This bar is huge. Head here if you are out with any kind of group, because even on a busy Saturday night, there will be room for all of you. You can hang out downstairs, among the booths and TVs, at the scruffy wooden bar that easily sits twenty. Or head upstairs and gather around the giant square bar that dominates the room But if the weather is nice, you should look for a spot among the dozen tables perched out on the balcony that gives the bar its name.

A bar full of whiskey at Barrel Proof

Unlike in the French Quarter, there aren’t a lot of bars with balconies across Canal and even fewer that can accommodate many people. Here, you can peer down on Magazine Street, where car traffic slows considerably in the evenings and is eventually replaced by pedestrians moving from bar to restaurant to bar. The Balcony Bar is a neighborhood joint with a solid beer list and decent prices. Daily drink specials keep your wallet full, and the tasty Pirate Pizza served in the back kitchen does the same for your belly. On a recent visit, our bartender was friendly and committed to her craft, even in a spot that isn’t exactly famous for cocktails. When my neighbor ordered a margarita, she hand-squeezed limes and oranges into the glass. When I asked her why, she remarked that while she hates sour mix, someone broke her juicer, and so she had been reduced to doctoring it up as best she could ever since. If I lived near here, I would drink here more.


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