Two of the many things New Orleans has going for it are permissive alcohol policies and winters milder than gumbo from Minnesota. All you need is long sleeves, comfortable shoes and an ID stating you’re 21 or older, and you too can enjoy this idyllic stumble through the streets of the Crescent City.
1732 St. Charles Ave
Kick things off at any hour you choose, because this Lower Garden District institution is open 24/7/365. New Orleans’ premier craft beer bar features 37 carefully-curated taps of local and imported brews. If beer isn’t your thing, no big deal – AvePub has one of the finest bourbon selections in the South, along with killer cocktails made with locally-crafted Huhu’s Ginger Brew.
611 O’Keefe Ave.
With the first of many go-cups in hand, we make our way into the Central Business District to Besh Restaurant Group’s shiniest endeavor–Willa Jean. Nominally a bakery, Willa Jean is in reality a full-service restaurant and bar. It’s all about dat bread, though, so be sure to nab one of their massive biscuits to fuel your march. Crafty cocktails featuring local beer and Intelligentsia coffee complete the Holy Trinity of starch, alcohol and caffeine.
916 Lafayette St.
Down narrow, cobblestoned Lafayette Street and inside a former brothel is Cellardoor, one of the best-kept drinking secrets in New Orleans. Drinks as diverse as the smoky, tart Many Moods Of (mescal, Bonal, Cocchi Americano, lemon) and the delicate, refreshing Green Light District (gin, lime, basil, cucumber, soda) make it exceedingly difficult to find something dislikable here.
Arnaud’s French 75
813 Bienville St
Let’s class it up a bit. French 75 is the bar of Creole monument Arnaud’s, which has been serving jacket-and-tie-clad New Orleanians for over a hundred years. Put your trust in award-winning bartender Chris Hannah and be rewarded with a slew of innovative and classic cocktails full of house-made ingredients.
Erin Rose Pub
811 Conti St.
Let’s trash it up a bit. Travel a block down Bourbon and around the corner from French 75. (Have you noticed our destinations are getting closer together? You’re welcome.) You’ll find the Erin Rose, a grungy Irish pub with cheap beers, frozen Irish Car Bomb cocktails and no rules to speak of. Tucked in the back is Killer Poboys, where Cam Boudreaux fills Dong Phuong French bread with ingredients as delicious as they are non-traditional. Think rum-glazed pork belly or sweet potato, collard greens and black eyed pea spread. Drunk snack–acquired.
Uber is on and poppin’ in the Big Easy, so getting a ride home shouldn’t be a problem. My challenge to you, however, is to about-face, retrace your steps, and close out the journey the right way–with a shot and a beer at Avenue Pub. Good luck, and be sure to look both ways before crossing Canal Street.