514 Frenchmen St., (504) 944-8461; www.bamboulasnola.com
The vibe: With its exposed brick walls and tile floor, there's charm in this music hall in the heart of the Frenchmen Street strip, and the music lineup is heavy on local jazz, blues and swing music.
What you'll drink: Craft beers from Louisiana breweries and beyond and house cocktails such as the Bamboula punch.
532 Frenchmen St., (504) 948-2583; www.bluenilelive.com
The vibe: Downstairs at the two-story stronghold is bathed in blue light. Upstairs has a balcony view overlooking Frenchmen Street. Catch reggae and dancehall, powerhouse funk, brass and jazz bands on both stages every night of the week.
What you'll drink: Drink specials, beers on tap.
1032 St. Charles Ave., (504) 588-2616; www.circlebarneworleans.com
The vibe: Seemingly hanging by a thread to the old Lee Circle as it becomes corporate beige, the intimate dive hosts garage rock, crate-digging DJs and folk singer-songwriters on a stageless space in front of a fireplace. Patrons also can hide in a booth and watch the streetcars.
What you'll drink: PBR, liquor, beers on tap.
618 Frenchmen St., (504) 942-3731; www.dbaneworleans.com
The vibe: The cozy, dramatically lit venue on the busy Frenchmen Street corridor offers a curiously diverse and long list of international and craft beers paired with a nightly lineup of mostly roots rock, blues, traditional jazz, brass bands and Cajun and zydeco music.
What you'll drink: Go low with frosty bottles of Miller High Life or reach high for drafts of Chimay's Trappist "cinq cents" Tripel.
4920 Freret St, (504) 338-3567; www.gasagasa.com
The vibe: Intimate, art-covered flypaper for avant-garde electronica, jazz experiments and the latest indie rock, electronic and post-punk bands you'll hear about on year-end lists. Bathe in the youthful glow of the crowd between sets in a breezy courtyard where a food truck parks outside the gate. Happy hour starts at noon.
What you'll drink: Red Stripe, PBR tall boys, craft beers on tap.
House of Blues
225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999; www.houseofblues.com/neworleans
The vibe: Even if you’re not there for a performance in the main showroom, you can grab a drink inside the restaurant, but the tucked-away Voodoo Garden courtyard combines the trademark HOB roadhouse feel with a bit of New Orleans mojo.
What you'll drink: Beer, mojitos and specialty margaritas (watermelon and pineapple-chile).
Maple Leaf Bar
8316 Oak St., (504) 866-9359; www.mapleleafbar.com
The vibe: Funky jazz dads in sandals, neighborhood weirdos, fellow musicians and tourists fill the hot, sweaty dance floor for one of the city's best weekly calendars of very local music. Yes, Rebirth Brass Band owns Tuesday nights here, but it's also a second home to Joe Krown, George Porter Jr., Johnny Vidacovich, several dogs and boiled crawfish on many Fridays.
What you'll drink: Liquor and local beer in plastic cups.
One Eyed Jacks
615 Toulouse St., (504) 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net
The vibe: The French Quarter's stalwart glam rock 'n' roll bar has a vaguely Twin Peaks-inspired interior complete with a shimmering red curtain, a glowing horseshoe bar in the center of the floor, and touring bands that wouldn't be out of place in Twin Peaks' closing credits.
What you'll drink: Liquor, Miller High Life and PBR.
2227 St. Claude Ave., (504) 265-8855; www.siberianola.com
The vibe: Black-metal hunting lodge meets Marigny late nightlife at a bar named after the last place you'd want to end up. Instead of desolation and death from exposure, there are pierogi. Weaving into a calendar of touring indie rock, punk and metal bands are local songwriters, comedians and burlesque performers. Shows start late, so grab Slavic-inspired food from Kukhnya in the back before a night under the bar's funeral moon.
What you'll drink: Nightly drink specials, beers on tap.
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