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Gambit's The Big Bar Guide 2015: French Quarter 

click to enlarge Patrons smoke cigars and drink scotch and cocktails at the bar of La Habana Hemingway Cigar Bar in the French Quarter.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Patrons smoke cigars and drink scotch and cocktails at the bar of La Habana Hemingway Cigar Bar in the French Quarter.

21st Amendment
La Louisiane, 725 Iberville St., (504) 378-7330;
Step into this bar and feel the ambience of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, with tommy guns and framed photos of mobsters covering the walls inside an 1880s building. The Canned Heat cocktail combines basil, jalapeno-bell pepper tequila, ginger liquor and lime. There’s live music daily. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7p.m. Mon.-Thu.

The Abbey Bar
1123 Decatur St., (504) 523-7177
Neighborhood bar
With its jukebox and 24-hour open doors, this dog-friendly ultra casual watering hole is a longtime locals' hangout on lower Decatur Street and serves free food on holidays. There is a $5 shot and a beer special every day and seating in the courtyard. Open 24 hours daily. No food.

Alibi Bar & Grill
811 Iberville St., (504) 522-9187;
The Alibi is the stuff of late-night legend: a rowdy, convivial mix of service-industry workers, strippers and assorted colorful Quarter characters that gather for burgers and stiff drinks. The imported beer list goes from Guinness to hard-to-find German brews and Thailand's Singha. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

American Sports Saloon
1200 Decatur St., (504) 300-1782
Restaurant bar
This lower-Decatur spot lives up to its name with additional seating placed on what's billed as the largest balcony in the Quarter, with enough TVs there and in the downstairs barroom to screen any NFL or NBA game from across the country that a customer may request. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Arnaud's French 75 Bar
813 Bienville St., (504) 523-5433;;
Restaurant Bar
The beautifully polished interior bespeaks New Orleans' gilded age. There's seating at the bar or in intimate table groupings and a relaxed feel. The most popular drinks are the namesake French 75 — made with cognac instead of gin — and the Contessa, a mix of Boodles gin, Aperol, grapefruit juice, cranberry cordial and orange bitters. The bar menu includes some signature items from Arnaud's restaurant. Open Thu.-Tue. Food available.

Attiki Bar and Grill
230 Decatur St., (504) 587-3756;
Restaurant bar
Sip a basil gimlet or the popular raspberry truffle (Champagne with raspberry, flaming arak, Bouchard wine and chocolate wine) while watching belly dancers on Friday and Saturday. The bar also has wines from around the world, martinis and beer, as well as a hookah bar and a menu of Mediterranean food. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Thu.

Aunt Tiki's
1207 Decatur St., (504) 680-8454
Dive bar
It's dive enough to earn its lower-Decatur cred but chill enough to meet a co-worker for a post-work beer. Aside from some funky backroom furniture, Aunt Tiki's doesn't have much of a tiki theme. But it does have colorful regulars, who come in to play the jukebox, video poker and get PBR cans on ice for $2.25. Open daily. No food.

Backspace Bar & Kitchen
139 Chartres St., (504) 322-2245;;
Restaurant bar
Authors and alcohol have long formed a tight bond, and the wordsmith mixologists behind Backspace take this as an inspiration — found in tweets about the 50 most beautiful words in the English language and signature cocktails including a mint julep made from William Faulkner's recipe: whiskey, sugar, ice and crushed fresh mint in a metal cup. Sloppy Joes are now on the food menu. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Bar R'evolution
777 Bienville St., (504) 553-2277;;
Restaurant bar
The "liquor library" at this restaurant bar displays the ingredients to the craft cocktails inspired by drinks from the pre-Prohibition era against lacquered red walls and an indigo-stained wooden bar. The bartenders update classic drinks such as absinthe cocktails and cobblers by using small-batch spirits, house-made bitters and ratafias. There also are French-inspired fruit cordials. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Bar Tonique
820 N. Rampart St., (504) 324-6045;;
Craft cocktails
Moments are shared in the cozy confines of Tonique's U-shaped bar, which serves cocktails including the popular Moscow Mule, Frenchmen's Dark & Stormy and Pimm's Cup. Bartenders use house-made tonic water, juices and syrups in their drinks. Open daily. No food. Happy hour noon-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

800 Iberville St., (504) 586-0800;;
Craft cocktails
There's live music Friday and Saturday nights, and happy hour features a special cocktail paired with food. Whiskey is a specialty (barrel service is available) as well as craft cocktails such as the Heated Situation: Anaheim pepper-infused vodka, Cointreau, lime and orange juices and prickly pear puree. The kitchen offers crab cakes, cheese and meat boards, seafood nachos and more. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thu.

Beach on Bourbon
227 Bourbon St., (504) 231-8519;
Dance club
More an oasis than a beach, the bar features a central brick courtyard surrounded by a stage for live music or DJs, TVs for sports viewing, private party areas with VIP bottle service and more. Large three-shot cocktails are served in plastic buckets. Happy hour features three-for-one shots. Open daily. No food. Happy hour opening-8 p.m. daily.

Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29
321 N. Peters St., (504) 609-3811;;
Craft cocktails
Tiki expert and cocktail book author Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's tiki lounge is a Polynesian hideaway in the French Quarter. It's decorated with his tiki artifacts and the bar serves a mix of classic and original tiki drinks, including the Kea colada, mai tai, zombie and Pontchartrain Pearl Diver. There's also a menu of Asian and Polynesian-inspired dishes. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour noon-6 p.m. Fri., 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Thu.

Belli Baci Lounge at Cafe Giovanni
117 Decatur St., (504) 529-2154;
Restaurant bar
There's live music Wednesday through Friday at this lounge adjacent to Italian restaurant Cafe Giovanni. Martinis and cocktails made with house-made simple syrups and freshly squeezed fruits are popular choices, and you can sit at the bar, take a chair or nestle into a booth among lots of cushy red decor. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Big Mama's Lounge
229 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999;;;
The bar offers free live music by local bands on Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. People also come for cheap drinks, craft cocktails like the popular Moscow Mule and a bar menu of Irish nachos, grilled cheese, wings and chicken tenders. Open Fri.-Sat. Food available.

Black Penny
700 N. Rampart St., (504) 304-4779
Neighborhood bar
The bar specializes in beer, offering almost 100 canned craft beers and rare offerings like Finch's Fascist Pig, Horny Goat Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter and Great Raft Commotion. There's a large projection screen for watching New Orleans Saints games. The bar is dog-friendly. The Old Portage pop-up serves food every other Saturday. Open daily. Food available some days.

The Bombay Club
830 Conti St., (504) 577-2237;;
Restaurant bar
The ambience is that of a British gentlemen's club, and live jazz music is performed nightly. The restaurant offers upscale pub fare with British and Cajun flavors, and the bar specializes in martinis, classic cocktails and craft cocktails including the Blackout Bramble: Plymouth gin, Creme de Mure float, raspberry, blackberry and lime. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Bourbon Bad Boys
632 Bourbon St., (504) 442-3223;;
Gentlewoman's club
Bourbon Bad Boys features an all-male revue, a variety of drink options and a DJ to keep the party going. The show is geared toward female customers but all are welcome. Open daily. No food.

Bourbon Cowboy
241 Bourbon St., (504) 231-8519;
Bourbon Street gets a little bit country at this rowdy saloon, complete with a mechanical bull. Cowpokes can dance to DJs, watch sports on TV or look down on Bourbon Street from the wraparound balcony. Happy hour features three-for-one shots. Open daily. No food. Happy hour opening-8 p.m. daily.

Bourbon Heat
711 Bourbon St., (504) 324-4669;;
Dance club
Located in the former historic Tricou House, Bourbon Heat provides visitors with an electric dance club upstairs or a chandelier-bedecked barroom downstairs and a lush courtyard. The signature drink is The Heat, a mix of Malibu Red rum and fruit juices. Food is available at the Courtyard Grill. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Bourbon House
144 Bourbon St., (504) 522-0111;;
Craft cocktails
Customers can choose from more than 160 American whiskeys, as well as a menu of craft cocktails, wine on tap and craft beers. The signature frozen bourbon milk punch features house-made vanilla gelato and Old Forester bourbon. Noshing items include oysters, shrimp, crab and redfish. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Bourbon O Bar
730 Bourbon St., (407) 924-6234;;
Craft cocktails
There's live music Wednesday through Saturday, and local guests receive discounts every day. The bar focuses on classic New Orleans cocktails, including a Ramos gin fizz that's shaken for six minutes, an absinthe drip, Sazerac, grasshopper, French 75 and hurricane. Mini muffuletta baskets are always available. Open daily. Food available.

Bourbon Pub & Parade
801 Bourbon St., (504) 529-2107;;
Dance Club
The balcony at this high-energy gay
dance club is among the best people-watching spots on Bourbon Street. There's karaoke on Thursday and drag shows on Sunday. The bar is dog-friendly during the day, and bartenders keep treats on hand for canine guests. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 5 a.m.-
1 p.m. daily.

The Burgundy Bar
The Saint Hotel, 931 Canal St., (504) 522-5400;
Craft Cocktails
Rich, dark woods, bordello-inspired decorative accents and plenty of seating invite patrons to enjoy the extensive beer, wine and cocktail menu at the Burgundy Bar. There's free live music Wednesday through Saturday. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.- 7 p.m. daily.

Cafe Beignet
311 Bourbon St., (504) 524-5530;
Restaurant bar
There's live jazz every day starting at 10 a.m.
at this dog-friendly patio bar, which has
a courtyard with life-sized bronze figures of New Orleans' music greats. Traditional
cocktails like old fashioneds and bloody marys are the most popular, and guests who order specialty drinks get to keep the glass. The cafe serves breakfast, pastries, sandwiches and New Orleans dishes. Open daily.
Food available.

