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GoNOLA Tops: Best Spots for a NOLA Pub Crawl

Parleaux Beer Lab (Photo: Zack Smith)

Visiting New Orleans means that your drinking options will be limitless. Going on a pub crawl with a few good friends is a great way to take in the city while having a cocktail, a beer, or glass of wine.

Below are several itineraries that are grouped together not only by geography but also theme. Only four stops are included (with the exception of the Freret St. itinerary, see below) for each crawl, because it allows the bar crawler to actually enjoy his or her experience – these places not only serve booze, but are also fun places to hang out.

The Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteleone (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Downtown cocktail crawl: Visit several of the finest cocktail bars in the city for classics and new creations. Start in the Central Business District at Victory – you’ll be handed a free sample size of the cocktail of the day – and then head to the Roosevelt Hotel to the famed Sazerac Bar (have a Sazerac if you like, but they’ve got lots of other things to try). Cross Canal Street and go down North Rampart for the FQ mainstay Bar Tonique (you will need a menu the size of a book to make your decision, or they have drink specials of the day) and close out at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. If your crawl group is a reasonable size, you might be able to get seats at the revolving bar; otherwise there are seats and booths throughout. If you’re doing a daytime crawl, reverse the order, since Victory doesn’t open until the late afternoon.

Cane & Table (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Decatur/North Peters Street Tiki crawl: The “Tiki District” of downtown New Orleans is a recently realized playground for lovers of the nectar of the tropics. It’s pretty much a straight shot down South Peters and Decatur (the two streets merge after Latitude 29). These open a little later in the day, so plan accordingly. Manolito is not technically tiki, but it’s got a rum-heavy Cuban vibe going on that’s a lot of fun. It’s just a few feet up Dumaine Street off Decatur. Don’t worry, you’re not veering off track.

  • Tiki Tolteca 301 N Peters Street, 2nd Floor. Opens at 5 p.m. Mon-Thurs, and at noon Fri-Sun.
  • Latitude 29 321 N Peters St. Opens at 3 p.m. Sun-Thurs, and at 1 p.m. Fri- Sat.
  • Manolito 508 Dumaine St. Opens at 5 p.m. Mon-Tues and at 11 a.m. Wed-Sun.
  • Cane & Table 113 Decatur St. Opens at 5 p.m. Mon-Fri and at 10:30 a.m. Sat-Sun.
Molly’s at the Market (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Lower Decatur dive crawl: New Orleans – so many dives, so little time. Two of these places are hardcore dives with no website or social media and are open 24 hours a day. Molly’s is more of a neighborhood bar placed in a dive block (but so perfect for a pub crawl), and Santos is more a live music dive that closes at 5 a.m. Pro-tip: check out Santos’ calendar online to make sure concert tickets aren’t required for the time frame you’re looking to hit it. With Aunt Tiki’s and The Abbey in the mix, be careful not to get sucked in for longer you intend. Or settle in, whatever makes you happy.

  • Aunt Tiki’s 1207 Decatur St. Open 24 hours a day, every day.
  • The Abbey 1123 Decatur St. Open 24 hours a day, every day.
  • Molly’s at the Market 1107 Decatur St. Open from 10 a.m. till 6 a.m. every day.
  • Santos Bar 1135 Decatur St. Opens at 4 p.m. Mon-Fri  and at 11 a.m. on Sat-Sun.
The Hi-Ho Lounge (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

St. Claude/Marigny club crawl: This is where you drink while listening to local bands or locals/tourists singing karaoke. This is a nighttime tour for sure, since that’s when the music is playing. It also may be wise to do some additional research about who’s playing where and when. Siberia will be a mixed bag of music, but whatever is playing, it’ll be different than anywhere else in the area (they also have an amazing Slavic soul food popup.) The AllWays, right across the street from Siberia, is more of a burlesque/indie band/drag show/blues and swing type of place. Again, the vibe will change dramatically depending on when you go. The Hi-Ho is more traditional brass band and local sound (with a comedy night mixe in there every once in a while) and Kajun’s is where you get your karaoke on whatever time it is.

