7 on Fulton
701 Convention Center Blvd., 525-7555
This restaurant bar always has a drink special: the weekly mix includes $5 Jose Cuervo margaritas, $5 Tito's vodka martinis, a wine and cheese plate special, two-for-one cocktails, $12 French 75s, $12 pitchers of Sangria, and $5 Tito's Bloody Marys. The restaurant menu is available to fuel you for watching sports and surfing the Internet. Open daily. Smoking: patio only.
608 Fulton St., 212-6476
A huge guitar painted on the wall hints at the music club's focus on blues, jazz, R&B, funk and rock 'n' roll. Named after the 12-bar blues, the bar features the Brass-a-holics on Wednesday and rock music Thursday through Saturday. Tuesday features comedy acts. Bloody Marys are popular. The bar also features TV sports, free Wi-Fi, pool tables and video poker. Open daily. Smoking allowed.
945 Magazine St., 528-1940
Vintage World War II accents and a clean, roomy space make this a comfortable place to meet friends for a drink. From 3 p.m.-6 p.m. enjoy half off beer and 75-cent barbecue sliders and meat pies. John Besh's WWII-inspired American cuisine is available until 9 p.m. weekdays and 11 p.m. weekends. Open daily. No smoking.
817 Common St., 525-1111
Designed in a bold style, this bar inside the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel looks like a lounge from the future. When veteran bartender Chris McMillian is on duty, however, expect craft cocktails served with a dose of bar lore. Upscale bar snacks, sandwiches and other dishes are available. Open daily. No smoking.
840 Tchoupitoulas St., Suite 103, 267-748
Try free samples of featured wines during Wednesday's Flight Night, or you can build your own flight anytime with help from the in-house sommelier. There are more than 101 vintages on the wine list, and private wine lockers are available. Popular cocktails include the Bouche-tini with liquid nitrogen, Tchoupitoulas Flower and the Sazerac. There's an attached cigar lounge and customers can rent private humidor lockers. The menu is contemporary Louisiana cuisine. Open Mon.-Sat. Smoking: patio only. Food: restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thu. and Sat., 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Fri.
520 Capdeville St., 371-5161
Tucked away on a side street near the federal court buildings is this sleek modern pub. There's a rock vibe with posters and rock star portraits on the walls. A creative menu makes it a busy lunch spot, and food is available late on Friday and Saturday. Look for specials on local drinks during weekday happy hours. Open daily. No smoking. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thu. and noon-7 p.m. Fri.
711 Tchoupitoulas St., 301-1476
An old industrial space reclaimed as a neighborhood watering hole, The District's heritage shows in its weathered brick walls and cypress woodwork. The kitchen turns out duck quesadillas, roast beef po-boys and black-and-blue wraps to keep everyone on an even keel. Open daily. No smoking. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
219 Carondelet St., 556-9645
Cozy up to the long bar and gaze at the decoratively carved wood wall at this renovated 1920s building that draws locals and visitors from the two hotels and apartment complex nearby to enjoy Bloody Marys, frozen Hurricanes and a selection of ever-changing daily specials. An 8-foot screen shows sports and movies, and there's live music every other Tuesday. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
600 S. Peters St., 525-8544
With a history dating back more than a century, Ernst Cafe exudes old New Orleans character, from its soaring ceilings to its wrap-around gallery. But it's the energy that draws patrons after work or when the Saints are playing at home. Open daily. No smoking. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Extreme Sports Bar and Grille
535 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-6999
This new bar makes no bones about its hard-driving sports mania. Big screens broadcast all the games, miniature goalposts bookend the bar, and daily drink specials include two-for-ones Tuesdays. There's karaoke on Wednesday, plus a boxing machine, air hockey, darts and pool. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food: restaurant menu.
200 Poydras St., 552-2739
The brewpub's half-dozen beers are brewed in house, with one changing seasonally. Seating is available in the bar/cocktail lounge, or you can sit outside on the patio and enjoy some people-watching. There's a full menu of American cuisine with international influences, including Southwest egg rolls, cedar-plank salmon, Cajun pasta and pizzas. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. Food: restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Grand Isle Restaurant
575 Convention Center Blvd., 520-8530
Sample drink specials such as two-for-one margaritas on Mondays, $2 martinis on Tuesdays, half-price glasses of wine on Wednesdays and half-price cocktails on Thursdays. You can watch sports on TV, have a drink on the patio, order from the oyster bar or the restaurant's menu of local seafood dishes. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. Food: restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Happy's Irish Pub
1009 Poydras St., 324-9236
This downtown hangout was named for beloved 1950s-'60s French Quarter restaurateur/bar owner Jack "Happy Jack" Mooney, whose caricature — drawn by a Jackson Square artist in 1965 — is the centerpiece of the bar's logo. It offers a daily "Liquid Lunch" with two-for-one drink specials from 1 a.m. to 2 p.m., all-day drink specials on the 17th of every month's Practice Makes Perfect night, with live entertainment, $3 green beer or Jameson shots, $4 Guinness and other drink specials all day long. There's also a Mug Club that gives you a plaque on the wall with your name and favorite saying and your own special mug. Open daily. No smoking. No food. Happy hour 1 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.
