In New Orleans, the morning Bloody Mary is almost a ritual sacrament. From low-key bars to fancy brunch pilgrimages, this city understands how crucial the Bloody Mary cocktail is. So pay supplication to the tomato gods with the dozen greatest incarnations of the drink in town...
This French Quarter bar is best known for two drinks: Bloody Marys and frozen Irish coffee. The Bloody Marys used to be made “a la minute” to order, according to the bartender, but the demand became so great that now they’re batched up every morning. The base mix is a local commercial mix, with precisely nine ingredients added, including the not-so-secret secret ingredient, Guinness.
This temple to the build-your-own Bloody Mary concept began the trend and does it right, with pickled vegetables (including Brussels sprouts and asparagus), real bacon crumbles, and one’s choice of house Bloody mix, house-juiced yellow tomato juice (made with tomatillos, cucumber, jalapeño, lime juice, and other goodies), and red tomato juice.
This upscale breakfast restaurant’s Bloody Marys have a real kick to them -- definitely one of the spiciest Bloodys in the city. Pro tip: order a Bloody Bull for the addition of some beef broth to the mix, which will provide much-needed protein and electrolytes. Then order something sinful and rich for breakfast and that’s how you do mornings in da Quarter.
The Bloody Marys at Molly's (as well as at its sister restaurants 13 in the Marigny and Junction in the Bywater) have been well known and well loved for many years by visitors, locals, and service industry folk alike. It’s the perfect environment to hide away from daylight and relax while planning your next move -- be it food, a nap, or more Bloody Marys.
This carefully guarded Bloody mix recipe is so secret that the bartender didn’t even know what was in it. Spicy, balanced, and loaded with pickled veg and citrus, it’s perfect for dealing with a hangover in the dark, divey bar as well as for taking over to Surrey’s, the trendy brunch spot next door, which doesn’t have a liquor license. Fortuitous, yes?
Home of the famous praline bacon, this incredibly popular breakfast and brunch joint (which also serves lunch and dinner) batches up its secret Bloody Mary mix at least three times a week. The gentleman in charge of making the mix attributes its success to the horseradish and celery salt. The house-pickled green beans provide a spicy, super-sour kick as well.
At Commander’s, service is everything. So it’s no surprise that the highly classified Bloody Mary mix arrives with a spiced glass rim and then is spiked tableside by your server with a bottle of vodka kept encased in a block of ice nearby.
LPG’s specialty -- the Big Red Hammer -- is no joke, my friend. Here’s what you get for 16 bucks: house-made Bloody Mary mix, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, poached shrimp, blue crab claws, and house-pickled vegetables served in a Mason jar with a fork. Because, there’s breakfast.
Hungover vegans and vegetarians of the world, rejoice, Green Goddess feels your pain. The urban garden oasis/cafe prepares a Naked Mary, made without Worcestershire sauce, but with house-roasted tomatoes, Jamaican Pickapeppa sauce, local Crystal hot sauce, Louisiana’s Cathead vodka, Bittermen’s Hellfire bitters, and lots of spice, plus house-made cucumber pickles to top it off.
Order the deluxe Bloody Mary to kick the beverage game up a notch with your fancy uptown brunch; it comes with two shots of vodka, house-made Bloody Mary mix, boiled shrimp, spicy beans, cherry tomatoes, celery, lemon, and lime -- and should fix whatever ails you.
This collaboration restaurant concept between chefs John Besh and Aarón Sánchez serves authentic Mexican food with a definite Louisiana flavor. One could order a Bloody Mary while brunching here, but why, when this spot serves a michelada with Dos Equis, tequila (instead of vodka), and house-made sangrita (instead of standard Bloody Mary mix). Sangrita is a lighter, sweeter mixer made with tomato, orange, and lime juices blended with agave nectar.
Mexican restaurant and tequila parlor Araña also serves a michelada, this one made entirely with beer and enhanced with house-made Bloody mix and a spicy salt rim. Araña’s michelada also pairs perfectly with tacos or tortas.
Sign up here for our daily New Orleans email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the Big Easy.
