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Cheap Eats New Orleans

Me and the girlfriend are heading down to New Orleans for 3 days during our spring break in a couple of weeks. We're in college so the vast majority of what we eat will need to be fairly cheap, but still chow worthy! Of course, we will most likely spring for one or two fancy meals so recommendations along those lines are welcomed as well (so far we're leaning towards Galatoires Friday Lunch).

This is our first time in the Big Easy and when it's all said and done we'd like a complete, honest representation of what makes New Orleans a great city. Thanks!

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  1. Breakfast at EAT on the corner of Dumaine and Dauphine. Delicious, VERY reasonably priced and it's BYOB with no cork fee if you're into bloody mary's and/or mimosas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nikinik

      EAT is an option, but the only time i tried it i wasnt impressed. guess ill have to go back since there are some fans here.

      i have been to Stanley's, which recently re-opened on Jackson Square. the $8 poached eggs breakfast poboy was fantastic, and ive heard good things about the pancakes as well.

    2. I Love, love, love the Clover Grill, on bourbon street. It's this little tiny diner where they cook the burgers under a hubcap - they are SO good. I think we spent $11 for two of us for lunch. :)

      We also enjoyed our breakfasts at Cafe Beignet and some chinese resto/bar across from the french market. They serve a "Dixie Breakfast" - I have NO idea what that's called but they had great biscuits.

      1. EAT and Clover Grill are both great suggestions; Clover grill is the only place in the world that I've ever seen a 350 lb fry cook lip-syncing to "It's Raining Men" while flipping burgers at 3:30 AM.

        A stop at Molly's on the Market for a bowl of gumbo is well worth it also.

        1. For a cheap meal that's chock-ful of New Orleans flavor, I recommend Crabby Jacks. Really good seafood stuffed mirliton and shrimp creole for under $10 and it comes with a side dish and a salad. Some of the best po-boys, too!

          I'm also a fan of Ted's Frostop on Claiborne. Tasty red beans and rice on Mondays and good fried chicken. They serve up cold rootbeer in a frosted mug, to boot. This was my highschool haunt and it holds up nearly twenty years later.

          4 Replies
          1. re: chanterelle

            Thanks for the replies! They all sound great. Keep them coming!

            Where's the best Muffuletta in town?

            Oh yea, do BYOB establishments ID because I'm still 20 years old. However, if they don't I would absolutely love to bring a nice craft brew down with me and pair it with the meal.

            1. re: cblackwell44

              I am 99% sure EAT would ot card you and neithr would Lola...but I'm not positive.

              You will hear everyone say that Central Grocery is the best muff...but I don't think so at all. My favorite is DiMartino's on the Westbank...but that's a ways to go. I also like Frank's next door to Central Grocery.

              Lola is one of my top 5 restaurants in New Orleans!

              1. re: cblackwell44

                Central Grocery in the French Quarters. When my deceased husband was dying from his cancer, he would make me drive in the rain from the Westbank to get his favorite sandwich.
                923 Decatur St
                New Orleans, LA 70116
                (504) 620-0174

              2. re: chanterelle

                crabby jack's has an excellent duck poboy -- something i guarantee you cant get back home!

              3. There are many choices without having to go too far. I would pass up Eat! and Cafe Beignet and instead go to Croissant D'Or on Ursulines for breakfast. It is a french patisserie with breakfast goodies. Very reasonable and a better value than the abovementioned choices. Other breakfast choices include NOLA Cakes and Elizabeth's, both in the Bywater.

                For lunch, the po boy is the traditional NOLA lunch and the best ones can be found at Parkway Bakery (near the bayou), Johnnies (in the quarter), Mahoney's on Magazine, or Liuzza's By The Track for some unique alternatives (garlic oyster or bbq shrimp po boy).

                For dinner, I strongly support Lola's (on Esplanade) as a great and reasonable restaurant. It is spanish-creole style food with super appetizers and good paella. Lola's is BYOW. Other choices include Mandina's or Liuzza's, both in mid city, both traditional New Orleans cuisine, and both cash only. Acme Oyster House and Redfish Grill, both in the French Quarter offer reasonably priced seafood as well.

