My F&W
quick save (...)

Columns Hotel

3811 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans , LA , United States
(504) 899-9308

It’s not edgy in the slightest, and it hasn’t been trendy since Huey Long was in office. Yet the Columns endures, and thank God for that. This 1883 Italianate mansion, rising among the moss-shrouded oaks on St. Charles Avenue, just happens to be a hotel. But really, it’s a bar: the Victorian Lounge, to be exact—all smoke-burnished mahogany and creaking floorboards under an ornate stained-glass chandelier. That a landmark so rife with atmosphere could also function as a workaday tavern is one of the Columns’s singular charms. (Is your local pub on the National Register?) Yet a neighborhood haunt is precisely what it’s become, drawing a cross section of New Orleans society, from parish pols and Loyola students to debutantes and their mothers. The crowd and the vibe evolve throughout the afternoon and into the night. Choosing the ideal hour is impossible, though it’s hard to argue with that last delicious gasp before twilight, when the band launches into Sidney Bechet’s “Preachin’ Blues,” the scent of honeysuckle and fresh-cut grass wafts across the porch, and all is just right in New Orleans.

You might also like
The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world's most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 19-21.