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23 Best Cheap Eats in New Orleans (2021)

New Orleans is a city where the best food is served on the cheap. Check out our favorite spots for the best cheap eats New Orleans style.

Jambalaya at Coop's Place in New Orleans - The Ultimate Cheap New Orleans Dish

It goes without saying that a diner can eat well during any New Orleans itinerary whether it’s for two days or as long as one week. New Orleans isn’t just one of the best food cities in America – it’s one of the best food cities in the entire world.

Visitors (and natives) could easily spend a large wad of cash on some of the best restaurants in New Orleans like Commander’s Palace. There’s no arguing that the top New Orleans restaurants serve excellent world-class meals.

Muffaletta at Central Grocery in New Orleans
The Muffaletta at Central Grocery is one of the best cheap eats in the French Quarter. We shared half of this loaded sandwich as a snack and couldn’t finish it all.

However, it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to experience some of the best food in New Orleans and the city’s tastiest drinks. Eating may be one of the most fun things to do in New Orleans, but the food of New Orleans doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg.

Like many cities, New Orleans has a range of restaurants at all different price points. However, many of the best inexpensive restaurants in New Orleans are also some of the most popular in New Orleans.

Inside Camellia Grill in New Orleans
Inexpensive lunch counter restaurants like The Camellia Grill are fun spots to eat with locals in New Orleans.

In fact, inexpensive restaurants represent some of the best restaurants in New Orleans period.

Savvy diners can head to dive bars, sandwich stands and luncheonettes to find the best New Orleans cheap eats that made NOLA famous: Po Boys, Gumbo, Fried Chicken, Jambalaya and Muffalettas. Plus, eating at some the best cheap restaurants in New Orleans means more money for a nice hotel room or apartment close to the action.

Our Favorite Cheap Eats in New Orleans

Po Boy Lunch at Domelises in New Orleans
Po Boys are both cheap and filling. We paired this shrimp po boy with a beer (and additional condiments) at Domilise’s Po-Boy and Bar.

When you make the effort to eat at the best affordable restaurants in New Orleans, you won’t feel bad about eating in New Orleans on a budget.

Grab a drink (with legs of course) and travel with us as we reveal our favorite cheap places to eat in New Orleans. These spots all offer great options for under $20 a person and, in our opinion, provide the best options when you want to eat in New Orleans on a budget:

1. Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Tables at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans
You don’t have to look hard to find the original Café du Monde. The open air cafe is located on Decatur St. in the heart of the French Quarter.

Our obligatory first stop in New Orleans is always Café Du Monde in the French Quarter. And why not?

This popular coffee shop is open 364 days on a 24/7 basis, only closing for Christmas and the occasional hurricane. Frying beignets since 1862, Café Du Monde is a legend that lives up to its reputation as one of the best inexpensive places to eat in New Orleans.

Discover 100 more of the best desserts around the world.

Chicory Coffee and Beignets at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans
Beignets, topped with a generous amount of powder sugar and paired with Chicory Coffee at Café du Monde, are one of the best breakfasts in New Orleans to eat on the go.

Café du Monde’s limited menu features beignets, coffee (regular and chicory), milk, orange juice and soft drinks. Even with so few options, the queue is often quite long. But don’t be afraid. 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.

Pro Tip
Order your coffee “Au Lait” style with steamed milk and be sure to specify chicory when you place your order. A chicory Cafe Au Lait is the perfect complement to doughy, sweet beignets.

The original Cafe Du Monde is located at 800 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.

2. Fried Chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House

Willie Mae's Scotch House Dining Room
Many say that the fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House is the best in the country. We agree as do the crowds who fill the restaurant’s two causal dining rooms for lunch each day.

Willie Mae’s Scotch House is serving up the most famous fried chicken in New Orleans, if not the country.

The restaurant’s menu describes its fried chicken as “America’s Best…” and accolades from the likes of James Beard and the late Anthony Bourdain prove that point. If you want to eat the best lunch in New Orleans, you need to add the fried chicken at Willie Mae’s to your New Orleans eating plan.

Read about our Willie Mae’s Scotch House lunch experiences.

Fried Chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House
After several years, we almost forgot how good the Fried Chicken tastes at Willie Mae’s Scotch House. We remembered after just one bite when we returned to the iconic Tremé eatery in 2021.

