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Top Spots To Grab A Drink And Watch The Mardi Gras Parades

Mardi Gras is a time of celebration and carousing in New Orleans, and what better way to watch a parade than with a drink in hand.

Whether you’re looking for iconic bars on Bourbon Street, rooftop bars with unique parade views, outdoor beer gardens, or neighborhood bars near parade routes, we’ve got you covered. 

Here are the top spots to grab a drink and watch the Mardi Gras parades.


Key Takeaways

  • Bourbon Street is home to iconic bars with balconies, hidden gems for locals, and craft cocktail bars.
  • Rooftop bars offer panoramic views of the parades, an upscale atmosphere, and live music and entertainment.
  • Neighborhood bars in the French Quarter, Marigny, and Garden District provide a quaint, lively, and charming atmosphere near parade routes.
  • Outdoor beer gardens offer spacious gardens with a wide selection of beers, a casual atmosphere for groups, food trucks, and live music.
  • Experience the vibrant energy of Mardi Gras by enjoying a drink and watching the parades at these top spots in New Orleans.Top Spots To Grab A Drink And Watch The Mardi Gras Parades

Here is a list of must-visit drinking establishments along St. Charles Ave.

1- Fat Harry’s

If you’re searching for a younger crowd, look no further than Fat Harry’s located right on the corner of St. Charles Ave and Napoleon.

This casual bar has a British pub feel and is a spot where locals and university students flock to relax and have a good time. The bar does offer outdoor seating that may allow you to see the parades passing by.

There is a small menu offering classic bar food, all reasonably priced. Overall, this establishment is the perfect place to grab a tall beer/cocktail and a snack.

2- Columns Hotel

Want to experience some local history while sipping on a Mint Julep? Head over to Columns Hotel for some charm and delicious mixed drinks. This hotel bar is located inside a historic building dating back to 1883. Originally, used as private residence locals and tourists now have the opportunity to step back in time by visiting the location. Food is available, along with a full drink list. While on the pricey side this is a lovely spot to stop in for a classic cocktail. Rooms are available for overnight stays!

3- Superior Bar & Grill

If you’re craving a margarita, stop by the Superior Bar. The best part of this bar is the outdoor margarita stand. This is the perfect place for anyone looking to grab a drink and go. Although, if you’re hungry definitely consider grabbing a table and ordering some delicious Tex-Mex food. This local spot is cheap and full of fun, a must-stop as you make your way along St. Charles Ave.

4- The Delachaise

Who doesn’t love a good wine bar? The Delachaise is conveniently located at 3442 St. Charles Ave. This bar offers a nice escape from the Mardi Gras craziness. Choose from a large selection of wine and tapas. With moderate prices, this lounge is great for a late-night snack.

5- The Avenue Pub

The Avenue Pub offers the best in burgers and craft beer. There is a huge selection of craft beer on draft so everyone in your party is sure to find something they enjoy. This is another spot favorited by the locals. With cheap craft beer and burgers, there’s really nothing else to say. Check it out!

6- Igor’s Lounge

Ending the list with a classic dive bar, a must on any bar-hopping adventure. Igor’s Lounge offers cheap drinks and a small food menu. You’ll find pool tables in the back and a fully stocked bar upfront, what more could you ask for. This is not a bad spot to end the evening. Enjoy!

Best Bars on Bourbon Street

Iconic Bars with Balconies

When it comes to experiencing the Mardi Gras parades in all their glory, there’s no better place to be than on a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. These iconic bars offer the perfect vantage point to catch all the action while enjoying your favorite drink.

Pat O’Brien’s is a must-visit for its famous Hurricane cocktail and lively atmosphere. The balcony provides a prime view of the parades passing by, making it a popular spot among locals and tourists alike.

For a more intimate experience, head to The Old Absinthe House. This historic bar has been serving drinks since 1807 and its balcony offers a unique perspective of the festivities below.

If you’re looking for a craft cocktail experience, Cane & Table is the place to go. Their balcony not only offers a great view of the parades, but also a menu of innovative and delicious drinks.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Mardi Gras reveler, these iconic bars with balconies are a must-visit for an unforgettable parade experience.

Hidden Gems for Locals

When it comes to hidden gems for locals, there are a few bars that stand out. One of these is The Dungeon, a small and cozy bar tucked away in an alley off Bourbon Street. This bar is known for its unique atmosphere and friendly staff. Another hidden gem is The Library Lounge, located in a historic building in the French Quarter. With its vintage decor and extensive drink menu, it’s a favorite among locals looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a drink.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, check out The Dragon’s Den in the Marigny neighborhood. This bar offers a relaxed atmosphere, live music, and a courtyard where you can enjoy your drink.

For those who prefer a craft beer, The Avenue Pub in the Garden District is a must-visit. With over 40 beers on tap and a knowledgeable staff, it’s a great place to discover new brews.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, these hidden gems offer a unique and authentic New Orleans experience.

Craft Cocktail Bars

Craft cocktail bars are a must-visit for cocktail enthusiasts looking for unique and innovative drink options. These bars pride themselves on their expert mixologists who create handcrafted cocktails using high-quality ingredients and creative techniques. Mixology is taken to a whole new level at these establishments, where every drink is a work of art.

If you’re looking for a craft cocktail bar with a cozy and intimate atmosphere, The Carousel Bar & Lounge is a top choice. Located in the historic Hotel Monteleone, this bar features a rotating carousel that allows guests to enjoy their drinks while slowly spinning around. It’s a truly unique experience that adds an extra touch of magic to your night.

Whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur or simply looking for a unique drinking experience, craft cocktail bars in New Orleans offer something for everyone. From innovative mixology to cozy atmospheres, these bars are sure to impress.

Rooftop Bars with Parade Views

If you’re looking for a breathtaking view of the Mardi Gras parades, these rooftop bars are the perfect spot. With their elevated vantage points, you’ll have a front-row seat to all the action. Enjoy the vibrant colors and energetic atmosphere as the floats pass by.

To enhance your experience, some of these rooftop bars offer a variety of amenities. From comfortable seating to attentive service, you’ll feel like royalty as you take in the sights. Sip on a refreshing cocktail or indulge in delicious appetizers while you soak up the festive ambiance.

For those who want to make the most of their time, here are a few tips:

  • Arrive early to secure a good spot.
  • Check the bar’s schedule for live music performances.
  • Don’t forget your camera to capture the memorable moments.

So, head to one of these rooftop bars and get ready to be mesmerized by the panoramic views of the Mardi Gras parades

If you’re looking to elevate your Mardi Gras experience, consider visiting one of these upscale rooftop bars:

  1. Ingenue: Situated in a prime location overlooking the parade routes, this rooftop bar offers a chic and stylish setting to enjoy the festivities.
  2. Above The Grid: With its intimate atmosphere and breathtaking views, this rooftop bar provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable Mardi Gras experience.

Top Spots To Grab A Drink And Watch The Mardi Gras Parades

Neighborhood Bars Near Parade Routes

Quaint Bars in the French Quarter

When it comes to quaint bars in the French Quarter, Le Bon Temps is a must-visit. This cozy bar offers a charming atmosphere with its exposed brick walls and vintage decor. You can enjoy a wide selection of craft beers and signature cocktails while listening to live jazz music.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, head to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar. This historic bar, rumored to be the oldest in the United States, has a rustic ambiance with its dim lighting and piano music. Sip on their famous purple drank, a delicious concoction made with rum and fruit juices.

For a taste of New Orleans history, stop by Napoleon House. This iconic bar is housed in a building that was once offered to Napoleon Bonaparte as a refuge. Enjoy their signature Pimm’s Cup cocktail and soak in the historic charm.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these quaint bars in the French Quarter offer a unique and memorable drinking experience.

Lively Bars in the Marigny

The Marigny neighborhood is known for its lively bar scene, offering a vibrant atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. Here are some top spots to check out:

  • The Spotted Cat Music Club: This iconic bar features live jazz and blues music every night. Grab a drink and enjoy the energetic tunes in a cozy and intimate setting.
  • Mimi’s in the Marigny: With its eclectic decor and laid-back vibe, Mimi’s is a popular hangout spot for locals. They offer a wide selection of craft cocktails and a rotating lineup of DJs and live bands.

Tip: Arrive early to secure a spot as these bars can get crowded during Mardi Gras season.

Whether you’re looking for live music or a relaxed atmosphere, the Marigny has something for everyone to enjoy.

Charming Bars in the Garden District

The Garden District is known for its charming bars that offer a unique and relaxed atmosphere. These bars are perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a more laid-back experience.

One popular spot in the Garden District is The Columns, a historic bar housed in a beautiful Victorian mansion. With its elegant decor and spacious outdoor patio, it’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a drink.

Another must-visit bar in the area is The Delachaise. This cozy wine bar offers an extensive selection of wines from around the world, as well as a menu of delicious small plates.

If you’re in the mood for some live music, head over to The Bulldog, a neighborhood bar known for its great beer selection and lively atmosphere. They often have local bands performing, creating a fun and energetic vibe.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet evening or a lively night out, the Garden District has a variety of charming bars to suit every taste.

Remember to arrive early to secure a good spot and be prepared for a lively and energetic crowd!

Pro Tip: Bring some snacks or order food from nearby food trucks to keep your energy up throughout the day.


In conclusion, the Mardi Gras parades offer a vibrant and exciting atmosphere for locals and tourists alike. Whether you prefer a lively bar or a cozy lounge, there are plenty of options to grab a drink and enjoy the festivities. 

From the bustling streets of the French Quarter to the charming neighborhoods of Uptown, these top 6 spots provide the perfect vantage point to watch the parades and immerse yourself in the spirit of Mardi Gras. 

So gather your friends, put on your best mask, and get ready to experience the magic of Mardi Gras in New Orleans!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best bars on Bourbon Street?

The best bars on Bourbon Street include iconic bars with balconies, hidden gems for locals, and craft cocktail bars.

Where can I find rooftop bars with parade views?

You can find rooftop bars with parade views that offer panoramic views of the parades, an upscale atmosphere, and live music and entertainment.

Which neighborhood bars are near parade routes?

There are quaint bars in the French Quarter, lively bars in the Marigny, and charming bars in the Garden District that are near parade routes.

What can I expect at outdoor beer gardens?

Outdoor beer gardens offer spacious gardens with a variety of beer selections, a casual atmosphere for groups, and often have food trucks and live music.

Are there any iconic bars with balconies on Bourbon Street?

Yes, there are several iconic bars on Bourbon Street that have balconies where you can enjoy the Mardi Gras parades.

Do rooftop bars with parade views require reservations?

It is recommended to make reservations at rooftop bars with parade views, especially during the busy Mardi Gras season.

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Discover the top 6 spots to grab a drink and watch the Mardi Gras parades, from iconic bars on Bourbon Street to neighborhood bars near parade routes and outdoor beer gardens. Enjoy panoramic views, craft cocktails, live music, and more!

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