The Carousel Bar: Hotel Monteleone’s Famous Rotating Bar

New Orleans is one of the best cities on the planet for cocktail lovers. Most New Orleans neighborhoods have a bar on virtually every corner. One of the most celebrated bars in a city of legendary watering holes is the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar. The Carousel Bar has been in operation for over 7 decades. It takes 15 minutes for the 25-seat bar to complete a full rotation. If you can’t find a seat, never fear. The bar rotates slowly enough that you can still order a drink while standing. You will have to shuffle along every 30 seconds or so to keep up with the rotating bar.

In addition to ordering a signature New Orleans cocktail such as a Sazerac, visitors can listen to live music in the adjacent lounge. The Carousel Bar’s lighted canopy and hand-painted seats create a dreamy, festive atmosphere. New Orleans locals and visitors from the four corners of the earth flock to the Carousel Bar. You may find yourself seated next to a trumpet player, a burlesque dancer, or a couple on holiday from Madagascar.

Carousel Bar, 1968

Carousel Bar, 1968
Photo: Wikipedia

The Carousel Bar is especially popular during the Mardi Gras season. One of the most well-trafficked parade routes is located a few blocks from the Hotel Monteleone’s front door on Royal Street. After catching some Mardi Gras beads on Canal Street, visitors can head to the Carousel Bar to refresh their drinks and watch crowds of drunken Mardi Gras revealers stumble away from the parade route. If you sit at the Carousel Bar long enough—especially during Mardi Gras—you may be unable to tell if you feel like you’re spinning because the bar is rotating, or you simply had one too many drinks. No trip to New Orleans is complete until you sip a drink at a bar that never stays still.

214 Royal St
New Orleans, Louisiana
United States


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