Melius Bar & Café
1701 Lake Ave., Metairie, 828-9446
The shrimp fleet may be gone, but the legacy of the Bucktown fishing village lives on at watering holes like Melius with wallet-friendly drink prices and a grill that cranks up early.
4301 Burgundy St., 945-9256
This laid-back neighborhood joint is home to a diverse mix of locals, who dig the blend of classic country, blues and zydeco on the jukebox as well as the bargain-priced drinks.
600 Poland Ave., 948-9111
The wine store has table seating for patrons who want to open a bottle of wine or grab a cold beer from the cooler. Sunday evenings usually feature live music in the courtyard.
900 Piety St., 945-5762
Step in the door and back in time at this vintage bar dating back to the mid-19th century. There may be updates like video poker but the pressed tin ceilings and gorgeous wooden bar are classics.
2256 St. Claude Ave., 947-3735
Strong drinks and low prices are the calling cards of this eclectic locals bar. The Jello shots are renowned for their kick, and the bar often hosts music on the weekends.
The Loft at Elizabeth's
601 Gallier St., 944-9272
While the neighborhood café Elizabeth's is best known for its hearty southern cooking, the Loft located upstairs is building its own reputation as a night spot with a large selection of beers and a collection of flat-screen TVs.
640 Louisa St., 943-0785
When Bywater songwriter Alex McMurray croons that "Markey's Bar will always make you a star," he nails the warm, corner-pub feeling at this neighborhood stalwart, where musicians and sports fanatics alike find common ground.
3067 St. Claude Ave., 949-7532
Not even Katrina could eclipse the mighty Saturn. It emerged from a post-storm overhaul as a great new venue for live music with a little less clutter but much of the same old funky feel.
Sugar Park Tavern
800 France St., 940-6226
People with a longing for thin-crust New York-style pizza will cross town for Sugar Park's pies, but the bar scene provides its own magnetic attraction with an eclectic jukebox, a colorful clientele and a cozy feel.
800 Lesseps St., 947-5562
Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins holds court for the regular Thursday-night house party here, while any other night of the week visitors find a mellow, friendly vibe at this quintessential corner joint.
Cajun Mike's Pub 'n' Grub
116 Baronne St., 566-0055; www.cajunmikes.com
While Mike's "Welfare Wednesday" happy hour offers $1 drinks, everyday specialties like Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap, bar snacks and overstuffed sandwiches attract both princes and paupers to its downtown doorstep.
1100 Tulane Ave., 587-3737; www.clubampersand.com
Guest DJs, ultra-premium cocktails and a sleek, contemporary design set this club apart in a city better known for its pubs and corner joints. Dress sharp and be ready for a late night.
Harrah's New Orleans Casino
4 Canal St., 533-6000; www.harrahs.com
No matter how your luck is running at the tables and slots, Harrah's aims to help customers keep their cool at the IceBar, located inside its Masquerade club, which features live entertainment, dancers and specialty drinks.
Kabby's Sports Edition Grille
Hilton Hotel Riverside, 2 Poydras St., 561-0500 ext. 3447
Sports fans, solo customers and hotel guests can drink in the company of sports memories dating back generations. Order one of the super-sized draft beers and check out the museum-worthy collection of sports memorabilia all over the walls.
Le Chat Noir
715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812; www.cabaretlechatnoir.com
Cabaret acts, singers and traditional theater take center stage at Le Chat Noir. The bar and lounge up front serve as a "green room; for audience members and theater people to mingle over drinks before and after the shows.
International House Hotel, 221 Camp St., 553-9550; www.ihhotel.com
Lit by candles, outfitted in sleek contemporary design and named in honor of voodoo spirits, this downtown hotspot attracts a well-heeled crowd for top-shelf cocktails and elegant ambience.
333 St. Charles Ave., 378-2840; www.lukeneworleans.com
Chef John Besh's new CBD restaurant features the flavors of Alsace and its own specially brewed beer. It also offers wines by the quarter and half-carafe in a casual bistro style.
135 St. Charles Ave., 587-1330; www.ohm-lounge.com
Downtown's newest hotspot is the Asian-accented Ohm Lounge. Picture windows provide views of the avenue and the bar offers exotic imports of premium sake, sake cocktails, French wines and Belgian beers.
Polo Club Lounge
Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 523-6000; www.windsorcourthotel.com
Evoking the distinguished, regal feel of old English clubs, this lounge does not skimp on luxury. Guests relax in armchairs and sofas and enjoy fine wines, cognacs or cordials. Jazz bands and vocalists perform on weekend evenings.
Ray's Over the River
World Trade Center, 2 Canal St., 31st floor, n.a.; www.raysovertheriver.com
Ray's has reopened on weekends. Friday evenings feature live jazz. On Saturday, it's an upscale nightclub with DJs spinning music.
614 Canal St., 586-7211; www.shulassteakhouse.com
Legendary NFL coach Don Shula's namesake steakhouse specializes in big, potent martinis. The restaurant bar opens onto the Marriott hotel's lobby and offers a classy perch for after-work drinks.
W Hotel, 333 Poydras St., 525-9444; www.midnightoilbars.com
Ultra-sleek and uber-hip, Whiskey Blue channels the trendy scenes of L.A. and New York right in the middle of downtown. Amid the design-heavy setting, patrons sip everything from elaborate martini-style drinks to Budweiser.
W Hotel, 333 Poydras St., 525-9444
Now featuring a tapas menu for snacks or light meals, Zoe reflects the sharp modern design of the W Hotel. From a seat at the bar, guests can overlook the doings of the gleaming lobby below.
Apple Barrel Bar
609 Frenchmen St., 949-9399
The tunes often spill out the doors of this miniscule but mighty Frenchmen Street stalwart, and sometimes so do the crowds as patrons jam in to hear local guitar slingers, bluesmen and jazz combos.
532 Frenchmen St., 948-2583
Blue Nile is a spacious club offering a good mix of local jazz, rock, funk and more.
1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038
A New Orleans classic dating back to the '30s, Buffa's offers cheap drinks and an easy-going vibe. The kitchen also dishes up hearty food, including a new breakfast menu.
2100 Chartres St., phone not available
It's hard to miss Cafe Brasil, with its blue-and-yellow color scheme and the equally colorful crowd of revelers throwing down with whatever jazz, reggae or brass band is on stage. Its hours are as unpredictable as the musical offerings.
606 Frenchmen St., 944-4744
Caribbean flavor is the order of the day at this Frenchmen Street music hall. Grab a Red Stripe and check out the reggae bands performing here through the week.
Check Point Charlie
501 Esplanade Ave., 949-7012
From coin-op laundry machines to live bands nightly, this 24-hour tavern is practically a community center for Marigny night life. There is rarely a cover charge for music and the beers and pub grub are bargain priced.
2240 St. Claude Ave., 947-0505; www.cowpokesno.com
Country 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, which also is home to the Marigny Theater.
Frenchmen St., 942-3731; www.drinkgoodstuff.com
The distinctive selections of wine, beer and premium liquors at this extremely well-provisioned lounge come from around the world, but the music lineup is usually distinctively New Orleans. On quiet nights, score one of the window booths to watch the Frenchmen Street promenade.
Dragon's Den435 Esplanade Ave., phone not available
On any given night, visitors to the Den might find gypsy jazz, punk rock or belly dancers. The constant, however, is the one-of-a-kind ambience of this second-floor bar, offering something like a cross between a Far East opium den and a Storyville bordello.
Feelings Café2600 Chartres St., 945-2222; www.feelingscafe.com
The piano bar at this intimate Creole restaurant exudes historic details and romantic New Orleans ambience, including access to the restaurant's picturesque courtyard.
The Friendly Bar2301 Chartres St., 943-8929
This spacious gay bar serves a local clientele and anyone who happens to walk in -- provided, of course, that they are friendly. DJs, pool tables and sometimes the regulars provide entertainment.
Hi Ho Lounge 2239 St. Claude Ave., 945-4446
A thorough renovation and new ownership for this longtime dive resulted in a beautiful barroom of finely crafted wood and friendly hosts for musical happenings ranging from touring rock bands to Monday night's "Bluegrass Pickin' Party."
Hookah Café1407 Decatur St., 943-1101; www.hookah-café.com
The exotic sub-continent décor, complete with low, pillow-strewn benches for simultaneous snacking and lounging, creates a cozy setting for tapas-style dining and cocktails. DJs provide tunes throughout the week.
2040 Burgundy St., 942-7159
A service-industry after-work mainstay, the 24-hour John offers cheap drinks, pool tables, a colorful array of local characters and, naturally, a collection of toilet-shaped chairs.
La Vita del Forno
801 Frenchmen St., 944-6854
At the site of the former Sante Fe, La Vita still offers the same classic margaritas, but it matches them with the Italian cuisine of La Vita on Esplanade Avene.
The Marigny Brasserie
640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472; www.marignybrasserie.com
With large picture windows framing Frenchmen Street scenes and the bustle of the well-appointed dining room, the bar at the Marigny Brasserie is a seductive spot to savor elegant cocktails and fine wine.
Mimi's in the Marigny
2601 Royal St., 942-0690
This Marigny mainstay offers a selection of Spanish wines to accompany the tapas menu available into the wee hours. The windows on the first floor often allow a gentle breeze, and the cozy upstairs bar features local bands and rare-groove DJ nights.
13517 Frenchmen St., 942-1345; www.13monaghan.com
Part diner, part pub, 13 takes care of many a late-night craving. Whether it's for a well-poured Guinness stout or a black bean veggie burger on French bread, 13 is your lucky number.
1431 Royal St., 948-7499; www.royalstreetinn.com
Melding funky, arty and laid-back vibes all in one room, the R Bar has a long and generous happy hour, a huge projection-screen TV for movies and a wide-ranging group of locals who consider it their home base.
