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Best Cheap Eats?

I have long complained that there is not enough enough "cheap" places to grab lunch in this city. I am from chicago originally where there are great places to get a hot dog and fries for about 1.50 or a Italian Beef and fries for about 3.99. Here a po-boy, potato salad and drink can run you 10-14 bones.

Can you people give me your recs for cheap eats?

After tons of eatin' I did find some economical places...

Here's my favs...

1. Pho Tau Bay. Killer. I would eat here everyday if I could.
2. Felipe's. Huge burrito's.
3. Slice. filling awesome pizza.
4. Mona's. Damn good gyros and hummus....

Tell me a place to hit!!!!!!

PS. Don't get me wrong. I like New Orleans food better than Chicago food overall and have been boilin' crawfish and sucking down oysters for 8 years.

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  1. If I nave an opportunity to eat in New Orleans, it won't be gyros and burritos. I'd skip a meal until I could afford a good poor boy.

    5 Replies
    1. re: speyerer

      Liuzza by the track. Breathtaking RB poboy /gumbo combo
      Sugarpark. really good, large pizza
      Mimi's. Tapas
      Bozos. oyster poboy
      Lola's. paella with mojo sauce
      Parkway. shrimp poboy
      Central Grocery. muff.
      POC. Burger
      Willie Mae's. fried chicken
      Mat n Naddies. lunch buffet
      This could go on forever. We have a plethera of good, cheap eats.

      1. re: JazzyB

        theres a lunch buffet at mat n naddies? how is it? pricey?

        1. re: Troika

          $10. Not your usual buffet fare. Generally a sliced cold roast like a pork loin, cold cuts, cheeses, a nice creole shrimp salad, a citrusy chicken salad, room temp quiche, homemade soup, salad (mixed baby greens) with assorted veg. and homemade dressings, a hot entree. Their grillades and grits are outstanding.

      2. re: speyerer


        when you live here for 8 years you can't eat po-boys everyday!!!!!!

        1. re: mcegielski

          6n Mondays I have red beans and rice and shrimp Creole on Fridays.

        1. Cafe' Maspero is good. The prices are good too. I usually get a seafood plate, Its a nice size with fish, shrimp, oysters and calamari for 10 bucks. The poboys are cheaper.

          1. I could not agree with you more, and I'm a native. It has always puzzled me after stints in San Francisco and New York (cities whose cost off living surely outsize ours) where there were loads of little hole in the wall, cheap and tastey, sometimes utterly charming places to eat, why we don't have this stratum of dining to offer. It obviously has something to do with our size and the (relative) paucity of immigrant population, but it still perplexes. And yes, prices have shot up in recent years. Even long beloved Mona's, and the many other good Lebaneese options round town-- I've had MUCH cheaper, and I hate to say better, middle eastern in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Plus, I found in Brooklyn many of the moderately priced restaurants all run $7 -$8 lunch specials, some with more than one course.

            Anyway, your short list is identical to mine. The only additions I can think of... the new taco truck phenom has some of the best deals around, though I haven't availed myself to any of them, and if you troll the Tulane area you will likely find some "priced for students" places, though at the moment, none stand out to me. In the Lower Marigny/Bywater word of mouth says there are a few other options, like Cafeyo (sic) and Sugar Park Tavern (though I don't know if S.P. is open for lunch). Praline Connection and Bennachin are both reasonably priced. There's Verdi Mart, but that isn't for everyone, and the Quarter locale can be inconvenient. In General, it's tough going for those dreaming of the under $10. lunch; I wish it weren't so. (insert sigh here)

            1 Reply
            1. re: swampsue

              I did forget Veti Mart. Love their shrip po boy! you are correct on all accounts..

            2. That Indian Place in Place St. Charles offers a full meal with drink for less than ten bucks. I also frequent Ernst, Lucy's, J'anita's & Red Eye - all have items with sides for under ten bucks and are filling, good meals.
              I have been meaning to get over to Slice. How is parking on weekdays?

