How to celebrate Mardi Gras in NYC: Rooftop bars, good food, live jazz and more

Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, is a very good reason to celebrate and eat heartily at the end of winter. Photo Credit: iStock

Grab a drink and let the good times roll.

Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, is a very good reason to celebrate and eat heartily at the end of winter.
Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, is a very good reason to celebrate and eat heartily at the end of winter. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

Fat Tuesday is March 5. Here are our favorite ways to celebrate the New Orleans carnival tradition right here in NYC.

Treat yourself with king cake and ice wine

Bed-Stuy’s wine bar Tailfeather is celebrating Mardi Gras with a party featuring tarot readings and poets for hire and will serve king cake paired with ice wine from Snake River Valley, Idaho, hot crawfish dip and “voodoo fondue” from 7 to 11 p.m. on March 5. 581 Myrtle Ave.

Bring your dancing shoes to La Cafette

Brooklyn Cider House is offering cider flights for $5.50 on March 5.
Brooklyn Cider House is offering cider flights for $5.50 on March 5. Photo Credit: Michael Tulipan

Williamsburg eatery La Cafette is celebrating its first anniversary and Mardi Gras with a party that’ll provide live jazz music, festive decor and Cajun-inspired eats, cocktails and champagne. Choose from dishes like oysters on the half shell ($1), chicken cajun sliders ($7), beef gumbo ($7), cajun croquettes de mahi-mahi ($7) and apple beignets ($5) and more. The party goes from 7 p.m. until late on March 1. 103 Havemeyer St., lacafettebrooklyn.com.

Find the baby in your pancake stack

Bubby’s is celebrating Mardi Gras and Shrove Tuesday with stacks of pancakes with hidden king cake babies inside. Those who find it get their plate for free, March 1-5.Also on the menu will be a muffuletta sandwich with cold cuts from Di Palos and an oyster, shrimp and chicken gumbo. 120 Hudson St., 73 Gansevoort St., bubbys.com

Partake in a crawfish boil

Madcap Cafe in Carroll Gardens is serving a traditional crawfish boil with sausage, potatoes and corn on the cob and an “elevated version” of NOLA’s “Hurricane” cocktail made with rum, lemon juice and passion fruit juice. 387 Court St., madcapcafebk.com

Doughnut Plant's king cake-inspired doughnuts are on sale ahead of Fat Tuesday.
Doughnut Plant’s king cake-inspired doughnuts are on sale ahead of Fat Tuesday. Photo Credit: Doughnut Plant

Get in the gumbo flow

Good Stock, the Louisiana hot soup hub in the West Village, is serving the real deal gumbo — fried chicken and andouille gumbo and gumbo z’herbes served over rice starting on March 5 and through the end of the week. 31 Carmine St. and Urbanspace Vanderbilt, goodstocksoups.com

Find Bourbon Street on East Third Street

Root & Bone is serving Louisiana favorites like shrimp po’boys and baked shrimp Étouffée, but between 5 and 10 p.m., there will be a crawfish boil, seafood gumbo, beignets and king cake. Those who find the baby in their cake will get their entire meal on the house. 200 E. Third St., rootnbone.com

Live music and southern goodness at Valerie

Underwest Donuts are serving king cake doughnuts for Mardis Gras.
Underwest Donuts are serving king cake doughnuts for Mardis Gras. Photo Credit: Underwest Donuts

This midtown cocktail bar that serves American fare is going Cajun for the day with a full menu of southern favorites, including grilled oysters, a cornmeal-crusted shrimp po’boy, house-smoked pork ribs and bananas foster crepes, on March 4-8. 45 W. 45th St., valerienewyorkcity.com

Cajun fun and food at Freehold

Brooklyn’s cafe and bar Freehold is hosting a full night of stilt walkers, fire breathers, Cajun music and live New Orleans-style music for Mardi Gras. Dinner is at 5 and performances begin at 7 p.m. Make reservations at reservations@freeholdbrooklyn.com. 45 S. Third St., freeholdbrooklyn.com

The real thing at Emeril’s Rodos

Emeril Lagasse’s new restaurant, Rodos, is offering Louisiana specialties for Mardi Gras, such as Louisiana seafood and andouille gumbo with laurel steamed rice ($16), Louisiana crawfish pasta shells with tasso ham and parmesan ($25), New Orleans style barbecue shrimp ($22), and Louisiana crawfish stuffed clams with Miss Hilda’s Caldo Verde broth ($23). While you’re dining, Emeril’s place will charm you with Cajun zydeco music. 37 W. 24th St., rodosnyc.com

Chef Andy Bennett is cooking up a four-course meal with favorites like oyster po'boy sliders, jalapeno and cheddar hushpuppies and more along side New Orleans-style cocktails.
Chef Andy Bennett is cooking up a four-course meal with favorites like oyster po’boy sliders, jalapeno and cheddar hushpuppies and more along side New Orleans-style cocktails. Photo Credit: The Sea Grill

