Any Mardi Gras veteran knows that planning for Carnival celebrations is the key to an amazing trip. New Orleans streets transform during Mardi Gras season. Crowds gather, parade floats pass, beads are thrown and often beautifully land in trees along the routes. Our ultimate tip for a perfect Mardi Gras is to plan whatever activities you can, especially since lots of businesses and restaurants that are typically open might have closures or varied hours for certain parades.
To make your parade stroll along St. Charles Avenue easier, we’ve decided to map out where to drink along the parade routes. Our guide starts from St. Charles Ave. & Napoleon and proceeds down St. Charles until you reach Canal Street. Don’t worry - we’ve called out some honorable mentions in nearby areas too, so no matter where you are, you’ll know where (and what) to drink.
Superior Seafood is one of the best spots for parade viewing - it’s located right on the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles, where the Uptown parade route begins. For all of your frozen drink needs, stop at their bar that is set up outside of the restaurant all throughout Mardi Gras.
What to drink: A frozen pomegranate mojito or a frozen French 75
Fat Harry’s is another prime location to watch the start of the Uptown parades, also on the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles. The atmosphere is a typical watering hole hangout, frequented by locals and college students. During Mardi Gras, expect extra drink specials added to their menu.
What to drink: Beers, giant pre-mixed drinks, or hurricanes
Una adición bastante nueva a la ruta del desfile de cócteles, The Chloe es un elegante oasis escondido en la concurrida St. Charles Avenue. Relájese junto a la piscina o tome una copa en el patio y vea pasar los desfiles. Si buscas algo para picar, te recomendamos las albóndigas étouffée de gambas.
Qué beber: The Avenue Spritz
Columns es un encantador hotel histórico ubicado en la ruta del desfile de Uptown. Durante la mayoría de los meses del año, es un hermoso bar victoriano para tomar un cóctel y ver pasar el tranvía. Pero durante Mardi Gras, puede pagar $25 por día para acceder a la propiedad, incluidos los baños y los asientos, o pagar $150 por un pase de temporada completa.
Qué beber: Lavanda Cold Press
The Mexican-dining sister restaurant of Superior Seafood has a to-go stand selling margaritas right outside its doors. These are an excellent choice if you want something to sip while you stroll.
What to drink: Margaritas
This cozy wine bar manages to retain its low-key, lovely atmosphere during Carnival season. While the outdoor seating here may get a little hectic due to parade-watching, the inside is a great little escape from the crowds outdoors. Also, get the duck fat fries.
What to drink: Wine (they offer full bar service, though)
Igor’s is your typical dive bar situated in the heart of the Lower Garden District. If you felt the need to take a break from parades to play a video game or slot machine, Igor’s is your spot. Expect french fries and lots o’ beer.
What to drink: Beer or well-drinks
¿Te sientes elegante? Ingrese al Hotel Pontchartrain, un hotel histórico restaurado a lo largo de la línea de tranvía St. Charles y la ruta del desfile Uptown. El hotel tiene dos bares para visitar: el Bayou Bar en el área de la planta baja del hotel y Hot Tin, el bar de la azotea con vistas al horizonte. Ambos bares servirán cócteles especiales de Mardi Gras y, al estilo típico de Nueva Orleans, son bebidas que no podrá obtener en ninguna otra ciudad. Si quieres crear uno para ti, ¡encuentra las recetas a continuación!
King Cake Milk Punch - Bayou Bar
- 1.5oz Brandy
- 1oz Heavy cream
- .75oz HooDoo Chicory Liqueur
- .5oz Cocktail & Son King Cake Syrup
- 1 spoon Licor 43
- Colored sugar - purple, green & gold
Directions: Rim a rocks glass with the colored sugar. Combine all ingredients with ice and shake. Pour full contents of shaker into rocks glass
Rex and Death - Hot Tin
- .5oz Lemon-infused Legendre Ojen
- Peychaud's bitters
Directions: In a flute, pour the Legendre Ojen then fill with cava. Top with 2 dashes of bitters and garnish with a lemon twist.
What to drink: Incredible craft cocktails with Mardi Gras twists
This old, wooden pub on St. Charles Avenue is a quintessential NOLA spot for local craft beer. There’s outdoor and balcony seating, which is a huge plus if you can snag a spot during Mardi Gras.
What to drink: Craft beer
Lula, a micro-distillery in the Lower Garden District with indoor and outdoor seating, aims to create the perfect combinations of foods and spirits. Lula vodka, rum, and gin are all made with 100% Louisiana ingredients, so stop here for a fresh, Louisiana-made cocktail.
Y si no puede preparar Mardi Gras (¡o si compra una botella de alcohol Lula para llevarse a casa!), aún puede preparar el Cóctel Caribeño Original de Lula Distillery (un daiquiri batido a mano) con tres ingredientes simples.
- Lula’s Hand Shaken Daiquiri
- 2 ounces Lula Rum
- ¾ ounce lime juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in mixing tin, add ice, shake, strain into cocktail glass (preferably a coupe glass). Yields a 5.5 ounce cocktail.
*Note: not located directly on parade route
The Ace Hotel is just a block off St. Charles Avenue, located in the Central Business District. The hotel has a restaurant: Josephine Estelle, which has a full menu and bar, as well as a lobby bar and a rooftop bar. Plus, it’s a super cool spot to hang out or stay.
What to drink: Fun craft cocktails
Este restaurante del centro en St. Charles Avenue es famoso por sus ostras, mariscos y hamburguesas. Ven a la hora feliz más temprano en el día para tomar asiento en el bar.
What to drink: Craft cocktails or wine
Honorable Mentions - French Quarter
Our picks for where to drink off the parade route in the French Quarter
This iconic bar is a real, spinning carousel. Stroll down bustling (and charming) Royal Street and take a spin. Bartenders are known to hop right over the bar to concoct any variety of New Orleans famous cocktails.
What to drink: A Vieux Carre
Molly’s is a classic French Quarter dive, and a necessary stop if you’re in the French Quarter during Mardi Gras. The bartenders are incredible, the atmosphere is laid back, and they’re famous for frozen Irish coffees.
What to drink: Frozen Irish Coffee
Honorable Mentions - Uptown
Our picks for where to drink off the parade route Uptown
For a classic neighborhood sports bar that’s a bit farther from the parade route crowds, look no further than Henry’s. With cheap drinks and local crowds, it’s the best low-key break from St. Charles Avenue bars.
What to drink: Beer or well-drinks
At some point during Mardi Gras, you’ll inevitably crave pizza. Right on Magazine Street, a few streets away from the parades, lies Pizza Domenica. This restaurant is always filled with happy customers - there’s a full bar, tons of varieties of pizzas (that are half-priced during happy hour), and televisions. Every day, the happy hour drink special is different.
What to drink: Whatever’s on the happy hour menu that day
Some of the most iconic musicians in New Orleans (like the Soul Rebels, every week!) have played at this Magazine Street dive. The music is always great, so it’s the ideal place to catch local live music and a few more drinks after the parades.
What to drink: Beer or a Bloody Mary