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Must eat in New Orleans?

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I am taking a 3 day trip to New Orleans in the middle of October and I'm looking for suggestions on things I must eat, or restaurants I should try while I am there. (I have no restrictions on what I'm willing to eat, however for restaurants I'd prefer main courses $20 or less.)

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  1. I would really suggest going to some quality bargain/dives for lunch one or two days to save up for a nice (read: just over $20) dinner or two.

    Where are you staying and will you have a rental car or a local guide? I am good at working with budgets as I am frequently poor, so let's talk about your mobility and then work on some suggestions for restaurants.

    Also, where are you coming from? This will help determine what you must have...

    2 Replies
    1. re: bobinnola

      We haven't picked out a hotel yet, but we will be driving from Birmingham so we will have a car. One of the group has been to New Orleans several times for partying (not eating), so I wouldn't count her as a guide. Otherwise we're on our own!

      1. re: bobinnola

        I agree with this idea too.

        For the "save up" dining, I'd choose these:

        1.) Galatoire's
        2.) Brigtsen's
        3.) Restaurant August
        4.) Stella! (many will say, "hey, it's not NOLA cuisine," but it's really good.)

        Enjoy and travel safely,

        Hunt

      2. Some of my stock answers:

        Lunch at Commander's Palace for sure. soup + entree + 2 martinis can be had for under $20 (it's cheap but you still need to dress up; you'll be glad you did)

        BBQ Shrimp at Mr. B's Bistro. Have it for lunch or split a dinner portion at the bar. Also, at lunch there's a nice $1.50 cocktail menu

        Central Grocery for a muffaletta (and since you're driving, take a big jar of their olive salad or Boscoli olive salad from Rouse's home with you)

        Cheap, local, rockin' brunch: The Lil Dizzy's in Treme. I believe the brunch was $15 and was fantastic. It's BYOB so get a couple of cheap bottles of champagne and have them mix you up some mimosas.

        1. Go to our fine dining restos. for lunch. Emeril's 3 courses $19.50 m-f, August, 3 courses $20.09, m-f, Cuvee 3 courses $25. Riomar or Rambla for tapas.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JazzyB

            Thanks for the ideas!

          2. Try Domenica, Luke, Cochon, Boucherie. And then go to the more upscale places for lunch.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              The bombay club in the Prince conti hotel in the quarter is pretty nice check it out too good food and the ultimate martini bar

              1. re: joedontexan

                oooh martinis! we will definitely give it a try

            2. I had lunch last week, with five others, at Bayona, and it was better than ever. Lunch here provides a opportunity to eat fabulous food on a budget. Everyone raved--and it is very reasonable. Our entrees ranged between $14 and $17. I had a wonderful salad and a delicious rabbit/chanterelle pasta ($19 total). I think they're even open on Saturday for lunch.