Melius Bar & Cafe
1701 Lake Ave., Metairie, 828-9446 Melius Bar & Cafe opens its doors early with coffee and breakfast at 6 a.m. In the evening hours, the dimly lit neighborhood sports bar becomes a place for locals to watch the game on a big-screen TV. Others enjoy the pool and dart nights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
900 Piety St., 945-5762 Open to patrons since 1860, the watering hole at the corner of Piety and Burgundy streets is a Bywater institution. The highlight of the year for this earthy tavern comes every St. Patrick's Day when the Downtown Irish Club starts its march at Bud Rip's door.
634 Louisa St., 945-0742; www.countryclubneworleans.com Ownership of this fun-loving bar changed recently, so stay tuned for changes. Currently, customers can imbibe a range of cocktails, beer or wine while checking out the clothing-optional swimming pool, live piano music in the front parlor or a host of other diversions.
640 Louisa St., 943-0785 This traditional neighborhood bar is proud to still be under family ownership, and you're likely to find owner Roy Markey Jr. on the premises. Markey's offers free pool and darts, decent-priced beer, and a well-stocked jukebox.
3067 St. Claude Ave., 949-7532 When you walk in, take time to look over the collected mementos, 'found' art and other stuff on the walls of the Saturn Bar. The hour for closing time gets earlier every year (midnight unless it's busy), so get there early and take advantage of the $1.50 beers and $3 highballs.
Sugar Park Tavern
800 France St., 940-6226 With a classic pub feel, the Sugar Park's personality depends on which neighbors show up, ranging from young artisans to older regulars. Perfect for night crawlers, the kitchen is open until 11 p.m., with the bar closing around 4 a.m.
800 Lesseps St., 947-5562 It may blend in with the surrounding residential buildings, but on Thursday nights, Vaughan's fills the Bywater with the sweet sounds of Kermit Ruffins and the scent of barbecue. The crowd often spills out onto the street and transforms into a swinging block party.
Cajun Mike's Pub 'n' Grub
116 Baronne St., 566-0055; www.cajunmikes.com The patrons love the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap and the tried-and-true bar food like chicken wings and cheese fries. 'Welfare Wednesdays' feature $1 drinks from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Menu items include Cuban sandwiches, red beans and rice, and po-boys.
World Trade Center, 33rd floor, 2 Canal St., 522-9795 Visitors to Club 360 enjoy a beautiful, constantly changing skyline view of downtown New Orleans. Making a complete circle every 90 minutes, elegant patrons enjoy house music and conversation during the week, with a packed house and DJs spinning from midnight Thursday through 5 a.m. Sunday.
1100 Tulane Ave., 587-3737; www.clubampersand.com During the week, this sophisticated club hosts private events for locals and celebs such as Lenny Kravitz and Shaquille O'Neal, who were attracted to the artsy red, gold and black decor and the sophisticated ambience. The bar is open to the public starting at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The Core at the State Palace Theatre
1108 Canal St., 522-4435; www.statepalace.com A cozy space in the upstairs of the State Palace Theater, this bar also stages smaller productions such as Invisible Cowboy and Life Without Elvis (coming in December). Bartenders mix the drinks strong, and the younger crowd will love the rave ambience.
Doc Smith's Lounge
1009 Poydras St., 561-0528 Cushy leather couches and three 60-inch plasma screen TVs keep sports fans comfy inside, or crowd watchers can choose a seat on the patio overlooking Poydras Street. There are wine tastings on Thursdays.
Gordon Biersch Brewery
200 Poydras St., 552-2739 This microbrewery serves American food with an Asian flair, but its chief appeal is its distinctive beer. Whether at the bar or on the patio, customers particularly enjoy märzen, a dry, medium-hopped auburn lager, and hefeweizen, a refreshing wheat ale. The brewery usually offers five or six beers, and on Dec. 1, it is introducing a winterbock.
Harrah's New Orleans Casino
4 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahs.com One of the easiest places to find in downtown New Orleans is Harrah's. This neon-and-fountain spectacle creates a looming, labyrinthine space inside with gorgeous murals. The energetic Earl Turner performs as the marquee act five nights a week in the Earl Turner Theater.
701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114; www.herbsaint.com Sit in this casual bistro with a warm feel, watch the streetcar roll by and sip the restaurant's namesake, the Herbsaint, a cocktail with a zesty anise flavor. Chef Donald Link offers 'small plates' or a full meal at the bar, or choose a Key Lime Cosmopolitan to go with the yellow-green walls.
Hyttops Sports Bar & Grill
Hyatt Regency Hotel, 500 Poydras St., 561-1234 A 12-foot-by-12-foot plasma TV screen always features the home team, whether it's pro or college sports, and more than a dozen other large-screen plasmas broadcast the rest of the schedule, whether it's NFL, NBA, NHL or baseball.
1500 Cleveland Ave., 581-9809 Collections of foreign money, license plates and a corner dedicated to Jazz Fest all have their places at Joe's. A large selection of microbrews keeps the medical staffs from nearby hospitals coming.
Kabby's Sports Edition Grille
Hilton Hotel Riverside, 2 Poydras St., 561-0500 With almost three dozen large-screen TVs that air college and pro basketball, baseball and football games, 24-oz. draft beers and Cajun wings and other bar food, Kabby's provides a comfortable respite after a long day at work.
Lafayette Sports Club
628 St. Charles Ave., 410-2582 Fourteen TVs and the DirectTV sports package appease a wide variety of sports fans, and the bar's selection of 10 drafts and more than 15 bottled brews appeal to beer connoisseurs. The menu features everything from burgers to filet mignon, with a popular choice being the 'Trifecta' of any three appetizers for less than $20.
Le Chat Noir
715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812; www.cabaretlechatnoir.com Watch a show performed on a swanky stage with martini murals and '50s flair, then head to the bar. The servers are acts in themselves, with specialty tricks to entertain and lots of mixed drinks. Occasionally, your first drink is included in the ticket price. Hours depend on shows; closed Sunday.
Lenny's Piccadilly Lounge
113 University Place, 525-4083 With its central location, Lenny's boasts an impressive jukebox and red-leather booths. Piggybacked by the Half Shell Restaurant, Lenny's offers hot grub for conventioneers, tourists and service-industry workers, who kick back in the dark wood-and-brick decor after hours. Try the Cajun bloody Mary.
International House Hotel, 221 Camp St., 553-9550; www.ihhotel.com Named for the voodoo word for 'spirit,' this darkly elegant bar treats its patrons to plush couches amid Gothic church mirrors. Lit only by candles, it's a place the hipsters and the elite come to sip a top-shelf martini or Manhattan after 6 p.m., admire the veves (voodoo symbols), and perhaps soak up some mystery.
523 Gravier St., 200-6523; www.loft523.com The actual space that houses the bar in the Loft 523 Hotel looks weathered, with decades-old bricks exposed through the drywall. This feel only adds to a room reborn with plush furniture, dramatic lighting and cocktails. Kermit Ruffins provides music on Fridays and other bands play periodically for the trendy crowd.
840 St. Charles Ave., 522-5517 Friends and family gather at Michaul's for famous Cajun dining, but more often than not the food plays second fiddle to the live Cajun music (and free dance lessons available). The friendly regulars know how to stomp, and they also know to try the Mamou Blue, Michaul's own vodka-and-rum-based fruit drink.
Mulate's, The Original Cajun Restaurant
201 Julia St., 522-1492 Come down to the Central Business District to pass a good time with live Cajun and zydeco music and dancing nightly. Sit at the bar and enjoy the party over cold beers or cocktails, including the signature 'Mulate's Amber Light' brewed by Dixie Beer, and the powerful Zydeco Tornado or Louisiana Lemonade cocktails.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
Riverwalk Marketplace, 1 Poydras St., Suite 37, 525-3931; Suite 80, 566-8992; Suite 167, 524-9504 Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. As a matter of fact, there are three different locations in the Riverwalk Marketplace alone. Along with beers, more than a dozen flavors of daiquiris are offered, from fruit flavors to White Russians.
Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 523-6000 The lounge feels like a country club as the Tom Collinses and martinis are sipped among cushy couches and dark stained-wood paneling and a pianist plays live music every evening. The house specialty is the Polo martini, and the mint julep is served in an authentic silver cup.
Rasputin's Vodka Bar
Lafayette Hotel, 600 St. Charles Ave., 561-9261; www.rasputins.com Rasputin's is serious about vodka. The red-tinted room and slick Russian theme are pretty good indications of this, but in the end, it's the 100-plus varieties on hand -- including several that are actually flavor-infused on site -- that prove the bar's true merit. There's also Russian cuisine and $2 Stoli on Thursday.
Roth's Steak Knife
610 Poydras St., 212-5656 Choice cuts of premium beef are what this place is known for, but don't overlook the adjoining sports bar with its large-screen TV and good selection of imported beers. Located in the Whitney Building, the atmosphere includes a marble bar and columns, and it's a favorite of Saints fans.
Fairmont Hotel, 123 Baronne St., 529-4733; www.fairmonthotel.com New Orleans is generally acknowledged as the birthplace of the Sazerac, and though it's disputed, the drink is often referred to as the first cocktail ever invented. True or not, drinking a Sazerac always feels classy and traditional in this dark, cozy bar in the Fairmont Hotel.
Swizzle Stick Lounge
Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., 595-3305; www.loewshotels.com Located in the towering Loews hotel, the Swizzle Stick Lounge brings out the Caribbean side of New Orleans' heritage with an atmosphere reminiscent of the West Indies. Old-time New Orleans cocktails like gin fizzes and absinthe cocktails are the lounge's specialties.
635 Roman St., 522-0440 Tucker's is known for stuffed and deep-fried hamburgers. What's more, one sees scores of doctors slugging them down due to the bar's proximity to several area hospitals. Friday night, however, is an entirely different scene when a full house of Harley riders celebrate the bar's 'Bike Night.' A DJ spins on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Velvet Room
916 Lafayette St., 589-0069 The owners of this new restaurant (at the site of the former Sporting House Cafe) have taken it back to its bordello roots with lush chandeliers and velvet on the walls. The bar offers specialty martinis including the Velvet Room's own Bleeding Heart (with fresh strawberries), lots of high-end Scotches and cognacs, and a wine list. Enjoy live music Wednesday through Saturday.
W Hotel, 333 Poydras St., 525-9444; www.midnightoilbars.com The softly illuminated cobalt wall behind the bar turns the bartenders into silhouettes and casts a sapphire tint over the room. The young and trendy lounge on leather chairs and couches, and the shakers steadily pour martinis while a mix of classic, rock, R&B and hip-hop plays in the background.
EASTERN NEW ORLEANS
7140 Downman Road, 245-8888 Top local and national hip-hop DJs spin at Club 7140, and when they do, the floor practically erupts with dancers. The week starts with Blue Jeans Night on Wednesday, and there's a dance party every Saturday. The club is closed, except for private parties, Monday and Tuesday.
517 Frenchmen St., 942-1345; www.13monaghan.com This vegetarian-friendly restaurant and bar makes no beef about serving tofu dishes and veggie burgers. But 13 hasn't forgotten about its meat-eating friends either, and hosts a Wednesday night Steak Night. The bar's jukebox plays albums by local artists. The favored libation is frozen Irish coffee.
Apple Barrel Bar
609 Frenchmen St., 949-9399 Squeezed into this tiny barrel each night is a jazz or blues band, making for intimate performances. Sewing together this tiny musical bundle are the acoustics, which are so good that some local artists record here. Stop by on Thanksgiving and Christmas for complimentary holiday feasts.
2001 Burgundy St., 371-5260 The almost 70-year-old mahogany bar in the Bank Cafe spent much of its life in a pool hall in Florida, before it was brought here, where it was reassembled and cleaned up. It seats 14 for dining from the menu of Louisiana Contemporary fare or for enjoying the variety of wines by the glass and bottled beers from Mexico and Central America.
