The city’s not ignorant of its beer, either: for decades, the field was sparse, but Heiner Brau, Chafunkta, Courtyard, 40 Arpent, Old Rail Brewing, Covington Brewhouse, and NOLA have all joined Abita in the last few years to boost the area's craft beer strength. And Avenue Pub will always be one of our favorite craft beer bars.
Basically, New Orleans has a drinking culture that fosters and demands amazing booze, and it all comes without the price tags or crowds of bigger cities. Add in no last call and no open-container laws, and there's a winning formula for amazing drinking.
Major players: Cure, Cane & Table, Bellocq, Avenue Pub, Kingfish, d.b.a., French 75
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Andy Kryza is a senior editor on Thrillist’s Food and Drink team, and is drinking in Portland this very moment. Probably. Follow him to alarmingly early happy hours: @apkryza.
Liz Childers is the associate editor of Food/Drink and likes drinking in every city. New Orleans might be her favorite, but she's an unbiased professional. Follow her to Southern booze: @lizchilders1.