Melius Bar & Café1701 Lake Ave., Metairie, 828-9446A strip mall exterior conceals the pub atmosphere within this watering hole in the old fisherman's village of Bucktown. Locals shoot pool, throw darts, play shuffleboard and keep up with their favorite sports teams as the wallet-friendly drinks flow. The bar begins cooking breakfast at 6 a.m. and keeps the grill going late into the night.
BJ's Lounge 4301 Burgundy St., 945-9256 Forming a leg of what locals refer to as the "bar-muda triangle" in the Bywater, BJ's is a scruffy but beloved neighborhood joint. The mix of classic country, blues and zydeco on the jukebox reflects the varied tastes of the diverse mix of patrons, while piles of paperback books, bargain-priced drinks and the always-busy video poker machines speak to the bar's role as a neighborhood gathering spot.
Bud Rip's900 Piety St., 945-5762With only the slightest alterations, this barroom with pressed-tin ceilings, carved wood and beveled mirrors could be a convincing set for a 19th century saloon. The building has been a bar since 1860, but this is hardly a place to rest on past glory. Neighborhood regulars keep the mood vivacious and the memorabilia of recent political history decorating the walls is always an easy conversation starter.
Markey's Bar640 Louisa St., 943-0785 A favorite corner joint of Bywater residents and those who visit always has local color on tap as well as a selection of draft beers including Guinness and Harp. The dartboard is kept busy by regulars, with quality darts provided by the bartender, and the shuffle board table provides endless competitive fun.
Saturn Bar3067 St. Claude Ave., 949-7532 The torch has been passed at this St. Claude Avenue landmark, which is now run by the son of the late proprietor O'Neil Broyard. Long famous for the collection of kitsch and clutter that piled up on seemingly anything that stood still under its roof, the Saturn Bar has received a post-Katrina facelift while still retaining its funky vibe. Look for the newly restored neon lights gracing its exterior.
Sugar Park Tavern800 France St., 940-6226The New York-style pizza from the Sugar Park kitchen is thin-crusted, but the atmosphere at the bar is thick with Ninth Ward spirit casual, friendly and just off kilter enough to keep things interesting. The great jukebox keeps the good times rolling very late.
Vaughan's Lounge800 Lesseps St., 947-5562The barroom at the corner of Lesseps and Dauphine streets has been a neighborhood institution for generations. Vaughan's also has blossomed into a destination for those seeking funky New Orleans jazz jams by bands like the Palmetto Bug Stompers and Kermit Ruffins on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and early Sunday evenings.
Cajun Mike's Pub 'n' Grub116 Baronne St., 566-0055; www.cajunmikes.comMike's is a locals' bar hidden on an otherwise unremarkable strip of narrow CBD storefronts. The $1 happy hour on "Welfare Wednesdays" keeps drinks flowing, and there is Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap all week long. Mike's also serves overstuffed sandwiches and appetizers that make great bar snack food.
Club Ampersand1100 Tulane Ave., 587-3737; www.clubampersand.comA post-Katrina renovation allowed the already upscale Ampersand to take its décor and sound system up a couple notches on the velvet rope. The bar is rolling in luxury with a champagne selection that is a dozen bottles deep and specialty cocktails from the top shelf, like the Bison Martini, made with a premium Polish vodka and apple juice ice cubes. Currently the bar spins Latin music on Fridays with some hip-hop in the mix, while Saturdays feature electronic music by guest DJ talent from major clubs in other cities.
Gordon Biersch Brewery200 Poydras St., 552-2739The chain microbrewery produces its own European-style craft beers including a märzen, hefeweizen, a wheat ale and a new Czech-style golden lager. There are always five house beers plus a rotating seasonal selection. The brewpub also features a wide-ranging American menu. As the neighboring Harrah's hotel nears completion and Fulton Street opens up a pedestrian promenade, Gordon Biersch will open an outdoor beer garden.
Harrah's New Orleans Casino4 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahs.comPlay at a table or in front of the blinking and clinking slots and eventually the cocktail servers will find you. Or you can skip all the brightly colored theme décor and head to the heart of the casino where Masquerade offers some sophisticated décor. On Friday and Saturday nights, the cocktail servers are also a team of singing and dancing "bevertainers." There's a unique bar top made of ice surrounding the central video tower. Or there's the more plush ultra-lounge area with it's sleek low banquettes and cabaret tables.
Kabby's Sports Edition GrilleHilton Hotel Riverside, 2 Poydras St., 561-0500 ext. 3447Kabby's puts its game face on from the get go with servers in referee uniforms, signed jerseys and sports memorabilia overflowing into the surrounding hotel lobby and a flat-screen TV everywhere you look. The bar has everything from Abita and Heineken on tap to frozen drinks. The food menu is a round-up of all-American favorites.
Le Chat Noir715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812; www.cabaretlechatnoir.comLe Chat has a pretty bar off of its opening foyer and it's a late-night meeting spot for many theater and performing arts fans and players. But the bar is only open on the nights when Le Chat hosts a show. The bar opens one hour before show times and ticket prices generally include a $5 bar credit. Performances include cabaret-style music and theater in a very comfortable and modern space with tiers of cabaret tables and banquettes.
LoaInternational House Hotel, 221 Camp St., 553-9550; www.ihhotel.comNamed for the voodoo spirits, this dimly-lit but 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 work or late at night.
Polo Lounge Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 523-6000Aptly named, the Polo Club offers a distinguished ambience with couches and spaciously appointed tables and chairs and all the elegance of an English noble's parlor. Lately, Friday evenings have featured chanteuse Anais St. John accompanied by Harry Mayronne on piano. The bar features upscale offerings, fine cognacs and cordials and access to the neighboring New Orleans Grill's extensive wine list.
Shula's Steakhouse614 Canal St., 586-7211; www.shulassteakhouse.comWhat steakhouse would be complete without a big martini to match the big cuts of red meat? The fun kicks off with Shula's Big Glass of Vodka or Gin, which is either a Ketel One or Beefeater martini. The bar has its own space off the lobby of the Marriott and is distinct from the dining room, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bar opens at 10:30 a.m.
Swizzle Stick Lounge Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., 595-3305; www.loewshotels.comThe Swizzle Stick Lounge is a bright spot between the Loews' lobby and Café Adelaide. The signature drink, the Adelaide Swizzle, is made with dark rum, fresh lime, seltzer, bitters and a secret ingredient. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the day's signature drink special is $2 and there are $4 cocktail specials all day.
Whiskey Blue W Hotel, 333 Poydras St., 525-9444; www.midnightoilbars.comA wall of midnight blue behind the bar provides a glow and highlights the uniformly young, pretty and black-clad bartenders in silhouettes at the local version of club-designer Rande Gerber's ultra lounges. It's a sleek, modern look that fits the W Hotel's boutique offerings. The bar offerings are upscale as well and the ambience is rounded out by a pulse of R&B and hip-hop music.
Zoe Restaurant333 Poydras St., W Hotel, 525-9444On the second floor of the W Hotel, Zoe Restaurant features a sleek, modern décor that compliments the rest of the hotel and Whisky Blue downstairs. The bar area and entranceway open up to the rest of the second floor lobby, and there are tables available for cocktails. Every Wednesday features a wine tasting from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and a sampling of four wines costs $10.
13517 Frenchmen St., 942-1345; www.13monaghan.comFrom the same people who brought you Molly's at the Market, this bar and grill serves up food including plenty of vegetarian items until very late, making it a destination for night owls, restaurant workers post-shift and anyone carousing on Frenchmen Street. Pull in anytime for a pint of Guinness stout or the frozen Irish coffee made famous at Molly's down the way.
Apple Barrel Bar609 Frenchmen St., 949-9399Bigger than an apple barrel, but not by much, this tiny bar could fit in most people's living rooms. Inside, it is lustrously dark and can feel like your own secret place on quiet nights. More lively evenings see musicians and sometimes entire bands crammed into the corner. There is no cover and the Apple Barrel often serves as the de facto cocktail lounge for people waiting for a table at Adolfo's Restaurant just upstairs.
Bank Café2001 Burgundy St., 371-5260; www.thebankcafe.com Set in a 1920s vintage bank building, the soaring ceilings and large windows set an elegant atmosphere in the single room of this recent addition to the Marigny dining and bar circuit. The restaurant prepares contemporary Louisiana cuisine, while the mahogany bar itself is a thing of beauty and practically begs you to order a sophisticated cocktail.
Buffa's1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038A New Orleans classic, Buffa's still features a beautifully crafted console of wood and brass hardware as its bar and polished terrazzo floors on which New Orleans drinkers have walked since the place first opened in 1939. The spacious back room has pool tables and sofas for lounging, while the kitchen dishes up plate lunches and sandwiches.
Cafe Brasil2100 Chartres St.Mardi Gras, New Year's Eve, Halloween, Jazz Fest, just name a holiday or party event and a crowd is virtually guaranteed to converge at Café Brasil. Music swirls in the big, airy and colorfully painted club, which features Latin crooner Freddie Omar on Wednesday and Friday nights and free salsa dance lessons before his set.
Check Point Charlie 501 Esplanade Ave., 949-7012Take a bar, add a burger grill, give it a stage for live music, throw in a pool table (don't forget the laundry machines) and you have Check Point Charlie, the 24-hour way station where the French Quarter becomes the Marigny. No cover, open mic nights and performers who run the gamut from acoustic folk to punk rock promise a diverse crowd.
Cowpokes2240 St. Claude Ave., 947-0505; www.cowpokesno.comCountry and western, gay and lesbian, straight and curious, karaoke and line dancing these are among the combinations you'll find at this cowboy-themed Marigny club. Line dancing lessons kick off at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, or swing by on Wednesdays for "wet lube wrestling." The club is also home to the Marigny Theater.
d.b.a.618 Frenchmen St., 942-3731; www.drinkgoodstuff.comThe sister bar to a Manhattan hangout, d.b.a. offers a dizzying array of microbrews, high-end liquor and plenty of wine by the glass. The recently expanded stage gives the local bands that perform here much more room in which to work, and the place books both early and late-night performers on Fridays and Saturdays. On any night, the window seats up front present unparalleled people watching on Frenchmen Street.
Dragon's Den435 Esplanade Ave., 949-1750The Thai restaurant downstairs has been replaced by Zotz coffeeshop, but a visit to this townhouse-turned-music club still starts with a climb up the old, curving staircase and delivers the same opium den ambience. A welcome new addition to the place is air conditioning, while the mix of bands performing here remains as eclectic as ever, with avant-garde jazz one night and punk the next.
Feelings Café2600 Chartres St., 945-2222; www.feelingscafe.com The piano bar at this intimate Creole restaurant occupies the former slave quarters of the D'Aunoy Plantation and exudes historic details and New Orleans ambience. The French doors look out to the restaurant's picturesque and lushly planted courtyard, and romantic touches abound. Cocktails are prepared in distinctive martini glasses crafted by a local artist with figures of male or female torsos as their stems.
The Friendly Bar2301 Chartres St., 943-8929This spacious gay bar serves a local clientele and anyone who happens to walk in provided, of course, that they are friendly. "Bring your own meat" nights on Wednesdays see patrons bringing steaks or burgers from home to grill up while the bar provides the fixings. DJs, pool, the Internet jukebox and the regulars themselves provide entertainment on other nights at this lively neighborhood spot.
Hookah Café1407 Decatur St., 943-1101; www.hookah-café.comDesign elements from the subcontinent, pulsing music, aromatic hookah smoke and a kitchen serving small plates of Indian-inspired cuisine set an exotic tone at this swank Frenchmen Street hotspot. Try the bar's Indian hurricane passion fruit drink, concocted with several different rums, Southern Comfort and fruit juices.
The John2040 Burgundy St., 942-7159You don't have to be feeling particularly flush to have a good time at the John, where bar specials can help even a light wallet settle in for a long stretch. The large, airy barroom hits its stride in the wee hours, but no matter how busy it may get don't make the mistake of confusing one of those toilet-shaped chairs lining the wall for the real thing.
The Marigny Brasserie640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472; www.marignybrasserie.comWith large picture windows framing Frenchmen Street scenes and the bustle of the well-appointed dining room just behind, the bar at the Marigny Brasserie is a seductive spot to savor elegant cocktails and fine wine. The weekday happy hour goes from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and includes $3 martinis. The Sunday brunch features the harmonies of the Pfister Sisters.
Mimi's In the Marigny2601 Royal St., 942-0690The breeze blows in through open windows when the weather allows, and just about all types of locals breeze through the front door on any given night. Shabby chic but not pretentious, this stylish bar toes the line between neighborhood hangout and cross-town destination. Bands play upstairs some nights and DJ Soul Sister spins soul and funk on weekends. The kitchen keeps Spanish tapas cooking late into the night.
Palm Tavern606 Frenchmen St., 944-4744Through a series of owners, this spot has maintained a Caribbean flavor. Reggae music is part of the regular music mix along with jazz funk and blues. The bar opens at 4 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday and will expand its hours in the fall. The kitchen offers chicken wings with a variety of sauces including jerk sauce, Texas barbecue, teriyaki and hot and sweet sauce. Beat the spicy heat with Red Stripe or a variety of Abita beers from the bar.