907 S. Peters St., 522-9653
A Michalopoulos mural covering Howlin' Wolf's exterior tells a tale of New Orleans music. Inside, today's performers add new chapters to the story on stage. Top local acts and touring bands play in a spacious room lined by facades salvaged from old shotgun houses. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
Howlin' Wolf Den
907 S. Peters St., 529-5844
The sister club to the Howlin' Wolf has a kitchen serving tacos and barbecue, and a busy weekly calendar of diverse acts. Tuesday nights feature improv comedy and Thursdays bring Comedy Gumbeaux with local stand-up, and the Hot 8 Brass Band performs on Sunday. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food: restaurant menu.
Irvin Mayfield's I Club
JW Marriott New Orleans, 614 Canal St., 527-6712
Host your own happy hour for a group of friends or co-workers on Wednesday or Friday night (you must make arrangements in advance) and choose a drink special or menu for your group. The refined jazz club and lounge features top local musical talents and classic cocktails like the popular Sazerac . Live music is staged whenever the club is open. The bar menu includes honey-roasted duck sliders, barbecue shrimp, Louisiana blue crab claws and more. Open Wed.-Sat. No smoking. Food: bar menu. Happy hour 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Wed. and Fri
523 Gravier St., 636-1890
Hidden inside the boutique hotel Loft 523, LePhare has a stylish design, mellow lighting and hip DJ sounds. Tuesday is salsa night with dance lessons and Latin music starting at 8 p.m., and Friday features $4 Stoli and $4 Jack Daniels. Open Tue. and Thu.-Sat. No smoking.
221 Camp St., 200-6525
Absinthe, whiskey and cynar comprise the signature Lala Louisiane at the spirited Loa bar in the International House Hotel. Original craft cocktails, house-made bitters, premium spirits and boutique wines highlight the regular offerings, and there is a DJ on Fridays. Some bar snacks are available from the kitchen of Rambla. Open daily. No smoking.
Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant
701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995
Surf-inspired drinks include the popular Killer Blue Whale and Shark Attack, or take the Can you eat the worm? challenge. If you eat a worm from the Bahia Escorpion, Baja, you win a shirt. It also provides a great reason for tossing back a margarita. Lucy's calls its cuisine "southern California surfers' food," or Cali-Mex, which is served late into the night. There's live music occasionally, and daily themed drink specials as well as complimentary chips and salsa. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. Food: restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Harrah's New Orleans, 8 Canal St., 533-6000
Set in the middle of Harrah's casino, Masquerade is equipped with a 34-foot-long ice bar to keep drinks chilled and a 42-foot media tower for light shows. There are Coors Light giveaways during Saints and LSU games, shown on large-screen TVs. Masquerade dancers perform on weekends, along with DJs, and there is periodic live jazz. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food: no. Happy hour 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Thu.
McGuire's Grill and Paddy'O Bar
869 Magazine St., 267-7322
McGuire's offers 38 beers on tap, including 28 imports. The menu includes deep-fried stuffed hamburgers or a range of seafood dishes. Watch sports on one of 25 sports channels available on a half-dozen high-def TVs, or just relax your brain and knock back a few on the patio. Open: daily. Smoking: patio only. Food: appetizers, seafood, sandwiches. Happy hour 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
310 Andrew Higgins Drive, 568-1702
This large dance club is only open on Saturday nights and has an upscale dress code, as well as table and bottle service, VIP accommodations and music by DJs. It hosts large Halloween and New Year's Eve parties. Open Sat. Smoking allowed.
NOLA Tropical Winery
Riverwalk Marketplace, 1 Poydras St., Suite 25, 561-6010
Wine goes beyond the grape at this bar in the Riverwalk Marketplace, with about 38 varieties of non-grape vintages made from melons, berries and citrus. Wines are sold by the glass or bottle; the most popular selections are ports, white sangria, dry blackberry wine and wine smoothies. Open daily (during mall hours). No smoking. Food: no.