Cafe Lafitte in Exile
901 Bourbon St., (504) 522-8397;;
Gay Bar
Wednesday is karaoke night at this French Quarter spot, and there's a dance-all-night Trash Disco party on Sunday. Bloody marys are patrons' top choice, and the bar is a popular spot for service industry workers and the gay community. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 1 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Cafe Soule
720 St. Louis St., (504) 304-4636;
Craft cocktails
The French-style cafe serves craft cocktails and has extensive wine and beer lists. It also serves gourmet coffee and espresso, along with beignets, French and Creole dishes. Popular cocktails include a cucumber bloody mary and the Soule cocktail, a mix of Champagne, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and orange zest. Open Wed.-Mon. Full restaurant menu.

Cane & Table
1113 Decatur St., (504) 581-1112;;
Restaurant bar
Proto-tiki cocktails served in a Caribbean atmosphere with rustic Colonial cuisine are what draw customers. The Boss colada is a tall drink of fresh pineapple, lime and Boska Snaps (a Swedish aquavit infused with wormwood). Labat's planter's punch, named for 17th-century priest Jean-Baptiste Labat, has three kinds of rum, Caribbean spices and lime. Open Mon.-Sun. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Carousel Bar & Lounge
214 Royal St., 504-523-3341;;
Hotel Bar
The venerable Carousel Bar got a facelift a few years ago, but the famous rotating bar — with its hand-painted horses and Tivoli Gardens lighting — remained the same. There's a menu of New Orleans Saints-inspired drinks and classics like the Sazerac, which have been served here for
decades. Open daily. Food available.

Carriageway Bar at Court of Two Sisters
613 Royal St., (504) 522-7261;
Restaurant bar
The old-style bar is located in the historic Court of Two Sisters restaurant in the heart of the French Quarter and offers signature drinks such as the chilled Two Sisters Toddy and the Bayou Bash, which mixes Southern Comfort, fruit juices and red wine (the cocktail won an award from Culinary Concierge Magazine). A menu of small plates is available beginning at 5 p.m. Open daily. Food available.

Cat's Meow
701 Bourbon St., (504) 523-2788;;
Dance Club
Everyone's a star at Cat's Meow. This karaoke club, in operation more than a quarter-century, wants you to embrace your inner diva and/or rock star and lead the perpetually packed dance floor in singalongs to classic rock, country and hip-hop anthems. Open daily. No food. Happy hour daily opening-8 p.m.

Claire's Pour House
233 Decatur St., (504) 558-8980
Neighborhood bar
There's a large selection of craft beers and wines by the glass as this casual hangout. A jukebox provides music, there's video poker, free Wi-Fi and dogs are welcome. Open daily. No food.

Coop's Place
1109 Decatur St., (504) 525-9053;
Restaurant bar
Don't be the guy who comes into Coop's and orders a mojito, causing a scramble for mint in the kitchen and under-breath rants from Coop's drink slingers. Come to Coop's for tastes of Louisiana, such as spicy bloody marys, seasonal Abita brews and the kitchen's famed rabbit and sausage jambalaya. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Copper Monkey Bar & Grill
725 Conti St., (504) 527-0869;
Neighborhood bar
A locals' oasis amid unchecked tourist revelry, Copper Monkey serves up a range of local microbrews such as LA 31 and Covington Brewhouse and a selection of imported suds like Newcastle. A collection of absinthe is poured in $12, $15 or $20 quantities. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

The Corner Pocket
940 St. Louis St., (504) 568-9829;
Gay bar
The big draws are boys dancing on the bar and strong cocktails. There's always something interesting going on, like Friday's New Meat Amateur Dance Contest (winners get $100 and $50). Saturday features the 15-member All Boy Review, and there's a Barry Bareass Dancer of the Week Contest with a $50 prize. A signature cocktail is Anthony's Big Gay Fruity Drink: a half-shot each of Midori and Malibu, a drizzle of Absolut Mandarin, pineapple and orange juice and 7-Up. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 3 p.m.-8 p.m. daily.

Cosimo's French Quarter Bar
1201 Burgundy St., (504) 522-9715;
Neighborhood bar
As unassuming as it is historic and beloved, Cosimo's has a cast of beatific beauties behind the bar capable of taking care of scenarios from quiet cocktail dates to taking it deep past midnight with newfound barstool buddies. On top of pizza, Tuesdays now offer $2 tacos and will see vats of boiling crawfish on the sidewalk in season. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour open- 7 p.m. daily.

Crescent City Brewhouse
527 Decatur St., (504) 522-0571;
Beer pub
The French Quarter's only brewpub offers live jazz every night, house-brewed beers and a variety of New Orleans-style dishes. Featured brews include the malty Black Forest, Vienna-style Red Stallion, light Old World pilsner, golden Weiss beer and a specialty brew each month. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Crossroads at House of Blues
225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999;;
Restaurant bar
Comedy shows, live music and karaoke (with a live band providing music) make up specialty nights at this restaurant, which offers eye candy with a wealth of folk art, along with drinks including the popular Insane Hurricane. There's also a gospel brunch on Sunday. Diners who eat here before a concert get to "pass the line" to get into the event. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-5 p.m. daily.