508 Frenchmen St., 523-5394
This classic-looking music hall stretches back to a stage surrounded by second-floor balconies. Look for local jazz and blues acts, DJ tunes and special events throughout the week.
Schiro's Café & Bar
2483 Royal St., 944-6666
You can rent a room, make some groceries, do laundry, get a quick bite and grab a drink all under one roof at Schiro's. Bartenders are multi-talented as well, taking food orders and mixing refreshing cocktails.
626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696; www.snugjazz.com
The candlelit tables in Snug Harbor's arching two-story showroom have long been perfect perches for watching some of the top names in contemporary New Orleans jazz and national touring acts.
The Spotted Cat
623 Frenchmen St., 943-3887
This onetime storefront is kicking throughout the week with the sounds of hot jazz, acoustic blues and harmonizing vocalists. Small dimensions of the room put a premium on dance-floor space.
Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club
1931 St. Claude Ave., 945-9654; www.sweetlorrainesjazzclub.com
Sweet Lorraine's continues its long tradition as a musical landmark on the edge of the French Quarter. The club regularly hosts world-famous contemporary jazz acts, as well as local favorites.
437 Esplanade Ave., 945-9997
The lush patio of this Mexican-style cantina is framed with tropical plants and augmented by a fountain, but the main attraction is often the live band performing al fresco or the cold draft beers and margaritas served from the outdoor bar.
1123 Decatur St., 523-7177
This darkly lit 24-hour bar has plenty of local color. It's home to French Quarter Goths, gutter punks, bikers and other bar-crawling creatures of the night.
Acme Oyster House
724 Iberville St., 522-5973; www.acmeoyster.com
Acme is better known for its oyster bar, but what goes better with a raw dozen than an ice-cold beer?
811 Iberville St., 522-9187; www.alibineworleans.com
This bar is a popular after-work spot with dancers, bartenders and doormen who work in the tourist bars on the Bourbon Street strip. The grill offers burgers and po-boys and there are 100 varieties of bottled beer in the cooler.
Angeli on Decatur
1141 Decatur St., 566-0077; www.angelipizza.com
Angeli's picture window provides the perfect vantage point for people-watching. The menu is Italian and Middle Eastern, with pizza, pasta and great sandwiches. Classic films projected over the bar complete the atmosphere.
75813 Bienville St., 523-5433; www.arnauds.com
This elegant spot is tucked away between the two main dining rooms of Arnaud's just off the hubbub of Bourbon Street. The drink for which the bar is named -- Courvoisier topped with champagne and a hint of simple syrup -- packs a punch, but goes down sweet.
Aunt Tiki's Jewel Bar
1207 Decatur St., 680-8454; www.myspace.com/aunttikis
Aunt Tiki's really gets hopping closer to sunup than to cocktail hour. A Goth/punk favorite, Aunt Tiki's boasts cheap drinks and an up-to-the-minute rock 'n' roll jukebox.
310 Chartres St., 522-2426; www.bacco.com
This romantic Creole-Italian outpost is also a fine spot for cocktailing. Weekday lunch features ten-cent martinis. The substantial wine list offers many sipping options.
423 Bourbon St., 571-6340; www.hustlerclubs.com
A Hustler Club chain, Barely Legal offers Sleepover Sundays featuring girls in pajamas and $2 drink specials. Two-for-one on Tuesdays include drinks and some of the dances. Come back for Wet and Wild Wednesdays.
Bewitched Gentlemen's Club
433 Bourbon St., 552-2565; bewitchedclub.com
Weekend nights are "couples' nights," featuring male and female dancers in separate rooms. Happy hour is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and features $3 domestic beers, $4 imports and $5 well drinks.
Big Daddy's Gentleman's Club
522 Bourbon St., 581-7167
Big Daddy's signage is one of the last vestiges of the Bourbon Street of yesteryear. You can no longer "Wash The Girl Of Your Choice," as advertised, but do expect death-defying acrobatics on the special free-spinning pole.
830 Conti St., 586-0972; www.thebombayclub.com
The atmosphere is pure English clubroom: overstuffed leather chairs, rich wood and antique portraiture. The extensive martini menu boasts more than 100 variations from traditional to new martinis using exotic liqueurs, fruits, chocolate and even Tabasco.
135 Bourbon St., 523-3800; www.bourbonsbest.com
Saunter into Bourbon Cowboy to ride one of the only mechanical bulls in New Orleans. The honky-tonk has $1 drafts on Thursdays and a Wednesday ladies' night featuring $1 longnecks and well drinks.
Bourbon Cowboy Saloon
125 Bourbon St., 523-3800; www.bourbonsbest.com
Bourbon Cowboy Saloon looks more like a bordello parlor than a saloon, and instead of a mechanical bull, it has a red-felt pool table.
144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com
Bourbon House offers two special tasting flights of premium and small-batch bourbon. There's beer on draft to go with all of the chilled seafood at the raw bar.
801 Bourbon St., 529-2107; www.bourbonpub.com
This 24-hour, locals-oriented gay bar serves $2.50 well drinks and beer specials from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. Upstairs is the Parade disco featuring electronic music nightly.
819 Conti St., 581-3866; www.broussards.com
Broussard's is a distinguished place for a cocktail or wine selection from the extensive list. In the spacious lounge or outdoor courtyard, sip the signature drink, Broussard's Smile: cognac hit with a dash of Mandarin Napoleon liqueur and citrus juices.
Café Giovanni -- Belli Baci
117 Decatur St., 529-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com
Café Giovanni squeezes its own juices and makes its own mixers. Taste the difference in the house special, a blend of Bacardi rum, melon liqueur, sour mix and pomegranate juice. Professional singers are often on hand to offer everything from Sinatra to opera.
Café Lafitte in Exile
901 Bourbon St., 522-8397; www.woodenterprises.com
Upstairs, Lafitte's offers a video bar, dance floor and a spacious balcony overlooking Bourbon Street.
Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone
214 Royal St., 523-3341; www.hotelmonteleone.com
This upscale circular bar actually spins around the stationary center. There are plenty of stationary seats throughout the bar and around the baby grand piano, which often features local entertainers playing during happy hour and offering late-night sets.
701 Bourbon St., 523-3492; www.catsmeow-neworleans.com
Cat's Meow is karaoke central -- an always-throbbing ground zero for spring break-style outlandish fun. The bar offers a three-for-one happy hour from opening until 8 p.m. The Cat's Meow cocktail, the Category 5, is a two-rum version of a hurricane with pineapple and orange juice.
The Chart Room
300 Chartres St., 522-1708
Voted one of the top 100 bars in America by Esquire Magazine. Drinks are cheap, the lights are low and the jukebox is full of great local blues, funk and contemporary jazz. Grab a seat on the edge of the wide-open French doors and watch the foot traffic and Quarter sights.
Chartres House Café
601 Chartres St., 586-8383; www.chartreshousecafe.com
Chartres House offers a comfortable stretch of window seats to enjoy a drink. It pours ice-cold liquor on tap to make cocktails extra smooth.
Chris Owens Club
500 Bourbon St., 523-6400; www.chrisowensclub.com
Chris Owens' two performances per night have been a Bourbon Street institution for several decades. Flashing bright lights over a black-and-white checkered floor give it a retro-disco feel when she's not performing.
Club 300 Jazz Bistro
300 Decatur St., 581-2534; www.neworleansjazzbistro.com
This upscale jazz club currently features local acts like Tony Degradi, Mary Jane Ewing, Chip Wilson and Chuck Chaplin. The bar offers a wine menu with more than 50 selections by the glass and drink specials such as the coconut mojito and the colorfully layered Club 300 Martini.
240 Decatur St., 581-6969 The bar features more than 180 different bottled beers and 20 on tap. It's always happy hour for service-industry people, meaning $2 well drinks all the time.
1109 Decatur St., 525-9053; www.coopsplace.net
One of the most casual and affordable Cajun/Creole restaurants in New Orleans, Coop's serves specials like the rabbit-and-sausage jambalaya and fried chicken until the wee hours. There's a full bar and pool table as well.
725 Conti St., 527-0869
A good bar attracts those in the business. Copper Monkey's inviting courtyard, bucket-of-beer specials and a full food menu (featuring quesadillas, salads, burgers and steaks) attract revelers and service industry people at all hours.
1201 Burgundy St., 522-9715
Cosimo's looks like a British pub but has a distinctly local clientele. The computerized jukebox is free, and the billiard room on the side is cozy and plush. The kitchen is open, and on football game days, there are buckets of iced beers on special.
Coyote Ugly Saloon
225 N. Peters St., 561-0003; www.coyoteuglysaloon.com
Coyote Ugly aspires to the over-the-top fun antics characterized in the movie of the same name. The bartenders here dance on the bar while serving up drink specials and creatively delivered shots. Friday specials are offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Crescent City Brewhouse
527 Decatur St., 522-0571; www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com
Brewmaster Wulfram Koehler crafts German-style ambers, pale ales, stouts, wheat beers and seasonal brews. The central bar offers drinks and raw oysters. Raspberry Wheat is August's featured beer. There's live jazz on weekends.
Deja Vu Bar and Restaurant
400 Dauphine St., 523-1931; www.dejavurestaurant-bar.com
This all-hours bar/restaurant is a before- and after-work favorite of the Bourbon Street service industry crowd. Drop by for steak nights on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, or breakfast anytime.
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse
716 Iberville St., 522-2467; www.dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com
The steakhouse is complemented by a spacious bar with a clubby feel. The wine list offers excellent selections by the glass and bottle. Open during dining hours.
1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000; www.dominiquesrestaurant.com
The French Quarter Bistro at the Maison Dupuy Hotel serves as the bar for Dominique's Restaurant in the evening. The martini menu includes specials like the Blue Raspberry with Stoli Raspberry, pineapple juice and Blue Curacao. The restaurant's large wine list is available in the bar as well.
