Most of the hours spent in New Orleans are happy ones, but there are a few that particularly stand out. Many involve oysters, but the following involve all other kinds of cut-price booze and food -- and while the bulk are in the French Quarter, they extend throughout this town, from Riverbend to Mid-City.
When: Mon-Fri, 5-7pm
The deal: Hit this French bistro after work for half-off bottled beers, $5 wines and craft cocktails, $7 carafes of punch, and $10 tasting flights of brandy, Cognac, and Calvados.
When: Tues-Fri, 4-7pm
The deal: Menu items like beef brochette, oysters Rockefeller, and punch for $.95 each. More dishes range from $3 to $6 each, including deviled eggs and cheese fondue. Try traditional absinthe service between 5-7pm for between $5-7.
Bienville House Hotel/French Quarter
When: Every day, 3-6pm
The deal: Enjoy Hawaiian happy hour every day with $3-8 bar snacks (like tofu bánh mì for $5, shoestring fries with kimchi ketchup & Sriracha mayo for $3, and house wings for $8) and Tiki potions in the $6-$10 range, like the Waikiki Wedding for $6, Royal Hawaiian Cocktail for $8, or Planters Rum Punch for $9.
W Hotel/French Quarter
When: Every day, 3-6pm
The deal: Food like shrimp & tasso pincho, $3; smoky pulled pork taco, $4; crispy chicken on the bone, $3; and chef's gumbo, $6. Drink specials include draft beer for $3, house wine and Torre Oria cava for $4, well highballs for $4, daily punch for $5, a brandy or rye Sazerac for $6, and a vodka or gin Tom Collins for $6.
When: Tues-Fri, 2-7pm; happy hour pricing also extends to Friday lunch
The deal: $7 Champagne cocktails, at least half off bottles of bubbly (Veuve Clicquot Rosé for $55, down from $125? Yes, please.), and bar snacks like crispy Creole-spiced black-eyed peas for $5, yellowfin tuna tartare with pickled green strawberries, crispy potato, and scallion dressing for $8, and lobster remoulade with fresh chervil and crispy green tomato for $10.
Royal Sonesta/French Quarter
When: Mon-Fri, 3-6pm
The deal: House specialty cocktails and wine for $5, imported draft beer for $4, and domestic drafts for $3. And at just a dollar each, order some oysters chargrilled or on the half-shell.
Prince Conti Hotel/French Quarter
When: Every day, 4-7pm
The deal: Graze on $3 plates of boudin rangoons, Cajun poutine, pork belly tacos, chopped liver on toast with pepper jelly, black-eyed pea hummus with croustades, and house-made pretzels with Guinness cheese dip.
Hyatt Regency New Orleans/CBD
When: Every day, 3-6pm; extended an extra hour until 7pm on Tuesdays
The deal: Check out the Southern seafood restaurant’s 70 craft beers for only $3 and nibble on one of Chef Brian Landry's $5 tapas. Also available are $7 carafes of seasonal sangria and half-off wines by the glass and well cocktails.
When: Every day, 4-7pm
The deal: Everyday food and drink: hand-cut fries for $3, boudin for $5, and margherita pizza for $10. Wash down snacks with domestic beer for $3, wine for $5, highballs for $5, and French 75s, served with French fries, for $7. In addition, try daily specials like pig plates on Wednesdays for $10 and fish & chips for $6 on Thursdays. Try a margarita on Tuesdays for $5 or a $4 pint of local beer on Thursdays.
When: Mon-Fri, 4-6pm
The deal: $1 oysters, bar snacks under $8, and $5 craft drinks and glasses of wine.
The Old No 77 Hotel & Chandlery/Warehouse District
When: Mon-Fri, 3-6pm
The deal: Cocktail specials include $6 glasses of select still and sparkling wines, as well as $6 classic cocktails including daiquiris, Old Fashioneds, and martinis, all whipped up by the beverage dream team of Ricky Gomez, Abigail Gullo, Zac Augustin, and crew. To accompany these libations, Chef Nina Compton has created a sweet selection of snacks, all priced at $5 each, including conch croquettes with pickled pineapple tartar sauce; spiced pig ears with smoked aioli; roasted jerk corn; and crispy dirty rice arancini with sour orange mojo.
When: Mon-Fri, 4-7pm
The deal: Enjoy two-for-one well drinks and half-off draft beers plus daily specials: Sunday - $3 mimosas ('til 3pm); Monday - $4 sangria; Tuesday - $.60 oysters with purchase of beer pitcher or bottle of wine; Wednesday - half off all wines by the glass; and Thursday- half off all specialty cocktails.
Whent: Mon-Fri, 3-6pm
The deal: Half off Chef Michael Gulotta’s Louisiana-Vietnamese restaurant’s signature wings, cheap bar eats (like pork steam buns with spicy watermelon, and roasted eggplant salad with toasted garlic and sesame, but they change seasonally) for $3-5, $1.50 domestic beer, and $5 punch.