R Bar1431 Royal St., 948-7499; www.royalstreetinn.comAs red and inviting as a pair of just-painted lips expecting a kiss, this corner joint melds funky, arty and laidback all in one room. Happy hour stretches from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The R Bar can sometimes become an art scene hangout particularly after gallery openings thanks to its owner, the local art impresario Jonathan Ferrara. Upstairs, the building is home to the Royal Street Inn, a "bed and beverage" with rooms to rent.
Ray's Boom Boom Room508 Frenchmen St., 523-5394The latest addition to Frenchmen Street is housed in a building brought back to life as a set for a film production. Now the place is open as a real-life bar, though the sprawling interior is still cinematic. The deep music hall stretches back to a stage surrounded by second-floor balconies. A smaller stage up front is framed in the picture windows, and long bars for both drinks and oysters flank the room. Look for local jazz and blues acts, DJ tunes and special events throughout the week.
Santa Fe Restaurant801 Frenchmen St., 944-6854; www.santafenola.comNew owners since the storm have reopened this longtime Frenchmen Street fixture, where the margaritas flow nearly as freely as the chips and salsa. The bar scene can be as hot as the Southwestern fare coming from the kitchen and the inviting atmosphere of the room lends a relaxed feel. Look for a cocktail lounge to open in its second floor later.
Snug Harbor626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696; www.snugjazz.comThe throne room for some of New Orleans' modern jazz masters, Snug Harbor hosts local and international performers for shows in its classy music hall filled with candle-lit cabaret tables on two floors. The club is also home to a bar and restaurant separate from the performance hall.
The Spotted Cat623 Frenchmen St., 943-3887This one-time storefront is kicking throughout the week with the sounds of gypsy jazz, acoustic blues and harmonizing vocalists. No cover at the door helps reel in the crowds, and the small dimensions of the room puts a premium on dance floor space. On quieter nights or late-afternoon shows, the place takes on a cozy glow and laidback vibe.
Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club1931 St. Claude Ave., 945-9654; www.sweetlorrainesjazzclub.comHosting live jazz every Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to midnight, Sweet Lorraine's continues its long tradition as a musical landmark on the edge of the French Quarter. The bartenders mix a large selection of martini-style drinks, including the signature Blu Lorraine. Happy hour features two-for-one martinis Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Abbey1123 Decatur St., 523-7177Stained glass puts rose-colored glasses on an otherwise shady place. Goths, punks, bikers and adventurous tourists mix over cheap drinks and the failsafe 24-hours-including-holidays hours of operation. It's an easy place to lay low from early afternoon to early morning.
Acme Oyster House724 Iberville St., 522-5973; www.acmeoyster.comThe bar doubles as an oyster bar, but there's no better combo than cold beer and oysters. It's a casual spot to knock back a dozen oysters or grab a po-boy off the regular menu. The bar is open during restaurant hours 11 a.m. till they close.
The Alibi811 Iberville St., 522-9187; www.alibineworleans.comA popular after-work spot with people who work on Bourbon Street, the Alibi has the basics covered from bar food to drinks. There are almost 100 varieties of bottled beer in the cooler. It's busy to all hours serving burgers and po-boys, which make it a last stop for plenty of people who've had a long night on the strip.
Angeli on Decatur1141 Decatur St., 566-0077Angeli's has a little bit of everything from pizzas to live jazz on Friday nights. It's more of a casual restaurant by day and the action shifts to the bar the later it gets. The bar is open till 2 a.m. on weekdays and later on Fridays and Saturdays. The menu includes pizzas, salads and some Mediterranean dishes.
Arnaud's French 75813 Bienville St., 523-5433; www.arnauds.comIn a narrow space between the elegant dining rooms of the old Creole restaurant is the French 75 bar, named for a potent French cocktail that got its moniker from a massive French artillery shell. The eponymous cocktail is a champagne drink hit with Courvoisier, a hint of simple syrup and a twist. With its 19th century New Orleans-style heavy wooden bar, the place has a very clubby feel. The bar opens at 5 p.m. every day.
Aunt Tiki's Jewel Bar1207 Decatur St., 680-8454Aunt Tiki's Jewel Bar is one of the rougher edges on an odd stretch of Decatur that offers everything from adult novelties to the Palm Court's traditional jazz. In spite of the Tiki name, the bar is more of a goth and punk hub pulsing with everything from electronica to metal music to classic rock. Open 24 hours, it suits people who keep all sorts of hours.
Bacco310 Chartres St., 522-2426; www.bacco.comThough the name suggests wine, the bar at Bacco is known for its weekday special of 10-cent martinis available with lunch entrees. The menu is a mix of Creole and Italian dishes and many of the pastas are made in-house. Lunch and dinner are served daily and the wine list offers plenty of refined complements to the cuisine.
Barely Legal423 Bourbon St., 571-6340; www.hustlerclubs.comOne of the brands in the Hustler Club chain, Barely Legal offers a New Orleans-style strip club with several weekly promotions. Sleepover Sundays feature girls in pajamas and $2 drink specials from the bar. Everything is two-for-one on Tuesdays, including drinks and some of the dances. And Wet and Wild Wednesdays feature more $2 drink specials. The second floor features VIP suites.
Belli Baci at Café Giovanni117 Decatur St., 529-2154; www.cafegiovanni.comCafé Giovanni has a sophisticated lounge which is taking a note from the kitchen on freshness by squeezing its own juices and making its own mixers. Taste the difference in the house special, a blend of Bacardi rum, melon liqueur, sour mix and pomegranate juice. The nightly happy hour offers $2 Grey Goose martinis for ladies.
Bewitched Gentlemen's Club433 Bourbon St., 552-2565Bewitched believes in separate but equal opportunity with weekend nights featuring male and female dancers but in separate rooms. Other special nights include amateur exotic dance competition and "Stupid naked stage tricks" on Tuesdays. There are nightly happy hour specials and VIP suites for big spenders.
Big Daddy's Gentleman's Club522 Bourbon St., 581-7167The famous swinging mechanical legs mark the entrance to Big Daddy's and are one of the last vestiges of the Bourbon Street of yesteryear, when it is rumored the swing held an actual girl. The main room is arranged around the large central stage and the VIP rooms are in the back.
Bombay Club830 Conti St., 586-0972; www.thebombayclub.comMartinis didn't come back into fashion at The Bombay Club; they never went out. There are 100 different gourmet martinis on the list, ranging from the Breathless white créme cocoa martini and the Pink Pearl grapefruit martini. Piano music fills the English manor-style lounge on Friday and Saturday nights. The bar and kitchen are open Wednesday through Sunday evenings and hours will expand Tuesdays in September.
Bourbon Cowboy135 Bourbon St., 523-3800; www.bourbonsbest.comThe only mechanical bull in the French Quarter can be found at Bourbon Cowboy right at the beginning of the Bourbon Street strip. It's a honky tonk with $1 drafts on Thursdays and a Wednesday ladies night featuring $1 longnecks and well drinks for women.
Bourbon Cowboy Saloon125 Bourbon St., 523-3800; www.bourbonsbest.comBourbon Cowboy Saloon is adjacent to Bourbon Cowboy but is not as rootin' tootin' and rough riding. It looks more like a bordello parlor than a saloon and instead of a mechanical bull, it has a red felt pool table. The saloon features a service-industry night on Sundays.
Bourbon House144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.comBourbon House offers a tour of Kentucky via a wide selection of premium and small-batch bourbons. There's also beer on draft to go with all of the chilled seafood at the raw bar, which features fresh-shucked oysters on the half-shell. There are ample places to relax both in the café-style seating near the bar and in the more elegant and spacious dining room.
Bourbon Pub/Parade801 Bourbon St., 529-2107; www.bourbonpub.comBourbon Pub is back to 24-hour service and offers $2.50 well drinks and beer specials from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. The downstairs of this locals-oriented gay bar is designed for hanging out, with plasma-screen televisions showing sporting events or other programs while club-goers converse over drinks. Upstairs is a disco featuring electronic music nightly.
Broussard's819 Conti St., 581-3866; www.broussards.comBroussard's has a spacious and elegant lounge and beautiful courtyard in which to try the founder's special cocktail, the Broussard's Smile. It's a cognac drink mixed with a dash of Mandarin Napoleon liqueur and citrus juices. There's also an excellent selection of wines and fine cognacs. It all compliments Broussard's blend of Creole and Continental cuisines.
Café Lafitte in Exile901 Bourbon St., 522-8397; www.woodenterprises.comUpstairs at Lafitte's offers a video bar and a very large balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. The bar hasn't returned to 24-hour service yet, but opens at noon daily and goes late, generally till 3 a.m. most nights and 5 a.m. on weekends.
Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone214 Royal St., 523-3341; www.hotelmonteleone.comThe Carousel Bar is a longtime local favorite for its upscale ambience and unique bar. The seats at the circular bar actually spin around the stationary center. But there are also plenty of stationary seats as well as some around the baby grand piano, which features John Autin entertaining from 9 p.m. until midnight or later from Wednesday through Saturday. Happy hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays feature free hors d'oeuvres.
Cats Meow701 Bourbon St., 523-1157; www.catsmeow-neworleans.comCat's Meow is karaoke central for people who want a real spotlight when they take the mic. The mix of music ranges from classic rock to contemporary hits to TV show themes. The bar opens at 4 p.m. daily, earlier on weekends. The bar offers a three-for-one happy hour from opening until 8 p.m. and the house specialty known both as a Cat's Meow cocktail and Category 5 is a two-rum version of a hurricane with pineapple and orange juice.
The Chart Room300 Chartres St., 522-1708Locals have no problem finding their way to the Chart Room. It's got a neighborhood feel and the drinks are cheap, the lights are low and the jukebox is eclectic. The side facing Chartres Street is mostly open, and tables there are great place to people watch in the Quarter. Open daily at 11 a.m.
Chris Owens Club500 Bourbon St., 523-6400; www.chrisowensclub.comLegendary Bourbon Street entertainer Chris Owens isn't due back on stage at her namesake club until mid-September but the doors are open Wednesday through Sunday. Flashing bright lights over a black-and-white checkered floor give it a retro-disco feel.
Club Decatur240 Decatur St., 581-6969Club Decatur is a corner bar where a typically twentysomething crowd gets its bearings before heading deeper into the Quarter. The bar features more than 180 different bottled beers and 20 on tap. It's always happy hour for service-industry people, which means $2 well drinks all the time.
Coop's Place1109 Decatur St., 525-9053; www.coopsplace.netA small bar and a menu of Creole food keeps Coop's busy, but it offers a little bit of everything. There's also video poker, a pool table, free wi-fi and a good jukebox. The patio hasn't reopened yet but the bar opens its doors at 11 a.m. and serves food till midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Cooper monkey725 Conti St., 527-0868The courtyard at Copper Monkey is a good place to grab a drink, but be sure to drop by on Friday afternoons for the $15 all-you-can-eat crab boil. There are also buckets of beer offering either five domestic beers on ice for $10 or five imports for $15. The bar is open 24 hours and draws a late-night service-industry crowd. A full menu of food includes quesadillas, salads, burgers and steaks.
Cosimo's1201 Burgundy St., 522-9715On the residential blocks of the Marigny-side of the Quarter, Cosimo's is a spacious corner bar that looks like a British pub but has a distinctly local clientele. It's open daily and beginning in late August will reopen its kitchen and bring back its happy hour specials.
Coyote Ugly Saloon225 N. Peters St., 561-0003; www.coyoteuglysaloon.comCoyote Ugly aspires to the over-the-top fun captured in the namesake movie. The movie was based on the original Coyote Ugly Saloon, but the bartenders here do dance on the bar. The digital jukebox offers just about anything you want to hear, but that typically means an odd blend of hard rock and country music. Friday specials from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. include $2 Budweiser products, well drinks and kamikazes.
Crescent City Brewhouse527 Decatur St., 522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.comGleaming copper kettles give away that this is a brewpub. Brewmaster Wulfram Koehler crafts German-style ambers, pale ales, stouts and wheat beers in addition to seasonal brews. The central bar offers drinks and raw oysters. There's also an eclectic menu of contemporary American cooking. The second-floor balcony is typically open for dining or drinks.
Deja Vu Bar and Restaurant400 Dauphine St., 523-1931; www.dejavurestaurant-bar.comThis unassuming, all-hours bar/restaurant is a before- and after-work favorite of the Bourbon Street service industry crowd. It's a casual spot for a drink or to grab a bite at the beginning or end of an evening out. Drop by for steak nights on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse716 Iberville St., 522-2467; www.dickiebrennanssteakhouse.comFrom the street, it's easy to peer into the bar at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, but the dining room lies beyond and down a half flight of stairs. The décor is elegant and masculine like one might expect of a steakhouse, but the menu is full of fine Creole dining touches. The wine list offers excellent selections by the glass and bottle. The bar is open during dining hours.
Dominique's1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000The French Quarter Bistro at the Maison Dupuy Hotel serves as the daytime lunch café and bar for Dominique's Restaurant in the evening. A mural of a Parisian street scene lines one wall, while most tables have window seats looking out on the Quarter. The bar includes a martini menu with specials like the Blue Raspberry with Stoli Raspberry, pineapple juice and Blue Curacao. The large wine list from the restaurant is available in the bar as well.
Donna's Bar and Grill800 N. Rampart St., 596-6914; www.donnasbarandgrill.comTypically, Donna's is low on frills but big on brass bands. This summer, however, many of the bands are displaced and on tour so the music schedule is more likely to feature jazz jams led by Shannon Powell, George French or Todd Duke, and there have been some blues bands in the mix. September will see a return to the regular schedule with jazz on Monday nights and brass bands during the rest of the week. The kitchen offers barbecue in the evening.
