Whether your holiday plans consist of turkey with the trimmings, seafood gumbo, or a Reveillon Dinner, be sure to carve out time before or after to experience New Orleans cocktail culture. Escape your family or bring them along; we’ve compiled a list of our holiday favorites, including some drink recommendations for each.
LGBT Holiday Bar Crawl
First stop: The Roosevelt New Orleans
Every holiday bar crawl – gay or straight – should start at the tree-lined lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel. The decorations are amazing and having a Sazerac at the bar named for the drink is a perfect start to your crawl. (We’d also recommend Domenica restaurant if you want to start with some great food in your belly.)
Next stop: Bombay Club
A candlelit hidden gem with a lovely small courtyard and live music every weekend, this dark, bookcase-lined room feels like something from the Godfather. Grab a seat at the bar or sit at one of the four person high-tops and enjoy some holiday cheer. It’s open on Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and New Year’s Eve, but you might want to make a reservation; the Bombay Club is a locals’ hot spot for the holidays.
Have: Eggnog Noel
Next stop: Lucille’s Golden Lantern Bar
The decorations alone will make you want to peek inside this French Quarter gay-borhood bar and original home of Southern Decadence.
Have: Bloody Mary
Next stop: Friendly Bar
Not far from the jazz bars of Frenchmen Street you’ll find a “kind of gay, but not exclusively” (as you’ll find with many Marigny bars) bar called Friendly. It’s a charming, quaint dive with inexpensive drinks, a fun bar staff, pool table and jukebox!
Have: Pimm’s Cup or Bloody Mary
Next stop: The Franklin
All this drinking requires fuel and this stop on our journey has amazing small bites, including raw oysters, and blue crab and corn croquettes (yum!). We’d recommend the cozy spot up near the front window.
Have: Old Fashioned (if you make it for Happy Hour, it’s only $5). The Desmond is also delicious if you’re a bourbon fan.
Next stop: Mimi’s In the Marigny
Walk toward the river on Franklin Avenue and on the opposite corner you’ll find Mimi’s. Everything is turned up a notch including the noise, and depending on when you arrive, you may find a DJ spinning upstairs. If you’re still hungry and feeling adventurous, order the “trust me” from the tapas menu. It’s basically chef’s choice but doesn’t disappoint.
Have: Peppermint Hot Chocolate
From here, New Orleans is your oyster. You can either head up to St. Claude to check out The Allways Lounge and Hi-Ho Bar, go to the Country Club in the Bywater, or head back into the French Quarter for endless options.
Lagniappe: More Holiday Cocktails
Still thirsty? Click above for several more options, including a stop at Salon by Sucre for their “I’ve Been Scrooged”.
Disclaimer: No need to do the whole crawl in one night. We encourage responsible drinking (but we can also offer a few hangover cures). Happy Holidays!