The Davenport Lounge
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, 921 Canal St., (504) 524-1331;
Hotel Bar
Settle into a plush sofa or club chair and sip on a signature Smokey Mountain Manhattan, Calliope Cocktail or Blueberry Lemon Shrub. Jazz trumpeter and crooner Jeremy Davenport performs Wednesday through Saturday evenings, and there's a small dance floor. Wednesdays offer "Bites, Barrels & Jazz," with small bites and tasting-size portions of small-batch American whiskeys and wines. Open daily. Food available.

Deja Vu Bar & Grill
400 Dauphine St., (504) 523-1931;
Restaurant bar
This 24/7 bar and restaurant is popular with service industry workers looking for a cheap post-shift drink and revelers looking for a meal (the kitchen never closes). Bloody marys are $5 and come with a souvenir cup. Open 24 hours daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Deja Vu Showgirls
226 Bourbon St., (504) 525-5801;
Gentlemen's club
See the sights on Bourbon Street's rowdiest block from Deja Vu's private balcony and bar overlooking the scene. Or set your sights on its Showgirls, performing live shows including their own "Voodoo Burlesque." There's a VIP lounge, and Champagne is available by the glass. Open daily. No food.

Desire Oyster Bar
Royal Sonesta, 300 Bourbon St., (504) 553-2281;;
Restaurant bar
A tin ceiling and black-and-white checkered floors are holdovers in a newly renovated space with a new contemporary bar, high-boy tables and a char-grill station for oysters. The hurricane is the most popular drink, and here it's made with fresh passion fruit juice. The food menu also received a facelift and standards like Desire's shrimp and grits and gumbo are joined by new dishes such as crawfish cheesecake with red pepper aioli. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

Deuce McAllister's Ole Saint Kitchen & Tap
132 Royal St., (504) 309-4797;;
Beer pub
Memorabilia from former New Orleans Saint Deuce McAllister's football career decorates the interior of this bar inside the Wyndham New Orleans hotel. Ole Saint features a large selection of local, regional and national craft beers and serves Southern coastal cuisine. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse
716 Iberville St., (504) 522-2467;;
Craft cocktails
The bar at this clubby steakhouse has a cocktail menu featuring house takes on classics such as the Moscow mule (vodka, cognac, lime juice, ginger beer), and Manhattan (Benchmark bourbon, Dolin sweet vermouth, Reagan's orange bitters). There are TVs for sports viewing and free Wi-Fi. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Doris Metropolitan
620 Chartres St., 504-267-3500;;
Restaurant bar
On an unassuming corner near Jackson Square, this temple to the glory of beef also has a swanky bar perfect for cocktails even if you're not indulging in one of Doris' dry-aged steaks. Order a red wine (there's plenty by the glass) and pair it with tuna, Chateaubriand tartare or the impossibly rich Doris burger. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Empire Bar
Broussard's Restaurant, 819 Conti St., (504) 581-3866;;
Restaurant bar
The Empire Bar is an elegant place to enjoy classic Southern cock- tails and is known for
its absinthe selection.
You can order Creole-
French cuisine from Broussard's Restaurant. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour
5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Erin Rose
811 Conti St., (504) 522-3573;
Neighborhood bar
Erin Rose keeps Quarterites and visitors going with its 10 a.m. "wake up and live" happy hour. Spin the Wheel O' Deal during New Orleans Saints games for chances to win prizes. The bar's frozen Irish coffee is a specialty. Killer Poboys, located in the back, offers food Wednesday through Monday. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.

Felipe's Taqueria
301 N. Peters St., (504) 288-8226;;
Restaurant bar
There are drink specials Monday through Thursday at these colorfully decorated Mexican taquerias. Margaritas, sangria, Caipirinhas and draft beers are the most popular drinks. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. at Uptown and Slidell locations.

1136 Decatur St., (504) 553-2155;;
Restaurant bar
The old-line restaurant is known for its Southern-fried chicken. It also specializes in Creole and Italian American fare. The most popular drink is the hurricane. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

The Funky Pirate Blues Club
727 Bourbon St., (504) 523-1960;
Music Club
A satellite of the Tropical Isle bar, The Funky Pirate offers iconic, obliterating drinks including the Hand Grenade and Pirate's bloody mary. One drink provides access to a set by Big Al Carson & the Blues Masters or other regulars. Open daily. No food. Happy Hour 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Thurs.-Sun.

Galatoire's "33" Bar & Steak
215 Bourbon St., (504) 335-3932;;
Restaurant bar
An offshoot of tradition-steeped Galatoire's, this upscale bar offers a steak house menu, specialty cocktails (1840 Sazerac and French 33), and a 25-page wine list. Jackets are mandatory after 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.

Gold Mine Saloon
701 Dauphine St., (504) 586-0745;
Dance Club
This is a destination for dance parties on the weekends, when it keeps pop music blasting into the wee hours. The bar also boasts an assortment of vintage video games. Open Wed.-Sat. No food.

Golden Lantern
1239 Royal St., (504) 529-2860
Gay Bar
The Royal Street circus and annual Southern Decadence events have a home at Golden Lantern, a longtime French Quarter dive and gay bar. There are $1 Jell-O shots during drag shows and powerful mixed drinks, including the bar's revered bloody mary, often coming in handy when a long night turns into breakfast. Open 24 hours daily. Happy hour 2 p.m.-8 p.m. daily.

