The Most Fun Restaurants in New Orleans

New Orleans is an American cultural center. When it comes to eating, many places offer fantastic food and authentic sceneries, where you can taste authentic Cajun foods and the french influences over it. Combining music, history, food, and cocktails today we share the most fun restaurants in New Orleans. From carnival-like decor to inventive food presentations, these places excel in their creativity and uniqueness. 

people playing music in New Orleans street
Looking for a fun night out in New Orleans? check out these restaurants. Photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

Muriel’s Jackson Square

Let’s start with this: Muriel’s Jackson Square offers Jazz Brunches on Sundays, with a live band playing as you indulge in classics like eggs benny, pancakes, and some original Cajun twists of crowd-pleasers. Inside a restored corner building from the 1800s, you will find different rooms, each with a particular theme. 

Grab a house-special cocktail at the Courtyard & Bar, then sit at the eclectic Séanse Lounge, with plush surroundings and jewel decor. Dine at the Bistrot and enjoy slow-cooked grits with Louisiana Gulf shrimp, leeks, tomato butter sauce, and garlic. 

Sit back and relax with a cocktail or two at Muriel’s Jackson Square. Photo credit: cottonbro

Antoine’s Restaurant

Antoine’s is New Orleans’ oldest restaurant. Since 1840, it has been operated by the same family, which is now on its fifth generation of passion for french-creole culinary traditions. This is the birthplace of famous dishes like Oysters Rockefeller and Eggs Sardou, a twist of eggs benny that reflects the heritage of Louisiana culinary culture.

Indulge in the interior and exterior decor of the place and let it take you on the journey through time. Taste shrimp Creole with onion rice and Antoine’s Creole sauce, or suck on juicy and fresh oysters. This is one of the most fun restaurants in New Orleans because it takes you to the heart of the city’s culture. 

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

Imagine what it must feel like to be inside a 300-year-old building. Imagine if this building was a bar. This is the premise of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (941 Bourbon St), an American landmark and one of the most fun venues in New Orleans.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop offers simple and affordable drinks at a brink, cottage-like house down on Bourbon Street. It’s like you’ve walked inside a pirate’s layer, and the rustic, candle-lit vibe of the place makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. 

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bourbon Street French Quarter New Orleans
The bar is far from the touristy French Quarter center so you can find some peace and a unique aesthetic and experience here. Photo credit: Yair Haklai

Café Lafitte in Exile

Café Lafitte in Exile is the oldest still running gay bar in the United States. Open since the end of the Prohibition Era in 1933, this bar is the favorite spot for many New Orleans locals and returning visitors. This is the perfect spot for those who like to party and drink in the middle of the historic French Quarter. 

Divided into two floors with outside seating, Café Lafitte in Exile will let you enjoy exclusive views of Mardi gras and any other celebrations that go down Bourbon Street. Also, you can watch football games from the outdoor picture screen in the French Quarter, all while sipping on a cocktail at the upstairs terrace. 

Commander’s Palace

With a turquoise and white striped decor, Commander’s Palace offers some of the best Creole food in New Orleans. Given its vibrant colors and welcoming staff, it is one of the most fun restaurants in the city. 

The food here is fresh and prepared with a lot of creativity. One simple example from the menu is a Prosecco poached jumbo lump crab over a spiced New Roads pecan-crusted fish. It comes with roasted corn, asparagus, grilled kale, and melted leeks with whiskey-spiked crushed corn cream. 

You get the idea, right? 

turtle soup in white plate
Commander’s Palace is also the winner of seven James Beard awards. Photo credit: City Foodsters

Beachbum Berry’s

Jerry ‘Beachbum’ Berry is a legendary figure in the drinking world — he was the one who popularised tiki culture, introducing delicious and complex rum-based cocktails to the general public. Today, we see his legacy in spots like Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, one of the best bars in the French Quarter, and one of the most fun restaurants in New Orleans. 

Taste Sinatra’s favorite drink or order something new and extraordinary. Founded by Beachbum himself, here you can find many classic tiki cocktails and a bunch of house creations. The staff is exceptionally well trained and will make you feel welcomed and at home.

Carrousel Bar

The Carousel Bar & Lounge is a cultural landmark of New Orleans. Inside the Hotel Monteleone, you can find patrons whose grandparents used to come to the place. The carousel-shaped bar does move, and every 15 minutes, it completes a turn for the delight of everyone watching from afar or sitting at the close-by stools. 

Listen to live music in the evening and watch the carousel lights as it spins around in the middle of the room. Find classic cocktails like Sazeracs or Negronis. Try the world-famous house special, the Vieux Carre, which is now served in many parts of the world.

people seating around a carrousel bar
The Carousel Bar & Lounge was named one of the Top 20 Bars in the World. Photo credit: Dan Silvers

Dat Dog

With three locations around New Orleans, Dat Dog is a simple venue that offers some of the best hot dogs in America. Their goal is to provide delicious and affordable food, combining the soul of Louisiana ingredients and flavors with the sophistication of European cuisine. 

The fun part is that you get to build your very own dream hot dog. Find traditional, vegan, and fish sausages and over 30 toppings for you to pick from. They also have fried chicken tossed in buffalo sauce and juicy burgers. 

We’d dare to say Dat Dog is a must-try in New Orleans. 

Napoleon House

Napoleon House mirrors the french influences in New Orleans. The building, built 200 years ago as a refuge townhouse for Napoleon Bonaparte, now houses one of the most famous bars in the city. Peeling plaster walls filled with paintings and photographs, exposed beams, and a spacious lounge make up the ideal scenery for a bohemian photoshoot. 

Order some of the classics like boulevardiers, spritzes, and other aperitivos. Sit at a round table in the afternoon and feel like you’re part of a movie set, preferably where James Bond walks in wearing sunglasses and a button-down shirt. 

Insider tip: order the house Pimm’s Cup cocktail and pair it with a muffuletta sandwich. 

hand holding sandwich with meat, cheese and vegetables
Muffuletta is the quintessential New Orleans sandwich and a Napoleon House signature. Photo credit: Jj saezdeo

The Foundation Room

The Foundation Room is one of the most fun restaurants in New Orleans. It is a place where you can listen to live Blues music in a rich environment that takes you back to the soulful origins of the genre. 

Order creative house cocktails or indulge in classic drinks. Eat voodoo shrimp, crispy chicken wings, jambalaya, and blackened salmon. Maybe go for a burger with fries or a mac n cheese skillet. Check the events calendar to see who will be playing, and prepare for a night of music, exceptional food, delicious drinks, and a lot of fun. 

Monkey Board

Monkey Board will give you the best Instagramable views of New Orleans. It is a rooftop that offers you some of the best nightlife of NOLA, with creative and original cocktails, delicious food, and welcoming and decorated decor. Colorful sofas and graffiti walls contrast with the views from the city. Here you will find a lot of young adults having a good time with live music under the night sky. 

Grab a house cocktail and nibble on some tacos. Chat with friends and meet strangers. You will always be entertained.