Stephen Shellenberger's New Orleans Guide

As the home of annual spirits convention, Tales of the Cocktail, the Big Easy is a cocktail connoisseur's summer mecca. As such, it's crawling with folks who know the city like they know their favorite cocktail shaker. On such veteran attendee is Stephen Shellenberger, who bartends at Pomodoro in Brookline. Read on for his favorite haunts in this off-the-cuff New Orleans guide.

(Photo: Christine Liu)

Updated: July 22, 2010

Off-the-Cuff New Orleans Guide

Napoleon House Bar & Cafe

500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

"It's affordable and friendly as hell. It's decrepit in the greatest way possible, with a dilapidated charm. The communal trough in the men's room is really great."

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

"Lafitte's is the only thing worth a damn on Bourbon Street ... except for the diner. There are bar stools around the piano, and locals actually go there."

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro

626 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70130

"Go for the midnight set. I don't think there's a cover; I've never paid."

The Saint Bar and Lounge

961 Saint Mary St, New Orleans, LA 70130

"It's a bar started by a guy from White Zombie, and it's exactly how you'd expect a bar started by a guy from White Zombie. You should only go between 2am and 4am. They pride themselves on no-frills. The restrooms are scary. When you're a crust-punk hipster, you distinguish yourself by cleanliness--or lack thereof."

Cochon Butcher

930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

"Cochon Butcher is epic. It's ridiculous. Little cafe they run out of the back door [of Cochon]. It's staggeringly awesome."

Jacques-Imo's Catering

8324 Oak St., New Orleans, LA 70118

"Jacques-Imo's is really wonderful. It's heavy; share. No reservations. You wait in a divey sh-t box next door. It's the most impossibly eccentric thing ever. There's alligator cheesecake. Eccentric protein. Eight-hundred covers a night."