834 N. Rampart St., (504) 267-3615;
Neighborhood bar
On the edge of the French Quarter, this neighborhood bar offers something for everyone. Drunken karaoke follows American Horror Story on Wednesdays. There's a drag show on the first, third and fifth Saturdays of every month, and variety shows are scheduled every second Friday of the month. Open daily. No food. Happy hour noon- 9 p.m. daily.

Harry's Corner
900 Chartres St., (504) 524-1107
Neighborhood bar
The dog-friendly neighborhood bar has a loyal group of regulars but also draws tourists who stop for cheap, strong drinks, mingling with locals and an awesome jukebox. It's known for its bloody marys, but note there's a cash-only policy. Open Mon.-Sat. No food.

Hermes Bar at Antoine's
725 St. Louis St., (504) 581-4422;;
Restaurant bar
Decorated with a Mardi Gras theme, the Hermes bar keeps things light with classic cocktails like the Sazerac, Pimm's Cup and French 75, as well as a menu of po-boys and dishes from Antoine's Restaurant. Happy hour features $2 domestic beers and other specials. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

House of Blues
225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999;;
Music Club
The music club features live performances throughout the week. Brunch on Sunday includes live gospel music, an all-you-can-eat buffet and bottomless mimosas. There are several venues within the club, such as the Voodoo Garden patio, The Parish and the exclusive Foundation Room. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Huck Finn's Cafe
135 Decatur St., (504) 529-8600
Sports bar
There are 15 TVs turned to sports in this restaurant and bar, which serves a Cajun bloody mary, hurricanes and the signature Gator Bite. The menu includes bar food and Cajun and Creole cuisine. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon-Fri.

Ice House Bar
Hotel Provincial, 1024 Chartres St., (504) 581-4995;
Hotel bar
The hotel's refined lounge features a small bar and table seating. The cocktail list includes hurricanes, bloody marys and classic drinks. Free Wi-Fi is available. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse
Royal Sonesta New Orleans, 300 Bourbon St., (504) 553-2299; royalorleans;
Music club
Award-winning jazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield opened this club where a variety of jazz musicians performs nightly, and there's a burlesque performance at midnight Fridays. The bar features seasonally inspired cocktails with jazz themes and small plates. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar
620 Decatur St., (504) 333-6914;;
Restaurant bar
A brightly lighted bar on Decatur Street, Jax is all about seeing and being seen. On the dance floor upstairs, patrons can try out their moves or people-watch. The VIP lofts provide views of the dancers, while the rooftop bar offers a more meditative vista: the Mississippi River. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Jax Brewery Bar
620 Decatur St., (504) 333-6914;
Restaurant bar
The industrial-style decor includes items made from reclaimed architectural items, but big draws are the patio tables and the view of the Mississippi River. There are rotating drink specials, and comedy night is 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Kerry Irish Pub
331 Decatur St., (504) 527-5954
Music club
There's live music every night and the lineup of performers is eclectic. Get into the Irish spirit with a pint of Guinness or Harp beer and watch sports on TV or take a turn at the pool table. Open daily. No food.

Krazy Korner
640 Bourbon St., (504) 524-3157;
Music Club
How to do Bourbon Street like it's the first time: look for Krazy Korner's neon sign, its faded-rainbow light show interior, shot girls, a "Livin' on a Prayer" cover, three-for-one beers, blues and zydeco bands playing six-hour sets, and a balcony overlooking the scene below. Open daily. No food.

La Habana Hemingway Cigar Bar
533 Toulouse St., (504) 522-5007;
Cigar Bar
Settle into a cushy sofa and have a drink and a cigar in the lounge, watch sports on TV, visit the rustic humidor room or sit at the bar. La Habana specializes in premium scotches paired with cigars, but it also serves classic New Orleans cocktails and craft cocktails such as Habana Times, a vodka-based tropical drink. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thu.

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
941 Bourbon St., (504) 593-9761;
Neighborhood bar
Round up some mates and drink like a (historically accurate) pirate at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, billed as one of the oldest bars in the country. Named after privateer Jean Lafitte, the bar draws locals and tourists to the quieter end of Bourbon Street for classic cocktails, "Frozen Voodoo Juice" and rustic ambience. Open daily. No food.

Larry Flynt's Hustler Barely Legal Club
423 Bourbon St., (504) 571-6340;
Gentlemen's Club
This multi-story gentlemen's club features several bars and stages, along with VIP rooms and bottle service. Champagne and beer are the most popular drinks. Special events include Champagne parties and football-themed Sunday Fun Day. Open daily. Happy hour noon-7 p.m. Sun.-Thu.

Larry Flynt's Hustler Club
225 Bourbon St., (504) 524-0010;
Gentlemen's club
A sprawling home to plush, vintage-mob decor with enough room for 400 patrons, the Hustler Club sports female dancers on four stages on two different floors, with the main stage's dancing pole extending 40 feet through the next level. The grill is fired up on Saints Sundays. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour noon- 8 p.m. daily.

