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. In fact, for just $50 a day you can soak up the magic of New Orleans. Stay cool and stay on budget this summer with our guide to New Orleans below.
*Editor’s Note: Totals for all food and beverage purchases include tax and roughly 18-20% gratuity. Please always remember to tip your servers and musicians.
**Disclaimer: prices may have increased since we first published this in 2022.
NOLA on $50: Summer Edition
Before heading out the door, secure a Jazzy Pass online for $3. This all-day public transportation pass will get you unlimited rides on buses, streetcars, and ferries in New Orleans. Purchase your Jazzy Pass here.
Start your day at French Truck on Poydras Street. A biscuit sandwich with egg and cheese plus drip coffee with tax and tip will run you about $11 and keep you full until lunchtime.
Next, take a brisk walk to Sazerac House, one of New Orleans’ best museums that also happens to have free admission. With three floors of cocktail history, Sazerac House takes you on an interactive journey with samples along the way. Cutting-edge, immersive technology allows guests to take a seat at a simulation of the original Sazerac House cafe tables, chat with virtual New Orleans bartenders about their signature drink recipes, and learn how to build drinks from the famous Mr. Boston guide, based on their favorite flavor profiles.
Sazerac House is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and welcomes guests of all ages, although those under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years or older. You’ll want to make your reservation in advance.
With lunchtime nearing, hop on the streetcar and head towards Uptown. During your ride, take in the scenic St. Charles Avenue views and admire architectural gems without doing any walking. You’ll want to hop off at the Louisiana Avenue stop.
Head towards Magazine Street and turn left once you reach it. Enjoy lunch at Empanola. We’re getting The Perfect Meal, which comes with two empanadas of your choice plus a soup or side salad. With crawfish étouffée and yellow curry empanadas, the total is $16.46.
Go ahead and window shop along Magazine Street afterwards. Though we don’t have any money to spend at the shops today, you can always earmark your finds for later (or decide to splurge!).
Next, you can choose your own adventure and go for a swim at the New Orleans Recreation Department Whitney Young pool or check out Newcomb Art Museum at Tulane. For the pool, board city bus #11 at Magazine and Aline and get off at Magazine and Oak Mall. For the museum, walk back to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line and get off at the Tulane University stop. Whichever you choose, both activities are free and will keep you cool.
Hop back on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar and get off at S. Carrollton and Birch. You’re headed towards Bourrée for a chicken sando and frozen drinks. The spicy chicken sandwich is a tasty yet cheap option at only $8. Don’t forget about seasonal, house-made frozen daiquiris with flavors like hurricane, dreamsicle, and gin & tonic. Grab a small for $8.85, bringing your dinner total to $19.70. With a large outdoor space for eating, Bourrée is the perfect last stop for a day well spent in NOLA.
Final price breakdown
Jazzy Pass ($3): $47 remaining
French Truck ($10.84): $36.16 remaining
Sazerac House ($0): $36.16 remaining
Empanola ($16.46): $19.70 remaining
Newcomb Art Museum/ Whitney Young Pool ($0): $19.70 remaining
Bourrée ($19.70): $0.00 remaining