When: Mon-Fri, 3-7pm
The deal: Half off all drinks (try the mojito or sangria), flatbreads (try the fig and prosciutto or duck confit), and mussels cooked in a variety of spices and liquids.
When: Mon-Fri, 3-7pm
The deal: Local craft drafts for $3, house wines by the glass for $5, and cocktail of the day for $5. In addition, enjoy happy hour food items like crawfish beignets, octopus ceviche, fish tacos, and boudin balls for $4. Raw oysters are $.50 each during happy hour, and on Mondays, you can get them at that price until 10pm.
Lower Garden District
When: Every day, 5-7pm
The deal: Half-price well cocktails, wines by the glass, and select bottles of wine. Bar plates are only $5 each, including fried eggplant sticks with Parmesan and lemon aioli, pancetta-wrapped dates, house-made sausage with mustard and house pickles, salmon rillettes with gaufrette potato, deviled eggs, spiced cashews, and pommes frites. In addition, $.50 charbroiled oysters and complimentary candied bacon are available.
Lower Garden District
When: Every day, 5-7pm
The deal: Get beers like Southern Prohibition’s Devil’s Harvest American pale ale for $3 or Rolling Rock for $2; a “dealer’s choice” boilermaker for $5; Sazerac or Old Fashioned bottled cocktail for two for $10; Pimm’s Cup for $5; and house wine (white, red, prosecco, or lambrusco) for $5.
When: Tues-Fri, 5-6:30pm
The deal: The Creole cottage bistro offers half-price beer, wine, and well drinks throughout the dining room as well as small plates for bar patrons priced at $2, $4, and $6.
When: Thurs-Sat, 5-8pm
The deal: Get a three-cheese plate and a glass of wine for $15, $1 off beers and glasses of wine, and $4 off bottles of wine at this cheese shop/cafe.
When: The beer bar offers different specials every day.
The deal: Monday - four 5oz beer pours for $8; Tuesday - $2 off pitchers of all beers; Wednesday - two-for-one well drinks; Thursday - $1 off pints all night; Friday - $1 off beer and liquor from 3-7pm; and Saturday and Sunday - $5 mimosas and Bloody Marys.
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1. Meauxbar942 N Rampart St, New Orleans
2. The Empire Bar at Broussard's819 Conti St, New Orleans
3. Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29321 N Peters St, New Orleans
4. SoBou310 Chartres St, New Orleans
5. Brennan's417 Royal St, New Orleans
6. Desire Oyster Bar300 Bourbon St, New Orleans
7. The Bombay Club830 Conti St, New Orleans
8. Borgne601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans
9. Queen & Crescent Hotel Bar344 Camp St, New Orleans
10. Balise640 Carondelet St, New Orleans
11. Compère Lapin535 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans
12. Grand Isle Restaurant575 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans
13. MoPho514 City Park Ave, New Orleans
14. Salú3226 Magazine St, New Orleans
15. Basin Seafood & Spirits3222 Magazine St, New Orleans
16. Emeril's Delmonico1300 St Charles Ave, New Orleans
17. Square Root1800 Magazine St, New Orleans
18. Apolline4729 Magazine St, New Orleans
19. St. James Cheese Company5004 Prytania St, New Orleans
20. Ale8124 Oak St, New Orleans
This swanky wine bar/restaurant serves up wholesome European dishes like pork belly with crispy scallops, and steak tartare courtesy of renowned Chef Kristen Essig.
Located at the fine dining establishment Broussard's, the Empire Bar houses a lavish marble bar, behind which barman supreme Paul Gustings will be waiting to make you a Ramos Fizz, or one of the other extraordinary 'tails on the menu. Try one of Gustings' signature Napoleon brandy-based cocktails or the Leite de Onca, which is a cachaça-based cocktail with toasted coconut shavings, pineapple syrup, heavy cream, condensed milk, and Mexican chocolate.
Latitude 29 in the French Quarter is a Tiki lover's paradise. Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s shrine to all things Tiki has proven itself to be a refreshing and enlightened pillar of the NOLA drinks scene due to its large menu of deliciously concocted cocktails. Check out the bar's take on classics like Mai Tai and Zombies, and for something a bit more inventive, go for the Davy Jones' Lager, which is a mix of Antigua gold rum, Japanese beer Curacao, and spiced cane syrup.
SoBou is a self-proclaimed modern saloon, and it expertly combines a repertoire of handcrafted cocktails with Louisiana street food-inspired fare. Country meets city in SoBou’s dining room, with rustic white wooden chairs against walls lined with hundreds of glass bottles, backlit with chic amber lighting. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and burlesque brunch on weekends, SoBou’s food highlights include tuna cones, shrimp & tasso pinchos, and sweet potato beignets, with a broader selection of small bites, sandwiches, entrée salads, and large plates. Cocktails change frequently, but the self-serve wine and beer is a restaurant staple.
