801 Poland Ave., 504-592-7083; www.barredux.com
The vibe: This colorful Bywater lounge and courtyard hosts live music, DJ nights, burlesque shows and comedy. The Creole-Caribbean menu includes red beans, burgers and a Cuban sandwich.
What you'll drink: Bottled beer and mixed drinks.
3442 St. Charles Ave., 504-895-0858; www.thedelachaise.com
The vibe: Dress up or down for a date at this popular wine bar, known for its Parisian-style outdoor patio as well as upscale bar fare like steak, mussels and goose-fat fries.
What you'll drink: A large selection of wine and a well-curated list of craft and imported draft and bottled beer.
Handsome Willy's Patio Bar & Lounge
218 S. Robertson St., 504-525-0377; www.handsomewillys.tumblr.com
The vibe: A beacon in the quiet medical district, Handsome Willy's is a go-to spot for funk and reggae DJ nights, cheap tacos and free food on Fridays. There's plenty of space on front and back patios.
What you'll drink: Beer, margaritas, Handsome Juice.
Lost Love Lounge
2529 Dauphine St., 504-949-2009; www.lostlovelounge.com
The vibe: Dimly-lit, low-slung lounge with weekly comedy shows, karaoke nights and Sunday evening TV-watching parties. The Vietnamese kitchen in the back offers vegetarian-friendly alternatives to traditional bar food.
What you'll drink: Beer, wine, Pimm's cups.
Mimi's in the Marigny
2601 Royal St.; 504-872-9868; www.mimismarigny.com
The vibe: It's pool and booze downstairs, table seating and a mellower vibe upstairs at this hangout for hipsters, service industry workers and night owls.
What you'll drink: Local beer on draft, wine, cocktails.
5039 Freret St., 504-231-7011; www.theotherbar.tv
The vibe: Like a college friend's funky basement — this laid-back spot attracts a young crowd from nearby universities for free skee ball and vintage arcade games.
What you'll drink: Beer in bottles and cans, simple cocktails.
3445 Prytania St., 504-891-5773; www.prytaniabar.com
The vibe: Step up to the elevated bar at this casual, collegiate joint with TVs, plentiful outdoor seating and live music most weekends.
What you'll drink: Draft beer, craft beer, sangria in mason jars.
1431 Royal St., 504-948-7499; www.royalstreetinn.com
The vibe: Dark yet welcoming, the Royal Street Inn's un-hotel bar usually has a cult film projected behind the bar and a few canines under the pool table. Get a shot and a haircut (in a barber chair) for $10 on Monday nights.
What you'll drink: Beer, a shot and a beer.
961 St. Mary St., 504-523-0050; www.thesaintneworleans.com
The vibe: This cave-like Lower Garden District haunt hosts frequent DJ nights and attracts dedicated regulars — who mostly arrive very late. Tuesday nights feature Tikioke, with tropical-themed drinks and free karaoke.
What you'll drink: Beer, shots, another shot.
3067 St. Claude Ave., 504-949-7532; www.saturnbar.com
The vibe: Heavily graffitied dive bar decorated with neon signs and the accumulated clutter of decades. Open late, and later still for monthly Mod Night dance parties and the occasional rock band.
What you'll drink: Domestic beer, cheap mixed drinks.
Twelve Mile Limit
500 S. Telemachus St., 504-488-8114; www.facebook.com/twelve.mile.limit
The vibe: The friendly neighborhood joint combines hipster draws (specialty cocktails, a back patio, trivia night) and dive bar amenities (a pool table, $2 domestic beer).
What you'll drink: The Baudin, a spicy bourbon-honey cocktail, or the Big Papa Doble, a take on a Hemingway Special made with grapefruit radler.