Donna's Bar and Grill
800 N. Rampart St., 596-6914; www.donnasbarandgrill.com
Donna's is low on frills but big on brass bands. The kitchen offers barbecue in the evening and plenty of cold beer to wash it down.
Dream New Orleans
309 Decatur St., 569-8787
This cavernous venue hosts big-time events, like multi-level dance parties and concerts. Wednesday night's poetry slam is popular.
811 Conti St., 523-8619
This neighborhood Irish pub is a favorite after-work spot for service-industry types, plus fans of creamy pints of Guinness and the bar's punk rock-heavy jukebox.
FQB at the Ritz-Carlton
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal St., third floor, 524-1331
Jeremy Davenport plays across the hall at Melange now, but FQB is still an elegant spot for a well crafted cocktail.
Fahy's Irish Pub
540 Burgundy St., 586-9806
Along with a 13-year-old pool league, this Irish pub features nine beers on tap, including a draft cider, Guinness, Harp, Bass and Smithwicks, Ireland's oldest brown ale.
Fire of Brazil
725 Iberville St., 378-8200; www.fireofbrazil.com
This Brazilian steakhouse occupies the former home of La Louisianne. The bar's special is the caipirinha: fresh lime, sugar and cachaca -- a Brazilian sugarcane liquor.
Fritzel's European Jazz Club
733 Bourbon St., 561-0432
Fritzel's is an afternoon sports bar with a European pub atmosphere, but in the evening, it becomes one of the French Quarter clubs featuring New Orleans-style jazz acts late into the night. It was the first American bar to serve Jagermeister.
727 Bourbon St., 523-1960; www.tropicalisle.com
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.
808 Bienville St., 581-3467; www.gwfins.com
Fins' long bar is a great spot to sample one of the more than 30 martinis or 80 wines offered by the glass.
Gold Mine Saloon
705 Dauphine St., 586-0745; www.goldminesaloon.netThe Gold Mine offers flaming Dr. Pepper shots and a DJ booth for dancing most nights, but Thursday features a literary reading and open mic poetry night. On other nights, intellectual stimulation is left to the vintage video game machines.
Good Friends Bar
740 Dauphine St., 566-7191; www.goodfriendsbar.com
This gay-owned-and-operated neighborhood bar 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 on the patio.
The Gumbo Shop
630 St. Peter St., 525-1486; www.gumboshop.com
Drink specials and daiquiris made with fresh seasonal fruit make up an impressive cocktail menu.
218 S. Robertson St., 525-0377; www.handsomewillys.com
Actually outside of the French Quarter, Handsome Willy's is one of the few bars in the blocks near the hospitals. There's a patio and DJs spin mostly hip-hop, reggae and Latin music, but expect anything. Happy hour goes from noon until 7 p.m.
900 Chartres St., 524-1107
Harry's is a comfortable spot to immerse yourself in whatever game happens to be on TV in the company of longtime Quarter residents. Or grab a seat by the window and watch as tourists wander off Jackson Square.
House of Blues
225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com
This sprawling chain club boasts a huge room for major concerts, while the cozy Parish hosts more intimate shows. The main bar and Voodoo Garden bar serve a list of fun specialty drinks.
424 Bourbon St., 524-0113
There's a little bit of everything at Jazz Emporium -- from live traditional jazz to R&B and blues. There are daily drink and shot specials and the kitchen offers Creole cooking.
141 Chartres St., 524-0493
Jimani is a late-night, sports-minded bar with a big service industry following. Every single football game can be played at once on the bar's many high definition TVs.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
1104 Decatur St., 592-2565; www.margaritavilleneworleans.com
Enjoy many kinds of top-shelf margaritas and blended cocktails in the over-the-top tropical décor of Margaritaville. The new drink menu features exclusive beers like Honey Do and Landshark Lager. There's live music in the tavern daily with no cover.
Johnny White's Hole in the Wall
718 Bourbon St., 568-9803
Johnny White's is one of a few well-kept secret bars that abut the madness of Bourbon Street but maintain a certain peace, which is why locals dig it. The drinks are cheap, and delicacies such as baskets of fried chicken are served during football games.
Kerry Irish Pub
331 Decatur St., 527-5954; www.kerryirishpub.com
The Kerry offers expertly poured Guinness plus live 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.
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
941 Bourbon St. According to the ghost tour guides, long-dead pirates argue in French late at night here. But if you miss the ghosts, you're at least guaranteed great candlelit atmosphere in a tavern that feels like it's still 1780. There's also a good piano bar.
Larry Flynt's Hustler Club
225 Bourbon St., 524-0010; www.hustlerclubs.com
Larry Flynt's Hustler Club features two floors with an open-air center. The club also has a large balcony overlooking Bourbon Street and private suites.
600 Decatur St., first floor, 588-2853; www.patobriens.com
A sister bar to Pat O'Briens, Lazy River also has hurricanes. With breezes off the river, it's a cool spot to stop off for a drink or a bite to eat.
Lucille's Golden Lantern
1239 Royal St., 529-2860
This is the home and starting point for the annual Southern Decadence parade as well as drag shows on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. Lucille's is open 24-hours but the daily happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
201 Bourbon St., 236 Bourbon St., 333 Bourbon St., 400 Bourbon St., 524-0114; www.mangodaiquiris.com
This series of Bourbon Street bars offer a large selection of icy daiquiris in a rainbow of colors and flavors. Some locations also offer slices of hot pizza or warm pretzels.
942 N. Rampart St., 569-9979; www.meauxbar.com
Meauxbar is a good spot for martinis or wine by the glass from a list of predominantly French vintners. Enjoy house specials such as white sangria or a ginger and lemongrass martini.
Molly's at the Market
1107 Decatur St., 525-5169; www.mollysatthemarket.netThe longtime anchor of lower Decatur, Molly's remains cheery, well-lit and convivial. The window seating that overlooks Decatur is a coveted spot. The jukebox also has many of the latest releases from local bands.
Molly's on Toulouse
732 Toulouse St., 568-1915A distant cousin of Molly's on the Market, this Molly's has its own character as well as 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 its killer Bloody Marys.
Morton's of Chicago
365 Canal St., 566-0221; www.mortons.com
This steakhouse chain has a separate bar with martini specials and free steak sandwiches during happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Platinum Martini series features Kettle One vodka. The Heavenly Martinis are served with fresh fruit and other flourishes.
Muriel's Jackson Square
801 Chartres St., 568-1885; www.muriels.com
Tucked into the center of Muriel's behind the elegant dining rooms is a courtyard-like bar area. The second-floor lounge area resembles a decadent Storyville bordello parlor.
Napoleon House Bar & Café
500 Chartres St., 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com
The Napoleon House lore claims that it was offered to Napoleon as a residence if he could escape imprisonment. The crisp, refreshing Pimm's Cup is a house specialty.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
633 Bourbon St., 524-5185; www.fat-tuesday.com
Though part of a local chain, 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 190 Octane.
Ol' Toone's Saloon
233 Decatur St., 529-3422
The Ol' Toone's opens at 8:30 a.m. with a great jukebox, pool tables and beer specials every day. A great spot for a relaxed cocktail after a concert, or during an in-store performance at the Louisiana Music Factory.
Old Absinthe House
240 Bourbon St., 523-3181; www.oldabsinthehouse.com
Located in a building marking its 200th anniversary, Absinthe House has long been popular with both tourists and locals. It has had its current name since 1874 when it created the Absinthe Frappe cocktail.
Old Opera House
601 Bourbon St., 522-3265; www.oldoperahouse.com
The Old Opera House offers live music from zydeco to New Orleans-style R&B. Happy hours offer three-for-one drinks until 9 p.m. The bar is open weekday nights after 5 p.m. and weekends after 2 p.m.
One Eyed Jacks
615 Toulouse St., 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net
This punk-meets-luxe spot features red banquettes, flocked crimson wallpaper and saucy/tacky velvet nudie paintings. It's a top spot for touring and local bands and also hosts theater, burlesque and other performance events.
720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930; www.orleansgrapevine.com
The Grapevine's lovely horseshoe-shaped bar and extensive wine list make it popular with Quarter residents. The list has approximately 450 selections, with roughly 75 available by the glass. The bar opens at 4 p.m. daily, and serves food from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. most nights.
800 Bourbon St., 593-9491; www.ozorleans.com
Oz is the ever-entertaining 24-hour epicenter of the French Quarter gay bar and club scene. It features two floors of dancing and special events like talent contests, drag shows and even bingo with hosts like Becky Allen.
Pat O' Brien's
718 St. Peter St., 525-4823; www.patobriens.com
This sprawling complex stretches from St. Peter to Bourbon Street by way of several bars and carriageways and a flaming courtyard fountain. The dueling piano room features live music and sing-along fun.
727 Iberville St., 524-4354; www.penthouseclubneworleans.com
The club hosts regular visits by Penthouse Pets of the Month, who don't dance, but do meet, greet and sign autographs for lucky fans. The rest of the club features dancers on three stages and a VIP area.
Port of Call
838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120; www.portofcallneworleans.com
Big burgers, baked potatoes and a nautical theme make this place famous. Powerful tropical drinks served in oversized souvenir cups -- heavy on the fruit, rum and tequila -- are a house specialty.
Ralph & Kacoo's
519 Toulouse St., 522-5226; www.ralphandkacoos.com
There is a good selection of Abita beers on draft, plus signature cocktails including the Swamp Water -- dark rum, melon liqueur, pineapple and orange juice -- and the Katrina cocktail -- a variation on the hurricane including raspberry vodka, peach schnapps and fruit juices.
740 Burgundy St., 525-8106; www.rawhide2010.com
Weekly events include pool tournaments and Wednesday's "bring your own meat night" -- the bar supplies the grill, and everything else is on you. The "blackout party" is every other Thursday, when only the cash register light stays on.
