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Aug 10, 2008 11:38 PM

HELP! English girl from Hong Kong looking for good food $20 or under!

going to my in-laws wedding in october, have never been to new orleans, never tasted french, cajun, or any combination of the two. would love to broaden my palate, and experience new orleans food at it's best. also any suggestions on fun night spots would be appreciated too!! so excited to find this site, can't wait to hear any input you guys have to offer. thanks :)

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  1. Fryme2themoon,

    New Orleans is a tourist city, and as such, the prices might be above your specified price-point. That said, I have to admit that I'm usually doing "fine-dining," and am no longer a "local." That can have a lot to do with the prices.

    I'm struggling to come up with good recs. for food, in that price range, and am having real problems. OK, I can come up with lunch at Felix's, or Parkway Bakery, and both would be good, but beyond that, I'm lost.

    My rec. would be to remember the exchange rate for both the £, and the ¥ and just enjoy.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      thanks bill, i really appreciate it. hong kong dollar's crap, but the pound is a goody:) good thought and i'm looking forward to good times and good grub!

      1. re: fryme2themoon

        I completely understand. We travel to London 2-3x/year, and I just pretend that the £'s are $'s and don't worry too much.

        I see some good recs., that are not out of your budget, just below. That is something that the occasional tourist, like myself, can't really help with. Used to live there, but it was far too long ago to give you advice. The locals have begun to ring in, and they can help you.

        Most of all, enjoy - NOLA is a city like no other. One need not spend a fortune to eat very well, especially if they have an open mind, and wish to experience the local/regional food.


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          thank you so much again bill for all of your help. can't wait to live it up in new orleans :)

    2. Cafe Atchafalaya, Li'l Dizzy's, Cafe Reconcile, Liuzza's, Central Grocery, Napoleon House, Domilise's, Cafe Rani, Elizabeth's, Casamento's, Mandina's, Mother's, Jacques Imo's, J-Anita's

      you might find some lunch specials in that budget at Mr. B's, Bacco, Bayona, Cafe Adelaide, House of Blues

      also, tax and tip are additional to the posted menu price, so keep this in mind.
      for fun night spots, there are many clubs along Frenchmen St. in the Marigny, for club listings, go to
      October is our best weather...enjoy and thanks for coming! cheers!

      12 Replies
      1. re: edible complex

        i'm getting more and more excited now. thank you so much for the input. can't wait. definitely have to get used to tax at the end always tip anyway, i'm a goofy brit!

        1. re: Bill Hunt

          yikes and ouch indeed!! definitely don't want "sin tax". that's incredible that the tax out cost the wine itself!! what's TN?

          1. re: fryme2themoon

            TN = Tennessee. Don't worry, NOLA is built on "sin," and the politicians have found no way to tax it there. No "sin tax."



        2. re: edible complex

          This is a good list. I'll add Cooter Brown's for great beer selection & raw oysters, Camellia Grill for a classic NOLA diner experience, Parkway Bakery or Domilese or Guy's for a real po-boy (our indigenous sandwich). You might also want to try the spicy chicken and red beans at Popeyes, for a fast-food take on NOLA cuisine (don't know if Popeyes exists in Hong Kong or not).

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            I'm trusting that the New Orleans Popeyes here better than the ones in Houston. To me, the beans and rice are, well, not good. The rice is terrible, and the beans have an arificial smoke flavour to them. Having been to New Orleans quite a few times, I know that beans and rice at many places fit the price range on the original post. The chicken is good, as long as it is freshly cooked like any fast food chicken. I prefer the mild variety, (I do like spicy foods), but it seems like the spicy is seasoned mainly with cayenne. Again, I'm guessing the Popeyes are better in Louisiana.

            1. re: James Cristinian

              No, it's the same food at Popeyes all over--that's the whole point of a chain, no? Yes, it is fast food, but it is universally consumed all over south Louisiana. The mild chicken is's the spicy stuff that matters. Again, not haute cuisine, but definitely the stuff of mainstream local eating.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                The reason is was asking about Louisiana Popeyes is that we have a couple of LA. ex-pats at work that claim the Popeyes is better over there. Of course, they claim everything is better there, as we say the same about Texas, all in good fun. Anyway, the original post was about the best New Orleans has to offer. There must be a local chain that offers better, heck, Popeyes doesn't even offer sausage in their beans and rice. We have a local chain, Frency's, founded by Frenchy Couzot, a Louisiana ex, that blows away Popeyes, in my opinion as well as many Louisiana ex-pats. We have lots. Spicy without resorting to dumping cayenne on the skin. Anyway, the girl is coming over 8000 miles, offer her a local alternative. Someone mentioned Jaque-Imo's, I've been there, and that's some good bird.