Erin Rose811 Conti St., 523-8619This neighborhood Irish pub is a little oasis just off Bourbon Street. The chaos recedes and the Erin Rose offers a cozy little spot for Guinness on tap, frozen Irish coffee, an eclectic jukebox and a sort of eclectic décor that's a tribute to the bar's random and diverse clientele.
Fahy's Irish Pub540 Burgundy St., 586-9806A 13-year-old Wednesday-night pool league anchors the local following for Fahy's. The Irish pub features nine beers on tap as well as a draft cider. The offerings include Guinness, Harp, Bass and Smithwicks, Ireland's oldest brown ale.
Fritzel's European Jazz Club733 Bourbon St., 561-0432Fritzel's became the first American bar to serve Jagermeister in 1971, and it still serves Jager today in addition to other, more obscure schnapps. During the afternoon, Fritzel's is a sports bar showing everything from soccer to baseball in a European pub atmosphere, but at night, it features traditional New Orleans jazz seven nights a week.
Funky Pirate727 Bourbon St., 523-1960; www.tropicalisle.comIt would seem like a mismatch anywhere but in the haze of a night on Bourbon Street. The Funky Pirate has a pirate theme, but Big Al Carson is at the helm Thursday through Sunday nights playing his rollicking big blues laced with outrageously bawdy lyrics. Ask him for the nursery rhymes.
Gold Mine Saloon705 Dauphine St., 586-0745; www.goldminesaloon.netThe Gold Mine offers intriguing contradictions the moment you step up into what feels like a subterranean bar. The bar offers flaming Dr. Pepper shots and a DJ booth for dancing most nights, but Thursday features a literary reading and open-mic poetry night that has hosted local, regional and even nationally acclaimed writers. On other nights, intellectual stimulation is left to the vintage video game machines.
Good Friends Bar740 Dauphine St., 566-7191; www.goodfriendsbar.comThere's never a cover at this gay-owned and -operated neighborhood bar that offers karaoke on Tuesdays and Absolut or Stoli martini specials on Thursdays. Head upstairs to the Queen's Head Pub for a more intimate atmosphere where you can hang out around the piano. On Sundays in the fall, the Saints dominate the TV screens and there are usually gametime specials or promotions.
The Gumbo Shop630 St. Peter St., 525-1486; www.gumboshop.comThe kitchen offers more than one kind of gumbo and the bar mixes it up as well. In fact, there's quite a list of drink specials from fresh fruit daiquiris to originals like the Funky Monkey and the Screaming Amoeba. Open seven days for lunch and dinner.
GW Fins808 Bienville St., 581-3467; www.gwfins.comFins is a fine-dining seafood house with fish from waters near and far. The long bar at the entrance is a good place to sample one of the more than 60 wines offered by the glass. The restaurant is spacious and elegantly designed with a nautical theme.
Handsome Willy's218 S. Robertson St., 525-0377; www.handsomewillys.comActually outside of the French Quarter, Handsome Willy's is one of the few bars in the blocks near the hospitals. In a building formerly known as the Jackson Inn an old New Orleans soul bar and restaurant Handsome Willy's is a nighttime bar with an outdoor patio featuring DJs several nights a week. Fridays feature hip-hop, and Latin music is common on Sundays. Happy hour goes from noon until 7 p.m. and includes specials of $2 well drinks, domestic beers and discounted imports and call brands.
Harry's Corner900 Chartres St., 524-1107Harry's is a low-frills neighborhood bar that's a comfortable spot to pull up a barstool on Sunday and watch the sports world in action. Or grab a table by the window on Chartres and watch as tourists wander off Jackson Square. The jukebox has a good mix of music. The doors open every day at 11 a.m.
House of Blues225 Decatur St., 529-2584; www.hob.comOne of the premiere music venues in New Orleans offers a lot more than good acoustics. In addition to the main club room, there is The Parish for smaller shows, a backyard Voodoo Garden patio bar, a restaurant featuring punched up Southern cooking, a luxurious private club area called the Foundation Room and more. Throughout the complex, the walls are lined by an excellent collection of Southern folk art.
Jimani141 Chartres St., 524-0493A collection of 10 TVs draw a sports-minded crowd to Jimani. Happy hour goes from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., but it's a late night bar with a big service industry following.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville1104 Decatur St., 592-2565; www.margaritavilleneworleans.comJimmy Buffett sang about booze in the blender, and Margaritaville has a long menu of its own specialty frozen drinks including many top-shelf margaritas. The restaurant and bar has plenty of little nests for groups to gather with a round of drinks, and there is a very long balcony with tables overlooking Decatur Street. The Tavern features blues and rock every day from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. with no cover charge.
Johnny White's Hole in the Wall718 Bourbon St., 568-9803In spite of being located on one of Bourbon's busiest blocks, there's always a peculiar calm vibe to Johnny White's. It's a hole in the wall for grown-ups. Specialty cocktails like the Cajun Splash will cure what ails you, and the Internet jukebox is sure to have your favorite tune.
Kerry Irish Pub331 Decatur St., 527-5954; www.kerryirishpub.comThe Kerry bristles with Irish pride and offers expertly poured Guinness plus Irish and folk music several nights a week. If there isn't live music, the jukebox is excellent. The bar also pours Strongbow, an English dry, apple cider.
King Bolden's820 N. Rampart St., 525-2379Located across the street from Louis Armstrong Park, King Bolden's is a cozy space that often features live music. Dim red tones, plush curtains and private corner seating attract local hipsters and tattooed Quarter residents. There's also a shaded back courtyard to enjoy a drink.
Lafitte's Blacksmith Bar941 Bourbon St.Lafitte's is one of the more quaint bars in the Quarter. Occupying a Creole cottage that dates back to the 1770s, it's in one of the Quarter's oldest surviving buildings, but don't believe the hype, it didn't belong to Jean Lafitte or his brother. There's a piano bar in the back, and Lafitte's offers a couple of specialty frozen drinks.
La Louisiane725 Iberville St., 378-8200; www.lalouisiane.comSince 1881, this storied venue has been home to restaurants run by some of the city's most colorful characters. The bar is open for lunch and dinner but also has its own late night tapas menu. More than 80 bottles of wine are on their list.
Larry Flynt's Hustler Club225 Bourbon St., 524-0010; www.hustlerclubs.comLarry Flynt's Hustler Club features two floors with an open-air center and a central brass pole for dancers to perform high-flying feats. The pole anchors the ground floor's main stage but upstairs features a couple smaller stages. The club also has a large balcony overlooking Bourbon Street as well as private suites.
Lucille's Golden Lantern1239 Royal St., 529-2860For 35 years, this neighborhood gay bar has never locked its doors. It's the home and starting point for the annual Southern Decadence parade. The bar hasn't quite returned to its 24-hour schedule but it has an around-the-clock happy hour from Tuesday to Wednesday morning.
Meauxbar Bistro942 N. Rampart St., 569-9979Meauxbar is a contemporary neighborhood bistro with yellow walls and oversized mirrors. It's generally a good spot for martinis or wine by the glass from a list of predominantly French vintners, but it is closed for a couple of weeks of summer vacation. The doors reopen on Aug. 31 when it returns to its Tuesday through Sunday dinner service.
Molly's at the Market1107 Decatur St., 525-5169; www.mollysatthemarket.netMolly's was only closed for a matter of days following Katrina, which is a testament to its enduring charms and a ruggedly determined clientele. With all the regulars and friends, it should come as no surprise that the bar has a myspace page (myspace.com/mollysatthemarket). But the regular crowd is not so much high tech as it is loyal. They don't typically favor exotic cocktails, but Molly's makes a memorable spicy Bloody Mary and offers a signature frozen Irish coffee.
Molly's on Toulouse732 Toulouse St., 568-1915A distant cousin of Molly's at the Market, this Molly's has its own character. It has a great jukebox like the other one, but it also has a pool table and free wi-fi. Monday through Saturday, a 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. happy hour features $2 domestic beer and well drinks. Sundays feature killer Bloody Marys, and there are daily beer specials.
Morton's of Chicago365 Canal St., 566-0221The steakhouse chain has a separate bar featuring martini specials and free steak sandwiches during happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The "Platinum martini" series was introduced for their 25th anniversary and features Ketel One vodka. Other specialty drinks include the Key Lime Pie, a dessert drink in a martini glass rimmed with graham crackers.
Napoleon House Bar & café500 Chartres St., 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.comThe Napoleon House gets its name from the lore that it was to be offered to Napoleon as a residence if he could escape imprisonment. He couldn't, but that hasn't kept the bar from developing a distinguished reputation. It's one of the only bars where knowledge of classical music is a preferred prerequisite for bartenders. Though exceedingly charming, the bar is still operating on limited daytime hours since the storm.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris633 Bourbon St., 524-5185; www.fat-tuesday.comThough part of a chain that started locally, this Original Daiquiris location is the only one to offer the 100-oz. daiquiri in a souvenir cup. The icy drink options include everything from fruit flavors to White Russians to the alcohol bomb known as the 190 Octane.
Old Absinthe House240 Bourbon St., 523-3181; www.oldabsinthehouse.comThe Old Absinthe House has held down its corner of Bourbon Street since 1807 but has only been known by that name since it came up with the Absinthe Frappe cocktail in 1874. That cocktail is now made with Herbsaint instead of the original and now banned tonic, though there is an absinthe-like spirit called Absente that is similar but lacks the wormwood. The bar is marked by decades of accumulated sports memorabilia.
Old Opera House601 Bourbon St., 522-3265; www.oldoperahouse.comNamed for a longtime French Quarter theater, the Old Opera House is one of the Bourbon Street bars that offers live music in a variety of genres including zydeco and old New Orleans style R&B. Happy hours offer three-for-one drinks until 9 p.m. The bar is closed on Monday and Tuesday but opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and earlier on weekends.
Ol' Toone's Saloon233 Decatur St., 529-3422Located next door to the House of Blues, the Ol' Toone's used to be one of the French Quarter's busiest early morning bars. Now it opens at 8:30 a.m. and only goes the distance till dawn if the crowd is willing. The bar still has a great jukebox, pool tables and beer specials every day.
One Eyed Jacks615 Toulouse St., 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.netOne Eyed Jacks features a good little bar in the lobby and a decent sized space for music or occasional theater productions in the club room. The interior also features the horseshoe-shaped bar rescued from El Matador, a popular bar that lost its lease a few years back. One Eyed Jacks features touring alternative rock on some nights and '80s dance nights regularly.
Orleans Grapevine720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930The Grapevine features the French Quarter's other horseshoe-shaped bar, but it's the deep wine list and gourmet menu that makes the place popular with Quarter residents. The list has approximately 350 selections with roughly 70 available by the glass. The bar is open daily and serves food until 11 p.m.
Oz800 Bourbon St., 593-9491; www.ozneworleans.comOz is the ever-entertaining, 24-hour epicenter of the gay bars and clubs in the French Quarter. The club features bingo after work on Friday and at 5:30 p.m. on Sundays and while winning may take luck, everybody can expect a little sass from the celebrity hosts. Late night events include the calendar boy search at 11 p.m. on Thursdays, a drag show at 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and a weekly talent contest. Plus there's the giant disco ball and two floors of dancing.
Pat O' Brien's718 St. Peter St., 525-4823; www.patobriens.comPat O's is still the eye of the storm. The sprawling complex of bar rooms stretches from St. Peter to Bourbon Street by way of several bars and carriageways and a flaming courtyard fountain. The dueling piano room hosts music by request, but is currently on a limited schedule, and the Hurricane is not the only signature drink in the house. The bar is closed on Tuesdays.
Penthouse Club727 Iberville St., 524-4354; www.goldclubno.comFormerly the Gold Club, the Penthouse Club now hosts regular visits by Penthouse Pets of the Month. They don't dance, but they will sign autographs and meet and greet. The rest of the club features dancers on three stages and a couple of floors of VIP suites.
PopBar533 Toulouse St., 568-1940; www.thepopbar.comThe PopBar features retro styling but is connected to the contemporary dance scene at Ampersand, which empties into this spot on Sunday mornings at about 6 a.m. and keeps the party going. Other than that, the bar is only open on Friday and Saturday nights and features DJs of its own. The bar has a martini menu with 50 specialty drinks.
Port of Call838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120; www.portofcallneworleans.comBig burgers and baked potatoes are the first things that come to mind when someone mentions Port of Call but the bar also has a signature drink. The Monsoon blends dark rum, white rum, Hawaiian punch, orange juice and pineapple juice. Only the strong can drink more than one.
Ralph & Kacoo's519 Toulouse St., 522-5226The seafood house Ralph & Kacoo's has a bar featuring their own drinks and a good selection of Abita beers on draft, including Amber, Turbodog, Andygator and a seasonal wheat beer. Their specialty cocktails include the Swamp Water, which mixes dark rum, melon liqueur, pineapple and orange juice, and the Katrina cocktail, which is another variation on the hurricane and includes raspberry vodka, peach schnapps and fruit juices.
Rawhide Lounge740 Burgundy St., 525-8106; www.rawhide2010.comIf weekly eight ball or nine ball pool tournaments aren't enough to get you to try Rawhide, how about "Bring your own meat" night? The bar supplies the barbeque and everything else is on you. Or try the blackout party every other Thursday when only the light at the cash register stays on. The Quarter's highest profile leather gay bar is always cooking up something. The doors open mid-afternoon and the bar is busy until early in the morning.