115 Bourbon St., 598-1200; www.redfishgrill.com
The bar doubles as an oyster bar where you can also try Bourbon's first Katrina-named cocktail -- in this case the Katrina-Rita, based more on a margarita than the New Orleans hurricane. It's a blend of Herradura tequila, triple sec, lemon and lime juices and Blue Curacao.
The Rib Room
Omni Royal Orleans, 621 St. Louis St., 529-5333; www.ribroom.net
The Bucket Martini special at lunch is a relic from a former era -- a perfect palate-primer for the hefty steaks the place is known for.
315 Bourbon St., 524-4222; www.ricks.com
Rick's has a glitzy central stage and featured dancers circulating throughout the spacious room during the evening. Private VIP rooms are also available.
201 Decatur St., 948-3287; www.rotolos.com
Rotolo's offers gourmet pizzas with delivery to the French Quarter, Marigny and CBD. The bar offerings are simple but the joint hosts live music several times a week.
Ryan's Irish Pub
241 Decatur St., 523-3500
Shoot pool after work or watch sports in the evening with a tap beer or a stiff Bloody Mary.
Sean Kelly's Pub
720 St. Louis St., 525-1406; www.nolairish.com
Sean Kelly's is an Irish pub with Guinness on draft and live music nightly. Also enjoy pool, air hockey, darts and a kitchen serving up shepherd's pie, fish and chips, and other classic pub grub.
Sheraton New Orleans
500 Canal St., 525-250 0; www.sheratonneworleans.com
The 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 later.
620 Conti St., 681-0911
The SideBar, with outdoor seating on Exchange Alley, features specialty drinks like melon mojitos as well as a full lineup of exotically flavored vodkas. Every night is service industry night with $2 Red Stripe and Jagermeister after midnight.
209 Decatur St., 525-5525
Look out House of Blues. This smaller scale but busy neighbor books a regular slate of live music and special shows like new burlesque troupes.
327 Bourbon St., 525-4470; www.temptationsclub.net
This historic Greek revival building features dancers plus amenities like VIP rooms and the third floor billiards room. Instead of a main stage, the club features small stages throughout the first two floors.
721 Bourbon St., 529-4109; 600 Bourbon St., 529-1720; www.tropicalisle.com
Creator of the almost lethal Hand Grenade cocktail, Tropical Isle now has several locations. The 721 Bourbon location also has live music and a popular balcony.
823 Decatur St., 525-8676; www.tujaguesrestaurant.com
Tujague's still serves drinks at its original elegant wooden bar. The mirror behind the bar was imported from France when the restaurant first opened. Try a grasshopper (milk and Creme de Menthe) or an absinthe.
Utopia Night Club
227 Bourbon St., 523-3800; www.bourbonsbest.com
In addition to live music on weekends, the bar also features regular homemade bikini contests. Happy hour features two-for-one drinks and goes until 9 p.m.
1135 Decatur St., 566-1338
Open every day from late evening until early morning, the very dark Whirling Dervish is the only alternative dance club in the Quarter, featuring old-school Goth/industrial DJ nights with some contemporary rock and pop thrown into the mix.
Ye Olde Original Dungeon
738 Toulouse St., 523-5530; www.originaldungeon.com
The old Dungeon was a place of urban legend. The Front Dungeon at street level now offers pool tables, TV and sports. The trip downstairs into Ye Olde Original Dungeon still leads to a lair of headbanging music, super-latenight antics and special drinks like the Dragon's Blood and Witch's Brew.
Zydeco BBQ & Roadhouse
808 Iberville St., 565-5520; www.zydecobbq.com
Zydeco has a full bar and several large TV screens which are typically tuned in to sports. Live local music on Fridays and Saturdays.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
1000 S. Clearview Parkway, Harahan, 733-0545; www.fat-tuesday.com
A long row of swirling daiquiri machines offers frozen concoctions in favorite flavors, like Crawgator, strawberry and mudslide. Check out the shop's beer of the month for a change of pace.
PJ's Coffee and Wine Bar
5359 Mounes St., Harahan, 731-2905Local coffee chain PJ's allows customers to satisfy two vices at this location. Patrons can choose from an array of aromatic coffees or sip a glass of merlot.
5725 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan, 733-3000;www.smiliesrestaurant.com
It could be the magnetic pull of the giant smiley face, but many a driver cruising down Jefferson Highway will stop by this local watering hole for afternoon happy hour.
Deckbar & Grille
1715 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 830-0104
Head to the Deckbar for good food and cheap drinks. This busy corner bar hosts all kinds of audience-incorporated entertainment, like Wednesday night blues shows.
Fox and Hound Pub & Grill
1200 S. Clearview Parkway, Jefferson, 731-6000; www.totent.com
A sports bar for serious fans, Fox and Hound flaunts walls of big-screen TVs and rows of beers on tap. A full menu of pub staples means you'll never go hungry during the big game.
1000 S. Clearview Pkwy. 736-1188
This recently opened cantina serves the same mix of Mexican fare as the Uptown location. Stop in for specialty margaritas.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
2712 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 831-7001; www.fat-tuesday.com
See Harahan listing for bar description.
5608 Citrus Blvd., Jefferson, 818-0111; www.reginellis.com
Stop by Reginelli's for a gourmet beer-and-pizza dinner. Abita Amber and Bud Light are only $2 a pitcher on Mondays and Tuesdays, and bottles of wine are $10 every Wednesday.
3449 River Road, Jefferson, 834-4938
A perfect place to grab a beer and a bite later in the evening, the Rivershack is reminiscent of an old-time highway stop with its vintage wall art and colorful exterior. Local bands play most weekends.
200 Monticello St., Jefferson, 835-2903; www.newsouthport.com
There's always something going on at Southport Hall, from Wednesday's bike night to live music on the weekends. The club's spacious patio and huge stage area accommodate large crowds.
Calas Bistro & Wine Cellar
910A W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 471-2200; www.calasbistro.com
Head to Calas for a glass of wine paired with a gourmet meal. A retail store sells bottles of wine and equipment. Wine tasting events are frequent.
Chevy's Fresh Mex
1325 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 469-5657; www.chevys.com
Chevy's has a new margarita flavor every month and always has a menu of classic concoctions too. Order one on the rocks with an appetizer.
2121 25th St., Kenner, 471-0808
The tropical-themed bar at Johnny Trauth's is called Bamboo Willy's, and everyday there's a new drink mixed up for restaurant patrons.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
2801 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 468-8302; www.fat-tuesday.com
See Harahan listing for bar description.
Speakeasy Sportsbar & Grill
3345 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-4069
Speakeasy is a sports bar, but it's also got DJ nights, a mix of live music and latenight food to keep the party going.
Treasure Chest Casino
5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-8000; www.treasurechestcasino.com
With its restaurants, live entertainment and ample gaming space, Treasure Chest is a great environment to grab a drink. So order a brew and hit the tables.
Esplanade Mall, 1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-7733; www.zearestaurants.com
Try one of Zea's custom-brewed beers, from the crisp Clearview Light to the bold Pontchartrain Porter. Each microbrew has recommended pairings with some of the restaurant's rotisserie meats.
3100 19th St., Metairie, 834-8583; www.andreasrestaurant.com
You might go to Andrea's for the Northern Italian cuisine, but the wine list is an attraction as well. With more than 300 selections, there's a perfect wine for every palate.
The Beach House
2401 N. Woodlawn Ave., Metairie, 456-7470Karaoke is a big deal at the Beach House, where there's Wednesday and Saturday night opportunities to get on stage and belt out a tune. Live music acts take the stage every other night of the week except Monday.
4612 Quincy St., Metairie, 456-0986
The Bengal Lounge is a high-octane hangout for rock and roll karaoke on Monday night. Or drop by on Wednesday for bike night with bands like The Topcats.
Bravo! Italian Kitchen
3413 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-8828; www.bravoitalian.com
The wine list reigns supreme at this Italian establishment, where you can choose from a wide selection of wines by the glass or bottle.
1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9773
Choose a drink from Byblos's full bar, which includes a selection of traditional Mediterranean aperitifs. Since any drink is better with food, pair your beverage with a tasty Lebanese treat.
Caddyshack Cafe and Bar
3217 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 833-1799; www.caddyshackcafeandbar.com
This smoky sports bar has plenty of TVs for catching a game, but the real draws here are the daily food and drink specials, including weekday happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
4628 Rye St., Metairie, 888-0078; www.cafeeastnola.com
Wine and Chinese food might seem like an odd mix at first, but Café East's extensive wine list makes the pairing seem natural. Another option is to choose from a selection of hot and cold sakes.
Chevy's Fresh Mex
3330 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-7788; www.chevys.com
See Kenner listing for description.
Chop's Bistro & Martini Bar
111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 218-8967
Check out happy hour every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., when all drink prices are reduced by $2-3 at this high-end watering hole. On Wednesdays, all martinis are only $5.
3229 Lisa Drive, Metairie, 456-3853; www.clubedenmetairie.com
The exotic dancers may be the primary reason for stopping by this Metairie gentleman's club, but the bar is an added bonus, especially for VIP members, who get two-for-one drinks.
4725 Quincy St., Metairie, 887-9809
This neighborhood sports bar recently got new big-screen TVs and a large projection screen in preparation for football season. An updated selection of pub grub means there's always something to munch on.
4450 Wabash St., Metairie, 885-2426
An impressive selection of liquor draws customers in to this neighborhood hangout. Friday nights are for dancing when a DJ spins a mix of music.
Don's Seafood Hut
4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-1550
The bar's been newly renovated and it's always happy hour with two-for-one specials on margaritas, Bloody Marys and draft beer. Five plasma televisions should satisfy every viewing angle during football season.
The Edge Bar & Grill
3400 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 780-2266
The big draws at the Edge are its steak nights, when every Tuesday and Thursday filet dinners are $9. Women flock in every Friday for free drinks until midnight.
