acknowledged as being one of the oldest bar buildings in America -- real old school French Quarter, pirates, and patriots. Purple Drank.
  • Deja Vu Showgirls. Dance clubs are still a big part of Bourbon Street. If you choose to go hit one, Deja Vu is one of the most democratic on Bourbon, and many of our best burlesque dancers and friends pull shifts here. Catch the right folks, and the playlist is more Danzig, Marilyn Manson, and southern rock. Tip your dancers!


Frozen Daiquiris

  • Gene’s on Elysian Fields and St. Claude. It’s not drive-through, but they sell frozens by the gallon. Be sweet to the neighborhood folks who run it, and they’ll take good care of you. It’s July, it’s hot, and a frozen, sweet, highly alcoholic beverage is probably just what you need.
  • Big Easy Daiquiri’s located at 216 Bourbon and 501 Bourbon. In 2015, they created a French 75 daiquiri for Tales guests.
  • St. Lawrence on Decatur Street. A tasty Pimm’s Cup daiquiri.
  • Compere Lapin
  • Bouree, a wing and daiquiri shop

Haberdasheries and Other Shops

  • Funky Monkey at 3127 Magazine Street
  • Miss Claudia’s at 4204 Magazine Street (New Orleans Costume Shop is on the same block…you never know my friends, you never know)
  • Fleurty Girl at 2 locations 623 St. Peter Street and 3117 Magazine Street when you’re visiting Funky Monkey
  • Meyer the Hatter is a must
  • Le Garage at 1234 Decatur Street (also go to store next door to this to the back to look for outfits)
  • The 2000/2100 Blocks of Magazine Street have a plethora of shops for clothes and hats and bowties and the best old-school shave you’ll ever have. Call Aidan Gill for Men 504.587.9090 for a reservation for shave. Ladies, do save up for a dress from Trashy Diva…they’re local favorites here and a very nice Nola memento you’ll keep wearing for years.
  • Hustler Hollywood at 111 Bourbon St for your all your adult/alternative needs.


Tattoos

  • Downtown Tattoo at 501 Frenchmen Street is the official tattoo partner for Tales, owner Hayley used to work with Sailor Jerry. They’re great and take walk-ins (although try not to crush them with seventeen people we did a few years back with no notice). (504) 266-2211
  • Abracadabra (4921 Freret directly next to Cure) is truly righteous – Jordan is the man. So’s Cornbread, & crew. The most rock and roll parlor in town. You’ll want an appointment. (504) 702 8748
  • Tattoo A-Go-Go isn’t far from Cure at 4421 Magazine. Kenny does great work. It’s also right across the street from Bros. III Lounge, New Orleans’ notorious uptown country dive bar. (504) 899-8229
  • Electric Ladyland Tattoo just up the street at 610 Frenchmen is also excellent. Ask for Matty. They can handle walk-ins as well. (504) 947-8286
  • Eye Candy at 1578 Magazine has killer artists. Some require advance appointments. (504) 299-8222


Pools

  • The Country Club at 634 Louisa in the Bywater is a cooled saltwater pool with a cabana bar outside, smoking, pool table, food, Jacuzzi, sauna. It gets wild.


Voodoo Stops

  • Marie Laveau’s at 739 Bourbon Street
  • VooDoo Museum at 724 Dumaine Street
  • Voodoo Temple at 828 Rampart Street
  • F&F Botanica at 801 N. Broad is the REAL deal. Take a car. (Ann Tuennerman’s favorite)


Live Music

  • Frenchmen Street is a safe bet every single night, period. Go, and tell your cab driver “Frenchmen and Chartres” and you’re set.
  • Monday Night is great at Mimi’s Upstairs at 2601 Royal St, and Maple Leaf uptown at 8316 Oak St. BJ’s is excellent on Mondays as well, corner of Burgundy and Lesseps one block from Vaughan’s
  • Tuesday Night is Maple Leaf at 8316 Oak Street. (while you’re there drop by Cure at Freret and Upperline Streets).
  • Wednesday night is great at DBA on Frenchmen and Candlelight Lounge at 1200 N. Robertson.
  • I truly hope you’ll check out Candlelight Lounge for Treme Brass Band, although our beloved Uncle Lionel passed away last year.
  • Thursday Night is great at Vaughan’s on Lesseps and Dauphine.
  • Friday Night Frenchmen Street is the best.
  • Dos Jeffes at 5535 Tchoupitoulas Street (If you want to break away from the scene for a cigar and jazz)
  • Sunday, Bacchanal at the end of the world – Chartres and Poland. Your leaders will bring you here.
  • And if metal, rock or bounce is more your jam, Siberia at Franklin and St. Claude is a must. If you’re into that kind of thing, you should also be aware that Tales always falls on the week of Creepyfest NOLA, and there are tons of cool local acts playing around town. Just google Creepyfest NOLA for schedules.
  • Also, across the way from Siberia is Kajun’s – twenty-four hour karaoke, 7 days a week.

Most of all: Have fun, be safe, and if you're outside of the Quarter, take a cab home. Uber works in a pinch, but we recommend supporting New Orleans' local cab company, United Cab Dispatch: (504) 522-9771.

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