Best Bars Near The Brakeman Hotel

New Orleans is permanently wedged on the list of top cities that have the most bars per capita in the nation. With watering holes of every type, how is one to choose the best drinking option?

We’ve narrowed down the selection to standout bars near The Brakeman Hotel in Tremé and the adjacent Marigny and the French Quarter. Some are the best fit within categories (romantic, iconic, etc.) while others double as excellent music clubs. Read on, and hit them later!

The French Quarter

Let’s start with The Bombay Club (830 Conti Street) because let’s face it: You came to New Orleans to hear great music, eat great food, and drink — and in this old-school jazz and blues club, you can accomplish all three. Settle yourself into a curtained booth or deep leather chair, order a classic martini and charred hanger steak, and savor the smooth sounds of traditional jazz.

Next up, a great dive bar. Don’t be fooled by its name, Aunt Tiki’s (1207 Decatur Street) is not a tiki bar. The 24-hour, cash-only joint is a local fave, with cheap drinks and no frills.

If you are looking for an LGBTQIA+-friendly venue, Oz (800 Bourbon Street) should fit the bill. It’s a two-story with a balcony and usually a packed dance floor. Dance, drink, take in a drag show, or unwind upstairs on the balcony.

In a nutshell, Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 (329 N. Peters Street) is a Tiki-style gastropub serving up exotic drinks and island-inspired cuisine such as pineapple bread. The menu for both drinks and food isn’t extensive, but everything is done well. The drinks range from the classics like Mai Tai to the inventively named in-house creations.

The Quarter has quite a few Irish pubs, and we highly recommend  Molly’s at the Market (1107 Decatur Street). Located on lower Decatur Street, steps from Frenchmen Street’s nightlife, Molly’s on the Market serves as an ideal jumping-off point for the evening.

With old signs, T-shirts, newspaper clippings, and other paraphernalia on the walls, it has the lived-in feel of a longtime neighborhood hang. Try the frozen Irish coffee, but don’t expect a fancy craft cocktail here. Molly’s is a beer-and-a-shot type joint.

If you do want a craft cocktail, head to Bar Tonique (820 N. Rampart Street). Located on N. Rampart Street, right on the streetcar line, Tonique is a candlelit, intimate place to hit up with a date for some beautifully constructed craft cocktails.

There’s also a thoughtful mocktail menu in the weathered, brick-walled bar. On a pretty day, there’s nothing nicer than getting the second round to go and drink it in leafy Armstrong Park, which is right across the street.

Speaking of romantic, the gorgeous, candlelit Sylvain (625 Chartres Street) sells itself as a gastropub, and while the food is excellent, we don’t want to ignore the excellent drinks that are prepared behind the bar. It helps, of course, that Sylvain has an absolutely lovely courtyard, and did we mention the food? Because nothing compliments your drink like their New American rustic fare.

We can’t leave out French 75 (813 Bienville Street) from our roundup of great cocktail bars, considering this is a bar that is, hey, named for a cocktail (although interestingly, the French 75 was not invented here — that honor goes to Paris, France).

French 75 is located inside Arnaud’s Restaurant and has a fantastic cocktail list that includes both New Orleans classics and some fruit-inspired goodness — the perfect compliment to a hot New Orleans day. There’s also an elegant small-place bar menu with French fare like escargot and the restaurant’s signature shrimp Arnaud.

The interior of the bar is as lovely as the drinks that come out of it — this is a true grand dame New Orleans institution, accented in dark woods and elegant furniture such that you feel as if you’re drinking in a particularly well-appointed parlor.

Let’s round up the French Quarter picks with Black Penny (700 N. Rampart Street). If you’ve got a big group of friends and need a chill bar to sink beer and cocktails, it’s hard to do better than the Penny, which sits at the edge of the Quarter.

It’s also notable for both friendly bartenders, good prices, strong drinks, and a fantastic selection of craft beer (most of which is served by the can). Unlike a lot of Quarter bars, the Penny is pretty spacious, so you’ve got room to mingle, but there are booths and seating for those who want to make a more intimate night of it. Worth noting: This spot also happens to have excellent top-shelf scotch, and is publicly and loudly LGBTQIA+-friendly.

Blue Nile on Frenchmen Street. Photo by Stephen McCarthy via Flickr

The Marigny

Since you are steps away from the Marigny neighborhood, we recommend that you hit up Frenchmen Street. Bars there double as music clubs — from divey to elegant — and you won’t regret it.

But first, be on the lookout for Check Point Charlie (501 Esplanade Ave). This may look like a rough punk music bar (and it still is, in a lot of ways) from the outside, but management attracts a pretty wide range of clientele.

Check Point Charlie feels pretty divey, but once inside, the music is almost always wonderful. An added bonus: Check Point sells amazing cheeseburgers throughout the evening.

Just around the corner (and technically not on Frenchmen, but worth noting) is the Dragon’s Den (435 Esplanade Avenue), one of the city’s standout music clubs. You won’t get any PreHall-style Dixieland jazz here — the Den, which has been featured in TV shows like True Detective, is all about an eclectic range of music, from DJ nights to reggae to Latin dance parties.

The Maison (508 Frenchmen Street) is a relatively new bar compared to some of its neighbors on this street, yet it is one of the major centers of gravity for local live music. Jazz acts take over the large front area, where you can order excellent imbued spirits from behind the bar.

Further down the street, we come across Blue Nile (532 Frenchmen), one of the city’s great jazz clubs. There’s never really an off night here, although you can get acts ranging from raucous brass band dance parties to soulful crooners but make sure to check the online schedule before you pop in.

Cafe Negril (606 Frenchmen) is one of our favorite spots for reggae and dancehall music in the city, and, across the street, the Apple Barrel Bar (609 Frenchmen) is easily the smallest, most intimate venue on the strip.

We continue this trip with three excellent jazz clubs: d.b.a. (618 Frenchmen), with its enormous beer and whiskey menu and consistent lineup of great acts; Snug Harbor (626 Frenchmen), the classiest jazz joint in the neighborhood, where you can enjoy a dinner with your show; and The Spotted Cat Music Club (623 Frenchmen), a club where you can groove to some of the most talented live acts in the city.

Image courtesy of the Historic Faubourg Tremé Association via Facebook


Treme is said to be the birthplace of jazz, and it’s still a great place to hear live music. The Candlelight Lounge (925 N. Robertson Street) is an excellent option for Creole food and brass bands. Kermit’s Treme Mother in Law Lounge (1500 N. Claiborne Avenue) belonged to the late R&B and jazz legend Ernie K-Doe and his wife Antoinette. When both passed, Kermit Ruffins bought it and continued the tradition with live music and BBQ.

Are You Visiting New Orleans Soon?

We’d love for you to stay with us! And if you do, consider booking a guided tour of the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans. And, for easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

Take advantage of The Brakeman Hotel specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans’ famous cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!