Where to let the good times roll for Mardi Gras in Philadelphia

Mardi Gras in Philadelphia
The Working Lunch cocktail from Rex at the Royal.
Rex at the Royal

The Big Easy comes to Philly this week. Here is where to celebrate Mardi Gras in Philadelphia on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Chris’ Jazz Cafe

Mardi Gras in Philadelphia is an annual tradition at this Center City hotspot. On Fat Tuesday this year, Chris’ Jazz Cafe’s celebrations will take place from 4 to 11 p.m., and will highlight all things NOLA. The Hoppin’ John Orchestra, a 10-piece unit with horns, will be back for the parade at 7 p.m. (weather permitting) through the 1500 block of Chestnut Street then down Broad and Sansom before hitting the stage at 8:30 p.m. 

Philadelphians can also head to the venue early to partake in Happy Hour or indulge in the Mardi Gras menu any time of the night with highlights including crawfish buckets, gumbo, fried frog legs with Cajun remoulade, a crawfish cheesesteak, slow cooked barbecued pork, pan-seared catfish, savory crawfish ice cream, house made beignets filled with Mayhall jelly and much more. 

Mardi Gras in Philadelphia
The Crawfish Ice Cream from Chris’ Jazz CafeChris’ Jazz Cafe

1421 Sansom Street, chrisjazzcafe.com

LIVE! Casino & Hotel

The casino will be offering its Mardi Gras King Cake Giveaway on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21. As a release states, Live! Rewards members can stop by any promotional kiosk from 4 p.m. onward to print a voucher for a King Cake and a special prize. 

900 Packer Ave., philadelphia.livecasinohotel.com

Beck’s Cajun Cafe

Throughout the month of February, Beck’s in Reading Terminal Market has been donating 10% of all proceeds from the sale of its King Cake to a local nonprofit. The classic Mardi Gras dessert blends the flavors of coffee cake and a cinnamon roll, and adds in fruit fillings and cream cheese, with yellow, green, and purple icing to make it complete.

Customers can pre-order the King Cake, po’boys, beignets, and other Mardi Gras classics from Beck’s ahead of Fat Tuesday celebrations on Tuesday, Feb. 21, and check out the menu while there on the holiday as well.

Mardi Gras in Philadelphia
The King Cake from Beck’s Cajun Cafe.Amaris Pollock

51 N. 12th Street, beckscajuncafe.com

Rex at the Royal

Rex will be celebrating Mardi Gras in Philadelphia with a special themed dinner service highlighting New Orleans-inspired fare and libations, alongside live music by Philly favorites. The War on Drugs’ Charlie Hall will be at the venue for entertainment, and Beverage Manager Joshua Scheid will be stirring up stunning sippers throughout the evening.

Highlights include the Working Lunch ($15), inspired by the “working man’s lunch” of Moon Pies and RC Cola, popular during the 1950s, a period in which Philadelphia’s Royal Theater was in full swing, a release states. This particular sipper is described as a boozy and earthy twist on the classic Southern combination. It’s crafted with Saint Luna Moonshine infused with graham crackers, cacao nibs, and local mushroom, sweetened with Partida Creus MUZ Vermouth and an RC Cola reduction, then garnished with a marshmallow.

Cocktail enthusiasts can also sip on the classic Hurricane for $9 each, made with a blend of rums, Falernum, orange, lime, cranberry, and homemade grenadine. Food specials will include Rex at The Royal’s King Cake Burger ($23), which takes the fan-favorite Rex burger now upgraded with a glazed King Cake bun, and other options.

Mardi Gras in Philadelphia
The Hurrican at Rex at the Royal.Neal Santos

1524 South Street, rexphl.com

Craftsman Row Saloon

The pop-up has become an annual tradition for the venue, and in its third year, there are some returning favorites and new fixtures in the form of food, cocktails and atmosphere. 

New Orleans-inspired menu items include the Big Easy Burger (mashed patties topped with old bay fries, American cheese, creole fried shrimp, remoulade and sautéed onions on a martin’s potato roll), the Masquerade Mac & Cheese (with a 4-cheese blend, cinnamon, brown and powdered sugar, toasted breadcrumbs and a hot sauce drizzle) and Who Dat Chicken (a king cake, fried chicken breast, honey butter, hot sauce and powdered sugar).

At the bar, Big Easy cocktails will be served up, including the Voodoo 75 (made with gin, lavender, lemon and sparkling rose), the King Cake Espresso Martini (vodka, baileys, fireball, coffee and cinnamon), Louisiana Hot Honey Margarita (tequila, honey and hot sauce), the Jazz Julep (rum, strawberry and muddled mint) and more. The last day for the Mardi Gras in Philadelphia pop-up is this Tuesday, Feb. 21. 

112 S. 8th Street, craftsmanrowsaloon.com