This little living room of a bar is located on the alley that connects Jackson Square to Royal Street. Named for the numerous smugglers and sellers of contraband who are alleged to have frequented the area, it was informally called “Pirate’s Alley” long before the city formalized the street name in 1964. I know you are wondering, so yes, there’s usually at least one pirate, whether behind the bar, or on a stool sipping a drink. Pirate paraphernalia covers the walls and if you sit with your back to the French doors, the space can feel a bit hokey, like you are in a bar adjacent to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World. Instead, turn your gaze outward and enjoy the quiet view of the Cathedral. Though Jackson Square is often noisy, full of bands and tourists, this little strip alongside it is often tranquil, and the nook that is Pirate’s Alley is the perfect spot to duck into between eating beignets and buying souvenir T-shirts. Absinthe fans can also taste an assortment of that spirit, poured by a knowledgeable staff.
Pirate’s Alley Cafe is one of those French Quarter locations that is just as beloved by locals as it is by visitors. And whether your corset is tight or your tricorn hat is crooked, you will always be welcome.