If there was ever a city made for history-steeped, authentic to the core dive bars, it has to be New Orleans. Few cities can match the confluence of cultural forces that exist within the city, forces that have left in their wake a patchwork of completely unique, true-to-their-neighborhood dive bars that makes visiting the city a new adventure time.
It’s hard to know where to begin, but one logical spot may be two New Orleans dives that are in the running for best dive bars in America, Jake & Snake’s Christmas Club Lounge
and Vaughan’s Lounge
. Both are far flung from the traditional tourist spots and both boast a history, a story and enough faded paint to build a brand new bar.
And it is the neighborhoods that create the experience in New Orleans, from the quasi-French Market hidden gems in the French Quarter (Aunt Tiki’s
, The Abbey
) to the supremely well-stocked Bywater (BJ's Lounge
, Bar Redux
) to a shotgun scattering of Garden District & Uptown selections (Out In The Cold
, Ms. Mae’s The Club
). Visiting the best dive bars in the city means visiting a host of New Orleans neighborhoods and any trip is better for it.
No, the tourists probably cannot be avoided (the Chart Room
is a good way to try), given the magnet status of the city, but selections here provide a window into the parts of the city that aren’t tourist destinations but neighborhoods, dive bars serving decade after decade of New Orleans resident.