It’s no secret that New Orleans has a lot of bars. When you’re looking to unwind after a long day, you have hundreds of options to choose from. With a city as old as New Orleans, it should come as no surprise that even our bars have a fascinating history behind them. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
1. Tujague’s Bar
For over 160 years, people have been turning to Tujague’s to grab a drink. It was the first bar in New Orleans to introduce the concept of a stand-up bar, so those on horseback could stretch their legs. A century and a half later, virtually not much has changed from the antique mirror that was shipped from France in 1856 to the beautiful cypress bar. 823 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70116.
2. Pat O’Brien’s
Known for the dueling pianos, this iconic French Quarter bar officially opened in 1933, but prior to that, it was known as Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary, and was a speakeasy which required the password "storm’s brewin" to enter. Home of the Hurricane cocktail, this is one bar where you’re sure to pass a good time. 718 St Peter St., New Orleans, Louisiana 70116.
3. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
Perhaps the most historic bar in the country, Lafitte’s holds the distinction of being the oldest structure being used as a bar in the country. Built between 1722 and 1732, the building was used by infamous pirate Jean Lafitte as a base for his illegal smuggling operation. It’s worth your while to pay them a visit and grab a drink at this historic bar. And who knows, maybe you’ll even see the ghost of Jean Lafitte… 941 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70116.
4. The Old Absinthe House
If the walls of this historic 200-year old stucco building could talk, the stories they would tell would knock you off your feet. According to legend, Andrew Jackson and Governor Claiborne met with Jean Lafitte on a secret floor of the Absinthe House to discuss the defense of the city for the Battle Of New Orleans. Stop by and order one of their famous absinthe frappes, their signature drink. 240 Bourbon St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130.
5. The Carousel Bar
Now, most people do not like getting the spins while drinking, but I promise this is different. Louisiana’s only revolving bar is a unique experience everyone should have at least once. Located in the Hotel Monteleone, the 25-seat circular bar was installed in 1949 and makes one full revolution every 15 minutes. 214 Royal St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130.
6. The Sazerac Bar
Named after the world’s first mixed cocktail (that was invented right here in New Orleans!), you’ll find the Sazerac Bar located in The Roosevelt Hotel. Established in 1938, the bar was a popular hangout for Huey P. Long and other politicians. The cocktail menu is filled with old fashioned drinks like the gin fizz, negronis, and of course, the drink that started it all—the sazerac. 130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112.
7. Napoleon House
You’ll feel like you’ve time traveled to another century when you step up to the bar at the Napoleon House. Built in 1794, the building was intended as a residence for Napoleon Bonaparte, but he died before he ever made it back to Louisiana. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970, this iconic bar is known for serving is signature Pimm’s Cup cocktail, so head over to the bar and order one for yourself. 500 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130.
Where’s your favorite place to grab a drink in the city? Let us know in the comments below!