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Vaughan’s Lounge
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

New Orleans’s Favorite Dive Bars

Dim lighting, cheap drinks, and friendly regulars

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Vaughan’s Lounge
| Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Not one for the often abysmal Valentine’s Day restaurant scene? While there are certainly plenty of ultra-romantic restaurants around town to choose from, another route is to avoid the nonsense altogether and spend the evening getting lost in one of New Orleans’s best dives.

Here are Eater’s picks for New Orleans’s best dive bars — those personal, intimate spaces that offer a respite from reality and a break from $16 cocktails. While the list could likely climb into the 50s, we’ve narrowed it down to 21 spots, listed by neighborhood.

Think we missed an essential New Orleans dive bar? Leave a comment or Let us know.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge

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Calling Snake & Jake’s a dive bar is an upgrade — this is basically a shack in a backyard lit up with year-round Christmas lights. There’s a cool outside space, dogs are welcome, and the bar opens late and shuts down in the early hours of the morning so watching the sun rise is always an option.

Brothers III Lounge

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Known for its low ceilings, friendly bartenders, and cheap drinks, Mr. Johnny’s Brothers III Lounge, with its bright yellow exterior, stands out some on trendy Magazine Street. Thank goodness, because when its time for shooting pool and listening to a juke box playing 45s, Brothers III beats swank every time.

45 Tchoup

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45 Tchoup is a perfect stop before or after a show at Tipitina’s for those seeking a friendly environment and cheap drinks Uptown (not always easy). Fun decor, warm bartenders, and a solid selection of beer on tap make it a go-to, especially if you’re a Boston sports fan.

Outside 45 Tchoup
45 Tchoup/Official

Ms. Mae's The Club

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This neighborhood bar at the intersection of Magazine and Napoleon is always open, so stop in for a drink and a game of pool or air hockey any time of day or night. Get too wasted and you might just earn a spot on the Wall Of Shame. Open 24/7.

Milan Lounge

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Milan is another buzzer-ringer, smaller than a walk in closet and filled with cheap looking tables and chairs. A devoted fan base, strong drinks, and some hardcore Cubs fans and dart players make this dive awesome, but outsiders beware. Ya best know somebody.

Mayfair Lounge

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Miss Gertie holds court (and spreads the love) at this queen of dives Uptown, dripping with Mardi Gras beads, Barbies and colorful decor craziness. You must ring the buzzer to be let in, as it should be at a decent dive. And they pour a strong drink.

Pal's Lounge

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Don’t come to Pal’s expecting a Scene. Instead find locals chilling at this neighborhood bar not far from the Jazz Fest Fairgrounds. The drinks are a step up from most dives, with daily specials (mulled wine? sure!) and a food pop-up to keep the munchies at bay. There’s a buzzer outside, so push it: That’s how to enter the Pal’s portal.

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Rendezvous Tavern

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A perfect divey stop while perusing tony Magazine Street, the Rendezvous is known for a massive beer program (24 revolving taps, 50-plus bottled beers) and enthusiastic crowds during Saints games. There are plenty of flat screens, upstairs, and down, to watch the action.

Pete’s Out In the Cold

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Despite the disappointing addition of an outside sign, Pete’s is still a hidden gem that’s off the beaten path for most. Get buzzed in by the bartender and slurp cheap drinks at the surprisingly handsome circa-1930s bar. There’s a good jukebox, the game is usually on, and the crowd is friendly, the trifecta for a good neighborhood joint.

Parasol's

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This long-time divey hang also has one of the best roast beef po’ boys in the city. Located in the heart of the Irish Channel on the corner of Constance and Third, it also serves as the unofficial epicenter of St. Patrick’s Day revelry, if you can make it through the sea of partiers.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

The Saint Bar & Lounge

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An awesome dive in the LGD with fantastic bartenders, a full bar, daiquiris, a photo booth, and a free jukebox on Sundays. Expect a sweaty dance floor and debauchery on weekends, when it’s open until...very late.

Chart Room

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This dingy spot on the corner of Chartres and Bienville has regulars that date back to the 70s, the days when the French Quarter was a real neighborhood and residents were proud to be called Quarter rats. The drinks are cheap, the bar grungy, the crowd mostly talkative. An ideal place to find solace away from the masses.

