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10 Best Jazz Bars in New Orleans (Slideshow)

10 Best Jazz Bars in New Orleans (Slideshow)


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Most early jazz performers played in New Orleans, and the city is still alive with jazz today

10. Apple Barrel

This cozy spot right outside the Quarter on Frenchmen Street is the perfect place to start a day of music and drinks in the city. The music rarely stops at the Apple Barrel, and the lineup features established acts as well as newcomers looking to break into the city’s jazz scene. The acoustics in this tiny bar are said to be so good that many artists chose to record live albums during their sets.

9. The Spotted Cat

Located just outside the French Quarter in the district called the Faubourg Marigny, this ramshackle wooden nightclub is one of the city’s hidden gems. Don’t let the splintered exterior fool you; The Spotted Cat features some of the New Orleans’ music scene’s heavy hitters. On any given night, visitors might see local favorites the Shotgun Jazz Band or the Jazz Vipers, Big Easy award-winners for “Best Traditional Jazz Band.”

8. Sweet Lorraine’s

Also located in the Marigny, Sweet Lorraine’s has been named one of the top-10 jazz clubs in the country by USA Today. Drop by any Tuesday for jazz and poetry coupled with some delicious New Orleans delicacies like BBQ shrimp followed by decadent bread pudding. Just make sure you’re not too stuffed to dance.

7. Maple Leaf Bar

The Maple Leaf has been a staple of the New Orleans jazz scene for 40 years. Located in the fashionable Uptown neighborhood, the bar was used as the setting for Beyoncé’s “Déjà Vu” video. While chances are slim that you’ll catch a glimpse of Bey and J on the dance floor, any night of the week you can find the place thrumming with some of the best local bands around. Check the schedule and catch a show by the Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band. You won’t be sorry.

6. Tipitina’s

What began as a small neighborhood juke joint quickly became one of the hottest venues in the city. For nearly 40 years, Tipitina’s has been a musical staple in NOLA. While not entirely jazz-oriented (upcoming acts include folk musician Todd Snider and indie rockers Cowboy Mouth), Tipitina’s is still a spot that legends like The Dirty Dozen Brass Band call home.

5. Mother-in-Law

Twenty years ago, R & B superstar K-Doe opened the Mother-in-Law Lounge. Named after his hit single, the bar was intended to be a place for the New Orleans musical elite to rub elbows and play a few sets. Years later, another legend, Kermit Ruffins, has the bar up and running again and returned to its former glory. Upcoming acts include Ruffins himself, as well as the iconic Tremé Brass Band.

4. Vaughn’s

Speaking of Kermit Ruffins, fans were a bit disappointed when he recently ended his longstanding Tuesday night gig at Vaughn’s in the Bywater to focus on his own club. But not to worry, Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet, who blend classic jazz and modern funk to create a sound that’s uniquely their own, have stepped up to fill his legendary shoes. Vaughn’s remains one of the most authentic spots in the city to celebrate New Orleans’ musical legacy.

3. Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro

Located on music-heavy Frenchmen Street, Snug Harbor stands out from the rest of the spots on this list as a slightly more formal venue. But while the performances may be a bit more buttoned-down, they’re no less stunning. Upcoming events include shows featuring Allen Toussaint and the incomparable Ellis Marsalis.

2. Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub

Situated smack in the center of bustling Bourbon Street, Fritzel’s has been a New Orleans jazz staple since 1969. The space itself, built in 1831, will have you feeling as if you’ve stepped into the French-speaking New Orleans of the past as you tap your feet in time to the swinging old-fashioned music of regulars Charlie Fardella and Tom Hook.

1. Preservation Hall

Housed in a single wooden room with bare floors and limited seating, the Jaffe family and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have been keeping jazz alive in the city since 1961. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, the venue offers three 45 minute shows each night featuring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has performed everywhere from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to Coachella. Tickets may be purchased online or at the box office.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


How to Drink the NOLA Way

It's no secret that New Orleans is a town awash in booze, or that it's home to some of the world's most classic cocktails, including the Sazerac (left) and the Ramos Gin Fizz. But it wasn't always that one could find these stalwarts at the drop of a hat there &mdash sometimes Sazeracs come shaken when they should be stirred, and Hurricanes in Styrofoam cups prevail (hey, there's a time and a place). But with the revival of cocktail culture proper, the city has never been on a higher end of the learning curve. This is how to make the most of it.

One of the city's first cocktail bars to push the boundaries of the classics, Cure plopped itself down in the middle of nowhere, and patrons have been beating the doors down since. With a soaring ceiling, a long, shiny bar, and a backyard to boot, Cure employs some of the town's finest tenders and, arguably, turns out its finest drinks, too. Ask Rhiannon Enlil for her dark and bitter Start and Finish or Kirk Estopinal's Pimm's Up.