452 Aurora Ave., Metairie, 828-7619
Tucked away in a residential area, this gem of a neighborhood bar is immaculately clean and has a laid-back atmosphere.
9021 Airline Dr., Metairie, 466-8862
This low-frills bar offers cheap drinks and a sports bar bent. Video games provide a little friendly competition. There's karaoke on Friday nights.
3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-9226
As the oldest-running bar in Jefferson Parish, Gennaro's knows how to show customers a good time. There's karaoke Wednesday through Sunday, plenty of video poker machines and walls of TVs for game days.
Hedges Bar & Grill
Sheraton Hotel, 4 Galleria Blvd., Metairie, 837-6707
Hedges has everything a hotel bar should offer -- a large selection of drinks, good food and a friendly staff. That's why locals frequent it as often as the Sheraton's out-of-town guests.
4748 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-0160; www.hooters.com
Big-screen TVs, hot wings and the "delightfully tacky" uniforms worn by the waitresses make Hooter's an easy choice for a casual night out.
Hurricane's Sports Bar and Grill
1414 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-0050
Breeze into Hurricane's for its daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The comfortable bar has live music on the weekends and also features a very popular Wednesday night pint and steak night.
1645 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-3555
Daily lunch specials and Monday-night poker tournaments bring in the crowds at Jigger's. The central circular bar and multiple big-screens mean everyone gets a good view during football season.
Lager's International Ale House
3501 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-9923; www.draftfreak.com
The beer menu at Lager's is bigger and longer than the food menu. Try an import draft you've never heard of before and accumulate points toward an open-bar party.
Legends Bar & Grill
2708 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 887-3877; www.legendsbarandgrill.com
With its nightly drink specials and packed entertainment schedule, this pub is becoming, well, something of a legend. Check out the beer of the month for a discounted brew.
M!X Ultra Lounge & Hookah Bar
Four Points by Sheraton, 6401 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-5700
The M!X Ultra Lounge is a sleek, modern lounge with a variety of offerings including DJs spinning different types of music some nights. There are also hookahs available for a flavorful smoke.
3201 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 780-2961; www.moschalet.com
Mo's has daily events, a large entertainment stage and a dance floor -- three things that keep locals coming back to this upscale hotspot. There's also food and wireless Internet.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-8474; 6201 Airline Drive, Metairie, 736-0066; 6830 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-9995; www.fat-tuesday.com
See Harahan listing for bar description.
2027 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-9540
Stop by Oscar's to get your Marilyn Monroe fix (almost everything is covered with her image), and stay for a game of darts and a great burger. There also are video poker machines and pool tables.
1917 Ridgelake Dr., Metairie, 835-4008
The cozy but elegant bar at Ristorante Fillipo is a good place to start the evening with a classic cocktail like an old fashioned or a martini or to peruse a large selection of California and Italian wines.
Serranos Salsa Company
4436 Veterans Blvd., Ste 36, Metairie, 780-2354; www.serranossalsacompany.com
This Latin American-fusion restaurant lists impressive numbers of tequilas and rums for customers to sample and also offers fruity cocktails. Try a drink with one of its Caribbean- or Latin American-inspired entrees.
Sidelines Bar & Grill
1229 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-4002
Sidelines has new flatscreen plasma TVs for guests' game-viewing pleasure. Add the spacious patio and selection of bar food and see why this place is a neighborhood favorite.
Sun Ray Grill
619 Pink St., Metairie, 837-0055; www.sunraygrill.com
A creative cocktail menu, beers on tap and a full wine list make Sun Ray a great place to grab a drink with dinner. The sophisticated atmosphere ensures a fun evening of gourmet tastes.
5216 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-5242
The Swamp Room's laid-back atmosphere and delicious food have kept it in business for years. Lingerie shows at lunch on Wednesdays and Friday evenings are new additions.
Sweet Fire & Ice
701 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-3437; www.sweetfireandice.com
The restaurant's Intrigue Fireside Martini and Oxygen Lounge keeps up the fire and ice theme in its décor. Liquor is kept below five degrees for the coldest martinis.
Waloo's Sports Bar & Grill
1300 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 834-6474
Hammerheads transformed into Waloo's, but the location is still a neighborhood favorite. Stop by for daily food and drink specials.
Whitey's Pool Hall
3764 Derbigny St., Metairie, 833-9122
Whitey's nine regulation-sized pool tables are a big draw, but the bar also has dartboards and video poker machines for less billiard-savvy customers.
Winston's Pub & Patio
531 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-8705
Winston's is decorated with an English flair, including lots of Beatles memorabilia. The bar serves classic cocktails and draft beers. Book a free private patio party with 30 or more people and get a free keg.
Zea Rotisserie and Brewery
Clearview Shopping Center, 4450 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-9090
See Kenner listing for restaurant description.
1517 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-1133
Zeke's is ready for football season with two new big plasma screens and a game-day food menu. Stop by for daily happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
10260 Jefferson Hwy, River Ridge, 737-9044
This longtime neighborhood favorite has a laidback atmosphere. There is usually live music on the weekends.
The Triangle West Bar
10801 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-9083
Triangle West uses a special cooling system to keep its brews perfectly chilled. Saturday night's famous karaoke is the perfect time to sample a cold one.
5135 Canal Blvd., 488-4191; www.draftfreak.com
This outpost of the Uptown favorite is a beer fan's paradise with a dizzying array of taps pouring dozens of international beers and microbrews. There's also a spacious garden for outdoor seating.
911 Harrison Ave., 486-4887
Add Lakeview Harbor to the returning Lakefront scene. There's live music on the weekends.
Parlay's Dream Lounge
870 Harrison Ave., 304-6338
This laid-back neighborhood joint bounced back strong from the floodwaters It's open from late morning till the wee hours daily.
Banks Street Bar & Grill
4401 Banks St., 486-0258
This homey locals' spot features raucous shows from up-and-coming rock bands, without a cover charge. Regulars also like the cheap drinks.
Beachcorner Bar & Grill
4905 Canal St., 488-7357
There may not be any breaking waves in sight, but hearty cocktails provide plenty of liquid entertainment. Neighborhood denizens swear by the hefty, 10-oz. burgers to buoy them up after a few drinks.
Brooks' Seahorse Saloon
1648 Gentilly Blvd., 218-4217
The horses in question are more likely to be found at the Fair Grounds Race Track across the street than in the salty deep. It's a great spot for a cold one before, after or instead of playing the ponies.
Bullets Sports Bar
2441 A.P. Tureaud Ave., 948-4003
Fans turn out in full Saints regalia on game days at this neighborhood favorite. Icy buckets of bottled beer serve as both balm for losses and celebration for wins.
Chickie Wah Wah
2828 Canal St., 304-4714; www.chickiewahwah.com
An outpost for some of the city's best rock, jazz and funk in the wilds of Mid-City, Chickie Wah Wah -- named for the Huey "Piano" Smith tune -- is good for late-night jams or cocktail-hour chilling.
540 S. Broad St., phone not available
The Chocolate Bar is one of Mid-City's newest club venues with DJs and live music on weekends. There are also seven large screen TVs to catch sports action.
3701 Banks St., 486-9080; www.finnmccools.com
An outpost of the Emerald Isle in the sweltering South, Finn McCool's offers expertly poured Guinness, hearty pub fare and a raucous Monday night pub quiz.
Liuzza's By the Track
1518 N. Lopez St., 218-7888
This corner bar near the Fairgrounds is the center of the offsite action at Jazz Fest. Iced globes of cold beer, Bloody Marys, andouille gumbo and the famous Breathtaking Beef po-boy make it a destination year-round.
Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
3636 Bienville St., 482-9120; www.liuzzas.com
Frosty, brimming schooners of beer, huge portions of New Orleans classics like po-boys and red beans and rice and a laid-back atmosphere have made Liuzza's a time-honored New Orleans favorite for half a century.
3800 Canal St., 482-9179
The bar and restaurant are configured differently, but the Mid-City classic is open again. The bar is standing room only, but Madina's is still a hub of social activity during dining hours.
Mick's Irish Pub
4801 Bienville Ave., 482-9113
A collection of video games form a makeshift arcade in the rear of the bar, where drinkers can fight space monsters and dodge enemy aircraft to their heart's content while enjoying cheap, strong cocktails and frosty beers.
Mid City Lanes Rock 'N' Bowl
4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133; www.rocknbowl.com
This local institution remains a destination for fans of New Orleans zydeco, rock and R&B. Whether you dance, bowl, eat or all three, it's like a step back in time to the Crescent City of the '50s.
949 N. Rendon St., 324-8899
Vintage pin-ups adorn the walls (check the men's room for collages of '60s and '70s-era porn) of this neighborhood spot, which straddles the line between swank and casual.
910 N. Carrollton Ave., 482-2680
Outdoor tables under a canopy provide the perfect vantage point to watch the streetcar clang down its brief route. Drink specials and Monday red beans make it a neighborhood favorite.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern
532 N. Hagan St., 482-3047
Grab an oyster po-boy and a cold Barq's during the day, and then come back at night for cocktails on the patio overlooking Bayou St. John. There is live music on weekend nights.
Ralph's on the Park
900 City Park Ave., 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.com
A fine dining spot in the Brennan tradition, Ralph's on the Park also pours a fine cocktail, to be sipped before the picture windows with the verdant view of neighboring City Park.
Sun Ray Grill
3700 Orleans Ave., 324-9663; www.sunraygrill.com
Nestled in the ground floor of the renovated American Can Building, Sun Ray serves imaginative bar food (like roast duck nachos) at bargain prices, and plenty of tasty cocktails -- like made-to-order margaritas -- to wash it down.
3143 Ponce de Leon St., 304-0635
This Mid-City wine store always invites guests to open a bottle for tasting. There are regular crowds for tasting events on Tuesday and Friday evenings.
