21st Amendment at La Louisiane
725 Iberville St., (504) 378-7330; www.21stamendmentnola.com
Step into this bar and feel the ambience of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, with guns and framed photos of mobsters covering the walls inside an 1880s building. The Canned Heat combines basil, jalapeno-bell pepper tequila, ginger liquor and lemon. There's live traditional jazz Friday and Saturday nights, and $5 gets you a PBR and a Jameson shot any time. Open daily. Smoking on patio. No food. Happy hour from opening to 7 p.m. daily.
1123 Decatur St., (504) 523-7177
Get a beer and a shot for $5 before sidling up to video poker or listening to spontaneous live music. The grizzled open-all-hours dive is dog-friendly, and photos of patrons past and present line its walls. Hours. Smoking allowed. No food. Monthly specials.
- Photo by Cheryl Gerber
- Sports are always playing on TV, so it's easy to find plenty of reasons to raise glasses in a toast at American Sports Saloon in the French Quarter.
American Sports Saloon
1200 Decatur St., (504) 300-1782
The American Sports Saloon has more than 30 high-definition televisions equipped with surround sound to optimize your game time experience. It serves 12 different beers on tap, sports-themed mixed drinks and home-style bar food from a kitchen that stays open late. Open daily. No smoking. Food available. Happy hour 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Thu.
Attiki Bar and Grill
230 Decatur St., (504) 587-3756; www.attikineworleans.com
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. Drink specialties include wines from around the world, martinis and beer. There's also a hookah bar and a menu of Mediterranean food. Open Mon.-Sat. Smoking allowed. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu.
1207 Decatur St., (504) 680-8454
With the exception of a few tiki-related items, this dive bar is more Halloween-themed than tiki-themed. Guests enjoy playing the jukebox and drinking no-frills drinks like straight shots and PBR. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
Backspace Bar & Kitchen
139 Chartres St., (504) 322-2245; www.backspacenola.com; @backspacenola
Sure, you can order a Bud Light at Backspace. Or you can try a spicy bloody mary garnished with strips of bacon, or original craft cocktails such as Death in the Afternoon's lovingly lethal blend of Champagne and absinthe. Breakfast is served all day. Open daily. No smoking. Food available.
820 N. Rampart St., (504) 324-6045; www.bartonique.com; @bartonique
Behind an unremarkable facade on the edge of the French Quarter is this spartan lounge with a large U-shaped bar, some banquette seating and an extensive menu of classic and original cocktails. The bar uses house-made tonic water, juices and syrups in its drinks, and there is a wide selection of premium spirits and beers. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour noon to 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Hyatt French Quarter, 800 Iberville St., (504) 565-4572; www.frenchquarter.hyatt.com
Artisan whiskey (barrel and flask service) is the specialty, but the bar offers a full line of handcrafted cocktails and local spirits. A popular drink is the bacon-bourbon Manhattan. There's a fry bar and shared plates and entrees are available. Open daily. No smoking. Food available.
Beach on Bourbon
227 Bourbon St., (504) 523-3800; www.beachonbourbon.com; @beachonbourbon
Beach on Bourbon is a sports bar by day and a high-energy dance club by night, complete with glow sticks and elaborate mixed drinks. A three-for-one happy hour runs till 9 p.m. daily, and there's live music most weeknights. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour till 9 p.m. daily.
Belli Baci Lounge
117 Decatur St., (504) 529-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com
This upscale lounge offers martinis and Italian-style tapas. Opera singers from the adjoining Cafe Giovanni occasionally drop in for an aria. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Big Mama's Lounge
229 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999; www.houseofblues.com/neworleans; @hobnola
A new addition to the House of Blues, the bar offers free live music by local bands Thursday through Sunday, cheap drinks — a 16-ounce beer and a shot of Jameson is $7 — and craft cocktails. Open Thu.-Sun. Smoking allowed. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Thu., noon-2 a.m. Fri.-Sun.
