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“Step Back in Time at the Old Absinthe House” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Old Absinthe House

Old Absinthe House
240 Bourbon St., Between Iberville and Bienville, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)
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Ranked #77 of 201 Nightlife in New Orleans
Type: Historic Sites, Bar/ Clubs, Piano Bar, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Bars
Activities: Drinking
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Attraction details
Owner description: This historic building, which dates back to 1806, now houses a bar and two restaurants.
Knoxville TN
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Step Back in Time at the Old Absinthe House”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2006

My husband and I have returned to New Orleans three times since Katrina. We've visited five times in five years, and one day we'll retire here. We can hardly wait to make the Old Absinthe House our "local" pub. This place is dripping in history. It will be 200 years old next year. Jean Lafitte and Andrew Jackson planned the defense of New Orleans against the British in this bar. And the names of the distinguished men and women who have visited (including four Presidents, a nobel winning author, the greatest operatic tenor ever, military heroes -- even Babe Ruth) have made their way to a plaque on the wall outside the bar. If you're a tourist strolling down Bourbon Street, you might barely notice the charm, but if give it enough time to savor it, you'll never want to leave! In some ways, the Old Absinthe House doesn't belong amid the tacky bars and neon lights of Bourbon Street -- then again, maybe IT DOES belong and the rest do not!! Nothing beats a "Lemon Ice" for cooling you down on a hot summer day (and let's face it, all days in N'awlins are hot in the summer) -- especially when it's served up by our favorite bartender, Lisa, a 15-year veteran of the bar. 'Nuff said.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
“From High Profile Attorney's To Off Duty Bell Boys - There Is A Stool For All”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2006

This bar is probably my favorite experience from New Orleans. Definitely the best experience of the French Quarter and 100% cert the best experience on Bourbon Street.

With temperatures soaring to 100 degrees my wife & I occupied the same two bar stools for three afternoons in the Old Absinthe and saw everyone from extremely well to do Attorneys, to off duty Bell Boys, to local residents, to us tourists.

You see, you can drift into any bar in Bourbon Street and immediately you're parting with your cash/tip to a non-face who won't remember you or what you are drinking 10 minutes later when you're trying to get their attention for another round. Here though the staff ensure Bartending is a fine art. We were complete strangers and yet we ran up a $52 tab and we were never pushed for payment until WE were ready.

The only negative thing I would say is that the bar doesn't serve food (except for the free non-stop supply of home-made Popcorn) and the 5 star "Jean Lafitte's Bistro" upstairs is somewhere I'd probably not feel too comfortable attending after a few lazy hours of drinking beer. Oh yeah, and there is the most tacky building over the road for a view called "The Phrat House" - the name says it all!

General information: Its only a block down Bourbon Street from Canal. I drank the local beer - Abita - which was dark and delicious and priced at $4. My wife drank cocktails that were specifically requested to be made weak and they averaged $6:50. That I know of, there is no live music to compete with - just a Juke Box. The barstaff are all long term employees - Diane is in her 16th year at the Old Absinthe and Lisa is in her 13th year. I think there were three gaming machines on site - so you're not competing with noise from those. The bar itself is square and positioned in the middle of the room with bar stools surrounding it - no tables except for a couple of high tables near the gaming machines. The place is absolutely dripping with history and previous posters have explained it far better than I could do.

I'll definitely be back next year for the two hundreth anniversary of the Old Absinthe House! I think us English should be safe enough to return by then! I might bring my dueling pistols just in case!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frisco (Dallas), TX
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“You'll always end up at the Old Absinthe House”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2005

Great place and a nice relief from all the crappy LOUD places on Bourbon street. You can come here and have a drink and conversation. The bartenders are great too. We have been coming here for 5 years and they are the same ones. Trish and Dianna are awesome. Good jukebox and comfy barstools. "You'll always end up at the Old Absinthe House" ... their motto.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2003

Don't know if we were in the wrong one. It was really dark, even for a bar, with the bitter dregs of the French Quarter denizens sitting underneath football helmets hanging from the ceiling. The walls were covered in business cards. I usually like the "wacky stuff on the walls" kinda place--ones that do it for real (not like TGI FRIDAY'S or other canned corporate bars), but this was just creepy. Had an Absinthe frappe, which was nice, but the place was really weird. Even for Bourbon St.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
260 helpful votes 260 helpful votes
“one of my favorites”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2003

I really enjoy the atmosphere at the Old Absinthe House, even when it starts getting more crowded later in the evening. They get a good mix of people and serve good enough drinks, from what I remember. The absinthe they serve isn't the same as the 19th century kind, but it's extremely potent, like 90 proof they said. It's a strong black licorice taste I'm not really fond of. The bar itself is about 200 years old and sits on a corner, just about all open doors, they supposedly planned the defense of New Orleans in 1812 in this bar. Also a lot of sports memorabilia hanging up, and they sell some very nice cigars a few doors up the street from here.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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