Redfish Grill115 Bourbon St., 598-1200; www.redfishgrill.comRedfish Grill is a restaurant specializing in Gulf fish and shellfish, but that means the bar doubles as an oyster bar. The restaurant also was one of the first Bourbon Street bars that dared to offer a Katrina-named cocktail, in this case the Katrina-Rita, based more on margaritas than the standard New Orleans hurricane. It's a blend of Herradura tequila, triple sec, lemon and lime juices and Blue Curacao.
The Rib RoomOmni Royal Orleans, 621 St. Louis St., 529-5333; www.ribroom.netThe Rib Room used to be the French Quarter's power lunch spot. It's still popular with locals and the Bucket Martini special at lunch is a relic from the former era. The hotel's La Riviera bar on the rooftop is a less well-known but great vantage point to watch the sun set over the Quarter. Through August, there's live music at La Riviera after work hours on Tuesdays.
Rick's Cabaret315 Bourbon St., 524-4222; www.ricks.comBeyond the grand entrance, Rick's features a glitzy club room with a central stage and featured dancers. Other dancers circulate throughout the spacious room during the evening. Private VIP rooms are also available.
Rotolo's201 Decatur St., 948-3287Rotolo's moved from its original home in the Marigny to this spacious location in the Quarter but still offers gourmet pizzas and delivers in the French Quarter, Marigny and CBD. The bar offerings are simple but the joint hosts live music several times a week, making it an easy place to begin an evening in the Quarter.
Ryan's Irish Pub241 Decatur St., 523-3500This corner bar is popular with locals as a spot to shoot pool after work or watch sports in the evening. There's a good selection of beers on tap and the bar makes a stiff Bloody Mary to get your Sunday game day going.
Sean Kelly's Pub720 St. Louis St., 525-1406Sean Kelly's is an Irish pub with Guinness on draft and regular Celtic music. For a little barroom competition, it has pool and foosball tables as well as darts.
SideBar620 Conti St., 681-0911the SideBar has a great corner spot just across from the white marble court building between Chartres and Royal streets. There's also outdoor seating on Exchange Alley. The bar features melon mojitos and martinis with many new flavored vodkas such as Absolut's Ruby Red. Plus the bar offers some healthy choices for barroom diners, like fish tacos made with grilled fish, or the salmon and tuna napoleon, or the tuna burger. There are regular burgers as well, and cigar smokers are welcome.
Sheraton New Orleans500 Canal St., 525-4470; www.sheratonneworleans.comThe Pelican Bar in the lobby is open daily and offers a bar menu of burgers, po-boys, gumbo and more. It's open from 10 a.m. until things quiet down at midnight or so.
Temptations327 Bourbon St., 525-4470; www.temptationsclub.netNot every gentleman's club boasts a historic address. This townhouse was occupied by Judah P. Benjamin, the treasurer of the Confederacy. Now the Greek revival building features dancers throughout, plus amenities like VIP rooms and the third floor billiards room. Instead of a mainstage, the club features lots of small stages throughout the first two floors.
Tropical Isle721 Bourbon St., 529-4109; 600 Bourbon St., 529-1720; www.tropicalisle.comHome to the almost lethal Hand Grenade cocktail, Tropical Isle has the otherwise cheery and bright green glow of the tropics. The 721 Bourbon location also has live music and the balcony is a popular spot at Mardi Gras and year-round.
Tujague's Restaurant823 Decatur St., 525-8676; www.tujaguesrestaurant.comTujague's is one of the Quarter's oldest restaurants and has featured the elegant wooden bar since opening. The mirror in back of the bar was imported from France when the restaurant first opened. Try a grasshopper (milk and Creme de Menthe), which was invented here, or an absinthe frappe made without absinthe. Though not a Creole recipe, the brisket with horseradish sauce at Tujague's is legendary.
Utopia Night Club227 Bourbon St., 523-3800; www.bourbonsbest.comUtopia's courtyard opens up into an oasis for partying with a huge dance area, five bars, VIP sections and a flaming fountain. In addition to live music on weekends, the bar also features regular bikini contests. Happy hour features two-for-one drinks and goes till 9 p.m.
Whirling Dervish1135 Decatur St., 218-4520Located on the blocks of Decatur catering to younger crowds, Whirling Dervish features some of the old goth and industrial music and scene but has also added an '80s music night on Fridays. The place is open every day and generally draws a late night crowd. On Thursdays, the bar offers $2 longnecks.
Ye Olde Original Dungeon738 Toulouse St., 523-5530; www.originaldungeon.comWhile the old Dungeon was a place of French Quarter and urban legend, the bar now has a split personality. The Front Dungeon at street level offers pool tables, TV and sports. But the trip downstairs into Ye Olde Original Dungeon has its funhouse effects that nonetheless lead to a lair of headbanging music, super-late-night antics and special drinks like the Dragon's Blood and Witch's Brew.
Zydeque808 Iberville St., 565-5520; www.zydeque.comZydeque is a French Quarter spot for ribs and pulled pork barbecue from the repertoire of Chef Tenney Flynn, who learned how to cook in his family's barbecue restaurant in Georgia. Zydeque's full bar and many large TV screens make it an easy place to hang out and watch sports. It's open for lunch and dinner every day.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris1000 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, 733-0545; www.fat-tuesday.comNew Orleans Original Daiquiris offers a range of sweet and potent frozen drinks from the Banana Banshee and Blue Bayou to the Crawgator. It's the area's largest chain of daiquiri shops and they all offer super-sized drinks. If you have trouble deciding, just try the most popular of the shop's concoctions: 190 Octane, which is a combination of orange juice and other fruit flavors with grain spirits.
PJ's Coffee and Wine Bar5359 Mounes St., Harahan, 731-2905At the PJ's wine bar, folks can wake up with an iced coffee in the morning and wind down with a Merlot at night. In addition to PJ's regular coffees and pastries, this location offers beer, 20 wines by the glass and some cordials.
The Shimmy Shack1855 Dock St., Harahan, 729-4442Built out of one of the old Pontchartrain banks previously owned by Tom Benson, the Shimmy Shack is a cozy bar for young professionals and locals alike. The bar-top is made from 800-year-old cypress and stained with 150-year-old Grand Marnier. With more than 25 different wines and a Ginger Martini made from the type of pickled ginger typically eaten with sushi, the Shimmy Shack will impress the trendiest of clientele. Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Deckbar & Grille1715 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 830-0104The Deckbar hosts one of the longest running blues jams in New Orleans: the Wednesday night Big Daddy's Juke Joint Blues Jam. The grill is open every day for lunch and dinner and the house specialties start with the crab balls. Happy hour specials are available throughout the generous stretch from opening until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday
Fox and Hound1200 S. Clearview Parkway, Jefferson, 731-6000; www.totent.comFox and Hound racks up some numbers, which should come as no surprise from a bar with 38 TVs worth of sports coverage. The bar features 36 beers on tap including exotic options such as Maredsous, a trappist ale, Smithwicks, an Irish brown ale and Rogue Hazelnut, from a popular west coast microbrewer. There are drink specials most nights of the week, generally focused on beer choices, but the Wednesday ladies night features $2 cosmopolitans and margaritas. Tuesday features bargain pints and Fridays offer $3 Long Island Iced Teas.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris2712 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 831-7001; www.fat-tuesday.comNew Orleans Original Daiquiris offers a range of sweet and potent frozen drinks from the Banana Banshee and Blue Bayou to the Crawgator. It's the area's largest chain of daiquiri shops and they all offer super-sized drinks. If you have trouble deciding, just try the most popular of the shop's concoctions: 190 Octane, which is a combination of orange juice and other fruit flavors with grain spirits.
Reginelli's5608 Citrus Blvd., Jefferson, 818-0111; www.reginellis.comReginelli's is known for its great calzones, salads and gourmet pizzas. Monday and Tuesday nights feature $2 pitchers of Bud Light and Abita Amber, while Wednesdays offer $10 bottles of wine, making it an easy place to go for pizza and settle in for the evening.
Rivershack Tavern 3449 River Road, Jefferson, 834-4938The Rivershack is a fun roadhouse decorated with old Dixie and Barq's signs. Just across from the levee and near Oschner Hospital, it opens every day at 11 a.m. and has changing lunch specials. Generally, there's live music scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and the bar has pool tables. Regulars like to toss back one of the roughly 20 beers on tap.
Southport Hall 200 Monticello St., Jefferson, 835-2903; www.newsouthport.comThis former illegal gambling house had not one but two tunnels out of the building. Now the entertainment is a lot more simple. Wednesday night is bike night with Pig Pen and the Porkchops. There are usually bands scheduled several nights a week, but the club is closed on Sundays. The club is plenty big and there is also plenty of seating on the outdoor deck.
Calas Bistro & Wine Cellar910A W. Esplanade Ave., 471-2200; www.calasbistro.comThis new Kenner hotspot has a great selection of wine available by the bottle or the glass. Peruse the retail wine shop that is part of the dining room and select a bottle either to go or to enjoy with a meal. A particular treat is to sit at the food bar facing the open kitchen and watch as chefs prepare sweet and savory versions of the namesake calas, or fried Creole rice cakes.
Chevy's Fresh Mex1325 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 469-5657; www.chevys.comChevy's is a festively decorated spot for a full range of margaritas and top-shelf tequila drinks using everything from Jose Cuervo to Herradura. Or try a tequini. The bar is also well stocked with Mexican beers to match with the kitchen's zesty take on Mexican and California favorites.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris2801 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 468-8302; www.fat-tuesday.comNew Orleans Original Daiquiris offers a range of sweet and potent frozen drinks from the Banana Banshee and Blue Bayou to the Crawgator. It's the area's largest chain of daiquiri shops and they all offer super-sized drinks. If you have trouble deciding, just try the most popular of the shop's concoctions: 190 Octane, which is a combination of orange juice and other fruit flavors with grain spirits.
Treasure Chest Casino 5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-8000; www.treasurechestcasino.com Images of mermaids and coaxing voices welcome customers aboard this riverboat casino moored at the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. However your luck works out at the slots and card tables, the bartenders can be relied upon for heavy pours and an ample selection of the most popular beers.
Zea RotisserieEsplanade Mall, 1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-7733; www.zearestaurants.com Thanks to a new arrangement with a German-born brewer on the Northshore, the custom Zea beer recipes once available only at this local chain's Clearview Mall location are now served at all of its restaurants, including the Kenner spot. Pull up to the L-shaped bar of this sleek but casual operation and sample from their rich variety of micro-brewed beers.
Andrea's 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 in Andrea's bar, which features live piano music on Friday and Saturday nights. The Negroni cocktail (gin, Campari, soda and sweet vermouth) is a favorite with regulars, while the martini options include a choice from 25 different vodkas. The full menu of northern Italian cuisine is available in the bar.
The Beach House2401 N. Woodlawn Ave., 456-7470The beach never had this much variety. While there are live bands scheduled for much of the week, Monday evening is karaoke night and Tuesday nights feature DJs. The Beach House is open for lunch daily at 11 a.m. and serves food as long as the club is open.
The Bengal Lounge 4612 Quincy St., Metairie, 456-0986 Live band karaoke on Tuesday nights features members of the Molly Ringwalds, Metal Rose and Chee Weez. The rest of the weekly schedule includes the Topcats on Wednesday nights, and other bands on Friday and Saturday. Thursday is also service industry night.
Bravo! Italian Kitchen 3413 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-8828; www.bestitalianusa.com A healthy wine list with many Italian bottles complements the brick-oven pizzas and fresh housemade pastas. More than 85 bottles are on the list and more than 30 are open by the glass. The bar also offers grappa and a cocktail menu featuring the Ultimate Cosmo, an upscale version of the drink featuring Grey Goose vodka, Cointreau, a splash of cranberry and a lime.
Byblos1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9773 This Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant has a small bar area but the restaurant is open straight through from lunch to dinner and is a good place to enjoy a glass of wine and appetizer in the afternoon. The wine list is constantly expanding and currently boasts more than 50 selections.
Caddyshack Cafe and Bar 3217 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 833-1799With four large-screen TVs and a projector screen, Caddyshack takes its sports seriously. It's currently open Monday to Saturday but will add Sundays in time for football season. The weekday happy hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. offer discounts on well drinks and house wine. Daily lunch specials include sandwiches and hot plates.
Cafe East 4628 Rye St., Metairie, 888-0078 Recognized by Wine Spectator for its extensive wine list, this popular cocktail bar and Chinese restaurant has plenty to offer just in the lounge. The wide range of choices includes mai tais, martinis, hot and cold-fused sakes and Louis XIII cognac. The wine list has more than 165 bottles, and the restaurant is equally grand, boasting 50-foot ceilings and an elaborate, hand-blown Italian glass chandelier. The kitchen offers traditional and fusion Chinese food.
Chevy's Fresh Mex3330 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-7788; www.chevys.comChevy's is a festively decorated spot for a full range of margaritas and top-shelf tequila drinks using everything from Jose Cuervo to Herradura. Or try a tequini. The bar is also well stocked with Mexican beers to match with the kitchen's zesty take on Mexican and California favorites.