Maison Dupuy, 1001 Toulouse St., (504) 586-8000; maisondupuy.com/bistreaux; @maisondupuy
Murals of Impressionistic art accent the elegance of the Maison Dupuy's casual-concept restaurant and bar, which offers live music by singer-songwriters such as Aaron Lopez-Barrantes and classic New Orleans cocktails like the Pimm's Cup and Sazerac for $5 on Friday evenings. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-9 p.m. daily.
830 Conti St., (504) 586-0972; www.thebombayclub.com
There are more than 100 martinis and other craft cocktails at the Bombay Club, with some as creative as the Meat and Potato martini, which is Chopin potato vodka and an andouille sausage garnish. The bar offers live music nightly. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
241 Bourbon St., (504) 581-2410; www.bourboncowboy.com; @bourboncowboyno
Five dollars gets customers three chances to ride the mechanical bull to glory at this Western-themed bar, which also televises major sporting events. The balcony offers a prime vantage point for people-watching and spots can be reserved for New Year's Eve and Mardi Gras. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour opening-9:30 p.m. daily.
711 Bourbon St., (504) 324-4669; www.711bourbonheat.com; @bourbonheat
The bar prides itself on having something for everyone, with a low-key courtyard for drinking and dining, an indoor bar that fills up after dark, and an upstairs dance club. Thursday is ladies night (until 4 a.m.), and a daily happy hour offers three-for-one well drinks and two-for-one bottles of beer. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
144 Bourbon St., (504) 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com; @bourbonhouse
The bar at this seafood restaurant specializes in small-batch and single-barrel bourbons and uses them in cocktails including a frozen bourbon milk punch. There's a full oyster bar that serves Black and Gold oysters during New Orleans Saints football games. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m. daily.
- Photo by Cheryl Gerber
- Bartender Lynn Burgette II toasts a marshmallow to finish a Flaming Sweet Potato Pie drink at Bourbon O in the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.
Bourbon O Bar
Bourbon Orleans Hotel, 730 Bourbon St., (504) 571-4685; www.bourbonorleanshotel.com/bourbon-o; @bourbonorleans
This upscale Bourbon Street bar is managed by Cheryl Charming, author of 14 books about bars and cocktails, and the bar uses freshly squeezed juices and syrups, bloody mary mix and ginger beer made on site. The bar specializes in classic New Orleans cocktails and seasonal drinks, and has a dozen local beers on tap. Sectional sofas overlook Bourbon Street, there's live entertainment Tuesday through Saturday, and a psychic reader is available Thursday through Sunday. Open daily. No smoking. Food available.
Bourbon Pub & Parade
801 Bourbon St., (504) 529-2107; www.bourbonpub.com; ; @thebourbonpub
The balcony at this high-energy gay dance club is among the best people-watching spots on Bourbon Street. Patrons also can be entertained by Sunday night drag shows and Thursday night karaoke. The bar is dog-friendly during the day; bartenders even keep treats on hand for canine guests. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hours vary.
Broussard's Empire Bar
819 Conti St., (504) 581-3866; www.broussards.com; @nolabroussards
The Empire Bar at this historic French restaurant is an elegant place to sip a milk punch. Nods to Napoleon dot the cocktail menu, while an adjoining courtyard provides a view of the French Quarter rarely seen from the street. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Carousel Bar & Lounge
214 Royal St., (504) 523-3341; www.hotelmonteleone.com; @carouselbar
This classic bar in the Hotel Monteleone is New Orleans' only revolving bar and has attracted celebrities including Tennessee Williams for decades. There's a piano bar and classic cocktails as well as signature drinks such as the Vieux Carre Cocktail, made with whiskey, vermouth, bitters, Benedictine liqueur and a cherry. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
411 Bourbon St., (504) 523-2121; www.centerfoldsneworleans.com
Featuring Champagne, mixed drinks, beer and wine, Centerfolds Cabaret offers adult entertainment with VIP areas and a main stage. Open daily. No smoking. No food.