  • Siberia Lounge 2227 St Claude Ave. Opens at 4 p.m. Mon-Fri and at 11 am on Sat-Sun.
  • The AllWays Lounge 2240 St Claude Ave. Open every day at 6 p.m.
  • Hi-Ho Lounge 2239 St Claude Ave. Open every day at 5 p.m. (although there seem to be occasional earlier shows on the weekend? 5 p.m. is the official open time, so check on that.)
  • Kajun’s Pub 2256 St Claude Ave. Open 24 hours every day.
Parasol’s (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Irish Channel pub crawl: It’s fun to get into the neighborhoods of New Orleans and meet the regulars. It’s a whole different experience than what you see downtown. The Irish Channel is uptown, but not too much so. It’s also near the Mississippi River, and these bars are all clustered on or around Magazine Street, where there’s also some cool shopping and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat. Parasol’s is known for their poboys as well, so it might be a good idea to stop there first to line the stomach with a fried catfish, firecracker shrimp, or roast beef poboy.

  • Parasol’s 2533 Constance St. Open every day at 11 a.m.
  • Tracey’s 2604 Magazine St. Open every day at 11 a.m.
  • Rendezvous Tavern 3101 Magazine St. Opens at 3 p.m. Mon-Fri and at 11 a.m. on Sat-Sun.
  • Pete’s Out In The Cold 701 Sixth St. Opens at 4 p.m. Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri and at noon on Wed, Sat, Sun.
Markey’s Bar (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Bywater neighborhood pub crawl: Continuing the neighborhood theme, these spots are really old-school neighborhood bars, in corner store lots. Pizza Delicious and The Joint BBQ are nearby for carb- and protein- loading. If you’re into wine, check out Bacchanal in addition or as a substitution for J&J’s or Vaughan’s; same goes for Parleaux Beer Lab if you’re into beer.

  • Markey’s Bar 640 Louisa St. Opens at 2 p.m. Mon-Thurs, at noon of Fri, and at 11 a.m. Sat-Sun.
  • Bud Rip’s 900 Piety St. Open every day at 1 p.m.
  • J&J’s Sports Lounge 800 France St. Open every day at 9 a.m till 5 a.m.
  • Vaughan’s Lounge 4229 Dauphine St. Open every day at noon.
Bar Frances (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Freret Street food/drink crawl: This is a full day (possibly covering both lunch and dinner), and includes six stops, because you’re going to want to eat something at every one of these bar/restaurants.

  • High Hat Cafe 4500 Freret St. Open every day at 11 a.m.
  • Ancora Pizzeria 4508 Freret St. Open every day at 11:30 a.m.
  • Bar Frances 4525 Freret St. Open at 4 p.m. every day for dinner service, with lunch service on Friday (open 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m..) and brunch/lunch on Sat-Sun (open 10 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.)
  • The Company Burger 4600 Freret St. Open every day at 11 a.m.
  • Cure 4905 Freret St. Opens at 5 p.m. Mon-Thurs and at 3 p.m. Fri-Sun
  • Freret Beer Room 5018 Freret St. Opens at 11:30 a.m. on Monday and Wed-Fri and at 10:30 a.m. on Sat-Sun. CLOSED TUESDAYS.
Urban South (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Tchoupitoulas Corridor Brewery Crawl: For the beer lover. These spots are all on or adjacent to Tchoupitoulas, but they’re spread out over 2.5 miles. And in the summer, on Tchoupitoulas, you’re not going to want to walk that – it’s too hot, non-shady, and industrial. But each leg is a super quick/cheap ride, and these spots are worth the visit.

Nora McGunnigle is a freelance beer, food and travel writer in New Orleans, where she focuses on the unique food and beer culture of Louisiana and the Gulf region. Her work can be found in publications like Beer Advocate, Thrillist, and Eater NOLA. You can often find her holding important meetings at the Avenue Pub or Turkey and the Wolf. Follow her on Twitter at @beerfoodtravels and keep up with her work at beerfoodtravels.com

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