Best bar for craft cocktails

1. Cure (4905 Freret St., 504-302-2357;

2. Bar Tonique (820 N. Rampart St., 504-324-6045;

3. Barrel Proof (1201 Magazine St., 504-299-1888;

Best beer selection

1. The Bulldog (3236 Magazine St., 504-891-1516; 5135 Canal Blvd., 504-488-4191;

2. The Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles Ave., 504-586-9243;

3. Cooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster Bar (509 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-866-9104;

Best casino

1. Harrah's New Orleans (228 Poydras St., 800-427-7247;

2. Boomtown New Orleans (4132 Peters Road, Harvey, 504-366-7711; www.boomtown-

3. Treasure Chest Casino (5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 504-443-8000;

Best dance club

1. Cafe Negril (606 Frenchmen St.;

2. Gold Mine Saloon (701 Dauphine St., 504-586-0745)

3. Oz (800 Bourbon St., 504-593-9491;

Best DJ

1. DJ Soul Sister (

The queen of rare groove and funk and the city's quintessential Saturday night DJ, Soul Sister rules the airwaves on her unmissable Saturday night WWOZ set before sidling up to her turntables at Hi-Ho Lounge for her weekly, decade-running Hustle! dance party. Does your favorite DJ have their own Dirty Coast T-shirt? Offer their personal picks at your local record store in a specially marked bin? Make you get off your ass and jam or tear the roof off the motha sucka? If they do, thank DJ Soul Sister.

2. Quickie Mart (

3. DJ Jubilee (

Best gentlemen's/ strip club

1. Rick's Cabaret (315 Bourbon St., 504-524-4222;

2. The Penthouse Club (727 Iberville St., 504-524-4354;

TIE: 3. Visions Men's Club (4000 Downman Road, 504-240-0069;

TIE: 3. Larry Flynt's Hustler Club (225 Bourbon St., 504-524-0010;

Best hotel bar

1. The Carousel Bar & Lounge (Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., 504-523-3341;

2. The Sazerac Bar (The Roosevelt New Orleans, 130 Roosevelt Way, 504-648-1200; )

3. Lobby Bar (Ace Hotel, 600 Carondelet St., 504-900-1180;

Best dive bar

1. Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge (7612 Oak St., 504-861-2802;

There are dives and then there's Snake & Jake's, which doesn't even open until 7 p.m. (when happy hour begins) and closes at oh-God-o'clock the next day. On a residential block of Oak Street, S&J's is a welcome eyesore, a tumbledown shack with a "Regal on Tap" sign out front and a vibe that lets you know what happens at Snake's stays at Snake's.

  Smoking is now a no-no, of course, but the rest of the bar's charm remains, from the lurid red Christmas lights to the cans of Schlitz (enjoy yours with a shot of Jagermeister). It's all pretty sedate until 10 or 11 p.m., when the bar begins to fill up, and by 2 a.m. all bets are off as to who (or what) you'll see. There always seem to be dogs running around, and for some reason the tiny exterior doesn't seem to match how big the place is inside — just one of the unexplained wonders of Snake & Jake's.

2. The John (2040 Burgundy St., 504-942-7159;

3. The Club Ms. Mae's (4336 Magazine St., 504-218-8035)

Best gay bar

1. Oz (800 Bourbon St., 504-593-9491;

2. Bourbon Pub and Parade (801 Bourbon St., 504-529-2107;

3. Good Friends Bar (740 Dauphine St., 504-566-7191;

Best live music venue

1. Tipitina's (501 Napoleon Ave., 504-895-8477;

2. House of Blues New Orleans (225 Decatur St., 504-310-4999;

3. Cafe Negril on Frenchmen (606 Frenchmen St.;

Best live theater venue

1. Saenger Theatre (1111 Canal St., 504-525-1052;

2. Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre (616 St. Peter St., 504-522-2081;

3. Jefferson Performing Arts Center (6400 Airline Drive, Metairie, 504-731-7400;

Best local brewery

1. NOLA Brewing Co. (3001 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-896-9996;

2. Abita Brewing Company (166 Barbee Road, Covington, 985-893-3143;

3. Second Line Brewing (433 N. Bernadotte St., 504-248-8979;

Best local comedian

1. James Cusimano (

2. Chris Trew (

3. Mutzie (

Best local music artist

1. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (

Troy Andrews — following the genre-spanning jazz, funk and rock of his recent breakthroughs For True and Say That To Say This — reigns as the city's musical ambassador on stages throughout the U.S. and beyond, a former musical wunderkind with an impressive family legacy blown up into an international headliner.