Chris Owens Club
500 Bourbon St., (504) 523-6400 or (504) 722-9345; www.chrisowensclub.net
Singer/ dancer Chris Owens still anchors the entertainment at this legendary nightclub, which also features salsa dancing. There's a full bar and cocktails are the standard drinks. Open Wed.-Sun. No smoking. No food. Happy hour 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Sun.
Claire's Pour House
233 Decatur St., (504) 558-8980
Claire's serves $2.59 PBR and Miller High Life and offers a dog-friendly, convivial atmosphere for listening to the jukebox, playing video poker or simply unwinding after French Quarter ramblings. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
Copper Monkey Bar & Grill
725 Conti St., (504) 527-0869; www.coppermonkeygrill.com
A seemingly forever-festive cast of Quarter characters saddle up here to drink anything from absinthe to a local microbrew and eat anything from BLTs to house-original Monkey Buns, banana-filled beignets topped with powdered sugar. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Full restaurant menu.
1201 Burgundy St., (504) 522-9715; www.facebook.com/cosimosbar
A cozy Quarter enclave celebrating its 80th anniversary next year, Cosimo's keeps its loyal clientele with its warm decor, chill bar chatter and 50-cent pool. New kitchen operator GorgeUsEats offers several chicken-wing styles with house-made bacon ranch or blue cheese dips. There are daily drink specials. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
Coyote Ugly Saloon
225 N. Peters St., (504) 561-0003; www.coyoteuglysaloon.com/neworleans; @coyotelil
French Quarter partiers enjoy a variety of daily drink specials from foxy bartenders — just don't order a water or you will get sprayed. There's a $5 all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet on Sundays when the New Orleans Saints play at home at noon. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Crescent City Brewhouse
527 Decatur St., (504) 522-0571;www.crescentcitybrewhouse.com
This is the only brewpub in the French Quarter, and it offers live jazz every night beginning at 6 p.m. Crescent City Brewhouse serves its own fresh brewed beer alongside classic New Orleans fare. The brewery dreams up a new special brew monthly. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Crossroads at House of Blues
225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4961; www.houseofblues.com/neworleans; @hobnola
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 Haunted Quarter. 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. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
841 Iberville St., (504) 581-1316; www.deanies.com
Visit after a New Orleans Saints game and watch Bobby Hebert live on WWL radio's The Point After Show. The popular Voodoo Juice features several rums and fruit juice, and the food menu includes fried, broiled and boiled seafood. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
400 Dauphine St., (504) 523-1931; www.dejavunola.com
Deja Vu offers breakfast 24-7, online ordering, delivery and $6.99 steak nights Tuesday and Thursday. A popular drink is the $5 bloody mary. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Deja Vu Showgirls
226 Bourbon St., (504) 525-5801; www.dejavuneworleans.com
Happy hour at this adult entertainment venue gets you access to an open bar with a $15 cover. Champagne is popular by the bottle and glass, and seasonal specials and shows are frequent, like the bar's annual New Year's Eve party. Open Tues.-Sat. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Wed.-Sat.
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse
716 Iberville St., (504) 522-2467; www.dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com
The swanky bar is separate from the restaurant and has a clubby ambience. Get a $5 martini or spiked Arnold Palmer during daily happy hours. The bar menu changes weekly, and you can order from the full restaurant menu. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Dickie Brennan's Tableau
616 St. Peter St., (504) 934-3463; www.tableaufrenchquarter.com; @tableaunola
In an elegantly restored three-story building that connects with Le Petit Theatre, there are two bars with conversation seating indoors or intimate seating on a balcony overlooking Jackson Square. Cocktails are handcrafted with freshly squeezed juice and chilled with 1-inch-by-1-inch ice cubes (for a slow melt). They're named for plays produced at Le Petit Theatre. French Creole small plates are available. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Food available. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
811 Conti St., (504) 522-3573; www.erinrosebar.com
Erin Rose is known for its Irish coffee, both hot and frozen, and for providing the perfect elixir for what ails you, whether in the form of laughter or libation. Locals and tourists mingle within the bar's photo, art and object-clad walls. Killer Po-boys are served in the back. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available. Happy hour 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and midnight-4 a.m. daily.
