Bottoms Up! The Bar Guide

Gambit's look at the New Orleans bar scene: happy hours, food, music, smoking policies and much more.

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Bullet's Sports Bar

Like many other previously obscure New Orleans institutions thrust into the Treme limelight, Bullet's Sports Bar has enjoyed a spike in popularity, but locals still flock to the 7th Ward landmark for live music by musicians like Kermit Ruffins and Mike Soulman Baptiste. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 2441 A.P. Tureaud Ave.

Sidney's Saloon

Located in the middle of the St. Bernard Avenue hub of second-line and Mardi Gras Indian parade culture, Sidney's is always busy on special occasions. Renovated since Hurricane Katrina and owned by Kermit Ruffins, the bar has a refined look inside. There's live music on Wednesday and Friday nights, and there's a large screen TV for watching sports. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 1200 St. Bernard Ave., 947-2379


45 Tchoup

The bar here is crafted from lumber and bricks salvaged from Hurricane Katrina's wreckage, and it proves a sturdy stage for a steady flow of draft beers, mixed drinks and Jagermeister shots. Monday's trivia night draws an enthusiastic crowd of pop culture savants, while the jukebox and energetic bartenders always keep things lively. Open daily. Happy hour 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Smoking: yes. 4529 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-9066

The Avenue Pub

The two-story beer pub has a renovated upstairs, an improved selection on its wall of draft beers and the same round-the-clock hours as always. The balcony is open for improv as well as parade and Saints game watching. Special events include trivia on Tuesday, beer tasting on Wednesday, whiskey night Thursday and cask tapping on Friday. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes. 1732 St. Charles Ave., 586-9243;

Balcony Bar & Cafe

Watch sporting events on TV and play pool inside, or find a seat at a table on the balcony overlooking Magazine Street for a bit of conversation and people-watching. Regulars favor the cheese fries with their favorite drinks, but there also are pizzas, burgers, wings and french fries. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 3201 Magazine St., 894-8888 or 895-1600

The Bayou Bar

Step back into a bygone era at this graceful bar in the luxurious Pontchartrain Hotel, built in 1927. Live music starts at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Get nostalgic with hot buttered rum, the signature Moscow Mule, a chocolate martini, wine or aged Scotch while nibbling on free appetizers. Open Tue.-Sat. Smoking: no. 2031 St. Charles Ave., 524-0581;

Bouligny Tavern

Chef John Harris opened this elegant wine bar next to his restaurant Lilette, and outdoor seating is available in the alley between the two buildings. There's a long bar and ample seating along an equally long banquette. There's a short menu of original cocktails and a well-curated wine list with about 15 available by the glass. The menu includes gourmet noshing items. Open Mon.-Sat. Smoking: outside only. 3641 Magazine St., 891-1810;

Bridge Lounge

Dark, sleek styling and an upscale drink selection set the mood, yet the guests of honor at this lounge often walk in on all fours. Well-behaved dogs are not just welcome, they're immortalized in photos on the wall. Their owners sit at attention for Tuesday's trivia night and shake to DJs on Saturdays. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri. And 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 1201 Magazine St., 299-1888;

The Bulldog

A fountain crafted from beer taps flows perpetually on the patio, and the taps behind the bar inside are in constant use, too. As if the huge draft selection wasn't enough, the Bulldog's fridge stocks everything from Chimay to Singha. Keep your decorated Bulldog pint glasses on Wednesdays. Open daily. Happy hour 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Smoking: yes. 3236 Magazine St., 891-1516;

Cafe Prytania

This neighborhood bar periodically hosts music ranging from jazz to indie bands. The walls are decorated with New Orleans nostalgia, and food is available at the Milk Bar behind the stage, or you can get sno-balls at a sidewalk window. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m., and alcohol service starts at 11 a.m. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Happy hour 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. 3445 Prytania St., 891-5773;

The Club Miss Mae's

You don't need happy hours here; the drinks are always cheap and the bar is always open. A jukebox provides music for exercising your elbow at the bar, shooting pool and playing foosball or air hockey. You also can watch sports on TV. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes. Free Wi-Fi. 4336 Magazine St., 895-9401