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First and Last Stop Bar

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Miss Carol runs a tight ship at this no-frills 7th Ward bar on the corner of Pauger and Marais. And that’s a good thing in a neighborhood that continues to straddle tradition and see an influx of newcomers and AirBnBers. The bartenders welcome all, the juke box is loaded with soul and R&B tunes, and there’s always some kind of party going on.

The Abbey

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A true night of debauchery in the Quarter wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the Abbey, especially given its Lower Decatur location (aka where dreams go to die). Claim to fame is that they got Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt drunk.

The John

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There are gold toilet “seats” at The John, a 24/7 watering hole that is dark, cavernous, and blessedly cool in the summer. Close to Frenchmen Street, there’s a ping pong table, old school video games, a good juke box, and oh yeah, that toilet theme is the best.

The Friendly Bar

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The Friendly Bar, set on the corner of a gorgeous street in the Marigny, lives up to its name with welcoming bartenders and an always lively crowd of local neighbors, and — on most Wednesdays — there’s meat night. Yes, as in meat, not meet.

Marie's Bar

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This longtime cash-only neighborhood bar is rife with colorful regulars. It’s the kind of place to throw back $2 beers, shoot some pool, and — if opportunity knocks — grab a condom from the fishbowl near the bar. You can add good grub to that list as well, in the form of the Slap Burger, hot sausage po’ boys, and chicken tenders.

Saturn Bar

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Before St. Claude Avenue became a happening entertainment scene, Saturn Bar was a thing. This quintessential Bywater dive always looks closed, but don’t let the ratty exterior scare you off. Inside you’ll find feisty bartenders, signed pictures of the Rolling Stones (they partied here back in the day), piano nights, and DJ-led dance parties.

Markey's Bar

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Markey’s Bar is a classic Bywater spot, unchanged in a rapidly changing neighborhood. Bartenders are quick and no-nonsense but friendly, the regulars are lively and warm, and you’re bound to make friends with neighboring patrons if you sit at an outside table.

The exterior of Markey’s bar, a deep red building with a shabby white sign.
Markey’s Bar
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Vaughan's Lounge

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Vaughan’s is a joy, guaranteed to deliver cheap drinks, good music, and the kind of conviviality that you hope for when stumbling into a dive bar. If you’re lucky there will be a pot of delicious red beans and rice in the back, which customers are welcome to scoop for free.

Bar Redux

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This Bywater dive bar boasts ample seating on the outside patio, where anything from blues to burlesque holds sway. The drinks are strong and cheap and the pub grub surprisingly good. Try the chicken sausage gumbo.

Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge

Calling Snake & Jake’s a dive bar is an upgrade — this is basically a shack in a backyard lit up with year-round Christmas lights. There’s a cool outside space, dogs are welcome, and the bar opens late and shuts down in the early hours of the morning so watching the sun rise is always an option.

Brothers III Lounge

Known for its low ceilings, friendly bartenders, and cheap drinks, Mr. Johnny’s Brothers III Lounge, with its bright yellow exterior, stands out some on trendy Magazine Street. Thank goodness, because when its time for shooting pool and listening to a juke box playing 45s, Brothers III beats swank every time.

45 Tchoup

45 Tchoup is a perfect stop before or after a show at Tipitina’s for those seeking a friendly environment and cheap drinks Uptown (not always easy). Fun decor, warm bartenders, and a solid selection of beer on tap make it a go-to, especially if you’re a Boston sports fan.

Outside 45 Tchoup
45 Tchoup/Official

Ms. Mae's The Club

This neighborhood bar at the intersection of Magazine and Napoleon is always open, so stop in for a drink and a game of pool or air hockey any time of day or night. Get too wasted and you might just earn a spot on the Wall Of Shame. Open 24/7.

Milan Lounge

Milan is another buzzer-ringer, smaller than a walk in closet and filled with cheap looking tables and chairs. A devoted fan base, strong drinks, and some hardcore Cubs fans and dart players make this dive awesome, but outsiders beware. Ya best know somebody.

Mayfair Lounge

Miss Gertie holds court (and spreads the love) at this queen of dives Uptown, dripping with Mardi Gras beads, Barbies and colorful decor craziness. You must ring the buzzer to be let in, as it should be at a decent dive. And they pour a strong drink.