Felipe's Taqueria French Quarter
301 N. Peters St., (504) 288-8226; www.felipestaqueria.com
Latin-inspired craft cocktails as well as a range of fresh margarita options are always within arm's reach of a basket of salty tortilla chips. Drink specials change daily but there's one every night, from $2 off specialty cocktails to $4 margaritas. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu.
1136 Decatur St., (504) 553-2155
Known for its fried chicken, Fiorella's has a full bar with an emphasis on its homemade $5 bloody mary. The bar and restaurant shows New Orleans Saints games on TV, and the homey decor has drawn tourists and regulars for the past 40 years. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
813 Bienville St., (504) 523-5433; www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/French-75; @thefrench75
In what was once a lounge for men only, patrons find premium spirits and fine cigars served in classic cocktail lounge style. The decor features monkey lamps and a late 1800s bar, and patrons can munch on bar snacks like Arnaud's souffle potatoes. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
Funky Pirate New Orleans
727 Bourbon St., (504) 523-1960; www.tropicalisle.com
The Funky Pirate has live music every day and hosts regular acts including Big Al Carson. Hand Grenades are popular drinks. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour noon-4 p.m. Fri.-Sun.
Galatoire's "33" Bar and Steak
215 Bourbon St., (504) 335-3932; www.galatoires33barandsteak.com; @galatoires33
The newer, more casual side of the historic New Orleans landmark features stiff drinks served under high ceilings. Sazeracs and Old Fashioneds can be sipped to classic New Orleans jazz. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Good Friends Bar
740 Dauphine St.., (504) 566-7191; www.goodfriendsbar.com
There's a lot to keep patrons entertained at this two-story gay bar with a balcony: pool, video poker, seven TVs, trivia on Sunday, karaoke on Tuesday, American Horror Story on Wednesday and more. The drink of choice is the Separator — a sweet concoction of ice cream, coffee liqueur and brandy, topped with Cool Whip and cherries. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-9 p.m. daily.
713 St. Louis St., (504) 581-4422; www.antoines.com
Hermes has the ambience of an elegant saloon, with warm wood walls and a checkerboard tile floor and the favored drink here is the Sazerac. There's a bar menu inspired by Antoine's offerings (or you can order from the Antoine's menu), and the bar offers live jazz performances from 9:30 till midnight Friday and Saturday. Daily happy hour features $2 domestic beers, $3 imports and $4 house brand cocktails. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
- Photo by Cheryl Gerber
- Customers come to the House of Blues for food, drinks and music.
House of Blues
225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999; www.houseofblues.com; @hob_nola
There are several venues inside House of Blues, including its outdoor Voodoo Garden patio, where you can find free comedy Tuesday and Thursday nights, and The Parish, an intimate upstairs concert room. Its Sunday gospel brunch includes a bloody mary bar, and live karaoke has $3 Fireball whiskey shots. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Ice House Bar
Hotel Provincial, 1024 Chartres St., (504) 581-4005; www.hotelprovincial.com
The bright, upscale bar adjacent to the lobby of the Hotel Provincial serves classic New Orleans cocktails including Sazeracs, Hurricanes and bloody marys as well as beer, wine and more. Open daily. No smoking. No food. Happy hour 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
321 N. Peters St., (504) 299-3944; www.irisneworleans.com
The upscale French Quarter restaurant boasts a pretty courtyard and a bar serving inventive cocktails. The Rasputin, with Orzya vodka, Benedictine, Campari, grapefruit and bitters is a popular drink, but so are standbys like Sazeracs and martinis. Open Mon. and Wed.-Sat. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu.
Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse
Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St., (504) 553-2299; www.sonesta.com/royalneworleans
Sip a pomegranate-mango martini and listen to the sounds of up-and-coming New Orleans music acts and a well-established jazz orchestra. The venue hosts burlesque shows every Friday and music acts every night. Crab cakes, gator sliders and barbecue shrimp are on the menu. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
JAX Brewery Bar
620 Decatur St., (504) 333-6914; www.jaxnola.com
This dance club hosts several themed parties and holiday events. Patrons enjoy the high-end wicker furniture at the patio bar overlooking the Mississippi River. On #FEMME Fridays, women get $2 Champagne and Champagne cocktails and $99 bottles of bubbly. Open daily. No smoking. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris
200, 401 and 619 Bourbon St., (504) 565-5321; www.mardigrasdaiquiris.com
The namesake daiquiri is made with strawberry kiwi, Everclear and 151 dark rum and is bright green. It's served in a souvenir jester cup. The local owners call it "the world's strongest drink." There's also video poker and pizza by the slice. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
141 Chartres St., (504) 524-0493; www.thejimani.com; @thejimani
Humorously named after the owners — Jim and I — the bar has focused on the sports crowd since opening in 1971. It has a host of TV sports packages, 10 big-screen TVs, Buzztime and NTN trivia and offers more than 100 different beers from its copper-top bar. It is known for a large selection of Jell-O shots, and has a range of food options, including burger, po-boys, gumbo, crawfish pasta and more. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
Jimmy J's Cafe
115 Chartres St., (504) 309-9360; www.jimmyjscafe.com
The funky restaurant serves breakfast all day and is open around the clock Thursday through Sunday. The bacon bloody mary and Jimmy J's Hurricane are favorite drinks. The restaurant menu includes American, Southwestern, Italian and Creole flavors. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu.
Johnny White's Bar
733 St. Peter St., (504) 281-4829; www.johnnywhitesfrenchquarter.com
Its resolve to stay open throughout Katrina despite floodwaters and official orders is part of the long legend of Johnny White's, a haven for bikers and Who Dats. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
Johnny White's Pub and Grill and Hole in the Wall Bar
718-20 Bourbon St., (504) 568-9803; www.johnnywhitesfrenchquarter.com
Johnny White's annex offers a cozy neighborhood watering-hole downstairs, along with a restaurant area offering balcony-views of Bourbon Street to enjoy with barbecue shrimp, burgers and the like. There are daily drink specials. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
Kerry Irish Pub
331 Decatur St., (504) 527-5954; www.kerryirishpub.com
Kerry Irish Pub turned 30 in October, celebrating another year of being home to stout drafts, prized Irish whiskeys such as Tullamore Dew and the local folk/country/bluegrass scene. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
337 Chartres St., (504) 598-5005; www.cocktailbarneworleans.com; @kingfishnola
Named for former Louisiana governor Huey P. "Kingfish" Long, all the cocktails and dishes are either Louisiana classics or Louisiana-themed. Head bartender Chris McMillian and executive chef Greg Sonnier both hail from Louisiana and have each been recognized for excellence in their fields. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
941 Bourbon St., (504) 593-9761;www.lafittesblacksmithshop.com
Located in an 18th-century cottage, this bar attracts attention, especially from French Quarter tourists, even if there's no proof it was owned or visited by pirate Jean Lafitte. But the dimly lit interior, fireplace and piano in the back room make it feel like a suitable place for a secret rendezvous, and it's a good last stop on the end of the Bourbon Street strip. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
Larry Flynt's Hustler Barely Legal Club
423 Bourbon St., (504) 571-6340; www.barelylegalnola.com; @barelylegalnola
Chocolate parties and national bacon day are events that inspire particularly exotic dances at this Bourbon Street gentlemen's club. Champagne is a popular drink choice, and food trucks often park outside. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Happy hour noon-7 p.m. Sun.-Thurs.