Chop's Bistro & Martini Bar111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 218-8967Chops delivers on the martini bar side. The martini menu features locally accented drinks such as the Dirty Decatur, with blue cheese stuffed olives and extra olive juice, and the Chopmopolitan which features Ketel Citron, Cointreau, cranberry and lime. The Crescent City Classic is simply a martini drinker's martini with unadulterated Grey Goose vodka or Bombay gin. The bar is open daily and features live jazz on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Club Eden 3229 Lisa Drive, Metairie, 456-3853 Exotic dancers do their pole work to an enthusiastic local crowd at this suburban gentlemen's club. The doors open in the evening and there is a $5 cover early in the week and a $10 cover on Wednesday through Saturday. In September, the club will open on Sundays.
Critic's Choice4725 Quincy St., Metairie, 887-9809This bar is a particularly good choice during football season with the Pigskin Party, a pre-game warm up on Saturdays and Sundays. Five televisions and one large screen offer great sightlines for every seat in the house. The bar also serves breakfast.
DBD Lounge 4450 Wabash St., Metairie, 885-2426With more than 400 liquor selections, including more than 175 varieties of vodka, the drink combinations are endless, and only educated mixologists need apply. The lounge spices up the offerings with lingerie nights on Mondays and Thursdays.
The Edge Bar & Grill 3400 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 780-2266A younger crowd fills this place during football season and for good reason. It has a 20-foot large screen television and many smaller ones to watch the games. Tuesdays and Thursdays are packed with carnivores ready for the $9 steak special. Ladies drink for free on Fridays and Saturdays.
Electric Cocktail452 Aurora Ave., Metairie, 828-7619Catch up with your old friends or meet some new ones in this neighborhood bar located in the heart of Old Metairie. It opens at 11 a.m. and stays that way until everyone's ready to go home.
Gennaro's Bar3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-9226If the game's the thing, Gennaro's can meet your needs. Throw down some dollars and play their video poker machines, or join the cheering crowds on Saturdays and Sundays during football season. And until the season starts, you can sing your heart out with karaoke Thursdays through Sundays.
Hammerheads1300 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 834-6474Many bars claim to have the best burger in Metairie, and this is one of them. Put them to the test, and while you're at it, quaff one of the coldest beers around. There's also a feast for the eyes and ears with a 42-inch plasma screen television and an Internet jukebox.
Hedges Sheraton Hotel, 4 Galleria Blvd., Metairie, 837-6707Although the hotel has changed hands, the bar kept its name and will reopen sometime in late August. Hotel guests and Metairie professionals will welcome its return.
Hooters 4748 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-0160; www.hooters.comEvery football fan at some point in his or her life has to watch a game at Hooters it's required. They serve good quality bar food and drinks in a fun environment. And if you want to stare at a Hooters T-shirt, buy your own and take it home.
Hurricane's Sports Bar and Grill1414 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-0050Get here early for the great specials, $1.50 domestic long necks and 25 cent chicken wings. The specials keep coming during happy hour, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the bar stays open late. With 15 televisions and one large screen, Hurricane's is another popular Metairie spot to watch the games.
Lagers3501 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-9923; www.draftfreak.comLagers takes pride in offering an extensive variety of styles of beer from around the world from German and Czech pilsners to Belgian Framboise and trappist ales to Irish stouts to Japanese lagers to American microbrews. There's plenty on draft and in a bottle and there's pub grub and a pub atmosphere to enjoy it all.
Legends Bar & Grill 2708 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 887-3877 Metairie music lovers don't have to travel far on weekends, including Sundays. Weekend live music includes blues and rock. The bar has a dance floor and an outdoor courtyard to sit and catch up with friends. They host steak night on Wednesdays, and don't forget ladies night on Thursdays.
Mo's Chalet 3201 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 780-2961; www.moschalet.comThis is an entertaining place to be. Either the patrons are making music with karaoke on Mondays, or there's a variety of other music throughout the week. If the music moves you, there's a dance floor for your feet to meet.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-8474; 6201 Airline Drive, Metairie, 736-0066; 6830 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-9995; www.fat-tuesday.comNew Orleans Original Daiquiris offers a range of sweet and potent frozen drinks from the Banana Banshee and Blue Bayou to the Crawgator. It's the area's largest chain of daiquiri shops and all offer super-sized drinks. If you have trouble deciding, just try the most popular of the shop's concoctions: 190 Octane, which is a combination of orange juice and other fruit flavors with grain spirits.
Oscar's 2027 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-9540Everyone's welcome at this good old fashioned bar and grill in Old Metairie. The décor still boasts an homage to Marilyn Monroe, and there's plenty of food, pool, and darts available.
Ropers3217 Melvil Dewey Drive, Metairie, 834-4010This Texas-swinging, line dancing, country and western club will reopen its saloon doors this Friday night. Urban cowboys can hop up on the mechanical bull, or drop back on Fridays for ladies night. Thursday evenings attract more of a college crowd.
The Sanctuary2301 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 834-7979It's hard to say what the Sanctuary is keeping people safe from. The corner bar has live rock bands or DJs on Saturday nights and plenty of room on the dance floor. Idle hands can be busied at the pool tables or holding drinks from one of the daily bar specials. There's a 100-inch large-screen television and if that isn't enough, the bar hosts monthly drag and king drag shows.
Sidelines Bar & Grill 1229 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-4002With 10 televisions, this isn't just a good place to watch the Saints game, it's a good place to watch any game. Unlike other sidelines, you can get a good steak here on Thursdays, and while it might not have the biggest burger, it does serve one tasty burger. A DJ spins on weekends.
Sports Center Bar and Grill3805 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 455-5533If they could add any more televisions than the 32 already in this bar and grill they would. Sure, they're all about the sports, but there is a special every night: ladies night, college night, steak night, karaoke night and other special events.
Stitches Bar & Grill3941 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 454-6266This place prides itself on a sick sense of humor maybe it's because it's located right behind East Jefferson Hospital. It has not one, but two large-screen televisions for game days, and for Seinfeld fans, it's good to know there's still a photo of George Costanza in the men's room.
Sun Ray Grill619 Pink St., Metairie 837-0055; www.sunraygrill.comWith four locations throughout the area, you're bound to find a Sun Ray Grill somewhere nearby. Each of the four offers its own drink concoctions. One you should look for is the Katrina-Rita, which will definitely be a lot easier to handle than a couple of hurricanes.
Swamp Room 5216 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-5242With a burger this big, 10 ounces of juicy goodness, you need a place that can let you stretch out. The Swamp Room provides. It's a favorite among those in the service industry and it has an extra-long bar, pool tables and big, comfortable booths.
Whitey's Pool Hall3764 Derbigny St., Metairie, 833-9122Whitey's has been around for 53 years and claims to be the oldest pool hall in New Orleans. There are nine regulation size tables, and if you're going to stay for a while too, check out the sandwich and tamale stand in the back of the hall.
Winston's 531 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-8705Wouldn't it be great to go to a bar, grab a great draught like Guinness, Harp, or Bass, and plop down on a couch? You can at Winston's, a laidback English pub that's located thousands of miles from the United Kingdom, but still offers authentic fish and chips. There is a variety of other fine non-English brews available as well.
Zea Rotisserie and BreweryClearview Shopping Center, 4450 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-9090Zea no longer brews its beers on location, but Northshore brewmaster Henryk Orlik is delivering five of his creations here: Clearview Light, Category Five Strong Ale, an American pale ale, Zea Lager, an amber, Pontchartrain Porter and Fest Beer. The beers can be enjoyed either in the bar or dining area, combined with one of the restaurant's tempting food items.
Zeke's Restaurant1517 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-1133It's somewhat hidden in a strip mall, so consider yourself now in on the secret of Zeke's Restaurant in Old Metairie. The walls are decorated with photos of New Orleans, so Orleanians will feel like they never left home. In this case, you will have to pay for your drinks, but you won't have to clean your room.
The Triangle West Bar 10801 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-9083 The Triangle West Bar doesn't just serve cold beer, it serves frost-fusion beer. Somehow through this process, which involves two imported coolers, they can get the beer down to sub-freezing temperatures without it turning to ice. This is the kind of science everyone should both endorse and experience. There are 20 different beers for you to run through a thorough testing regimen. On Saturday nights after cooling down your vocal cords, you can heat them up again with karaoke.
The Bulldog 5135 Canal Blvd., 488-4191; www.draftfreak.comJust like its Uptown sibling on Magazine Street, this expansion site of the Bulldog is crammed with more varieties of draft and bottled beer than it seems possible for one building to hold. But it's all there, from the standard domestic choices to exotic imports and microbrews. Sporting events pull in big crowds and the shaded patio provides a change of scenery.
McNulty's Bitter End5129 Canal Blvd., 483-7930 The end of the line for many a New Orleanian is the cemetery district lining Canal Boulevard, but the McNulty's Bitter End nestled among them is just the beginning to many a lively night out. A sunken lounge holds dueling pool tables, and two dartboards line a wall near the bar, while the jukebox music is piped out to the covered front patio. The late-night grill cooks up burgers, spicy meat pies and bangers, or Irish sausages.
Banks Street Bar & Grill 4401 Banks St., 486-0258Banks Street Bar has emerged from Katrina better than ever and has put itself on the New Orleans live music map. The old drop ceiling is gone and the newly revealed bargeboard walls and ceiling produce great acoustics for the bands that take its small stage. Drinks are as inexpensive as always and there is usually no cover for some very popular blues, salsa, country and funk acts.
Beachcorner Bar & Grill 4905 Canal St., 488-7357 Though there's no sign of surf, sand or sunshine inside, regulars at this popular neighborhood tavern make themselves as comfortable as they would at the beach. Indeed, you need to take your time when working through one of the bar's 10-oz. "beach burgers," though the bartenders provide plenty with which to wash them down from the beer and cocktail selection.
Brooks' Seahorse Saloon1648 Gentilly Blvd., 948-7050Located close enough to the Fair Grounds Race Course that you can practically hear the beating of hooves during racing season, Brook's Seahorse Saloon is a year-round winner for cold draft beers and bar food in a convivial neighborhood setting. The beautifully restored woodwork in the vintage barroom gleams, and the pool table is kept busy night and day.
Chickie Wah Wah2828 Canal St., 304-4714; www.chickiewahwah.comLong known as the Canal Bus Stop, a new owner has given this club on Mid-City's main drag a whole new identity. The club hosts funk and blues bands on weekends and a few weeknights as well, with tuba master Kirk Joseph and Backyard Groove holding court on Thursdays. Free food is offered at all shows, and the jukebox takes over on nights when a band isn't scheduled.
Finn McCool's3701 Banks St., 486-9080; www.finnmccools.comOwned and operated by a group of young Irish nationals, Finn McCool's is at once a neighborhood watering hole and a destination for those keen on Celtic culture. The Guinness is expertly poured and the pub food would warm the heart of any ex-pat from "across the pond." A lively match of pub trivia packs the place on Monday nights and the bar regularly broadcasts European sports events.
Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar3636 Bienville St., 488-3714; www.liuzzas.comIn the war against stifling New Orleans heat, few weapons are more effective than a beer served in one of the frozen, globe-shaped mugs that are the hallmark of Liuzza's. While the kitchen turns out definitive renditions of casual New Orleans food, the vintage bar up front keeps its patrons well chilled.
Liuzza's By the Track1518 N. Lopez St., 943-8667Though there is no contemporary relation to the older Liuzza's Restaurant a mile away (see above), Liuzza's near the Fair Grounds Race Course is also well-known for its cold, globe-shaped beer mugs. The tavern is also famous for its hearty gumbo, BBQ shrimp po-boys and burgers. The bloody Marys have jump-started many a Mid-City afternoon.
Mick's Irish Pub4801 Bienville Ave., 482-9113The embodiment of the neighborhood pub, most of the regulars know each other, the bartenders know everyone and the mood is friendly without suffering much foolishness. A collection of video games forms a veritable arcade in one section of the bar, and a huge room in back provides plenty of space for private conversations if the front bar becomes too crowded.
Mid City Lanes Rock 'N' Bowl4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133; www.rocknbowl.comWhether they come to rock or come to bowl, visitors to this vintage, 18-lane bowling alley and music club experience a modern New Orleans legend. Local blues and funk bands perform regularly and Thursday's zydeco night is particularly happening, with the dance floor filled for nearly every number the bands play.
Pal's Lounge949 N. Rendon St., 488-7257Like an alternate reality version of "Cheers" this one with tattoos and a 1950s-era, pin-up-girl aesthetic Pal's is the kind of place that lights up when regulars walk in. Well-behaved dogs are welcome and the air hockey table in the backroom will have competitive types barking with excitement. A rocking jukebox and $1 cans of beer stretch the nights here into the wee hours.
Parkview Tavern910 N. Carrollton Ave., 482-2680Though City Park is not quite in view from the bar or the front patio here, the clanging old streetcars rattling down the avenue do provide a nice visual bonus to the bargain-priced drinks and gregarious crowd of regulars. The patio is a popular place for locals to congregate with some cold pitchers of beer and take-out food from nearby restaurants.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern532 N. Hagan St., 482-3047The timeless appeal of icy cold beer and cocktails mixes well with classic po-boys and New Orleans memorabilia at this reborn sandwich shop near the banks of Bayou St. John. The covered patio has a stage featuring local musicians for early, family-friendly shows on the weekends, and the nostalgic vibe of yesteryear fills the barroom with good cheer.
