New Orleans is a city where the best food is served on the cheap. Check out our favorite cheap eats New Orleans.
It goes without saying that a diner can eat well in New Orleans. A visitor (or a native) could easily spend a large wad of cash on restaurants like Commander’s Palace, August or Herbsaint, and there’s no doubt that these eateries serve excellent, world-class meals.
Head to a dive bar, a sandwich stand or a luncheonette and you’re likely to find the kind of food that made NOLA famous: Poor Boys, Gumbo, Fried Chicken, Jambalaya and Muffalettas. Plus, going for some cheap eats in New Orleans means more money on a nice hotel or an Air B&B room close to the action.
Hotel Tip: We’ve recommend staying at reasonable Hotel St. Pierre right on the edge of the French Quarter for its charm and convenience. Click here to find the best rate for the Hotel St. Pierre.
Cheap Eats New Orleans
So grab a drink (with legs of course) and travel with us as we reveal our ten favorite cheap eats New Orleans.
1. Cafe Du Monde
Our obligatory first stop in New Orleans is always at Cafe Du Monde. And why not? This popular French Quarter coffee shop is open 364 days on a 24/7 basis, only closing for Christmas and the occasional hurricane. Frying beignets since 1862, Cafe Du Monde is a legend that lives up to its reputation.
The limited menu features beignets, coffee (regular and chicory), milk, orange juice and soft drinks. Even with so few options, the line is often quite long. Don’t be afraid since the line moves quickly. Trust us and not your cardiologist – it’s worth the wait when the end result is a plate of fried dough generously smothered in mountains of powdered sugar.
Tasting Tip: Order your coffee “Au Lait” style with steamed milk and be sure to specify chicory when you order. A chicory Cafe Au Lait is the perfect complement to the doughy, sweet beignets.
Cafe Du Monde is located at 800 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.
2. Parkway Bakery
Parkway Bakery is another necessary stop for us whenever we are in New Orleans. It’s easy to get to this Mid-City institution by cab or streetcar. To us, Parkway is worth the extra distance since, in our opinion, this is the best poor boy in New Orleans.
Parkway’s poor boys are a must, especially for the roast beef, but don’t stop there. We always order a side of debris fries and bread pudding for dessert. The debris fries, smothered with roast beef gravy with large strands of brisket that could have been cooked by a Louisiana grandmother, are a meal all by themselves. As for the bread pudding with rum sauce, let’s just say that it’s the best dessert we’ve ever eaten served in a french fry boat. Also, be sure to look for the oyster poor boy, served only on Monday’s and Wednesdays.
Tasting Tip: Skip the line and order your food right at the bar. The up-front bar features Abita beer on tap. Then again, you may prefer a spicy Bloody Mary (or two) depending on your mood.
Parkway Bakery is located at 538 Hagan Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States.
3. Coop’s Place
Dingy and dark, the well-worn Coop’s Place looks more like a dive bar than a restaurant serving up damn good food. As it turns out, Coop’s Place is both. Aside from their kick ass fried chicken and jambalaya, the other draw to Coop’s is the busy cheek to jowl atmosphere. It’s fun to watch servers like Stephanie Turnbull ‘work the room’ as they expertly referee the crowds.
Yes, like nearby Cafe Du Monde, there’s often a line to get into Coop’s Place, but it’s well worth the wait. The reason is cheap Cajun food that tastes like the soul of New Orleans. The atmosphere is far from fancy, and the service can be surly if you sport an attitude. But who cares when the food is this good.
Tasting Tip: Coop’s Place attracts large crowds at prime time hours. If that’s not your thing, go for a cheap lunch and enjoy the second best (See Willie Mae’s below) fried chicken in the city. Or, even better, stop by for nightcap of your favorite beverage with a side of their amazing jambalaya.
Coop’s Place is located at 1109 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70016, United States.
4. Cochon Butcher
Sometimes we want a full-on meal experience like we ate at Cochon during our first trip to New Orleans together in 2010. Usually though, we prefer great food served in a casual setting at a reasonable price. That’s why we love Cochon Butcher.
Sharing a kitchen with its similarly named big brother in the Warehouse District, Cochon Butcher is a cross between a local deli and an artisan cafe. We love perusing the different kinds of ‘cochon’ (pork) before we order our sandwiches and sides at the counter. We also love eating their modern versions of traditional sandwiches like the gussied up muffaletta and the grilled BLT with butcher bacon (cut from the shoulder), not to mention the satisfying sides like mac and cheese and brussels sprouts.
Tasting Tip: Go early or late for lunch to avoid the lunch rush since Cochon Butcher is rightfully crowded with locals and conventioneers. Get a seat at one of the high top tables. Better yet, go in the evening and splurge on a nice glass of wine to go with Cochon’s charcuterie plate.
