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The Best Cocktail Bars in New Orleans: A Guide to Boozing in the Big Easy

It goes without saying that New Orleans is known for its love of cocktails, and there’s certainly no shortage of places to find them! Below is my list of what I consider to be the best cocktail bars in New Orleans, along with my favorite drinks at each, and a link to their current menu. Cheers!

Bar Marilou | The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in New Orleans

Bar Marilou

This library-style lounge with animal-print carpet, bold antique furniture, and red walls. It’s very moody & aesthetic, so it’s perfect for a date night or girls’ night out. This is somewhere you’ll want to make a reservation in advance as it’s a popular spot that doesn’t typically take walk-ins.

If you’re a guest at the accompanying hotel, Maison de la Luz, you can access a small speakeasy behind one of the bookshelves. I’ve been dying to get in there and finally got to experience it recently thanks to family who were staying there. (The rooms are definitely out of my price range but if you can afford it, the speakeasy is a nice little treat!)

My picks: Carpe D.M. + La Luz Espresso
Bar Marilou
Bouligny Tavern

Bouligny Tavern

A great little spot on Magazine Street with amazing drinks and food! The menu changes occasionally, but treat yourself to their fries & aioli, burrata bruschetta, and ricotta stuffed olives if they’re available! This is another spot you’ll want to make reservations for in advance since it’s pretty small and always busy. If it’s a nice day request a table on the porch out front or in the alley alongside the house.

My picks: Birds & bees + Banana for Scale
Bouligny Tavern
The Bower | The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in New Orleans

The Bower

This is one of my go-to spots for happy hour because they have so many great cocktail and food options on the menu that you really can’t go wrong. The interior is beautifully decorated, plus they have another bar in the back, as well as a large outdoor patio to enjoy when the weather is nice. 

My picks: Mood Ring + Bower Sour (I sub Mezcal for Bourbon and it’s amazing!)
The Bower
Hot Tin

Hot Tin

If you’re looking for amazing views of the city, look no further! Hot Tin easily has the best viewpoint of downtown New Orleans from its balcony on the top of the Ponchartrain Hotel. What was formerly a penthouse is now an intimate, 1940s-style cocktail bar with eclectic decor. Doors open at 2 pm daily and it’s first come, first served entry. If you’re visiting on a weekend be sure to get there early as it gets crowded and you won’t be able to go up once they reach capacity. The cocktail menu changes seasonally, so click on the link below to see what they’re currently offering.

My picks: Appley-ever after (fall) & Young Padawan (summer)
Hot Tin

Chapel Club

This is a new favorite of mine located inside Hotel St Vincent. It’s supposedly for hotel guests only, but I’ve never had any issues getting in. However, they are only open Thursday through Sunday from 3 pm to midnight. You can also visit the hotel’s other bar, Paradise Lounge, and enjoy cocktails on the beautiful patio outside. Find more gorgeous hotel bars in the city here.

My pick: Orange Julius
Chapel Club
Vessel | The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in New Orleans

Vessel

Drinking inside a centuries-old church turned restaurant & bar -yes, please! This is another great happy hour location, especially because of the way the late afternoon light hits the stained glass windows. 

My picks: Royal Pearl & Pink Lady
Vessel
Jewel of the South

Jewel of the South

Tucked away in the French Quarter you’ll find the winner of the 2022 Tales of the Cocktail. Their intimate courtyard is perfect for a girls’ night out or a date night. Be sure to make reservations for this one in advance. They have a seasonal cocktail menu so click on the link below to see what they’re currently offering.

My picks: Sword Lily & Curried Banana Colada
Jewel of the South 
two green cocktails sit on a candlelit table at Loa Bar in New Orleans

Loa Bar

This hidden gem is located inside the International House Hotel. Surprisingly I don’t hear this place mentioned very often, but it’s honestly one of my favorite hotel bars in the city. If you’re looking for a romantic spot for date night, this is it. They have a larger drink list available at the bar than what’s shown on the website, and the bartenders here can make anything you’d like.

My picks: French 75 (they have one of the best in the city) & Storm Warning
Loa Bar
Gianna | The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in New Orleans

Gianna

Although Gianna is best known for being a restaurant (one of my favorites in New Orleans-you can check out my other must-visit restaurants here) they always have a great cocktail list, so it’s totally worth a trip just for that. If you like espresso martinis, they have the best one in the city. I strongly advise you eat here too though!

My picks: Brezza Fresca & Espresso Martini
Gianna
shot of two cocktails, along with a candle and menu for Jolie

Jolie

If you love a gorgeous, moody interior with speakeasy vibes, this new cocktail bar in the Warehouse District is for you! They have an extensive cocktail menu with detailed descriptions, right down to what type of glass each drink comes in. They have a nice mocktail menu available here also.

My picks: symmetry & Fire
Jolie

I hope this list of the best cocktail bars in New Orleans convinces you to spice it up with some new drinks. If you’re looking for something other than cocktails check out my post on The Best Breweries in New Orleans or the DRINK section of the blog for more New Orleans watering holes.

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