Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >
Jan 6, 2008 09:14 AM

1st time to the quarter, lunch?

We are a group of Canadian students heading to Mississippi in february as part of an exchange with USM to work with Habitat for Humanity and FEMA. We will be spending one day in the french quarter of new orleans for R+R. A couple of us are novice foodies on a student budget looking for great eats for lunch on that day. If there was one place in the quarter that everyone must eat at what would it be?

The (few) restrictions:

No dress code
Lunch under 30 dollars
Authentic Louisiana fare

There are a couple of people in the group with food allergies (dairy etc.) so we are looking for the kinda place where special requests will not get a deer-in-headlights response from wait staff.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Students- are you looking for a really great meal, or something more casual?
    Bayona has lunch Wed-Sat, a business casual dress code, and if you are not drinking you could definitely have an elegant lunch for $30. I think they are one of the more sensitive to dietary requests, too (dairy free is hard in N.O., since so much is cooked in butter).
    If you are looking for something more casual, yet still great, try Cochon (in the Warehouse District- will you have access to a car?)- that's a little more down home. I don't know how much they'll alter stuff for you, but there should be enough variety to skirt any food allergies or preferences, unless you have a vegan in your group.
    If you still want something more casual in the Quarter, try Coop's or Fiorella's. Good luck.

    4 Replies
    1. re: diningismyhobby

      I say try Napoleon House. Good food and good atmosphere. Great muffalettas and meatball poboys. Not sure about the dietary requests though. Ask for Larone. I graduated from USM by the way.

      1. re: suites

        I was at Napoleon House today. It was as good as ever. Some pics are posted here:

        and here:

        There is a pic of the menu with prices too.

        1. re: suites

          Napoleon House has a wonderful atmosphere and is a great place to get a drink, but if I could only have one lunch in the Quarter, it wouldn't be there. The food is alright, but nothing special.

        2. re: diningismyhobby

          I second the Bayona recommendation. Another option might be Cafe Adelaide. Every meal I've had there has been very good, though I've heard some so-so lunch reviews from others.

        3. Cafe Maspero on S. Peters (or Decatur?) is really good. Poboys and such. I say just get dropped off at Canal and Decatur or S. Peters (these streets follow the river and will take you right through the quarter) and just walk in to whatever looks good. If you want something a little nicer go up to Royal (someone correct me if I'm wrong) and go to K-Paul's. It is fine dining but you can do that on 30 a person and the dress codes are pretty lax in Nola.

          And save room for beignets at Cafe Du Monde for dessert. Totally touristy and there are many mentally ill homeless people around, but it is right at Jackson Square, the beignets and cafe au lait are delicious, and it is the quintessential New Orleans experience.

          Thanks for your volunteer work and we hope y'all have a fantastic time here. I am from Waveland, MS so if you guys are going to be there - go to the Mockingbird Cafe in Bay Saint Louis for great coffee and delicious sandwiches. Thanks again!

          14 Replies
          1. re: lawstudent

            I haven't been to Cafe Maspero since Katrina, but it used to have really good pastrami. I know, not a "local" food, but good pastrami is hard to find in any town.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              You might want to try Stein's or the house made pastrami at Dorignacs. (you still won't be able to get the real thing as far as rye goes.) Unfortunately the best pastrami and pizza are in the NYC/NJ area. Everything else is a very distant 2nd.

              1. re: JazzyB

                Well I can tell you that I have yet to have any really good pizza up here in Hoboken.

                1. re: roro1831

                  Is Benny Tudino's on Washington still a worthy slice?


                  How good is Odd Fellow's Rest? Is the food above the hype?

                  1. re: JerseyNOLA

                    I think Benny's blows, worst pizza i have had, even after a few beers.
                    Oddfellow's isn't bad, no roast beef poboys, but the jambalaya isn't bad, the fried chicken is decent. Stay away from there when they have crawfish. I stopped by to get a couple of pounds during last season, paid 9 bucks per pound, and they were mushy and not spicy.