2. Robin Barnes (

TIE: 3. Sweet Crude (

TIE: 3. Kermit Ruffins (

Best local theater company

1. The NOLA Project (

2. Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre (616 St. Peter St., 504-522-2081;

3. Southern Rep Theatre (

Best movie theater

1. The Theatres at Canal Place (The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., third level, 504-493-6535;

2. Prytania Theatre (5339 Prytania St., 504-891-2787;

3. The Broad Theater (636 N. Broad St., 504-218-1008;

Best neighborhood bar

1. Pal's Lounge (949 Rendon St., 504-488-7257)

2. Finn McCool's Irish Pub (3701 Banks St., 504-486-9080;

3. The Barley Oak (2101 Lakeshore Drive, Mandeville, 985-727-7420;

Best place to get a daiquiri

1. New Orleans Original Daiquiris (Citywide;

2. Daiquiris & Creams (Citywide;

3. Bourree (1510 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-510-4040;

Best place to get a bloody mary

1. Atchafalaya (901 Louisiana Ave., 504-891-9626;

2. Superdome (1500 Sugar Bowl Drive;

3. The Ruby Slipper Cafe (139 S. Cortez St., 504-525-9355; 200 Magazine St., 504-525-9355; 1005 Canal St., 504-525-9355; 2001 Burgundy St., 504-525-9355;

Best place to get a margarita

1. El Gato Negro (81 French Market Place, 504-525-9752; 300 Harrison Ave., 504-488-0107; 800 S. Peters St., 504-309-8864;

You can add premium tequila to your margarita at El Gato Negro, but in many ways that is beside the point. The real attraction lies in the fresh ingredients in combinations that capture the essence of what a margarita is supposed to be: a careful balance of ripe, citrusy sweetness and tongue-puckering sourness. For the house margarita, bright orange juice tempers the acidity of fresh-squeezed limes; the Blood of the Devil cranberry margarita is like a Cosmopolitan with a rock-and-roll makeover. Purists will relish the gold standard traditional lime margarita, rimmed with frosty salt crystals.

  There are other reasons to visit El Gato Negro, including an outstanding guacamole that's hand-mashed tableside, but the French Quarter location in particular excels as downtown's unrivaled margarita purveyor. Pull up at an outdoor table to while away the afternoon with cocktails and people-watching, or grab a drink as an accessory for a riverfront stroll. Seasonal flavor variations on the beverage menu, as well as bolder combinations like the pineapple-cilantro margarita, will keep you coming back ... or from leaving in the first place.

2. Superior Grill (3636 St. Charles Ave., 504-899-4200;

3. Juan's Flying Burrito (515 Baronne St., 504-529-5825; 2018 Magazine St., 504-569-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-486-9950;

Best place to get a martini

1. N'tini's Steak & Martinis (2891 Highway 190, Suite D, Mandeville, 985-626-5566;

2. Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 504-899-8221;

3. The Bombay Club (830 Conti St., 504-577-2237;

Best place to get wine by the glass

1. The Delachaise (3442 St. Charles Ave., 504-895-0858;

2. Bayou Wine Garden (315 N. Rendon St., 504-826-2925;

3. Wine Institute of New Orleans (W.I.N.O.) (610 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-324-8000;

Best place to see comedy

1. The New Movement (2706 St. Claude Ave., 504-302-8264;

2. NOLA Comedy Theater (Previously La Nuit Comedy Theater) (5039 Freret St., 504-304-4616;

3. The Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude Ave.;

Best sports bar

1. Walk-on's Bistreaux & Bar (1009 Poydras St., 504-309-6430;

2. Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar (509 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-866-9104;

3. Manning’s Eat-Drink-Cheer (519 Fulton St., 504-593-8118;

Best of New Orleans 2016: Food

• Best of New Orleans 2016: Bars & Entertainment

Best of New Orleans 2016: Politics

Best of New Orleans 2016: Local Life

Best of New Orleans 2016: Media

Best of New Orleans 2016: Goods & Services