Le Booze
Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St., (504) 586-0300;
Hotel bar
The bar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel prides itself on a large selection of bourbons and whiskeys from around the world. It also serves bar fare like cheeseburgers and roast beef debris cheese fries. Get drink specials and half-price appetizers during happy hour. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

420 Bourbon St., (504) 527-0744;;
Gentlemen's Club
Performances by exotic dancers are the draw at this Bourbon Street bar, and video poker machines provide diversions during breaks. There's a full bar and an assortment of Champagnes. The bottom floor has a bar and entertainment stage, and VIP areas are available in the courtyard and upstairs. Open daily. No food.

Lucky Pierre's
735 Bourbon St., (504) 586-1836;
Gay Bar
With as many as six DJs spinning until dawn, live shows at Lucky Pierre's feature drag performers and burlesque dancers. There are three bars in the club: a show bar, a piano bar and the Lava Lounge, which hosts karaoke and dance
music. The signature drink is the Lucky Lemonade made with two shots of bourbon. Open daily.
No food.

Mahogany Jazz Hall
125 Chartres St., (504) 813-8297;
Music Club
A mirror opposite the stage envelops patrons in the sight of live music (6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. nightly). Its hall of mirrors, burlesque acts, and pours of French-style absinthe pay homage to The Mahogany Hall, a Storyville bordello. Open daily. No food. Happy Hour 6 p.m.-midnight Sun.-Wed., 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Thu.-Sat.

Maison Bourbon Jazz Club
641 Bourbon St., (504) 522-8818;
Music club
In the heart of Bourbon Street's neon lights, this corner bar looks like an old-fashioned spot. Brick walls and cabaret seating surround the stage in the main room where there's live traditional New Orleans jazz daily. The bar serves everything from classic drinks such as Sazeracs and mint juleps to hurricanes and daiquiris. Open daily. No food.

May Baily's Place
Dauphine Orleans Hotel, 415 Dauphine St., (504) 586-1800;;
Neighborhood bar
Built in 1821, the French Quarter bar once was a bordello run by Madam May Baily, and the Madam martini was created in her honor. The bar features a popcorn machine. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-till Mon.-Thu., noon-till Fri.-Sat.

942 N. Rampart St., (504) 569-9979;
Restaurant bar
This refined bistro serves food by chef Kristen Essig and there's a full bar with American craft beers, a craft cocktail menu and frequent cocktail specials. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Free Wi-Fi. Open daily. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Molly's at the Market
1107 Decatur St., (504) 525-5169;;
Neighborhood bar
Molly's at the Market has a notable list of regulars and is a hangout for local journalists. It hosts annual Halloween and St. Patrick's Day parades, drawing crowds to taste the bar's signature frozen Irish coffee. A Miller High Life and a shot of Jameson is always $5. Open daily. Food available.

Napoleon House
500 Chartres St., (504) 524-9752;
Restaurant bar
New Orleans Mayor Nicholas Girod's home was offered to Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon never arrived, but the barroom exudes historic French Quarter charm with its old wooden bar and aging patina inside and out. It has French doors looking out on the street and is known for playing classical music and for its Pimm's Cup and muffu-
letta. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Napoleon's Itch
734 Bourbon St., (504) 237-4144;
Gay Bar
Originators of the Bourbon Street Experience during Southern Decadence, Napoleon's Itch has staked its claim at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets with a reputation for mojitos, martinis and hot bartenders. It offers service-industry discounts every day, is dog-friendly and has a video DJ. Open daily. No food.

The Note
817 St. Louis St., (504) 304-3991;
Music Club
Set in an 1850s house, the jazz bar has an enclosed patio and a piano bar with live music on Friday and Saturday. There's also an Internet jukebox. The bar serves classic cocktails, martinis, premium liquor, wine and local beer. Open daily. No food.

Old Absinthe House
240 Bourbon St., (504) 524-0113;
Sample the once-forbid-
den "green fairy" with a traditional sugar cube pour or the signature Absinthe House Frappe — first mixed in 1874 — at this historic French Quarter pub, which is papered with patrons' business cards. Sazeracs, hurricanes and other classic cocktails are prepared the old-fashioned way. Bar fare is available beginning at noon. Open daily. Food available.

One Eyed Jacks
615 Toulouse St., (504) 569-8361;
Music Club
The club features a wide variety of live music, burlesque performances, film screenings, DJ dance nights and a popular '80s night on Thursday. The bar serves classic cocktails, cheap Miller High Life and PBR shot specials. The Matador is the signature drink. Open daily. No food.

800 Bourbon St., (504) 593-9491;;
Dance club
Oz is a 24/7 party that often spills out onto Bourbon Street. It also hosts (relatively) sedate activities like drag bingo from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays, as well as drag shows at 9 p.m. Sundays and 10 p.m. Wednesdays. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-8 p.m. daily.