534 Frenchmen St., 948-2583; www.bluenilemusic.com With its Spanish Caribbean decor, the Blue Nile is Havana on Frenchmen Street. Local salsa king Fredy Omar gets dancers on their feet every Friday night, and free dance lessons make sure everyone can join in. On other nights, anyone from flamenco to jazz to zydeco musicians will play, some for free.
1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038 The pool table, the darts, the friendly folks and the bar that hasn't been replaced since 1939 make Buffa's the neighborhood's rec room, where regulars feel at ease. Buffa's has its own savory Buffa Burger, homemade soups and a two-for-one anything happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
2100 Chartres St. The massive dance floor invites body movement, regardless of what kind of music is on the stage. The space is dim but warm, with bright yellows and blues painted all around; back toward the bar, there are plenty of tables for lounging with Coronas and fruity cocktails.
Check Point Charlie
501 Esplanade Ave., 949-7012 Geographically, Check Point Charlie is where the French Quarter and the Marigny converge, making it a suitable location for the loudest rock in either area, though there are also blues nights. Like many of owner Igor Margan's bars, it's open 24 hours, burgers are always on the grill, and you can do your laundry in the back.
2240 St. Claude Ave., 947-0505; www.cowpokesno.com New Orleans' only gay country and western dance club also happens to be New Orleans' only country and western dance club, period. The hardwood dance floor in this straight-friendly gay bar is always full of line-dancers, and myriad cowboy portraits adorn the walls.
618 Frenchmen St., 942-3731; www.drinkgoodstuff.com The bar rotates an outstanding draft beer selection, including Guinness, Chimay and Lindemans Framboise, always keeping 20 on tap. Likewise, the bar also keeps a list of Scotches, tequilas, wines and more. Businessmen and bohemians alike find their way through its doors, and there's never a cover for the live music six nights a week.
435 Esplanade Ave., 949-1750 From the dim lighting of candles and red light bulbs, the 10-foot high mirrors, floor cushions and low tables are barely visible in this bar, which has the exotic feel of an opium den. The stage is similarly mood-lit, with musicians and DJs from funk, jazz, hip-hop, rock, reggae and more almost every night.
The Friendly Bar
2301 Chartres St., 943-8929 Gay and straight neighbors alike convene at this corner bar. On Wednesdays, the bar fires up the grill and provides the fixin's, while customers bring their own cuts of meat. On other nights, there's pool, an Internet jukebox and occasional live music.
2239 St. Claude Ave., 947-9344; www.hiholounge.com With its zebra-print walls and go-go dancer cage, the Hi-Ho would be the perfect home for Shaft if it weren't for the loud drum 'n' bass and rock music played there. Most nights are booked with local rock acts, but Fridays are drum 'n' bass night, and DJs spin tunes twice a month.
1407 Decatur St., 943-1101 This club is home to one of the hottest nightlife trends: Turkish-style oases that offer aromatic tobaccos smoked through water pipes. The full bar complements the tobacco selection with 100 bottles of wine (all available by the glass) and vodkas, single-malt Scotches, imported beers and specialty cocktails.
2040 Burgundy St., 942-7159 The John has actual toilet seats to perch on while drinking. Though not quite functional, the seats do exhibit an appreciation for the throne that foreshadows the utter cleanliness of the bathrooms. This is a 24-hour neighborhood bar with regulars who keep coming back for the $1 bloody Marys on Sundays.
The Marigny Brasserie
640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472; www.cafemarigny.com The elegant Marigny Brasserie has overstuffed sofas in a lounge area next to its full-service bar. Martinis, mojitos and other cocktails are served as patrons enjoy the Frenchmen Street scene. The brasserie hosts a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.
Mimi's In the Marigny
2601 Royal St., 942-0690 The exposed brick and wood give the bar downstairs at Mimi's the character that has made it a hangout for the young and hip. Upstairs is a tapas bar, but the tasty foods also can be ordered downstairs, where customers can drink at the bar, throw darts or play pool. On Wednesday nights, the bar hosts the French Quarter pool league.
1431 Royal St., 948-7499; www.royalstreetinn.com Now owned and guided by art impresario Jonathan Ferrara, change has come slowly but surely at the R Bar, such as lively screenings of Saints games and presidential debates. Though the club has been 'artified,' it maintains the funky feel that made it a Faubourg Marigny favorite.
626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696; www.snugjazz.com The performance hall with a 25-foot ceiling is intimate, much like theperformances put on here by noted jazz performers. Customers eat steak burgers, BBQ shrimp and more in the dining room or have drinks by the stage at tables only inches away from performers such as Alvin Batiste and Maurice Brown.
The Spotted Cat
623 Frenchmen St., 943-3887 Every weekend, the Spotted Cat is filled with jazz fans, so much so that people often choose to listen from out on the sidewalk. Two bands play every night, and there's never a cover. The room has leopard-print decoration, but the atmosphere is slightly formal.
Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club
1931 St. Claude Ave., 945-9654; www.sweetlorrainesjazzclub.com Customers dine on traditional New Orleans fare while viewing a wide variety of local and national musicians. This colorful weekend-only jazz club is in fact no stickler for jazz, as plenty of better-known funk and soul acts also grace the stage from time to time.
201 Restaurant and Bar
201 Decatur St., 561-0007; www.201restaurant.com Taking its name from its address, 201 serves contemporary Louisiana cuisine and makes cocktails with only top-shelf liquors. The house specialties, the Chocolate Martini and the Raspberry Cosmo, are a clue to the restaurant's trendy, upscale demeanor.
735 Bourbon St., 581-6740; www.club735.com A deft mix of upscale lounge and dance club, this Bourbon Street favorite features different DJs spinning hip-hop, '80s or Latin music nightly in the main room, which is large enough to host massive parties.
1123 Decatur St., 523-7150 Stained glass abounds, and in the bar's shadowy front room, goths and punks talk over beer in a space that resembles a monastery. On Saturday afternoons, the regulars participate in the dark ritual of barbecuing.
811 Iberville St., 522-9187 The Alibi keeps it down to the basics visually, with not much more than brick walls and video poker. But local service-industry types make their way here after work for burgers, po-boys and more than 100 bottled beers.
Angeli on Decatur
1141 Decatur St., 566-0077 Disco balls hang from the ceiling, angels are painted all around, silent movies are projected on the wall, and beer, mixed drinks and an entire menu of Mediterranean, American and Italian dishes is served 24 hours a day on weekends.
75 813 Bienville St., 528-9900 This famous restaurant's eponymous cocktail, a brandy and champagne libation, fits perfectly in the 19th century New Orleans style bar. This warm, wooden alcove has the service expected from one of the city's top restaurants.
Aunt Tiki's Jewel Bar
1207 Decatur St., 680-8454 Aunt Tiki's Jewel Bar probably could not exist anywhere on earth but in the middle of one of Decatur Street's more outrageous blocks. It is a tiki bar, yes, but the place looks like a combination of goth/industrial and Polynesian stylings and has a jukebox full of pounding electronica.
310 Chartres St., 522-2426 Wine drinkers muse as Bacchus makes merry on the mural above the bar in this Ralph Brennan establishment. The normal hubbub, part-and-parcel of bars located in busy restaurants, is gratefully absent here.
430 Dauphine St., 525-4455 The bar, like Bayona itself, is subtly elegant, but not so much that it makes anyone feel out of place. Overlooking the patio and garden, it's a fine place to sharpen the taste buds with a martini before dinner. Belli Baci Cafe Giovanni, 117 Decatur St., 529-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com Rich red walls and velvet drapes, leather love seats and a host of bar tables set the tone for this month-old lounge, where Chef/owner Duke LoCicero lends the same attention to the cocktail menu that he does to the innovative cuisine in the attached restaurant.
Big Daddy's Gentlemen's Club
522 Bourbon St., 581-7167 Big Daddy's is the gentlemen's club with the high-heeled mechanical legs swinging out of its front window. The women dance on a large stage that fills the middle of the room.
830 Conti St., 586-0972; www.thebombayclub.com The Bombay Club on the first floor of the Prince Conti Hotel boasts literally hundreds of different martinis, with several house recipes including The Breathless white creme cocoa martini and The Pink Pearl grapefruit martini. Piano music fills the burgundy-colored lounge and French courtyard.
144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com Nowhere else on Bourbon Street does bourbon actually take precedence. This Brennan family oyster bar and restaurant offers a vast collection of rare and fine bourbons and sponsors its own bourbon-tasting society. Diners make their way here for fried oysters, shrimp cocktails and steak entrees.
801 Bourbon St., 529-2107; www.bourbonpub.com Across the street from Oz is the Bourbon Pub, a locals-oriented gay hangout. The downstairs is not really designed for dancing at all: Plasma screen televisions show sporting events or other programs while club-goers converse over drinks. Upstairs, the disco features electronic music, bright lasers and fog machines.
Cafe Lafitte in Exile
901 Bourbon St., 522-8397; www.lafittes.com The name fits, as this bar is a few blocks away from the core of Bourbon Street activity. It is open 24 hours and less dance-oriented than the Bourbon Pub/Parade or Oz. Some dancing takes place in the video bar downstairs, but people there would rather talk and mingle. The upstairs has pool tables.
214 Royal St., 523-3341; www.hotelmonteleone.com Written about by Ernest Hemingway, the bar is a life-size, carnival carousel. Customers on barstools slowly chug in a circle around the bartender as they drink. Pastels fill the room, and the atmosphere is dream-like, thanks to John Autin's smooth piano playing.
701 Bourbon St., 523-1157; www.catsmeow-neworleans.com Each night, an emcee takes the microphone, leads the bar in sing-a-longs, pulls people on stage, makes fun of audience members, sings, introduces karaoke singers and more, keeping the energy at maximum level.
The Chart Room
300 Chartres St., 522-1708 Drop anchor among the regulars at the nautically appointed Chart Room. Drinks are cheap, the lights are low, and the jukebox is eclectic, giving this bar more of a neighborhood feel than you might expect.
Chris Owens Club
500 Bourbon St., 523-6400; www.chrisowensclub.com Chris Owens still entertains Bourbon Street visitors with her song-and-dance routines. After she sings, the bright lights keep flashing all around the black-and-white-checked floor, and the club converts into a Latin disco almost as spicy as its owner.
240 Decatur St., 581-6969 Club Decatur is where twentysomethings go before hitting the Quarter and where they come again on their way back out. There are more than 200 bottled beers, 20 on tap, and service-industry workers get a discount.
201 Chartres St., 522-7729 Club Ritz is not a flashy Bourbon Street strip club. It's darker, smaller and less expensive, and the strippers tend to know at least a handful of regulars in the crowd.
1109 Decatur St., 525-9053; www.coopsplace.net Coop's looks and feels like any standard New Orleans pub, but it keeps the kitchen going until 3 a.m. Local Quarter dwellers make good use of the video poker machines, pool tables and Internet jukebox. Then, there's the kicker: free Internet access.
1201 Burgundy St., 522-9715 Cosimo's captures a dusty yet distinguished ambience through Oriental upholstery, dark wood and crystal chandeliers without jeopardizing authenticity, particularly in the very civilized atmosphere of its billiard room. The free computer jukebox is also a nice treat. Its cafe, Hell's Kitchen, serves popular bar food.
Coyote Ugly Saloon
225 N. Peters St., 561-0003; www.coyoteuglysaloon.com Coyote Ugly bartenders dance on the bar and pour booze onto patrons below, just like in the movie. The row of Harleys semi-permanently installed out front should tell you this roadhouse isn't for the faint of heart. Play anything from Hank Williams to Thomas Dolby on the vintage-looking jukebox.
