James Gill, longtime columnist for The Times-Picayune
"The best bar in town is the Apple Barrel. The folks who run it are charming, the atmosphere is funky and the clientele, though varied, is unfailingly weird and chatty. Step outside and you're on Frenchmen, the most happening of streets."
Vernel Bagneris, creator of One Mo' Time
"My favorite bar is the Napoleon House. The music is classical, the patio serene, and the crumbling walls of the main room barely hold on to the eclectic artwork. Located in the stables of the house built for Napoleon's anticipated return from Elba, it remains patiently waiting since the late 1700s. Nursing a house specialty Pimm's Cup while sunsets melt into candlelit nights, it's a great place to relax and catch up with old friends. Played in the Key of low.
"My (other) favorite bar is Snug Harbor. A well run jazz club, it offers high quality musical acts, while maintaining a casual intimacy between the audience and the performers. The two-leveled seating space offers good sight lines for everyone to feel included, and the staff is always attentive and friendly. Serving up tasty local favorites, the restaurant on site is a perfect complement to the professional jazz heard oozing out of the club. While casual, it's a classy spot."
Stacy Head, City Council member, District B
"Without question my favorite bar these days is Cure on Freret. The fancy cocktails are great for date night with my husband or girls' night. And it is the scene for the hip, cool crowd and they let me in anyway!"
Poppy Tooker, slow food expert
"The Napoleon House — because it's just like I've taken a step back into history. Pick any decade with glorious New Orleans characters and you'll always think you've glimpsed there, at the bar or in the patio! And I love a toasty muffuletta — the ultimate bar food!
"I love my neighborhood bar, Cure. Whether I'm there when they open or when they close, the ingredients are always the freshest, local mix with the most exotic and delicious liquors! It's just a pleasure to be in the space!"
Arthur Hardy, publisher of Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide
"The Barley Oak is a new, comfortable two-story German-style pub overlooking Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville. More than 40 beers on tap and another 100 in bottles, plus great and inexpensive sandwiches (Reuben, brisket, bratwurst, German sausage) clearly makes it the Northshore's best place for a cold one! My wife and I make the two-mile bike ride from our home at least once a week."
Campbell Robertson, New York Times reporter
"I like Markey's for a long afternoon and Buffa's late night, but I still have to go with Mimi's for all-around bar. On a given night, you can see hipsters, punks, bros, yuppies, do-gooders, jazzbos, wedding partiers and the occasional lost tourist, and the mushroom toast is delicious."
Wayne Curtis, spirits writer, author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
"My default bar is Arnaud's French 75, where I end up when I can't be bothered to think about where else to go. It's the perfect bar — it has an historic patina, and is a little oasis of civility just off Bourbon Street. More importantly, it has one of the best bartenders in town in Chris Hannah. Our interchange always goes like this: 'What are you drinking?' 'Whatever you're making.' Again, no thought involved. And I have yet to be disappointed."
DJ Soul Sister, WWOZ and club DJ
"My favorite bar right now, aside from Mimi's in the Marigny, is Phillip's on Maple Street. It's a fun neighborhood bar, but it has a very stylish atmosphere, without pretentious vibe or prices. Drinks are always made perfectly, service is always friendly, and most times the background music is a soulful sound, which is No. 1 when I choose a bar. Even more important, I always meet really nice folks there. Phillip's seriously reminds me of something out of the late '70s or early '80s. When I wanna get my underground nonconformista on, I go to The Saint. And when I'm having a jukebox attack, I go to Wit's Inn in Mid-City because they have the best digital jukebox ever."