Polo Club Lounge
Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 522-1994
This elegant English-style lounge in the Windsor Court Hotel mixes nightly live jazz performances and a sophisticated atmosphere with luxurious leather furnishings, a menu of New Orleans gourmet dishes, custom cocktails from mixologist Janine Nielson or a choice from the bar's extensive wine collection. Open daily. No smoking. Food: upscale lounge menu.
Republic New Orleans
828 S. Peters St., 528-8282
The two-story nightclub is alternately grungy or glamorous depending on the event and the crowd. Its chandeliers and murals give an elegant, eclectic edge to the more rustic decor downstairs. (It was built in the 1850s as a warehouse). Home to edgy touring indie acts, DJs and cabaret and more, the bar serves up cold High Life and Godiva martinis with equal aplomb, and has frequent drink specials. Open Thu.-Sun., and for special acts. Smoking allowed. No food.
823 Fulton St., 581-7253
This restaurant bar promises loud music, lots of sake, beer and cocktails, plus a full menu of Japanese cuisine. Popular drinks include the berry blossom and sake margaritas and the Tokyo-tini. Open daily. Smoking: patio only.
The Rusty Nail
1100 Constance St., 525-5515
With its bare wood walls and vintage feel, this well-hidden bar is worth seeking out. Catch open mic night on Tuesday, or Boozin Bingo on Thursdays. During football season the doors open at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. for Saints home games, with a breakfast and Bloody Mary bar. Open daily. No smoking. Happy hour 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Fri.
The Sazerac Bar
The Roosevelt New Orleans, 123 Baronne St., 648-1200
Reopened in 2009 following a complete restoration of the Roosevelt Hotel that houses it, The Sazerac Bar retained its elegant woodwork and Art Deco-style murals painted by artist Paul Ninas in the 1930s. Though best known for its Sazerac and Ramos Gin Fizz, there is a full cocktail menu and comfortable seating. Open daily. No smoking. Food: bar menu.
St. Charles Bar
736 St. Charles Ave., 561-9256
Slip into this casual, dog-friendly bar and grab a barstool at the long bar. Patrons can choose from a list of 22 beers, and dirty martinis are popular and come with a choice of olives. There's free Wi-Fi and video poker. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Happy hour 7 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
The Swizzle Stick
Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., 595-3305
The bar at the quirky Cafe Adelaide honors the Saints with the Who Dat Punch, which includes "a little bit of this, a little bit of that and a whole lot of love." The bar offers $5 drink specials daily and live music from local entertainers from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Open daily. No smoking. Food: restaurant menu. Happy hour daily.
Tommy's Wine Bar
752 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-4790
Sample from the 20 wines available by the glass or the 150 bottles on the menu while lounging on leather chairs and comfortable couches. The atmosphere is upscale but not stuffy, and there's a full bar. Snack on a cheese plate or order from the menu at Tommy's Cuisine. Fridays and Saturdays feature live music. Open Mon.-Sat. No smoking. Food: restaurant menu.
Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar
1009 Poydras St., 309-6530
Located within walking distance of the Superdome, Walk-On's is a natural spot for a bite and a drink before, during or after Saints games — or for watching LSU games; founders Jack Warner and Brandon Landry met in 1997 as walk-on basketball players at LSU. Actually, it caters to fans of all types of teams and sports, with more than 50 televisions and a menu of bistro specialties, Louisiana appetizers, signature salads, pasta, sandwiches and more. Open daily. No smoking. Food: restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and all day Sun.
W Hotel, 333 Poydras St., 207-5016
The elegant mahogany bar with amber lighting on the front and deep blue walls, leather chairs, banquette couches, dim lighting and large common table invite an upscale crowd of W Hotel visitors and local luminaries. Jazz, blues and rock 'n' roll photographs by Jim Marshall add a music theme, while DJs spin tunes Thursday-Saturday. Craft cocktails and standards like the Sazerac fill the drink menu. Open Mon.-Sat. Smoking allowed.
Wine Institute of New Orleans
610 Tchoupitoulas St., 324-8000
Part wine bar and part wine shop, W.I.N.O. is built around innovative self-service devices that dispense portion-controlled pours. Customers can sample to their hearts' content from 120 wines and try fine vintages rarely available by the glass elsewhere. Get a sandwich or cheese plate to round out things. Wine classes available. Open daily. Smoking allowed.