New Orleans is rich in flavorful food, colorful music, and a unique culture, but you need not be rich to experience the best of the city. For this installment of NOLA on $50, we decided to focus on supporting Black-owned businesses. Check out the itinerary below for all the food we ate, attractions we visited, and things we did on $50 a day in New Orleans at Black-owned businesses.
*Editor’s Note: Totals for all food and beverage purchases include tax and a roughly 18-20% gratuity. Please always remember to tip your servers + musicians.
Start your day at Backatown Coffee Parlour located on the edge of the French Quarter. This cozy shop offers plenty of pastries and savory items as well as coffee and tea for kicking off a busy day supporting Black-owned businesses. We got the Crawfish Quiche and a small coffee with milk, which ended up being $8.61 with tax and tip.
Next, take a quick walk to Armstrong Park. The 32-acre park is a highlight of the Tremé neighborhood and home to Congo Square, a gathering space for the enslaved and free people of color centuries ago. Filled with statues of musical legends and historical markers, the park is also home to many festivals throughout the year, including the Congo Square Rhythms Festival (March), the Tremé Creole Gumbo Fest (March), and Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Fest (June). You may even catch a drumming circle if you visit on Sunday afternoons. Take a stroll to take in the history of New Orleans.
Just a short jaunt from Armstrong Park is Lil’ Dizzy’s, the perfect place to grab lunch. Lil’ Dizzy’s has been around for decades, and the 73-year history almost came to an end when Wayne Baquet, Sr. decided to retire. But his son and daughter-in-law stepped in, and the gumbo and fried chicken were saved. You can choose from either on their menu – both are $8.99 – but we went with the fried chicken. Our total with tax and tip was $11.91.
Next, we hopped on the bus one way for $1.25 cash (or purchase a day pass for $3). You can also rent a Blue Bike for cheap and take a ride down Esplanade Avenue depending on the weather. Our next stop is Studio BE.
Studio BE is the brainchild of local artist Brandan “B-mike” Odums, and it’s something that everyone should see. The 35,000 square foot warehouse features his works plus the works of local youth in a space dedicated to showcasing Black art. Large-scale paintings, murals, and mixed media are highlights of the exhibits. Book your advanced ticket online for $15.
It’s time for an early dinner, so next we headed to St. Roch Market for local Black-owned vendor Hype Eatz. Enjoy Caribbean food favorites like redfish curry, doubles, and jerk chicken. We ordered the jerk redfish tacos, which were deliciously spicy bites for $15.60.
Although not included in the price breakdown of the day, if you're more inclined to move your body to some music instead, your ending location puts you very close to a number of Black-owned music clubs, including Kermit’s Tremé Mother-In-Law Lounge or NOLA Art Bar, where you can find everything from live music to burlesque nights. Check with individual venues to see what's on the schedule and ticket prices. And always, always remember to tip your musicians and entertainers.
For a day supporting Black-owned businesses in New Orleans, there are endless options. Check out our page on Black-owned businesses here and create your own personalized itinerary.
Final Price Breakdown
Lil’ Dizzy’s ($11.91)
Bus Fare ($1.25)
Studio BE ($15)
Hype Eatz ($15.60)