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Vaughan’s Lounge
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Avoid Valentine’s Day at These New Orleans 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 some solid non-cringey dining options around town this year, 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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge

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7612 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 861-2802
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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.

2. 45 Tchoup

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4529 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 891-9066
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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

3. Ms. Mae's The Club

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4336 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 218-8035

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. Cash only and don’t whine about it. Open 24/7.

4. Milan Lounge

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1312 Milan St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-1836
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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.

5. Mayfair Lounge

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1505 Amelia St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-9163
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Ms. 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.

6. Pal's Lounge

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949 N Rendon St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 488-7257

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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7. Rendezvous Tavern

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3101 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 891-1777
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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 11, count ‘em, 11, flat screens to watch the action. Happy hour two-for-ones are legend between 3 and 8 pm.

8. Pete’s Out In the Cold

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701 Sixth St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-8993

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.

9. Parasol's

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2533 Constance St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 302-1543
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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

10. The Saint Bar & Lounge

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961 St Mary St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 523-0050
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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.

11. Chart Room

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300 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-1708
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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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12. First and Last Stop Bar

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1843 Pauger St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 812-6875
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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.

13. The Abbey

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1123 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 523-7177

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.

14. The John

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2040 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 942-7159

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.

15. The Friendly Bar

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2301 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 943-8929
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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, an always lively crowd of local neighbors, and — on most Wednesdays — there’s meat night. Yes, as in meat, not meet. Bring your own protein and fling it on the grill that’s set up out front, with potluck sides served in the bar and a tip jar to say thanks.

16. Marie's Bar

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2483 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 267-5869

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 now as well, as Tres Barnard is again serving up Southern-inspired bar food with the brand new Marie’s Kitchen Fridays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to midnight.

17. Cutter's Bar

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706 Franklin Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 948-4200
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Cutter’s is a sweet quirky neighborhood hole-in-the-wall with a mix of gay, straight, and everyone in between friendly clientele. Tuesday’s trivia night, organized by sometime bartender Marc Paradis, better known for his band Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes, is a hoot. Cutter’s is a gem.

18. Saturn Bar

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3067 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 949-7532

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), and — on one Saturday a month — a fab 60s dance party.

19. Markey's Bar

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640 Louisa St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 943-0785

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

Markey’s Bar
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

20. Vaughan's Lounge

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4229 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 947-5562
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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. Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet play here every Thursday, and 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.

21. Bar Redux

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801 Poland Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 592-7083
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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.

1. Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge

7612 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

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.

7612 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118

2. 45 Tchoup

4529 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Outside 45 Tchoup
45 Tchoup/Official

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.

4529 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70115

3. Ms. Mae's The Club

4336 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

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. Cash only and don’t whine about it. Open 24/7.

4336 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

4. Milan Lounge

1312 Milan St, New Orleans, LA 70115

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.

1312 Milan St
New Orleans, LA 70115

5. Mayfair Lounge

1505 Amelia St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Ms. 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.

1505 Amelia St
New Orleans, LA 70115

6. Pal's Lounge

949 N Rendon St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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.

.

949 N Rendon St
New Orleans, LA 70119

7. Rendezvous Tavern

3101 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

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 11, count ‘em, 11, flat screens to watch the action. Happy hour two-for-ones are legend between 3 and 8 pm.

3101 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

8. Pete’s Out In the Cold

701 Sixth St, New Orleans, LA 70115

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.

701 Sixth St
New Orleans, LA 70115

9. Parasol's

2533 Constance St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

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.

2533 Constance St
New Orleans, LA 70130

10. The Saint Bar & Lounge

961 St Mary St, New Orleans, LA 70130

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.

961 St Mary St
New Orleans, LA 70130

11. Chart Room

300 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

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.

.

300 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70130

12. First and Last Stop Bar

1843 Pauger St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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.

1843 Pauger St
New Orleans, LA 70116

13. The Abbey

1123 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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.

1123 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

14. The John

2040 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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.

2040 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70116

15. The Friendly Bar

2301 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117

The Friendly Bar, set on the corner of a gorgeous street in the Marigny, lives up to its name with welcoming bartenders, an always lively crowd of local neighbors, and — on most Wednesdays — there’s meat night. Yes, as in meat, not meet. Bring your own protein and fling it on the grill that’s set up out front, with potluck sides served in the bar and a tip jar to say thanks.

2301 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70117

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16. Marie's Bar

2483 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117

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 now as well, as Tres Barnard is again serving up Southern-inspired bar food with the brand new Marie’s Kitchen Fridays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to midnight.

2483 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70117

17. Cutter's Bar

706 Franklin Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Cutter’s is a sweet quirky neighborhood hole-in-the-wall with a mix of gay, straight, and everyone in between friendly clientele. Tuesday’s trivia night, organized by sometime bartender Marc Paradis, better known for his band Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes, is a hoot. Cutter’s is a gem.

706 Franklin Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

18. Saturn Bar

3067 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

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), and — on one Saturday a month — a fab 60s dance party.

3067 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

19. Markey's Bar

640 Louisa St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Markey’s Bar
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

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

640 Louisa St
New Orleans, LA 70117

20. Vaughan's Lounge

4229 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117

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. Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet play here every Thursday, and 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.

4229 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70117

21. Bar Redux

801 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

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.

801 Poland Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

Related Maps