El Matador, New Orleans
The main part of the bar is this big circular area, with all kinds of places to visit with friends or see the show located on the periphery. This place use to be a drag/cabaret place and the clientele has changed some, but not totally, which makes for a really cool mix. It won the 2000 "Best Trendy Spot" award by the main local newspaper.
Dress Code: None
We stumbled upon this joint one night and were so happy we did. Dark, smoky and filled with an eclectic mix of folks, we might have been the only tourists in there.....Add to that the wildly off-beat, yet talented and entertaining band, and you have what New Orleans nightlife is all about.