Palace Cafe
605 Canal St., (504) 523-1661;
Restaurant bar
A recent renovation of the contemporary Creole restaurant includes a second-floor marble-top bar and lounge area. The bar focuses on rum, stocking more than 120 labels, and cocktails include the house planter's punch with Old New Orleans Amber Rum, cardamom, orange, pineapple, orgeat and Angostura bitters. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Palm Court Jazz Cafe
1204 Decatur St., (504) 525-0200;
Music club
This is an elegant, brick-walled traditional jazz and Creole food spot where you can bust out your seersucker and repose by a Steinway grand piano while sipping a Sazerac. Live jazz at 8 p.m. every night. Open Wed.-Sun. Full restaurant menu.

Pat O'Brien's Bar
718 St. Peters St., (504) 525-4823;;
The flaming fountain in the center of the courtyard is the eye of the storm at this complex of barrooms. Servers in green tuxedo jackets deliver signature hurricanes in hourglass-shaped glasses. The piano lounge is a popular destination for patrons to make requests and sing along with dueling pianists. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Patrick's Bar Vin
Hotel Mazarin, 730 Bienville St., (504) 200-3180;
Wine bar
Patrick van Hoorebeek shared his wine and
spirits knowledge at the shuttered Bistro at Maison de Ville before opening
his own elegant wine bar
in the Hotel Mazarin. There is a long list of wines available by glass and bottle, as well as classic cocktails such as French 75s, and the bar offers cheese and charcuterie plates. Open daily. Food available.

Penthouse Club
727 Iberville St., (504) 524-4354;;
Gentleman's club
Just off Bourbon Street, this upscale gentlemen's club features several stages, private suites, large TVs for sports viewing, bottle service and more. Open  daily.

Pirates Alley Cafe
622 Pirates Alley, (504) 524-9332;
This bar specializes in potent drinks and playful nods to the pirate lore of Jean Lafitte. Absinthe and rum drinks are the reason to go, and the experience is enhanced with Caribbean music and staff who maintain the pirate theme. Open daily. No food.

Port of Call
838 Esplanade Ave., (504) 523-0120;
Restaurant bar
The menu doesn't include much more than thick burgers, steaks and baked potatoes, but they draw a regular crowd to this casual, nautical-themed tavern. The bar is known for its Monsoon, a big rum and fruit juice cocktail. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

301 Dauphine St., (504) 586-0972;;
Restaurant bar
Formerly called Richard Fiske's Martini Bar and Restaurant, RF's has an old-school clubby ambience, with rich woods, intimate spaces and live music nightly. Martinis and craft cocktails are the specialties here, and native chef Jeremy Wells offers a menu of Creole dishes. Open daily. Full restaurant menu available. Happy hour noon-7 p.m. daily.

Rawhide 2010
740 Dauphine St., (504) 525-8106;;
Gay bar
The gay men's leather bar serves as a neighborhood hub that's tidy on the outside and a Dive bar on the inside. There's a pool table and a weekly pool tournament on Monday. Hump Day Wednesday features two-for-one beer and well drinks during happy hour. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-9 p.m. daily.

511 Bourbon St., (504) 522-5100;
Dance Club
Sip on a 32-ounce hurricane — or triple-fist it during the bar's three-for-one happy hour — and soak in Razzoo's sensory-overload dance floor and TV-crammed patio (with a flaming fountain). Open daily. No food. Happy hour open-8 p.m. daily.

Red Fish Grill
115 Bourbon St., (504) 598-1200;;
Restaurant bar
The bar at Ralph Brennan's colorful seafood house is called the "Oyster Bar," and it has plenty of seats and high cocktail tables. Happy hours include 50-cent oysters, two-for-one draft beer, glasses of wine and well drinks. The Red Fish lemonade combines Cruzan Citrus rum, raspberry liqueur and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Thu.

Rib Room Bar
Omni Royal Orleans, 621 St. Louis St., (504) 529-7045;;
Restaurant bar
There's live music Friday and Saturday at this elegant restaurant and bar, which specializes in martinis, wine and Champagne. Small bites are available, including house-cut fries with truffle aioli, cochon de lait sliders, burgers and more. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

The Roost at Brennan's New Orleans
417 Royal St., (504) 525-9711;
Restaurant bar
The spacious Roost Bar at the center of the renovated Creole restaurant has an aviary theme with murals and bird cages. Happy hour specials are available in the bar and courtyard and include discounts on Champagne. The Rooster Royale features sparkling wine, citrus liqueur and cranberry juice. Open Tuesday to Sunday. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Tue.-Thu. and 8 a.m.-7p.m. Fri.

Rue St. Louis
817 St. Louis St., (504) 304-3991;
Music Club
Set in an 1850s mansion, this bar has live music on Friday and Saturday nights and serves classic cocktails such as martinis and Sazeracs and Champagne. Dis & Dem serves burgers to hungry patrons. Open daily.
Food available.

click to enlarge Cocktails are served with a smile at Saint Lawrence. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Cocktails are served with a smile at Saint Lawrence.

