Is New Orleans America's Best Drinking Town?

America is undergoing a drinking revolution. Across the board, people are seeking out great drinks, from delicious cocktails to pleasing glasses of wine and creative craft beer. And helping to lead the way in this drinking renaissance are some of America’s greatest cities.

Everyone thinks their town is the best drinking town in America, but we wanted to know, who is really leading the way? If you’re a lover of all things booze, and even coffee, where should you be headed in 2015 for the best drinking experience?

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be conducting our search. We’re looking for a city that encompasses everything that is awesome about drinking in America right now, and that means it has all of the great things that go along with it, from food to music to social scenes.

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Next up, New Orleans, home to the best drinking holiday around, Mardis Gras. But any true New Orlean will tell you that there is much more to The Big Easy than Bourbon Street.

The Cocktail Scene Is Still The Country’s Best Around

French 75, one of the best old-school cocktail bars in New Orleans.
While many in New Orleans would love you to believe the city actually invented the cocktail – it didn’t, the Smithsonian has records dating the cocktail’s origin to upstate New York – it did invent some of the best cocktails you’ll ever drink, including the Sazerac, Hurricane and the Vieux Carre, just to name a few.

And there are many incredible places to sample these cocktails. If you’re looking for an authentic old-school experience, you’ll want to grab a seat at these three establishments: The Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt hotel, the location where the famous drink of the same name was invented, the Hotel Monteleone at the famed Carousel Bar for the Vieux Carre or Arnaud’s French 75 for the Ramos Gin Fizz. At all of these locations you’ll enjoy well-made drinks free from the craziness of Hurricanes and Hand Grenades on Bourbon Street.

But the old-school bars are not the only places to grab great cocktails in New Orleans. Several new bartenders have made a name for themselves in recent years, which is what makes the New Orleans cocktail scene so exciting: you aren’t just visiting to taste the classics, you’re getting to experience cocktail culture on the cutting edge. One of those cutting edge bars in Sylvain, a bar that acknowledges the past, while looking to the future. It’s well worth a visit.

There Is More To The City’s Beer Scene Than Abita

A perfect Pale Ale for New Orleans Cuisine.
Abita is a fantastic craft beer, but often it can seem to outsiders like this is the only Louisiana craft beer to speak of, and that just isn’t true. Head to Frenchmen street and you’ll find several other Louisiana craft beers on sale, including those from celebrated brewery Bayou Teche. Brewing since 2009, their beers are meant to go perfectly with Louisiana cuisine, and that they do. Try their Pale Ale with Gumbo if you don’t believe us.

Bacchanal Is The Coolest Wine Store You Will Ever Visit

What other wine store lets you drink your wine in their backyard?
Every city deserves a great wine shop, but not every city is lucky enough to have that same shop also serve you killer food and let you hang out in their backyard drinking your recently purchased wine while listening to awesome live music. Yes, Bacchanal is a very special place. Sure you could come in, get expert advice on the perfect wine to buy and leave, but why would you?

Lunch at Bacchanal from Bubba Rose on Vimeo.

You Can Even Get Better Pizza Than In New York

Sorry New York, New Orleans has great pizza too.
An actual Pizza Delicious creation.

The dining scene has always been great in New Orleans, so much so that chefs have recently been leaving America’s other great food cities to make it here, but there were some things you just generally accepted New Orleans was not going to master, like the ultimate booze food: pizza. Enter Pizza Delicious. Started as a pop-up, the restaurant is now permanent, and their New York style pies draw rave reviews. Trust us, they are the real deal. So much for it being the New York water.

Live/from New Orleans? What’d we miss? Tell us what else makes New Orleans the best drinking town in America.

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Is New Orleans America's Best Drinking Town?

Header image via Jorg Hackemann /