Where to Eat & Drink During Mardi Gras: Restaurants & Bars
No time of year is more exciting than Mardi Gras in New Orleans! Colorful beads soar through the air, themed cocktails are served around the city, and the streets pulse with revelry and music. If you’re one of the lucky Mardi Gras attendees, we’re sure you can’t wait to join in on the parades, parties, and fun.
It’s no secret that the city gets a bit hectic, especially around the parade routes and popular areas like Bourbon Street. Be a true Mardi Gras insider and plan your food and drink stops ahead of time! Knowing which restaurants to visit for a quick bite or where to fill up your go-cup will save you time so you can avoid the crowds and get back outside to the action!
Getting Around New Orleans During Mardi Gras
Getting around New Orleans during Mardi Gras can be tricky. Many of the main streets are closed off for parades, making walking or riding a bike your best bet. Try to get a hotel near the main parade routes so that you can easily get a good spot and choose from plenty of nearby restaurants and bars. Another bonus of staying near the parade routes is being able to go back to your room to use the bathroom. Be warned, public restrooms are hard to come by during Mardi Gras!
Can I Really Take My Drink to Go?
You bet! One of the best parts of celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the city’s policy on outdoor drinking. There’s no open container law in the Crescent City, so grab your favorite Mardi Gras cocktail and hit the streets. During the festivities, ask for your drink in a go-cup, a plastic or paper cup perfect for sipping a refreshing beverage in the heart of the party. Not sure what to order? Check out our guide on New Orleans’ most famous cocktails.
Best Restaurants to Enjoy During Mardi Gras
No trip to New Orleans would be complete without trying some of the city’s local staples like gumbo, beignets, and king cake. If you’re a first-time visitor to New Orleans, make sure to read our guide on the best food to sample in the city (Caution: don’t read on an empty stomach!).
There are so many amazing restaurants throughout the city, but they can certainly get crowded during Mardi Gras. With so many patrons bustling through the French Quarter and Uptown, your best bet is to grab a bite to eat away from the major parade routes, though it’s always worth staying near the action if you’re willing to be patient. Beyond the crowds, there’s also the issue of availability, as many establishments change their hours or close during the festivities.
You’re sure to work up an appetite with all the walking, singing, and dancing. Don’t worry! You don’t need to survive on king cake and go-cups alone. Prep for the day by eating a good breakfast and keep your itinerary flexible so you can grab a bite at these amazing restaurants throughout Mardi Gras.
Café du Monde
If you’re in need of a sweet pick-me-up in between parties, make a quick stop at Café du Monde, a famous New Orleans landmark known for its mouthwatering beignets and café au lait. Since these delightful doughnuts and coffee are the only menu items, you can be in and out in no time. Or just use the take-out window and get your delicious treats to go.
The Country Flame
For Cuban sandwiches and Mexican food, head to The Country Flame, a fantastic eatery just one block from Canal St. and two blocks from Bourbon St. It may be a casual locale, but the service is fast and the Cuban bites are some of the best in town.
Want something a bit more upscale than the standard go-cup? Visit Effervescence, a champagne bar just outside the French Quarter. Sip some bubbly, have a quick snack, and toast to all the fun you’re having!
Open on Fat Tuesday, this awesome joint serves overflowing po-boys layered with meat and delicious vegetable sides like creamed spinach and enormous stuffed potatoes. Be sure to bring cash!
This French Quarter gem is a great place to grab a cocktail or midday bite. The laid-back feel is perfect for the revelry of Mardi Gras, and you can’t beat their imaginative cocktails.
K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen
This famous NOLA eatery closes its doors on Mardi Gras day – but you can still get served right at the dining room window! Order a fried po-boy or a to-go red beans and rice and be on your merry way!
These are just a few of the many amazing restaurants and bars NOLA has to offer! Whether you visit during Mardi Gras or any other time of year, the best part of visiting the Crescent City is its delectable cuisine. Just be sure to call ahead or check the hours of each restaurant if you have your heart set on a particular meal during Mardi Gras.
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