Fortunately for you, you reside in New Orleans—one of the few destinations in the United States where libations can be enjoyed well past any reasonable hour.
24-hour bars are a staple in this city as much as po-boys. Each one offering up their own idiosyncratic experience along with their finest well whiskey. The dreaded phrase "Last call" echoes throughout the crowded room as lights begin to flicker to life. They're surprisingly brighter than what you had anticipated. Drunken, disgruntled patrons with drooped shoulders signifying yet another defeat saunter towards the crowded exit. The warning shot is always anticipated, yet shockingly alarming. Why must the night's festivities end so abruptly?
24-Hour Bars in NOLA
4336 Magazine St.
Miss Mae's is situated on the corner of Magazine Street and Napoleon Avenue, one does not simply just go to Ms. Mae's. You treat her with dignity and respect, and she will, in turn, be kind to you, much like New Orleans. In 2020, when word spread throughout the city that the building was for sale, folks were rightfully up in arms over the potential loss of this landmark. Favorable for all, Susan Brooks stepped in and eased the masses with news that it would indeed live on.
And live on it has. Ms. Mae's is still the warm, inebriated embrace that it was in years' past. The beauty of this long standing drinkery is that, despite its recent upgrades, it very well still may be the cheapest spot in town to alter your consciousness, while still keeping all of its seedy charm intact. Now where do we sign the petition to bring back the 24-hour Ms. Mae's challenge?
2133 St. Charles Ave.
Igor Margan, the Yugoslavian-born founder and entrepreneur, passed away in 2018 at the age of 71, but the impact he has had on the city will last forever. His take on the classic dive bar was unique and hospitality-friendly in a world where the individuals working in that particular space are often overlooked and/or taken for granted. Igor's is a service industry cornerstone offering up cold beverages in plastic cups and a washateria in the back for all of your laundry service needs.
Their cheeseburgers are otherworldly and made to order. So if you're in a pinch for a late night bite to soak up the alcohol, as long as you're coherent enough to string together a few sentences to place your order, you'll be taken care of. Igor's is a contemporary reminder to those who enter its space that it is of vital importance to take care of the people who take care of us.
1207 Decatur St.
This is not your aunt's house, nor will they concoct a Tiki drink to your liking; however, according to their website, they will joyously sell you a glass of wine "and then you can whine for free." Located on the fringes of the French Quarter on Decatur Street, Aunt Tiki's functions within the magical realm of somehow existing within everyone's walking path, yet being devoid of tourists.
Hidden in plain sight, the nondescript exterior of the bar gives way to a 21+ Spirit Halloween meets vintage Tiki interior that is overwhelming to the senses. It's cash only and there are no drink specials. Join them on Sundays at 10 p.m. for their Porn n Punk night to avoid the inevitable scaries. Fresh popcorn included.
Le Bon Temps Roule
4801 Magazine St.
With Creole Bloody Mary's and live music, Le Bon Temps Roule is the quintessential Uptown New Orleans bar that is practically impossible not to fall in love with once you've visited. Its name, for those unaware, is French for "let the good times roll," which, rest assured, was very intentional upon its founding by Ned Hobgood in 1979. Ned himself is no ordinary bar owner.
A former death metal singer fronting the Mississippi-based band Sea Fever, he has regarded tales of performing along the likes of the Zombies before turning his attention into creating one of the most iconic bars in the Crescent City. With his formidable ties to and passion for the music industry, it's no wonder why Thursdays through Sundays at Le Bon Temps Roule has sweaty locals dancing to everything from hip-hop, rock, jazz, and everything in between. The likes of Kermit Ruffins, Anders Osborne, and the Soul Rebels Brass Band have graced this bar.
501 Esplanade Ave.
It's oddly poetic that the aforementioned Igor Margan named Checkpoint Charlie's, a bar nestled vehemently smack-dab on the divide between the Marigny and the Vieux Carré, after Checkpoint Charlie's—the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. And while you won't find yourself positioned between American and Soviet tanks with a cocktail in hand, you'll find just about everything else.
Checkpoint Charlie's operates more as a no-frills late night dungeon that organically separates itself from the rest of the late-night pack. It's the sort of establishment where one wouldn't bat an eye at the sight of daywalkers and nightwalkers temporarily putting their differences aside for a good belly laugh over a glass (cup) of red. This spot is an institution known for its friendly prices, strong pours, live music, and otherworldly bar staff.
Other 24-Hour Debauchery-Inducing Watering Holes in NOLA
Good Friends | Dauphine St.
High Grace NOLA | St. Peters St.
Lucky's Bar | St.Charles Ave.
The Abbey | Decatur St.
Turtle Bay | Decatur St
Voodoo Lounge | N. Rampart St.