Mardi Gras is around the corner, and if you're a pet parent planning to visit the Big Easy with your biggest fan (your dog, of course), we've got you covered. New Orleans is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the nation, with dozens of squares, parks, and patios to enjoy. And since the Crescent City also happens to be one of my favorite travel destinations, I'm breaking down my top spots to dine and stay.
With dishes like empanadas and fried sweet plantains, this stunning bar is not to be missed. Located in the Selina Catahoula Hotel, Piscobar offers a menu of pisco-based cocktails that will have even the pickiest drinkers impressed. If your pet is under 75lbs, they’re more than welcome to join you as you sip away on your Peruvian libation.
Palm & Pine
I dined at Palm & Pine on my last trip to NOLA and was blown away by the depth and flavor of every dish I had. From the handcrafted cocktails inspired by the Caribbean and Mexico to the fresh seasonal eats, every bite was an experience. They even brought our table some house-made pickled strawberries – a treat I had never tried before and one that can’t be found on the menu! Look out for their pet-friendly events, including a dog brunch inspired by Barkus, a Mardi Gras parade for pups.
Turkey and the Wolf
Sometimes, the craving for a messy, life-changing sandwich just hits. In a departure from the high-end and trendy, take a walk through the Lower Garden District and you may just come across Turkey and the Wolf. This no-nonsense but effortlessly cool spot serves up sammies like the collard green melt, the vegan chik’n sando, and confusingly delicious potato chip soft serve. A casual joint like this welcomes all your furry friends, as long as they’re well behaved. And let's not sleep on the fact that Bon Appetit rated this spot 2017's best restaurant in America.
A newer wine lounge on the edge of the French Quarter, Effervescence is a must-try. If champagne is your vice, you’ll find no greater variety of ways to drink it here. The food is creative and mouthwatering, and you may just catch their resident restaurant dog perched nearby, observing the hungry crowd. Your own might enjoy their adorable outdoor patio – it’s the perfect spot for them to soak up the sun while you nurse a glass of bubbly.
The Will & The Way
Unmatched ambiance and a vibe that’s almost too cool to handle - impress your friends and dates by booking a reservation at this laid-back French Quarter bar. Better yet, their pet-friendly patio is the perfect place to bring your dogs to socialize while you chow down on gulf shrimp, Louisiana hot chicken, and spiced saltines (my favorite). Their cocktail menu is unmatched, and we have a feeling you won’t be able to sip on just one.
If street tacos are calling your name, look no further than the chill aura of Barracuda. With locations in both Algiers and Uptown, you absolutely must try their homemade tortillas and spicy margaritas. Or go for a Michelada and enjoy the high life with your pup by your side. Either way, you'll be coming back for more on your next visit, I guarantee it.
Elizabeth St Café
French meets Vietnamese cuisine at this trendy café and eatery. Located inside Hotel St Vincentin the Lower Garden District, you can’t visit this spot without grabbing a Bahn Mi and an iced Vietnamese coffee to combat the NOLA heat. Whether you grab and go or take a seat outside, your dog is fully welcome. They might even want a bite of one of their beignets.
A New Orleans favorite, Herbsaint sits within the heart of the French Quarter and offers some of the most delicious French Southern food and craft cocktails around. This James Beard Award-Winning spot has outdoor seating where your pooch is welcome. If you really want to get in the spirit of NOLA, order a Sazerac to sip.
The Tahyo Tavern
No dog-friendly NOLA article can be complete without a shoutout to the Tahyo Tavern, run by Villalobos Rescue Center ofPitbulls and Parolees fame. Everything in this neighborhood spot is on a donation basis, which means you pay what you can afford – so you won’t find prices anywhere on their menu. Better yet, they’ve partnered with local organizations to give formerly incarcerated parolees a chance to get hands-on work training at the Tavern. Any extra profits go to feeding the many rescued dogs that live at their shelter. And if that’s not enough reason to pay this place a visit, I don’t know what is!
Maison de la Luze
While it may be on the pricer side, Maison de la Luze is an uber-cool boutique hotel located in the Warehouse District. Within, is one of the most unique bars in the city – Bar Marilou, which guests can either access via hidden bookshelf door or by walking an outdoor hallway punctuated with a hot pink neon sign. Pet parents, unfortunately, have to leave their pups in their rooms when they visit the hotel restaurant and bar, but dogs are indeed welcome as guests and can be found happily staying around the property.
Hotel Saint Vincent
Like its eatery Elizabeth St Café, the concierge enthusiastically confirmed that Hotel Saint Vincent loves to welcome pet parents and their pups. The pool and courtyard offer a chic outdoor space that transports guests back in time – simply grab a drink at the adjacent bar and lounge comfortably on the deck with your canine companion.
Arguably one of the most famous hotels in New Orleans due to its ever-popular Carousel Bar, the Hotel Monteleone welcomes two pets of any size for an additional fee of $100 per stay, plus $25 per pet, per night. Bonus – you can even bring your cat, as Hotel Monteleone does not discriminate by domesticated species. Just note that pets may not be left in rooms unattended.
Like all other Virgin Hotels, the newly opened Virgin Hotel NOLA is pet-friendly, and your companions can in fact stay free with no size or breed restrictions. Great Dane parents, we’re looking at you! Located a mere two blocks from Lafayette Square, your dog will love strolling around the park and checking out the CBD scene.
Spotted Cat Music Club
You can’t visit New Orleans without taking a stroll down Frenchmen’s street. Live music – particularly jazz – fills the air no matter where you turn, and each venue is cooler than the next. My personal favorite is the Spotted Cat Music Club, which has an intimate, speakeasy vibe with enough room for dancing. If your pup is in tow, you may want to visit when the crowd is less lively – it can be hard to find a spot when a popular band hits the stage.
Traveling is one of the most freeing experiences, but it can quickly become complicated in the case of a sudden pet emergency. Don't get caught unprepared - with Figo, you can visit a licensed vet anywhere in the world. Plus, our popular Pet Cloud app gives users the 411 on all things pet-friendly, like restaurants and dog parks, for a perfectly planned trip. Get a quote today.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.