Although each New Orleans bar has its own ambiance, all of the city's rooftop bars share three things: they exist above NOLA hotels, are often filled with young crowds, and are they most popular destinations on spring evenings. Despite their similarities, each rooftop has something unique to offer. It is worth your time to visit all of the fi ve bars and decide which matches your personality. So as the weather mellows, take your drink to a whole new level-literally-and explore New Orleans' nightlife with a view.
Like the bars themselves, NOLA's rooftop bartenders are young, hip, and approachable. All of the bartenders agree that no ground-level bar can compare to working on a roof. None of the bartenders at these locations have any desire to leave their profession. Fortunately, as any New Orleanian will tell you, there is no better city for those who feel impassioned about cocktails.
Monkey Board in the Troubadour Hotel
1111 Gravier Street With open space and comfortable seating, Monkey Board is a great place to visit at any point in your night. The bar can be whatever you want it to be-a pregame, a casual night out, a bachelorette party, or late night drinks with friends.
The staff is prompt and appeases large crowds, which is no small feat. Giovanni, a bartender of five years, attributes his passion for mixing drinks to his mother, who has worked as a bartender for 30 years. Not all of Monkey Board's bartenders have the same veteran status, but Giovanni praised the staff for working well and learning from one another. Others only recently began their jobs, but you would never know by the quality of drinks served.
Alto in the Ace hotel
600 Carondelet Street
Not only is this bar on a roof in the heart of New Orleans, but Alto also houses one of the most beautiful pools in the city. Warm enough to sink into (even during cold weather), this pool is a relaxing place to enjoy a cocktail with friends. The luscious plants create a mellow vibe during the day and night.
In addition to outstanding drinks, the food at Alto is unforgettable. The diverse menu will satisfy any sweet or savory craving. The chocolate chip cookies are the highlight of the menu and goes well with any drink.
Benjamin, who started bartending at Alto when it opened three years ago, says that he plans to stay with the company when they expand into Japan. The bar staff exerts a sense of youth and adventure that bleeds into the culture at Alto.
Piscobar in the Catahoula Hotel
914 Union Street
No other bar in New Orleans puts as much thought and care into its drinks as Catahoula's Piscobar. Lydia, a bartender of 13 years, treated each cocktail she made with the respect and prestige of a surgeon going into an operation-and her work showed. The drinks are all unique and fl avorful, with ingredients that are seasonal and made in-house. The menu is constantly changing in order to incorporate new ingredients into the menu.
Although it is located in downtown New Orleans, this bar creates an escape from the city. The atmosphere is intimate and small; there is no sign of a larger city. The luscious space resembles a neighbor's rooftop more than a city bar. The bartenders themselves also treat each other and the bar's guests as family and friends. Brian, another bartender of fi ve years, said that he likes his job because, "I like making people happy, and bartending is a way to do that." Service at Piscobar does not compare to any other bar in the city. You are guaranteed not only a great drink but also an authentic conversation.
Catahoula steers away from any club
vibe. Instead, it is a great place to go for
those who want a low-key night out and an
opportunity to meet new people.
Hot Tin in the Pontchartrain Hotel
2031 St. Charles Avenue
Hot Tin is one of New Orleans' busiest bars in the city. The outdoor bar can easily transform into an indoor bar, which makes the space perfect for all weather-including the hottest and coldest months of the year. This bar is the furthest uptown out of NOLA's rooftop bars and has a reputation of attracting college students and younger crowds.
At night, it is almost guaranteed that there will be a waitlist. The wait is made enjoyable with a downstairs bar complete with couches and live music. The bustle in the downstairs bar and the rooftop bar generates a feeling of importance to your evening.
Brian, a Hot Tin bartender, is one of the few local bartenders in the city. Born in New Orleans, he graduated from Tulane University and immediately found himself in the service industry. He is certain that he will never leave the bartending industry. "Meeting people is better than sitting at a computer," he laughed.
Above the Grid in the Nopsi Hotel
317 Baronne Street
Nopsi has a little bit of everything: a remarkable view of the city, a pool, and a DJ on the weekends. Unlike the other rooftop bars, the space tends to attract an older crowd, with an average age around 30. Regardless of age range, this bar throws a great party. The lights strung around the roof create a romantic atmosphere. The pool, lit with alternating colors, invites guests in for a swim. The drink menu is not fancy, but it includes all the basic drinks that you could want. This bar mixes a classy rooftop vibe with a loud club scene, creating an eclectic experience for guests.