Best New Orleans Bars in the French Quarter

New Orleans is where you will find the most authentic classic cocktail culture in the United States. And the best bars in New Orleans to sip on the bitterness of an old-fashioned and a negroni are in the French Quarter. 

bartender stirring a drink
In the French Quarter, some bars stand out as some of the best. Photo credit: Cottonbro Studio

This small, historic neighborhood is famous for its jazz culture and speakeasy ambiance. As you stroll down the streets at night, you will feel like you’re in a 1920s Hemingway novel. Which calls for a glass of champagne, a well-balanced cocktail, and some jazz music to brighten the environment. 

Here we are listing the best New Orleans bars in the French Quarter. Sit by the counter and order a Sazerac, letting the cognac warm your body. Dance to the sounds of saxophone and piano, blending their music. Relax in a diverse environment.

The Carousel Bar & Lounge

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 carousel bar
The Carousel Bar & Lounge was named one of the Top 20 Bars in the World by Vogue Living. Photo credit: Dan Silvers

Bar Tonique

Bar Tonique is a venue serving classic cocktails in a casual but glamorous environment. It explores the traditional architectural style of New Orleans, with high ceilings and brick walls inside a small space. Come over for a drink, but don’t be scared by the price: everything is made with high-quality ingredients and prepared by a professional and knowledgeable staff. Sip a house cocktail and taste proper mixology. 

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar was a men’s-only space where upper-class masculinity concentrated in the late 19th century. Today, you can still get that after-shave essence blended with cigars and mahogany. Although now it is a much more welcoming place for the opposite gender. 

The bar stretches down the salon, offering a short and creative cocktail menu. Order the French 75 cocktail, which inspired the bar’s name— a mix of gin, lemon juice, and champagne that excited the palate. It is a New Orleans classic, withstanding time, and still showing up on many top-ranking lists of bars.  

bartender pouring drink over bar
At Arnaud’s French 75 Bar handcrafted cocktails are classically focused using locally sourced ingredients and homemade syrups. Photo credit: Cottonbro Studio

Molly’s at the Market

Molly’s at the Market is where you come to take a shot and chase it with some beer. A favorite among locals who are pit-stopping from one party to the next, this venue is casual and straightforward— everything some of us want in life. 

For those who like to hang out for hours, the drinks menu includes lighter-weight classics like Moscow Mules, Darm & Stormy’s, and Gin Tonics. It is the ideal spot for a cheap and fun hang-out, and for its popularity, it’s worth a spot on our list. 

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 for unique bars in the market. This venue offers simple and affordable drinks at a brink, cottage-like house down on Bourbon Street. What truly attracts the clientele is the rustic, candle-lit vibe of the place, making 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

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. 

Black Penny

If Black Penny (700 N Rampart St) were a superhero, it would be Spider-Man—  a friendly neighborhood bar serving excellent beer and allowing dogs in. It is a dark and woody establishment, and the staff is extremely welcoming and willing to recommend you a new beer. The place usually hosts a very eclectic crowd who likes to try unique and still-undiscovered-by-the-general-population ales. 

It is the younger-sibling bar of Bar Tonique, with a much more casual atmosphere and drinks. The beer menu is extensive and divided according to flavor profiles. Photo credit: Magda Ehlers

Cane & Table

Cane & Table proves you should never judge a bar by its cover. From the outside, it looks like any other building, with nothing special going on inside. However, pass through the doors and find one of the best New Orleans bars in the French Quarter. With Latin and Caribbean vibes, the tiki-inspired place looks like you’d find Hemingway sitting by the bar, working on his final draft of Old Man by the Sea. 

The cocktail menu works with spirits from all parts of the world, blending them to create flavors that were never seen together before. Amaro, aperitivos, tequila, Armagnac, sherry, and ciders decorate the glasses, and every drink is worth the slightly higher prices. 

Cane & Table was named one of the “Five Best New Cocktail Bars in America” by Bon Appétit. Photo credit: Cottonbro Studio

Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29

Jerry ‘Beachbum’ Berry is a legendary figure in the drinking world — he was the one who popularized 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 New Orleans bars in the French Quarter. 

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.