NOLA | Award-Winning Bethnal Green Bar
By Francesca Tenenbaum
New Orleans is famous for three things: Jazz, Ellen DeGeneres, and Bourbon.
And on any given night, you’re guaranteed to find at least two of them in NOLA.
So step inside and take a seat on their rooftop terrace, or under the speako-style tin ceiling downstairs in a leather booth illuminated by Tiffany lamps; all of which evoke that classic sense of Southern hospitality. The sharply dressed barkeep will then (politely) ask you what you’d like to drink. Here’s what you should tell them:
From Hurricanes (a sweet-tasting Creole drink, originally mixed in a hurricane lamp) to NOLA’s signature punches, the classics are all here …but it’s the Sazerac that you can’t leave without trying. Mixing Woodford Rye with cognac, sugar & bitters, and served in an absinthe-rinsed glass, NOLA is the only bar outside of North America ever to be awarded the Seal of the Sazerac by the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS). It’s kind of a big deal.
To soak it all up, there’s a variety of Creole and Cajun dishes to wolf down, like fried okra; beef rib po’ boys; Andouille sausage and shrimp gumbo; and the requisite hush puppies. All of which taste particularly good alongside oysters Rockefeller and eggs à la gumbo at their weekly, live jazz-fuelled Sunday brunch. Speaking of which…
Sazerac in hand, you can also enjoy live music most nights, with bands from right here in the UK alongside genuine Louisiana natives hitting the steel guitar.
You’ll definitely recognise that Southern twang.
NOTE: NOLA is open Wed – Sat 5pm-midnight, and Sun 12-4 and 5pm-midnight. You can reserve yourself a table HERE.
ALSO NOTE: The live music programme is currently suspended but will be returning soon. Watch this space.
NOLA | 107 Roman Road, E2 0QN
Like drinking in East London? Check out our guide to the best bars in Shoreditch & Spitalfields