This craft cocktail bar has a unique list of spirits and the bartenders mix drinks like alchemists mix secret formulas. Housed in a renovated firehouse with an exposed brick interior and contemporary decor, there's banquette seating inside or chairs on the patio. Small plates and tapas are served until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily. 4905 Freret St., 302-2357;


Take advantage of the $5 wine specials on the board or choose from a vast array of other vintages and beers available. This upscale wine bar also offers cheese plates, frog legs, french fries and other munchies. Take a seat overlooking St. Charles Avenue or enjoy the weather with seating outdoors. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858;

Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar

There's a humidor stocked with premium cigars as well as a full bar and even a wooden Indian. Sports are shown on a big-screen TV, and there's a pool table. Live music plays most nights, except Sunday. Happy hour is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and features a variety of drinks ranging from $2 to $4. Open 5 p.m. daily. Smoking: yes. 5535 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8500;

Down the Hatch

Exposed brick walls, a stone floor and gourmet bar food make this neighborhood bar a place where locals like to hang out. There are more than 10 different types of burgers and a full bar. Begin the evening or finish the night with happy hours from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. and 11 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. 1921 Sophie Wright Place, 522-0909;

Eiffel Society

Found in a head-turning structure, the Eiffel Society is a showcase for contemporary art, performance, cuisine and craft cocktails. Chef Ian Schnoebelen designed the tapas-style menu, while bartender Alan Walter created a list of "nieux classic" cocktails. Wednesday is salsa night with dance lessons starting at 7 p.m. Open Wed.-Sat. Smoking: no. 2040 St. Charles Ave., 525-2951;


The brick and wood interior of this restaurant bar in a restored 1800s merchant's cottage provides a romantic warm-up to a night on the town. Half-price drink specials and "mini boats" of shrimp, steak, sausage or oysters start at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The restaurant menu is available at the bar. Open 5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Smoking: no. 1179 Annunciation St., 299-1179;

Evangeline II On the Avenue

There's a 65-inch TV screen for watching sports and a jukebox and video poker to pass the time when your favorite team is off the field. Beer and wine are high on the drink list. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m. weekdays. 1753 St. Charles Ave., 523-4500

Fat Harry's

With large doors opening to St. Charles Avenue, Fat Harry's attracts a lot of college students, but there also are plenty of patrons who have come to this neighborhood bar for decades to drink in specials like $4.50 pitchers of beer (Monday), $1 off pints (Wednesday) and happy hour until 11 p.m. on Thursday. Watch sports, play pool, video poker or trivia. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. Free Wi-Fi. 4330 St. Charles Ave., 895-9582

Garden District Pub

With exposed brick walls and a copper-top bar, this neighborhood haunt exudes the ambience of a 19th-century pub. Sazeracs, absinthe and Cosmopolitans flow freely, and snacks include pizza, stuffed poppers and chips. Football Sunday happy hour is 11:30 a.m. till closing. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Dog friendly. 1916 Magazine St., 267-3392;

The Kingpin

A hub of activity Uptown and popular late-night service industry destination, The Kingpin also is a good place to spot random clusters of the Rolling Elvi. A neighborhood bar with some kitschy appeal, it features a shuffleboard and dart boards. There's free barbecue during Saints games. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Happy hour 3:30 p.m.-9 p.m. weekdays. 1307 Lyons St., 891-2373;

La Thai Uptown

Chic, modern decor is a sleek backdrop for an array of sparkling Asian flavors and inventive cocktails, which include the lychee-tini and fresh fruit mojitos. A full menu of Thai staples and Louisiana seafood, like spring rolls and coconut shrimp, complements the bar. Happy hour is 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tues. Open 11 a.m. Tues.-Sat., noon Sun. Smoking: no. 4938 Prytania St., 899-8836;