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrsfury

                Slice is awesome. Pretty much one a week I hit the bar aea in back. Maybe pricey for pizza that you might get at a pizza "joint" type place but they do serve you and overall it is a cheap and very good meal. their anti pasto plate rules. thei abita pitcher special rules. the slices are hot and good. staff months ago seemed always too cool for school and mad at the world but the last 4-5 months the people ae cool. they should be. they work in a rockin pizza place. parking is a breeze acoss street. meter.

              2. I really like Felipe's too, but I find that it gets significantly more expensive than the menu indicates once you add all the things they charge extra for. For instance, I got some nachos last night, which the menu lists as being $6.00. I got my nachos with cheese, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole, plus a little cup of queso on the side (yes I was drunk thanks for asking) and it came to a little over $14 with tax. I'm not sure what the base $6.00 nachos come with, but it seems like most of those toppings should be standard nacho stuff and not cost $0.75 or $1.00 extra.

                1. If you're willing to go off the beaten path a little, Rocky and Carlos' Restaurant in St. Bernard is great and super cheap! Definitely worth th 10-15 min drive from the city... The mac-n-cheese and veal parm are some must try items on the menu.

                  1. Well I must interject here and defend Chicago's amazing food! That is a bold statement to make about N.O. having better food than Chicago. The cuisine is FAR more diverse in Chicago. You mentioned Vietnamese, Mexican, Pizza, and Greek....Chicago blows away N.O. in all of these categories...there's no comparison!!

                    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the N.O. dining scene but Chicago offers a much more diverse culinary landscape...by a landslide. Chicago is one of the best foodie cities in the entire country.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: amoncada

                      If you think that Chicago's vietnamese scene "blows away" NOLA's one, you've been dining in the wrong neighborhoods. The ethnic vietnamese community of southeast Louisiana is very large--over 20,000 people in one neighborhood of NO East alone. When considering the greater NOLA area (spread over several parishes/counties), the local viet population is significantly larger than Chi-town's roughly 15K folks.

                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                        For some reason, everyone thinks that pho tau bay is the best vietnamese restaurant. I never understood that, especially being Vietnamese myself. I truly believe the best restaurants are Ba Mien, DP Restaurant and Bakery both in NO East or Tan Dinh and Nine Roses.

                        1. re: Troika

                          pho tau bay has the best broth. hands down. simply delicious!

                          1. re: mcegielski

                            I agree!!! I cannot find a better one.

                      2. re: amoncada

                        OK OK i didn't mean to say New Orleans food is better than Chicago. I said that to start in defense as posting on these boads often leads to an attack. I talked about the vaiety of inexpensive street food in Chciago and I figued I better make it clear that I love New oleans food beofe getting attacked....My plan failed. Chciago food is awesome. Believe me, I lived there fo 22 years. I deam of all the different pizza joints that are everywhere. I dream of Chciago's awesome and inexpensive Thai food. I dream of Geektown after a drinking session and getting killer gyros. i dream of their cutting edge, bol and innovative restaurants all the time. it is night and day the differences.....however, chicago does not have a ritual as cool as a crawfish boil.

                        PS. I did not say New Orleans food is beeter than Chicago food, i said I like New orleans food better than chicago food. I is the key word. My opinion.

                        They are both great. Chicago steakhouses rule. Their Italian restaurants are delicious.

                        My biggest complaint was lack of very inexpensive dining options here.

                        I also got some heat for that. One poster told me there was a plethora of cheap dining places which their really isn't. I mean cheap! Port of Call does not qualify! A cheeseburger with all the fixins and potatoe and drinks get you up to $10-14. I meant little joints like the great hotdog and beef places that are everywhere in chicago where you can get a great lunch for around 5 bones.........

                        1. re: mcegielski

                          Actually, Mom and Pop cheap/reasonably priced restaurants are plentiful...especially in the ethnic category. I can rattle off quite a few.

                          It sounds like you're due for a visit to Chicago. The restaurant & bar scene in Chicago in all categories and in all parts of town has exploded over the last 5-10 years!

                          1. re: mcegielski

                            You can't eat at Mc Donalds for 5 bucks let alone get a great lunch. (allowing that "great" is subjective).