Located in historic Tremé, about a 20 minute walk or a short cab/uber ride from the French quarter, Willie Mae’s is authentic to its neighborhood, city and owners. Crispy, spicy and slightly salty on the outside yet super moist and juicy on the inside, this made-to-order fried chicken is not to be missed.

Willie Mae has other things on the menu, but why bother. Get the fried chicken platter and pick out a side like amazing red beans and rice or comforting mac and cheese. Order an additional side if you’re extra hungry. Then sit back and enjoy the ultimate fried chicken experience – one of our favorite cheap eats in New Orleans and one of favorites foods in the world.

Pro Tip
Plan your lunch at Willie Mae’s on a weekday to avoid the longest lines. That being said, this fried chicken is well worth the inevitable wait. Also, you’ll want to arrive as early as possible to guarantee entry. The restaurant closed the line about 15 minutes before closing time during our most recent visit.

Willie Mae’s Scotch House is located at 2401 St Ann Street, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States.

3. Breakfast at French Toast

Inside French Toast in New Orleans
Despite its French Quarter location, French Toast looks like a million diners in America.

Toast has a few locations in New Orleans. However, only the French Quarter location is called French Toast and this is the one we recommend.

More than just a clever name, French Toast is a great breakfast option for those times when you want to start your day with more than beignets in the French Quarter. This restaurant’s combination of great food, friendly service and fair prices is a winner.

King Cake French Toast in New Orleans
Eating French Toast’s King Cake French Toast is a colorful way to celebrate Mardi Gras any morning of the year.

French Toast serves a range of breakfast favorites including waffles and crepes as well as omelettes and other egg dishes. However, it’s be hard to beat the restaurant’s signature King Cake French Toast. Stuffed with gooey cinnamon cream cheese and topped with Mardi Gras sprinkles, it’s a literal party on a plate.

Pro Tip
Try French Toast’s Ebelskivers if you’re feeling cosmopolitan. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, these little Danish pancakes are similar to Dutch Poffertjes in Amsterdam.

French Toast is located at 1035 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.

4. Breakfast, Lunch and Cake at Bywater Bakery

Bywater Bakery in New Orleans
Open since 2017, Bywater Bakery feels like it’s been on this Bywater corner for decades.

Bywater Bakery justifies a morning trip to the funky Bywater neighborhood for its menu filled with breakfast joy, lunch happiness and cake love. Seriously, these are the categories on the Bywater Bakery menu. We experienced all three during our late morning (or was it early afternoon?) visit at the popular cafe.

Open since 2017 and managed by married owners Chef Chaya Conrad and Alton Osborne, Bywater Bakery has become a community hub. It’s also a destination for New Orleans foodies with an appreciation for tasty cheap eats and culture.

Yakamein at Bywater Bakery in New Orleans
Sharing this cup of Yaka Mein and a Cubano sandwich enabled us to save room for dessert.

Some trek to Bywater Bakery to eat morning dishes like Breakfast Gumbo and Tofu Scramble. Others linger over soup and sandwiches for lunch – but not just any soup and sandwiches. We’re talking about flavorful Cubanos, meaty Muffalettas and bowls of Yaka Mein.

If you’re not familiar with Yaka Mein, it’s a savory New Orleans beef noodle soup that doubles as a hangover cure. Bywater Bakery is a great spot to try Yaka Mein if you like eating soups around the world as much as we do.

Pro Tip
Head to Bywater Bakery for King Cake during the spring season. The cafe is famous for its version of the colorful Mardi Gras cake.

Bywater Bakery is located at 3624 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, LA 70117, United States.

5. Cajun Food at Coop’s Place

Coop's Place in New Orleans
Server Stephanie Turnbull keeps Coop’s Place going as she deftly handles the never-ending crowds while serving some of the best Cajun food in the French Quarter.

Dingy and dark, the well-worn Coop’s Place looks more like a dive bar than a restaurant serving up good food. As it turns out, Coop’s Place is both.

Aside from its crispy fried chicken and some of the best jambalaya in New Orleans, the other draw to Coop’s is the busy cheek to jowl atmosphere. It’s fun to watch servers ‘work the room’ as they expertly referee the crowds while serving some of the best cheap food in New Orleans.

Discover more of the best fried chicken in America and beyond.

Fried Chicken at Coops in New Orleans
The Fried Chicken at Coop’s Place is GBD. It’s a great choice unless you’d rather eat a bowl of Jambalaya like the one featured at the top of this article.

