Decatur Street merchants are Best of New Orleans 2009

Lower Decatur businesses were selected by Gambit readers as the Best of New Orleans 2009.

Best Place to Get a Mojito

3. El Gato Negro Mexican Restaurant (81 French Market Place, 525-9752)

Best Place to Get a Margarita

2. El Gato Negro Mexican Restaurant (81 French Market Place, 525-9752)

Best Late-Night Dining

3. Angeli on Decatur (1141 Decatur St., 566-0077)

Best Menu for Vegetarians

1. Cafe Bamboo (435 Esplanade Ave., 940-5546) — New Orleans has a rep for being less than accommodating to vegetarians, but since the opening of Bamboo earlier this year there is a new haven for meatless and even vegan feasts. The menu lists conventional vegetable-based dishes, along with an array of “mock meats” made from textured soy products.

Best Antiques Store

2. Greg’s (1209 Decatur St.)

Best Farmers Market

2. French Market

Congratulations guys!

Pravda and Molly's at the Market make Gambit's Top 50 Bars 2009

It’s no surprise that two of our neighborhood bars on the 1100 block are featured in Gambit’s Top 50 Bars 2009.

Relative newcomer Pravada came in at #29

1113 Decatur St.

The absinthe-minded Lower Decatur bar melds steampunk couture with St. Petersburg gothic, but with more beer than borscht. The social Soviet hideaway could be a high-brow dive for you and your comrades, with a spacious back patio and absinthe served in the French method, or stick with a beer and a copy of Tolstoy. Na zdorovia!

Molly’s at the Market is the neighborhood standby that stayed open for the Katrina hurrication is #49.

1107 Decatur St., 525-5169

Somewhat faded from its glory days, Molly’s remains thick with tradition, helping keep its place in regulars’ hearts and minds. The rallying point for St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween parades, it can be relied on daily for a diverse and colorful clientele at its bars and hanging from its front window.

So, next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop in and have a celebratory drink with these winners!  You won’t even have to leave the block.