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Nightlife & Music

Top Bars To Celebrate Mardi Gras In Philadelphia

February 17, 2014 8:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

It’s time to get your purple, green and gold on and celebrate Mardi Gras in Philadelphia! There’s no need to pack your bags for New Orleans to get in on the fun. The French Quarter isn’t the only place with bars and restaurants that know how to do Fat Tuesday justice. The City of Brotherly Love has its fair share of Bourbon Street-worthy establishments standing by to help Philly-area residents and visitors roll out the good times, Big Easy-style.

Bourbon Blue
2 Rector St.
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 508-3360
www.bourbonblue.com

This popular Manayunk bar and restaurant is well-known for offering American cuisine with a New Orleans twist. In fact, you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of the Big Easy as you let the good times roll with your friends over your favorite draft beer or themed cocktail. Overlooking the Manayunk Tow Path, this venue oozes ambiance with its ornate architecture and décor. It is a great place to start or end your evening with delicious down-home dishes like cornmeal-encrusted catfish, Southern fried chicken, baby back ribs and, of course, the New Orleans staple, jambalaya. You can have your fill of delectable desserts, too, at Bourbon Blue, with bananas foster pudding, pecan pie and vanilla-bean crème brulee – perfect for topping off your Mardi Gras meal.

Bridget Foy’s Restaurant
200 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-1813
www.bridgetfoys.com

If you’re celebrating Mardi Gras on South Street this year, you won’t want to miss out on the fun at Bridget Foy’s. In fact, this Philly-area favorite is the perfect place to stop in first – taking advantage of the happy hour menu before heading out on that Big Easy-style bar crawl. Start off with something from the all-day menu, which includes an assortment of gluten-free choices. If you prefer to start your evening of indulgence with appetizers, you’re in the right place. Go for the crabbie fries with creole cream sauce, blue crab and roasted corn salsa, or sample the cheese steak croquettes. From your favorite draft to pitchers of sangria, you’ll find the perfect beverage to quench your thirst for Fat Tuesday fun.

Catahoula
775 S. Front St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 271-9300
www.catahoulaphilly.com

Catahoula, the Front Street bar with all the trimmings of a Bourbon Street counterpart, is a New Orleans-themed venue with plenty of feel-good NOLA-style food. Stuff yourself on Cajun-style crawfish, pulled pork sandwiches, oysters on the half shell and all of the boiled shrimp you ever wanted to peel. With Lent almost at the doorstep, you’ll want to take advantage of Catahoula’s dessert menu, which includes brioche bread pudding, molasses pecan pie, red velvet cake and that yummy powdered-sugar-covered delight, the beignet. The bar keeps perfect time with the southern-style food, serving up Louisiana-brewed Abita drafts. So lift your spirits as you raise a glass (or two) and celebrate Fat Tuesday – or one of the days leading up to it – at Catahoula.

Chris’ Jazz Cafe
1421 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 568-3131
www.chrisjazzcafe.com

You can’t celebrate Mardi Gras without the right music, and if you end up in Chris’ Jazz Café on Sansom Street on Fat Tuesday, you’ll know what we’re talking about. Chris’ Jazz Café, it’s been said, is where jazz musicians go in Philly to hear good jazz music. This Rittenhouse-area bar is known for more than its laid-back atmosphere and live jazz, which is great news to any Mardi Gras reveler seeking a night of indulgence. Imbibe your favorites or try one of the specials from the bar, and don’t forget to satisfy those taste buds with some good old, Southern-style food.

Related: Top Gay Bars In Philadelphia

Fat Tuesday
431 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 629-5999
www.fat-tuesday.com

Clearly, what’s in a name matters if your establishment’s name is Fat Tuesday. This South Street venue oozes Mardi Gras any day of the year, but is in its finest glory just before Ash Wednesday. Food and fun is served up in tandem with Fat Tuesday’s signature frozen specialty drinks. Ranging from its famous daiquiris to concoctions like the Crawgator and the Blue Bayou, these yummy frozen concoctions follow the very recipes as the drinks served up at Fat Tuesday on Bourbon Street. 

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Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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