                            1. re: JazzyB

                              A banh mi at Dong Phuong for $2.75 counts as a great lunch to me, even if you do have to eat it in the parking lot. The lovely aromas (seriously) from the coffee roasting plant are free!

                              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                I knows da feelin' Celeste....

                                It is a hump from the Marigny, so me and the boss usually gobble a No. 1 while steamed pork buns, turnovers and rolls await the freezer if not consumed by the "taps."

                        2. Place St. Charles in the CBD has a food court, but it is still around 10 bucks for anything there. My boyfriend goes to the chinese place in there a lot and I think he usually pays about 7 bucks.

                          I feel your pain mcegielski. Have you ever tried a lucky dog? I am too scared. What about the pizza by the slice places near Bourbon. You have to be drunk to like it though. I used to rave about it until I tried it sober once - not so good.

                          There are alot of places in town that are good for small eaters who like to split things. I can split a shrimpo poboy with my girl friend and we are good to go for 5 bucks each. I guess you men have bigger appetites than us.

                          Let's try to keep this thread up, if anyone discovers something new in this category, please add. I'm moving to the Quarter soon (well technically the CBD I think) and will need to save on food to set off the higher rent.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lawstudent

                            there's a joint a couple storefronts away from Preservation Hall (on Rue St. Peters), it's basically a tiny sliver the size of a telephone booth (if you can actually remember those things) and serves up some decent Middle Eastern gyros and falafels. Good stuff, not pricey at all, basically eat as you go, if it were any smaller it would be a bona fide stand a la Lucky Dog, but with much much much better food.

                          2. Where are you people eating? The city is full of good cheap eats, it has long been a distinction--although I must say there are fewer of the truly great underground restaurants now than before. But at any of a hundred mom and oop grocery stores you can get good po-boys for about $4-5, and you'll pobably be bringing half of it home. There's a superby chinese/grocery takeout shop at the corner of S.Broad and Banks that serves a variety of dishes daily, and includes a superb gumbo. The discount Market across the street does very good po=boys, particularly the oyster, which I had a few days ago and found as good as always. I mean, if you're looking for cheap, you going to hae to forget names like Emeril and Susan Spicer, but it doesn't mean you're going to have to forget quality. Of course when I began my career as a Hound, (bck in the 70's) the famed Buster Holmes' had a full plate of red beans and rice (some of the fienst ever made) with french bread for $.75.

                            You read it right. Sausage or fatback was an extra quarter, drink .35. Buster and his restaurant are goine forerver but there are still a ot of places out there for cheap. Next time, go in one of those places that says MEAT ICE POBOYS PLATE LUNCHES CHECKS CASHED on the front.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: underworld gourmet

                              Excellent point, and extra props for directing towards options with 100% bonafide new orleans character. My personal situation (being vegitarian) makes the corner store not a particularly viable option, and it is in that regard that I miss both San Francisco and New York for the cheap eats. Still, I wouldn't trade anything for what we have, just selfishly miss what we don't.

                            2. One of my faves is Voodoo BBQ. And theres Crepes a la Carte over on broadway. Their crepes are huge meals on their own and run somewhere around $6-8 for a savory one and $4-6 for a sweet one. Roly-Poly on Tchoup is under $10 but thats a chain restaurant. Danny & Clyde's is good cheap food but I can't remember where any are right now. Roman's Pizza is a recent Uptown find. The place itself on Cohn St is a hole in the wall corner building that was probably a gas station in a previous life. You'd pass it right up and if you did see it, there's absolutely no indication of what it is. The only visible door has a keypad on it and there's no ordering window nor do I think there is a sign out front either. Usually we call and they'll deliver anywhere thats close by from what I understand. We ordered the large breadsticks with cheese and it was the size of an entire extra-large pizza! Since we didn't know it would be that big, we had also ordered a large pizza and 2 small salads for 2 people. Needless to say, we ate of that for days. Good luck in your search. I too am always on the lookout for cheap and good food.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: waterlogged1214

                                Il Posto, Stein's Deli, Joe Sespie's, Blue Tomato, Coco Hut, Rivershack, Taqueria Guerrero, River Pond Seafood, Touche', Mayas, Mr. Ed's, Acme Oyster (or any other oyster place)