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Day Drinking in the Big Easy


davemy
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Yes, I realize that it's totally a tourist thing to do, but I have a day pre-cruise to see Bourbon St. and some of New Orleans. So here's my plan:

Mardi Gras World:     Vast, 400,000-sq.-ft. complex where Mardi Gras floats are made & stored. Our tour allows you to see firsthand what it takes to bring Mardi Gras to life.

Café Du Monde:         Iconic cafe known for café au laits, chicory coffee & beignets.

Sazerac House:         Take a tour of the legacy and lore of your favorite drinks. Explore exhibits in a beautiful setting with opportunities to enjoy free samples.

French Quarter:

1.   Carousel Bar:    At the Hotel Monteleone has a bar that revolves like a carousel.

2.   Old Absinthe House:          Saloon serving absinthe cocktails in historic building.

3.   Fat Catz:   A music club, with live bands playing a variety of music.

4.   Antoine’s Restaurant:       Circa-1840 fine French-Creole dining & birthplace of oysters Rockefeller.

5.   Napoleon House:       Muffalettas, po' boys & other Creole staples in a circa-1914 house with a palm-filled courtyard.

6.   Pirates Alley Cafe:     Hangout in a historic alley with a pirate theme, costumed bartenders, pub food & absinthe.

7.   Pat O’Brien’s:            Outdoor hangout with a flaming fountain, the bar that invented the hurricane cocktail.

8.   Spirits on Bourbon:   Lively bar with light-up signature cocktails, dueling pianos nightly & Cajun-accented pub grub. Featured on “Bar Rescue”.

9.   Lafitte Blacksmith shop:    One of the oldest bars around, serving beer & frozen drinks since the 1700s.

We will sample food at several different stops in the French Quarter and definitely be taking a cab back to the hotel. For those with more experience, are there any places I should add?  
 

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8 hours ago, davemy said:

Yes, I realize that it's totally a tourist thing to do, but I have a day pre-cruise to see Bourbon St. and some of New Orleans.

You're going to have to pick and choose a bit-- if you did all of this in one day you might not make it onto your cruise. That being said you can can drink in New Orleans basically 24 hours a day. 

 

8 hours ago, davemy said:

Mardi Gras World:     Vast, 400,000-sq.-ft. complex where Mardi Gras floats are made & stored. Our tour allows you to see firsthand what it takes to bring Mardi Gras to life.

Café Du Monde:         Iconic cafe known for café au laits, chicory coffee & beignets.

Sazerac House:         Take a tour of the legacy and lore of your favorite drinks. Explore exhibits in a beautiful setting with opportunities to enjoy free samples.

This is all very touristy-- personally would skip it unless floats get you really excited. Cafe du Monde you are going to end up going to regardless of what I say, so just go when there is little to no line-- its not worth waiting for. 

 

8 hours ago, davemy said:

1.   Carousel Bar:    At the Hotel Monteleone has a bar that revolves like a carousel.

Great bar that's well worth a visit-- if you want a seat on the actual carousel (vs in the lounge) go off peak. 

 

8 hours ago, davemy said:

2.   Old Absinthe House:          Saloon serving absinthe cocktails in historic building.

3.   Fat Catz:   A music club, with live bands playing a variety of music.

These are both a dime a dozen-- don't make a destination out of these two-- you'll find yourself walking by a bunch of similar bars you can just wander into. 

 

8 hours ago, davemy said:

4.   Antoine’s Restaurant:       Circa-1840 fine French-Creole dining & birthplace of oysters Rockefeller.

Worth a visit-- you can add Arnauds and Galatoires in the same genre. Antoines Hermes Bar is most likely my favorite of the old legacy restaurant's watering holes. 

 

8 hours ago, davemy said:

5.   Napoleon House:       Muffalettas, po' boys & other Creole staples in a circa-1914 house with a palm-filled courtyard.

6.   Pirates Alley Cafe:     Hangout in a historic alley with a pirate theme, costumed bartenders, pub food & absinthe.

 

Skip-- tourist traps. 

 

8 hours ago, davemy said:

7.   Pat O’Brien’s:            Outdoor hangout with a flaming fountain, the bar that invented the hurricane cocktail.

Get a hurricane but don't drink it at Pats-- take it around the corner to Preservation Hall to listen to a jazz set. They'll let you bring it in with you since they don't service alcohol themselves. 

 

8 hours ago, davemy said:

9.   Lafitte Blacksmith shop:    One of the oldest bars around, serving beer & frozen drinks since the 1700s.

Overrated but interesting. Wouldn't be on my personal list of places I'd go with one day. 

 

8 hours ago, davemy said:

For those with more experience, are there any places I should add?  

Yep. Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt (Waldorf Astoria)-- they also make a really mean Ramos Gin Fizz-- great historic bar. The bar at The Columns Hotel which is towards the Garden District. Commanders Palace, nearby, is a great spot for dinner but not a great spot just to drink as they don't have a great bar. For something fun and divey, Jake and Snakes Christmas Club Lounge is well worth a visit.

 

The Polo Club at the Windsor Court hotel is another upscale favorite which is a nice respite from a hot day walking around the Quarter. In the same vein I would also include the Davenport Lounge at the Ritz Carlton-- great jazz when live music is scheduled there. 

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I am not a fan of Antoine's. There are better choices, as mentioned above. A personal favorite is Bayona.

 

If you are looking for music, try the clubs on Frenchmen Street. Much less touristy. Local bands, seldom a cover charge. For a schedule, go to:

www.wwoz.org

Listing are at "Live Wire."

 

 

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