Larry Flynt's Hustler Club
225 Bourbon St., (504) 524-0010; www.neworleanshustlerclub.com; @hustlerclubnola
The adult entertainment venue has a balcony that overlooks Bourbon Street, and there's a patio on the main floor. The establishment boasts friendly entertainers who perform on four stages throughout the club. The grill is fired up during Saints games, and snacks are offered other nights to compliment a full bar. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available. Happy hour noon-8 p.m. daily.
Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St., (504) 584-0300; www.sonesta.com
The small bar, which is great for people-watching, offers monthly cigar tastings during which smokes are paired with specialty cocktails. Moscow Mule and Dark and Stormy are popular drink choices, and there's an extensive selection of bourbon and Scotch. All major sporting events are televised on 58-inch TVs. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
Lipstixx Gentlemen's Club
420 Bourbon St., (504) 244-0850; www.lipstixxnola.com; @nolalipstixx
Lipstixx Gentlemen's Club offers adult entertainment, a full bar and private VIP areas. Champagne is offered by the glass. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
Little Tropical Isle
435 Bourbon St., (504) 525-1689; www.tropicalisle.com; @tropical_isle
Little Tropical Isle has live music daily from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and three-for-one well drinks during happy hour. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour 5 p.m.-8 p.m. daily.
Maison Bourbon Jazz Club
641 Bourbon St., (504) 522-8818; www.maisonbourbon.com
Live jazz plays every night — and there's no cover charge — at this French Quarter venues. An upstairs balcony looks onto Bourbon Street and the bar airs sports games on its many televisions. The purple voodoo daiquiri is a popular drink. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
1041 Dumaine St., (504) 522-5478; www.martisnola.com
The small plates menu for bar guests features items that can be made in about three minutes, such as eggplant puree and oyster fritters. There's a full bar and a vast selection of wine, Champagne and beer. The popular Marti's Curtain Call martini combines cappuccino, Kahlua and Galliano. Open Tues.-Sun. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Maximo's Italian Grill
1117 Decatur St., (504) 586-8883; www.maximosgrill.com; @maximosgrill
Serving drinks that pair with its Italian menu, Maximo's Grill features an eclectic array of amari, grappas, liqueurs and vermouth. The Negroni is Maximo's most popular drink, and the Pimm's Italiano is a close second. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour all night Wednesday.
Molly's at the Market
1107 Decatur St., (504) 525-5169; www.mollysatthemarket.net; @mollysdecatur
The paths of many converge at Molly's, the French Quarter dive bar that's become a hangout of hipsters and politicians, tourists and curmudgeons. Frozen Irish coffee is a popular drink, and Dis Taco, a pop-up taco kitchen, is housed within the bar for dining and late-night snacking. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
500 Chartres St., (504) 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com
The courtyard is a big draw to this bar in a historic building. Visitors can sip popular drinks such as the Sazerac and Pimm's Cup, and the front bar opens onto a French Quarter street for people-watching. The menu features appetizers, sandwiches, classic New Orleans dishes and desserts. Open Mon.-Sat. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
817 St. Louis St., (504) 304-3991; www.notenola.com
Set in a mid-1800s house, the bar has an enclosed patio and and a piano bar that features classics and Southern staples from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday (patrons can also try their hand at the antique stand-up piano). The bar features martinis, premium liquor, wine and local beer. Hot dogs are available. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
Old Absinthe House
240 Bourbon St., (504) 524-3181; www.oldabsinthehouse.com
Try the Old Absinthe House Frappe, a frothy green concoction that a mixologist invented in 1874 within the walls of this historic bar. Other classic cocktails, from the Old Fashioned to the Ramos gin fizz, are mixed in a traditional way and paired with small plates. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
One Eyed Jacks
615 Toulouse St., (504) 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net; @oejnola
This indie rock staple has two bars, one in the front room where Playboy pinball and plush couches preview the black-and-red, Twin Peaks-inspired ballroom and circular bar near the stage. The bar turns into a dance party every Thursday for it's popular '80s Night. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar & Bistro
720 Orleans Ave., (504) 523-1930; www.orleansgrapevine.com
The world's only wine bar with al fresco views of the spiritual shadows cast at night upon St. Louis Cathedral, the Orleans Grapevine offers options of flights of wines. There are wines by the bottle and a cheese- and seafood-centric menu. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
605 Canal St., (504) 523-1661; www.palacecafe.com; @palacecafe
Bloody marys are a specialty at the traditional bar. Stop in from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and get small plates and drinks for $5 each, including cocktails, house wines and coffee spiked with liqueurs. Small plates include duck and brie spring rolls, Buffalo oysters and crab claws remoulade. Sunday brunch includes a bloody mary and bubbles (Champagne) bar. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Pat O'Brien's Bar and Courtyard Restaurant
718 St. Peter St., (504) 525-4823; www.patobriens.com; @patobriensbar
Since 1933 the motto of this venerable French Quarter standard has been "Have fun!" — and bridal parties to international tourists have followed that rule with the aid of Pat O'Brien's signature Hurricane or another specialty cocktail. A piano lounge takes requests all night, and a courtyard restaurant serves local New Orleans fare. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu.
