INSIDER TIP At Bourbon Street, beware "The Baby," a large pickle jar filled with communal mystery cocktail is often passed around the bar.

hang-out spots. This two-story joint features a high-gear night club upstairs and a laid-back sports pub downstairs. Whether you re in the mood for dance music or live acoustic jams, Bacchus has it all. Every time I go to Bacchus, things get crazy. I don t think I m allowed to go into further detail. Sammy H.

Black Market Bar 2011 Highland Ave 205-933-8035 BIRMINGHAM

When the proprietors of Speakeasy set out to bring some attitude to the Five Points district, Black Market Bar was the result. They boast delicious creative custom cocktails and a surprisingly robust late-night menu most notably the Greek Egg Rolls. On the weekend, you can go back in the morning for brunch. Also located on High- way 280 at The Colonnade. I dream about those egg rolls. Oh man, are they glorious. Pete V.

Blackwell s Pub 3151 Green Valley Rd 205-967-3798 VESTAVIA

Blackwell s serves up twelve different draft beers, lots of new high-gravity beers and a

spread of gourmet pub-style food. And trust us on this: the PBJ Burger may sound weird, but the combination of smooth peanut butter, blackberry jam and that juicy, handmade patty is incredible. Cool place with a great atmo- sphere, and the beer selection is over the top. Van S.

Blue Monkey Lounge 1318 Cobb Ln 205-933-9222 BIRMINGHAM

With a large patio and extensive list of martinis, the Blue Monkey is a great spot to get drinks. Their plush couches bring lounging to a new level, and the cozy patio bar is ideal for a relaxed night on the town. With so many different nooks and rooms, Blue Monkey is perfect for entertaining large groups of friends or impressing out-of-towners. Great cocktails, great staff, great atmosphere. Never been to an- other club like it, in Birmingham or elsewhere! Emily R.

Bottletree Café 3719 3rd Ave S 205-533-6288 BIRMINGHAM

Created and operated by sister- and-brother team Merrilee and Brad Challiss, the Bottletree

hosts the best indie rock bands around, as well as film screen- ings, art openings, live comedy and performance art. This eclectic bar and café is covered with original art and serves sandwiches, soups, vegetarian fare and the best vegan chili in town. Add to that a covered patio, large beer selection, and great bartenders and you have one of the best spots in town. Kitchen open for lunch and early dinner, bar open late. The only place to see the best bands in the country in an inti- mate setting. It s the best sound- ing room I ve heard. Cliff S.

Bourbon Street 1568 Cooper Hill Rd 205-957-1006 IRONDALE

Big hair, strong drinks and Alabama charm! If you want to show an out-of-towner some true Southern Gothic, this is your place. A former Pizza Hut, Bourbon Street may be the clos- est Birmingham has to a honky tonk. Mind-bending karaoke (Wed, Fri & Sat nights only!), pool tables, and friendly folks make this a real IN spot. Who knew you could have so much fun singing karaoke and drinking fishbowls in an old, gutted-out Pizza Hut!? Ashley C.