Crescent City Brewhouse
527 Decatur St., 522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com Crescent City Brewhouse serves ambers, pale ales, stouts and wheat beers in addition to seasonal brews. The burnished brass and copper brewing tanks dominate the open, airy downstairs bar and restaurant; upstairs, patrons can choose from the cozy German beer hall atmosphere indoors or the spacious balcony overlooking upper Decatur.
Deep South Lounge
329 Decatur St., 529-3331; www.deepsouthlounge.com We recommend taking a few swigs from the Deep South Lounge's beer menu before tackling Brisket, the only mechanical bull you'll find in the French Quarter. A number of huge TVs carry everything from NASCAR to the Saints. Southern soul food is offered daily for lunch, with delivery available.
Deja Vu Bar & Restaurant
400 Dauphine St., 523-1931 This 24-hour bar/restaurant is a before- and after-work favorite of the Bourbon Street service-industry crowd. Deja Vu is the hottest of people-watching spots in the wee-est of hours. Steak Night on Tuesday and Thursday offers a $5.99 9-oz. New York Strip.
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse
716 Iberville St., 522-2467; www.dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com This Brennan steakhouse offers the sort of slightly elegant, slightly casual New Orleans charm that's harder to achieve than it sounds. With a perfect balance of manly steakhouse atmosphere and modern touches, Dickie Brennan's sports a full bar menu. Ask about the monthly wine tasting.
Donna's Bar & Grill
800 N. Rampart St., 596-6914; www.donnasbarandgrill.com This is one of the hot spots to catch traditional New Orleans jazz and brass band music. The bare-bones yet cozy atmosphere is as authentic as you can get, as are the top-shelf nightly local music offerings. Friday nights with the Treme Brass Band never fail to get the crowd moving.
Fahy's Irish Pub
540 Burgundy St., 586-9806 This local pub serves more than 40 selections of bottled beer. It also has a pool league that's been running for 12 years, in which 20 teams compete on the bar's two tables every Wednesday night. A few blocks away from Bourbon Street, this is the locals' side of the Quarter -- good booze and good company in a no-frills neighborhood pub.
45 French Market Place, 528-9566 A tried-and-true oasis amid the gritty hipster bar strip of lower Decatur, Fiorella's serves up tasty and inexpensive New Orleans staples late into the night, from po-boys to spaghetti to fried chicken. Daily dessert specials are a serious attraction. Hope for banana pudding.
French Quarter Bar at the Ritz-Carlton
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal St., 524-1331; www.ritzcarlton.com You can put on the Ritz in the intimate, sophisticated French Quarter Bar. It serves the Davenportini, named for Jeremy Davenport, who performs jazz Thursday through Saturday. The Sunday Jazz Brunch, when the Ritz offers seven different bloody Marys, is an experience worth having more than once.
Fritzel's European Jazz Club
733 Bourbon St., 561-0432 Fritzel's became the first American bar to serve Jagermeister in 1971, and it still serves Jager today in addition to other, more obscure Schnapps. Afternoons, Fritzel's is a sports bar, showing soccer matches and basketball games in a European pub atmosphere; at night, it features traditional jazz, such as the excellent Ryan Burrage & his Rhythmmakers every Thursday.
714 N. Rampart St., 558-0872; www.funkybutt.com Big Sam from the Dirty Dozen and his Funky Nation have hit the right note with this place. The art-deco decor, low red lighting and traditional Creole cooking recall the great music clubs of the '20s and '30s, and the club lives up to its name.
727 Bourbon St., 523-1960; www.tropicalisle.com This port of call is an oasis for any thirsty privateer. If Hand Grenades suit your palate, buy one at Tropical Isle and take a walk next door to the Funky Pirate to see Big Al Carson throw down rollicking, slightly bawdy blues every night except Sunday.
Gennifer Flowers Kelsto Club
720 St. Louis St., 524-1111; www.genniferflowers.com Animal-print upholstery and a gold-leafed grand piano bear witness to the way in which a one-time pop-culture icon has evolved into a cabaret performer. Flowers performs Thursday through Saturday nights, though the closest you'll get to controversy is a Gennifer's Kiss, a shot of Southern Comfort served in a lip-shaped shot glass.
727 Iberville St., 524-4354; www.goldclubno.com Get plenty of flash for your cash at the Gold Club, one of New Orleans' most upscale gentlemen's clubs. Its four stages, strobe lights and music helped make it home to the annual G-String Awards, which brings in top talent from all over to compete.
Gold Mine Saloon
705 Dauphine St., 586-0745; www.goldminesaloon.com Pull up a seat at a whiskey barrel, grab a flaming Dr. Pepper shot and soak up the culture at this saloon. Satisfy your hankering for Centipede or Donkey Kong in the arcade or dance the night away to the enormous music library. Poetry readings on Thursday night feature writers such as Andrei Codrescu as well as lesser-known local talent.
Good Friends Bar
740 Dauphine St., 566-7191; www.goodfriendsbar.com There's never a cover at this gay-owned and -operated neighborhood bar that offers karaoke on Tuesdays and margarita specials on Thursdays. Head upstairs to The Queen's Head Pub for a more intimate atmosphere where you can hang out around the piano and sip a martini. On Sunday afternoons, free hot dogs are served for Saints games and free shots when the home team scores.
The Gumbo Shop
630 St. Peter St., 525-1486; www.gumboshop.com You can guess the kitchen's specialty, but the bar has its own. In fact, it has quite a list, from fresh fruit daiquiris to bartender originals like the Funky Monkey and the Screaming Amoeba. Ask for the story behind the latter drink, which you can sip in the upscale, casual front of the restaurant or in the lush French Quarter courtyard.
900 Chartres St., 524-1107 The no-frills atmosphere assures a great, eclectic jukebox, large cold beers and whatever sport is on TV. This is a destination for seasoned locals who like their downtown fun sans beads and Hurricanes.
301 N. Peters St., 522-9222; www.hooters.com Everyone knows that you don't go here just for the wings because they pour a pretty mean beer, too. Right at the upper edge of the Quarter, this is a great casual, slightly naughty spot to kick off your night with great bar snacks.
House of Blues
225 Decatur St., 529-2583; www.hob.com One of the premier music venues in New Orleans offers a lot more than great acoustics. The restaurant features modern takes on Mississippi Delta cuisine in a casual environment full of folk art and blues memorabilia, and the Sunday gospel brunch is sure to please. Combine all this with the backyard patio bar, the elite Foundation Room and the cozy Parish club upstairs, and you have plenty of options for day or night.
Howl at the Moon
135 Bourbon St., 410-9000 This French Quarter bar recently changed hands and redecorated, but every night the music is live with two pianos playing requests all night long. Some of the hits you might expect -- 'Lucille,' 'Sweet Home Alabama' -- but university fight songs from the Southeastern Conference are also popular. Those who like to start early enjoy two-for-one drinks during the day.
The Jazz Parlor at Storyville
125 Bourbon St., 586-9022 This handsomely furnished nightclub is one of the few homes to live jazz on Bourbon Street, with turn-of-the-century decor that evokes bygone parlors of ill repute. Jazz acts rotate with blues bands nightly starting at 5 p.m. weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends. The neighboring Zydeque serves the food, Creole-style barbecue.
141 Chartres St., 524-0493 This relaxed, cozy sports bar is a favorite for service-industry and neighborhood folks around the clock. The game is always on one of the two giant TVs over the bar, and the bar food is top-notch. Happy hour offers dollar-off domestics and well drinks Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
1104 Decatur St., 592-2565; www.margaritavillenew orleans.com Locals come out as well as tourists for all-day, no-cover showcases of blues guitarists in the front bar. Parrotheads and civilians alike dig the burger-heavy, Key West-flavored bar menu and tequila specialty drinks.
Johnny White's Hole in the Wall
718 Bourbon St., 581-9200 This French Quarter hideaway is open late into the night and draws a cross section of humanity into a place where time doesn't seem to exist. Worlds away from the rest of the Bourbon Street scene, this is a bar for grown-ups. Specialty cocktails like the Cajun Splash cure what ails you.
Kerry Irish Pub
331 Decatur St., 527-5954 What makes an authentic Irish pub? How about Guinness poured properly and a great selection of Irish whiskey? This locals-friendly bar is as homey as any in Dublin, with a ramshackle collection of Guinness and other Gaelic memorabilia covering every available surface, plus nightly live music ranging from Irish folk to bluegrass to local singer/songwriters.
Lafitte's Blacksmith Bar
941 Bourbon St., 522-9377 This bar holds the distinction of being the oldest building still standing in the Quarter, having survived fires, hurricanes and hundreds of years of Mardi Gras. Legend has it the infamous privateer Jean Lafitte used the bar -- still lit only by eerie candles -- as his HQ back in the day. Watch for ghosts, or just sit around the piano bar and sing along.
725 Iberville St., 378-8200 This storied venue dates back to 1881 and has housed restaurants run by some of the city's most colorful characters. The Movers and Shakers Lounge continues the high life tradition with a chic, contemporary take on classic New Orleans for the young and affluent.
Larry Flynt's Hustler Club
225 Bourbon St., 524-0010 Larry Flynt's Hustler Club is all you'd expect from a Bourbon Street gentlemen's club. It's home to adult-industry parties like the Pole Olympics. The real visual treat is the brass pole that extends the full two stories of the club; a friendly main stage dancer often shimmies up to the balcony level to say hello.
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal St., 524-1331 ext. 3620, www.ritzcarlton.com There's nothing to read or check out, but the cedar-paneled Library Lounge is a fine place to sip a first-class cocktail like a chocolate martini or a classic Sazerac in a luxuriously literate environment. Or peruse the walk-in humidor for a Dominican Cohiba.
200 Decatur St., 598-1500 Everybody's close to the stage in this long, narrow room, where you can catch regional and national musical acts six nights a week. Red lights and purple walls adorned with rock posters contribute to the twisted-swank lounge atmosphere, and the eclectic jukebox is one of the best in town.
Lucille's Golden Lantern
1239 Royal St., 529-2860 This neighborhood gay bar is the home of the annual Southern Decadence parade and the biweekly Saturday Golden Age Revue. The walls sport paeans to the full 35 years of the bar's history as a drag hot spot and spiritual center to the Quarter's gay community. The bar hosts exhibitions of local artists' work monthly.
Mr. B's Bistro
201 Royal St., 523-2078 The front of the house features a piano player nightly, and the bar offers an enviable wine list and popular milk punches made with ice cream. Or try the enticing French 75 -- a combination of Champagne and gin. Customers can eat dinner from the regular menu at the bar during lunch.
1117 Decatur St., 586-8883 The wine list of 200 bottles focuses on Italian reds, more than 50 of which are sold by the glass, along with port, grappa, champagne and premium cigars. The mood is set by jazz played through a good sound system and huge prints of Herman Leonard's striking black-and-white photos of jazz greats hanging over the comfy booths.
942 N. Rampart St., 569-9979 Meauxbar Bistro is a stylish establishment that caters to clientele from Treme, the Marigny and the Quarter. With classic French cuisine populating the menu and Indochinese colonial decor, the place is perfect for enjoying a glass of wine or a martini. For an added personal touch, the owner sometimes creates his own mix CDs to play for guests.
Molly's at the Market
1107 Decatur St., 525-5169 The mural on the back bar's wall features renditions of regular drinkers past and present, and the front bar is home to signs and other ephemera from bygone local watering holes. Over the course of a day, you'll see everyone from the local news media to pink-haired Ninth Ward punks getting their fix of frozen Irish coffee and Jameson's.
Molly's on Toulouse
732 Toulouse St., 568-1915 This distant cousin of Molly's on the Market offers many of the same amenities -- great atmosphere and a killer jukebox, plus a pool table and a location a little closer to the Bourbon Street action. In addition to wine tastings on Wednesdays (with munchies), and it has bloody Mary specials on Sundays.