                1. re: James Cristinian

                  You're missing my point. Popeye's IS local to us. Founded by a true blue New Orleanian (RIP Al C), who used the tastes of his hometown to found a chicken empire, though he lost control of his company toward the end. I never claimed that it was gourmet, but it IS local. I'm not giving the OP any advice that I don't follow myself: when I travel, I always check out the local fast food--like it or hate it, it represents what many people eat on a regular basis, and sometimes it is quite good. I've enjoyed Pollo Tropicale in south FLA, Pollo Campero in the mid-Atlantic, and In&Out on the West Coast.

                  And Jacques-Imos is a joke. Back when J-I's was coasting off of the deft hand of Austin Leslie at the fryer, its chicken meant something. Those days are long past (RIP Austin). Jacques is a transplant. What's so local about that jokey ripoff joint?

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    I went to Jacques-Imos while Mr. Leslie was still there. I understand he passed away in Atlanta after Katrina, may he Rest In Peace. I live five minutes from a Pollo Campero (Long Point and Pech), and have been exactly twice. I don't no how they stay in business, always empty, even with our hispanic population. By the way, I've worked with a couple of Guatemalans who prefer Popeyes.

                    1. re: Hungry Celeste

                      If you want fried chicken just walk into the nearest Brothers gas station, just make sure you get a kabob with your chicken.
                      I have had more dealings with Al Copeland then I care to think about, but if he is the measure of a True Blue New Orleanian then I am going home right now to pack up my house and move!

                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                        This is probably fodder for a different thread, but is the spicy chicken in the New Orleans area Popeye's still spicy? I've eaten their chicken a lot lately, and I would swear that they have decided to leave out the cayenne in most of their restaurants. It used to be there, but now it seems to be the same as the regular...

                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          Had Popeyes spicy friday night before we evacuated. It was good and spicy. I have ordered spicy and have been given the regular bland chicken a few times. Could have happened to you. But that mistake should be rare...and not the usual.
                          Churchs has amped up their spicy. I tried it one time and really liked it. I think it is spicier than Popeyes now.

            2. Well, one of my favorite lunch spots is the Magnolia Cafe, formerly the Flyiing Saucer, on the corner of Jeff Hwy. & Shewsbury Road. A very nice lunch buffet of home cooking and local specialties. I'd recommend it. It's right arouind my house, so e=mail me if you feel like company for lunch.

              1. Mimi"s has wonderful tapas for $6-7 and Rio Mar has interesting tapas also.

                1. Where are you staying? In the French Quarter you can do Coops on Decatur for cheap, though it is often hit or miss. My friend just came back raving about their gumbo the other day. It's a grungy bar, but it is well within your budget, and has alot of "local flavor" amongst the patrons built into the experience. Inexpensive soul food can be had at the Praline Connection on Frenchman Street in the Marigny, which is right in the heart of the local nightlife and music scene, you can often wander into bars and hear great music without a cover. I would also recccomend Liuzza's by the track for their cajun, don't miss the BBQ shrimp po-boy. Another no-frills bar, but that's where you find the good deals on good cajun in this town. (I hope you are over 21!) None of these remotely resemble "fine dining," which if you like, you should definitely look into the summer menu specials (probably more lucky with lunch with your price point) If you snoop around some and ask well-fed lookng locals where you go, they will usually direct you wisely. Good luck and welcome!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: swampsue

                    thank you soooo much everyone. you've all been so friendly and helpful. i can't wait to get there, and experience everything in person :) thanks again

                    1. re: swampsue

                      I second Coop's -- I eat professionally and can confirm it's among the best cheapest meal I've ever had. The duck quesadilla was stupendous, the rabbit-andouille jambalaya was indescribable. It's a scary-looking place, very beat-up inside, but exactly what you're looking for.