Le Bon Temps Roule

Toss back a cold one and commune with the tiled alligators in the back bar of this neighborhood tavern, play a game of pool or just visit with the bartenders and regular patrons. The Soul Rebels play every Thursday; a variety of other musical acts perform on other nights. Friday features free oysters. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 4801 Magazine St., 895-8117


The Mayfair is a beloved locals-only spot with brisk bartenders, cheap drinks and Carnival memorabilia covering the walls. The daily happy hour (noon to 7 p.m.) offers a quarter discount on drinks. The bar also has two pool tables, an Internet jukebox and a large selection of liquor. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Cash only. 1505 Amelia St., 895-9163

Milan Lounge

This neighborhood bar presents a selection of cigars for sale — and a comfortable setting to enjoy them. It screens New Orleans Saints, Hornets and Chicago Cubs games, and a dart league plays on Tuesday. For those not ready for league play, there's video poker, Internet radio and free Wi-Fi. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 1312 Milan St., 895-1836

Monkey Hill Bar

This bar is a good place to take a date, sit at the bar and gaze at the 40 single-malt Scotches sparkling against the mirrored bar back. Couches and lounge chairs are comfortable spots for watching sports and special screenings on the 120-inch high-definition screen. There's free food and half-price hangover remedy drinks on Saints Sundays, and more than 30 wines by the glass every day. Open 3 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 6 p.m. Sun. (except football season). Smoking: yes. Pool table, shuffleboard. 6100 Magazine St., 899-4800;

Rendezvous Tavern

This bar opens early to screen college football or Saints games on Saturday and Sunday, and offers Bloody Mary and mimosa specials. Nirvana cocktails are free during Sunday games, and well drinks are two-for-one from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily. When the game's not on listen to the jukebox or playing darts or pool. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 3101 Magazine St., 891-1777

The Saint Bar & Lounge

It's a quintessential gritty dive bar that resembles an ancient tavern that opens onto an untamed patio. Throw down a round of stiff drinks and squeeze a bunch of friends into the photo booth, or dance to the well-stocked jukebox. There are regular specialty nights and occasional live music and DJs. Opens at 8 p.m. daily. Smoking: yes. 961 St. Mary St., 523-0050;

St. Joe's Bar

This neighborhood dive bar features religious artifacts hanging from wooden walls, a pool table in the back of the bar and an Asian-style garden on the back patio. The signature drink is a blueberry mojito made to order with fresh fruit and mint. Open daily. Smoking: yes (cigars on the patio only). Dog friendly. 5535 Magazine St., 899-3744

Superior Bar & Grill

There's always a party atmosphere at this popular restaurant bar, known for its margaritas, both frozen and on the rocks. You can get a large for the price of a small size or two-for-one mixed drinks from 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. every day. The restaurant's Tex-Mex menu is available at the bar, which has a number of tables. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. 3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200;


One of the enduring greats, Tipitina's hosts the biggest local acts and touring national performers alike. Pay your respects to the bust of Professor Longhair by the door, then dance to brass, funk, rock and come-what-may. The traditional fais do-do, or Cajun dance party, draws a crowd each Sunday afternoon. Open Thu.-Sun. Smoking: no. 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-8477;


Irish Channel denizens will find many familiar faces at Tracey's, where staff from the old Parasol's moved en masse this summer. They brought the kitchen's famous roast beef po-boy recipe with them too. Darts, pool and 18 TVs complete the scene at this new bar with well-established street cred. Open daily. Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 4 p.m.-7 p.m. NFL Sunday Ticket and ESPN GamePlan. Smoking: yes. 2604 Magazine St., 897-5413;

Victorian Lounge at the Columns Hotel

Set in an 1883 mansion designed by famed architect Thomas Sully for top U.S. cigar manufacturer Simon Hernsheim, this hotel lounge offers a romantic atmosphere and an air of history. Hernsheim made deals for his company at the bar, which now serves a menu of Sazeracs, mint juleps, Bloody Marys, beer, wine and more. Tapas and bistro fare are available. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri. The Columns Hotel, 3811 St. Charles Ave., 899-9308;

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