Patrick's Bar Vin
730 Bienville St., (504) 200-3180; www.patricksbarvin.com; @patricksbarvin
The most popular drink at this French Quarter wine bar is the Le Bon Mot, made with Nolet's Gin, St. Germain, fresh oranges and Champagne. The upscale bar opens onto a front patio that offers a lush place to sip wine or cocktails and nibble on a cheese plate. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Pirate's Alley Cafe
622 Pirate's Alley, (504) 524-9332; www.piratesalleycafe.com
Located next to St. Louis Cathedral, this cash-only pirate-themed bar is known for absinthe, rum cocktails and a patio that's great for people watching. Patrons recommend the Pimm's Cup and bloody mary. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
511 Bourbon St., (504) 522-5100; www.razoo.com
Sip on a 32-ounce Hurricane — or triple-fist it during the bar's three-for-one happy hour to soak in Razoo's sensory overload dance floor and TV-crammed patio (with flaming fountain). Tuesday nights offer double-shot loaded margaritas. Open daily. No smoking. No food. Happy hour 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Wed., noon-8 p.m. Thu.-Sun.
Red Fish Grill Oyster Bar
115 Bourbon St., (504) 598-1200; www.redfishgrill.com; @redfishgrill
The playful art on the distressed walls and the warm wood furniture give the Red Fish Grill a casual, comfortable ambience where you can enjoy oysters and a poblano-spiced bloody mary or a Southern Jam: Southern Comfort combined with house-made peach jam, fresh mint leaves and sour mix and served in a jam jar. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Thu.
315 Bourbon St., (504) 524-4222; www.iknowrick.com; @ricksnola
Over its 40 years of operating in the French Quarter, Ricks has gained a reputation as the most gentlemanly of local gentleman's clubs. There's a food buffet at 11:30 a.m. Friday, and plenty of dancing and drinks. Open nightly. Smoking allowed. Food available.
Rick's Sporting Saloon
522 Bourbon St., (504) 552-2510; www.ricks-saloon.com
The offshoot of Rick's Cabaret has a two-story bar featuring leather-back barstools downstairs and lounges upstairs. Walls of TVs tune in to the favored game of the day, and scantily clad servers deliver beer and booze. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
219 N. Peters St., (504) 525-4111; www.saintlawrencenola.com; @stlawrencenola
A menu of elevated bar fare vies with a slate of ambitious craft cocktails for most popular draw to this casual, brick-lined bistro. The Saint Lawrence cocktail and Very Old Fashioned are popular drink choices. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Saints and Sinners
627 Bourbon St., (504) 528-9307; www.saintsandsinnersnola.com; @sandsnola
Promising a "sinfully good time," actor Channing Tatum's Storyville-inspired Saints and Sinners serves specialty cocktails amid red satin decor. The Burlesque Stress is a popular drink, as is Silk Panties. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu.
