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FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,369 posts
3 reviews
FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

I was in New Orleans 20 or so years ago with a couple of friends and am finally coming back 3/21 & 22 or 3/23 & 24.

We (me, my sister and her partner - in our 50's & 60's) haven't booked a hotel yet but it'll be in the French Quarter and we'll be sticking pretty close to "home" for the two nights.

I've gone through a bunch of old posts but requests for dive or dive type bars seem to get off-track with more upscale and frou-frou recommendations. So, could anyone suggest dive, or what I call "neighborhood" bars, that meet most of the following criteria? I don't like true dive bars that are seriously disgusting and filthy but definitely way more towards the very casual end of the scale.

1. Obviously, in the French Quarter. No cabs or Uber to anywhere.

2. If we wont fit in there in jeans and t-shirts, forget it.

3. We much prefer to sit AT THE BAR. I'm not a big fan of tables. If we have to stand/sit around until spots open up at the bar, we can.

4. No wine bars.

5. Although we might fancy a mixed drink or two we're not interested in "cocktail bars," either. None of us would order anything fancier than a rum & Coke, Bloody Mary, Sazerac or Manhattan.

6. Domestic beer is actually a plus for us. We won't disdain bars that carry *both* craft beer and things like Miller/Coors/Whatever Light, but we won't go to a bar that has only craft beer if my sister and I have anything to say about it (and we will).

7. If a place meets the above criteria and also has good food recs, that's good to know. But we won't be going to bars just for the food.

8. I'm not sure it'll be my cup of tea but Pat O'Brien's is already on the list.

9. Live music is good but not necessary. Even a good jukebox is good. We're not fans of current top 40 music at all.

When I was there in '96 or so I remember my friends and I stumbled down from Bourbon St. to a bar that may have been on the corner of Royal & St. Ann. Looks like it's a restaurant now or I don't remember the location right. After the chaos of Bourbon Street, that bar was perfect. It was the week before Mardi Gras and the place was pretty much empty. Just a bar, barstools and possibly a jukebox. May have gone down a few steps to get to the bar area. I'm not saying I want empty bars...I'm just reminiscing.

Thanks!

Edited: 09 January 2018, 00:16
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25 replies to this topic
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
125 posts
37 reviews
1. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

NOLA locals correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you basically just described every bar on Bourbon street!

Mitchell, South...
Level Contributor
3,677 posts
2. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

My favorite list: the Alibi, Jimani, Back Space, Chart Room, Finnergan's, Boondock Saint, Cosimo's, Turtle Bay, Copper Monkey. All of these are in the Quarter. Some of them serve good pub food and some local specialty food like gumbo, jambalaya.

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,369 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

LOL, Ok...not that we're totally averse to Bourbon Street but how about we add #10 as "Off Bourbon Street." : )

Edited: 09 January 2018, 00:58
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,369 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

Also, it looks like we're Booking Chateau Hotel. Seems to be pre-pay only?

ri
Level Contributor
220 posts
1 review
5. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

We like the same type of bars and hit B Mac's, Erin Rose and Chart Room every day we're in NOLA. Great jukebox music at B Mac's and Chart Room. Killer poboys at Erin Rose.

Charleston, South...
Level Contributor
1,543 posts
6. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

Guess it took me too long to write this. Many are duplicates of SoDakMac's......

Although we like a really good meal in New Orleans (travel 3-4 times a year) afterwards we usually gravitate to the dive bars. They're also good for day drinking:

Boondock Saint, Johnny White's on St. Peter, Finnegan's, MRB, Chart Room, Harry's Corner Bar, Deja Vu** (bar, not the strip club ;)), B-Mac's, Copper Monkey**, Erin Rose**, Molly's at the Market**, Jimani**. All in the French Quarter, and as a bonus, not on Bourbon Street, so not usually full of frat boys.

**denotes food

BTW. Both DH and I graduated from UW Madison :)

Charleston, South...
Level Contributor
1,543 posts
7. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

Not familiar with the Chateau Hotel, but can't imagine why it would be pre-pay if you have a credit card to guarantee your reservation and its not Mardi Gras or French Quarter Festival? Or is it? Most hotels will be a 72 hour or less cancellation without a charge.

Edited: 09 January 2018, 01:40
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,369 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

Never mind on the prepay only. Their web site is a little confusing. Thanks for the recos, Mac & kfmtp . I missed them before.

Edited: 09 January 2018, 01:53
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,369 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

I should read more carefully. Yay for UW Alums! I work with many of them. Thanks too for the food asterisks! I'm sure there will be some day drinking, too. : )

College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
Level Contributor
13,248 posts
2 reviews
10. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

Many off-Bourbon Street French Quarter bars will meet all of your criteria; there are few "neighborhood" bars right on Bourbon Street. But you do not need to get far from Bourbon Street. My faves, that should fit you REALLY well, are the previously mentioned Chart Room, Harry's Corner, Boondock Saint, and B Mac's; food is not regularly served at any of these, but if you're drinking you can bring or order food in. I visit at least two of these most every day I'm in New Orleans.

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