Craft cocktails and glorious views go hand in hand in New Orleans. From the French Quarter to the Garden District, The Big Easy is home to a staggering variety of high-rise bars. After a day of pummelling the streets — or indeed during — we suggest hitting the heights to try one out first-hand. Sit back under the blazing Louisiana sunshine, sip on your favourite cocktail and fix your eyes on that spectacular city skyline. Here are seven of the best rooftop bars in New Orleans.
1. Hot Tin
Of all the rooftop bars in New Orleans, of which there are many, Hot Tin stands out as one of the best spots to soak in the city skyline. Occupying the 11th floor of the Pontchartrain Hotel, the bar serves up all the speakeasy vibes with its interiors inspired by a 1940s artist’s loft. Enjoy creative and well-crafted cocktails, as well as champagne beers and wines, as the sun goes down. It’s surprisingly affordable too, despite its stellar location.
Located on the 9th floor of the swish NOPSI Hotel, Above the Grid serves up some of the best sunsets in the city. Offering sweeping views of the Mississippi River and city skyline, it’s a dynamic rooftop terrace with a chilled lounge by day and a vibrant bar by night. If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the hotel, you’ll have exclusive access to the pool area too. Hire a private cabana, tuck into ice cold beers and bask under the Louisiana sunshine. For everyone else, the bar is open from 4pm.
Come for high-energy and high-calibre cocktails against the backdrop of one of the coolest cities in the States.
Piscobar does exactly what it says it does — Pisco, exceptionally well. Located on the 13th floor of the lovely Catahoula Hotel in the Central Business District, this equally lovely rooftop terrace is the perfect perfect place to kick back after a day sightseeing. Decorated with bare wood panelling, sunloungers and a tikki-bar, it’s a private oasis in the midst of office building skyscrapers.
There’s a staggering variety of pisco-based cocktails and you won’t even make a dent on the menu, though you’ll want to try.
4. Mambo’s Nola
Boasting ‘laid-back Louisiana front-porch vibes’, Mambo’s Nola is the only cocktail bar on Bourbon Street. Set in the historic street in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans, the rooftop terrace features a Louis Armstrong mural, a water fountain made from musical instruments and a menu bursting with delicious Cajun and Creole dishes.
Get yourself a Frozen Margarita, a plate of fried oysters and let the good times roll.
On the top floor of the chic Ace Hotel, Alto has all the ingredients for a winning rooftop bar. Sweeping views of the city? Check. Seasonally-changing cocktail menu? Of course. Pool? Got it. What’s more, the pool is open to non-hotel guests too.
The hotel is located just off Lafayette Square, one of the oldest parks in New Orleans.
Set in a restored 1800’s warehouse, Capulet boasts a prime location overlooking the river and the French Quarter. Ice-cold beers, wines and expertly-made cocktail mixes await, with a slew of freshly made sandwiches and light bites too. It’s so beautiful that the venue closes by night and at the weekends for private banquets and matrimonial ceremonies. Make plans to visit on a Thursday for the all-night Happy Hour and ‘Jazz Jam’.
For al fresco views of the downtown skyline that are worthy of your Instagram feed, Monkey Board is your best bet. With park benches and lounge chairs, graffiti walls and hanging lanterns, The Monkey Board aces the rooftop park vibes. There’s an excellent selection of crafted specialty cocktails, as well as Southern-inspired bites. And with early morning yoga sessions and late night DJ sets, it’s as popular with sundowners as it is with partiers.
Sadly, it has nothing to do with monkeys, it’s named instead after the highest platform of an oil rig.