Every Mardi Gras veteran knows that the litmus test for parade-day success often boils down to a few things: having a friend or two on floats, wearing properly festive attire and knowing just the right bar to duck into just off the parade route for a quick cocktail or beer. If you want a spot sure to serve up a drink quickly and (slightly) away from the maddened crowds, check out one of the spots below.
Krewe of Chewbacchus
Siberia (2227 St. Claude Avenue)
A Star Wars nerd’s dream come true, Chewbacchus is a playful ode to all things Wookiee and the Force. Whether you’re watching out for the subkrewe of Chew-Bake-Us or the Death Star two-steppers, a drink from Siberia (and a snack from the Slavic “soul food” kitchen in the back) will power you through the night.
Krewe of Barkus
Black Penny (700 N Rampart Street)
Dog owners gather with their pups decked out in their Mardi Gras finest for this festive parade of wagging tails and glitter-covered collars. Low-key beer haunt Black Penny is the ideal outpost for snagging some mighty-fine craft brews (and many in cans) for sipping as you watch the pooches stroll by.
Krewe of Muses
Verret’s Lounge (1738 Washington Avenue)
The competition for a coveted Muses shoe grows greater annually, as this all-female krewe offers some of the most beautiful and intricate throws around. After snagging your high-heeled prize, celebrate on the covered patio at Verret’s, where a shot, beer and slice of king cake are sure to be at the ready.
Krewe of Endymion
Twelve Mile Limit (500 S Telemachus Street)
This massive, over-the-top parade is so popular each year in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans that people begin carving out their territory to watch days in advance. Sneak away from the throngs of people by visiting nearby Twelve Mile Limit, where a stellar jukebox and some of the city’s best bang-per-buck cocktails await.
Krewe of Bacchus
Milan Lounge (1312 Milan Street)
Bacchus Sunday is undoubtedly one of the most crowded parades along St. Charles Avenue in Uptown New Orleans, and the all-day affair can get exhausting—fast—without proper preparation. Duck into the neighborhood favorite Milan Lounge to grab a drink for the road—and don’t be afraid of the clown sign out front.