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Catch the Mardi Gras Spirit in Arlington

Can’t make it to New Orleans or Rio for Fat Tuesday? Get a taste of Mardi Gras fun and flavors at several spots in Arlington!

Savor Southern food, king cakes and hurricane cocktails in Arlington leading up to Fat Tuesday, March 5.

photo of eyes behind a blue Mardi Gras mask with feathers

Mardi Gras Happy Hour Feb. 6, 13

Arlington’s Mardi Gras headquarters, Bayou Bakery, is led by New Orleans-born chef, cookbook author and TV personality David Guas. Enjoy Bayou’s special happy hour in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood on the two Fridays before Mardi Gras, featuring Cajun-Creole specialties in a funky, counter-service setting.

  • Carnival style fare and boozy punches
  • Live music from Laisse Foure, the New Orleans style jazz band
  • Gumbo, beignets, muffaletta, candied spiced pecans, and more NOLA-favorite treats
photo of Mardi Gras style beignet powdered treat

Hail to the King Cake

At the center of the fun is the one and only king cake, a traditionally round cake that sometimes has a filling, icing, and green, yellow and purple sprinkles. Named after the biblical wise men who celebrated the birth of Jesus, each king cake has a plastic baby inside.

  • Pick up a whole king cake at Bayou Bakery, featuring Creole Cream Cheese filling and a gift box with beads.
  • Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe makes king cake with a yeast dough with dried fruits and nuts. It’s covered with fondant icing and sprinkled with green, yellow and purple sugar.
  • Sugar Shack will have you doing the Mardi Gras Mambo when you bite into their 12-inch King Cake Donut.

Southern Flavor

Eat, drink and be merry at one of these Arlington favorites.

  • Come by William Jeffrey’s Tavern for po’ boys, jambalaya and drinks with stormy names like cyclone and hurricane.
  • Think buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes. Tupelo Honey Café has Southern staples waiting plus the kind of pull-out-your-chair manners you’d expect.
  • Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp is tossed in their signature creamy, spicy sauce.
photo of Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill in VA

Let the good times roll ("laissez le bon temps roulez") celebrating Mardi Gras in Arlington!

Author: Kathleen Murphy