Monaghan's Erin Rose
811 Conti St., 523-8619 A welcome oasis for locals and tourists alike just steps away from Bourbon Street's chaos, Erin Rose offers walls full of visual non sequiturs, Guinness on tap, hot toddies, frozen Irish coffee, and an eclectic jukebox.
Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
500 Chartres St., 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com Allegedly built as a hideaway for Napoleon Bonaparte, this Quarter staple boasts a romantic, dimly-lit front bar oozing with old-fashioned local charm. The emperor, who never made it to these shores, missed out on the highly civilized treat of a Pimm's cup savored with a cheeseboard and charcuterie plate at one of the courtyard tables.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
633 Bourbon St., 524-5185 Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. Along with beers, 23 types of daiquiris are offered, from fruit flavors to White Russians.
O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub
508 Toulouse St., 529-1317 Live Celtic music every night has made O'Flaherty's a favorite of locals and tourists. For the hard-working service-industry crowd there is a new bar upstairs that's just for you, complete with a pool table and drink discounts. The sprawling bar offers a choice of patio or no-frills Irish pub-style front bar.
Old Absinthe House
240 Bourbon St., 523-3181; www.oldabsinthehouse.com A mix of antique New Orleans decor (vintage crystal chandeliers and a gorgeous copper-topped wooden bar) and contemporary touches (Saints memorabilia), the Old Absinthe House has held down its corner of Bourbon Street for more than 200 years. Maybe you can't get a real shot of wormwood here, but the house specialty Absinthe Frappe (made with Herbsaint) or any one of the selection of single-malt Scotches will have you seeing visions.
Ol' Toone's Saloon
233 Decatur St., 529-3422 Open 24 hours, Ol' Toone's does more business at 7 a.m. than some bars do all day. Parked right next door to House of Blues, it is an ideal spot to grab a beer before the show starts or to keep the thrill alive afterwards. An eclectic jukebox sets the tone at this amiable dive for insomniacs and pool sharks.
One Eyed Jacks
615 Toulouse St., 569-8361 Much of El Matador's decor made the trip to this new building, the former home to the Shim Sham Club, including that great, circular bar. The front room has been opened up a little, while the showroom has been made more intimate. Vintage velvet paintings and flocked red wallpaper create the perfect kitsch ambience for hipster rock shows and DJ dance nights.
720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930 The granite, horseshoe-shaped bar is built to impress, and the Orleans Grapevine does just that. With 350 wines on the list, 60 of which are available by the glass -- and bistro cuisine -- this quaint French Quarter spot is sure to wow that special someone.
800 Bourbon St., 593-9491; www.ozneworleans.com The heart of the gay Quarter boasts entertainment every night of the week: Bianca del Rio drag shows and Calendar Boy contests, to name a few. Cheer from the dance floor or gawk from the balcony. Smoke, strobes, go-go boys, suggestive videos and happening DJs keep things moving all night.
Palm Court Jazz Cafe
1204 Decatur St., 525-0200; www.palmcourtjazzcafe.com With its traditional jazz and authentic New Orleans cuisine, the Palm Court is a one-stop cultural experience. The Palm Court features some of New Orleans' finest traditional jazz musicians. During breaks in the music, ask the staff to pick something from the album collection at the bar.
718 St. Peter St., 525-4823; www.patobriens.com What's your favorite corny old song? Someone is sure to know it in the piano bar at Pat O's. That's just one of the reasons that this venerable bar is such an institution. The other is the Hurricane. Revel in the wonder of the flaming fountain, and then you'll fully understand: Some places really are legendary.
533 Toulouse St., 568-1940 You can't help but feel hip walking into this bar, with its mod-meets-old-New-Orleans wacky, colorful style. Try one of the ever-expanding number of specialty martinis -- 50 and counting. The charbroiled burgers are popular, and Thursday night is College Night.
Port of Call
838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120; www.portofcallneworleans.com When people think of Port of Call, they think of hamburgers large enough to merit their own zip codes. Then they think of the Monsoon, the signature drink, big enough for two and appropriate either at the bar under the fishing net or at a table surrounded by bamboo.
740 Burgundy St., 525-8106; www.rawhide2010.com The only leather bar in the Quarter is open 24 hours and welcomes a gay crowd up for just about anything. From a Blackout Party every second Thursday of the month to pool tournaments, Rawhide has it all and draws lots of regular customers.
241 Bourbon St., 566-1341 Sexy shot girls and a spring break atmosphere make Red Rhino a tourist favorite for all-night dancing. If the dance floor gets too full, there's an emergency dance area located on the bar and the balcony, which features its own drink specials.
315 Bourbon St., 524-4222 The sweeping staircase in the entry gives off an old New Orleans atmosphere, and the main showroom is ritzy. Private VIP rooms offer a little extra for big spenders who know how to party, and the full kitchen and great lunch specials offer a perfect opportunity to combine food and scenery.
Ryan's Irish Pub
241 Decatur St., 523-3500 This corner bar has the feel of a neighborhood joint, though its neighborhood's the French Quarter. During soccer season, at least one of the many TV screens is dedicated to Premier League football. With a satellite, this is a hot spot during the week for basketball fans and a popular place for a bloody Mary with Sunday NFL games.
423 Bourbon St., 571-6340 Scarlett's combines the bordello atmosphere of old Bourbon Street with contemporary sex club excitement. Conventioneers get in to the bar and adult film screening area free, there are special bachelor party packages, and promotions including $100 bottles of champagne. VIPS with plenty of disposable loot will want to visit the special room upstairs.
327 Bourbon St., 525-4470; www.temptationsclub.net This antebellum mansion, with its Billiard and Cigar rooms, and private suites for bachelor parties, caters to high rollers but also offers daily happy hour specials. Featured entertainers include women with exotic names like Sweet Melissa, Ginger, Honey, Thai, Angela and Jolie.
Tricou House Restaurant
711 Bourbon St., 525-8379; www.711bourbon.com Live rock 'n' roll and blues nightly provide background music downstairs during dinner, and courtyard dining is available surrounding the gorgeous Lover's Fountain. Upstairs there is dance music with a live DJ. Look for the ghost of nurse Annabel, who died during the 1834 yellow fever epidemic, floating over the spiral staircase.
721 Bourbon St., 529-4109; 739 Toulouse St., 525-1689; www.tropicalisle.com They ain't called Hand Grenades for nothin', so be careful. Sip one of those trademark drinks, or try one of the Isle's plethora of daiquiris. The Toulouse Street Tropical Isle is moving across the street at the end of the year, and while the drinks and the bands remain the same, it'll gain a kitchen.
823 Decatur St., 525-8676; www.tujaguesrestaurant.com Grab a seat at the old cypress bar and soak up the conversation at one of the Quarter's most venerable establishments. Try an absinthe frappe (sans wormwood) or Tujague's own beer. The Grasshopper (a milk and creme de menthe concoction) was invented here. The legendary brisket po-boy, dressed in horseradish remoulade, is available only in the bar.
Utopia Night Club
227 Bourbon St., 523-3800 Homemade bikini contests on Thursdays draw the barely legal and the barely-legal-at-heart to this land of the eternal spring break. Located close to Canal Street, Utopia gives conventioneers a hint at what Mardi Gras in the Quarter can be like.
Ye Olde Original Dungeon
738 Toulouse St., 523-5530; www.originaldungeon.com Access to these shadowy rooms comes via a dark alley, and the nonstop headbanger's soundtrack makes communication by anything other than rounds of shooters a challenge. Don't mind the cages on the walls and nooses hanging from the ceiling or concoctions like Dragon's Blood and Witch's Brew. The party starts at midnight and isn't complete until you wanly face the morning sun.
808 Iberville St., 565-5520 Patrons can gorge, kick back and watch sports in front of 11 32-inch television sets. Slow-cooked meat is featured, particularly a melt-in-your-mouth cochon du lait, in addition to the signature watermelon daiquiris and the frozen Bayou Blaster. There are drink specials during college and pro football games, and Saints fans can bring their tickets in after a game for $10.50 all-you-can-eat ribs.
Brooks' Seahorse Saloon
1648 Gentilly Blvd., 948-7050 After blowing your money at the Fair Grounds (located across the street), you don't have to be frugal here. This completely refurbished bar features a fully stocked bar, late hours, two pool tables, a jukebox and a friendly staff. The bar menu features daily specials and free chicken wings on Mondays.
5000 Old Gentilly Road, 942-2400; www.bigeasytravelplaza.com Catering to an eclectic bunch, the bar in the Big Easy Travel Plaza off the Louisa Street exit of I-10 prides itself on its daily all-you-can-eat specials -- including rib and seafood plates -- plus $1 beers during its daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. This sports bar also offers a live band every Tuesday and a DJ on Thursdays.
711 Casino Magic Drive, Bay St. Louis, Miss., (228) 466-0891; www.casinomagic-baystlouis.com If you're gambling, the drinks are free. If your luck is sour, you can count on Casino Magic's various lounges for libations and entertainment. Pete Fountain plays Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and there are touring acts like the Temptations.
JEFFERSON PARISH -- HARAHAN --
5808 River Oak Road, Harahan, 733-8144 This friendly place moves a steady stream of draft Abita and Newcastle Brown Ale at reasonable prices. There are drink specials. Two pool tables and a dart competition provide plenty of old school entertainment.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
1000 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 733-0545; www.fat-tuesday.com Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. Along with beers, 16 types of daiquiris are offered, from fruit flavors to White Russians.
1827 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 738-6722 Taqueria Corona may be best known for its Mexican cuisine, but it's also a comfortable place to sit with friends and talk over Mexican beers and chips with pico de gallo. They also make a fine sangria, and their margaritas are justly popular.
-- JEFFERSON --
Deckbar & Grille
1715 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 830-0104 This musician-friendly bar boasts its Big Daddy's Juke Joint Blues Jam every Wednesday night, one of the longer-running blues jams in New Orleans. Thursdays through Saturdays also feature a variety of live bands. But there are other things to brag about, such as fresh oysters on the half shell offered every Wednesday and Friday.
Fox and Hound
1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson, 731-6000 The sports bar shows all local, regional and national games -- baseball, football and basketball -- on 32 TVs, including two projection screens. The upscale bar also offers pool, shuffleboard and darts, 36 tap beers, and a menu whose specialties are baby back ribs and beef brisket. Wednesday is Girl Power Night featuring specials on Cosmopolitans and margaritas.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
2712 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 831-7001; www.fat-tuesday.com Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. Along with beers, 16 types of daiquiris are offered, from fruit flavors to White Russians.
5608 Citrus Blvd., Jefferson, 818-0111, www.reginellis.com Diners can stuff themselves with gourmet pizzas and calzones while drinking pitchers of Bud Light and Abita Amber beer, which go for $2 all day on Mondays and Tuesdays, and $10 bottles of wine on Wednesday. Reginelli's also has Uptown and Lakeview locations and free delivery.
3449 River Road, Jefferson, 837-7118; clients.neworleans.com/rivershack With walls festooned with old Barq's and Dixie signs, this friendly joint opens every day at 11 a.m. The Rivershack offers patrons entertainment from casual games of pool to rockin' blues from acts like the Blackened Blues Band on Saturday nights. Regulars like to toss back one of the couple of dozen beers on tap with one of the Cajun-cooking lunch specials Monday through Friday.
200 Monticello St., Jefferson, 835-2903; www.newsouthport.com Try to figure out where the tunnel once connected this former gambling house to Orleans Parish on the other side of the tracks. This sprawling club features a huge inside bar and expansive open-air deck. The bar is open seven days a week and live bands perform on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Wednesday night is bike night with Pig Pen and the Porkchops.
-- KENNER --
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
2801 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 468-8302; www.fat-tuesday.com Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. Along with beers, 16 types of daiquiris are offered, from fruit flavors to White Russians.
