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Cocktails from Couvant.
Sam Hanna/Couvant

Where to Drink Cocktails in New Orleans Right Now

16 hot destinations for classic martinis, rare spirits, and tropical concoctions

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Cocktails from Couvant.
| Sam Hanna/Couvant

Welcome to the cocktail heatmap, a running guide to the newest destinations for classic cocktails, frozen drinks, and rare spirits in New Orleans. Consider this map a guide to the hottest spots for cocktails at the moment, so only places that have opened, undergone a major change, or added something noteworthy recently. Some of these spots are also restaurants, but if they have a strong cocktail menu and a bar where customers can just have drinks, they make the cut.

Check out Eater’s guide to New Orleans’s essential bars for more suggestions on the city's best watering holes, and to sample a New Orleans-born classic, here’s where to find 20 iconic New Orleans cocktails.

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Parish Line Bistro Bar

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This fresh rooftop lounge in Old Metairie boasts big-name businessmen backers and an open-air rooftop — the area’s only rooftop, apparently. A menu from chef Chris Wilson (who previously cooked at Emeril’s Restaurant) is a major draw, but the bar, along with its ample wine, beer, and cocktail selections, is central given iits rooftop setting. It’s a good place to watch a Saints game, and the bar stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Saba’s Lounge

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Mosy over to the space adjacent to Alon and Emily Shaya’s flagship restaurant, Saba, for Israeli-inspired cocktails, natural wine, and select items from Saba’s menu, including salatim, hummus, and desserts. They’re calling it Saba’s Lounge, and it’s open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m., and Sunday from 2:30 to 9 p.m.

A spread at Saba’s Lounge.
Emily Ferretti Photography/Saba

Velveteen Lounge & Restaurant

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Opened over Memorial Day weekend, Velveteen Lounge takes over the former Bayou Road Pirogues — and that history, as well as the address’s incarnations prior to Pirogues — are central to the idea behind Velveteen Lounge. The 100 percent worker-owned restaurant and bar is a nod to the neighborhood, a simple spot serving funky wine, beer for cheap, $5 cocktails and $4 wells, and an affordable menu of quality bar food, all in an eclectic, welcoming space. 

Inside Velveteen Lounge, now open in the former Pirogues.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Ginger Roux

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The Herbalist Bar at Ginger Roux in the new Canopy by Hilton Downtown is a swell spot for an Asian-accented libation. Chef Jonathan Hostetler is a wiz marrying Creole style and ingredients with Asian cuisine, and the bar program is equally inspiring. Try the Szechuan Fashioned for starters, rye spiked with five-spice simple syrup and cherry bitters.

Odd Birds NOLA at Selina Catahoula

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The new bar taking up residency at the Selina hotel downtown is Odd Birds, an expansion of a St. Augustine, Florida bar. The small, downstairs bar formerly known as Pisco Bar remains, now complemented by an arepa bar, a brilliant idea. The rooftop has a fresh new look, with a rum and mezcal-focused cocktail menu.

Odd Birds NOLA at Selina Catahoula/Official

Baroness on Baronne

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The former lauded craft cocktail destination Victory Bar is now a 100 percent woman-owned cocktail lounge, Baroness on Baronne (or the Baroness for short). With WDSU news anchor Camille Whitworth at the helm, there’s new, romantic decor, moody lighting, and a menu is stacked with fresh, creative house cocktails, well-done classics, and even a specialty shot, the Gas Masque, with Chartreuse and Stroh rum and lit on fire.

The Bower Bar

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This is Mark Latter and company’s revamp of the short-lived Claret Wine Bar space, an extension of the existing Bower on Magazine Street. While it serves food from the Bower kitchen, the focus here is drinks — the 20-seat bar serves sophisticated cocktails like the Hydrix bourbon, mint-infused contratto, amaro, and aquafaba. The swanky bar shares an outdoor space with both of its sister spots, the Bower and Birdy’s.

Couvant at The Eliza Jane Hotel

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The bar at Couvant is just beautiful, worth a visit to experience even for just one drink. The restaurant in the Eliza Jane Hotel, which returned in Spring 2022 after closing for two years straight, shines with its cocktail menu focused on lighter spirits, cordials from generational distillers, and classic techniques. Six house cocktails created by Couvant staff are rotated monthly but might include unexpected combinations like an absinthe margarita — for fall and winter, there are four warm seasonal cocktails.

Peychaud's

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Peychaud’s is the newest spot from the Cure Co. team — whose portfolio includes acclaimed Freret Street cocktail bar Cure, the French Quarter’s Cane & Table, and the newer Vals, also on Freret Street. Located inside the Hotel Maison de Ville at 727 Toulouse Street, it’s all drinks here — there’s no plan to add food here, so far. It focuses on a concise menu of classic New Orleans cocktails, like the Sazerac, Vieux Carre, and Ramos gin fizz.

American Townhouse

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American Townhouse is a new queer-owned bar and restaurant set in a renovated 1857 Greek Revival townhouse across from Armstrong Park. The bar is part of the Rampart street renaissance, home to a classic French Quarter courtyard and first-rate craft cocktails, not to mention first-rate bar food. Go for the Friday $5 martini happy hour and stay for the loaded waffle fries and kale caesar.

