New Orleans isn't a city. It's a Petrarchan sonnet. There's no other place on the planet like it. I think it was sawed loose from South America and blown by trade winds across the Caribbean until it affixed itself to the southern rim of the United States.
– James Lee Burke
You'll want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in.
Free-wheeling live venue for jazzy jam sessions, swing dancers, up-and-comers, and plenty of honky tonk. Sundays take the cake.
Teetering on the edge of the French Quarter (on a nondescript street behind a nondescript door) is a fine drinking establishment for modern cocktail enthusiasts. Drinks are made with more than TLC: Fresh juices, homemade tinctures, and rare liquors go into every concoction.
Bitter drinks pair perfectly with proscuitto, crostini, fritto misto, and gouda beignets at this super classy Mid-Century boîte.
There is a carousel — complete with carnival lights on the cresting — rotating ever so slowly in a counter-clockwise fashion, around two bartenders and their top-shelf liquors. Stools act as chariots. Sidle up and take a spin. Things really get interesting after a few gin cocktails.
Familiarize yourself with the house rules (no baseball caps or shorts, boys) before heading over to this schmancy cocktail bar on a happening little strip Uptown. The space, a reclaimed firehouse, is spacious and sharp. Small plates are carefully prepared and served late.
A double-sided bar serves quality brews and spirits. The sounds of live brass bands and jazz crooners resonate beautifully in the wooden music room. Depending on the moment, the atmosphere is charmingly subdued or totally jamming. It's a nice ebb and flow.
A classic dive bar and headquarters of awesome sandwich operation Killer Poboys. French bread is stuffed with meat and veggies and other stuff that can soak up all the booze.
Adjacent to Arnaud's dining room is a 1920s-era brasserie bar, a nice place to spend the twilight hours — when the day has ended but the night hasn't quite begun.
The story goes that Napoleon was invited to take refuge at this old manse, formerly the mayor's abode, in 1821. The emperor never made it there, but classical music (Napoleon's fave) plays around the clock, and helps suspend the bar in another time. Sazeracs are superlative and super cheap. Be sure to sit at the bar and make friends with the tender.
It’s like going to church! A tiny wooden box with a few benches or cushions on the floor. There's no bar, but you have a flask on you, right? Praise to Dixieland.
The oldest operating movie theater in the city (est. 1915), alternates between classics and contemporary flicks on a single screen.
First you rock. Then you bowl.
The dive bar of all dive bars. Lots of punk, junk, and attitude. Best time to swing by for a shot and a chaser is after 2 a.m.
Tiny and old-timey. There’s a piano in the ladies room. Catch the New Orleans Cotton Mouth Kings — a motley crew playing classic, lo-fi swing. They do a great medley of spirituals and really get the crowd moving.
Locals love this neighborhood juke joint, which has been hosting bands with local and international followings since the '70s.