Who says you have to drive to New Orleans to have a Mardi Gras worth remembering — or one you can’t remember? DIG has your comprehensive guide to the best drinking spots along BR’s parade routes, so you can revel without leaving the city.
FEED YOUR FAT TUESDAY
Sometimes all that Mardi Gras drinking gets your stomach growling for more sustenance than just another daiquiri. Don’t deny your cravings! After all, this is a holiday all about gluttony. These restaurants can get you fed while keeping you buzzing at the bar.
1. Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar
151 3rd Street
Step into Lucy’s world of surfboards and bamboo for margaritas, mimosas, and some bayou-side beach fare. Make sure to order some of their killer guacamole, and if you’re feeling brave, take on their Big Kahuna — a 64-ounce fishbowl filled with white sangria and mix of Cruzan flavored rums. Nothing says Mardi Gras like a drink the size of your head!
2. Schlittz & Giggles
301 3rd Street
The biggest and arguably best slice of pizza in Baton Rouge comes from the ovens of Schlittz. Head to their downtown location to get your hands greasy with and extra cheesy pepperoni pie, and take your pick from their long list of shots and beer.
100 Lafayette Street
If you want a classy Mardi Gras, look no further. Towering over Lafayette Street on the top of the Shaw Center, Tsunami is about as far as you can get from the crowds without actually leaving the parade route. It may ring up on the pricier side, but with handcrafted cocktails, creative sushi rolls, and an incomparable view like theirs, you might not mind.
4. Restaurant IPO
421 3rd Street
Elevated Creole cuisine meets an extensive drink list at this downtown double threat. Whether you choose to sit down for a meal or head upstairs to Breakroom @ IPO (the restaurant’s bar), it’s one of the best places to rest your bead bags and get some food and drinks as true to Louisiana as the holiday itself.
KEEPIN’ IT CHILL
Not every Mardi Gras needs to end with you passing out on a street corner in a puddle of Taaka. If you’re in search of a more mellow experience, try one (or all) of these bars.
5. Red Star Bar
222 Laurel Street
This self-described “shabbily elegant dive” should be at the top of every hipster reveler’s list. Pull up a stool at Red Star Bar for dirt-cheap drinks and a mellow atmosphere, as well their usual eclectic collection of music, live or otherwise. Throw me a $2 PBR, mister!
6. Bald Eagle Pub
140 Main Street
Sometimes the best drinking destinations on a day of drunken crowds are a bit underground. In the case of the Bald Eagle Pub, it’s literal. Underneath Azteca’s you can find this hidden gem, a relaxed bar with a huge beer selection. This place is as close as you can get to one of New Orleans’ Prohibition-era speakeasies without leaving downtown.
304 Laurel Street
Blend Wine Bar is the essential spot for something low-key yet highbrow. If swilling wine and splitting charcuterie with your friends after the parades roll sounds like your ideal carnival celebration, head to Laurel Street. Check out the rooftop dining area if you’re feeling extra fancy.
8. Hound Dogs
668 Main Street
Strategically located near the Spanish Town route, this chilled out gay bar has the eccentric décor and funky vibe of a NOLA dive. Play some pool, chat with the bartenders, and take your pick of jams from their bottomless jukebox.
HAPPY PARTY GRAS
For some of us, Mardi Gras is all about keeping les bon temps rolling for as long as we can. If you’re interested in the rowdiest, booziest carnival experience in BR, these bars are for you.
9. City Bar
333 3rd Street
If you’re stumbling off the parade route looking for a place to get wilder, stumble into City Bar. Shots, DJs, dance floors — this club has what you need to let loose, as long as you’re not afraid of flashing lights and loud noises.
10. Happy’s Irish Pub
136 3rd Street
Perhaps the only people who drink as much as Cajuns on Mardi Gras are the Irish on, well, any other typical day. Happy’s is a good craft beer bar with a wide selection of scotch, whiskey and bourbon, not to mention the adorable servers. Don’t forget to check the back patio for extra seats and live music.
11. The Roux House
143 3rd Street
Like Uncle Earl’s, this is the place for an afterparty. With a huge, well-stocked bar and great stage, you can be sure a good act will be playing on parade weekend.
12. Huey’s Bar
350 3rd Street
Huey’s is a place where the old and the new collide in a spectacular way. Classic cocktails, pool tables, and eclectic tunes make for a miraculous evening. Nothing makes you feel quite like a G than sipping on a sazerac while grinding to “Anaconda.”
13. 3rd Street Pub
421 3rd Street
This place has something for everyone. For the sporty type, it has several TVs for watching games and a great beer selection. For that like to get crazy, it has good cocktails, a DJ, and a dance floor. And for the people who want to quietly get tipsy, its outdoor lounge hosts unplugged performances. All of these are typically happening at the same time, so your mixed bag of friends can stay all night without getting bored.
14. Boudreaux and Thibodeaux’s
214 3rd Street
B&T’s brings all the makings of a prime place to party on parade day – strong drinks, plenty of space, live music, the classic French Quarter style balcony with wrought iron rails, and of course its strategic location across the street from Jimmy Johns for your drunk munchies. Can you think of a more appropriately named place to celebrate Mardi Gras than this one?
SAY YES TO SOUTHDOWNS
Don’t miss this parade just because it’s outside of downtown! Find a friend with a lawn you can camp out in, and walk to these nearby drinking spots when it’s all over.
This favorite of City Editor Nick BeJeaux offers a massive beer selection as well as tremendous pub food, making it a great stop after the Krewe of Southdowns parade. This pub is nuts about how they serve their beer – from beer nerd bartenders to a special mixture of nitrogen and CO2 they use to pump the beer so it never touches air until it hits your glass. The kitchen does close later in the evening, so if you want the full Bulldog expereince, be sure to head in early.
Red Zeppelin Pizza
While it doesn’t have the beer selection of The Bulldog, it has some of the best pizza and calzones in the city. On the day of the parade, RZ will be offering $4 top shelf margaritas. By the way, a recent study has show that tequila actually helps you lose weight, so you now have no excuse to not pop in for a pizza and a margarita. You’re welcome!
This place has afterparty written all over it. It’s a great place to catch a game, drink, and eat amazing barbecue. Order a beer and a plate of BBQ, and slip into post-parade bliss.