141 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1600; www.witsinn.com
This corner bar offers a full menu of salads, pizzas and more for barflies drawn by the light of multiple flatscreen TVs and powerful signature cocktails, like the intimidating 24-oz. Mid-City Monsoon.
Abita Brew Pub
72011 Holly St., Abita Springs, (985) 892-5837; www.abita.com
Housed in the original location of Abita's brewery, the Brew Pub offers a full range of Abita beers and a gourmet menu.
69455 Hwy. 59, Abita Springs, (985) 809-6313
Camellia Café gets adventurous when it comes to the bar, pouring oversized cocktails like the Chameleon, a 56-oz. blend of Malibu rum, Blue Curacao and fruit juices served in a fishbowl-shaped glass.
81250 Hwy. 1082, Bush, (985) 892-9742; www.pontchartrainvineyards.com
The only major winery in the New Orleans area, Pontchartrain Vineyards offers tours and tastings only an hour's drive from downtown New Orleans.
71495 Chestnut St., Covington, (985) 809-7669; www.annadeles.com
The Bogue Falaya Lounge at this charming bed and breakfast offers a savvy wine list, as well as imaginative cocktails like the decadent Bananas Foster martini.
Boule Prime House
1202 N. Hwy 190, Covington, (985) 809-0969; www.newbouleprimehouse.com
The bar, Boule's Jazz Club, features live music Thursday to Saturday, a ladies night on Tuesday and Thursday with three-for-one martinis and a seven-hour long, 11 a.m. till 6 p.m. happy hour.
Calypso Patio Bar & Grill
326 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 875-9676
With house specials like the Pink Panty Pull-Down, the martini menu at Calypso is fun if not terribly Caribbean in inspiration. Enjoy the sugar-rimmed raspberry vodka and cranberry drink in the bar or on the patio.
Columbia Street Taproom and Grill
434 N. Columbia St., Covington, (985) 898-0899; www.columbiastreettaproom.com
More than 30 domestic and imported beers are available at one of Covington's most popular drinking establishments, including Heiner Brau, a beer brewed just around the corner in downtown Covington.
The Dakota Restaurant
629 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 892-3712; www.thedakotarestaurant.com
The restaurant has a sophisticated bar for a relaxing drink or a casual business meeting. The bar is stocked with a nice selection of half bottles of wine, single barrel bourbons and single malt scotches.
409 N. Columbus St., Covington, (985) 892-4578Etoile's wine list contains 200 bottles with 20 offered by the glass. Or try the signature Rumrunner cocktail made with New Orleans Rum.
The Green Room
521 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 892-2225; www.myspace.com/green_room
New Orleans bands have been driving their vans across the river lately to play this Covington joint, which features Abita and Blue Moon on tap, plus a tasty menu of bar food standards.
Vic and Nat'ly's
519 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 898-0667; www.vicandnatlys.com
The bar has a standard selection of beers on tap, which are $1.50 during the 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekday happy hours. Also try the signature Nat'ini, a 4-oz. pour made with any liquor.
25020 Hwy. 190, Lacombe, (985) 626-7662
Choose a bottle from the restaurant's extensive selection of Provencal wines to complement the excellent French food. The upscale bar area is also nice for cocktails.
New Orleans Bistro
27431 Hwy. 190 E., Lacombe, (985) 882-7282
The bistro's bar is a popular spot to grab a drink before dinner. Take advantage of the martini specials.
Frank's Marina Grill
100 Marina Del Ray Drive, Madisonville, (985) 792-4000
Located on the banks of the Tchefuncte River, Frank's Marina Grill is the spot to sit back and enjoy a drink or grab a bite while you groove to the live rock and blues acts booked Wednesday through Sunday.
Friends Coastal Restaurant
407 St. Tammany St., Madisonville, (985) 845-7303
There aren't many eateries accessible by boat and canoe, but this secluded seafood spot on the Tchefuncte River is one notable exception. There's deck seating right on the water. The mojito is the house specialty.
Keith Young's Steakhouse
165 Hwy. 21, Madisonville, (985) 845-9940
This restaurant has a bar in its waiting area, but the real drinking draw here is the wine list. An impressive selection of bottles is housed in the on-site, climate-controlled cellar.
702 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-4970
From the Tchefuncte River, Morton's Seafood looks more like a fishing camp than a seafood restaurant, with wooden chairs and a ceiling bedecked with fishing nets and plastic sea life. Cold beers are perfect to wash down seafood specials.
Water Street Bistro
804 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 845-3855
The bar at this cozy eatery is small, but it still serves up a variety of cocktails and beers. Martini specials are popular with the dining crowd.
1200 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 727-7212
This cantina boasts a selection of 20 tequilas and a variety of Mexican beers, including Pacifico, Tecate, Sol, Negro Modelo and Dos Equis -- perfect for cooling palates seared by the spicy Central American menu.
Cru Wine Boutique and Cellar
9822 St. Ann St., Suite 2, Mandeville, (985) 951-8982
The Wine Boutique is aptly named; the space contains crates of wine in the front for shopping and a sleek bar in the back for tasting. The staff will prime you on the 150-bottle selection.
1841 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 624-9704
Think of this bar as Cheers Plus: the bartender says she'll know your name and your drink. Coach could never promise that. Anything on the dining menu is available at the bar, and there's a daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
George's Mexican Restaurant
1461 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4342
Whether it's just to get a good seat for the game or to sip on one of the restaurant's specialty margaritas, George's can satisfy your north or south of the border needs.
La Casa Gomez
643 Lotus Dr., Mandeville, (985) 624-8667
This restaurant's bar serves up margaritas made from a wide selection of tequilas. Top shelf concoctions are two-for-one on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
4240 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 674-9883
The Northshore Mandina's offers the same Creole-Italian as the Mid-City original. The old fashioned is the signature drink and the bar offers happy hour specials of $1.50 beers from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
900 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-6990; www.fat-tuesday.com
See Harahan listing for bar description.
246 Gerard St., Mandeville, (985) 626-5619; www.nuvolaris.com
Nuvolari's Italian restaurant was originally a general store in the 1930s. Belly up to the hand-carved Honduran mahogany bar and sip a classic cocktail -- martinis are the house specialty.
Rip's Seafood Restaurant
1917 Lakeshore Drive, Mandeville, (985) 727-2829
Rip's three bars offer something for everyone. The main horseshoe-shaped bar has amazing views of Lake Pontchartrain, and upstairs and downstairs bars are used for weekend entertainment and private parties.
840 Lamarque St., Mandeville, (985) 626-9748; www.rubysroadhouse.com
This unassuming honky-tonk is one of the last standing roadhouses in Louisiana, continuously slinging drinks and hosting live bands since the 1930s. The beer's cold and the honky-tonk and blues are loud.
Times Bar & Grill
1896 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-1161; www.timesgrill.com
Times Bar & Grill is a family-friendly restaurant that features a huge char-grilled burger nicknamed "The Hulk." LSU fans will appreciate the purple-and-gold décor and the big screen TVs to watch the Tigers play.
600 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-4476
Trey Yuen draws crowds for its extensive menu of Chinese cuisine, but the sumptuous décor makes it an exotic getaway for drinks while you wait for a table.
3154 Pontchartrain Blvd., Slidell, (985) 643-6133; www.southsidecafe.net
Southside's spacious U-shaped bar fills up when the after-work crowd comes in, especially since it's happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every weekday.
850 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 643-9331
It's what you would expect a steakhouse bar to be: come in for a drink or two before a good steak in the dining room. Top it off with a nightcap back at the bar of cognac or a specialty coffee drink.
Ernie K-Doe's Mother-In-Law Lounge
1500 N. Claiborne Ave., 947-1078; www.k-doe.com
The Mother-In-Law is now home only to Empress of the Universe Antoinette K-Doe, widow of R&B icon Ernie. The lounge offers cheap drinks, live music and bonafide New Orleans spirit.
4529 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-9066
With its low ceiling, this casual bar has a subterranean feel and a cool, comfortable vibe. Grab a cheap beer or play darts or foosball.
Alexander's Food & Spirits
2604 Magazine St., 895-4112
More than a neighborhood restaurant known for juicy steaks and charbroiled oysters -- Alexander's is also a great place to sink into a plush sofa or get down on the large dance floor to weekly live music.
Balcony Bar & Café
3201 Magazine St., 895-1600
The Balcony Bar boasts a large selection of bottled and draft beers and primo spots for people watching -- whether from a bar stool or from the upstairs balcony.
1039 Broadway St., 866-9008
Often packed until the wee hours, The Boot is always bustling with Tulane and Loyola students who love cheap suds, drink specials and the Boot's book's-throw proximity to the universities.
The Bridge Lounge
1201 Magazine St., 299-1888
The happening happy hour at The Bridge Lounge makes this an ideal scene after a long workday. Well-behaved dogs are welcome here, and drink specials keep their owners returning.
7538 Maple St., 861-7615; www.brunostavern.com
With 20 beers on draft, 10 plasma-screen TVs, darts, pool, affordable fare and happy hour until 8 p.m. The newest iteration of Bruno's remains an Uptown institution that's been hailed from various corners of Maple and Hillary streets since 1934.
3236 Magazine St., 891-1516; www.draftfreak.com
Long a favorite hang-out for serious beer freaks (as its Web address attests), the Bulldog now boasts a bustling patio party filled with scenesters gathering to quaff brews and nosh quality pub grub.
3218 Magazine St., 894-1233
Sit at an outdoor table when the weather is nice or grab a seat at the bar for wine or drinks. It's just as hot a spot for cocktails as it is for Middle Eastern cuisine.
3445 Prytania St., 891-5773
This huge drinking locale has a square bar, pool tables and a dance floor in the back. Stop by for cheap drinks and bar food.
