Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Last week we spotlighted outstanding new breweries around the country, from Asheville, North Carolina, to Portland, Oregon. (Sometime soon, Florida microbreweries will get a post all to themselves.)
Speaking of Florida, this week, the focus swings to a different type of drinking establishment. It’s spring break, which of course means you can find yourself in the kind of bar that Bill Hader’s Stefon raved about on Saturday Night Live: “This place has everything: Lights, psychos, Furbies, screaming babies in Mozart wigs, sunburned drifters with soap-sud beards.”
Or you can ignore spring break in a great historical spot in New Orleans and pretend it’s not spring break right outside on Bourbon Street.
Bloomers to bikinis: Bathing suits through history
If Spring Break Means Day Drinking in SOBE
Monty’s Sunset - South Beach, Florida
Monty’s has a raw bar stocked with oysters, clams and five kinds of ceviche (including lobster, conch and tuna), a nice weekday happy hour (half-off liquor and 30 percent off wine and beer), assorted DJs on the weekends and a big, fat pool.
The signature cocktail is the Pain Remover #1, #2 or #3, depending on how much rum you want in the creamy coconut-and-pineapple drink. The party here lasts only so late though: Monty’s closes at midnight on Saturdays.
If You Want to Spend Spring Break Legally Drinking on a Beach
Louie’s Backyard - South Padre Island, Texas
The narrow strip of land along the Gulf Coast, San Padre Island, offers something most other US beach towns lack - the ability to legally drink on the beach. Louie’s Backyard is one of the island’s most popular spots on the island, with multiple bars, a location on the beach and parties every night for the month of March. The signature drink is called Charlie’s Cherry; it’s been called a “Hurricane on steroids.”
If You Want to Spring Break Brooklyn Style
Surf Bar - Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn is not the spring break capital of the world. But if you’re determined to feel like you’re at a beach in the middle of Williamsburg, Surf Bar has a sand floor, surfboards on the ceiling and plenty of Hawaiian leis. They make a mean lobster roll and assorted fish chowders, and plenty of their drinks require paper umbrellas, like mai tais and frozen margaritas.
If You’re Ignoring Spring Break
Old Absinthe House - New Orleans, Louisiana
Right on touristy Bourbon Street, where almost every day is like spring break’s aftermath, is the Old Absinthe House. The original bar was founded in 1874; famous patrons have included Mark Twain, P.T. Barnum and Franklin D. Roosevelt. In addition to seven kinds of absinthe, there’s the signature Absinthe House Frappe (absinthe, anisette and a splash of club soda over crushed ice) and other classic Southern cocktails such as the Sazerac and, of course, the Hurricane.
If Spring Break Means Drinking 88-Ounce Daiquiris in Guitar Cups Near Girls Dancing in Cages
Rockhouse - Las Vegas, Nevada
This 9,000-square-foot bar and club has everything: multiple bars, dancing cages, 88-ounce guitar cups, the Beer Pong World Championships. The cocktail menu has a section of Chick Drinks, including the coconut rum–spiked Rock Me Like a Hurricane, and Manly Drinks, including the whiskey–and–Red Bull concoction Burning Ring of Fire.
More from Food & Wine:
New Orleans Cocktails
World’s Best Restaurant Views
Restaurants Worth a Pilgrimage
Best Cruises for Food Lovers
Best New Bars in the U.S.
6 brilliant new breweries across the U.S.
Aztec superfoods, muscle confusion and other new spring break diets
5@5 – Bring the beach to your table
© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
Hey Kate – you obviously haven't been to South Padre Island in TEXAS as you would know where Louies Backyard actually is! lol
Charlies cherry is indeed a legend and the 12 ft sand sculpture as you enter is something to behold – that was created by island artist #AndyHancock and you can enjoy looking at it while eating your excellent Fish Tacos or the signature burger.
And then if you do want to see the "beach" you could try Boomerang Billys Beach Bar and their signature cocktail – "the sandcastle"
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