Christy's Guide to New Orleans

Bars and Clubs

Many tourist are content to spend their time on Bourbon Street with its choice of dance clubs, karaoke bars and live music. If you want to point your feet in a different direction, here are a few ideas. Additional places listed on the "Music" page. The list starts in the Marigny and works its way Uptown. Smoking and vaping has been banned inside bars and restaurants.

R Bar, 1431 Royal St. Faubourg Marigny. A great place to wind up the night. Pool table.

Molly's at the Market, 1107 Decatur St. French Quarter. A total dive with awesome bloody marys.

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, 941 Bourbon Street, French Quarter. Great ambiance and piano bar.

Pat O'Brien's, 718 St. Peters Street, French Quarter. While it could be considered a tourist trap, it still is a lot of fun. Their signature drink is the Hurricane, a potent, sweet, fruity drink. You only need one, trust me. They also serve great mint juleps, best enjoyed in the courtyard. Or try to squeeze into the piano bar.

The Dungeon, 738 Toulouse Street. Used to not open until midnight, now opens at 10:30pm. There is a moat, cage, skulls and chains, all in good fun. The second story has a dance floor with DJs that play everything but techno or pop. They even take requests.

Bourbon Pub/Parade, 801 Bourbon Street, and Oz, 800 Bourbon Street, French Quarter. Best places to shake your booty to that throbbing club beat. Both are gay bars, but straight-friendly.

Napoleon House, 500 Charters, French Quarter. When you need a break from walking around all afternoon, order a refreshing Pimms Cup and sit in front of a fan in the courtyard.

Carousel Bar, inside the Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street. Why is it called the Carousel Bar? Because the bar rotates and the decor has a circus motif. The Hotel is gorgeous so you should definitely make a stop here. Locals drink here, it's not just all tourists. Tennesee Williams was said to hang out here.

Circle Bar, 1032 Saint Charles Ave @ Lee Circle. Hard to describe, intimate, funky and cozy with an eclectic crowd. They occasionally have live music.

Courtyard Brewery - 1020 Erato St. The newest brewpub. They have a bunch of good craft beers on tap and in bottles, and brew up some excellent beers of their own. There is usually a food trucked park outside. Limited AC so dress accordinly.

Half Moon Bar, 1125 St. Mary Street @Camp Street. Kind of a dive, cheap drinks. Great bar food and nice patio. Pool tables, dart boards, air hockey and the only skee-ball machine outside of Chuck-E-Cheese. Thursday nights a Skee-ball leaugue plays. Yours truely is on a team.

Avenue Pub, 1732 St. Charles Ave. If you haven't visited the Pub lately check it out. Formerly a total dive-bar, it has been cleaned up, but not too squeaky and a must for beer fanatics. 31 taps that change frequently that are state-of-the-art and more in bottles. Once a week they have cask ale that they serve until it runs out. Their kitchen turns out good pub grub. Go upstairs to sit on the balcony.

NOLA Brew Pub - 3001 Tchoupitoulas St. Come sample the excellent brews from NOLA, plus special beers you can't get anywhere else. Friday afternoon they give tours of the brewery. You can also order BBQ from McClure's. Check out the second floor balcony for views of the wharfs and the Mississippi River.

The Bulldog, 3236 Magazine Street, Uptown. A little too noisy and crowed with the post-college crowd for my personal taste, but huge selection of beers on tap and good bar food. They recently added a really nice beer garden with a beer-tap fountain. A second location is in Mid-City at 5135 Canal Blvd that's twice as big with also a really nice beer garden.

The Delachaise, 3442 St. Charles Ave, Uptown. A little more upscale, extensive wine and booze selection and amazing food. Hanger steak and fries cooked in goose fats are some on my favs.

The Columns Hotel, 3811 St. Charles Avenue, Uptown. An 1883 Victorian-style mansion that has appeared in several movies. If the weather's nice, find a seat on the porch and enjoy a beverage and watch the streetcars roll by. (St Charles streetcar stop: General Taylor Street.)

Kingpin, 1307 Lyons Street, Uptown. Decorated with Elvis memorabilia. Good jukebox. Dart board and some sort of mini bowling game.

St. Joe's, 5535 Magazine St. Uptown. Great decor and ambiance and the city's best Mojitos. Go out back and check out the amazing patio. Pool table.

Cure, 4905 Freret Street, Uptown - There's a cocktail revolution going on and Cure was one of the first to open, and they snaggged some of the best bartenders. They renovated a really OLD brick fire house and even with the swanky finishs, it is still loaded with charm. Very swanky and upscale. Nice courtyard. Some small nibbles available. The do not serve Bub Light. Try one of their signature cocktails.

Bouligny Tavern, 3641 Magazine Street, Uptown. Pronounced "bow-lig-nee" this is the newest and swankiest bar on Magazine Street. Owned by the owner of Lilette, the fantastic French restaurant next door, they also have great "snacks." My favorite is the gouda beignets. They have their signature cocktails and also have a turntable that they spin LPs on.

Cooter Brown's, 509 S. Carrollton Avenue. Uptown/Riverbend. One of the largest number of beers on tap and a huge selection of bottled imports. Good bar food, fresh shucked oysters when in season, tons of TVs tuned to sports and a number of pool tables.

Clever A Wine Destination, 3700 Orleans Avenue. Mid-city. Cork & Bottle wine store opened a bar next door. They also do excellent cocktails including some of their own concotions. Yummy cheese platter available.

Rivershack Tavern, 3449 River Road. Outside of Orleans parish but the place has gobs of character, large beer selection and good food. Known for their tacky ashtrays and funky barstools. Try the fried pickles. Live music on weekends.

These are some of the places I frequent, but there are tons of bars in New Orleans. Because I live Uptown, I do most of my drinking Uptown which is why so many Uptown bars are listed.

Christy's Guide to New Orleans

Overview, weather, getting around, etc. | City regions defined | Fun stuff | Art and culture | The dark side | Kids and kids at heart | Dine like a local | Bars and clubs | Live music | For java heads | For the sweet tooth | For dogs and their owners

Updated: July 4, 2015