Vic’s Kangaroo Cafe

New Orleans, Louisiana

Johnnie's Tavern - Columbus Dive Bar - Exterior

In Short

New Orleans is a web of distinct neighborhoods sometimes just a few feet apart and Vic’s Kangaroo Café is the standard-bearing dive bar in the warehouse/convention area of the city, bring to life something you may have never thought you needed, an Australian dive bar in America.

Field Rating

6

out of 10

Worth the kangaroo design motif alone.

Field Note

While there is clearly a commonality to New Orleans that binds the city together across vastly different people and places, New Orleans is also a city of distinct neighborhoods, enclaves that can wildly change across a handful of city blocks. Vic’s Kangaroo Café sits south of the French Quarter across neighborhood-defining major thoroughfares Canal St & Poydras St. Crossing that stretch brings an entirely different feel to the area, quickly transitioning from tourist hub to neighborhood vibe as the area stretches south.

Online reviews and personal experience make it clear that Vic’s is a place that people who actually live in New Orleans come to drink, service industry workers especially, always a good sign. While Australian dive bar is a design aesthetic that might be hard to place, Vic’s nails it cold. The signage features a comically oversized Kangaroo and the Australian flag. Like I said, Vic’s nails it.

Flags from around the world hang from the ceiling and Christmas lights accentuate the atmosphere around the bar.

Vic’s Kangaroo Café sits as a squat blue building between taller neighbors. Thick plastic slats serve as barrier between Vic’s and the world outside, preserving precious air conditioning during blistering New Orleans summers. Flags from around the world hang from the ceiling and Christmas lights accentuate the atmosphere around the bar. Guinness posters, High Life mirrors and more vaguely Australian decorations than you’ve ever seen before bring life to the surroundings.

Bathrooms are of course the real barometer of a dive bar’s authenticity and Vic’s does not disappoint with a hanging curtain as the only barrier around the men’s toilet, the type of partition that naturally makes it difficult to call the area a ‘stall.’

Every visit has been met with personable, chatty locals clearly enjoying their typical weekday, not a thick throng of tourists in town for a game.

Though the bar sits only a few blocks away from a large casino and a string of ritzy restaurants, the clientele underscore’s the bar’s neighborhood appeal. Every visit has been met with personable, chatty locals clearly enjoying their typical weekday, not a thick throng of tourists in town for a game. And that’s the real beauty of a place like Vic’s, its ability to serve as an affordable drinking oasis just steps from countless bars and restaurants built to absorb as much tourist investment as possible.

Options are endless in New Orleans, with authenticity abound across the city. Vic’s Kangaroo Café serves as the dive bar ambassador of the Warehouse / Convention district and is well worth a friendly drink either between stops or as evening all its own.

Photos

The Basics

636 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Classification:
Neighborhood Bar

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