Ralph's on the Park900 City Park Ave., 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.comThe historic structure that restaurateur Ralph Brennan beautifully renovated as his namesake contemporary Creole bistro also serves as a destination for cocktails or a glass of wine. Broad windows give views of the elegant gates and meandering oaks of City Park just across the street, while the sleek design of the bar area adds a contemporary buzz to the place.
Rooster's Grill133 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-8825Formerly known as Lil' Ray's Diner, Rooster's still dishes up burgers, chicken wings and fried seafood, while its bar serves cocktails and beers in big, frosted mugs. Log on for free wireless Internet service and watch the streetcars pass along North Carrollton Avenue.
Sun Ray Grill3700 Orleans Ave., 274-0091; www.sunraygrill.comNestled in the complex of apartments and small businesses in the renovated American Can Building near Bayou St. John, the Mid-City branch of the local Sun Ray Grill chain hosts a lively happy hour scene at its bar. The colorful décor is funky without being too distracting and fits perfectly with the eclectic international menu prepared in the kitchen.
Wit's Inn141 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1600; www.witsinn.comThe post-Katrina renovation of this neighborhood institution has tables around the room with their own TVs, while the bar provides a perch for the large-screen TVs showing sporting events. Look for powerful, 24-oz. specialty drinks like the Witmaker and the Mid-City Monsoon. It has a new kitchen with an extensive menu of gourmet pizzas, calzones, sandwiches and salads.
Abita Brew Pub72011 Holly St., Abita Springs, (985) 892-5837; www.abita.comThe original brewery for Abita Brewing Co., this tavern still puts the brewing equipment to work occasionally to make limited edition batches of special beers. The bar features the most complete selection anywhere of Abita's many varieties on tap and in bottles, with tasting-sized portions always available. Regulars, beer aficionados and thirsty bicyclists just off the nearby bike path keep the place lively.
Camellia Café69455 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 809-6313Camellia Café has an adventurous spirit at the bar, especially with an oversized cocktail like the Chameleon. It's a 56-ounce blend of Malibu rum, Blue Curacao and fruit juices served in a fishbowl shaped glass. The martini menu offers sweet cocktails like the Rocky Road, a mix of Grey Goose, amaretto, Godiva chocolate liqueur and Malibu rum. There are also daily two-for-one drink specials.
Longbranch21516 Hwy. 36, Abita Springs, (985) 871-8171The gracious old country house that was previously Artesia Restaurant is now home to some of the most ambitious cuisine on the North Shore as Longbranch. Just as before, the bar offers an intimate hideaway to enjoy a selection from the meticulously assembled wine list while views of oak trees hung with moss and manicured gardens all around paint an alluring picture of relaxed and idyllic living.
Pontchartrain Vineyards81250 Hwy. 1082, Bush, (985) 892-9742; www.pontchartrainvineyards.comThis Northshore winery offers samples and a comfortable tasting room to buy and enjoy a glass or bottle. Guests are also welcome to stroll the vineyards. The tasting room offers a short menu of cold meat and cheese plates and soft drinks. The tasting hours run from Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Annadele's71495 Chestnut St., Covington, (985) 809-7669; www.annadeles.comThe converted plantation home bed and breakfast at Annadele's offers a relaxing excursion into the forested Northshore while the Bogue Falaya Lounge offers savvy martini drinks like the Bananas Foster Martini, made with amaretto and a banana liqueur and served in a cinnamon-rimmed glass. Wednesday evening is cosmopolitan night in the lounge and there is piano music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Columbia Street Taproom and Grill434 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 898-0899; www.columbiastreettaproom.comBeer is of course the highlight at the Taproom. More than 30 are available on draft, including Heiner Brau, which is brewed just down the road. Other selections include Guinness and seasonal beers. The Taproom serves lunch and dinner as well.
Etoile409 N. Columbus St., Covington, (985) 892-4578James Michalopoulos is behind this combined restaurant and wine shop. The wine list is 200 bottles deep and 20 are available by the glass. Since Michalopoulos is also behind New Orleans Rum, that's the spirit in the bar's signature Rumrunner cocktail. Happy hours on Tuesday through Thursday feature free hors d'oeuvres.
Frank's Marina Grill100 Marina Del Ray Drive, Madisonville, (985) 792-4000Located on the riverfront, Frank's Marina Grill is a good place to sit back and enjoy a drink, grab a bite or listen to live music. There are live rock and blues bands on weekends. From Wednesday to Friday, the 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. happy hour features $1.75 longnecks and mixed drink specials.
Friends on the Tchefuncte407 St. Tammany St., Madisonville, (985) 845-7303Not many eateries let you motor up in a boat to dine there, but this secluded spot on the Tchefuncte River is a notable exception. The mojito is the house specialty and there are regular mid-week happy hour drink specials. The seafood from the kitchen also takes some unexpected turns. Besides familiar fried seafood platters, there is ceviche, conch fritters and some Caribbean dishes.
Morton's Seafood702 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-4970From the Tchefuncte River, Morton's Seafood looks more like a fish camp than a seafood restaurant. Wooden chairs provide the seating, while large fishnets are hung with all manner of plastic sea life above the bar. Daily drink specials, tasty seafood appetizers and juicy raw oysters can be enjoyed at the bar. Morton's is closed on Tuesdays.
Carreta's Grill1200 W. Causeway Approach Road, Mandeville, (985) 727-7212This cantina boasts a selection of 20 tequilas and a variety of Mexican beers, including Pacifico, Tecate, Sol, Negro Modello, Dos Equis and others. The spicy Central American food can be tamed with a potent margarita from the congenial staff. If that isn't enough, Spanish-language TV and fresh tortillas round out the authentic Latin flavors.
CRU Wine Boutique and Cellar 9822 St. Ann #2, Mandeville, (985) 951-8982There are crates of wine in the front of the store and a stylish bar area in the back to enjoy a glass or bottle. The 150 bottles in the store and the 40-bottle wine list in the bar area heavily favor California wineries. The bar also offers beer and liquor.
Louisiana Grill2223 Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 727-5585You'll almost think you're in the Quarter at this New Orleans-style courtyard with a flaming fountain. The restaurant was flooded during Katrina and has been remodeled. The bar features 15 beers on tap and all sorts of flavored martinis. Live music has been scaled back to Thursdays and every other Saturday.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris900 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-6990; www.fat-tuesday.comNew Orleans Original Daiquiris offers a range of sweet and potent frozen drinks from the Banana Banshee and Blue Bayou to the Crawgator. It's the area's largest chain of daiquiri shops and they all offer super-sized drinks. If you have trouble deciding, just try the most popular of the shop's concoctions: 190 Octane, which is a combination of orange juice and other fruit flavors with grain spirits.
Nuvolari's246 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 626-5619; www.nuvolaris.comNuvolari's was originally a general store in the '30s. The hand-carved Honduran mahogany bar is a great place for regulars to meet for martinis, cosmos and classic old fashioneds, or tiramisu and an after-dinner port. The adjoining restaurant's traditional trattoria-style fare is available at the bar along with an extensive wine list.
Ruby's Roadhouse840 Lamarque St., Mandeville, (985) 626-9748; www.rubysroadhouse.comThis unassuming cabin is one of the last standing roadhouses in Louisiana. Continuously operating since the '30s, New Orleans and Northshore bands take to the stage every weekend at Ruby's to rock the house. The bar opens at 10 a.m. daily.
Times Bar & Grill1896 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-1161; www.timesgrill.comThe grill is a family-friendly restaurant and the bar offers something at two-for-one prices every day from noon to 7 p.m. Saints and LSU fans will appreciate the memorabilia-encrusted walls in the bar area while watching televised games on three big flat screen TVs.
Ernie K-Doe's Mother-In-Law Lounge1500 N. Claiborne Ave.; www.k-doe.comThe Mother-In-Law is now home only to "Mrs. Emperor of the World," Antoinette K-Doe, though the Ernie K-Doe statue resides here when not making public appearances. The bar was, of course, named for his 1961 No.1 hit, written by Allen Toussaint. The Lounge has been undergoing renovations from Katrina flooding and will reopen at the end of August on weekend nights and can be booked for special events.
Little People's Place1226 Barracks St.Little People's is definitely a little place, just big enough for a jukebox, a short bar and some tables, but it used to squeeze some jazz jams in as well, though that music just about had to spill into the streets and that didn't go over well with neighbors. But the tiny bar is open on odd and limited hours and as welcoming as ever when it is.
Alexander's Food & Spirits 2604 Magazine St., 895-4112Long-known as the Latin American Restaurant, this spot on the border between the Garden District and Irish Channel has been massively renovated. While it is still a restaurant serving steaks and charbroiled oysters as its mainstays it is also a lounge with a long bar, comfortable sofas and easy chairs and a dance floor. James Rivers plays Saturday nights and Tuesday is open mic night.
Balcony Bar & Cafe3201 Magazine St., 895-1600Living up to its name, one of the prime attractions of this Uptown watering hole is the large balcony wrapping around two sides of the second-floor, which provides an unparalleled perch for Magazine Street sunsets and evening imbibing. Another prime attraction: a massive selection of draft and bottle beers at reasonable prices. Throw in a better than average bar kitchen, pool tables and an upbeat jukebox and the scene is complete.
Bayou BarThe Pontchartrain Hotel, 2031 St. Charles Ave., 524-0581; www.pontchartrainhotel.comCocktails and camaraderie have been the order of the day here since 1947 when the Bayou Bar was added to the historic Pontchartrain Hotel. Richly appointed with gleaming wood, brass fixtures and plush furniture, it was known as a hangout of Frank Sinatra and was the venue used for signing the agreement that created the New Orleans Saints in the late 1960s. These days, you can drop in for a piano man holding court here on weekend nights.
The Boot1039 Broadway St., 866-9008Look up for the famous giant manta ray suspended from the ceiling and look to the bar for drink specials targeted to a college student's budget. Located practically on campus for Tulane and Loyola university students, the Boot has been threatening GPAs for ages with three-for-one specials and late, late hours.
The Bridge Lounge1201 Magazine St., 299-1888; www.bridgelounge.comSleek design and an upscale beer and wine selection set the mood at this Lower Garden District lounge. Well-behaved dogs are not only welcome they are immortalized in framed photos on the walls. Their owners can grab $4 cosmopolitans and $2 draft beer specials on Sundays and Mondays, while Thursdays bring horizon-expanding wine tastings. Cuban sandwiches and other savories are served in the evenings on Monday through Friday.
Bruno's7601 Maple St., 861-7615; www.brunosbar.comFounded in 1934, Bruno's strikes a nostalgic tone with its old-school décor and drink specials with prices that can at times seem as though they've been lifted from another era. Monday features $3 domestic pitchers, while the bar's famously potent Long Island ice tea is just $3 on Saturday nights. Stop in for free food on Friday nights from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Bulldog3236 Magazine St., 891-1516; www.draftfreak.comThe beer menu at this casual, neighborly pub is superb and if all the ales, ciders and stouts on draft aren't enough for you, there's a fridge packed with everything from Chimay to Singha. Specials abound, including Wednesday's very popular promotion where patrons get a collectible pint glass to keep with every draft they order. The newly rebuilt patio provides a much improved outdoor space for working through the selections.
Byblos3218 Magazine St., 894-1233A beautifully renovated Magazine Street building is the scene for the city's most ambitious Middle Eastern restaurant, which also has a bustling bar scene all its own. With windows framing bustling Magazine Street and seductively dim lighting at night, the polished wood bar makes an attractive setting for wine or cocktails.
Carrollton Station8140 Willow St., 865-9190; www.carrolltonstation.comThe long, narrow music hall of this Riverbend nightspot frames a diverse roster of local music. Funk one night, acoustic folk the next, with concept bands in between and you never know who might drop by to sit in. Happy hour stretches from noon to 8 p.m. every night with $1 off drinks. Rum drinks at the ornate wooden bar are a major specialty of the house.
The Club/Ms. Mae's4336 Magazine St., 895-9401This tattered, smoky barroom has a firm grasp on the affections of its patrons, who come for pool, darts, video games and, above all, bargain-basement-priced drinks. Legendary bar maven Ms. Mae is often in attendance herself, holding court before the go-cups stacked on her bar.
The Columns Hotel3811 St. Charles Ave., 899-9308; www.thecolumns.comThe ornate barroom and parlors in the lounge of this historic hotel once stood in for the set of a Storyville bordello in the film Pretty Baby, though while sitting on the building's deep, covered veranda it is hard to picture the place being anywhere else than Uptown New Orleans. Though the tranquil setting breathes luxury, drink prices are reasonable and the bar attracts a wide range of patrons.
Cooter Brown's Tavern and Oyster Bar509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104; www.cooterbrowns.comCooter Brown the drunken cowboy of song and lore would never do anything small, and neither does this namesake Riverbend bar. The beer selection is vast, with something like 400 varieties listed on the long menu of drafts, bottles and cans. The walls are practically covered in televisions showing any form of sports competition being broadcast. And the food offerings include raw oysters to hot boudin.
The Delachaise3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858Situated in a railroad-car like wedge of a building, the bar specializes in a selection of hard-to-find wines by the glass, imported beer and a range of after-dinner drinks that makes the Delachaise a popular place to retire to in the evening. The kitchen can put forth intricate, bistro-worthy food in mostly appetizer-sized portions, like fries cooked in duck fat, complex cheese plates and dips.
Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar5535 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8500While there isn't a cover, there is always first-rate local musical entertainment at this grown-up but not stuffy club. It looks like a library that has been taken over by lusty epicureans eating, drinking, chomping cigars and bobbing heads appreciatively to the smoky music. There's also a pool table in the back.
F&M Patio Bar4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-6784This long-slung, rambling old place starts with a barroom up front, continues upstairs to a small dance floor and comes back down again to a large, covered patio with lots of subtropical plants saturated with the heady aromas coming from the cheese fries and quesadillas from the kitchen. If you want to play pool, arrive early the leopard print pool table is covered later on for the people who inevitably get up and dance on it to the rock 'n' roll jukebox.
Fat Harry's4330 St. Charles Ave., 895-9582One would be hard-pressed to find a graduate of a New Orleans college that has not darkened the doors at this Uptown stalwart of suds and sports entertainment, but the range of patrons covers a wide spectrum of people who haven't cracked a textbook in quite some time. If you like cold beer, hot cheese fries and the opportunity to yell at your favorite sports team in good company, Fat Harry's has your number.
Felix's Uptown4938 Prytania St., 895-1330A transplant from the French Quarter, Felix's second location brings its famous oysters and more to the heart of Uptown. Since nothing accompanies icy raw oysters or hot fried oysters better than cold beer, the long bar here does a brisk business with both the bottles and the bivalves. For more delicate palates, a glass of crisp white wine also makes a fine accompaniment.
Fire1377 Annunciation St., 566-1949; www.firearestaurant.com Built within the stout brick walls of a historic fire house, this Lower Garden District restaurant serves an eclectic menu with a sensibility inspired by the California wine country. At the bar, patrons pour over a wine list that is as impressive in variety as it is surprisingly modest in pricing. Carefully mixed cocktails also inspire guests to linger beneath the intriguing old building's soaring ceilings.
Friar Tuck's5130 Freret St., 891-4080; www.friartucksbar.comThough its location has changed many times since first opening in the 1960s, Friar Tucks remains a tradition for the college set and those who love them. Pool, foosball, darts and more than a dozen arcade games help patrons get their game on, and nightly bar specials help them get their drink on like 50 cent drafts on Thursdays and ladies' nights on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Grit's Bar and Pool Hall530 Lyons St., 899-9211Come on a weeknight and this lightly-converted one-time warehouse looks like the type of pool hall where a private eye would make a rendezvous in a film noir script. Come on a weekend night, however, and the scene changes to high-energy dance party as the young crowd whoops it up late into the night.
Half Moon Cafe1125 St. Mary St., 522-0599A crescent moon-shaped bar dominates the front room of this weathered-looking Lower Garden District hangout with a very large selection of draft beer and some bargain specials through the week. Pool tables grace the adjacent room while for those who prefer games of the video variety a certain Ms. Pac Man awaits your quarters. The eclectic jukebox caters to all musical tastes suitable for barroom broadcast.
Igor's2133 St. Charles Ave., 568-9811Laundry spins around in the coin-operated machines in back, pool balls clatter on the tables, burgers sizzle behind the bar and the bartenders have heard every line there is at this Uptown classic, the first of the Igor's laundry/barroom empire. There are locks on the doors, but they never use them as this 24-hour joint keeps thing rocking around the clock.
Igor's Buddha Belly Burger Bar4437 Magazine St., 891-6105Dark-edged rocker Trent Reznor once operated a not-so-secret recording studio in a converted funeral parlor directly across the street, and the proximity still seems to haunt the Buddha Belly. The jukebox is rock 'n' roll to the core, as are many of the regulars who suck down beers and maul burgers in the red-hued recesses of this Magazine Street watering hole.
Jackson1910 Magazine St., 529-9599; www.jacksonnola.comA contemporary Creole bistro built in what was once a farmhouse, Jackson combines comfortable charm with the polish of an ambitious young restaurant. The small front bar is an alluring setting for a glass of wine and a nibble from the kitchen. The restaurant hosts a wine tasting each Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and the selections can be enjoyed outside on the spacious balcony overlooking Magazine Street when the weather is cooperative.
Jin Jean's Lounge1700 Louisiana Ave., 894-8970; www.jinjeansjazz.comThis Uptown music venue may be new, but the performers who regularly grace its stage are old favorites on the New Orleans jazz and blues scene, like Kermit Ruffins, George French, Germaine Bazzle, Deacon John and Walter "Wolfman" Washington. The party gets started early on Sundays, with smooth jazz from D.J. Papa Smurf at 4 p.m. and a live performance at 6 p.m.
The Kingpin1307 Lyons St., 891-2373; www.kingpinbar.comIf Elvis is really still among us somewhere, chances are he could just turn up at the Kingpin, where he is lavishly honored in the rock 'n' roll décor. A great selection of draft and bottled beers gets put through its paces by the bar's many devotees. A room-length shuffleboard table along one wall and the darts in the back room provide competitive options.
Le Bon Temps Roule4801 Magazine St., 895-8117Live music booked in the back bar throughout the week and almost never with a cover charge makes this Uptown hotspot a prime player in the city's music scene. The front room offers a neighborhood bar feel with pool tables, a jukebox and local memorabilia galore on the walls and hanging from the rafters. The kitchen serves both rooms with late-night bar food and a small patio provides yet a third space for gathering with friends.
Lucky's Lounge1625 St. Charles Ave., 523-8922Another in the Igor's empire of barrooms that double as laundromats, Lucky's is built in an old Uptown townhouse and still has many of the building's architectural details in place to add a little class to the proceedings around its bar, pool table and video trivia units. Burgers cook up behind the bar and patrons can lounge on the attractive front porch overlooking St. Charles Avenue at this comfortable, utterly casual hangout.
Madigan's800 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9455Except for the patio furniture, Madigan's is a standing-room-only affair, but college students have no problem filling the space most nights. The front room is the largest and most packed, but there is a patio and small bar in the back where space is easier to come by. During the afternoon it has more of a neighborhood feel and older clientele.
The Maple Leaf Bar8316 Oak St., 866-9359The Maple Leaf Bar has been at the forefront of the Uptown music scene for nearly 30 years and has featured the Rebirth Brass Band on Tuesday nights for more than a decade. Top local names in jazz, funk and steamy New Orleans rock make the long narrow music room a great place to dance to live music. The bar is also an Uptown hangout and opens at 3 p.m.
Marlene's Place3715 Tchoupitoulas St., 810-5446Marlene's offers a little bit of everything but with its size it has room for a lot of everything. The pool tables and darts are always there and the weekly schedule includes live bands on weekends, DJ karaoke on Thursdays, open mic poetry on Wednesday and $1 draft night on Monday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Mayfair Lounge1505 Amelia St., 895-9163The Mayfair has a doorbell instead of a velvet rope, but it's easy to get inside. Tucked away on Amelia Street, the Mayfair is a quirky bar where colored lights hang down low from the ceiling. The Mayfair celebrated its 28th anniversary last week, and genial hostess Miss Gertie has been around for most of them. There are a couple of pool tables and a jukebox to wile away the hours and there is free food on Sundays.
The Melting Pot1820 St. Charles Ave., 525-3225; www.meltingpot.com Fondue isn't the only exotic offering at this Uptown restaurant. The bar also whips up some memorable concoctions like the Yin and Yang cocktail with Godiva white chocolate liqueur, Stoli Vanil vodka, vanilla ice cream and white and dark chocolate shavings covering the whole thing. A glassed-in floor-to-ceiling cooler displays the wine selection. When you order a bottle of wine at the bar before 7 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays, a cheese or chocolate fondue is part of the bargain.
Milan Lounge1312 Milan St., 895-1836They say misery loves company, so the best place to cheer yourself up after a Saints loss is at The Milan Lounge, where die-hard Cubs fans have been waiting for a championship for more than nine decades. Wrigley Field south only closes on Christmas and Ash Wednesday and the Cubs fans drown their sorrows at happy hour till 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Monkey Hill6100 Magazine St., 899-4800Monkey Hill is so plush that even the pool table is free. The upscale lounge features a wine list 300-bottles deep with roughly 25 open by the glass. There is also a martini menu and the big couches and chairs make reclining with a drink very easy.
Nardo's Trattoria6078 Laurel St., 895-9441Nardo's turned Norby's from a neighborhood bar into an upscale Italian eatery with an elegant bar. The wine list has many Italian wines among its 50 bottles and 16 by-the-glass offerings. The bar also has a happy hour from Tuesday through Saturday, which features $2 martinis and domestic beers.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris8100 St. Charles Ave., 866-1846New Orleans Original Daiquiris offers a range of sweet and potent frozen drinks from the Banana Banshee and Blue Bayou to the Crawgator. It's the area's largest chain of daiquiri shops and they all offer super-sized drinks. If you have trouble deciding, just try the most popular of the shop's concoctions: 190 Octane, which is a combination of orange juice and other fruit flavors with grain spirits.
One Restaurant and Lounge8132 Hampson St., 301-9061One Restaurant presents a cozy proposition. The short bar and raised lounge tables are so close to the open kitchen that one can easily skip reading the menu and just watch the actual dishes come out. But the bar is as creative as the culinary side and has its own specialty cocktails. The blueberry mojito was popular this summer. One is closed for a week of vacation and will reopen on Aug. 14.
Parasol's2533 Constance St., 897-5413; www.parasols.comParasol's is about as Irish as the Irish Channel gets, especially on St. Patty's Day. The unassuming corner bar has a lively regular following both for the bar room and for the po-boys available in back. The room often seems to be lit solely by the sports on the televisions and glow of the juke box and beer coolers. Patrons also like the pinball machine and video golf game in the dining area.
Pascal's Manale1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877Pascal's is still putting all of its vintage pictures back up on the walls, but the oyster bar and bar are back as usual. The kitchen is also turning out the restaurant's original version of New Orleans barbecue shrimp. The seasoned establishment doesn't need to print a martini menu to pour classic cocktails, so order away.
Rendezvous Tavern3101 Magazine St., 891-1777The Rendezvous follows a simple formula of having a long bar face a bank of flat screen TVs with plenty of draft beers in between. Drink specials abound during the week, especially during the 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. happy hours. The pool table is usually busy, but the bar has a few exotic twists with a touch of Indian inspired décor and some local artist's work on the walls.
St. Charles Tavern1433 St. Charles Ave., 523-9823The St. Charles Tavern has just returned to its 24-hour schedule, which is welcome news for ultra late night diners. It's not fancy, but the Bud and Bud Light draft is cheap. And if you happen to drop in during the afternoon, happy hour lasts from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring two-for-one well drinks.
St. Joe's Bar5537 Magazine St., 899-3744St. Joes takes drinking to a spiritual level, or at least surrounds it with religious décor. Crosses, Buddhas, saints and other religious iconography adorn the walls, while the covered back patio with protruding palm fronds seems like a southeast Asian temple courtyard, but with booze. St. Joe's bar is best known for its blueberry mojito and has a good selection of bottled beer.
The Saint Bar and Lounge961 St. Mary St., 523-0050Rock 'n' roll will never die, but it may hide out here for a while. The windowless Saint is a heavy metal sanctuary that sets the tone by opening at 8 p.m. every day with the Power Hour, a barwide spree of half-priced drinks. If you're the kind who tends to forget where you went last night, drop into the photo booth and document the experience. And don't forget to grab a corn dog before you leave.
Shiloh4529 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-1456Billed as the "Uptown underground," Shiloh is more of a Louisiana basement: a first floor with a low ceiling. But the club's string of rooms offer a minimalist décor broken up by a bar in this corner, a couch here and a DJ table there. It's a late-night scene with mellow vibes and a good mix of music.
Sip3119 Magazine St., 894-7071While Sip is a wine shop, the seating on the sidewalk out front almost makes it into a bar. Patrons are welcome to drink a bottle on the de facto patio. Weekly events include a Tuesday wine tasting that offers six wines for $10 while a DJ spins tunes. Friday events offer free wine tastings, and patrons tend to settle in for the long haul.
Slice Pizzeria1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437While Slice looks like a pizza pick-up joint from the front, there is a good-sized bar in the back and booths for dining in between. Pitchers of Abita are always just $5, or diners can get a bottle of Merlot and a large two-topping pizza for $19.95.
Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge7612 Oak St., 861-2802Snake and Jake's is made for late-night drinkers. The room is dark and dim, the ceiling is low, and the only lighting comes from Christmas lights. On weekends the room is packed by twenty and thirtysomethings, but on weeknights a fiercely loyal clientele hangs out at the bar. The bar never opens until 9 p.m., and the crowd never leaves before dawn.
Station 88018801 Oak St., 861-9293With $1 draft Abita and Dos Equis, why fill up anywhere other than this converted gas station. Or wait till Thursday's $5 all-you-can-drink beer special. The Station also features regular cocktail specials and the food ranges from cheese fries to steaks to tuna entrees.
Superior Grill3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.comThe bar at Superior Grill is very serious about Mexican drinks. It stocks more than 60 tequilas, and the daily two-for-one regular margarita or mixed well drink happy hour from 3:30 to 6:30 is an institution. A rainbow of frozen drink machines swirls mango and strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas.
Table One2800 Magazine St., 872-9035Due to a previous incarnation as a steakhouse, this location was left with an elegant and very clubby looking bar with exposed brick and dark grained wood. But it's still a good spot for cocktails off the martini menu, champagne or for diving into one of the more than 100 bottles on the wine list. There is also outdoor seating.
