714 N. Rampart St. 558-0872
With the music so exemplary and the bar so tempting, you forget that there's a huge kitchen in the back that puts out much more than bar food. Chef Ben toils in the kitchen and takes pride in the crispy crawfish cakes with spicy pepper relish sauce. For late-night munchies, the Big Butt Special is a combo of Louisiana classics: gumbo, red beans and rice, sausage and jambalaya complete with a salad and bread. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$


225 Decatur St. 529-BLUE (2583)
Bowls of gumbo, plates of red beans and rice, jambalaya and etouffee all grace the tables of toe-tapping diners. Listen to the blues and check out the folk art while feasting on the Elwood, a blackened chicken sandwich with chili garlic mayonnaise, sour cream and green chilies. Also check out the famous Sunday gospel brunch. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

1104 Decatur St. 592-2565

At this colorful cafe, they've got fins to the left, fins to the right -- in seafood dishes such as the Coconut Telegraph Shrimp. That's shrimp dipped in coconut batter and fried, and served with Caribbean steamed veggies, diced sweet potatoes and orange marmalade horseradish sauce. Or try the new spicy onion rings, battered and dunked in Crystal hot sauce and served with a ranch dip to cool things off. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

200 Decatur St. 598-1500
Locals and tourists alike flock to this one for atmosphere, food and music. The house specialty remains the homemade macaroni and cheese with a bechamel sauce and a variety of cheeses such as provolone, cheddar and American. There's music to eat by every evening, with an ever-changing daily lineup. For a change of pace, stop by on Mondays for punk rock karaoke or on Thursdays for Costume Night. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

4133 S. Carrollton Ave. 482-3133
The oldest bowling alley in the city attracts crowds looking to play a few rounds and some good eatin'. The full service bar and kitchen serves up an array of New Orleans classics such as gumbo, red beans and rice, and alligator and andouille sausage. Catch some zydeco music on Thursday nights and come practice your swing moves on Wednesday. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

3201 Houma Blvd., Metairie 780-2961
Mo Krane's lounge offers a broad palate of entertainment options, with karaoke on Monday nights and live music (with no cover charge) Wednesday through Sunday nights. Food is served late into the night, with favorites including the po-boys, burgers and Mo's $9 filet mignon. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

1204 Decatur St. 525-0200
Those who like jazzy cuisine with their live jazz music should check out Palm Court's winter menu, which features Creole Beef Indienne -- bite-size pieces of sirloin sauteed with 11 exotic spices and simmered in a rich sauce of Creole vegetables, then served with basmati rice and mango chutney. Seafood lovers might prefer the shrimp ambrosia sauteed in a light fennel and Pernod cream sauce and served over pasta. Reservations suggested. Dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Credit cards. $$

626 Frenchmen St. 949-0696
If you're in the mood for a classic New Orleans meal to accompany the classic New Orleans and modern jazz that plays here nightly, order standards such as shrimp remoulade and shrimp Creole. Meat choices include a filet mignon and New York strip, and chicken fans can get theirs Southern-fried or charbroiled. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

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