When it comes to drinking, there is more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street. If you explore NOLA’s other districts, beyond the French Quarter, you’ll find magnifique cocktails and chef-driven cuisine steeped in Louisiana traditions.
We suggest you laissez le bon temps rouler at these hotspots found in the Big Easy’s less-traveled neighborhoods.
Compere Lapin – Warehouse Arts District
Named after Caribbean / Creole folktales featuring a mischievous rabbit, Compère Lapin is helmed by Chef Nina Compton. This sophisticated eatery offers a Caribbean-accented take on New Orleans flavors in the Warehouse Arts District. Also called the New Orleans Arts District, this energetic neighborhood in the heart of downtown is full of art galleries, museums, restaurants, and bars.
Commanding the bar at Compere Lapin is Abigail Gullo, who worked alongside award-winning bartender Ricky Gomez to develop the restaurant’s initial cocktail menu that she has now made her own.
Compere Lapin Cocktails
The Copper Bunny
Absolut Elyx, Pineapple Jalapeno tequila, ginger , Lime and Mumm Champagne served in a signature copper bunny vessel.
South Island Swizzle
Rhum (French Caribbean Cane Juice Rum), Manzanilla Sherry, Honey, Lime and Coconut Water.
Curried Goat with Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Cashews, Conch Croquettes with Pickled Pineapple Tartar Sauce and Marinated Shrimp in Roasted Jalapeno Jus.
Warehouse Arts District: 535 Tchoupitoulas (in the The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery), New Orleans, comperelapin.com, @comperelapinNOLA
DTB – Pigeon Town
DTB (Down the Bayou) restaurant and bar in New Orleans’ P-Town (Pigeon Town) is located on the hot new Oak Street commercial district—home to the Maple Leaf Bar and famed Pigeon Town Steppers. The playful restaurant concept spotlights the Cajun coastal roots of the proud Louisiana natives, co-owners Jacob Naquin and Chef Carl Schaubhut. DTB’s vibrant cocktail scene is a credit to its award-winning cocktail maven Cocktail Director Lu Brow, whose cocktails feature house infusions and Louisiana ingredients.
DTB NOLA Cocktails
Brown Butter Old Fashioned
Brown Butter Infused Bourbon, Orange, Cherry and Bitters.
Cathead Vodka, Pamplemousse, Basil, Pink Peppercorn Syrup and Himalayan Salt.
Mushroom Boudin Balls -with smoked mayo and pickled collards, Cauliflower Rillettes -with whipped brie and fennel-raisin preserve, and Crab Boiled ‘Chips’ with Popcorn Creme Fraiche and Pickled Lemon.
Pigeon Town: 8201 Oak Street, Suite 1, New Orleans, dtbnola.com, @dtbnola
Toups’ Meatery – Mid City
Chef Isaac Toups’ carnivore-friendly restaurant is located in beautiful, laid-back Mid City, an extremely pedestrian and bike-friendly residential neighborhood in the heart of New Orleans. Representing the new guard of Cajun chefs, Toups’menu features a refined approach to rustic dishes and charcuterie. Pair his contemporary cuisine with craft cocktails, or from the bar’s extensive Bourbon selection.
Toups’ Meatery Cocktails
Coffee & Cigarettes
Nikka Coffey Grain Japanese Whiskey and Tobacco Bitters.
Cognac, Banana Liqueur, Malt Syrup, and Lime.
Gin, Domaine de Canton Liqueur, and Beet.
Cracklins (pork rinds), The Meatery Board –a selection of fresh house-cured meats and condiments, and Gulf Seafood Couvillion –made with Louisiana Gulf fish, shrimp, and crab fat rice in a rich tomato gravy.
845 North Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, toupsmeatery.com, @ToupsMeatery
Toups’ South – Central City
Chef Toups’ second outpost is located inside the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and across the street from the New Orleans Jazz Market. This industrial-chic eatery is on the main street of up and coming Central City, a historic district known as “The 3rd Ward” by locals, which lies west of the Central Business District. Enjoy seafood as well as grilled and stewed meats with specialty cocktails.
Toups’ South Cocktails
Porkchops and Applesauce
Pork Washed Whiskey, Apple, and Aromatic Bitters.
Whiskey, Sweet Tea Syrup, Persimmon, and Mint.
Sourdough Biscuits with Crab Fat Butter, Goat Tamales with charred green tomato relish and fermented padron crema, and Fried Bone-In Pork Chop Stack with pickled summer squash, coffee aioli and slices of white bread.
1504 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard (inside the Southern Food and Beverage Museum), New Orleans, toupssouth.com, @ToupsSouth
Since you in the neighborhood, check out the Museum of the American Cocktail, located inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SOFAB), and the The New Orleans Jazz Market, a sleek modern venue for concerts and cocktails.