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“Unlike any other cafe in the city”

Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits
Ranked #17 of 1,979 Restaurants in New Orleans
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Central American, Wine Bar
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Faubourg Marigny & Bywater
Description: Casual backyard party that can get as popping' bas a small festival
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Tucked in the far end of the Bywater, Bacchanal is really unlike any other place in the city. It's not so much a restaurant as a wine shop that sells food. You enter what looks looks like a run-of-the-mill wine tasting room. Don't let first impressions fool you! The staff are knowledgeable and friendly; they won't steer you wrong. Pick your wine, grab glasses out of the racks stacked on the floor, and wander out back to a table. Remember the switch from black-and-white to color in "The Wizard of Oz?" That's sort of what you experience here. Ample tables under a canopy of greenery, subtle lighting all around, and somewhere off in the corner there's live music. Dining is an unusual self-service experience. The menu is taped up by the order window (cash only, but there's an ATM right there). Place your order, take your number, grab cutlery from the racks and go sit down; your food is brought out to you. Relax, enjoy the food, music and conversation with people at tables around you. Heck, I had a short, impromptu dance with a Canadian lady passing our group. There's a nice bar and a more traditional dining area upstairs, but I haven't been to that part. There's much more to this city than the French Quarter and Magazine St; expand your horizons and find places like Bacchanal.

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Thank Kevin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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415 - 419 of 491 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2013

I found this spot through an article written by the local food critic in the Times Picayune. It's next to a deserted naval base on a dark street, and our cab driver was reluctant to drop us off. (He made sure we had his card in case we changed our mind or needed a ride back!)

Anyway, the sandwich sign in front directed us inside, where we found a small wine shop and a wine tasting bar. The drill is that you purchase your wine, then take it outside (where other wines can also be sampled.) Outside is a spot that feels like someone's backyard - lots of mismatched tables and white fairly lights creating the ambiance. You find a spot to sit, then go to the counter and order your food. It was excellent. I had a rigatoni pasta to die for.

Anyway, there's a stage there as well where local musicians play. The owners described Bacchanal as "a party waiting to happen!"

The whole evening was delightful. I wish we had something like this in my hometown!

Thank Linda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

If you take a cab about 15 minutes downriver from the French Quarter, you'll find a neighborhood called Bywater that is becoming trendy, recently sprouting a handful of farm-to-table restaurants and craft cocktail bars to cater to its emerging arts scene, which definitely leans toward edgy. There are also a handful of great dive bars, including a couple that have live music.

And then there's Bacchanal. Laid back and totally unpretentious, it's unlike any other dining or club experience I know anywhere, let alone in New Orleans. Here's how it works: Enter the little shop and select a bottle of wine for purchase. If you prefer, they have a few that they'll pour by the glass for 6 bucks. Then, stop by a refrigerator to pick from their selection of really good cheese. They also have a small plates menu that looked tasty. Pay for your cheese, wine, and whatever else you might order and head to the spacious and leafy patio out back. They'll plate up the cheese with toasted bread, chutney, olives and other treats and bring it to you. There's great live music ranging from folk to jazz to listen to while you relax, sip and eat.

That's it. It seems simple, and I guess it is. But the scene is great, very friendly and convivial. And in a city where the dining options range from humble po-boy joints to white table cloth Creole seafood shrines, it sits somewhere totally unique, a sophisticated yet utterly casual neighborhood place where you probably won't find too many out-of-towners and have an easy time conversing with locals.

Also, I didn't check it out, but I understand they have a dining room upstairs with a full cocktail bar. A contingency for rainy nights, I suppose, but not needed when I was there.

Great place. Get out of the Quarter and act like a you know.

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1  Thank DonQ_55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2013

I would not eat at this restaurant if it was FREE!
It was loud, have to wait in line to order your food. The waiter was extremely RUDE!
I ordered Redfish! It came hanging off the plate. Nothing else served with it. It was
fishy tasting and unseasoned. Horrible experience. The food at KPauls was magnificent

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2  Thank 850Susan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2013 via mobile

Went on a cold, rainy night so sat upstairs. The music was good. The food was great! The menu is limited, but the steak and bacon wrapped dates were great. I would definitely go back.

Thank mellowbutterflies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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