3700 Magazine St., (504) 895-2225; www.barutapas.com
The vibe: The funky Colombian-inspired bistro feels intimate, though it has two floors and outdoor seating on the sidewalk and balcony. Happy hour features a rotating $5 cocktail.
What you'll drink: The Latin-Caribbean cuisine drives the drink menu, which features the Mara Cuya (vodka, passion fruit and grated ginger) and a Paloma (mezcal, agave, fresh-squeezed grapefruit, basil).
Basin Seafood & Spirits
3222 Magazine St., (504) 302-7391; www.basinseafoodnola.com
The vibe: A large, shiny metal fish on the wall doesn't let patrons forget they came here for seafood, but there's also a long L-shaped bar and the ambience is casual and fun.
What you'll drink: There's an extensive craft cocktail menu that includes the Orchard St. Night Train (Plantation rum and house-made limoncello). Or down oysters with a local craft beer.
Frey Smoked Meat Co.
4141 Bienville St., Suite 110, (504) 488-7427; www.freysmokedmeat.com
The vibe: A modern, airy barbecue joint in Mid-City draws locals to a wooden bar under several TVs for game days. Patrons can choose from more than 45 beers, 50 whiskeys and cocktails such as Frey's lemonade.
What you'll drink: Bourbon, scotch and whiskey (available in tasting flights), nonalcoholic over-the-top milkshakes.
El Gato Negro
800 S. Peters St., (504) 309-8864; www.elgatonegro.com
The vibe: This Warehouse District cantina has a barroom where patrons can settle in and work their way through the long list of tequilas, mezcals and house margaritas.
What you'll drink: Try a pineapple-cilantro or carrot-lime margarita.
Katie's Restaurant & Bar
3701 Iberville St., (504) 488-6582; www.katiesinmidcity.com
The vibe: A Mid-City place where everybody knows your name — long-time patrons' names on small plaques are in front of bar stools.
What you'll drink: Happy hour features select $5 cocktails, and there are six taps dedicated to a rotating selection of local beers.
La Casita Taqueria
8400 Oak St. (504) 826-9913; www.eatlacasita.com
The vibe: The Carrollton neighborhood cantina features creative Mexican fare and margaritas and there is an expansive porch overlooking Oak Street.
What you'll drink: A beer and shot combo featuring Tecate and El Zarco blanco silver tequila, or nonalcoholic house-made lemonade.
MeMe's Bar & Grill
712 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, (504) 644-4992; www.memesbarandgrille.com
The vibe: This fine-dining extablishment is a go-to spot for Chalmette locals celebrating special occasions. The romantic but casual space features a dark stone bar overlooking the white-tablecloth dining room.
What you'll drink: House specialty martinis.
424 Girod St., (504) 526-3745; www.emerilsrestaurants.com/meril
The vibe: Emeril Lagasse's fourth New Orleans restaurant draws a lively crowd to dine on globally inspired small plates, and there is a polished concrete U-shaped bar for socializing or waiting for a table.
What you'll drink: The menu of original cocktails is all by the numbers — the No. 10 features vodka, beet juice and honey syrup.
New Feelings Marigny Cafe, Bar and Courtyard Lounge
535 Franklin Ave., (504) 446-0040; www.feelingscafebar.com
The vibe: Marigny locals flock to the narrow bar and adjoining brick court-yard with a chaise lounge and bright orange rattan swings. A bygone Elvis bar theme was brought back during its reopening in spring 2016, but the decor and ambience is more funky than Graceland.
What you'll drink: House-made fruit-infused vodkas, bottomless mimosas at brunch.
Ralph's on the Park
900 City Park Ave., (504) 488-1000; www.ralphsonthepark.com
The vibe: At happy hour, a coat-and-tie crowd flocks to the modern barroom at Ralph Brennan's fine-dining spot across from City Park.
What you'll drink: Signature cocktails like an Old Fashioned, or wine by the glass from the extensive wine list.
Ruth's Chris Steak house
525 Fulton St., (504) 587-7099; www.ruthschris.com/restaurant-locations/new-orleans
The vibe: The original Ruth's Chris location in Mid-City attracted a power-meeting crowd, and it seems a similar vibe rules the bar at happy hour and at the steakhouse's location at Harrah's New Orleans.
What you'll drink: Classic cocktails with a New Orleans twist, including the French Quarter 75 and the Gambler's Old Fashioned, a nod to Harrah's.
The Steak Knife
888 Harrison Ave., (504) 488-8981; www.steakkniferestaurant.com
The vibe: A longtime upscale spot for Lakeview locals and regulars who mingle at the long bar, especially on weekends. The bar opens an hour before dinner with a full menu service.
What you'll drink: No-fuss cocktails, cognac and boozy dessert coffee drinks.
823 Decatur St., (504) 525-8676; tujaguesrestaurant.com
The vibe: Mixologist Paul Gustings presides over the 160-year-old bar, serving Sazeracs and absinthe drips to a mix of French Quarter characters and tourists.
What you'll drink: A Pimm's Cup, grasshopper or French 75.
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