Treasure Chest Casino
5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-8000; www.treasurechestcasino.com This riverboat casino prides itself on generous pours from the bartenders and high quality music. Top-flight bands have included such R&B headliners as Jean Knight and Irma Thomas. Friday night is karaoke night. Gamble in the Sports Pit, and you can watch sporting events while you drink.
-- METAIRIE --
3100 19th St., Metairie, 834-8583 With more than 300 wines by the bottle and 50 by the glass, you could spend some quality time at this venue, which serves northern Italian cuisine. Regulars come in and order Negroni cocktails (gin, Campari, soda and sweet vermouth), an old Italian favorite. The vodka selection numbers more than 30 varieties, and brandy milk punches are in high demand.
5101 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 888-5533 Austin's has recently remodeled to expand the restaurant and in the process, expanded the bar. The new granite-topped bar seats 15 in style, whether they're enjoying a cocktail before dinner or enjoying the piano player on Friday and Saturday nights while winding down.
The Bengal Lounge
4612 Quincy St., Metairie, 456-0986 On Tuesday, sing your favorite song while members of the Molly Ringwalds, Metal Rose and Chee Weez play along. Enjoy live music from the Topcats on Wednesday nights, and there are other bands on Friday and Saturday. Enjoy two-for-one happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Bravo! Italian Kitchen
3413 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-8828; www.bestitalianusa.com From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., there's more to this Italian restaurant than brick-oven pizzas and fresh housemade pastas. It has nightly happy hour drink specials in addition to its extensive wine list. Part of a national chain noted for its white-tablecloth casual style and a Roman ruin decor, the restaurant still manages to offer a relaxed, neighborhood feel.
1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9773 This Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant is constantly expanding its wine list, which currently boasts more than 50 selections. The bracing aperitif ouzo and its Lebanese counterpart, arak, are popular with diners. The restaurant, which also has a Magazine Street location, offers daily specials on a menu of salads, flaky pastries, and savory, slow-cooked chicken and lamb.
Caddyshack Cafe and Bar
3217 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 833-1799 With four 42-inch TVs and one 105-inch large screen, fans all get a good view of the game. Monday through Friday ladies drink free during happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a DJ spins records on Fridays. Daily lunch specials include sandwiches and hot plates. Saturday there's a steak special -- an 8-oz. filet with sides for $8.50.
4628 Rye St., Metairie, 888-0078 This popular cocktail bar and Chinese restaurant boasts 50-foot ceilings and an elaborate, hand-blown Italian glass chandelier. Specializing in both traditional and fusion Chinese food and a fully stocked bar, the place is known for its mai tais, martinis, hot and cold-fused sakes, and Louis XIII cognac, sold for $110 a glass. The wine list has more than 200 bottles.
2303 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 837-4444 Astrologers study the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural events. Little did these astral travelers realize they would inspire a club where the bodies in question are decidedly terrestrial. With big-screen TVs and six to eight of its 15 dancers performing at one time, there's plenty to study at this club.
3229 Lisa Drive, Metairie, 456-3853 Semi-pro exotic dancers do their pole work to an enthusiastic local crowd at this suburban gentlemen's club. The club opens daily at 5:30 p.m. with a $5 cover. Promotional features include $2 drinks on Tuesdays, two-for-one and bike night on Wednesdays (free admission with bike key), and amateur night on Thursdays.
4725 Quincy St., Metairie, 887-9809 At Critic's Choice, you can enjoy the warm, comfortable 'basic bar' ambience, complete with five televisions. There's live entertainment on the weekends and munchies on football nights.
4450 Wabash St., Metairie, 885-2426 This neighborhood bar has more than 400 liquor selections, including 175 varieties of vodka. Combine this with a lengthy 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. happy hour topped off by Friday's super version that starts at noon, and everybody goes home happy.
The Edge Bar & Grill
3400 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 780-2266 Young adults frequent this restaurant and bar to plant themselves in front of a 20-foot-screen TV and a dozen smaller ones during sporting events. Daily lunch specials and late-night munchies keep everyone happy. Customers plow through the doors every Tuesday and Thursday for the steak special. Ladies drink free on Fridays from 9 p.m. until.
3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-9226 A mixed clientele frequents Gennaro's and enjoys occasional live shows and a recently launched karaoke night on Fridays. Large oval windows give folks a view to the outside world, and the walls are decorated with plaques and pictures of famous people.
1300 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 834-6474 This large neighborhood bar claims to have the best burger in Metairie, but it won't divulge why, only saying that it's a family secret. Its most popular drinks are anything with either Crown Royal or Bacardi in it.
Wyndham Hotel, 4 Galleria Blvd., Metairie, 837-6707, www.wyndham.com Frequented by Metairie professionals and Wyndham hotel guests, Hedges features the hotel's service-oriented bartenders and elegant, upscale decor, which includes a classic hardwood floor.
4748 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-0160, www.hooters.com Everyone knows that you don't go here just for the wings because they pour a pretty mean beer, too. This is a great casual, slightly naughty spot to kick off your night with great bar snacks.
Hurricane's Sports Bar and Grill
1414 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-0050 Decorated with various athletic paraphernalia and 15 TVs including one big screen, this newcomer should be a hot spot during the upcoming football season. Late hours on the weekends and a kitchen offering daily lunch specials and bar food top it all off.
Legends Bar & Grill
2708 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 887-3877 Legends draws a variety of Metairie denizens to live local music on weekends and 'Bike Night,' featuring $6 steaks, on Wednesdays. Women drink free on Thursdays, and on Fridays there are seafood boils on the patio. There is a front bar and a back bar so it's double the pleasure, double the fun.
3201 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 780-2961, www.moschalet.com There is never a shortage of entertainment in Mo's large, airy environs. Whether it's karaoke on Mondays, DJ on Tuesdays or live music every other day, folks are sure to hit the dance floor, especially on weekends.
Mulligan's Taverne, Sports Bar and Grill
3535 Severn Ave., Suite 10, Metairie, 888-5858 Sports bar meets karaoke Friday nights at Mulligan's, where anyone who wants to can sing a song. Other nights, Mulligan's patrons partake of one-third-pound burgers and mingle in an ambience slanted towards the black and gold colors of the Saints. Appropriately, there are drink specials during Saints games.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-8474; 6201 Airline Dr., Metairie, 736-0066; 6830 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-9995; www.fat-tuesday.com Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. Along with beers, 16 types of daiquiris are offered, from fruit flavors to White Russians.
2027 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-9540 The age range at Oscar's is 21 to 80 years old, and the income tax brackets vary from the dirt poor to the filthy rich. Basically, Oscar's is a good ol' American bar and grill with a decor that conjures the owner's wife's favorite pop culture icon, Marilyn Monroe. Food, pool and darts are all available.
3217 Melvil Dewey Drive, Metairie, 834-4010 This former dance club now caters to the country and western set. The theme even incorporates a bona fide mechanical bull. You can still hit the dance floor in the heart of Metairie, but expect mostly country songs.
Shooter's Bar and Grill
3655 18th St., Metairie, 456-2618 You're driving around Metairie at 1 a.m. on a weeknight and thinking you're in the mood for a few cocktails, some dancing and a half-pound burger. In this scenario, Shooter's is the perfect fit. In its relaxed atmosphere, you can enjoy pool tables, a large-screen TV and a DJ on Fridays.
Sidelines Bar & Grill
1229 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-4002 A Metairie sports bar stalwart, Sidelines has 10 TVs playing whatever the sports event of the moment might be. Meat lovers should turn out for steak night on Thursdays. Sidelines has Abita Amber on tap, and if your team isn't doing well, you can always give the Golden Tee machine a go.
Sports Center Bar and Grill
3805 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 455-5533 As the name might suggest, this new bar is all about sports. It's open 24 hours a day, and its kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the draw is the 40 televisions. Tuesday night has a $12.50 surf and turf special, and Sports Center features Derby Owner's Club, a virtual-reality horse racing game.
Stitches Bar & Grill
3941 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 454-6266 This neighborhood bar near East Jefferson Hospital has two big screens and drink specials for football games. It prides itself on its admittedly slightly sick sense of humor, which might explain the picture of Seinfeld's George Costanza in the ladies' room, as well as the names of some of the dishes on the late-night menu.
5216 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-5242 People come to the Swamp Room for the burgers and stay for a laidback good time. A diverse crowd of service-industry regulars and neighborhood folk enjoy the roominess of the Swamp Room's comfy booths, pool tables and extra-long bar.
3721 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 455-8681; www.sweetsagain.com If you have a hankering for the Rat Pack, make sure you swing by Sweet's Again and check out the jukebox, which is stocked with albums from Sammy, Dino and, of course, The Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra. Or you can just sit back and imagine you are in Brooklyn by staring at the large mural of Manhattan that decorates the bar. Other entertainment comes in the form of live music on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
3535 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-5088 Taqueria Corona may be best known for its Mexican cuisine, but it's also a comfortable place to sit with friends and talk over Mexican beers and chips with pico de gallo. They also make a fine sangria, and their margaritas are justly popular.
Whitey's Pool Hall
3764 Derbigny St., Metairie, 833-9122 Since the '50s, Whitey's has been providing an atmosphere of competition for pool players who don't want to have to win a table at a local bar to play a game. Even if you're not a great eight-ball player, Whitey's offers beer and mixed drinks, darts, and one video game. There's also a grill in the back serving bar food if you rack up an appetite.
531 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-8705 A younger crowd haunts Winston's, an easygoing English pub that is a true original in the Metairie scene. It's decorated with a menagerie of antiques and memorabilia the owner has collected from garage sales and shops. Adding to the English theme is Guinness, Harp, Bass and Murphy's on tap, along with authentic fish and chips.
-- RIVER RIDGE --
The Triangle West Bar
10801 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-9083 The Triangle West Bar claims to serve the coldest beer in town, powered by a pair of imported coolers using a process called frost fusion that chills beers down to 30 degrees without freezing them. 'It is damn cold beer,' says the bartender. Customers can belt out familiar songs on karaoke night every Saturday beginning at 10 p.m.
1 Stars & Stripes Blvd., 248-3200, www.ballysno.com Even if you didn't win $3 million like all those people on the Bally's billboards that dot I-10, you can still have a good time at the casino. May we suggest the Wild Card Sports Bar that features a 10-foot television screen? There's also blues on Wednesdays and local music on Saturdays.
1926 West End Park, 284-3625; www.thedockno.com By land or by sea, visitors to The Dock on Lake Pontchartrain will be rewarded with live music on weekends followed by DJ Speedy. The wharf decor feels less like a local bar and more like a vacation getaway, helping cold beers and frozen Bushwackers go down all the better.
7400 Lakeshore Drive, 282-1511 Hong Kong's large glass windows provide a lovely view of Lake Pontchartrain; inside, a former patron provided another sort of beauty with his mural of Asian women. Order one of lounge's specialty drinks -- Mai Tais and Singapore Slings -- or nibble from its light menu at anytime.
5135 Canal Blvd., 488-4191; www.draftfreak.com This building, once the Parkway Tavern, is now a second location for the popular Uptown fixture, the Bulldog. The new location follows the formula that made the Bulldog successful on Magazine Street -- a huge variety of beers on tap and by the bottle, live music on Thursdays and a big-screen TV.
618 Homedale Ave., 488-5519 The Homedale Inn has been here since the 1930s, but now, thanks to new owners, the bar's jukebox has made it into the 21st century. By mid-December, they'll have expanded the bar into the building next door. The bar still attracts mature regulars during the daytime hours. At night, the crowd changes to 25- to 40-year-olds, and an expanded bar selection caters to those trendier taste buds.
911 Harrison Ave., 486-4887 Neighborhood locals and community baseball teams mingle together here, grabbing beers at the candlelit, copper-top bar and hollering at the two TVs. Lakeview's specialty drinks emphasize its watery locale: the Typhoon, the Willy Willy and the Dinghy.