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 that Coops serves some of the best cheap Cajun food in 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?

Pro Tip
Coop’s Place attracts large evening crowds seeking liquid libations and cheap eats in the French Quarter. If crowds aren’t your thing, go for a cheap lunch instead. Or, even better, stop by for a nightcap of your favorite adult beverage with a side of amazing jambalaya.

Coop’s Place is located at 1109 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70016, United States.

Po Boys All Over the City

Shrimp Po Boy at Domelises in New Orleans
Go to any corner of New Orleans and you’ll find Po Boys. The shrimp Po Boy at Domilise’s is loaded with golden breaded fried shrimp.

New Orleans has not just one but two signature sandwiches – the Po Boy and the Muffaletta. However, between the two, the Po Boy gets our vote for the best sandwich in New Orleans.

Similar to a Philadelphia Hoagie, New York Hero or Boston Grinder, a New Orleans Po-Boy is a long sandwich that’s big enough to be a meal. (Interestingly, the four sandwiches share a common Italian American lineage.) The NOLA sandwich differentiates itself with its Leidenheimer roll (a must!) and proteins like shrimp and oysters in addition to roast beef.

→ After you eat a Po Boy, explore 29 more iconic American food favorites you need to eat at least once in your life.

A savvy cheap eats traveler could easily eat at a different Po Boy shop every day for a week or two without much effort. We suggest starting at the following Po Boy shops:

6. Parkway Bakery & Tavern

Oyster Po Boy at Parkway Tavern in New Orleans
Only available on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the fresh oysters in Parkway Tavern’s Po Boys are seasoned with garlic and cayenne pepper and then served in classic style on Leidenheimer’s bread.

Like many of the best New Orleans Po Boy shops, Parkway Bakery & Tavern is located slightly off the beaten track. However, it’s worth the extra effort to travel to this Mid-City institution by cab/uber or streetcar (Canal St #48).

We always order a side of debris fries and bread pudding for dessert when we dine at Parkway. The debris fries, smothered with roast beef gravy with large strands of brisket that could have been cooked by a Louisiana grandmother, could be 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 po boy, served only on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Pro 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 & Tavern is located at 538 Hagan Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States.

7. Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar

Po Boy at Domelises in New Orleans
Our loaded Shrimp Po Boy literally runneth at Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar.

People flock to Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar. The local institution has unique corner bar charm with its worn floor tiles, wood paneling and black vinyl barstools. This shop distinguishes itself from the pack by serving great Po-Boys. During our visit, the friendly service crew made us feel welcome.

Owned by the Domilise family for more than a century, the down and dirty Po Boy shop excels at making sandwiches filled with roast beef and seafood and even meatballs. Hamburgers and hot dogs are also on the menu and, while they may be good, they’re not the thing to order here.

Instead, belly up to the bar and order a crisp beer and a Po Boy generously loaded with fried shrimp. The small ones are big enough to share but we won’t judge you if you splurge and order a large and eat it all by yourself. Either way, you’ll still be in cheap eats territory.

Pro Tip
Order a Surf and Turf Po Boy, which combines roast beef with shrimp, if you’re feeling ambiguous about the two protein options.

Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar is located at 5240 Annunciation Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, United States.

8. Liuzza’s by the Track

Po Boy at Liuzzas by the Track in New Orleans
We used utensils to eat this BBQ Shrimp Po Boy at Liuzza’s by the Track.

Liuzza’s by the Track is more than ‘just’ a Po Boy shop located near the Fairgrounds Race Course. With a full bar as well as a menu that features burgers, salads and a full range of seafood plates, it’s more of a neighborhood restaurant. However, despite its varied menu, Liuzza’s signature dish is its BBQ Shrimp Po Boy Po Boy.

The dish is a show stopper with its mass of sautéed fresh shrimp stuffed into a French bread pistolette. Tangy barbecue sauce completes the dish and makes utensils a must.

Pro Tip
Don’t miss eating at Liuzza’s by the Track if you attend Jazz Fest at the Fairgrounds. Also, don’t miss eating at Liuzza’s by the Track if you don’t attend Jazz Fest at the Fairgrounds

Liuzza’s by the Track is located at 1518 N Lopez Street, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States.

9. Killer PoBoys

Po Boy at Killer PoBoys in New Orleans
Not your typical Po Boy, this Killer Po Boy was loaded with rum & ginger glazed pork belly, lime cabbage slaw and garlic aioli.