Saint Lawrence
219 N. Peters St., (504) 525-4111;;
Restaurant bar
A menu of elevated bar fare vies with a slate of ambitious craft cocktails for most popular draw to this casual, brick-lined bistro, which serves food late. The Saint Lawrence cocktail and Pimm's Cup daiquiri are popular drinks. Open daily.
Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Saints and Sinners
627 Bourbon St., 504-528-9307;;
When the kitchen closes at 9 p.m., this bordello-chic bar and restaurant turns into a fnightclub complete with bottle service, go-go dancers and a DJ. Popular cocktails include the Saint (made from clear liquors like vodka and gin) and the Sinner (made from dark liquors including bourbon and amaretto), both served in souvenir glasses. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Scores Mansion
416 Bourbon St., (504) 525-0999;;
Gentlemen's Club
The three-story club in a mansion on Bourbon Street is opulently decorated, with two bars, a stage and dancing poles on the main floor and VIP areas on all floors. Exotic dancers perform daily, and the bar serves beer, mixed drinks, wine and Champagne. Open daily. No food.

Sing Sing
418 Bourbon St., (504) 655-2689
Music club
This narrow alley of a bar has a juke joint inspiration and features blues, rock and R&B bands. There's a full bar that serves classic cocktails. Happy hour features two-for-one specials. Open daily. No food. Happy hour noon-6 p.m. Fri.-Sun.

Sneaky Pete's
135 Chartres St., (504) 587-7701;;
Neighborhood bar
This 24-hour, dog-friendly bar was started by
a group of French Quarter bartenders and serves bloody marys, mimosas, martinis, beer and specialty cocktails. Known
as a sports-watching spot, the bar has NFL Sunday Ticket. Open daily. No food.

310 Chartres St., (504) 552-4095;;
Craft cocktails
Entrepreneurs are invited to a power-lunch networking event every Friday, and the third Thursday of the month features SoBou's Literary and Drinking Roundtable with a $6 cocktail inspired by a different short story or poem. Get 25-cent martinis with purchase of an entree at lunch Monday through Saturday. Craft cocktails are the specialties, and chef Juan Carlos Gonzales offers cuisine inspired by Louisiana street food. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m. daily.

The Swamp
516 Bourbon St., (504) 528-9400;
The ceiling is hung with what looks like a canopy of neon Spanish moss, and the bar features a mechanical bull-like "Swamp Thing." Patrons can dance to live music or DJs or relax in the courtyard with three-shot cocktails served in plastic buckets. The bar's second floor features a wraparound balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. Open daily. No food. Happy hour opening-8 p.m. daily.

625 Chartres St., (504) 265-8123;;
Restaurant bar
The dimly lit gastropub occupies a cozy nook just off Jackson Square, and there's a long bar for patrons looking for liquid sustenance. The cocktail program includes takes on classics as well as original creations. Chef Martha Wiggins serves gourmet pub food, and there's seating in the courtyard. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

616 St. Peter St., (504) 934-3463;
Restaurant bar
Dickie Brennan's Creole restaurant shares a courtyard with Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre and has bars on two floors, plus a wraparound balcony overlooking Jackson Square. There is a large selection of cognacs and after-dinner drinks. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 2 p.m.-6 p.m. daily.

327 Bourbon St., (504) 525-4470;;
Gentlemen's Club
Exotic dancers perform publically in the bar and privately in VIP rooms, a lap dance room, cigar room and billiards room. Open daily. No food.

The Tequila House
419 Bourbon St., (504) 568-0446
Restaurant bar
The bar offers a simple Mexican menu and serves Mexican Mules, margaritas and Champagne margaritas. DJs entertain Thursday through Saturday, and there's a beer pong table on the patio. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Tiki Tolteca
301 N. Rampart St., (504) 300-9004;
Craft cocktails
Located above Felipe's Taqueria is a tiki bar complete with a thatched roof bar and tiki ware, such as Easter Island totem-shaped glasses. The Huevo is a Peruvian cocktail made with cured whole eggs in lime juice, pisco and house-made falernum. Open Wed.-Mon. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour opening-7 p.m.

Tropical Isle
435 Bourbon St., (504) 525-1689; 600 Bourbon St., (504) 523-1927; 721 Bourbon St., (504) 529-4109;
Music club
These brightly colored, tropical-themed bars are known for the Hand Grenade cocktail, served in a green plastic cup shaped like a hand grenade at the bottom. The bars host rock bands. Complimentary snacks are offered during happy hour. Open daily. No food. Happy hour opening-8 p.m.

The Upper Quarter
1000 Bienville St., (504) 523-4111
Neighborhood bar
This dog-friendly hangout is known for its New Orleans Saints fandom, and pudding shots are prepared for each game. There's also free food during Saints games. Thursdays feature live music, and the bar has a courtyard, video poker and free Wi-Fi. Open daily. No food.

Vive at Hotel Le Marais
717 Conti St., (504) 525-2300;
Martini bar
The atmosphere is clubby and the seats comfortable whether you sit at the bar
or in an easy chair. Wear high heels on Wednesday and get a discount based on the height of the heel. Signature drinks include the Poire Violette, a martini made with Absolut pear vodka, creme de violette, fresh lemon juice, triple sec and apple pucker. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.


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