                    1. re: roro1831

                      Just curious - I first saw New Orleans in 1979, when Decatur St was Decatur St, and as the son of a sailor immediately found my gravity here...

                      left North Jersey for NO permanently in 1994, just after the Clam Broth House closed and the"ethnic cleansing" Hoboken was pretty complete - never ate at Odd Fellows, and never ate PissClams (if you could even find them in Hoboken now) in New Orleans, but was always curious about Odd Fellows - it always had good press, but felt it was like eating clams in NO - Benny was damn good in his day - - - -

                      Should you, (out of NJ curiosity, make it to Rutts Hut for (yeah, I know) hot dogs or Mario's in Clifton (for pizza) gimmee a report -

                      Thanks guy!

                      1. re: JerseyNOLA

                        I went to Rutt's Hut within three days of moving here and make at least one trip every couple of months. I work in Clifton so I hop over there for lunch when I'm in the mood for a ripper. I had seen it on some tv show and just had to check it out. I like any kind of food, and some of the best doesn't need to be served on a plate.

                  2. re: roro1831

                    All of my Jersey pizza experiences are from the shore where most any mom-pop joint puts out a decent pie.

                  3. re: JazzyB

                    Is the Stein's pastrami made in-house?

                    1. re: Hungry Celeste

                      Not positive but think it comes from NY.

                  4. re: Hungry Celeste

                    I thought Cafe Maspero had a decent pastrami. It's not in the Langer's/Katz's style, but it was a thicker cut and the taste was closer to beef jerky (but not as chewy).

                    Jazzy, I'm not trying to start another pastrami war, but my favorite pastrami is at Langer's in Los Angeles, CA. :)

                    1. re: lawstudent

                      May I tweak the route just a little bit? If you guys are seeing the Quarter for the first time, enter either from Canal and Chartres or Canal and Royal. Decatur Street isn't as scenic. If you walk along Chartres, it'll thread directly into Jackson Square. If you walk along Royal, hang a right at either Pirate's Alley or Pere Antoine's Alley. Both lead into Jackson Square.

                      For Old New Orleans atmosphere, 200-year-old Napoleon House (corner of Chartres Street and St. Louis) is hard to beat. The menu includes a nice muffuletta (request no cheese for your non-dairy friend), good seafood gumbo, avocado stuffed with Shrimp Remoulade.....and other things.

                      Jackson Square divides the Upper Quarter (Canal Street to the Square) from the Lower Quarter (the Square to Esplanade). The Lower Quarter is quieter, less commercial, and would make a relaxing walk after lunch.

                      Thanks so much for coming South to lend a hand!

                      1. re: lawstudent

                        Masperos (IMO) would hardly qualify as great eats. It has cheap, large portions, good for budget minded and not a good representation of NOLA cuisine. A muff. from Central Grocery would be inexpensive as well but give you a taste of NOLA. If you forgo drinks, for $30pp, you can probably dine at Galatoires (no jackets required for lunch, no shorts allowed), Palace Cafe, Redfish Grill, Cafe Adelaide or get a cab to Cafe Reconcile or Cochon. A much better taste of what is uniquely NOLA.

                      2. Not in a resto but absolutely NOLA FQ exerience.

                        Grab a couple of muffelettas to go at Central. Cross the street and walk west until you hit cafe du Monde and order some beignets and coffee to go. Walk a little further west and sit on the stairs across from Jackson Park and eat and watch the action in the area. You will probably also have a live show of some kind right in front of you. definitely within your budget.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jfood

                          I like your thinking! Can't ever beat the muffs at Central Market.

                        2. There seems to have been some debate about the ongoing quality of this place, but I used to love Fiorello's across the street from the Market, down the street from Cafe du Monde for fried chicken. It's no frills. It's cheap. It WAS good last I was there, but as these things are always up for debate, I'll link to a thread I started early last year trying to remember the name...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ballulah

                            Stanley is the lower priced counterpart to Stella, really good lunch there.
                            I wopuld also recommend catching the Canal Street Streetcar down to Mandina's, it's almost down to Carrollton. Good old time New Orleans institution. Then after that you can walk a few block to Angelo Brocato's for some Italian ice, and hopefully the blood orange ice is there

                              1. re: JazzyB

                                As I haven't lived in New Orleans since Thanksgiving 06, I wasn't aware he hadn't reopened yet, I know the last time I was there he was still closed, but I was hoping he had reopened by now.