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100+ Top Bars: Bourbon Street Gauntlet

Whether there by choice or by force, all New Orleanians should know where to hang on Bourbon Street


21st Amendment
Just off Bourbon Street, the space that formerly housed the Creole restaurant La Louisiane has been converted into a sleek, modern bar with the retro stylings of a Prohibition-era speakeasy. The craft cocktail menu, however, is quite contemporary. 725 Iberville St., (504) 378-7330;

The Beach on Bourbon
This party spot goes from being a sports bar to a live music venue to a dance party, depending on the night of the week. It features a slew of TV screens, an indoor VIP balcony, a massive dance floor, and an air-conditioned outdoor courtyard with a flaming fountain. 227 Bourbon St., (504) 523-3800;, @BeachonBourbon

Bourbon "O"
Since taking the helm at Bourbon "O" last spring, mixologist and cocktail book author extraordinaire Cheryl Charming has updated the bar with a lounge area, absinthe fountain and menu of craft cocktails. The ultimate summer cooler? Charming's root beer float: Creole cream cheese, ice cream, Abita root beer and dark rum. Bourbon Orleans Hotel, 717 Orleans St., (504) 523-2222;

Bourbon Pub & Parade
Whether it's amateur strip night (Fridays), drag king shows (Tuesdays) or karaoke (Thursdays), a dull moment is hard to find at this 24-hour gay club. The downstairs dance floor is pumping, and the second-floor wraparound balcony offers refuge for the more sedate crowd. 801 Bourbon St., (504) 529-2107;, @BourbonPub

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
It's one of the oldest buildings in French Quarter — and purportedly a former pirate's den — and it feels the part, with mostly candle lighting, a piano, fireplace and the ambience of a neighborhood dive bar. It also has a courtyard. 941 Bourbon St., (504) 593-9761;

Le Booze in the Royal Sonesta Hotel
Big-screen TVs at this cigar bar play all major football, baseball and hockey games. If sports isn't your thing, take a microbrew, dark and stormy or Moscow mule outside and people watch from Le Booze's second-floor balcony, which overlooks Bourbon Street.  The Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St., (504) 586-0400;

Saints and Sinners
The trompe l'oeil, bronzed chandeliers, wooden deck, celebrity owner (Channing Tatum) and full menu of New Orleans dishes give this Bourbon Street newcomer a distinctly elegant, non-Bourbon Street vibe. OK, there's a stripper pole and a cocktail named Burlesque Stress — but all sins are forgiven on Sundays, when the bar offers all-you-can-eat crawfish. 627 Bourbon St., (504) 528-9307;, @SandSNOLA

Tropical Isle
The iconic Hand Grenade, melon-flavored and potent, is served in a grenade-shaped container, but there's also the Horny Gator, which comes with a toy alligator, and the Shark Attack, featuring a toy shark. "Adults are just big kids," explains co-owner Pam Fortner. There are five Bourbon Street locations. 435 Bourbon St., 600 Bourbon St., 610 Bourbon St., 721 Bourbon St., 727 Bourbon St., 504-529-4109;, @Tropical_Isle

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Bourbon Street Gauntlet

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Absinthe Specialists

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Outdoor Drinking

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