135 Chartres St., (504) 587-7701; www.sneakypetesnola.com
Grand Marnier is $5 every day and bloody marys are $5 on Sunday at this dog-friendly bar started by group of French Quarter bartenders. Popular drinks include ice cold beer, bloody marys and Hurricanes. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.
310 Chartres St., (504) 552-4095; www.sobounola.com; @sobounola
Draft beers are self-serve from taps built right into your table and bartenders make craft cocktails. The modern Creole saloon is a testament to the traditional restaurants for which the Brennan's family is known, but with a modern twist. Enjoy $3 to $6 snacks from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily from a menu of New Orleans classics. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Somethin' Else Cafe
620 Conti St., (504) 373-6439; www.somethinelsecafe.com
Sit on the patio and enjoy a house-made bloody mary or catch a New Orleans Saints game inside the bar of this French Quarter diner. Hurricanes and seasonal Abita beers are popular. Po-boys and burgers round out the restaurant menu, and breakfast is served daily. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Spirits on Bourbon
615 Bourbon St., (504) 524-6014; www.spiritsonbouron.com
Hear dueling pianos nightly at this French Quarter bar, which was featured on Spike TV's Bar Rescue. There's courtyard seating where you can try the signature Resurrection cocktail, served in a blinking skull mug. Steak night on Monday offers a rib-eye dinner for $11.75, and a menu of gumbo, shrimp beignets, burgers, sliders and more is available every day. The bar is open 24 hours Thursday through Monday. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Food available. Happy hour 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
625 Chartres St., (504) 265-8213; www.sylvainnola.com; @sylvainnola
This upscale lounge — and its romantic brick patio hideaway, accessed through a sliver along Chartres Street — is tucked away from French Quarter bustle and features handcrafted cocktails like the Dead Man's Wallet, with rye, port, cinnamon and lemon, paired with a menu of seasonal dishes. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
301 N. Peters St., (504) 288-8226; www.tiktolteca.com; @tikitolteca
Upstairs from Felipe's Taqueria in the French Quarter, this craft tiki bar serves cocktails with an emphasis on Latin American flavors. There are nightly tropical-themed specials and events, like Beach Blanket Burlesque on Wednesday. Small plates are available at the bar. Open Tues.-Thu. No smoking. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Tue.-Thu.
Tropical Isle Bayou Club
610 Bourbon St., (504) 529-1702; www.tropicalisle.com
Cajun, zydeco and folk are the music styles played at this club, which offers live performances daily. During happy hour, get $1 off draft beers and three-for-one well drinks. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Sat., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Sun.
Tropical Isle Bourbon
721 Bourbon St., (504) 529-4109; www.tropicalisle.com; @tropical_isle
The bar is dedicated to trop rock and bringing the beach to New Orleans. It stages live music every day and offers a range of drinks including its signature Hand Grenade, tropical cocktails, beer and more. Happy hour offers three-for-one well drinks and beer specials. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour noon-4 p.m. daily.
Tropical Isle Original
600 Bourbon St., (504) 529-1702; www.tropicalisle.com
Happy hour features three-for-one well drinks and $1 off draft beers. Popular drinks include the Hand Grenade, Horny Gator and Tropical Itch. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
823 Decatur St., (504) 525-8676; www.tujaguesrestaurant.com
This neighborhood watering hole has retained the same cypress stand-up bar and antique Parisian mirror that it hung over the bar when Tujague's opened in 1856. Though it is attached to a restaurant, Tujague's is a neighborhood bar and popular drinks include the Sazerac, Ramos gin fizz and Pimm's Cup. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
The Upper Quarter
1000 Bienville St., (504) 523-4111
The bar is strategically located — it's directly behind the New Orleans Athletic Club — within walking distance of Louis Armstrong Park and the Saenger and Joy theaters. There's no happy hour at the dog-friendly bar, but it always has a varying list of drink specials. New Orleans Saints game days bring $10 beer buckets, free food and free shots for every Saints touchdown. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available.