8140 Willow St., 865-9190; www.carrolltonstation.com
Named in honor of the nearby streetcar barn, Carrollton Station serves locals an array of reasonably-priced draft beers and specialty drinks and regularly showcases acoustic music and has singer/songwriter nights.
The Club/Ms. Mae's
4336 Magazine St., 895-9401, www.myspace.com/msmaes
A longtime favorite of a rowdy student crowd and devoted drinkers alike, this Uptown institution at the corner of Napoleon and Magazine is known for legendary cheap drinks and infamously late hours.
The Columns Hotel
3811 St. Charles Ave., 899-9308; www.thecolumns.com
The luxe lounge at the Columns Hotel features comfy living room seating, rich, dark wood and low lighting inside. The veranda offers prime viewing spots for sunsets on St. Charles Avenue.
Cooter Brown's Tavern and Oyster Bar
509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104; www.cooterbrowns.com
With international beer offerings numbering in the hundreds of bottles and dozens on draft, 15 widescreen all-sports satellite TVs and a variety of seafood and specialty sandwiches, there's something for everyone at Cooter Brown's.
3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858
This streetcar-shaped bar occupies a skinny block on St. Charles Avenue but boasts a wide range of wines by the glass, select spirits and imported beers. The elegant décor makes it an intimate spot for drinks.
Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar
5535 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8500
An aficionado's selection of fine liquors and cigars make Dos Jefes a sophisticated stop for an after-dinner drink. Stay for the free live local music that headlines here most nights.
F&M Patio Bar
4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-6784
For dancing on the pool table until dawn, grubbing greasy late-night eats or making memories (which you probably won't otherwise remember) in the bar's famed photo booth, F&Ms just can't be beat.
4330 St. Charles Ave., 895-9582
With its wild weekend and carnival crowds spilling out around sidewalk tables, this is an Uptown institution. Weekday patrons come for reasonably priced drinks and hearty pub fare.
4938 Prytania St., 895-1330
Felix's serves oysters and more along with a variety of cold beers and a small but thoughtful wine selection.
5130 Freret St., 891-4080; www.friartucksbar.com
A haven for sports fans and students, Friar Tuck's features the full NFL package, $2.50 pitchers, and complimentary wings and hot dogs for Monday Night Football. A collegiate crowd appreciates the wallet-friendly nightly bar specials.
GB's Patio Bar & Grill
8117 Maple St., 861-0067
An Uptown classic where the burgers and liquor are always top shelf, GB's is a great place to start out your evening in the Riverbend.
Grit's Bar and Pool Hall
530 Lyons St., 899-9211
On weekend nights, Grit's is more late-night dance club than billiards haven. Come any time to practice your pool game while taking advantage of the bar's reasonably priced drinks.
Half Moon Bar & Restaurant
1125 St. Mary St., 522-0599
This spacious tavern just past the lower Magazine split at the corner of St. Mary and Sophie Wright is known for its excellent jukebox selections, pool tables, video games and variety of draft beers.
Henry's Uptown Bar
5105 Magazine St., 897-3289
This longtime corner bar recently renovated and features several flatscreen TVs for sports and a good jukebox.
2133 St. Charles Ave., 568-9811
Merry multitaskers love this combination bar and laundromat on St. Charles Avenue. A full complement of drinks, burgers on the grill, washing machines and dryers are available 24 hours a day.
Igor's Buddha Belly Burger Bar
4437 Magazine St., 891-6105
Another Igor's laundro-bar, Igor's Buddha Belly offers juicy burgers, drink specials and laundry facilities as well as weekly open-mic, karaoke and movie nights.
8115 Jeannette St., 862-5848
Iris barely has a bar, with just five seats in a cozy dining room, but the specialty cocktails are exotic treats and well worth the trip.
Jin Jean's Lounge
1700 Louisiana Ave., 894-8970; www.jinjeansjazz.com
This Uptown jazz club features a lounge with live music and a restaurant.
1307 Lyons St., 891-2373; www.kingpinbar.com
Everyone's welcome at this Elvis-themed neighborhood watering hole. The bar's Uptown neighbors mingle with its late-night service-industry crowd. Saints game days regularly feature barbecues.
Le Bon Temps Roule
4801 Magazine St., 897-3448
With great bookings, including the long-running Thursday night Soul Rebels' gig, Le Bon Temps Roule is consistently one of the best music bets in town. Its comfortable front room is the place to convene for cocktails, to shoot pool and chat with friends.
Le Citron Bistro
1539 Religious St., 566-9051
Tucked away in one of the oldest surviving buildings above Canal Street, Le Citron has a long, elegant but casual bar for a drink before dinner.
1625 St. Charles Ave., 523-6538
Another satellite in the Igor's galaxy, Lucky's offers good drinks at low prices, pool tables, video games, burgers grilled to order, occasional karaoke, washing machines and a St. Charles Avenue balcony view.
800 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9455
Just down Maple Street from the universities, Madigan's is popular with a collegiate crowd. Commingling coeds often pack the place at night, but the bar serves a more mellow local set before dark.
The Maple Leaf Bar
8316 Oak St., 866-9359
In addition to the serious live music the Maple Leaf is famous for, this local and visitor favorite features a wide selection of draft beers, a secluded patio area out back and a pool table if you need a diversion during set breaks.
3715 Tchoupitoulas St., 897-3415, www.myspace.com/marlenesplace
Part pool hall, part music venue, Marlene's Place is a great Tchoupitoulas Street stop for a game of darts or billiards or for happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Stick around and settle in for some live rock 'n' roll on music nights.
1505 Amelia St., 895-9163
With low-slung colored lights and a familiar, comfortable feel, Uptown's out-of-the-way lounge on a narrow block just off Prytania Street is equally ideal for an after-work drink or a late-night crawl.
The Melting Pot
1820 St. Charles Ave., 525-3225; www.meltingpot.com
The bar at this St. Charles Avenue fondue favorite is a sweet spot for an after-dinner drink or liqueur with one of its decadent desserts. Purchase a bottle of wine Sunday through Thursday, and you'll get a complimentary cheese or chocolate fondue.
1312 Milan St., 895-1836
This low-ceilinged, narrow, neighborhood bar festooned with Cubs paraphernalia is a favorite with locals, Saints fans (who love the free food during games) during football season, and Mardi Gras partiers before and after parades.
6100 Magazine St., 899-4800
More than two dozen wines by the glass, specialty martinis and knowledgeable bartenders make Monkey Hill a classy place for a drink with friends. As the evening progresses, an older, local crowd gives way to a more collegiate clientele.
3242 Magazine St., 899-0031
With two-for-one margaritas every day during happy hour and other daily drink specials including Tuesday two-for-one mojitos and Saturday two-for-one sangria, Nacho Mama's gives you more than twice the reason to keep coming back for seconds.
New Orleans Original Daiquiris
8100 St. Charles Ave., 866-1846
Pick your potion: many of the forceful frozen concoctions (like the Tropical Itch) blended up at the crossroads of the Riverbend may leave you feeling as though you've fallen under the influence of voodoo spirits.
One Restaurant and Lounge
8132 Hampson St., 301-9061; www.one-sl.com
Subdued lighting, a sleek, relaxing atmosphere, upscale cocktails and more than two dozen wines by the glass make One a swank spot for an intimate date or a sophisticated alternative to happy hour.
2533 Constance St., 897-5413; www.parasols.com
Legendary roast beef po-boys aren't the only reason locals love this Irish Channel establishment. Its witty bartenders pour reasonably priced drinks for a spirited crowd.
1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877, www.neworleansrestaurants.com/pascalsmanale
Established in 1913, this family-owned Creole-Italian institution features classic cocktails accompanied by signature dishes from the kitchen -- including the original barbecue shrimp -- and framed history on the walls.
Philip Chan's Asian Cajun Bistro
8400 Oak St., 522-4964; www.asiancajunbistro.com
Philip Chan's Uptown location has a spacious bar area complete with a piano. Sometimes Chan himself plays a few tunes, but Phil Melancon is a regular at the keys later in the week.
3101 Magazine St., 891-1777
Happy hour extends from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays at the Rendezvous, which makes it a great place to sally up at the well-worn bar with friends and stay awhile. The bar opens early on weekends for game viewing during football season.
The Saint Bar and Lounge
961 St. Mary St., 523-0050
With relaxed seating, dim lighting and its speakeasy locale, the Saint is the ultimate ultra-casual hard rock hangout -- or hideout -- where the party really gets going in the late, late hours.
St. Charles Tavern
1433 St. Charles Ave., 523-9823
The unpretentious St. Charles Tavern is a convenient stop for drinks and reasonably priced steaks, sandwiches and New Orleans fare. The drinks are cheap and regular specials include a happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
St. Joe's Bar
5537 Magazine St., 899-3744
Locals hold this neighborhood favorite sacrosanct. A hip, relaxed clientele worships all kinds of spirits at the long, dark bar filled with saintly iconography. Some patrons prefer the red lantern-lit, breezy patio in back.
1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437
This hip Slice of a restaurant can be a great downtown retreat for drinks at the back bar. Affordably priced Abita pitchers are a regular draw.
Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge
7612 Oak St., 861-2802, www.snakeandjakes.com
You'd never know it from outside, but inside, a night owl crowd is gathered in the dim glow of haphazardly strung Christmas lights at Snake and Jake's. The décor puts the shabby in shabby chic, and the drinks are cheap.
8801 Oak St., 861-9293
Relatively new to the riverbend, this bar and grill on the site of an erstwhile Oak Street gas station serves up hearty pub fare and offers daily beer specials priced for student and twentysomething sets.
3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200; www.superiorgrill.com
The selection of more than 60 tequilas at this St. Charles Avenue social institution makes the Superior margarita superb.
2800 Magazine St., 872-9035
The extensive wine list and long, beautiful bar at Table One make it a convivial spot for conversing with friends over a midweek glass of vino.
