5135 Canal Blvd., 488-4191; 3236 Magazine St., 891-1516
With two locations, both of which have outdoor seating, the Bulldog is the place for brew fans! You’ll typically find about 50 beers on tap with unique selections from around the world. While the beer is certainly the main attraction, particularly for thirsty college students, the food is nothing to sneeze at. Cleverly named burgers, including the Chimay Bleu Cheeseburger topped with bleu cheese and the Model stuffed with roasted jalapeños and jack cheese, are made from a half pound of 100 percent choice chuck that’s seasoned and cooked to order. “Hand food” (sandwiches) includes tasty sloppy joes, roast beef, grilled mahi mahi and a range of chicken sandwiches, from buffalo to blackened. A few salads, local favorites like red beans, gumbo and jambalaya and a dozen “finger foods” (nachos, stuffed mushrooms, Tex-Mex egg rolls, chicken wings) round out the menu.
Crescent City Brewhouse
527 Decatur St., 522-0571
Founded by German brewmaster Wolfram Koehler, this French Quarter brewpub pours up mug after mug of its award-winning house brews, which include pilsner, Red Stallion, Black Forest and weiss beer along with a special brewmaster selection every month. Enjoy Louisiana-inspired, bistro-style cuisine such as baked oysters three ways (topped with crab and saffron, spinach and Herbsaint, and spicy eggplant); classic shrimp remoulade; or crabmeat-stuffed shrimp with a creamy beurre blanc sauce. Signature selections include Wolf’s German sausage platter; oyster club (fried oysters with fresh spinach, avocado, tomatoes, sauerkraut, Canadian bacon and Herbsaint aioli); and a warm crab cake salad with boiled eggs, red onions, Kalamata olives, Parmesan and cheddar with lemon balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
509 Carrollton Ave., 866-9104
This local Uptown watering hole is renowned for its incredible beer selection of more than 400 bottled domestic and imports in addition to 40-plus beers on tap. Sports enthusiasts flock to Cooter Brown’s to catch their favorite teams, slam back a few brews and nosh on terrific bar food. From alligator sausage po-boys to Chicago style hot dogs and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, this extensive menu is packed with over 30 signature sandwiches that are sure to please. Choose from local favorites such as Boudreaux’s Special (Mrs. Wheat’s crawfish pie served on French with remoulade sauce); the 9th Ward Special (grilled New Orleans hot sausage patty topped with American cheese); the Black & Gold Burger (eight-ounce ground sirloin topped with Patton hot sausage, American and pepper jack cheeses). There’s also a raw oyster bar and hot, spicy boiled crawfish when in season.
3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858
This cozy Uptown wine bar is a favorite of local oenophiles as it offers more than 70 wines by the glass, in addition to over 50 beers from around the world, along with a stellar selection of specialty spirits. Trendy and stylish, Delachaise is often packed with local hipsters looking for sophisticated drinks and upscale bar food. The cheese selection is quite impressive and always a hit. Small plates dominate the menu, so sharing a pre-partying nosh or two or a light late-night dinner is ideal. The menu does change, but savory selections typically include plump, delicately poached oysters served over grilled bread; steamed mussels; fabulously creamy and chunky pâtés; filet of beef over crostini; wildly decadent French fries fried in duck fat; and indulgent desserts, including flavored crème brûlées.
GB’s Patio Bar & Grill
8117 Maple St., 861-0067
This casual grill and outdoor patio eatery is located in the Carrollton area adjacent to the well-known college hangout Madigan’s, which explains why it attracts an eclectic mix of college students and recently graduated young professionals in search of a game of pool, potent drinks and standard, inexpensive bar food. Regular patrons of the friendly, Cheers-like tavern claim that GB’s freshly ground, grilled burgers are the best in town! Other options include staples such as chicken quesadillas, grilled blackened fish sandwiches, generous salads, hearty baked potatoes and a crowd-pleasing grilled rib eye. When in season, they also host an occasional crawfish boil.
921 Canal St., in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 524-1331
Elegant and refined, On Trois is the chic lounge located in the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Noted for its extraordinary service, this posh club is frequented by out-of-town visitors and swank locals seeking top-shelf cocktails (the bar carries more than 15 types of scotch alone) and sublime food. Bartenders serve up classic New Orleans cocktails like Brandy Milk Punch, Mint Juleps and Sazeracs, while the Davenportini, named after local jazz trumpeter and singer Jeremy Davenport who regularly performs in the lounge, is a unique concoction of vodka, Lemoncello, Chambord and pineapple juice. Satisfy your hunger with tempting treats such as the trio of crab (crab cake, crab imperial and crab Napoleon); sesame-crusted tuna with wasabi cream and tropical salsa; Kobe beef sliders; and a sweet potato praline torte with brown-butter ice cream.
300 Gravier St., in the Windsor Court Hotel, 523-6000
For another upscale drinking and dining experience, visit the Polo Lounge in the Windsor Court Hotel. Distinctive and polished, the lounge is warm and inviting, with plush leather sofas, overstuffed chairs, coffee tables and vignette seating. The bar boasts the largest Cognac collection in town, along with serious martinis and a nice wine selection. The bar menu is like no other, with sophisticated selections that include Cajun boudin boulettes (fried bites served with a Creole mustard glaze); mandarin salad with field greens, cabbage, slivered almonds, wonton croutons and a sesame-ginger dressing; crab cakes with ravigote sauce; a New York strip panini with provolone, arugula and a tangy tomato spread; and the signature Windsor Court burger. Most weekend nights you’ll be entertained by local musical artists such as Anais St. John, the Leah Chase Trio or pianist Michael Pellera.
Vic’s Kangaroo Cafe
636 Tchoupitoulas St., 524-4329
This jovial and welcoming Aussie-style pub draws an after-work crowd looking for potent cocktails, a good draft beer (from a selection of about a dozen) and tasty, atypical bar food. Located in the heart of the Warehouse District, Vic’s also has a fine choice of Australian wines to perfectly complement the hearty fare. The robust and filling shepherd’s pie with Guinness gravy is one of Vic’s signature dishes, but the slow-roasted barbecued pork (either the sandwich or the platter, served with cheddar mashed potatoes) is hard to resist. Enjoy lively music and a friendly game of darts with a fun-loving Outback feel.
Winston’s Pub & Patio
531 Metairie Rd., 831-8705
Gangs of green-clad marchers will stumble into this local hangout for a cold pint of Guinness and classic bar grub after the St. Patty’s Day parade winds its way down Metairie Road. The decor is traditional, stylish and masculine with rich mahogany furniture, overstuffed leather sofas and even a cigar store Indian. Both the cocktails and the food are affordable and done well, with signature items like juicy grilled half-pound burgers dressed the way you like them and cooked to order; crispy fried fish and chips; a generous grilled chicken sandwich; and, a light and tasty grilled chicken Caesar pita sandwich. Winston’s also serves up standard bar foods like chicken wings, onion rings, fried broccoli bites and mozzarella sticks.