Pal's Lounge

Don’t come to Pal’s expecting a Scene. Instead find locals chilling at this neighborhood bar not far from the Jazz Fest Fairgrounds. The drinks are a step up from most dives, with daily specials (mulled wine? sure!) and a food pop-up to keep the munchies at bay. There’s a buzzer outside, so push it: That’s how to enter the Pal’s portal.

.

Rendezvous Tavern

A perfect divey stop while perusing tony Magazine Street, the Rendezvous is known for a massive beer program (24 revolving taps, 50-plus bottled beers) and enthusiastic crowds during Saints games. There are plenty of flat screens, upstairs, and down, to watch the action.

Pete’s Out In the Cold

Despite the disappointing addition of an outside sign, Pete’s is still a hidden gem that’s off the beaten path for most. Get buzzed in by the bartender and slurp cheap drinks at the surprisingly handsome circa-1930s bar. There’s a good jukebox, the game is usually on, and the crowd is friendly, the trifecta for a good neighborhood joint.

Parasol's

This long-time divey hang also has one of the best roast beef po’ boys in the city. Located in the heart of the Irish Channel on the corner of Constance and Third, it also serves as the unofficial epicenter of St. Patrick’s Day revelry, if you can make it through the sea of partiers.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

The Saint Bar & Lounge

An awesome dive in the LGD with fantastic bartenders, a full bar, daiquiris, a photo booth, and a free jukebox on Sundays. Expect a sweaty dance floor and debauchery on weekends, when it’s open until...very late.

Chart Room

This dingy spot on the corner of Chartres and Bienville has regulars that date back to the 70s, the days when the French Quarter was a real neighborhood and residents were proud to be called Quarter rats. The drinks are cheap, the bar grungy, the crowd mostly talkative. An ideal place to find solace away from the masses.

.

First and Last Stop Bar

Miss Carol runs a tight ship at this no-frills 7th Ward bar on the corner of Pauger and Marais. And that’s a good thing in a neighborhood that continues to straddle tradition and see an influx of newcomers and AirBnBers. The bartenders welcome all, the juke box is loaded with soul and R&B tunes, and there’s always some kind of party going on.

The Abbey

A true night of debauchery in the Quarter wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the Abbey, especially given its Lower Decatur location (aka where dreams go to die). Claim to fame is that they got Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt drunk.

The John

There are gold toilet “seats” at The John, a 24/7 watering hole that is dark, cavernous, and blessedly cool in the summer. Close to Frenchmen Street, there’s a ping pong table, old school video games, a good juke box, and oh yeah, that toilet theme is the best.

Related Maps

The Friendly Bar

The Friendly Bar, set on the corner of a gorgeous street in the Marigny, lives up to its name with welcoming bartenders and an always lively crowd of local neighbors, and — on most Wednesdays — there’s meat night. Yes, as in meat, not meet.

Marie's Bar

This longtime cash-only neighborhood bar is rife with colorful regulars. It’s the kind of place to throw back $2 beers, shoot some pool, and — if opportunity knocks — grab a condom from the fishbowl near the bar. You can add good grub to that list as well, in the form of the Slap Burger, hot sausage po’ boys, and chicken tenders.

Saturn Bar

Before St. Claude Avenue became a happening entertainment scene, Saturn Bar was a thing. This quintessential Bywater dive always looks closed, but don’t let the ratty exterior scare you off. Inside you’ll find feisty bartenders, signed pictures of the Rolling Stones (they partied here back in the day), piano nights, and DJ-led dance parties.

Markey's Bar

Markey’s Bar is a classic Bywater spot, unchanged in a rapidly changing neighborhood. Bartenders are quick and no-nonsense but friendly, the regulars are lively and warm, and you’re bound to make friends with neighboring patrons if you sit at an outside table.

The exterior of Markey’s bar, a deep red building with a shabby white sign.
Markey’s Bar
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Vaughan's Lounge

Vaughan’s is a joy, guaranteed to deliver cheap drinks, good music, and the kind of conviviality that you hope for when stumbling into a dive bar. If you’re lucky there will be a pot of delicious red beans and rice in the back, which customers are welcome to scoop for free.

Bar Redux

This Bywater dive bar boasts ample seating on the outside patio, where anything from blues to burlesque holds sway. The drinks are strong and cheap and the pub grub surprisingly good. Try the chicken sausage gumbo.

Related Maps