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5 Unique Restaurants & Bars to Try in New Orleans

Looking for some unique restaurants & bars in New Orleans? This post is sharing 5 of our favorites from our adventure to NOLA.

New Orleans is known for many things, but one of the first things that always comes to mind is how wonderful the food and drinks are. Anytime we asked for a recommendation for a bar or restaurant in New Orleans, the answer was always, “Well, there isn’t a bad place to eat or drink here!” With that being said, there were several spots that really stood out above the rest for us, and offered some truly unique experiences!

1.) Carousel Bar & Lounge
Carousel Bar & Lounge - NOLA

The Carousel Bar & Lounge is inside the Hotel Monteleone – and the bar is actually a revolving carousel! Need I say more? Haha.

While a moving carousel bar may sound like a bad idea (especially when drinking is involved), I can assure you that the bar is not moving too quickly (you won’t get dizzy). But in the time it would take for you to get up and go to the restroom, your drink and friends would probably be on the other side of the bar by the time you returned.

The food and drinks were good – I wouldn’t say there was anything here that you couldn’t get at any other lounge/bar in NOLA, but the experience of being on a carousel whilst drinking is pretty darn awesome! Obviously, this place is pretty busy, no matter the time of day. You’ll have to wait patiently for your seat at the bar! Click here for more info on The Carousel Bar & Lounge.

2.) Brennan’s

Brennan’s is a fine dining experience with some yummy Creole dishes on the menu. (It’s the cute pink building pictured above.) They are primarily known for their fancy breakfasts, though.

What makes Brennan’s so unique is that this restaurant is where the Bananas Foster dessert was born. And my goodness is it delicious! Bananas Foster is made up of bananas and vanilla ice cream, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur. Part of the fun of eating at Brennan’s is they make the dessert in front of you, explain it and you can watch the banana liqueur be ignited.

Also, they have a lovely little courtyard you can dine in that has the most adorable little turtle pond. The service was absolutely amazing as well! Click here for more info on Brennan’s.


3.) Three Muses

Three Muses cocktails

Three Muses cocktails ingredients

Three Muses has absolutely fantastic & unique cocktails with a farm-to-bar focus. Many of the ingredients used in them are housemade. (How cool is that?)

I didn’t sample all the cocktails (I don’t have THAT high of an alcohol tolerance), but I would recommend their Spaghetti Western made with Bulleit Bourbon, Campari-soaked orange and rosemary syrup – yum!

Three Muses also has some fantastic live jazz bands. We seriously sat here for 4 hours listening to music, sipping cocktails & eating some of their delicious tapas. Click here for more info on Three Muses.

4.) Café Du Monde

Cafe Du Monde

Cafe Du Monde beignets

Café Du Monde serves the best beignets! (Don’t worry I had no idea what a beignet was either.) A beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar.

I had tried beignets at a few different places, and I can honestly say Café Du Monde has some scrumptious beignets. They are best dipped in Café Du Monde’s coffee which has chicory in it. (It’s a root of the endive plant and is roasted and ground. It is added to the coffee to soften the bitter edge of the dark roasted coffee.)

Their menu consists of just beignets (they’re that good), coffee & a couple other beverages. The place is always packed and the to-go line can be seen wrapped around the building. I’m not the only one who thinks the beignets are awesome! And a big thank you to fellow blogger Lee, for recommending I try this place – I was not disappointed! Click here for more info on Café Du Monde.

5.) Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
Image courtesy of TripAdvisor
Image courtesy of TripAdvisor

This is said to be the oldest bar in New Orleans (possibly the country). There’s a lot of rumor and legend surrounding the bar…for example, Jean Laffite, the notorious pirate, owned it. And because it’s so old, it’s super haunted…so haunted in fact, that they no longer try to keep electric lights on because the ghosts would just turn them off. The entire place is lit by candlelight! (Yes, real candles!)

Believe what you will, but either way, this bar has an awesome atmosphere. My husband and I had a wonderful time sitting in the back by the piano requesting songs. There are actually chairs around the grand piano (the piano is basically another bar) so you can sit and drink while you listen and request songs! It’s pretty awesome. And the piano player is wonderful. I don’t sing (ever), but by the end of the night I was belting out tunes with folks from all corners of the world – it was my favorite bar out of the whole trip. Click here for more info on Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar.

Bonus: Royal House

The Royal House Oysters - New Orleans

I wanted to share the Royal House with you because 1.) They have awesome oysters 2.) If it’s a nice day, they have a prime spot for some very good outdoor street entertainment!

Grab a seat on their balcony, order some Oysters Rockefeller and enjoy some lovely tunes from the street below. There are street performers everywhere, but I feel this particular corner of Royal Street had some really wonderful performers. (The Royal House is actually located right next to Brennan’s on Royal Street.) Click here for more info on The Royal House.