501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; www.tipitinas.com
This New Orleans institution named in honor of Professor Longhair schedules some of the best music bets in town. Get down to Tip's sounds with a cold draft Abita or a $2 Miller High Life.
7708 Maple St., 304-7256
Tucked away in a pretty cottage in the university neighborhood, Uptown Cajun offers a full menu, full bar and plenty of sports on widescreen televisions.
1755 Tchoupitoulas St., 309-9941; www.thehottestclub.com
The Venue is a top choice for VIP lounging among the velvet-rope set. The night club enforces a dress code, so dress to impress and come ready to dance.
7537 Maple St., 866-1736
Two-for-one margarita pitchers at Vera Cruz are a Tuesday and Thursday night Tulane-area tradition. Students on a budget also enjoy weekly martini and beer specials and the fresh and affordable Tex-Mex cuisine.
Ye Olde College Inn
3016 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683
Now firmly ensconced in its new location right next door to the original Ye Olde College Inn, this Carrolton Avenue institution serves cold Abita beer, classic local fare and a daily dose of local history.
1525 St. Charles Ave., 520-8100, www.zearestaurants.com
With a wide variety of wines by the glass or bottle and a selection of handcrafted microbrews, Zea is the perfect place to stop in for a drink at the bar or settle into a booth for libations paired with something from the rotisserie or grill.
7 on Fulton
Riverfront Hotel, 701 Convention Center Blvd., 525-7555
Located in the Riverfront Hotel, this spacious restaurant features late-night dining to accompany your cocktails. Slide up to the sleek marble bar and order a smooth martini, house special mojito or glass of wine.
528 By Todd English
528 Fulton St., 533-6117; www.harrahs.com
There's live jazz Wednesday through Saturday. The club's special cocktails include the Watermelon Man, Bitches Brew and Blue Train.
1100 Poydras St., 582-2350
The CBD lunch spot keeps the bar open till early evening during the week, but it's really hopping during Saints home games for popular tailgating parties.
600 St. Charles Ave., 274-0105; www.anatoles.com
Whether you go for bi-weekly celebrity bartender events or anytime, Anatole's offers a long list of specialty cocktails and an extensive wine list.
1032 St. Charles Ave., 588-2616
This intimate spot in a ramshackle townhouse on Lee Circle offers cheap drinks, live music nightly and one of the finest jukeboxes in town, with an eclectic selection of rare garage rock, soul and R&B.
930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123; www.cochonrestaurant.com
The bar at chef Donald Link's rustic-themed joint has several boutique varieties of straight corn whiskey -- that's moonshine to you -- and offers well-crafted cocktails like a Satsuma martini, for the more refined palate.
Dino's Bar and Grill
1128 Tchoupitoulas St., 558-0900
Local residents and daytime workers know that Dino's is a good bet for a beer and a burger anytime after 11 a.m., and pub crawlers can stumble in for late-night snacks. On game days, icy buckets of beer fuel fans as they cheer on their team.
600 S. Peters St., 525-8544; www.ernstcafe.net
Established in 1902, Ernst Café retained its historic charm through a recent renovation. It's alternately a popular hangout for young professionals and visiting conventioneers.
Generations Hall/ Metropolitan
310 Andrew Higgins Drive., 568-1700
On Saturdays, Generations Hall opens its doors to the public as a see-and-be-seen disco, where the bouncers mean business and the dress code is strictly enforced.
Gordon Biersch Brewery
200 Poydras St., 552-2739; www.gordonbiersch.com
The outdoor beer garden beckons at this spiffy local branch of the national microbrewery chain. Pull up a seat and sample European-style craft beers including hefeweizen, wheat ale and golden lager.
Grand Isle Restaurant
575 Convention Center Blvd., 520-8530; www.grandislerestaurant.com
This bright new seafood house has an oyster bar and offers several beers on draft and wines by the carafe as well as glass or bottle.
701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114; www.herbsaint.com
The cocktails on Herbsaint's bar menu are crafted with enough care and skill -- try a piquant old-fashioned or a leafy caipirinha -- to make waiting for a table an event in and of itself.
870 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-2858
The minimalist décor has some Asian accents, but the restaurant puts out stylishly presented fusion dishes and there are always unique specialty cocktails from the bar.
The Howlin' Wolf
907 S. Peters St., 522-WOLF; www.howlin-wolf.com
Back to its old tricks in the new location, the Howlin' Wolf offers live local music and touring indie-rock acts, plus plenty of inexpensive, promptly served booze to fuel the party.
Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar
701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com
This cantina is a California-style Mexican food joint during the day and a party spot on weekend nights when the crowd spills into the street. Try the powerful Shark Attack cocktail, which comes garnished with a mini-replica of a blood-mawed Great White.
Mulate's, The Original Cajun Restaurant
201 Julia St., 522-1492; www.mulates.com
Enjoy live Cajun music and dancing along with authentic Cajun food daily. There's cold Abita Amber on tap.
Red Eye Grill
852 S. Peters St., 593-9393
Cheap, satisfyingly greasy bar food and a rowdy atmosphere make the Red Eye a great late-night destination after a show at nearby music clubs.
Republic New Orleans
828 S. Peters St., 528-8882; www.republicnola.com
This two-story nightclub is alternately grungy or glamorous depending on the event and the crowd. Home to edgy touring indie acts, DJs and charity fashion shows, the bar serves up cold High Life and Godiva martinis with equal aplomb.
Rock-n-Sake Bar and Sushi
823 Fulton St., 581-7253; www.rocknsake.com
Sake is offered straight or as an ingredient in several specialty cocktails that'll have you ready to sing karaoke before you can say "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto."
The Rusty Nail
1100 Constance St., 525-5515
The site of the former boho-chic Mermaid Lounge has undergone a renovation and is now a warmer, brighter space to grab a drink, catch comedy open-mic night or live music.
Sun Ray Grill
1051 Annunciation St., 566-0021; www.sunraygrill.com
This bar squeezes fresh citrus juices to make everything from screwdrivers to margaritas and offers a wide selection of wines by the glass.
Swizzle Stick Lounge at Café Adelaide
Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., 595-3305; www.cafeadelaide.com
The Brennan family created the stylish Swizzle Stick in homage to a free-spirited relative, who is further honored as the namesake of the Adelaide Swizzle, a bright cocktail crafted from dark rum.
Tommy's Wine Bar
752 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-4790
Elegantly appointed with plush couches and chairs, high ceilings, dark wood and low lighting, Tommy's Wine Bar maintains the upscale vibe nourished by Tommy's Cuisine next door. The bar offers more than 100 bottles of wine and champagne, as well as cocktails, cordials and a limited but refined bar menu
869 Magazine St., 522-0440
Renowned for its monstrous stuffed and deep-fried hamburgers, Tucker's has got the grub to keep you going through many rounds in this fun and funky neighborhood pub.
Ugly Dog Saloon
401 Andrew Higgins Drive, 569-8459
Draft selections range from domestic to microbrew at this barbecue joint, where pool, video poker, darts and 10 big-screen TVs keep barflies well occupied.
Vic's Kangaroo Café
636 Tchoupitoulas St., 524-4329
With 15 beers on draft, including Foster's, and a wine list focusing on vinters from the land of Oz, you'll forego the groan when you hear that the happy hour is called "Hoppy Hour."
Wolfe's in the Warehouse
859 Convention Center Blvd., 613-2882
Located in the Marriott Hotel near the Convention Center, the bar at Wolfe's in the Warehouse is a clubby affair, steeped in old-school style. The adjacent restaurant serves chef Tom Wolfe's contemporary Louisiana cuisine.
The Crown and Anchor
200 Pelican Ave., Algiers Point, 227-1007; www.crownanchorpub.com
This authentic British pub's walls and ceilings are covered in U.K. memorabilia. Thursday boasts its popular trivia night.
Dry Dock Cafe and Bar
133 Delaronde St., 361-8240; www.thedrydockcafe.com
This nautical-themed establishment is only steps away from the ferry landing, so catch a ride from Canal Street to take advantage of Dry Dock's daily lunch and dinner specials and weekday happy hours.
Old Point Bar
545 Patterson St., Algiers Point, 364-0950; www.oldpointbar.com
Old Point Bar looks like an quiet corner watering hole from back in the day, but step inside and you'll find a big entertainment area with live music most nights of the week.
109 Wall Blvd., Gretna, 393-8344
Stop by Cocktails for a selection of beers and, yes, cocktails in a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. Unescorted women always get their second drink free.
Red Maple Bar and Lounge
1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935; www.theredmaple.com
The Red Maple's upstairs lounge is a luxurious spot to grab a cocktail. Downstairs, the inviting brick-floored dining room is lined with wine racks.
Sun Ray Grill
2600 Belle Chase Hwy., Gretna, 391-0053; www.sunraygrill.com
This is the original location of the local chain, where diners can enjoy a nice selection of wines by the glass or cocktails made with fresh-squeezed citrus juices.
Boomers at Boomtown Casino
4132 Peters Road, Harvey, 366-7711; www.boomtownneworleans.com
Boomers has live music on the weekends with no cover and no drink minimums, to provide fun-seekers with action besides slots and table games.
Chevy's Fresh Mex
1201 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 368-2100; www.chevys.com
Chevy's offers a full menu of creative margaritas made with a variety of tequilas. Order the margarita of the month to try a new twist on the classic drink.
3300 Fourth St., Harvey, 341-0777
This cozy tavern offers daily lunch specials, live music on Thursday nights and a daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., when bottled domestics are just $1.50.
Vinnie's Sports Bar & Grill
2766 Belle Chase Hwy, Suite 3, Terrytown, 393-0155
Vinnie's is a classic sports bar with TVs on every wall for optimal game viewing. There are also pool tables, video trivia and karaoke on Wednesday nights.