                I hope this helps. Enjoy your visit!

                4 Replies
                1. re: sirvelvet

                  I'm surprised that you think EAT isn't a good value. On my visit for breakfast I had a shrimp omelette with sides for around $10 and when you couple that with the fact that you can bring in your own alcohol for bloody marys and mimosas and they charge you nothing, it is indeed a phenomenal value.

                  I haven't been to Elizabeths...but I though the prices were close to those at EAT and it's not BYOB..or is it?

                  And Lola allows you to bring beer also, not just wine. I'm not sure about hard liquor, as I've only ever brought beer and wine there.

                  1. re: sirvelvet

                    +1 Croissant D'or.. true old school french bakery.

                    +1 Red Fish Grill. great bar, good oyster bar (bbq oysters are a treat), reasonable seafood, and a fantastic chocolate bread pudding. ask if they are running any fixed-price specials. i know for lunch they have 1/2 poboy + soup/gumbo for $12. often there is a $30 3-course dinner, too.

                    1. re: kibbles

                      +2 on Croissant D'Or. If I lived on the quiet end of the quarter, this would be my living room.

                      And Cafe du Monde is a good value too.

                      1. re: jamy

                        ya think? We paid less at Cafe Beignet for more food that was better. 1 plate of beignets and 2 large sodas was $9 at Cafe Du Monde. and the beignets were not warm and kind of chewy.

                  2. I have to second Crabby Jacks. It is owned by Jack Leonardi of Jacque-imo's fame and they do a great job with some interesting sandwiches. As for "fancy meals" and if you only have two, I would do one of the old line places like Galatoires, and then head off to Jacque-imo's or Dick and Jenny's for the second. Both of the latter have a great atmosphere for a younger couple and the food is always top notch.

                    Also, Brightsen's has some of the best food in town. Check if they still do an early bird special, three courses for around 18 bucks at a place that usually costs a pretty penny.

                    For breakfast, check out Surrey's on Magazine or Refuel in Riverbend.

                    Split a muffaletta at Central Grocery and walk along the river.

                    Lastly, despite what anyone says, get yourself a Lucky Dog.

                    1. Take the free ferry over to Algiers Point and have lunch at Vine and Dine - a neat little take-out place right at the ferry - great sandwiches / gator dogs at really good prices. They also sell wine in to-go bottles that you can sip while you walk around the neighborhood. Go to Aunt Linnies for dinner - reasonable prices, good food and friendly service by the owners.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: schundell

                        I just moved to Algiers Point...I'll definitely have to give Vine and Dine a try. Do you know if they have a website?

                        I have been to Aunt Leni's three times. I really want to like it but I just haven't been impressed. I find it to be just ok and overpriced.

                        On oyster night, they charge $12 for a dozen raw oysters and I kid you not, a few of them were the size of quarters.

                        But I do have to agree with you that the owners are extremely friendly and it's a really cute little place.

                        I keep giving it a try because I want to support the establishments in my neighborhood.

                      2. I thought EAT was great and affordable when my wife and I ate there about a year ago.
                        We were down for Mardi Gras last month and stopped in for breakfast at Petunia's and thought that was very good also. The size of the omlettes are huge for the price and I loved the hash browns and fresh squeezed orange juice

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: zach623

                          I've never been to Petunias, but it's definitely on my list. Which did you like better...Petunias or EAT?

                        2. Some of the best values are our fine dining restos for lunch. Emeril's has a $19.50 "lunch crunch" 3 course menu m-f, MiLa has 3 courses/ $20, Cuvee 3 courses/$24. Commanders has some prixe fixe offerings plus 25 cent martinis. Perhaps some gumbo ya ya at Mr. B's lunchtime. Rambla in IHH has excellent tapas $6-12. lunch and dinner. A few of these little lunch splurges in lieu of a big one for dinner provides an opportunity to sample our best for less. Have your poboy or whatever for dinner. Those prices remain the same lunch/dinner. IMO, Central Grocey has the best muff and travels well. Gal's is quintessential NOLA, a good time, not the best food. No post K early bird at Brigtsen's.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JazzyB

                            You're right jazzy. The three course lunch specials are great values.