Where We Stayed

We actually used our Sonesta points and stayed right on Bourbon Street at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. It’s a nice hotel in a prime location! But, if you pick a room on the Bourbon Street side, you’ll have some fun views, but it will be LOUD at night. (They provide earplugs, but just an FYI. Bourbon Street is crazy!) *Click here to for a complete list of hotels in New Orleans with reviews.

What are some of the most unique restaurants & bars you’ve found while on vacation (bonus points if it was in New Orleans, haha)? Let me know in the comments!

Using a VPN When Traveling

VPN is short for “virtual private network.” A VPN (like IPVanish) sets up a private connection between your device and whatever network you are connected to – so, no one can see your browsing data. It is important to use a VPN anytime you are connected to public Wifi (such as at a restaurant, resort, hotel, cafe, airport, etc.). This is because when you connect to a public network no matter where you are, you run the risk of a hacker grabbing your unencrypted data. Trust me, speaking from experience here…this can put a real damper on your trip if your banking, phone or email get hacked while you’re traveling!

VPNs can also help you save on domestic flights, help you watch Netflix shows not available in the US and more! You can read more about using a VPN in my post “Why I Use a VPN When Traveling and at Home (And You Should Too).”

  • Click here to download IPVanish VPN.
  • Pro tip: if you are only planning to use a VPN for your vacation (and not daily life), purchase a monthly plan that is less than $4 per month, before you leave for your trip. Use the VPN for the duration of your trip, come home and cancel the plan. This way you’ll have only spent a few dollars… but you’ll save yourself a HUGE headache.

Travel Insurance

As of 2021, many destinations require having travel medical insurance that covers COVID-19. Squaremouth is the only site that currently lets you filter travel insurance policies for COVID-19 coverage. I, personally, use Squaremouth for finding the best insurance policies for my travels, and I have already used them for trips planned in 2021. They’re also recommended by Forbes! You can click here to get your free travel insurance quote or enter your information via the widget below.

Visa Requirements

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5 Unique Restaurants & Bars to Try in New Orleans
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  1. Cafe Du Monde is at the top of my must-visit list!! I’ve had beignets in LA, but Jeff’s been to NOLA twice and tells me the ones at Cafe Du Monde are a zillion times better! That carousel bar looks like the most fun mashup of Things I’d Love ever, too!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      The carousel bar is so fun!! And Cafe Du Monde has the best beignets – so good! Hope you get to visit soon! 🙂

  2. jenniferrzasa says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans for two reasons…jazz history and FOOD! That carousel bar looks really fun, and I’m sure it will be on my list if Dave and I ever make it down there. Thanks for the fun post!


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      New Orleans food is the best! Haha. I hope you guys get a chance to visit! The carousel bar was a neat experience. 🙂

  3. I’ve been dying to go to New Orleans. Everything I find a block of time to go, something happens. I should just buy plane tickets for a random weekend and just GO.

    The Midwest Darling

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      New Orleans was the absolute best! You should definitely go! (I would give it a few weeks, though. Flights were crazy expensive for the next few weeks, haha.) You will love it, Sarah!

  4. Lee (@leethrifts) says:

    wow, these look like such cool places to eat!! so glad you got some beignets!! i am so excited to see more of your NOLA posts!

    Lee – leethrifts.com

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you, Lee! And thank you for the recommendation, again! 🙂

  5. Amanda Brezovsky (@amandabrezovsky) says:

    Each one of these looks completely amazing! After reading about each one, I would say well this is now my favorite, they just kept getting better! I could imagine sitting there enjoying the food and atmosphere while reading thks and seeing the pictures. Definitely need to visit!


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aw, thank you, Amanda! Definitely visit NOLA one day – you’ll love it! 🙂

  6. thefashionsalt says:

    I went there a long long time ago and remember the beignets. I had to have them every morning with a cafe au lait. They were delicious!! Also remember a bar that looked similar to that blacksmith’s, but I think it was call the Vampire bar. I wish I had known about the carousel bar. That place looks amazing!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      The beignets were so yummy! And oh yes, the cafe au lait…I really love my coffee black, so I wasn’t a big fan of the cafe au lait – but my husband said it was quite good, especially with beignets! The carousel bar is indeed a “tourist stop” but it was fun to see! I can’t say I had previously seen a bar like that in any other city! 🙂

  7. Steve Holliday says:

    Well growing up in the city of New Orleans I must say you just named four of the biggest tourist traps in the city. Although visited by the masses I would never call these unique by any means. Uptown, Central city, and other parts of the city are where you will find the people who live there, and that’s where you go in a new city to find great food, music, and sites. Enjoy the French Quarter, and spend your money, they love a good tourist.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That’s awesome you grew up in New Orleans, Steve! What are a few of your favorite restaurants/bars?

  8. These all look fantastic! The food looks incredible and the ambiances are so unique!


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Glad you enjoyed – thank you for reading! 🙂

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