The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars in New Orleans

Add these stylish haunts to your NOLA must-visit list ASAP.

The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars in New Orleans
interior of cane and table bar in new orleans.
Cane and Table. Kevin O'Mara

New Orleans is known for its cocktails, including sticky sweet Hurricanes, delightfully refreshing Pimms Cups, and the Sazerac, which is known as America’s very first mixed drink. Those aren’t the only options, of course, as every drink imaginable can be found on Bourbon Street. If you want a night out on the town without any Mardi Gras beads in sight, however, there are plenty of upscale, elegant cocktail bars to be found in NOLA, from uptown to the Bywater.

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Below, discover some of the best cocktail programs in the Louisiana city, including updated takes on tropical drinks and St. Charles Avenue happy hours, so you can sip on a classic cocktail while a streetcar rides on by.

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red painted bar in new orleans
Bar Marilou. Bar Marilou

Bar Marilou

544 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Bar Marilou has true speakeasy vibes, as you’ll feel like you snuck into a très chic Parisian’s private, perfectly curated library, chock full of stiff drinks. Indeed, this Warehouse District bar opened in partnership with Parisian group Quixotic Projects, which is the team behind the French city’s beloved haunts Le Mary Celeste and Candelaria. This is one of the best places to get a martini in New Orleans, but they also have plenty of playful beverages if you want to go down a more creative route. Bar Marilou is the ideal place to to start your night off on an elegant note; it’s as far as you can get from the Bourbon Street bustle—(well, figuratively, as geographically, it’s actually quite close).

Tucked into the side of hotel Maison de la Luz, Bar Marilou is actually located in a former City Hall Annex, but you wouldn’t guess it from the luxurious red decor. The walls are covered in all kinds of books, including French classics. Whether you’re craving a romantic evening or a stylish girls’ night out, Bar Marilou is one of the chicest, most Parians spots in the south.

Cure

4905 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Cure pretty much kickstarted the current craft cocktail trend in New Orleans. When this bar popped up on Freret Street in 2009, it was the first of its kind, complete with dark walls, an at-times intimidating cocktail list, and mixologists who would make you something you’ve never heard of with whatever ingredients struck your fancy. Since then, the former firehouse has topped the city’s best of lists yearly, and was named one of “America’s Best Bars” by Esquire and one of the “Best Cocktail Bars in the U.S.” by Food & Wine. In 2018, the buzzy bar was hailed by the James Beard Foundation for its “Outstanding Bar Program.”

Let the good times roll (or laissez les bons temps rouler, if you will) with the 1980s Martini—you’ll feel like James Bond with this $65 cocktail, made with Vintage Plymouth Gin from the ‘80s.

wine by the tap bar
W.I.N.O. W.I.N.O.

W.I.N.O.

610 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

If you’re someone who can never decide what to order, then W.I.N.O. is everything you’ve ever wanted. This innovative, interactive wine bar allows visitors to try out all types of vinos with a serving system that offers more than 120 different wines from around the world. Grab a glass, head to the machine, and pick the amount you want it to pour.

The Wine Institute of New Orleans is the perfect happy hour spot to grab a glass to enjoy with the best charcuterie pairing. This Central Business District spot also offers flights and classes, making for the perfect date night activity.

Cane and Table.
Cane and Table. Kevin O'Mara

Cane and Table

1113 Decatur St. New Orleans, LA 70116

Want to feel like you’ve found a tropical oasis in the French Quarter? Skip the Hurricanes and Hand Grenades on Bourbon Street, and take a seat inside Cane and Table’s lush garden. At this signless, tiki-inspired cocktail bar, expect fresh, fruity takes on classic New Orleans beverages. If you can’t get a table in the romantic courtyard, then the green bar inside is just as memorable, with plenty of historic touches.

The mixed drinks are truly delectable, and whether you’re craving a frozen piña colada or a unique take on a Hurricane (with house-made Fassionola, which is the lost tiki syrup recipe that was originally created in the 1950s for the very first Hurricane), you can’t go wrong. Pair your tropical Negroni with Caribbean-inspired small plates like crab croquetas and crispy plantains.

the chloe cocktail bar in new orleans.
The Chloe. Paul Costello

The Chloe

4125 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

Hop on the streetcar and hitch a ride over to this uptown boutique hotel, which has one of the coziest bars in town. The Chloe offers plenty of drinking and dining options; curl up in the lobby, sit on the patio and watch the streetcar on St. Charles Avenue, or sip your spritz poolside.

If the bar is all booked up (it’s best to make reservations in advance) walk over to The Columns, another hotel bar with outdoor seating and classic cocktails (we recommend the Pimms Cup). The Delechaise is another solid St. Charles watering hole, just a short 10-minute walk (or streetcar ride) away if you’re looking for a wine bar and a delightful grilled cheese sandwich.

Hotel Saint Vincent Paradise Lounge in New Orleans
Hotel Saint Vincent Paradise Lounge. Alison Gootee

Hotel Saint Vincent Paradise Lounge

1507 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Want a spooky experience, but don’t feel like signing up for a ghost tour? Just head to this Lower Garden District hot spot, which definitely has haunted vibes. This luxury hotel was previously The Saint Vincent’s Infant Asylum; now, the circa-1800s space has completely transformed and offers light, airy rooms, as well as what just might be the city’s most glamorous cocktail lounge.

The Paradise Lounge looks exactly how it sounds—think tropical wallpaper, rattan light fixtures and lush foliage that wouldn’t be out of place in Palm Beach. Sip on one of the signature martinis or try a house specialty, like the Italian Margarita or the Immortal Embrace.

champagne and a pastry at new orleans bar
Effervescence. Paul Broussard

Effervescence Bubbles + Bites

1036 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

If you’re visiting New Orleans for a bachelorette party or birthday celebration, you’re probably searching for a good glass of bubbly. Look no further than Effervescence Bubbles + Bites in the French Quarter—it’s sure to be the champagne bar of your vacation dreams.

The seasonal menu changes frequently, but the bubbly flights are always a standout. If you want something a bit more inventive, the Effervescence menu also includes a variety of sparkling cocktails. Unlike other New Orleans bars, which have a tendency to be moody and mysterious, the locale is just as bright and bubbly as the beverage it serves.

Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits in New Orleans
Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits. Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits

Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits

600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Feel like taking a field trip? Once you’ve taken in all there is to see uptown and in the French Quarter, head to Marigny, a hipster enclave where you’ll find this famous Bywater wine bar—it’s worth the trip.

This outdoor wine bar includes one of the most romantic courtyards in the city, full of twinkling lights and live music. Bacchanal is a Beard Outstanding Wine Program semifinalist, and is known for an extensive wine list and perfectly paired charcuterie boards. If you’re craving a cocktail, head to its equally well-known sister restaurant, The Elysian Bar, located within Hotel Peter and Paul.

The Carousel Bar in New Orleans
The Carousel Bar in New Orleans The Carousel Bar

The Carousel Bar 

214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

The Carousel is a French Quarter standout, located inside the historic Hotel Monteleone. The bar is famous for its literal merry-go-round, which is the city’s only revolving bar. Whether you’re a Disney adult who loves a good theme park or you just want to spice up your evening experience, it’s a must-visit for tourists. There are only 25 seats, so it’s best to visit at an off hour (although it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere in the Quarter). Order up a classic cocktail and enjoy live jazz for a truly timeless experience.

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The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars in New Orleans