McNulty's Bitter End
5129 Canal Blvd. 483-7930 Some say the dead walk the earth around this neighborhood bar, located on cemetery grounds. But the best spirits here are passed across the bar to service-industry crowds and locals looking for a little dark ambience in which to drink, eat, gossip, and smoke. Bite into a McNulty's hearty steak sandwich or one of the signature cheeseburgers.
Parlay's Bar & Lounge
870 Harrison Ave., 482-4700 A large neon 'P' watches over the environment of Parlay's, a neighborhood bar with an older crowd during the day and a younger one at night. Wednesdays are jumping because of the swing jazz band; Thursdays Ladies' Nights mean free wine, domestic beer and well drinks for the fairer sex.
874 Harrison Ave., 488-0133; www.reginellis.com At Reginelli's Lakeview location, wine comes in second to the kitchen's specialty pizzas, calzones and foccacia sandwiches. Try 'Tony's Play,' a pie piled high with prosciutto, onions, pancetta, mushrooms, green peppers and capers. Ask about Wednesday wine specials and free neighborhood delivery.
888 Harrison Ave., 488-8981 Loll at the bar or snag a candlelit table for live jazz on Friday and Saturday nights, when the Steak Knife welcomes local crooners like Harry Connick Sr. It's mainly a draw for the 30- and 40-year-old crowd, who orders brandy freezes and mouthwatering steak sandwiches at the lengthy, black-top bar.
Banks Street Bar & Grill
4401 Banks St., 486-0258 Order a cheap pitcher of Abita or Coors, chalk up your stick and play a game of pool. This 'juke joint' is now drawing big crowds for its live music -- and no cover -- seven nights a week. Musicians include jazz favorite Trombone Shorty, bands like Juice (Wednesdays), Soul Project (Tuesdays) and Elastic Karma (Sundays), and other friends who drop in to jam.
201 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-0525; www.brewhousegrill.com In-house brewmaster Doug Lindley keeps customers coming back with boiled shrimp every Friday and a constantly changing selection of microbrews and guest beers on tap -- glasses of special hellesbochs, pilsners or the darker Vienna.
Delta Blues Grill
542 Jefferson Davis Pkwy., 822-0358 Delta Blues Grill serves as a regular home to blues favorites such as Walter 'Wolfman' Washington, Bill Shaka Heart and the Soul Blues Band, and Little Freddie King. The decor matches the soulful music with photos of musical heroes such as Jimi Hendrix on the walls.
200 S. Galvez St., 522-8014 The Deutsches-Haus, official home to local Oktoberfest celebrations, knows a thing or two about beers. Dark paneling inside and an authentic beer garden are the ideal backdrop for Warsteiner Dark, bratwurst, and drinking songs.
3340 Canal St., 822-8268 The Dixie Taverne likes its music loud and fast -- hardcore, heavy metal and punk acts, both local and touring. A mural of a space dragon flying through the cosmos reigns over the raucous room, its thrashing dancers, pinball machine, and a pair of pool tables.
Eddie Bo's Check Your Bucket Cafe
2107 Banks St., 581-5505 Owned by Eddie Bo and his sister and named for an early hit song of his, this smoke-free cafe includes a garden room overlooking a patio and a sunroom looking out toward Banks Street. Photographs of local musicians like Fats Domino and Dr. John surround a baby grand piano, where Bo, 'the human jukebox,' frequently performs.
3701 Banks St., 486-9080 This authentic Irish pub stays true to its roots with a bar stocked with Guinness, Harp's and Irish whiskeys. But drinkers of every nationality come together here to chat, surf the Internet and talk big while watching international rugby and soccer games on TV.
Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
3636 Bienville St., 488-3714; www.liuzzas.com Wear mittens if you drink here during the winter -- but don't miss the bar's huge frozen mugs filled with cold beer, frozen Bushwhackers and frozen margaritas. Neighbors wander in regularly for Liuzza's homemade New Orleans-Italian cuisine, sports on the television and spirited conversation.
Liuzza's By the Track
1518 N. Lopez St., 943-8667 The kitchen stops serving at 8:30 p.m. sharp, but this funky and friendly neighborhood spot serves drinks until you go home. On Thursdays, things really get jumping with an open hootenanny. Liuzza's also serves draft beer in huge frozen mugs, and the spicy and salad-heavy bloody Marys are a perfect jumpstart to a weekend morning.
Michael's Mid-City Grill
4139 Canal St., 486-8200 Some of the most popular draws at Michael's are big -- generous martinis made with a variety of liquor brands and the Big Bucks Burger, a $150 whopper topped with caviar and served with a bottle of Dom Perignon. The latter will be documented with your framed photograph on the wall.
Mick's Irish Pub
4801 Bienville Ave., 482-9113 This Mid-City favorite is a no-frills bar with a vintage arcade and pinball machines. Ask for a house specialty, the Irish Car Bomb -- a shot glass filled with Bailey's and Jameson whiskey, dropped into a glass of Guinness. For pacifists and those with nimble legs, there's Irish dancing on Tuesdays.
Mid City Lanes Rock 'N' Bowl
4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133; www.rocknbowl.com Mid City Lanes has hosted Thursday zydeco night for 12 years and some of the best local blues and R&B bands on other nights of the week. You get free entry if you order a dinner entree beforehand at the Lanes' sister establishment, Ye Olde College Inn. On Tuesdays, $5 pays for live music, bowling and shoe rental on a first-come, first-served basis.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
301 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-9938 Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. Along with beers, whirling windows on the drink machines contain 16 types of daiquiris, from fruit flavors to White Russians.
Nick's Big Train Bar
2400 Tulane Ave., 821-9128; www.nicksbar.net Originally opened in 1918 near a train stop on the New Orleans-Baton Rouge line, Nick's is a cool college-kid dive on Tulane Avenue that serves strong drinks with names like On the Floor. The bar's Web site brags about Nick's (in)famous drink with an unprintable name.
949 N. Rendon St., 488-7257 This joint embodies New Orleans eccentricity and has a killer jukebox to boot. Nightly specials include cocktails like sangria and services like manicures on Thursdays. Housemade corn dogs are available almost every day -- they're even tastier after a workout on the air hockey table in the back.
910 N. Carrollton Ave., 482-2680 The place to sit back, have a smoke, watch the game or shoot some pool. Spillovers from Fellini's Restaurant next door frequent this watering hole. Beer is the mainstay, but the bar makes a mean margarita on Monday nights and pours bargain glasses of wine on Thursdays.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern
532 N. Hagan St., 482-3047 This building's new owners preserved many historic details in this former bakery. Bricks from the old oven were used to make the foot rail of the bar and interior stairs, and old signs line the walls. Throw in a daily happy hour and rocking roast beef, and you have another neighborhood landmark, right here on scenic Bayou St. John.
Ralph's on the Park
900 City Park Ave., 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.com This addition to Ralph Brennan's restaurant empire has a 'smart casual' atmosphere and a sense of humor reflected in its specialty drinks, named after rejected suggestions of names for the new business. Treat yourself to a Roux La La Cosmopolitan or Roulex Margarita as you gaze out the large windows toward City Park.
141 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1600; www.witsinn.com Time-honored wry observations line the walls of Wit's Inn. Customers scrawl their own bon mots on chalkboards while sipping drinks from the full-service bar. Free high-speed Internet connection, beaucoup televisions, Sunday barbecues, and an Internet jukebox make this a focal point on the new streetcar line.
-- ABITA SPRINGS --
Abita Brew Pub
72011 Holly St., Abita Springs, (985) 892-5837; www.abita.com This pub, located not far from the brewery, offers a line of brews only available here, including Abita Blue (wheat beer with a hint of blueberries) and Chocolate Stout (made with barley roasted like a cocoa bean). The brewpub features a full menu and serene views of the Tammany Trace hiking trail.
21516 Hwy. 36, Abita Springs, (985) 892-1662; www.artesiarestaurant.com Crafted out of an old plantation home built in 1876, Artesia's bar has walls hung with antique paintings and gilded mirrors and elegant appointments. Sundays, tray after tray of mint juleps make their way to the tables, as patrons relax in the after-brunch atmosphere. Live lounge music on weekends.
-- BUSH --
81250 Hwy. 1082, Bush, (985) 892-9742; www.pontchartrainvineyards.com For a sampling of Pontchartrain Vineyards' homegrown selection of wines, head to this Old World-style bar area and tasting room, overlooking 34.5 acres of vineyards and a lush green terrace. And on the second and fourth Saturdays between May and October, these vineyards north of Covington play host to jazz, blues and zydeco acts.
-- COVINGTON --
71495 Chestnut St., Covington, (985) 809-7669; www.annadeles.com This restored antebellum home-turned restaurant also has a lounge that serves martinis, highballs, and 100-plus varieties of wine by the glass and by the bottle. The menu includes hors d'oeuvres such as sesame-crusted tuna and grilled sea scallops, and the seating is comfortable couches and chairs.
Boule Prime House
1202 N. Hwy. 190, Covington (985) 809-0969; www.bouleprimehouse.com Pronounced 'boo-lay,' Boule's bar features photos of historic Covington and its menu features a list of specialty martinis along with the classics. All the world's best wine regions are also represented, with special attention paid to Napa Valley. There is also live music on weekends.
Columbia Street Taproom and Grill
434 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 898-0899; www.columbiastreettaproom.com Brick walls, oak tables and historic local photos blend to form a very casual and wide open interior at the Taproom. The ceilings are so high the staff has to call an outside service to change the light bulbs. The menu here features comfort food and a hot-plate special that utilizes what came in fresh that morning. Rock 'n' roll every Friday and Saturday.
409 N. Columbus St., Covington, (985) 893-8873 Owned by New Orleans painter James Michalopoulos, Etoile's restaurant and bar caters to a sophisticated Northshore crowd. Tall copper-topped tables are surrounded by Michalopoulos' art and the room's broken-tile bar. There is also a long wine list and a retail wine store on premises.
Schwing's Seafood Three Rivers
1536 Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 893-9577 In Schwing's bar area, the Polynesian theme is dotted with sports memorabilia collected over the years by Schwing's owner, John Deutschman. Of special interest is the vast collection of ticket stubs under the glass-topped bar collected from sporting events across America. Wednesday and Thursday specials include 50-cent margaritas and bloody Marys.
-- MADISONVIILLE --
Friends on the Tchefuncte
407 St. Tammany St., Madisonville, (985) 845-7303 This neighborhood seafood restaurant has a cozy bar with 12 bar stools and more seats on the deck overlooking the river for which the restaurant is named. Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The menu features daily specials.
702 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-4970 Fish is king at Morton's Seafood, where the full menu is available at the bar, which seats about two dozen. Happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with $2.25 well drinks and $1.75 long necks. Half-price food specials from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays; half-price oysters available all day on Mondays and Thursdays.
-- MANDEVILLE --
1200 W. Causeway Approach Road, Mandeville, (985) 727-7212 This popular Mexican restaurant features the full range of Central American cuisine with beef, chicken and seafood specials and a fully stocked bar specializing in tequilas and margaritas. The house margarita is a mixture of Jose Cuervo and Grand Marnier.
CRU Wine Boutique and Cellar
22 St. Ann #2, Mandeville, (985) 951-8982 The newest addition to Mandeville's nightlife is a sophisticated gathering place for wine aficionados and those who want to see and be seen in classy environs. The 'wine boutique' is only part of the picture, though: Cellar 98 is a tasting bar, and there's also a wine-and-spirits gift shop on premises.
115 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 624-5330 Juniper offers a breathtaking view of Lake Pontchartrain. With stucco walls, a fireplace and cozy couches, it's a comfortable, intimate place to watch the sun set over the lake and enjoy a cocktail. After dark, discreet lighting maintains the mood.