Bijou Restaurant & Bar

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This small new bistro has a modern, sleek aesthetic to contrast with most of the French Quarter’s more antique vibe. A long, glistening marble bar, and a loungey, pretty courtyard both make for excellent cocktail-drinking settings; a vast menu of drinks includes classics like a Paper Plane and fancy versions of a margarita, paloma, and dark and stormy.

The Miss Jackson and Bijou cocktails
Bijou Restaurant and Bar/Facebook

Cru Lounge New Orleans

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The largest Black-owned nightlife chain in the United States, Cru Lounge, now has a location in the French Quarter. The Atlanta-born “fast-casual hookah-hemp lounge” (founded by entrepreneur Dennis McKinley, who appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta for a few seasons) serves a full menu of upscale bar food but focuses mostly on “Crutails” — over-the-top, brightly-colored drinks often topped with candy, and eventually, hookah, hemp, and CBD products.

A candy-toppped cocktail from Cru Lounge.
Cru Lounge/Official

The Will & The Way

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The Will and the Way is technically a revamp — the space was previously home to Longway Tavern before the restaurant group behind it, LeBlanc + Smith, decided to rethink the concept amid the pandemic. In addition to shifting the focus to wine and cocktails, the group has redone the inside to expand the centerpiece L-shaped bar, add texture and moody colors, and create additional “nooks and crannies,” for patrons to post up in. The beautiful courtyard remains a draw, and the new food and bar programs are backed by serious talent.

The Will and the Way

Observatory Eleven Bar

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It’s not exactly a rooftop bar, because it’s just inside, but the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river sure feel top of the world. Observatory 11 at the Westin manages to be more than a convention hotel bar, thanks to the swank setting and the live music that gives it a true New Orleans sense of place.

Anna’s

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Anna’s opened in 2021, taking over the space that formerly held beloved neighborhood dive Mimi’s in the Marigny. As far as replacements go, it’s refreshing — it’s from two vets of the New Orleans bar and restaurant world, who are calling it a “locals’ spot turned destination dive.” Anna Giordano (Jewel of the South, Bar Tonique, and Longway Tavern, among others) serves as bar director, with chef Chris Hamm (Coquette, Cavan, Sylvain) in the kitchen.

Breakaway's Restaurant & Bar

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The owners of French Quarter’s former Exchange Alley destination the Green Goddess have opened a new restaurant and bar in the Marigny, and while it’s early days for the new spot, it’s great to have a new bar in the home of former dive bar Lost Love Lounge. Run by two New Orleans natives, Paul and Olivia Artigues, the restaurant is serving New Orleans staples like gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and fried shrimp (as well as some vegan versions), and a small menu of sno-ball cocktails: the Green Goblin, made with absinthe, orange liqueur, and lime over shaved ice; the Pretty Baby with nectar cream and vodka; a mint julep; and a sno-ball version of Cafe Brulot.

Breakaway’s
Olivia Artigues

Parish Line Bistro Bar

This fresh rooftop lounge in Old Metairie boasts big-name businessmen backers and an open-air rooftop — the area’s only rooftop, apparently. A menu from chef Chris Wilson (who previously cooked at Emeril’s Restaurant) is a major draw, but the bar, along with its ample wine, beer, and cocktail selections, is central given iits rooftop setting. It’s a good place to watch a Saints game, and the bar stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Saba’s Lounge

Mosy over to the space adjacent to Alon and Emily Shaya’s flagship restaurant, Saba, for Israeli-inspired cocktails, natural wine, and select items from Saba’s menu, including salatim, hummus, and desserts. They’re calling it Saba’s Lounge, and it’s open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m., and Sunday from 2:30 to 9 p.m.

A spread at Saba’s Lounge.
Emily Ferretti Photography/Saba

Velveteen Lounge & Restaurant

Opened over Memorial Day weekend, Velveteen Lounge takes over the former Bayou Road Pirogues — and that history, as well as the address’s incarnations prior to Pirogues — are central to the idea behind Velveteen Lounge. The 100 percent worker-owned restaurant and bar is a nod to the neighborhood, a simple spot serving funky wine, beer for cheap, $5 cocktails and $4 wells, and an affordable menu of quality bar food, all in an eclectic, welcoming space. 

Inside Velveteen Lounge, now open in the former Pirogues.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Ginger Roux

The Herbalist Bar at Ginger Roux in the new Canopy by Hilton Downtown is a swell spot for an Asian-accented libation. Chef Jonathan Hostetler is a wiz marrying Creole style and ingredients with Asian cuisine, and the bar program is equally inspiring. Try the Szechuan Fashioned for starters, rye spiked with five-spice simple syrup and cherry bitters.

Odd Birds NOLA at Selina Catahoula

The new bar taking up residency at the Selina hotel downtown is Odd Birds, an expansion of a St. Augustine, Florida bar. The small, downstairs bar formerly known as Pisco Bar remains, now complemented by an arepa bar, a brilliant idea. The rooftop has a fresh new look, with a rum and mezcal-focused cocktail menu.

