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Group dining for youth

Hi-
I will be taking a group of 22 high school aged kids w/ 9 adults to NOLA for 9 days. We are on a HUGE budget, so I am looking for places to take the kids to dinner each night that is walking distance from our hotel (New Orleans Marriott- 555 Canal). Since we will be there for a youth gathering with 36,000 people, I definitely need to find places that I can make reservations, BUT are not expensive. Even $50/person for 8 nights is out of our price range-- that would be $12,400 just for dinner for 31 people for 8 nights. I know NOLA pretty well, so I know that most of the known restaurants do not fit this request. Please help w/ any suggestions!!
Thank you!!!

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  1. Wow! That is a tough one. A few quick questions-1. Are you open to taking the streetcar (1.25 per person each way) to any dining locations 2. What is your budget per person, per day? I am assuming that maybe the youth gathering provides a lunch, but if not there are lunch suggestions as well. Let us know and I am sure you will get plenty of options.

    1. My first thought is that if you are bringing high-schoolers here, you MUST get snowballs. They will really enjoy that. Plus, coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde.

      What area are you coming from--someplace with a lot of culinary diversity, or regular whitebread America? Any especial cuisines/ethnic groups you want to try?

      1. "We are on a HUGE budget..." Did you forget the "NOT"? What do you want to spend per person? The streetcar option opens up a lot of possibilities and it would be fun for the teenagers. On the St. Charles Avenue line, or nearby, are: Superior Grill, Zia, Vincents, Camelia Grill, Jaqueimos, Cannon's, Slice, VooDoo Barbecue, to name a few. You might want to check out this web site for restaurants on Canal Street and in the FQ: http://www.nomenu.com/RestaurantsOpen...

        1 Reply
        1. re: TaTee

          All great suggestions. The only problem with places within walking distance is that barring eating fast food-most restaurants in the Quarter are relatively small, and unless very upscale, do not take reservations. Uptown, Jacques Imos takes reservations for parties of 5 or more so that may work. In the Quarter, you could try Louisiana Pizza Kitchen and as much as I hate to do this, some of the chain restaurants such as Hard Rock, House of Blues, and Landrys would probably accomodate your group as they are large restaurants with lots of seating. If you want authentic LA cuisine and like me, would prefer to stay out of chains, you should consider taking the streetcar Uptown. If you called some of the places on this list and wanted to set aside some tables, they may be able to do this. Another consideration would be to get takeout muffalettas at Central Grocery and eat them on the Riverfront somewhere, or to split into two groups that would be more easily accommodated at places such as Cafe Maspero, Acme, Felixs, Coops and Clover Grill.

        2. G W Fins has a private dining room that accommodates 30-35 people - right in your ballpark. They tell me that 40 can fit, but it's very tight. They can configure the tables to suit. Great seafood and mostly NOLA dishes, or heavily NOLA-influenced dishes. Well within the walking distance.

          Had a wonderful meal for 10 out in the main dining room last week.

          Enjoy,

          Hunt

          -----
          Gw Fins
          808 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70112

          1. Palace Cafe is nearby, and sometimes they have specials for early dinner. I'm not sure what your actual price limit is.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cajungirl

              If you can get transportation, on the more inexpensive side is New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company - They have huge dining rooms and could feed your group for a reasonable price. They do seafood, burgers, po-boys, salads and pasta dishes. There is one in Metairie and in Kenner and I think on the Westbank. With ~ 30 people you might want to call ahead.

              Another tip - if you are willing to dine during off hours (3p-5p for example) more options might be available cause there are plenty restaurants around town that remain open between lunch and dinner.