4301 Burgundy St.; www.facebook.com/bjs.bywater
B.J.'s has everything you want in a neighborhood bar: a venerable jukebox, cheap drinks, a surplus of characters to people-watch, and a quotidian randomness to its offerings: There's live music sometimes, food sometimes, poetry in the living room sometimes. One thing never changes: This spot is cash only. Open daily. No food.
600 Poland Ave., (504) 948-9111; www.bacchanalwine.com; @bacchanalwine
A lot has changed at Bacchanal over the years: The wine shop has added a full restaurant menu, a second floor of all-indoor seating and craft cocktails. What hasn't changed is how popular the Bywater courtyard is. Tables are first-come, first-served with no reservations, so plan accordingly. There's live music seven days a week. Free wine tastings 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.
801 Poland Ave., (504) 592-7083; www.barredux.com; @BarRedux
The menu reflects the tastes of the neighborhood, with hipster favorites Miller High Life and Strongbow Cider, as well as inexpensive vegan, Creole and Caribbean grub. The club hosts entertainment ranging from bingo to blues to burlesque Tuesday through Sunday. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.
The Branch at Oxalis
3162 Dauphine St., (504) 267-4776; www.oxalisbyater.com; @OxalisBywater
There's a sharp focus on whiskey (it carries more than 30 labels) at this Bywater bar and restaurant, which describes its food as "vintage New Orleans." Favored cocktails include the Smoked Boulevardier, a pour of Sazerac rye with Campari, Colin Rouge and applewood smoke, and the Bywater Botanical, Corner Creek bourbon, Oxalis syrup, Bittermens Boston bitters and shaved ice. Food is available until 11 p.m. weekdays and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Bud Rip's Old 9th Ward Bar
900 Piety St., (504) 945-5762; @BudRips
If only these walls could talk. Still bearing the nickname for late iconic owner Edward "Bud Rip" Ripoll Jr., this downtown institution at the corner of Burgundy and Piety streets has stood sentry over countless changes over the years. Then again, a quick glance around the dimly lit, recently upgraded bar shows that some things never change: 9th Ward neighbors stopping by to catch up or forget about it all. Open daily. No food.
800 Louisa St., (504) 302-2357; www.henri.cafe; @cafehenriNola
The modern cafe and neighborhood bar serves dishes like beef carpaccio paired with fried oysters, the Henri burger and salmon with potatoes and asparagus. The frozen Negroni is a popular drink. Happy hour includes half-off cocktails and burgers. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-5 p.m. daily.
The Country Club
634 Louisa St., (504) 945-0742; www.thecountryclubneworleans.com; @countryclubnola
The Creole cottage provides lots of spaces to lounge with a drink or participate in specialty nights including trivia games (Monday) and watching parties for American Horror Story and New Orleans Saints games. There's also a swimming pool, expansive backyard patio and restaurant. High balls, skinny Cooladas, beer and shots are popular drinks. Food options include Parmesan polenta cake, boudin boulettes and clams and chorizo. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
J&J's Sports Lounge
800 France St., (504) 942-8877; www.jjssportslounge.com
A scenester's playground until the wee hours, by day J&J's waves its sports-bar flag high. The laid-back neighborhood watering hole screens all NFL and Big 10 games and features old-school sports memorabilia. A large-screen projector is reserved for New Orleans Saints and Louisiana State University games. PBR tall boys always are $2.50. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
3021 St. Claude Ave., (504) 272-0205; www.junctionnola.com; @junctionNOLA
The railroad-themed bar hosts beer launches by local and national craft breweries on the first and third Thursday of each month. The food menu includes specialty burgers made with grass-fed, hormone-free beef, salads and bar food. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.
2900 Chartres St., (504) 598-5700; www.marizaneworleans.com; @marizaNOLA
Sit at the wraparound bar and watch the goings-on in the kitchen or choose a table in the bustling dining room. The popular Spritz is made with Aperol, prosecco, club soda and orange. The restaurant serves Northern Italian-inspired cuisine, fish, oysters on the half-shell, pasta, pizza, cured meats and more. Open Tue.-Sat. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Thu.
640 Louisa St., (504) 943-0785; www.facebook.com/markeysbarnola
Old-school 9th Ward enough to serve as a gathering spot for the start of the Downtown Irish Club's walking parade on St. Patrick's Day, Markey's has occupied its corner since the 1940s with a no-frills approach that caters to devout regulars and curious hipsters. There are 27 types of beer, and sports — lots of sports — on 16 TVs. The kitchen serves pub food until 2 a.m. daily. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.
1117 Montegut St.; www.facebook.com/n7nola
This not-easy-to-find bar wasn't a secret very long. Bon Apetit named the little French cafe to its list of the nation's best new restaurants in August. Patrons venturing beyond the wooden fence with "N 7" stenciled by the door will find ample seating at cabaret-sized tables on the covered patio, and there are a few seats at the bar inside. There's a small menu of French dishes with Asian accents and imported canned seafood, but N 7 seems best suited for lounging over drinks and snacks. Open Mon.-Sat. Full restaurant menu.
1700 Port St., (504) 457-7212; www.okaybar.com
The newly opened spot has a laid-back, old-school bar atmosphere with checkered floors, a dart board and a large patio. The drinks are cheap, and there always are $3 tacos (unless it's happy hour, when they are $2) with options of veggie or meat. Specialty boilermaker combos include Jameson and Lefthand Milk Stout beer. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
3048 St. Claude Ave., (504) 304-6030; www.redschinese.com
The restaurant creates unique takes on Chinese fare. The drink menu includes wine, a selection of bottled beers, cocktails and house-made frozen daiquiris. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.
3067 St. Claude Ave., (504) 949-7532; www.facebook.com/saturnbar
The shabby chic hangout's walls are covered with murals, neon, old photos and some graffiti, and the bar hosts local and touring bands and DJ nights. There's free Wi-Fi. Happy hour features $2 well drinks and domestic beers. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 7 p.m.-9 p.m. daily.
4229 Dauphine St., (504) 947-5562
As welcoming and as rowdy a Who Dat party as you'll find, on Sundays Vaughn's rolls out the red-carpet treatment for New Orleans Saints fans. Typically a no-nonsense 9th Ward watering hole, things gets loose late in the night on Thursday, as neighbors and tourists groove to Corey Henry and the Treme Funket. Open daily. No food.