The Best Restaurant Bars in New Orleans

Eating and drinking go hand-in-hand in New Orleans, with almost every meal requiring a little bit of whistle wetting. The freshest crop of restaurant bars in the city have catapulted the “eat, drink and be merry” adage to aspirational heights, serving up the kind of joie de vivre that makes a meal out on the town feel worthy of its own song and dance number, whether it’s a Tuesday afternoon or Saturday night. —Sarah Baird

  • 1

    Angeline

    The latest venture from former Sylvain chef Alex Harrell, Angeline has wooed legions of fans in its short tenure by displaying a balance of thoughtful restraint and decadence both in the glass and on the plate.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • full menu
  • 2

    Compère Lapin

    Former Top Chef star Nina Compton (wo)mans the kitchen at this hot shot newcomer, where she showcases flavors from her native St. Lucia. New Orleans native Ricky Gomez and Abigail Gullo (formerly of Fort Defiance) wheel and deal behind the bar with decidedly inventive, Caribbean-influenced concoctions.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • lots of rum
    • full menu
    • craft cocktails
    • singles scene
  • 3

    Doris Metropolitan

    Doris flies somewhat under the radar in New Orleans, but is on the lips of everyone who is interested in the city’s most fashionable spot for dry-aged steaks and esoteric cocktails. A giant, horseshoe-shaped bar anchors the restaurant, and liquor bottles are suspended overhead as if magically levitating. The walls are lined floor-to-ceiling with bottles of wine, lying end-to-end like a bacchanalian daisy chain: Sommelier Buck Williams has built out the 900-bottle list beyond the expected. There’s plenty of grower Champagne, cult Rhône producers and Loire Valley gems, plus a selection of Burgundy and Cru Beaujolais in ...

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • craft cocktails
    • good wine
    • Champagne
    • vintage wine
  • 4

    Kingfish

    The granddaddy of all bartenders, Chris McMillian, can be found behind the bar at this French Quarter celebrity haunt (Beyonce and Jay-Z are among its loyal fans). The restaurant’s punched-tin ceilings and wall-sized photo of Huey Long give the bar a throwback vibe, while the drinks focus in on New Orleans classics, like Brandy Milk Punch, with simple twists.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • craft beer
    • craft cocktails
    • good wine
    • oysters
  • 5

    Maurepas

    The restaurant that launched a thousand restaurants, Maurepas still holds its own as the leader of the Bywater’s recent dining renaissance. The drink menu is particularly special, with ever-changing seasonal options and a degree of playfulness that illustrates both the space’s confidence in its own identity and a real, no-lip-service commitment to seasonal ingredients in their cocktails. Above all, it's a neighborhood restaurant that lives in its own oddball Marigny world.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • craft beer
    • craft cocktails
    • good wine
  • 6

    MoPho

    This hotspot of Southern-Asian-meets-Gulf-Coast cuisine also boasts fine options for drinking, with ingredients like lemongrass, dragonfruit and house-pickled citrus finding their way into well-balanced craft cocktails. The space is simply one large open room built into an industrial space, but the service and stellar happy hour—featuring a daily (usually rum-based) punch and bar snacks all around $5—make one feel right at home.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • craft beer
    • craft cocktails
    • good wine
    • singles scene
    • outdoor / patio
    • oyster
  • 7

    Ralph's on the Park

    Positioned so that drinkers can see the lush greenery of New Orleans’ City Park through the bar’s soaring windows, Ralph’s has a cool elegance that is a little bit formal and a little bit fresh.  White tablecloths and pitch perfect service top the charts, making it a a hotbed of wedding receptions and dressed up bridal parties. A drink at Ralph’s and a stroll through the park—which is nearly twice as large as New York's Central Park—is a perfect date-night plan.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • craft cocktails
    • good wine
    • oysters / raw bar
  • 8

    Sylvain

    Constantly packed to the gills with attractive young professionals sipping cocktails and snacking on shaved Brussels sprout salads, Sylvain’s brick-wall interior feels simultaneously historic and cosmopolitan. Entered through a little alleyway, which leads to a classically New Orleanean interior courtyard, the place feels as if it's been there for a century. Legend has it that the space was once a brothel, and a Sazerac is usually left out to appease the ghost of the deceased madam.  

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    KNOWN FOR

    • good wine
    • craft cocktails
    • full menu
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