Odd Birds NOLA at Selina Catahoula/Official

Baroness on Baronne

The former lauded craft cocktail destination Victory Bar is now a 100 percent woman-owned cocktail lounge, Baroness on Baronne (or the Baroness for short). With WDSU news anchor Camille Whitworth at the helm, there’s new, romantic decor, moody lighting, and a menu is stacked with fresh, creative house cocktails, well-done classics, and even a specialty shot, the Gas Masque, with Chartreuse and Stroh rum and lit on fire.

The Bower Bar

This is Mark Latter and company’s revamp of the short-lived Claret Wine Bar space, an extension of the existing Bower on Magazine Street. While it serves food from the Bower kitchen, the focus here is drinks — the 20-seat bar serves sophisticated cocktails like the Hydrix bourbon, mint-infused contratto, amaro, and aquafaba. The swanky bar shares an outdoor space with both of its sister spots, the Bower and Birdy’s.

Couvant at The Eliza Jane Hotel

The bar at Couvant is just beautiful, worth a visit to experience even for just one drink. The restaurant in the Eliza Jane Hotel, which returned in Spring 2022 after closing for two years straight, shines with its cocktail menu focused on lighter spirits, cordials from generational distillers, and classic techniques. Six house cocktails created by Couvant staff are rotated monthly but might include unexpected combinations like an absinthe margarita — for fall and winter, there are four warm seasonal cocktails.

Peychaud's

Peychaud’s is the newest spot from the Cure Co. team — whose portfolio includes acclaimed Freret Street cocktail bar Cure, the French Quarter’s Cane & Table, and the newer Vals, also on Freret Street. Located inside the Hotel Maison de Ville at 727 Toulouse Street, it’s all drinks here — there’s no plan to add food here, so far. It focuses on a concise menu of classic New Orleans cocktails, like the Sazerac, Vieux Carre, and Ramos gin fizz.

American Townhouse

American Townhouse is a new queer-owned bar and restaurant set in a renovated 1857 Greek Revival townhouse across from Armstrong Park. The bar is part of the Rampart street renaissance, home to a classic French Quarter courtyard and first-rate craft cocktails, not to mention first-rate bar food. Go for the Friday $5 martini happy hour and stay for the loaded waffle fries and kale caesar.

Bijou Restaurant & Bar

This small new bistro has a modern, sleek aesthetic to contrast with most of the French Quarter’s more antique vibe. A long, glistening marble bar, and a loungey, pretty courtyard both make for excellent cocktail-drinking settings; a vast menu of drinks includes classics like a Paper Plane and fancy versions of a margarita, paloma, and dark and stormy.

The Miss Jackson and Bijou cocktails
Bijou Restaurant and Bar/Facebook

Cru Lounge New Orleans

The largest Black-owned nightlife chain in the United States, Cru Lounge, now has a location in the French Quarter. The Atlanta-born “fast-casual hookah-hemp lounge” (founded by entrepreneur Dennis McKinley, who appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta for a few seasons) serves a full menu of upscale bar food but focuses mostly on “Crutails” — over-the-top, brightly-colored drinks often topped with candy, and eventually, hookah, hemp, and CBD products.

A candy-toppped cocktail from Cru Lounge.
Cru Lounge/Official

The Will & The Way

The Will and the Way is technically a revamp — the space was previously home to Longway Tavern before the restaurant group behind it, LeBlanc + Smith, decided to rethink the concept amid the pandemic. In addition to shifting the focus to wine and cocktails, the group has redone the inside to expand the centerpiece L-shaped bar, add texture and moody colors, and create additional “nooks and crannies,” for patrons to post up in. The beautiful courtyard remains a draw, and the new food and bar programs are backed by serious talent.

The Will and the Way

Observatory Eleven Bar

It’s not exactly a rooftop bar, because it’s just inside, but the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river sure feel top of the world. Observatory 11 at the Westin manages to be more than a convention hotel bar, thanks to the swank setting and the live music that gives it a true New Orleans sense of place.

Anna’s

Anna’s opened in 2021, taking over the space that formerly held beloved neighborhood dive Mimi’s in the Marigny. As far as replacements go, it’s refreshing — it’s from two vets of the New Orleans bar and restaurant world, who are calling it a “locals’ spot turned destination dive.” Anna Giordano (Jewel of the South, Bar Tonique, and Longway Tavern, among others) serves as bar director, with chef Chris Hamm (Coquette, Cavan, Sylvain) in the kitchen.

Related Maps

Breakaway's Restaurant & Bar

The owners of French Quarter’s former Exchange Alley destination the Green Goddess have opened a new restaurant and bar in the Marigny, and while it’s early days for the new spot, it’s great to have a new bar in the home of former dive bar Lost Love Lounge. Run by two New Orleans natives, Paul and Olivia Artigues, the restaurant is serving New Orleans staples like gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and fried shrimp (as well as some vegan versions), and a small menu of sno-ball cocktails: the Green Goblin, made with absinthe, orange liqueur, and lime over shaved ice; the Pretty Baby with nectar cream and vodka; a mint julep; and a sno-ball version of Cafe Brulot.

Breakaway’s
Olivia Artigues

Related Maps