If you’re patient enough to wait in line, watching the bartender in action is well worth it. Sip on locally brewed Abita drafts (I recommend the Purple Haze) and nosh on the char-grilled oysters.
Spend the afternoon here among locals at the more-than-a-century old tavern that overlooks the Bayou St. John. Beer is the obvious choice here and should be taken advantage of during the generous happy hour (3-7 p.m. daily) with two-dollar domestics, and three dollars for imports, crafts and local brews.
Take a break from the touristy Quarter and enjoy this mid-city locale. Order this spot’s tasty eight-dollar Spicy Bloody Mary, prepared with the housemade jalapeño-vodka that’s marinated with chiles, okra, olives, cocktail onions, and lemon.
At d.b.a, there’s a heavy focus on craft brews such as NOLA Irish Channel Stout and the Cocodrie IPA by Bayou Tech Brewery. For only five dollars, you can get into the New Orleans’ groove with the swinging sounds of The Tremè Brass Band every Tuesday.
Chef John Besh’s bistro is located in the Central Business District. All of Besh’s spots offer happy hour from 3-6 p.m. daily, and at Lüke, the bar is often filled with guests shooting raw oysters (at 50 cents a pop) and washing them down with half-priced glasses of bubbles.
Owned and operated by award-winning chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto, this elegant bar offers nothing less than the extraordinary. Choose from a wonderful beer selection (my favorite was the Bishop’s Barrel No. 5, a Scotch Ale by Saint Arnold), or allow the bartender to prepare his take on a Boulevardier.
A favorite haunt for locals, this Frenchmen Street bar is straight-forward without any frills and hosts live jazz nightly. Order a refreshing Pimm’s Cup, served in a charming Mason jar glass.
A party bar known for its Hand Grenade, New Orleans’ most powerful and perhaps most mysterious drink since the bar won’t reveal the concoction’s ingredients. Pass on the Hand Grenade and go with the Shark Attack: the presentation alone is quintessential Bourbon Street.
A reputable cigar bar in the Quarter that — along with chief mixologist, Chris Hannah — has made several best bar lists, including those in GQ and Esquire magazines and was nominated for this year’s James Beard Awards for Outstanding Bar Program.
This warm Irish pub is a gem off Bourbon Street that caters to the service industry in the Quarter, offering its infamous frozen Irish coffee and outstanding eats from Killer Po’ Boys.