2223 Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 727-5585 Lobster nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays, with one-and-a-quarter-pound Maine lobster for $15.95. Trout Myrtle, crawfish Florentine dip and old-style turtle soup are also popular. Duck into the large bar to watch the big-screen TV.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
900 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985)-626-6990 New Orleans Original Daiquiris can serve up a single daiquiri or a gallon to-go jug. Along with beer, this local chain offers 16 types of daiquiris -- including Jungle Juice, Cajun eggnog, Crawgator rum punch, White Russian, and the Bloody Smurf (flavored with Blue Bayou and strawberry).
246 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 626-5619 This well-regarded Italian restaurant has a separate bar that can accommodate up to 40 people. The full menu is available at the bar, where appetizers such as crabmeat ravioli, escargot and crawfish tails, and small pizzas are hot commodities. The large wine selection features 60 different reds and 60 whites.
840 Lamarque St., Mandeville, (985) 626-9748; www.rubysroadhouse.com Memories of bygone days take the form of scrawled graffiti and other memorabilia on the walls of this all-American roadhouse. Little Freddie King, the Iguanas, Rockin' Jake, and other R&B and blues acts play weekends here at Ruby's, where working folk have relaxed since the 1930s.
Times Bar & Grill
1896 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, ( 985) 626-1161 The Times Bar & Grill is a hall of fame of sorts, to the heroes who suit up in purple and gold or black and gold. Framed newspaper clippings tell tales of great plays made by LSU and Saints players. Customers range from entrepreneurs to doctors to businessmen in suits.
-- SLIDELL --
127 Cleveland Ave., Slidell, (985) 645-3600 This is the place that makes the crawfish sack and crawfish beignets for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The copper-top bar gives the room a touch of class, but it's a casual place to enjoy a drink either inside or outside on the front patio as the weather gets nicer. Coffeehouse music gives Friday nights a looser atmosphere.
Ernie K-Doe's Mother-In-Law Lounge
1500 N. Claiborne Ave., 947-1078 Opened in 1994 as a home away from home for New Orleans' living music legends to perform and hang out, the lounge is run by the late Ernie K-Doe's wife, Antoinette -- 'Mrs. Emperor of the World.' The bar was named for K-Doe's 1961 hit and is known for its jukebox packed with one of the best collections of New Orleans artists around. But if the music and tribute to K-Doe aren't enough, perhaps the lounge's signature drink, Burn! K-Doe Burn!, is a sure-fire way to lift someone's spirits.
Little People's Place
1226 Barracks St. Little people would feel right at home in the minute setting of Pat Arriola and family's quaint and storied Treme bar. Mostly open on weekends, Little People's makes up in character what it lacks in space. A full bar and swinging jukebox are added amenities.
Balcony Bar & Cafe
3201 Magazine St., 895-1600 The Balcony Bar & Cafe keeps its clientele entertained with drink specials all week long, an Internet jukebox, a menu with pizza and gyros, 10 televisions on two floors and Uptown's biggest bar balcony overlooking the traffic on Magazine Street. There are more than 50 different draft beers from all over the world and a 40-foot-long copper bar. It's also open from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m.
1039 Broadway St., 866-9008 Though it began life approximately 30 years ago as a place called Eddie Price's, a close proximity to Tulane and Loyola universities has made The Boot into quite the college hangout. With drink specials until 6 a.m., two 10-foot television screens and a late-night menu of pub grub, The Boot is the average college student's home away from home.
Bravo! Italian Kitchen
1711 St. Charles Ave., 525-5515; www.bestitalianusa.com Part of a chain of Italian restaurants, Bravo! Italian Kitchen has cultivated a crowd of Uptown regulars who enjoy a neutral-toned decor and an assortment of red and white wines from the wine list. Order some of the menu's appetizers, such as calamari fritti or wood-grilled portobello mushroom. It's right on the streetcar track as well so Uptowners and downtowners both have easy access.
The Bridge Lounge
1201 Magazine St., 299-1888 Named for its location near the Crescent City Connection, The Bridge Lounge is all about the warmth of life in a modern and minimalist setting. The bar is heavy on marble, steel and iron fixtures, yet it also features a bring-your-dog night on Tuesdays (actually, every night is bring-your-dog-night but people make a point to do it on Tuesdays). Other specials include chair massages on Wednesdays and wine tastings on Thursdays.
7601 Maple St., 861-7615 Decorated with Tulane-inspired sports memorabilia and horseracing images, Bruno's is home to a crowd of regulars who frequent the bar a few times a week to try their hand at pool or darts, listen to the jukebox, and devour lots of salty, thirst-producing popcorn from the popcorn machine. There is a patio for when the bar gets too packed.
3236 Magazine St., 891-1516; www.draftfreak.com Fifty taps of draft beer (and an extensive bottle roster) should be a tempting sight to any beer lover, and on Wednesdays, the brew comes with a free Bulldog glass. Due to its popularity and narrowness, the Bulldog's crowd often gets intense and spills out onto the side patio on Magazine Street, not that anyone cares.
3218 Magazine St., 894-1233 Byblos' stylish interior fuses Old World and contemporary design and bathes the whole thing in soft lighting and cozy colors under a pressed-tin ceiling. But don't let the comfortable setting fool you -- Byblos gets red hot on Thursday nights when belly dancers and $3 Belvedere martinis are the order of the day.
8140 Willow St., 865-9190; www.carrolltonstation.com Named for the streetcar barn across the street, Carrollton Station has been home to a number of businesses since the early 1900s and still closely resembles the grocery store it once was. These days, it is home to a robust assortment of live rock 'n' roll musicians who keep both the beer and the love flowing most nights. A grill was added earlier this year, and the bar's Philly cheese steaks are a real crowd pleaser.
4336 Magazine St., 895-9401 Some say The Club. Some say Ms. Mae's. Whichever the case, the joint is jumping 24 hours a day. An old-fashioned decor filled with New Orleans memorabilia surrounds The Club's mixed crowd of college kids, neighborhood residents and the occasional old timer. The bar also brags that it has the cheapest drinks in town, and with $1 well drinks, it might be right.
The Columns Hotel
3811 St. Charles Ave., 899-9308 The Victorian Lounge is what The Columns Hotel calls its lounge, and it certainly lives up to its name. Top-notch service, classy ambience, satisfying drinks and the occasional celebrity sighting make a night at the Victorian Lounge romantic indeed. There are working fireplaces for the colder months, and on Tuesdays, jazz fills the air, giving the patrons yet another reason to feel special.
Cooter Brown's Tavern and Oyster Bar
509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104; www.cooterbrowns.com A person could go to Cooter Brown's every day for a year and never drink the same beer twice. There are 400 different types of bottled beer from around the world. Cooter's -- as regulars call it -- also delivers a diverse menu of seafood, sandwiches and appetizers for those who are trying to put something on top of all that ale.
3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858 A French-style decor with maroon shades and white accents dominates the elegant surroundings of The Delachaise. Adding to its European flavor are the menu's tapas and various international liquors. A typical night sees a professional crowd in the early evening give way to a service-industry scene around 2 a.m.
Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar
5535 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8500 More than just a cigar bar, Dos Jefes also offers a wine list, a menu and more than 60 different types of cigars within its two levels and patio. The bar specializes in liquors that go well with cigars such as single-malt Scotches, ports and cognacs. The bar features live jazz and blues from local artists every night of the week.
F&M Patio Bar
4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-6784 Music memorabilia from back in the day decorates F&M's multiple rooms as college students, service-industry workers and the occasional old timer enjoy spirits until the break of dawn on most nights. Food is served Wednesday through Saturday until late, and the bar doesn't close until the last patron has gone home.
4330 St. Charles Ave., 895-9582 Many tourists have undoubtedly gazed out of their streetcar window and wished they were in front of Fat Harry's enjoying a few cold ones. Located a stone's throw from the St. Charles streetcar line, Fat Harry's is a good place for college students or after-work professionals to catch a game, order some grub, have a few beers, and get a cheap ride home when it's all said and done.
5130 Freret St., 891-4080 This college bar is within walking distance of both Tulane and Loyola universities. Among the banners and memorabilia commemorating the area colleges, there's a mural on the wall reminding customers that the Krewe of Tucks was launched by the bar's first owner. With a late lunch, a late-night grill, a DJ, games and satellite football packages -- college and pro -- Tuck's covers most of the ways college students entertain themselves.
Grit's Bar and Pool Hall
530 Lyons St., 899-9211 During the week, Grit's exists as a modestly busy pool hall with a full bar, four pool tables, darts and cheap drink prices. On the weekends, things get a little crazier as the local college students blow off some steam, dance and pack the place by the hundreds. The interior features neon signs and beer memorabilia.
2133 St. Charles Ave., 568-9811 Another streetcar stop bar, the 24-hour Igor's is home to an eclectic group of regulars, tourists and everything in between. A small kitchen behind the serpentine bar grills burgers and, on Mondays, free red beans and rice. On the mezzanine, pool tables overlook the festivities. While a laundry room in a bar is not unusual in this neck of the woods, the library certainly is.
Igor's Buddha Belly Burger Bar
4437 Magazine St., 891-6105 Decked out in red and black with rotating wall decorations that salute various fetishes and burlesque shows, the Buddha Belly appeals to an underground rock 'n' roll crowd but still welcomes college kids and regulars from the neighborhood, who come in for the specialty bloody Mary and to maybe take a turn at karoake.
1307 Lyons St., 891-2373 The Kingpin's red walls are decorated with local art, band posters, hubcaps and velvet oil paintings of icons like Hulk Hogan and Elvis. Serving a college and service-industry crowd, The Kingpin features acoustic music every Sunday and shuffleboard and darts every night. Twice a year, the bar hosts an Elvis party to honor his birth and another to mourn his death. Wait, Elvis is dead?
Le Bon Temps Roule
4801 Magazine St., 895-8117 With ornaments like authentic streetcar lamps lighting up the music room, the bar is rich with tradition and rustic New Orleans ambience. Friendly local clientele enjoy the Soul Rebels, who play Wednesdays. Other live music acts and drink specials keep the good times rolling well into the next day.
Living Room Lobster & Steakhouse
2800 Magazine St., 324-9550 In addition to fine dining, the Living Room has a reputation for its custom-built mahogany bar. Almost 30-feet-long, it seats 20 elegantly, whether they're waiting for a Manhattan or martini before dinner or stopping in for the 10 p.m.-to-midnight happy hour, complete with free hors d'oeuvres.
Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar Uptown
5961 Magazine St., 895-0240; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com Founded by surfers, Lucy's is bedecked with Pacific Ocean murals and beach memorabilia. Whether you take your food (south California Mexican cuisine and New Orleans favorites) and drinks in the bar or outdoors, you'll find half the fun is the staff. Lucy's famous Friday happy hour spills out into the streets.
800 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9455 While enjoying nightly drink specials and burgers from the menu, the college crowd can watch Saints games on the bar's 50-inch plasma televisions. On most days the place opens at 3 p.m., except on Sundays, when it's bumped up to noon so everybody can catch the kickoff.
The Maple Leaf Bar
8316 Oak St., 866-9359 A main artery of the New Orleans blues and funk scene for three decades, The Maple Leaf keeps the beat alive with revered local music every night of the week, including ReBirth Brass Band every Tuesday night. Pressed-tin walls and ceilings add to the funky vibe of the place and an outdoor patio gives patrons a chance to breathe before heading back in.
1505 Amelia St., 895-9163 A very inspiring and much-loved Amelia Street bar, the quirky Mayfair has attracted locals for years. It has also recently undergone renovations. The pool room in the back is gone, but a new pool room has been created adjacent to the front table.
