‘Tis the season for outdoor drinking in New Orleans. While other cities hunker down for snow storms, New Orleans weather finds its sweet spot: 75 and sunny in the middle of March. Ditch your winter boots for sandals this season and grab a classic new Orleans cocktail on one of the city’s rooftop bars while taking in sweeping views of the Crescent City. If casual is more your style, enjoy a locally-brewed beer in a low-key beer garden. Whatever suits your fancy, you’ll find it in NOLA. Here are our top picks for places to drink outdoors...
...if you want to sip wine in a charming atmosphere
Live jazz nightly, a well-stocked wine cellar, and a romantic garden are just a few reasons why you might stop by Bacchanal any night of the week. Nestled at the edge of the Bywater, Bacchanal feels like you’re rediscovering a hidden gem every time you walk in. Come for the cheese plates & wine, stay for the perfect vibe: the sounds of jazz beneath twinkling lights strung around the garden.
The Delachaise is one of those outdoor spots you hit the moment the weather turns for the better. Outdoor seating at this wine bar (that also boasts great beer & craft cocktails) is in the prime location: along historic St. Charles Avenue. Order food and drinks at the bar and experience a quintessential Garden District experience: sipping a glass of wine while watching the streetcars roll by.
Also, order the fries.
This Mid-City spot has unmatched rustic charm with a neighborhood vibe. It’s off-the-beaten-path for visitors, so you’re sure to be surrounded by friendly locals here. Put Bayou Wine Garden on your list if you want top-notch wine, cheese, and charcuterie with chef-recommended pairings. The bar offers over a dozen wines on tap, a “come as you are” attitude, and delicious tapas.
...if you like cornhole, local brews, and crawfish boils
Parleaux Beer Lab is a hip find in the Bywater, and isn’t just a bar. It’s actually a microbrewery and taproom that channels the creative spirit of the surrounding neighborhood and its inhabitants. The outdoor seating is casual: think picnic tables with board games on them for friends or strangers to play together. Parleaux also hosts yoga glasses, food trucks, and brewery tours. If you’re looking for the most local of local experiences in a cool neighborhood dig, Parleaux Beer Lab is your spot.
If you were intrigued by Bayou Wine Garden, NOLA’s also got it in beer-form. Bayou Beer Garden, connected to Bayou Wine Garden by an outdoor courtyard path, is a casual, sports-bar atmosphere with countless beers to choose from (many of the local variety), and crawfish boils every Friday during crawfish season. Plus, it’s just steps away from Bayou St. John, where you can kick back pre- or post-beers.
Come to this Bywater beer garden for an authentic German biergarten experience. Bratz Y’all serves only German beer and wine, and offers a completely German food menu. Take a seat at a picnic table outside, or play a game of cornhole. You’re in for consistently good beer, a very laid back vibe, and a funky crowd.
An outdoor drinking roundup in New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without The Bulldog. Known for its dog-friendly outdoor patio and extensive beer selection, this is a New Orleans staple. There’s no frills about it - grab a beer, sit outside at the patio, and maybe catch a Saints game if it’s football season. Go on Wednesday and you can keep your glass cups, which always have hilarious & beer-related inspiration on them.
… if you want the scenic view
At the historic, restored Pontchartrain Hotel in the Lower Garden District, take the elevator alllll the way up to Hot Tin, its iconic rooftop bar. Grab your cocktail and drink it al fresco with some of the most spectacular views of the city.
The Ace Hotel’s Alto is a lush rooftop oasis with seasonal cocktails and a delicious snacks menu. Oh, and a pool. Come grab a lounge chair for the day at this rooftop escape, or stop by for drinks and a view. The bar is trendy and bustling, but you’ll feel like you’re in a tropical little paradise overlooking New Orleans.