Cochon Butcher is located at 930 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States.
5. Port of Call
Located on the edge of the French Quarter, Port of Call has been slinging out top quality burgers and baked potatoes for years. In fact, they’ve been in the burger business since the 1960s. The burgers are serious business – each starting out with a half pound of ground beef – and served with a big baked potato. Splurge a few bucks to get cheese and mushrooms added. The unmelted cheese and wine-sautéed mushrooms meld together to create a unique burger experience.
The joint may not be fancy, and there’s often a line to be seated. Hang in there though, as it’s worth the wait for this reasonable meal that will satisfy your taste buds while filling your stomach.
Tasting Tip: Do not drive to Port of Call if you plan to drink their cocktails. The Neptune Monsoon, a close relative to the infamous hurricane, is particularly potent.
Port of Call is located at 838 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.
6. Dat Dog
Shopping on Magazine Street can use up a lot of energy, and that’s where Dat Dog steps in. This colorfully decorated hot dog shop serves a full menu of crazy hot dogs like the crawfish etouffee dog and the bacon werewolf. Sides are equally inventive, plus there’s a full bar with craft beers and specialty cocktails.
Hot dogs can be a guilty pleasure, but there’s no guilt here with the fresh ingredients. If you must, there are vegetarian options available.
Tasting Tip: If ordering off of a menu isn’t your thing, Dat Dog offers over 30 toppings that you can mix and match to create your own hot dog masterpiece. Go for it!
Dat Dog has several locations. We ate at 336 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 in the Garden District, United States.
7. Blue Dot Donuts
As much as we love beignets, sometimes we want to get our sugar fix in a different way. That’s how we found Blue Dot Donuts in the Mid-City neighborhood. Opened and owned by expert, donut eating police officers, Blue Dot serves all kinds of donuts from simple yeast, buttermilk and cake versions to fancy varieties like maple bacon bars.
The donuts are very reasonably priced. Buy a dozen so that you can enjoy them in the room after an inevitable night of New Orleans imbibing.
Tasting Tip: Be sure to order at least one red velvet donut. We tried several flavors, and that was our favorite.
Blue Dot Donuts is located at 4301 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States.
Let’s face it – New Orleans is a wonderful yet crazy city. When you want or need a break from the craziness, Sucré provides a delightful respite right in the heart of the French Quarter. The downstairs cafe serves coffee, tea and expert pastry chef Tariq Hanna’s world-class pastries including the Banana Cream Canned Pie, Eclairs and a wide assortment of Macarons. Using Modbar machines and locally roasted beans from Orleans Coffee Roasters, the baristas make perfect coffee drinks ranging from pour-overs to cappuccinos. The teas are truly lovely with flavors like Scarlet Glow – a rich red infusion of fruit, hibiscus and linden flowers.
Sucré means sweet in French. This little shop lives up to the name with both their desserts and pleasant service.
Tasting Tip: Buy some extra treats from the on-site retail store. There is no more perfect souvenir to buy for your friends (or yourself!) as a memory of your sweet time in New Orleans.
Sucré has multiple locations. We ate at the French Quarter location at 622 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States.
Of all the neighborhoods in New Orleans, Bywater is the neighborhood we would probably live in, and Bacchanal is the backyard party we would go to if we wanted a neighborhood night out. This funky bi-level emporium serves a full menu which can be eaten either upstairs or in the backyard with live music. The menu offers everything from pastas to whole fish. A Big Plus: Bacchanal’s BYOB policy and in-house wine shop make the restaurant one of the best bargains for a night out in the Big Easy.
Seriously, how awesome is that?
Tasting Tip: In addition to wine, Bacchanal’s wine shop also features a comprehensive cheese selection which means, for a nominal amount, you can enjoy wine, cheese… and jazz under the stars!
Bacchanal is located at 600 Poland Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117, United States.
10. Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Willie Mae’s Scotch House is serving up the best fried chicken in New Orleans, if not the country. The menu describes the fried chicken as “America’s Best…” and accolades from the likes of James Beard, Anthony Bourdain and the 2foodtrippers prove that point.
Located in the historic Tremé neighborhood, Willie Mae’s is authentic to the neighborhood, city and owners. Crispy and slightly salty on the outside yet explosively moist and juicy on the inside, the made-to-order fried chicken is not to be missed. There are other things on the menu, but why bother. Get the chicken platter for $11 and pick out a side or two like the amazing red beans and rice on Mondays. Spend an additional buck for all white meat if you must, then sit back and enjoy the ultimate fried chicken experience – one of the true ‘cheap eats’ of New Orleans and one the best eats in the country.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House is located at 2401 St Ann Street, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States.