Located in the French Quarter, Brennan's is without a doubt one of the most important eateries in New Orleans. Dubbed the “old pink lady” due to its fanciful pink and green decor, the iconic restaurant serves a menu boasting upscale Cajun classics with a modern twist. Indulge in dishes like turtle soup, redfish amandine, and slow-baked Gulf fish with butter-poached crab, oysters, and shrimp. Breakfast at Brennan's is taken just as seriously as dinner, and dishes like Eggs Cardinal (crispy lobster and shrimp boudin with Creole mustard hollandaise) are richer than any other breakfast in the area. Top off your meal here with an order of the infamous bananas Foster.
This is an upbeat and casual establishment that blends traditional and contemporary fare into a well-rounded menu. Oyster shuckers are on hand to prepare fresh bivalves in a myriad of ways. Gumbo, jambalaya and fried seafood po-boys all make appearances as well.
This classy, wood-paneled bar -- tucked away down the carriageway at the back of the Prince Conte -- is home to the largest martini selection in all of New Orleans. The food menu specializes in elevated creole and cajun cuisine, while the high-energy ambiance includes live nightly performers who add novelty to each visit.
Serving a seafood-obsessed menu in a sleek, airy space with maritime accents, Borgne is the Big Easy’s answer to rustic Louisiana cuisine. Helmed by dream duo of Chefs John Besh and Brian Landry (of Galatoire fame), the CBD spot is beloved by locals for its bold flavors, evident in small bites like the duck poppers with jalapeno and bacon and heavy-hitters such as the black drum à la plancha, which strikes the perfect balance of savory and sweet with brown butter, pecans, and jumbo lump crab.
This bar is situated in a trendy hotel 3 blocks from the French Quarter. They specialize in craft cocktails and have a daily happy hour with lots of variety and great prices.
Balise celebrates the history of New Orleans as a port city with Creole and Cajun seafood dishes, including blue crab cocktail and fried flounder, as well as a variety of meaty meals to satisfy proud carnivores.
Lead by Top Chef contestant Nina Compton, Compére Lapin is Caribbean-meets-Louisiana-Creole cuisine that is thoughtful and refined, but not fussy. Add a killer bar program (headed by NOLA barkeep Abigail Gullo from SoBou), and you've got yourself your next Friday night dinner reservation. Located in the Warehouse District, the space is a stunner, with exposed brick walls, wood finishes and a mosaic tile floor.
This family-style resto focuses on fresh ingredients, whether it's their fish and seafood that they receive daily, or their garden salads that're always served w/ dressings made in-house.
This Mid-City eatery is run by former chef from John Besh's August, and the quality is apparent. It combines the flavors of the Gulf with the flavors of Vietnam making for a fresh exploration into classic Vietnamese dishes. The drink program is just as eclectic as the eats, with house cocktails and spiked boba teas. The space feels modern and trendy for a strip mall spot, with a blue and orange color palette and wooden accents. On Saturdays, they roast a full pig, meaning you should probably cancel your other weekend plans.
An authentic Spanish restaurant isn't the easiest to find in Nola, but this spot definitely is. Check out Thursday nights for live music and paella specials.
This Uptown resto serves "modernized, lighter versions of traditional Louisiana dishes" that are made with locally sourced Gulf fish and locally grown seasonal veggies.
Emeril's Delmonico, owned by the acclaimed chef, restaurateur, television personality and author, Emeril Lagasse, is located in a beautifully restored historic building, in view of the famous St. Charles streetcar. Delmonico offers classic creole, French, and Italian takes on a variety of meat & seafood dishes. All of the steaks come with herbed butter and house-made Worcestershire, béarnaise, and chimichurri sauces.
Run by Executive Chef and Owner Phillip Lopez, Square Root is the sequel to the outstanding and innovative resto Root, and it centers on a modern kitchen design, where contemporary culinary techniques are the main attraction and an eclectic menu will keep surprising you as you try more and more of it.
This Uptown resto is a favorite for a number of reasons: an extensive dinner menu, a solid cocktail list, and one of the best brunches in the neighborhood (they not only offer bottomless mimosas for Sunday brunch from 10am-2:30pm for $14, but for $12, you can have a double shot vodka Bloody Mary with boiled shrimp added to the traditional garnish of pickled vegetables. Healthy!
This Uptown eatery is oh-so-more than just a cheese shop. It also sports fantastic sandos that qualify as some of the best in the city, such as its Hooks Cheddar sandwich that's made with Wisconsin Hooks cheddar, smoked turkey, basil, tomato, mayo, and avocado.
This beer-focused brother bar to Oak has over 30 options on tap and nearly as many TVs for watching the game. The menu features bar bites like fried pickles and Chisesi ham and gruyere hot pockets. Expect rotating beer specials every day.