Whether you like them shaken or stirred, cocktails are topnotch in New Orleans, a city that has been perfecting the art of the drink for over 300 years. Bartenders take tremendous pride in what they do here. While you can find award-winning, uniquely creative craft cocktails all across the city, we’ve rounded up our favorite bars where you can enjoy a special beverage. Cheers!

Our Favorite Spots for Craft Cocktails

Courtesy of Jewel of the South

Legendary bartenders, Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich, opened their own bar and restaurant to showcase their skills. Housed in an old Creole cottage, the copper top bar exudes sophistication yet an old-school feel. Classic cocktails and creative mixes impress. 

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

Located across the street from Armstrong Park, Bar Tonique sits on the edge of the French Quarter and is a cocktail connoisseur's dream. Their drink menu is extensive, yet creative. Bring a designated driver with you and they’ll whip up non-alcoholic “mocktails” to make everyone feel at home.

Photo Courtesy of the Peacock Room

Peacock Room

A stunning and sophisticated craft cocktail lounge located inside the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot. Its name is a play on the lounge's elegant and grand design. Deep blues, gold and copper highlights, and detailed artistry make the Peacock the lush bar it is. And it is safe to say their menu follows suit. The Peacock Room offers a wide selection of fine spirits and wines, and of course, their house cocktails and peacock spins on classics. It's the perfect stop for an evening cocktail and light bites with friends!  

Justen Williams

Located inside Hotel Peter and Paul, the Elysian Bar is a work of art. Imaginative patterns, tiled floors, and a large, carved bar make this place dreamy. Grab a cocktail and sit inside or out, soaking in the beauty around you.

Zack Smith, NOTMC

This James Beard Award-winning bar slings classic cocktails and seasonal treats in a swanky setting. Located uptown on the bustling Freret Street, Cure is a great spot for date night, pre-dinner drinks or post-dinner nightcaps. Their daily punch is a must – as are their tasty small plates.

Photo provided by Maison de la Luz

For a vibrant and spirited craft cocktail lounge experience, head to Bar Marilou at the boutique hotel Maison de la Luz. The deep burgundy walls, bold antique furniture, and wall-to-wall cheetah print carpets create a unique atmosphere. Gather your friends for small plates and specialty drinks or enjoy a cozy evening in the lounge's library with a glass of wine and a good book. The innovative cocktail list is sure to please every palate, and there's even a 12-person speakeasy exclusively for hotel guests.

Paul Broussard, NOTMC

This hidden gem is a neighborhood dive bar with a killer craft cocktail list. The owner and head bartender Cole Newton previously manned the bar programs at several beloved upscale restaurants around the city and uses his skill to create one-of-a-kind drinks.

Sam Hanna

This wine and cocktail bar has gotten a lot of buzz for their outdoor seating ever since their opening in the summer of 2019. However, their inside space is just as enchanting and makes for a great date night. Browse the lengthy menu for plenty of options.

Justen Williams, NOTMC

Two of New Orleans’ most famous bartenders, Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich, opened this Cuban establishment to pay tribute to Manuel Carbajo Aguiar-- a bartender who served Ernest Hemingway regularly in Havana. Sip on twists to daiquiris, rum drinks and Cuban inspired dishes at this French Quarter hotspot.

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

Although they may not have invented it, this historic, oak-lined bar is the perfect place to sip on the official cocktail - the Sazerac. Another must-try libation? The Ramos Gin Fizz, which is reported to require a full 12 minutes of shaking. The bar’s atmosphere will take you back to the 1930s and is perfect for socializing before or after your night out.

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

With an extraordinary view of the city and the Mississippi River, Hot Tin bar is popular among locals and visitors alike. Located at the top of the Pontchartrain Hotel, you can enjoy drinks with a view on the terrace or lounge on the indoor couches.

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

With a long list of specialty cocktails and New Orleans classics, Baroness on Baronne whips up colorful and delicious drinks. Interested in taking your love of craft cocktails to the next level? Try out a mixology class at Drink Lab, located just upstairs.

Paul Broussard, NOTMC

Great for post-work, pre-dinner or late night, Bouligny Tavern sits on Magazine Street in the Uptown neighborhood. With indoor and outdoor seats, their cocktails pair great with friends or a date, and make for great socializing. They also have an excellent selection of small plates and snacks.

Zack Smith, NOTMC

Located in the legendary Arnaud’s restaurant and winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program, the bar embodies fine cocktails and high-quality ingredients. Obviously, the French 75 cocktail is their prized drink, but they have phenomenal seasonal offerings as well. Pair your drink with a plate of soufflé potatoes - you won’t be sorry.

Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

This hotel lobby bar was one of the first quintessential modern craft cocktail spots in the city. The Voodoo-themed concoctions are meticulously crafted using homemade tinctures and tonics and served in one-of-a-kind, vintage barware. The bar has a swanky, sexy vibe and makes for a great stop for pre-dinner drinks.

For a full list of craft-cocktail bars in the city, see here.

Neal Bodenheimer, Bar owner & Author | "In New Orleans it's more than making drinks; it's personal"
Neal Bodenheimer, Bar owner & Author | "In New Orleans it's more than making drinks; it's personal"