There is no shortage when it comes to food and drink options in the French Quarter. There is something for every palate. Bourbon Street is probably the most famous street here because of it’s party atmosphere, inexpensive food and drinks. For our happy hour excursion, we chose a different route. On our first day, we stayed away from Bourbon Street, and found some amazing restaurants to lounge about for a cocktail or two.
It was a warm 75 degrees outside and it felt like spring. We were actually a little hot and craved a tall, cool drink. Since we were at Jackson Square, we decided to duck into a wonderful restaurant, Cafe Pontalba. It’s located in a beautiful building that dates back to the 1800’s. We stepped up to the bar and ordered the Cajun Cooler, which is a mix of vodka, orange juice, pineapple juice, and a splash of Midori melon liquor. We also ordered the Voodoo Juice, which is a blend of four Malibu flavored rums and fresh fruit juices. It was just what the doctor ordered! They both were big, full of flavor, and cooled us off perfectly. They were so good, that we ordered two more Cajun Cooler’s to-go. Yes, to-go. As long as your drink is in a plastic cup, you can take it anywhere.
For our next stop, we decided to go back to Brennan’s. Their breakfast was so good, that we had to give their champagne happy hour a try. This place is an absolute must when you visit. The bar area is beautiful and the staff are super friendly. I ordered the Mr. Funk, named after the former cellar-master, which consisted of sparkling wine with cranberry and Combier peach liquor. Eric ordered the champagne cocktail, which consisted of sparkling wine and a bitters soaked demerara sugar cube. Both were delicious and refreshing.
We figured that it would be a good idea to eat some food, so we ordered their duck confit poutine. It was fantastic and paired perfectly with our bubbly cocktails. The dish was a mix of duck, hand cut fries, cheese curds, bacon, kimchi, togarashi and sambal. We decided that we didn’t want to over do it, and there were still so many places we wanted to try. On to our next spot!
Another famous restaurant in the French Quarter that is a must visit is Broussard’s. The restaurant and bar are simply stunning. There is also a beautiful outdoor courtyard that one could easily spend hours sitting and enjoying the great weather and drinks. Since we just enjoyed a bubbly happy hour at Brennan’s, we decided to stay the course and order a couple glasses of the Ruffino prosecco. It was light and refreshing. It felt so good sitting outside and sipping on a great prosecco. This is one place that we will definitely return to and have a proper dinner.
Our final happy hour stop on day one was at the Bombay Club. This was a beautiful restaurant and bar known for nightly live music and fantastic drinks. It was different from any place we had visited so far. The other restaurants and bars were bright, light and full of French flair. The Bombay Club was very English, low lit, and had warm dark woods throughout. We just decided to get one cocktail each since we had a dinner reservations coming up this evening. I ordered the Champagne Cheryl that consisted of cava, peach puree, cranberry and strawberry. It was wonderful. Eric ordered the Churchill Martini. It was made with Gordon’s gin, Noilly Prat and Regan’s bitters. It was strong but delicious. This is also on our list of places we need to go back to when we visit the French Quarter. We wish we could have returned later in the evening, sit back, and listen to some great live jazz music but time got away from us. We’ll be back!
That’s a wrap for our first day of happy hour bars. All the places we visited were wonderful, and I highly recommend that you visit them as well. At some places, we stayed longer than others, but all of them were great. We worked up an appetite so it was finally time for dinner. That will be my next post. Stay tuned!