There’s no denying that dining out while on vacation can certainly get expensive quick. But when you’re in a new city (or revisiting an old favorite), you want to make sure you get to taste as much of the local flavor as you possibly can. And while there are certainly tons of restaurants worth splurging on in New Orleans, and a number of must-try dishes at every end of the cost spectrum, it’s also refreshing to know that you can indulge in delicious meals without breaking the bank.
From breakfast to dinner, and from casual eateries to can’t-miss dining deals at some of the city’s most well-known (and typically pricey) dining institutions, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite low-cost meals across New Orleans.
Whether you’re looking for something healthy (good cat) or looking to indulge (bad cat), there is something on Bearcat’s menu for any mood. The Biscuit Sandwich is a steal. It comes with egg, cheese, bison sausage or bacon for $5. You can even add hot chicken for an additional $3. Wash it down with a coffee and you can still get a full breakfast for under $10 before exploring Freret Street Uptown, or visit their Central Business District location.
Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar is a New Orleans favorite for a casual bite. Their fresh juices are excellent, along with other great healthy options, but the Surrey’s Egg Plate takes the lead for a deal. For $8, you get the breakfast classics: two eggs any style, grits or home fries, and toast or a biscuit. They have two locations on Magazine Street.
If you’re looking for a cozy neighborhood atmosphere and some of the best Mediterranean food in NOLA, look no further than 1000 Figs. The falafel sandwich will make you feel as though you are watching a Mediterranean sunset, and it’s only $6.50. The warm, fluffy pita stuffed with red cabbage, tahini, pickled vegetables and spices is a perfect combination of flavors. An extra pro tip: get a group of friends and split the Falafel Feast for $38 that comes with flatbread and all of the yummy toppings and dips they have to offer - it easily feeds four people, coming in at just under $10 a person.
It wouldn’t be a New Orleans food list if there wasn’t some seafood somewhere on it. Superior’s oyster happy hour is one of the best in the city, featuring 75 cent oysters every single day from 4-6:30 p.m. The happy hour also includes large-for-the-price-of-small frozen drinks. You can also grab a $12 plate of crawfish mac’n’cheese off their non-happy hour menu to round out your meal. Bonus: Superior Seafood is located right along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, so you can factor that $1.25 fare into a very affordable late afternoon snacking session.
Transport yourself to Germany in this biergarten and restaurant. Choose one of their many sandwiches for under $10 or a giant pretzel and dip for $7.50. If the weather is nice, the beer garden is great for a casual day with friends in a European setting.
Take your taco night to the extreme at The Rum House. Exceptional salads, a plethora of dips, and mouthwatering tacos, Rum House is not only the perfect spot for a fun night, but it also has a huge selection of cheap eats. Two favorites are the Duck Duck Goose Taco for $5.25 and the Creole Rib Tao for $4.95.
This classic New Orleans landmark attracts diners from near and far, but don’t let the heavy menu and fancy facade scare you away. Check out their lunch special, which is one of the best fine-dining deals in the city. For $20, enjoy the Parade Route Po-Boy with your choice of soup or salad. Sink your teeth into crispy Gulf shrimp doused in a sticky hot sauce between two slices of fresh French bread. Even better, they offer 25-cent martinis during weekday lunches.
Authentic Creole food will be devoured at this Mid-City hotspot. Get a three course meal for under $25. A truly New Orleans meal would include: a cup of file gumbo ($6.75), hot sausage po-boy ($10.25) and beignet sticks ($6.50). For just $23.50, you can officially say you’ve tried the local New Orleans food.
You can’t go to the South without finding some sort of barbecue to stuff yourself with. The Joint keeps its Bywater charm with the local art-filled walls and offers a full meal that will leave you unbuttoning your pants for $8. The pulled pork sandwich comes on either white bread or a bun and is accompanied by one side. Make sure to save some time after this one for a food coma rest.
The ice cream store of everyone’s dreams, The Creole Creamery frequently has lines out the door. With classic flavors such as Cookie Monster and chocolate chip or more eccentric ones including Lavender Honey (a local fave) and the seasonal White Chocolate Truffled Popcorn, a small scoop is only $3.75 cash. But, with over 40 fresh flavors to choose from, actually settling for one becomes hard. Get a double for just $7.
It can’t be a cheap eats list without adding in the beloved Camellia Grill. Whether it’s breakfast, dinner, or a late-night snack, Camellia Grill has something for any time of the day for any person. Live your diner fantasy while watching all of the food being made and order a few different items for under $10. The legendary mac & cheese bites for $6 are served with six bites and make the perfect appetizer for a meal of a $9.99 cheeseburger. Their chocolate pecan pie is a must for $4.99.
Pagoda Café’s menu may be short, but it’s nonetheless delicious. Enjoy $3 breakfast tacos, $2.50 Banana Nutella bread and $5 mango chia pudding, among other savory and sweet pastries. Enjoy these low-price offerings, plus coffee, tea and specialty drinks.
Here Today may be a new restaurant, but their fried chicken sandwich has been a local’s favorite for years since their sister restaurant Coquette started doing their famed fried chicken dinners. It’s a fried thigh on a Martin’s potato roll with turnip ravigote, special sauce and Napa cabbage—could we ask for anything more for just $7? Scoop up your order today.
Addis NOLA is a local favorite for traditional Ethiopian dishes. In addition to eating authentic dishes, you can indulge for a low price. Enjoy vegetarian red lentils for $9.99, chicken tibs for $11.99, and the fish salad also for $9.99.