Almost everyone knows Arnaud's, but not everyone is aware of its gemstone of a bar hiding out back. Around the corner from the restaurant, or through the grand dining room, one will find Chris Hannah quietly making some of the best drinks in New Orleans &mdash mostly classics like the bar's namesake or an obscure, historical punch. If you stick around long enough and strike up conversation, he may suggest you take a walk up the back stairwell to the restaurant's creepy museum. Have another drink to summon the courage.

Named for the photographer who immortalized Storyville's brothel madams, Bellocq is one of the city's newest cocktail bars, tucked inside the Modern Hotel. Its menu, curated by the team behind Cure, is built on cobbler drinks, with many offerings in the aperitif and digestif categories. While at the Modern, be sure to pop into Tamarind for a chile-spiced tipple, or a glass full of things like salt-preserved plums and duck-fat cognac. Tell the wily Kimberly Patton-Bragg hello. Bet she'll send a high-five and a toast your way.

Sure, it'd be easy to get chubby on drippy po' boys and seafood-smothered etouffee, and there's no better place to get those things, but the city has also developed some serious Southern and American cuisines. With booze to go alongside, of course.

I hesitate to even mention it, because it's such a comfortable and hidden haven, but if you're willing to make the trek, you're probably in okay company. Bacchanal is at the edge of the Bywater and operates most days as a wine shop, but on Sundays, the backyard becomes a barbecue pit with a guest chef doling out paper plates of food. Grab a couple bottles of rose up front or bring your own, and sit in the shady garden listening to live music. Bourbon Street it is not.

Relatively new to the French Quarter, Sylvain is exactly the kind of pub that locals adore and eager tourists welcome. The decor (an old American flag and green, leather barstools) and lush courtyard grove are lovingly worn as in any genuine New York haunt, and the farmer's-market food could be from San Francisco or Brooklyn. But this place is firmly rooted in New Orleans culture &mdash so much so that there's the requisite rumor of a ghost residing upstairs. Sunday brunch is particularly soothing for a hangover (speaking from experience), especially when consuming the burger-bloody-beer trifecta. It heals like magic.

You shouldn't need much more than the promise of Krispy Kreme bread pudding to get you over to Boucherie, but it's nice to know that the preceding dinner, laden with duck confit, pork, and Gulf shrimp, will also be solid. A French-heavy wine list and cocktail menu of classics peppered with originals will accompany you until dessert. Then give that doughnut pudding your full attention.

New Orleans will never be quiet. You may even find yourself joining a second line of people in the French Quarter waving handkerchiefs and belting jazz for a wedding party or funeral. Feel free to follow along with your own crinkled Kleenex. But if it's an establishment you seek, look no further than the quirky and crowd-tolerant Saturn Bar, a fantastic spot to see and be seen by NOLA locals. Mod night is classic, but on any given evening, punk or rock is probably blowing down these walls. Whether you're a native or not, it's a known fact that you should be at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday nights to drink Abitas and see the Rebirth Brass Band. If you're looking for some scat sounds, head to Frenchman Street and follow your ears to whatever's Jim-dandy &mdash the Spotted Cat is a mainstay, as is Snug Harbor. And it's essential to head out to Vaughan's to hear famed trumpeter Kermit Ruffins blow some of the most beautiful air you've ever heard.

New Orleans is weird. Weird in the it's-hot-let's-justify-a-three-o'clock-happy-hour way. Weird in the Ignatius J. Reilly, Confederacy of Dunces way. Delightfully weird. The city's dive bars are some of the best ways to get into the spirit. Sidle up, order an Abita and a shot, and wait for the eccentrics to come out of the woodwork. Snake and Jake's is the best for all-nighters, while the Saint is a slightly grungier party, and the Chart Room is for breezy afternoon beers in the Quarter. There are a million more, but it's best to wander.

Not every city is lucky enough to have bars so ingrained in its cultural fabric that they've survived Prohibition and still draw international imbibers as well as locals. Hopefully this will always be so. All in the Quarter, my favorites include the Napoleon House, Tujague's, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, and the Carousel Bar. Frankly, the drinks are sometimes uninspiring, but this is not why they attract &mdash greatness is in their solid bones.

When you've woken up with cotton mouth and a tête de bois, or when you're coming down from some game-day afternoon drinking, head to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich the size of your head and a cold beer, or Camellia Grill's winding diner counter for a chocolate soda and a burger. And if you're really hurting, it's best you get yourself straight to Willie Mae's Scotch House for a plate of fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens. You'll be feeling ready for 3 p.m. happy hour in no time.

Should you be stuck in your own city (which probably now seems to pale in comparison to New Orleans's rich and liquor-drenched culture) for the culminating games, sit it down on the couch with a proper Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, or a Pimm's Cup, and hold your own second line for your winning or losing team.


Watch the video: When I Get Low I Get High - The Smoking Time Jazz Club in New Orleans (July 2022).


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