- New Orleans is the most popular city in the nation to visit during the Mardi Gras season.
- This year, most of the city’s festivities will fall between Friday, March 1 and Tuesday, March 5.
- From dive bars to jazz clubs, New Orleans has plenty of fun bars for celebrating at.
If you’re going to be in New Orleans this Mardi Gras, you need to be prepared to do three things: walk for endless stretches of time along the purple, green, and gold parade route, stuff your face with cinnamon-sweet King Cake, and frequent bars.
Whether it’s your first time in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras or your fifth, chances are you’ll need some help navigating the endless plethora of bars and nightlife.
If you’re looking for a celebratory start to your day, need somewhere recharge along the parade route, or are looking for a funky spot to keep the good times rolling well into the night, New Orleans has you covered.
Here are some of our most festive Mardi Gras bar suggestions.
Superior Grill is a New Orlean’s staple.
Centered in the middle of the St. Charles Parade Route with outdoor stands to sit on,Superior Grill is the place to catch all the action and enjoy some of the strongest margaritas in town. Dance in the streets and listen to the brassy second lines make their way downtown.
Le Bon Temps Roule is known for their live music.
With a name that means “the good times roll,” you can feel confident that this local favourite will not disappoint. Known for their live music, be sure to stop by on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday and catch Big Chief’s Bacchus Sunday Throwdown ft. Big Chief John Ellison (Original Wild Tchoupitoulas), Big Chief Juan Pardo (Golden Comanches), Big Chief Honey Banister (Golden Sioux), & Spyboy Ike.
Avenue Pub has beer at all hours of the day.
Open 24/7 and 365 days a year, Avenue Pub is the place to visit if you’re looking for a quick breakfast beer. Located in the Lower Garden District, come by and enjoy their upstairs balcony, get messy eating some cheesy Dump Truck Fries, and watch the parades roll by.
Hot Tin has a stunning interior and enviable views.
Complete with one of the best views in the city, swanky dim lighting, and classy cocktails, the Pontchartrain Hotel’s rooftop bar, Hot Tin, is the place to go if you’re looking to drink in style after enjoying a day of parades.
There’s a mechanical bull at Bourbon Cowboy.
Reserve your VIP balcony ticketsASAP at this centrally located bar and shower the crowds of Bourbon Street with strings of purple, green, and gold beads. Plus, if you’re a few drinks in and looking to try your luck with riding a mechanical bull, this is the place to do it.
Flamingo A-Go-Go has plenty of outdoor seating.
This colourful, electric spot has the perfect spacious outdoor patio to “flamingle” at with new friends. Eater New Orleans reported that it’s supposed to feature a king cake daiquiri this Mardi Gras season.
Igor’s Lounge & Game Room is open 24/7.
Right off the parade route and the St. Charles streetcar line, Igor’s is a lively place to visit during Mardi Gras season. Open 24 hours a day, stop by this divey bar to try a stiff Bloody Mary and play a game of pool. They even have a laundromat located inside, so if your Carnival costume gets dirty keep this place in mind.
The Bulldog has plenty of beer on tap.
Looking for an extensive beer selection and some sweet Mardi Gras pups to play with? Come celebrate at this laid back pub and enjoy some barks and brews this Carnival season.
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant brings a tropical vibe to New Orleans.
If you’re looking for a tropical spot to catch the Orpheus Parade, check out Lucy’s balcony. This quirky downtown bar and restaurant is famous for their Shark Attack drink and some serious good eats. Oh, and if you’re brave enough try the Scorpion Shot. If you handle it, you’ll win a t-shirt.
Blue Nile is a go-to for dancing.
Located on New Orleans’ jazzy Frenchmen Street, Blue Nile is home to some of the best live music the city has to offer. This groovy spot has plenty of room to dance around and revel in the spirit of the Mardi Pardi.
Pat O’Briens has a famous cocktail.
A staple of New Orleans nightlife, Pat O’Brien’s boasts the creation of one of the most celebrated drinks in New Orleans: The Hurricane. Be careful though, the drinks come strong. Enjoy the main bar, outdoor patio, or the famous piano lounge.
Tacos and Beer has, unsurprisingly, both tacos and beer.
As you’re trekking down the St. Charles Parade Route and start feeling those midday munchies, stop by Tacos and Beer and indulge in their chips and queso dip. And grab an extra large margarita for the road while you’re at it… or a 32 oz. bucket of rum punch.
Fat Harry’s has bar food and cheap beer.
A classic Garden District pub, if you’re looking for a place to dig into some cheese fries and have a beer Fat Harry’s has you covered.
The Columns Hotel is great for a low-key celebration.
Located directly on the St. Charles Parade Route, The Columns is a must if you’re looking for a classy spot to sit outside and watch the parades roll. If you need to cool off, venture inside and relax in the elegant Victorian Lounge and see the historical hotel’s happy hour deal.
Bourbon Heat gets rowdy at night.
If you still have the energy to dance the night away after a long day of parades and end up in the French Quarter, stop by Bourbon Heat. They blast hip-hop and pop hits all night long. Check out their Mardi Gras balcony packages.
Ms Mae’s has affordable drinks.
Three words: Cheap. Strong. Drinks. Ms. Mae’s is the definition of a dive bar and the perfect place for a Mardi Gras pregame if you’re looking to get some serious bang for your buck. One mixed drink goes for $US3 and there are plenty of beers for under $US5 too. It’s cash only though, so come prepared.
The Spotted Cat features spectacular jazz music.
The Spotted Cat is one of New Orleans’ quintessential jazz clubs full of the city’s most talented musicians. Hop off Bourbon Street and explore this cosy nook on Frenchmen street. Featuring plenty of spunky live music this Mardi Gras, check out The Spotted Cat’s calendar and plan your visit.
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