Mardi Gras is French for “fat Tuesday.” The purpose is to gorge yourself on food and wine and fatten up before the fasting starts on Ash Wednesday. Of course, everyone would like to be celebrating on New Orleans’ infamous Bourbon Street. But Philadelphia has its fair share of amazingly festive places that can temporarily transport you to New Orleans. From bead collecting to drink specials to brightly colored hats and feathers, there is surely something to offer everyone on this day of carnival celebrations.
Bourbon Blue
2 Rector St.
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 508-3360

This place has the Bourbon Street vibe without the hefty airfare. From a cobblestone road out front to its slogan of a “New Orleans restaurant in Philadelphia,” it is no wonder Bourbon Blue has one of the best Mardi Gras parties in the city. There’s live music, entertainment, DJs, lots of beads, amazing drink specials and a gorgeous venue, so what’s not to love? Located next to the Manayunk canal, the restaurant now has an outdoor patio directly over the Tow Path for smokers or those in search of scenic views.

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

What feels more like New Orleans feel than a good old jazz bar? Besides the music, there is always some delicious Southern style food and drink specials at this Rittenhouse area bar. For a laidback Mardi Gras, take in the sweet sounds of smooth jazz while you tickle your taste buds with a flavorful cocktail. Surrender to the original sounds of the South and pretend there’s a warm, balmy night just waiting for you outside.

Related: Top places To Party For Mardi Gras 2012 In Philadelphia

Bistro St. Tropez
2400 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 569-9269

If great views are important to you, Bistro St. Tropez has just what you need for this Mardi Gras. You’ll not only have the glowing bridges but also the sparkling water and the glowing neon signs. Plus, the food and drinks are works of art. This French restaurant and bar offers that Creole flair — along with festive furnishings — fit for a king or queen of Bourbon Street. The restaurant glimmers along with the city lights and will keep your Mardi Gras party pulsing into the wee hours of the morning.

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

In the land of the obvious (otherwise known as South Street), this place is an Americanized version of Mardi Gras. Serving up original New Orleans daiquiris is one way to keep things nice and chill. The whole area of South Street will be festive and fun that night, and this place is a great place to get those spirits sparkling. While the interior of Fat Tuesday borders on tacky, it is a nostalgic, endearing kind of tacky. Besides, who doesn’t want novelty “glass” beads and other random trinkets to remember their night of carnival?

Related: Center City Philadelphia Jazz Spot Goes All Out For Mardi Gras Celebration

Bridget Foys
200 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-1813

If you do end up on South Street, continue the revelry at Bridget Foy’s. Soak up some of that alcohol and fatten yourself up with some of the restaurant’s delicious cheese steak croquettes. Or enjoy the amazing happy hour first and then continue your frolics in the city. Sangria, pitchers and blood orange drinks await thirsty party goers here. There are also vegetarian options like the veggie burger for those who aren’t into the whole meat-and-cheese side of gluttony.

Cassie Hepler is a freelance writer covering all things Philadelphia. Her work can be found on