Party at a brewery

Threes Brewing in Brooklyn is pulling out all the stops for its Fat Tuesday party: live music from Three Ring Bender, absinthe and po’boys and other bayou classics from The Meat Hook. From 5 p.m.; 333 Douglass St., Gowanus, threesbrewing.com

Cajun flavors at The Sea Grill

Chef Andy Bennett is cooking up a four-course meal for March 5, from 5 to 9 p.m., with favorites like oyster po’boy sliders, jalapeno-and-cheddar hush puppies, muffuletta salad, shrimp and grits and more alongside New Orleans-style cocktails and jazz music. Tickets are $75. 19 W. 49th St., patinagroup.com

Get specials all day

French market Le District is celebrating Mardi Gras with all-day specials at its bars and a dinner prix fixe at Beaubourg at $65 per person, from 5 to 11 p.m. on March 5. A party from 5 to 11 p.m. at the three spaces will also have music, beads, masks and more. 225 Liberty St., ledistrict.com

Dine with chefs Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse and Aaron Bludorn

Famed chefs Daniel Boulud, Aaron Bludorn and Emeril Lagasse are putting on a four-course celebratory meal with dessert at 7 p.m. March 5. For $150 per person, you’ll enjoy oysters, crawfish, barbecue shrimp, seafood gumbo, Creole spiced pork, king cake monkey bread and much more. 20 E. 75th St., danielboulud.com

Wear beads, get a discount at Brooklyn Cider House

Brooklyn Cider House is offering a flight of three ciders for half price ($5.50) for those wearing beads on March 5. It’s also offering spicy pulled pork and cactus, chicken tinga and mushroom espazote for $2 each instead of $4. 1100 Flushing Ave., brooklynciderhouse.com

Celebrate with drag bingo and comedy

Women to the Front is hosting a night of comedy, drag bingo, burlesque and live music, complete with a raffle and live auction at The Bell House on March 3 at 3 p.m., which will benefit Southern Echo — a Mississippi-based nonprofit that helps low-income people of color by providing leadership education, training and development. Tickets are $25.149 Seventh St., Gowanus, thebellhouseny.com

Dance at House of Yes 

Party with a New Orleans-style brass band (Hot Hand Band) and DJ Dirtyfinger for a night of circus performances, drinks and costumes — for free. The part starts at 10 p.m. on March 5. Register to get a spot. 2 Wyckoff Ave., eventbrite.com

Attend a Creole Carnival

The Montauk Club in Brooklyn is hosting Gordon Webster & Friends, a New Orleans-style Cajun/Zydeco band, and Second Line Brass Band for a night of burlesque, dance lessons and free beads at 6 p.m. March 5. Tickets, which start at $34, include drinks and snacks. 25 Eighth Ave., eventbrite.com

Head to the Boris & Horton ‘Pawty’

This dog-friendly cafe is hosting a party on March 5, from 7 to 9 p.m., with live music, Abita Beer from Louisiana, king cake from Paul’s Pastry, treats for pups, a photo booth and more. Tickets are $20. 195 Avenue A, eventbrite.com

Live music and king cake at LIC Bar

Linden St. Connection, Felix Slim and Mon’Quez Pippins will perform at the second annual Mardi Gras at LIC Bar on March 5, from 7 to 11 p.m. Feast on king cake from Bakes by Jason from “The Great American Baking Show” and more. No cover. 45-58 Vernon Blvd., licbar.com

King cake-inspired doughnuts and treats

Now is the time to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Underwest Donuts (639 W. 47th St.) is selling king cake-inspired doughnuts on March 4 and 5. The vanilla and citrus-infused cake doughnut is dipped in sweet Kentucky bourbon by Bird Dog and striped with classic king cake colors for $3.75. The whiskey is smooth and warm with accents of spice and honey.

Mille-Feuille Bakery‘s Galette des Rois comes in two sizes at $24.90 and $39.90, respectively. They’re available through March 5 at all three of its Manhattan locations.

Épicerie Boulud carries Galette des Rois with a hidden trinket among the flaky pastry layers and rich frangipane for $42, starting on Feb. 26 at all three of its Manhattan locations.

Brooklyn Kolache (520 Dekalb Ave.) offers king cake rolls, which are made from the company’s slow rise yeast dough, sprinkled with a thin layer of brown sugar, cinnamon and sweet cream cheese filling before they are rolled into buns. They’re topped with sweet cream cheese glaze and sprinkled again with colored sanding sugar. Each one is $4 and they’re made in limited batches every day, but you can order them in advance on its website through March 5.

Billy’s Bakery‘s four Manhattan locations are serving a king cake cupcake made with cinnamon batter with cream cheese frosting and Mardi Gras-inspired royal icing topped with a small baby trinket for $3.95 each.

Doughnut Plant‘s five locations across the city will be selling king cake doughnuts made with a special pecan-and-cinnamon dough inside and a lemon vanilla glaze and sugar outside for $4.25, starting on Feb. 28.

Shaye Weaver