7 on Fulton
701 Convention Center Blvd., (504) 525-7555;
A popular cocktail at the restaurant serving contemporary New Orleans cuisine is the Saintsation, a mix of vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, pineapple juice and a Champagne floater. Daily drink specials and a menu of sandwiches, appetizers and some entrees also are available. Open daily. Smoking allowed on patio. Bar food. Happy hour 5 p.m.-10 p.m. daily.
The Bricks Courtyard Bar and Grill
735 St. Joseph St., (504) 525-2396;
The most popular drink at this neighborhood joint is John Daly on tap, which can be enjoyed in the courtyard along with the popular Buffalo-style chicken wings. The dog-friendly bar also has darts, sports on TV, and free Wi-Fi. Open Wed.-Mon. Smoking allowed on patio. Bar food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Cajun Mike's Pub-n-Grub
116 Baronne St., (504) 566-0055;
Check in with your peeps with free WiFi and a dog-friendly atmosphere. Cajun Mike's is home to festival and football fans during the fall and has gnoshing staples such as jambalaya, gumbo and red beans. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Happy hour 11 a.m.-7p.m. daily.
1100 Tulane Ave., (504) 587-3737;
It's little surprise that the buzz and bounce of a vodka Red Bull makes it the most popular drink at this South Beach/Vegas-style dance club, which hosts themed parties and top touring DJs on weekends. Open Fri.-Sat. Smoking allowed. No food.
Cocktail Bar at Windsor Court
300 Gravier St., (504) 523-6000;
Explore an array of specialty cocktails inspired by pre-Prohibition styles and ingredients. Open Tue.-Sat. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
711 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 301-1476;
An old industrial space reclaimed as a neighborhood watering hole, The District's heritage shows in its weathered brick walls and cypress woodwork. The kitchen turns out duck quesadillas, roast beef po-boys and black-and-blue wraps to keep everyone on an even keel. Open daily. No smoking. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
600 S. Peters St., (504) 525-8544;
Housed in a building that dates back to 1902, Ernst Cafe offers a variety of soups, salads and Louisiana fare. It also has a jukebox, video poker and screens televised sports. Open daily. Smoking allowed on patio. Full restaurant menu.
Extreme Sports Bar
535 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 581-6999;
Along with a variety of appetizers, wings and burgers, patrons get extreme with bloody marys, hurricanes and mimosas or LA 31 and Abita on draft. Get $15 beer buckets during New Orleans Saints, LSU and New Orleans Hornets games. Open daily. Smoking allowed on patio. Bar food.
Fulton on Tap
608 Fulton St., (504) 212-6476;
In addition to top-shelf liquors and an extensive wine list, Fulton taps into its 160-year history to offer more than 90 craft, imported and domestic beers. There are large-screen projectors for watching sports. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
200 Poydras St., (504) 552-2739;
The brewpub's half-dozen beers are brewed in house, with one changing seasonally. Seating is available in the bar/cocktail lounge, or you can sit outside on the patio. There's a full menu of American cuisine with international influences, including Southwest egg rolls, cedar-plank salmon, Cajun pasta and pizzas. Open daily. Smoking allowed on patio. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Happy's Irish Pub
1009 Poydras St., (504) 304-9537;
This pub serves two-for-one drinks at its wraparound oak bar during weekday happy hours. Choose from 30 beers on tap, or try Happy's most popular drink, the Irish Car Bomb shot. Open daily. Smoking allowed on patio. Happy hour 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Irvin Mayfield's I Club
614 Canal St., (504) 527-6712;
Located inside the JW Marriott Hotel, the musician and bandleader's second club features both classic and creative cocktails, a wine list, a menu of small plates and nightly live music by artists including Glen David Andrews, Sasha Masakowski and Brass-A-Holics. Open Wed.-Sat. No smoking. Bar food.
Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant
701 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 523-8995;
Surf the waves of beers and beer buckets available or hang 10 for specialty drinks like Da Killer Blue Whale: Stoli blueberry, coconut rum with lemonade and splash of 190 proof alcohol. Open daily. Smoking allowed on patio. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour starts at 7 p.m. daily.
519 Fulton St., (504) 593-8118;
Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning opened this sports bar and restaurant, which features more than 30 flat-screen TVs and one huge mega-screen, as well as plenty of Manning memorabilia. The signature Razzle Dazzle cocktail complements a menu of Delta-inspired dishes with a Louisiana twist. Open daily. No smoking.
Metropolitan Nightclub/Generations Hall
310 Andrew Higgins Drive, (504) 568-1702;
Now in its 23rd year, this mega-sized dance club with two floors and ample lounging space offers everything from quarterly theme parties to a New Year's Eve extravaganza to touring DJs. Open Sat. Smoking allowed. No food.
Polo Club Lounge
Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., (504) 5220-1994;
A 2009 Travel + Leisure "World's Greatest Bartender," Roger Blais celebrates his 18th anniversary at the Polo Club, which offers classic jazz by performers including Shannon Powell and Robin Barnes in the ambience of an English gentry club. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Republic New Orleans
828 S. Peters St., (504) 528-8282;
This artsy velvet-rope dance spot caters to all audiences —
as long as they're stylish, hip, and cool. A diverse rotation of DJs and events means a broad variety of music genres: bounce, dubstep, hip-hop, top 40 and more. Its setting in a chic, renovated 160-year-old warehouse only adds to the charisma. VIP Bottle Service available upon request. Open Thu.-Sun. No smoking. No food.
The Rusty Nail
1100 Constance St., (504) 525-5515;
With its bare wood walls and vintage feel, this well-hidden bar is worth seeking out. Catch open mic night on Tuesday, or Boozin Bingo on Thursday. During football season, the doors open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. for New Orleans Saints home games, with a breakfast and bloody mary bar. Open daily. No smoking. Happy hour 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Fri.
St. Charles Bar
736 St. Charles Ave., (504) 561-9256
A dive bar in the center of the action downtown, St. Charles has friendly bartenders serving a diverse mix of locals and tourists, cops and EMTs. Play pool, listen to the jukebox, play video poker and have interesting interactions with other denizens of the night. There's a great selection of olives for your martini. Dog friendly. Open 24 hours daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Swizzle Stick Bar
Cafe Adelaide, 300 Poydras St., (Loews Hotel), (504) 595-3305;
Pair chef Chris Barbato's Creole cuisine with mixologist Lu Brow's specialty cocktails. The bar offers specials like free "Hat-tinis" for patrons who wear fashionable hats (no baseball caps) at Sunday brunch. Order an entree for lunch on weekdays and get 25-cent martinis. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Tommy's Wine Bar
752 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 581-1103;
Tommy's Wine Bar specializes in wine and martinis. The Cruvinet temperature-controlled wine dispensing system keeps the whites chilled just right. The bar has live music nightly, with a jazz band on Friday and Latin music on Saturday. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Vic's Kangaroo Cafe
636 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 524-4329
Vic's is an Australian-themed neighborhood bar and a popular late-night hangout for area restaurant employees. Get $1 off all drinks all day Monday, $1 off pints on Wednesday. Smoking allowed. Full menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Tue.-Fri.
Walk On's Bistreaux & Bar
1009 Poydras Ave, (504) 309-6530;
This sports bar has more than 40 big-screen TVs and features table taps so customers can pour their own beer without leaving their seat, and it offers "breakfast in a glass," better known as a bloody mary. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
Faubourg Marigny | French Quarter
Riverbend/University Area/Uptown | Kenner/Metairie/Gretna