Bourbon Street is the tourist magnet, but the Bywater might be the dive bar magnet equivalent in New Orleans, a neighborhood just around the (Mississippi’s) bend from the more well worn parts of the city. On the doorstep of the Lower 9th Ward, the Bywater can at times feel like a land forgotten, a gateway to neighborhoods no tourist will likely ever see. And that kind of “in between” space makes for a prefect breeding ground for local, authentic, neighborhood dive bars
True to that lofty setup, the Bywater houses arguably the best dive bar in the city in Vaughn’s Lounge
(Snake & Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge
may just edge it out). And if the faded paint on Vaughn’s isn’t enough to sell the area, maybe the abandoned naval complex adjacent to Bar Redux
can do a better job. The spots recommended here are in fact so tightly bound together that the term Barmuda Triangle has been thrown around to describe the area.
And it cannot be stressed enough that no time allotment should be placed on a trip to the Bywater. The local food joints and neighborhood bars are best experienced with no time table, no plan. Wandering from one to the other is the beauty of the Bywater, home to New Orleans’ best dive bar drinking.