Taquero Coyoacan1432 St. Charles Ave., 525-9996Leave it to a chef and a native of Mexico City to curate a distinguished list of tequila offerings. Even though there are 50 on the list, it's the selection that counts, such as baseline choices of Don Julio, Herradura and Corazon. On Saturdays you can try their house special Coyo cocktail, but they won't tell you the secret recipe. The specialty cocktails also include the Paloma, a refreshing drink made with grapefruit soda.
Tipitina's501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; www.tipitinas.comThis historic music venue has the sort of roadhouse atmosphere that venues around the country have invested a lot of money and effort to re-create. 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.
The Venue1755 Tchoupitoulas St., 568-1269; www.thehottestclub.comThe Venue's suitably inclusive name and huge space allow for all sorts of events from dance club DJ nights to live music, comedy and other events, like the recent Ms. Hawaiian Tropics bikini contest. As a club, it's open every Saturday night with a $10 cover, but for $50 one can upgrade to get access to the plush VIP areas. VIP suite rentals offer a host of amenities, like a limo to and from the club and a bottle of champagne.
Vera Cruz 7537 Maple St., 866-1736Located in the university neighborhood, Vera Cruz offers the ever popular special of two-for-one margarita pitchers on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturday offers the even more potent triple margarita special. There is also a free bar and the restaurant is always tweaking its menu with new dishes.
Zea Rotisserie1525 St. Charles Ave., 520-8100The bar at Zea offers frozen cosmopolitans as well as the micro-brewed beer available in the chain's other area locations. They include a light beer, a lager, a pale ale and a porter. The bar area has comfortable booths and there is plenty of seating available for dining.
Ye Olde College Inn3016 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683Ye Olde College Inn continues to offer its traditional New Orleans fare but the bar is an attraction of its own. It's got a wide screen TV for regulars to watch sports while downing draft Abita or Blue Moon. Bartenders are also handy with sazeracs or margaritas. It's only open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.
7 on Fulton701 Convention Center Blvd., 525-7555Tucked inside the Riverside Hotel, 7 on Fulton has drawn a crowd to its bar with the house special mojito. The black marble-top bar adjoins an airy restaurant carved out of a former riverfront warehouse. The cuisine is a take on contemporary Louisiana cooking highlighting individual flavors in refined preparations of everything from scallops to pork cheeks.
Circle Bar 1032 St. Charles Ave., 588-2616While Lee Circle is deveolping all around it, the old townhouse that's home to the Circle Bar seems like an Edward Gorey Ghastly Crumb cartoon of a lone and haunted mansion. But step inside and it's as distinctive but more lively with a tiny music room hosting everything from rockabilly and blues to '60s garage music to freaky electronica. The jukebox is just as inspired and the Pabst is cheap at the bar.
Dino's Bar and Grill 1128 Tchoupitoulas St., 558-0900Dino's is a good bar to get a martini or grab a bite late at night. The mango martini has been one of the more popular drinks off their martini menu this summer. Every day features a happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and all drinks are free for women on the Thursday evening ladies' nights. The kitchen opens at 11 a.m. and stays open as late as there is a crowd at the bar.
Ernst Cafe 600 S. Peters St., 525-8544; www.ernstcafe.netAfter some renovations, having as much to do with the construction next door as Katrina, Ernst is scheduled to reopen in the middle of August. Just in time for football season, it'll be back to its seven day lunchtime till very late schedule. There are big screen TVs inside and covered sidewalk seating outside.
Generations Hall/ Metropolitan 310 Andrew Higgins Ave., 568-1700The expansive Generations Hall becomes a full-fledged nightclub called the Metropolitan on Saturday nights. The club packs in a dancing crowd and has two main areas following two different beats, ranging from Latin sounds and hip-hop to techno and '80s music. The club follows an upscale vibe.
Herbsaint701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114; www.herbsaint.comThe bar faces the picture windows looking out on St. Charles Avenue at chef Donald Link's casual Louisiana-French bistro. The cocktail menu features a namesake Herbsaint Champagne cocktail, which adds the anise-flavored spirit to champagne along with a splash of Créme de Mure and a twist. Other familiar cocktails include a sazerac, a caipirinha made with Brazilian cachaca and a Haitian daiquiri, made with rum and lime juice.
The Howlin' Wolf 907 S. Peters St., 522-WOLF; www.howlin-wolf.comThe Howlin' Wolf has found a new home a block down the street and it's easy to find. It replaces the Praline Connection in a large building that is covered in murals of New Orleans musicians and street scenes. The club is back to hosting local music and touring alternative rock.
Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com The surf shack vibe lives on at Lucy's which has a full bar and menu of burgers and California-Mexican food. The bar has its own list of special drinks with a sort of tropical vibe. The classic margarita is made with Sauza while the Drink Called Wanda is a pina colada enhanced with Créme de Noya. The Shark Attack is a rum punch that comes complete with a plastic shark bleeding grenadine from its jaws.
Mulate's, The Original Cajun Restaurant201 Julia St., 522-1492Where else would you go to pass a good time other than the Warehouse District. Mulate's offers Cajun food and different live Cajun bands every night. The bar has Abita on draft and specialty drinks like the Louisiana Lemonade and the Zydeco Tornado, a sweet, layered fruity concoction.
Red Eye Grill852 S. Peters St., 593-9393Red Eye has burgers on the grill all day and late into the night and has an after work and an evening bar scene. Tuesday is ladies night, which means free bud light for women, and the bar also tries to schedule bands for every Thursday. The bar is open very late on Fridays and Saturday nights but closed on Sundays.
Republic New Orleans828 S. Peters St., 528-8882; www.republicnolc.comIn the old Howlin' Wolf spot, Republic has installed a velvet rope and opened up a busy dance club. DJs spin music Thursday through Saturday but there are also some live shows on the calendar. Doors open at 9 p.m. but it's a late night scene. The bar features the Republic Lemonade, which is a citrus vodka enhanced with Chambord, sour mix and 7-Up.
Rock-n-Sake Bar and Sushi 823 Fulton St., 581-7253; www.rocknsake.comThere's nothing that vodka can do that sake can't. Or tequila for that matter. Rock 'n' Sake puts the Japanese rice liquor in all sorts of cocktails. But they also make a different infused vodka every week, generally with seasonal fruits. The popular Warehouse District sushi spot pulses with modern music and is open for dinner most nights and lunch on Friday.
Sun Ray Grill1051 Annunciation St., 566-0021; www.sunraygrill.comSun Ray Grill rounds up all sorts of culinary influences on its menu but it has a distinct taste for pale ales at the bar. The draft choices include ales by Blue Moon, Flying Dog and Anchor Steam. Dos Equis Lager rounds out the options. There are also changing drink specials from a full bar well stocked with premium vodkas and tequilas.
Tchoup-n-Joe's Restaurant and Bar 870 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-2858; www.tchoupnjoes.comTchoup-N-Joe's seems to capture the Warehouse District of today and a century ago at the same time; a crowd of contractors from the neighborhood fill a bar lit with neon and plasma screen TVs befitting the neighborhood's art galleries and new hotels. Regardless, there's a load of drink specials to enjoy at the regular happy hour in the late afternoon and the after hours one beginning at 10 p.m.
Tommy's Wine Bar752 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-4790Tommy's Cuisine just opened a neighboring wine bar, which, unlike the previous wine bar at that address, is lushly and comfortably appointed with leather chairs and couches and oriental rugs. The bar features more than 125 bottles of wine and Veuve Clicquot and Chandon champagne are available by the glass. The baby grand piano is put to use on weekends and there is Latin music on Sunday evenings.
Tucker's Tavern 869 Magazine St., 522-0440Tucker's is a familiar name in a new space in the CBD, but other than that not much has changed. The kitchen still cooks stuffed and deep-fried hamburgers. Monday night is men's night. Tuesday is ladies' night. Thursday is college night and Friday features bike night. Saturday features a pre-Metro special of $2 Absolut drink specials.
Ugly Dog Saloon401 Andrew Higgins Drive, 569-8459The Ugly Dog offers barbecue and draft Bass, Harp, Abita, Coors and Woodchuck Cider to wash it down. There are pool tables and many large TV screens for those who want to watch football, NASCAR, basketball or whatever else is on ESPN. Wednesday is pint night with a $1 off drafts.
Vic's Kangaroo Cafe 636 Tchoupitoulas St., 524-4329Over the years, it seems that Vic's has assimilated. It only offers Fosters and Coopers from Australia, though there is a good selection of Aussie wines. The menu is a mixed bag of dishes including shepherd's pie and jambalaya, both are served until the bar closes. The jukebox, however, is dominated by blues, soul and New Orleans music.
Wolfe's in the Warehouse859 Convention Center Blvd., 613-2882Chef Tom Wolfe's warehouse district restaurant has a spacious dining room with windows looking out on Fulton Street and features a comfortable bar just off the hotel lobby. On Friday and Saturday nights, a pianist livens up the ambience. During the week, happy hour lasts from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and features $2 longnecks or Abita draft and $4 well drinks.
The Crown and Anchor 200 Pelican Ave., Algiers Point, 227-1007; www.crownanchor.comWhat looks like a neighborhood shotgun home reveals a post-and-beam English pub on the inside. The Crown and Anchor splits the difference with a beer selection that includes cask conditioned imported brews and a clientele that is local to the core. The bar hosts a popular pub quiz night on Thursdays starting at 8 p.m. and the nearby gourmet takeout kitchen at Café Sortez delivers food nightly from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dry Dock Cafe and Bar133 Delaronde St., 361-8240; www.thedrydockcafe.comStep off the Canal Street ferry on the West Bank and into the doors of this inviting corner joint just across from the terminal. Locals mingle with visitors headed for the nearby Mardi Gras World studios as they drop in for a taste of New Orleans with seafood platters, gumbo and mugs of beer or cocktails. From the bar, you can see the equipment of Bollinger Shipyard's actual dry docks and hear riverboat whistles blow.
Old Point Bar 545 Patterson St., Algiers Point, 364-0950; www.oldpointbar.comWith the Mississippi River levee as one of its neighbors, the Old Point practically glows with old Algiers ambience. The long bar serves up a good variety of draft beer and on pleasant nights the sidewalk tables provide an alluring perch for an al fresco cocktail. The small stage offers big sounds several nights a week, and the acoustics of the room's interior have inspired more than one local band to cut live albums at the club.
Boomer's Down the Hatch1010 Fredericks St., 362-6285; www.boomersdowndahatch.comThe bar is shaped like the prow of a pirate ship, and rigging emerges from the liquor shelf at its center, but the nautical theme is balanced by the down to earth regulars and bartenders who make up the crew at this bar off Stumpf Boulevard. Big, comfortable chairs and tables form a lounge area on the lower decks, and a galley serves bar food. Boomer's features karaoke each Thursday, while bands take the stage each Saturday night.
Clementine's Belgian Bistrot2505 Whitney Ave., Gretna, 366-3995An oasis of authentic European charm in Gretna, Clementine's celebrates both the food and libations of the owners' native Belgium. The restaurant's bar is a fine place to sample the selection of distinctive Belgian beers and wide range of wines, which pair well with bowls of steamed mussels, crepes and fondue available as a hearty meal or a memorable snack.
Cocktails109 Wall Blvd., Gretna, 393-8344Cocktails is a neighborhood bar that features a DJ on Saturday nights and karaoke on Sunday nights. Everything at the bar is straight-ahead. Bartenders mix a good martini and the beer selection is a stable of regulars including Corona and Heineken. For ladies, the second drink is free all of the time.
Red Maple Bar and Lounge 1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935; www.theredmaple.comKnown as a West Bank destination for steaks, seafood and Louisiana fare for decades, the Red Maple has greatly expanded its wine program of late. The restaurant regularly hosts wine events in its richly appointed Vintner's Room, while the new Champagne Sunday Brunch gives a celebratory early start to the day.
Sun Ray Grill2600 Belle Chase Hwy., Gretna, 391-0053; www.sunraygrill.comAt the original location of this small, local chain of funky-yet-refined eateries, the décor and menu reflect the globe-trotting founders' many international influences and inspirations. Bartenders squeeze fresh citrus juices to make everything from screwdrivers to margaritas and the selection of wines by the glass represents many small wineries.
Boomers at Boomtown Casino 4132 Peters Road, Harvey, 366-7711; www.boomtownneworleans.com The slots are clanging, dealers are slapping cards on the gaming tables and the bartenders are pouring heavy all day, every day at this casino on the Harvey Canal. At BoomerÕs Nightclub inside, bands perform each week on Thursday through Saturday nights, with popular local acts such as the Top Cats and the Chee Weez making frequent appearances.
Chevy's Fresh Mex1201 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 368-2100; www.chevys.comChevy's is a festively decorated spot for a full range of margaritas and top-shelf tequila drinks using everything from Jose Cuervo to Herradura. Or try a tequini. The bar is also well stocked with Mexican beers that can tame the heat on their spicy take on Mexican and California favorites.
Jericho's Hookah Cafe1164 Terry Pkwy., Terrytown, 392-3758The only hookah bar on the West Bank, Jericho's is an exotic and upscale cafe decorated in a Middle Eastern style, with colorful cushions placed on the floor for an authentic feel. Live belly dancers perform on Wednesday and Saturday. The hookah bar offers a wide range of smoke blends.