New Orleans


Mid-City Lanes Rock ‘n’ Bowl

A must-stop for visitors who want some authentic New Orleans flavor, the massive Mid-City, live-music dance hall is striking. Zydeco bands squeezing their boxes dominate, but doo-wop, twang, and big-band swing, too. And, of course, there are bowling lanes and bars. Triple fun.

Dos Efes Uptown Cigar Bar

Step into the Cuban-cigar smoke and inhale the top-notch live bands that play at 9 p.m. nightly in this no-cover bar. Closest thing to a jazz hut that you’ll find outside of Tremé. Crowd dresses with respect.

Carousel Bar & Lounge

Spinning patrons round and round on its converted and rotating carousel-cum-bar, this sixty-five-year-old cocktail spot in the French Quarter’s Hotel Monteleone is best during the week when courthouse judges and lawyers fill the room.

Bouligny Tavern

The young ladies–in–waiting of Uptown love this house-turned-cocktail saloon, fronted by a porch and sided by a patio. Minimalist-chic and subtly retro, it maybe the most civilized bar to have a happy hour drink with small plates in the whole neighborhood. The bartenders spin records, and their tastes are on point, from the Beatles to the Mills Brothers. Favorite drink: Hemingway Daiquiri (with shaved ice floater).

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar

Named for yet another cocktail invented in New Orleans, this clubby sidecar to the iconic Arnaud’s Restaurant (since 1918) transports patrons far from the boozy scene one block away on Bourbon Street.

Barrel Proof

This year-old Lower Garden District newcomer, once a dive bar, is now a space attracting an unguarded young professional set who likes a rye shot and a sixteen-ounce PBR with pop-up barbecue on late weeknights.

The Columns Hotel Bar

Strolling up under its stately oaks, past those namesake columns, and into the woody, high-ceiling bar of this Italianate mansion-turned-hotel feels like entering a high-class bordello, circa 1883, the year it was constructed.

Circle Bar

From the outside, with a General Robert E. Lee statue on a pedestal hovering over it at the crossroads of Uptown and Downtown, this two-story house and live-music club looks haunted or abandoned, but it’s spirited with some of the best bands in the city.

The Cellar Door

Housed in a historic townhouse (once a brothel), on a narrow cobblestone street, this standout newcomer to New Orleans’ cramped craft-cocktail scene sets itself apart with a cool, chic crowd and unpretentious barkeeps in the Warehouse District.

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