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FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,377 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
25 replies to this topic
Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
696 posts
78 reviews
21. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

I like Bar Tonique as a low-key neighborhood bar with daily drink specials, happy hour specials, and knowledgeable bartenders. It's mostly seating at the bar with a few tables. I also like Napoleon House for its Pimm's Cup which is refreshing on a warm day, and because it has some pretty good food. For a grand wooden bar, Tujagues and Toups South inside the Southern Food and Beverage Museum & Museum of American Cocktail. Bar Tonique, Napoleon House, and Tujagues are in the French Quarter while Toups South is in Mid-City. I had a great lunch at nearby Cafe Reconcile before taking in the Food and Beverage Museum.

Edited: 15 February 2018, 23:02
New Orleans...
Level Contributor
3,078 posts
22. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

There are three Johnny Whites bars .. two right next door to each other on Bourbon st but the best one is on St Peter street across from Preservation hall. Cheap drinks fun bartenders and a nice local/tourist mix

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,377 posts
3 reviews
23. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

After looking more closely, the bar I remember is now Three Legged Dog.

Fremont, North...
Level Contributor
2,508 posts
146 reviews
24. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

It sounds like y'all will be less than impressed with a lot of the super-popular (and therefore super-crowded) places. Check out Claire's Pour House beside the House of Blues. I'm far from a NOLA expert, but we had a ball there. Seats at the bar, cheap booze, pool tables, really cool bartender....it was a great place to spend the evening

4 posts
1 review
25. Re: FQ bar recommendations please: Nothing even close to fancy

Boondock Saints on St. Peter. Next door is Johnny Whites. A couple doors down is Finnegan’s Easy. Try 3 for 1 happy hour at Cat’s Meow... it’s on Bourbon Street.

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