New Orleans has seriously upped its Happy Hour game.
Long gone are the days when happy hours meant dollar-off rotgut wells and bowls of Chex Mix. Today’s specials run a cut above with well-heeled restaurants and gastropubs competing to fill seats during the afternoon lull. Sounds like a win-win to us.
Here, 4 of our favorite Vieux Carré afternoon spots:
- 1Cane and Table
Don’t judge this Decatur spot by its unassuming storefront. Step inside and you’ll discover a spare, serene interior, one that draws more the French Quarter’s oft-overlooked Latin and Caribbean heritage. A highly-original cocktail menu evokes a navigation theme and draws from such diverse spirits as amaro, Negroni, mezcal, Armagnac, and tequila; sherry and cider also available. Take a seat at the marble bar or an inside table or consider the tropical back patio. Though regular drink prices tend to run a bit pricey, a changing line up of happy hour specials feature classic cocktails and nibble specials that won’t break the bank. Monday-Friday from 3-6 pm
1113 Decatur Street
Rumor has it, this storied building on Saint Peter Street is haunted—and by more than one ghost. That said, we think Tableau’s happy hour (2-5 pm, Monday-Friday) is worth the spectral risk. A $5 classic cocktail menu includes a Manhattan and French 75 options while an inventive menu of locally-inspired plates, such as sweet potato and bacalao fritters and alligator sausage and cane syrup sliders, run anywhere from $6-18. Consider ditching table service downstairs in favor of one of the cushy sofas in the chic lounge upstairs. As Tableau caters to the Le Petit Theatre crowd, dress code here is upscale casual; tank tops and flips flops are a definite no-no.
616 St. Peter Street
- 3Bombay Club
Woody and handsome and dark, the Bombay Club takes its decor cues from English gentleman clubs of yore. Despite boasting the most impressive martini menu in the city, this gastropub’s off-street, tucked-away location in the Prince Conti Hotel means the Bombay Club is too often overlooked, even by locals. Generous daily happy hour specials go until 7 p.m. and include $4 Southern-inspired small bites, $4 beer, $5 wine specials and $6 classic cocktails. But of course, the real draw here are the craft martinis. Think you don’t like gin? Think again.
830 Conti Street
- 4The Empire Bar at Broussard’s
We love this bar’s generous weekend happy hours: Saturday and Sunday, 2:30-7 (Monday-Friday 4-7 pm). With its crisp and natty scheme, the Empire exudes a cool, Great Gatsby vibe. Five-dollar drink specials cover all the bases: beer, wine and cocktails while substantial, why-not-make-it-a-meal offerings like andouille gougères, crab and corn beignets and spicy beef and brioche sliders, all draw on Louisiana flavors and ring in at just $5-7 a pop.
819 Conti Street