1312 Milan St., 895-1836 Adorned with all manner of Chicago Cubs memorabilia, including a foul pole flag on the roof, the bar is open until 5 a.m. most nights. Only in recent years have Cubs fans started congregating there. How did this situation come to pass? 'It's a long, involved story,' a bartender says.
6100 Magazine St., 899-4800 A very swanky interior with overstuffed couches and soft lighting casts a classy spell on Monkey Hill's laidback clientele and beautiful bartenders. On Thursdays, things take a lighter turn when comic Red Bean hosts local comedians who try their hardest to elicit yuks from the crowd.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
8100 St. Charles Ave., 866-1846 Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. Along with beers, 16 types of daiquiris are offered, from fruit flavors to White Russians.
2533 Constance St., 897-5413 The walls are painted green to give the place a distinctly Irish feel, and the memorabilia on the walls dates back to the establishment's inception in 1952. Po-boys and seafood dishes populate the menu, and the casual atmosphere is comfortable and inviting. On Sundays during football season, it offers a satellite package for serious pigskin fans.
1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877 Everybody is familiar with Manale's famous barbecue shrimp, but what about its bar? An antique solid mahogany bar dating back to the '30s is the centerpiece. Surrounding it is a raw oyster bar, old-fashioned ceiling fans and a wagon wheel light fixture hanging from the ceiling. Pictures of celebrities and politicians decorate a special nook of the bar dubbed Pascal's Corner.
Peppers Restaurant & Bar
4416 Magazine St., 897-1940 Peppers' patrons form a diverse crowd of local police, judges, roofers, waiters and waitresses, college students, local business owners, and an occasional industrial rocker who will remain nameless. Serving cheap drinks and a wide variety of food, the bar covers all the basics, such as a jukebox and a plasma television, then it throws in a stained-glass window and working fireplace just to keep things interesting.
3101 Magazine St., 891-1777 A recent renovation saw the Rendezvous gutted and transformed into a comfortable and cozy, low-key establishment that caters to Uptown professionals. The mahogany bar is the centerpiece of a decor that includes Indian benches and paintings from local artists. Sports fans can turn to the plasma TVs for the satellite sports package on weekends.
St. Joe's Bar
5537 Magazine St., 899-3744 Crosses, buddhas and pictures of St. Joseph himself decorate the bar's interior and patio and help turn a night out on the town into a truly religious experience. St. Joe's gives a whole new meaning to the word 'spirits.'
The Saint Bar and Lounge
961 St. Mary St., 523-0050 With a decor described as ''70s ski lodge' by the bar manager, what's not to love? Around the bar are religious images of faux saints such as Bruce Lee, Dirty Harry and Evel Knievel. The bar is surrounded by a lounge area replete with comfy couches, foosball and a young Elvis pinball machine.
4529 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-1456 Some of New Orleans most skilled DJs hold court at this Uptown music lounge, spinning the tracks that reach deep down in a person's soul, where the rhythm is. On Wednesdays, 'The Blue Project' involves a DJ spinning trip-hop and down tempo with live horns.
Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge
7612 Oak St., 861-2802 Being in Snake and Jake's is like hanging out in your uncle's basement. The ceiling is too low and the only illumination comes from candles and Christmas lights. The place never closes before dawn and doesn't even open until 9 p.m.
3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.com Superior Grill continues the tradition nightly, with 2-for-1 margaritas from 4:30 to 6:40, though Wednesday nights remain the most popular. The Superior stocks more than 60 tequilas and boasts of having the longest patio on St. Charles Avenue.
5932 Magazine St., 897-3974 Taqueria Corona may be best known for its Mexican cuisine, but it's also a comfortable place to sit with friends and talk over Mexican beers and chips with pico de gallo. They also make a fine sangria, and their margaritas are justly popular.
501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS, www.tipitinas.com This historic music venue is one of the most well-known in the city, if not the nation. The huge floor space and big balcony provide plenty of audience room for local and national acts that play here, and you can hear everything from funk to jazz to rock to Cajun.
1544 Tchoupitoulas St., 587-3721; www.twiropa.com With multiple bars and a variety of stage areas, this is one of the most unique and versatile venues in the city. Haunting metallic sculptures, an airplane-wing bar and a bar made out of an Airstream Trailer are only a few of the offbeat design elements.
7537 Maple St., 866-1736 Vera Cruz is one of the few restaurants in town where customers (mostly students and young professionals) come as much for the drinks as they do for the food, thanks to the housemade sangria and two-for-one margarita pitchers on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
1032 St. Charles Ave., 588-2616 With the wide variety of music acts that play this intimate space and the bar's retro, modish decor (think red walls and big mirrors), the Circle Bar is a hipster hive with a smattering of barflies. Check out the Mod Dance Party on Saturday nights and join the tight crowd getting down on the dance floor.
Dino's Bar and Grill
1128 Tchoupitoulas St., 558-0900 Dino's is the watering hole of choice for many local regulars and young professionals. It features curious bar munchies, such as the Fried Martini, a glass filled with cheese-stuffed and deep-fried green olives.
600 S. Peters St., 525-8544; www.ernstcafe.net Established in 1902, Ernst Cafe is a landmark. The building's structure has remained the same since it was built more than 150 years ago. The kitchen serves chicken sandwiches, burgers and salads, but the CBD crowd mostly orders appetizers and drinks after work.
Generations Hall/the Metropolitan
310 Andrew Higgins Ave., 568-1702 Every Saturday night, Generations Hall transforms into the Metropolitan, an industrial-style nightclub that often rakes in club-goers by the thousands. DJs spinning techno music and hip-hop keep everything in high gear as twenty- and thirtysomethings get their groove on in the venue's several bars -- including the newest addition, the VIP bar.
The Howlin' Wolf
828 S. Peters St., 522-WOLF; www.howlin-wolf.com With bars on either side of its spacious floor, it's never work to get a drink in the Wolf. With its relatively low ceiling, even big gigs with national touring acts feel intimate. The back corners of the room are deep enough for those who just want to talk.
Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar
701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com Lucy's is bedecked with Pacific Ocean murals and beach memorabilia. Whether you take your food (south California Mexican cuisine and New Orleans favorites) and drinks in the bar or courtyard, you'll find half the fun is the staff. Lucy's famous Friday happy hour spills out into the streets.
1100 Constance St., 524-4747; www.mermaidlounge.com Enjoy this offbeat establishment at its present location until the end of the year. Original live music, cheap beer, loads of atmosphere and indoor/outdoor gathering spots are the hallmark of the Mermaid, owned and operated by musicians and artists.
869 Magazine St., 525-9301; www.polyjoes.com Poly Joe's -- which gets into the spirit of the name with leis and Polynesian decor around a 30-foot bar -- features dancing, pool tables and a sand volleyball court. Weekly highlights include happy hour specials and lingerie shows on Tuesday and Thursday.
Red Eye Grill
852 S. Peters St. 593-9393; www.redeyegrill.net The decor is basic (bare walls, exposed beams and vents), as are the eats (cheeseburgers and French fries). It's known as a bartenders' bar and a late-night gathering place for service-industry workers, locals and young faces, who like to dance to the jukebox or weekend DJs.
Rock-n-Sake Bar and Sushi
823 Fulton St., 581-7253, www.rocknsake.com This restaurant bar is no mere waiting area for diners. Rock-n-Sake freshly infuses its own vodka with weekly flavors such as pineapple-watermelon or apple cinnamon. And of the course, there's the sake, hot or cold. Local art and bright colors add a New Orleans flair to this sushi restaurant's atmosphere.
857 Fulton St., 524-9805 Taqueria Corona may be best known for its Mexican cuisine, but it's also a comfortable place to sit with friends and talk over Mexican beers and chips with pico de gallo. They also make a fine sangria, and their margaritas are justly popular.
Tchoup-n-Joe's Restaurant and Bar
870 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-2858 Neon art by local artist Eric Ehlenberger casts a glow over the bar at Tchoup-n-Joe's. Blend that with ultra-cool plasma televisions, more than 30 different beers (including international imports) and an upscale bar menu that is served late-night, and it should come as no surprise that the Warehouse District loft community has made Tchoup-n-Joe's one of its neighborhood hangs.
Ugly Dog Saloon
401 Andrew Higgins Drive, 569-8459 This restaurant and bar in the Warehouse District offers lunch and dinner daily and sports a casual saloon atmosphere with sympathetic bartenders. It's a great hangout to fill up on barbecue and beverages, shoot pool or watch the game. There are nine large TV screens equipped with NFL Sunday ticket, so you don't ever have to miss a play.
Vic's Kangaroo Cafe
636 Tchoupitoulas St., 524-4329; www.satchmo.com/vics/index.html Experience a taste of life Down Under at this Aussie neighborhood pub, which has six famous Australian wines and 11 beers on tap. Decked out like you'd imagine an Australian-themed bar to be, it has a mixed crowd of tourists, locals and other live wires who come to sample Australian favorites.
The Wine Loft
752 Tchoupitoulas St., 561-0116; www.thewineloft.net This trendy bar offers 200 wines by the bottle and 70 by the glass in a sophisticated jazz bistro atmosphere with murals, modern decor and large windows. There are specials on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Wine, Women and Wednesday classes every other Wednesday offer a chance for women to brush up on their wine knowledge.
-- ALGIERS POINT --
The Crown and Anchor
200 Pelican Ave., Algiers Point, 227-1007; www.crownanchor.com This small, authentic English pub is nestled in Algiers Point. The pub stocks a wide selection of Britain's best ales and lagers, and fine single-malt Scotch from Scotland. As is popular across the pond, Crown and Anchor holds regular pub quiz and darts nights.
Dry Dock Cafe and Bar
133 Delaronde St., 361-8240; www.thedrydockcafe.com With a river view, lots of exposed brick and a cozy fireplace for winter, this neighborhood restaurant/bar is a popular hangout on Algiers Point. Pool and darts are among the pastimes here, and there are plenty of local and imported beers on tap or in the bottle.
Old Point Bar
545 Patterson St., Algiers Point, 364-0950; www.oldpointbar.com Right off the levee in charming, historic Algiers Point, the Old Point Bar is considered by many to be the Maple Leaf of the West Bank. Slightly rustic with its wood paneling, this little jewel attracts music lovers young and middle-aged from all over the city to hear jazz, swing and brass bands.
-- GRETNA --
Clementine's Belgian Bistrot
2505 Whitney Ave., Gretna, 366-3995 This restaurant's intimate bar is a comfortable place to wait for a table, but diners shouldn't miss Clementine's wide selection of Belgian beers. Clementine's has been mocked up to resemble a traditional Belgian bistrot, and a warm atmosphere and candlelit bar invite you to relax.
Red Maple Bar and Lounge
1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935 What started as an old-line watering hole for oilfield workers and politicos in the early '60s has become a standard for West Bank professionals. Attached to an upscale restaurant, the attractive bar decorated with antiques draws a more sophisticated crowd, including attorneys from the nearby Gretna courthouse.
-- HARVEY --
Boomers at Boomtown Casino
4132 Peters Road, Harvey, 366-7711; www.boomtownneworleans.com The casino is always open and drinks flow freely, but Boomers is closed Sunday through Wednesday. The rest of the week, it opens at 3 p.m. Musical guests include locals such as the Topcats and the Chee Weez as well as national acts including Billy Joe Royal.
-- MULTIPLE LOCATIONS --
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
3637 Gen. De Gaulle Drive, 366-8351; 8304 W. Judge Perez Dr., Chalmette, 277-9952; 456 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 393-1551; 6240 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero, 371-4823; 620 Terry Pkwy., Terrytown, 362-0364, 197-33 Westbank Expressway, Terrytown,361-7837 Whether you're looking to cool down with a daiquiri or get a party-to-go with a gallon jug, New Orleans Original Daiquiris has you covered. Along with beers, 16 types of daiquiris are offered, from fruit flavors to White Russians.