Although you may think Mardi Gras (which is French for “Fat Tuesday”) may only be a New Orleans past time, you’re wrong! The holiday itself represents the day before Ash Wednesday, a celebration focusing on a feast, carnival and overall party to enjoy the last day before the Lenten period of fasting and sacrifice.
Here in NYC, that means lots of fun decorations, festive cocktails, jazz clubs, and more. Check out what’s happening in NYC for Mardi Gras below.
This year’s Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
1. Sip on a Mardi Gras-inspired cocktail at Recreation at MOXY Downtown
If you’re looking for a sweet taste of New Orleans, right here in NYC, Recreation at The Moxy NYC Downtown is now serving a Mardi Gras-inspired cocktail, The Fostered Banana. Made with banana infused bourbon, lemon juice, salted caramel syrup, egg white, it’s topped with a dehydrated & caramelized banana garnish and served in a coupe glass. Stop by this cool bar to try the drink and play old school arcade games and activities like Ms. Pacman, Skee Ball, a Twister, Jenga, and more.
Where: 26 Ann St
2. Mardi Gras Events at Playwright Irish Pub
The Playwright Irish Pub is throwing two events this year to celebrate Fat Tuesday, and both of them are a must attend in our opinion. They’re chalk full of iconic decor and great memories to be had. Check out the two below and grab tickets now before they sell out:
- Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Party: This Saturday (Feb 18) escape the typical bar scene and attend a murder mystery party from 6 pm – 8 pm! Enjoy party favors, classic New Orleans music, food and drink specials, and an interesting Mardi Gras story as you use your sleuthing skills to help solve the murder!
- Mardi Gras Mega Mixer 20s-40s: Looking to spice things up a bit for Mardi Gras? Swing by this mixer on Saturday (Feb 18) to meet new people, enjoy activities, dine on food and beverage, and experience lots of Mardi Gras decor. Thanks to their clever bead color-coding system (i.e: green=outdoorsy, blue=arts, golden=culture nerd, etc.), you’ll be able to mingle over interests while listening to festive music.
Where: 27 W 35th St
3. Enjoy a speciality NOLA menu at Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails
Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails in Murray Hill is serving one of the most delicious creole-inspired menus in all of NYC! Choose bewtween New Orleans classics like the mouthwatering Creole Jambalaya (slow cooked tomatoes, braised chicken, spicy pork-andouille sausage, rice), Louisiana Gumbo (spicy pork-andouille sausage, braised chicken, served over rice), and more.
Don’t forget about their Mardi Gras drink specials either! Sip on a Classic Sazeric (rye, sugar, herbsaint, Peychaud’s) or experiment with an Abita Draft Beer. Full menu here.
Where: 367 3rd Ave
4. Watch a jazz show at Somewhere Nowhere
Party all evening at a Mardi Gras edition of Gotham Jazz at Somewhere Nowhere NYC on Wednesday, February 22! The stunning indoor penthouse lounge will play host to this special evening alongside The Somethings and Daily Dose, complete with a swing band, burlesque dancers, live singers and more starting at 5 pm. RSVP to this free event here!
Where: 112 W 25th St
5. Attempt a Mardi Gras food challenge at Clinton Hall
Spend your Mardi Gras taking on the Clinton Hall Fat Tuesday Food Challenge at any of their locations! Guests can participate in the challenge on Fat Tuesday, which requires a guest to consume a 20 ounce burger topped with bacon, American and yellow cheese, lettuce, tomato, BBQ chicken tenders, onion rings and CH Sauce plus a side of fries and a 16 ounce Gigawatt Beer within a 25 minute time frame. Whoever successfully finishes the massive meal, gets it free!
FiDi – 90 Washington St
Midtown – 16 W 36th St
Midtown East – 230 E 51st
Bronx – 601 E. 189th St
Williamsburg – 247 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
6. Hang at The Rev’s Roots Revival
Enjoy a rowdy evening of blues music, bawdy dance, and circus acts at The Rev’s Roots Revival on Feb 21. Happening at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village you can catch featured musicians The Reverend Shawn Amos & The Brotherhood, King Solomon Kicks, and The Brass Monkeys. Tickets are $20 and doors open at 8 pm! Learn more here.
Where: 147 Bleecker St