Culinarily speaking, the last several years have been exciting ones for Baton Rouge. And like our expanding dining options, our adult beverage landscape has become deliciously wide and varied.
After being pummeled during the COVID-19 shutdown, bars are back in a big way in the Capital Region, satisfying our unquenchable thirst for the many ways to enjoy a good restorative.
And it’s not just bars. If you like a nice cocktail, a glass of interesting wine or a local craft beer, restaurants across town are increasingly focusing on their beverage programs, with several launching independent bar concepts this year. Sneak off to the Brakes Bar—the posh Mid City speakeasy behind newly opened Spoke & Hub—for a quirky craft cocktail prepared with offbeat ingredients. Stroll a few doors down for classic and reinvented tiki cocktails at the Lotus Lounge, the bar within Soji Modern Asian. Slip behind a sliding wall to sip your highball in Juban’s new, sultry Tigre Room.
Try a growing number of high-end tequila and mezcal flights at spots like Blue Corn, Modesto and Rock Paper Taco. Steel your liquid courage to try the bartenders’ latest creations at craft cocktail destinations like Hayride Scandal, The Lost Cove, Olive or Twist or The Radio Bar. Hobnob with a sommelier to find the perfect wine and cheese pairing.
Explore wine lists in chef-driven restaurants devoted to small, Old World producers. Hire a mobile cocktail cart for your next party. Slurp a craft beer on a rooftop bar. Visit a rum distillery with selections made from sugar cane harvested less than an hour away. Head for classic, cozy dive bars with loads of personality.
The experiences are many—more than we’d ever have room for in these pages—so get out and explore.
Cheers, Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge has a wide selection of long-running, off-the-beaten-path bars that will make you feel at home
Featuring weekly karaoke nights and drag shows, George’s is the spot for those looking to celebrate Baton Rouge’s queer community in a setting that’s casual without sacrificing camp. 860 St. Louis St. Find it on Facebook.
The spot for Baton Rouge bookworms looking to uphold the longstanding literary tradition of heavy drinking, this joint features a rotating menu of author-inspired cocktails, novel chapters as tabletop decorations, a fully stocked bookcase behind the bar and plenty more literary Easter eggs. 10466 Airline Highway, Suite B. bookstorebr.com
A jukebox, cold beer, a pool table, a comfy outdoor patio, occasional live music and dual painted flamingos standing guard at the door. It’s the kind of neighborhood bar that perpetually projects the vibe of a family reunion, no matter who’s inside—with just the right amount of quirk. 4336 Floynell Drive. Find it on Facebook
Proud purveyors of two of the most fundamental staples of Louisiana’s good-times culture– crawfish and Daiquiris– this inconspicuous hole-in-the-wall is the place for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a genuine Louisiana experience free of any tourist-catching frills. 7490 Burbank Drive. Find it on Facebook
Baton Rouge’s resident dark-and-smoky martini joint, Duvic’s offers a tantalizing roster of specialty martinis like cucumber, mint-chocolate and espresso. It’s tempting to try them all on their Wednesday martini nights. 2854 Kalurah St. duvicsbar.com
If you’re looking to slam a boilermaker, play some pool and watch the Tigers, your search ends at this stalwart sports pub in the heart of the Perkins Road Overpass District. 2954 Perkins Road. Find it on Facebook
A humble downtown dive bar and favorite among locals, Bald Eagle is the kind of place that harkens a slightly more rock ‘n’ roll rendition of the Cheers opening theme song. 140 Main St. Find it on Facebook
Rainbow-spangled and hoisting itself as the “home of diversity and equality,” Cedar Crest Bar is the queer-repping dive bar you’ve been looking for, complete with regular events like karaoke, ladies nights and Taco Tuesdays. 10467 Airline Highway. Find it on Facebook
Known for its Thursday night blues jams and proud status as the oldest club in Baton Rouge, Phil Brady’s is the spot for cheap food and drinks, live music and general dive bar chicanery. 4848 Government St. Find it on Facebook
Happy’s offers a dark and– tastefully–dingy Irish-inspied indoor bar space, with a spacious outdoor patio downtown where you’ll usually find a crowd that’s just the right amount of rowdy and a band playing all the hits you want to hear. 136 Third St. Find it on Facebook
Sitting pretty on Jefferson Highway since 1962, Patio Lounge is your ideal neighborhood bar, the kind of place where the bartenders make a point of learning your name before serving up the bar’s legendary Bloody Marys. 8743 Jefferson Highway. Find it on Facebook
Housing the kind of old-school, carved-wood bar that looks like Fitzgerald would hurl a bottle of absinthe at it, this joint is a taste of classic New Orleans boozery, right in Baton Rouge. 648 Lobdell Ave. Find it on Facebook
This article was originally published in the May 2022 issue of 225 magazine.