1. Erin Rose Bar811 Conti St, New Orleans
2. Atchafalaya Restaurant901 Louisiana Ave, New Orleans
3. Brennan's417 Royal St, New Orleans
4. Molly's at the Market1107 Decatur St, New Orleans
5. Le Bon Temps Roulé4801 Magazine St, New Orleans
6. La Petite Grocery4238 Magazine St, New Orleans
7. Elizabeth's601 Gallier St, New Orleans
8. Green Goddess307 Exchange Pl, New Orleans
9. Apolline4729 Magazine St, New Orleans
10. Johnny Sanchez930 Poydras St, New Orleans
11. Araña Taqueria Y Cantina3242 Magazine St, New Orleans
12. Commander's Palace1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans
A half-block away from Bourbon Street, this friendly Irish pub is covered in framed photographs, car parts autographed by drag racers, and other memorabilia from NOLA's glory days. Erin Rose is known for its Bloody Marys, frozen or hot Irish coffee, and its killer po' boys, such as its Dark 'n Stormy Po' Boy with rum-braised pork.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more exceptional brunch Atchafalaya, a hidden Irish Channel gem serving up contemporary Louisiana cuisine and craft cocktails inside a homey, art-filled space. With dishes like the namesake Eggs Atchafalaya (poached eggs, fried green tomatoes, jumbo lump crab, hollandaise), duck hash, and chicken & andouille gumbo, it seems impossible to imagine a better brunch lineup -- that is, until you discover the fully stocked Bloody Mary bar. Dinner is more than worth your time as well, when plates like pan-seared gulf swordfish, shrimp & grits, and truffled fried chicken breast are prepared with precision.
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 French Quarter bar has all the makings of a divey Irish pub, plus so much more. Molly's is known for its frozen Irish coffee, an alcohol-laden coffee milkshake that's decidedly better than regular Irish coffee. It's the perfect place to day drink in NOLA as you watch the Decatur Street wildness ride past you.
This Uptown bar and music club was founded by a death metal singer and is now famous for a Thursday night house party put on by a hip-hop/brass band hybrid, so you could guess that it's an interesting place to be.
Converted from a historic grocery store, this bistro and bar features plates crafted by James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Devillier. The menu includes all-time hits like blue crab beignets, turtle Bolognese, and a gruyere cheeseburger. La Petite Grocery is true Louisiana, as evidenced by its 19th century Creole architecture and craft cocktails like the double rye whiskey Bee Hive.
Elizabeth’s in Bywater is a quintessential New Orleans breakfast spot, mostly because it cooks up some magical praline bacon (you really, really don’t want to miss this), but also because of the always-friendly servers who present said praline bacon inside the colorful, local art-filled space. The breakfast po-boys are noteworthy, too, and place bacon, egg, and cheese on fresh French bread. At dinnertime, you can expect Southern specialties like fried chicken, catfish, and a grilled seafood mix with scallops, Gulf fish, and BBQ shrimp.
Tucked in an alley in the French Quarter, this oasis serves lunch and dinner and provides creative cuisine and cocktails. There’s even a vegan Bloody Mary variation on the list, along with watermelon sangria and two different boozy SnoBall ice cocktails.
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!
Located in the Central Business District JS features killer modern Mexi-cuisine (made with locally sourced ingredients) in a casual atmosphere -- make sure to have a gander at the tattoo art lining the walls.
This Magazine St Mexican restaurant has a modern cantina vibe with multi-colored metal lanterns and big lights spelling "TEQUILA" across the bar (so you know where the priorities lie). Arana doles out dozens of reasonably priced taco choices and large-portion plates of chicken mole, fajitas and enchiladas. Order them with a bucket of domestic beer bottles for the table, a specialty cocktail or a flight of — you guessed it — tequila.
This notable New Orleans spot offers refined Creole fare in a historic setting. The Garden District landmark has been around since 1893 and has since won six James Beard Foundation awards, in part due to its seamless execution of its "dirt to plate within 100 miles" policy, which strives for 90% of ingredients to come from within 100 miles of the back door. Come in for inspired (and environmentally-friendly!) offerings like cypress smoked Muscovy duck and shrimp and pork belly carbonara.