Bucking the Po Boy trend, Killer PoBoys is located in the center of the tourist zone. In fact, Killer has two Po Boy shops in the French Quarter.

Whether you eat at the original ‘little’ Killer in the Erin Rose bar or in the bigger stand-alone eatery, expect eclectic, hipster toppings like roasted cauliflower, glazed pork belly and pimento cheese. Don’t worry if you want to keep your meal classic. Killer serves a Shrimp Po Boy too, albeit with hipster toppings like daikon radish and sriracha aioli.

Pro Tip
Feel free to order tasty sides like Smothered Greens and Spicy Potato Salad. The additions won’t bust your budget.

Killer PoBoys is located at 219 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States.

10. Diner Dishes and Dessert at The Camellia Grill

Chili Omelette at Camellia Grill in New Orleans
Served with crispy hash browns, this Chili Omelette was almost perfect. All that was missing was a splash of Tabasco (which we gladly added).

Some days we want to eat breakfast food in the morning and other days we want to eat it at night. Then there are the days that we’d rather eat a burger or Po Boy instead. As for dessert, we pretty much want to eat that whenever the opportunity arises .

The Camellia Grill has us covered for all of these times with its menu filled with comforting diner dishes and decadent deserts. And the best part is that omelettes, waffles and pancakes are available all day every day here.

Grilled Pecan Pie at Camellia Grill in New Orleans
Whoever decided to grill The Camellia Grill’s Pecan Pie was a genius. Doing this simple act makes the great dessert even greater.

Open since 1946, The Camellia Grill isn’t fancy or trendy. Food here, like the Chili Omelette and Grilled Pecan Pie that we ate during are most recent meal, is solid and straightforward. It’s also cheap and tasty – two of our favorite attributes when it comes to food when we travel.

After more than a half-century of indoor dining only, The Camellia Grill has added outdoor dining for those who want to dine alfresco. We recommend doing this and also ordering an Orange Freeze with two scoops of ice cream unless you’d rather order a different flavor like chocolate, cherry or oreo.

Pro Tip
Take the St. Charles street car from Canal Street to The Camellia Grill’s Uptown location. It’s practically a door-to-door ride.

The Camellia Grill is located at 626 S Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118, United States.

Muffalettas at Central Grocery and Napoleon House

Muffaletta at Central Grocery in New Orleans
Eating a Muffaletta in New Orleans is a must for frugal food travelers in New Orleans.

We mentioned that Po Boy is our favorite NOLA sandwich but don’t get us wrong. We also like Muffalettas when we want to eat cheap in New Orleans.

Dating back to 1906, the Muffaletta channels Sicily with its round ciabatta-like bread. The Italian immigrants who introduced it also deli meat (salami, ham and mortadella), cheese (Swiss and provolone) and marinated olive salad.

Discover 21 of the best sandwiches in America.

If you want to eat the best Muffaletta in New Orleans, we recommend trying both of the following two spots as well as the artisan version at Cochon Butcher listed below:

11. Central Grocery & Deli

Inside Central Grocery in New Orleans
Central Grocery & Deli gets credit for inventing the Muffaletta to New Orleans. It’s a great spot to order and eat the round New Orleans sandwich. The Italian emporium also has a surprising selection of imported Italian specialties

Salvatore Lupo changed the New Orleans food scene when he brought his Sicilian heritage to the table and started selling his meaty round sandwich at Central Grocery in the French Quarter. His descendants continue to sell Muffalettas at the same small food store more than a century later.

It would be wrong to not try a Muffaletta here since it’s the alpha though you may want to order a half sandwich. Not only will this ordering approach keep your cost under $20, but be aware that the full sandwich is huge. We only managed to eat half of our half sandwich as a mid-afternoon snack.

Pro Tip
Despite its touristic French Quarter location, Central Grocery sells a surprising selection of imported Italian pastas, olive oils and regional specialties. Buy a jar of the shop’s olive salad so that you can recreate the Muffaletta at home.

Central Grocery & Deli is located at 923 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.

12. Napoleon House

Muffaletta at Napoleon House in New Orleans
Napoleon House serves a hot Muffaletta with melted cheese and toasted bread.

Napoleon House is an anomaly. Located in a building with more than two centuries of history before it became part of the Brennan portfolio, the dimly lit bar specializes in two specific items – Pimm’s Cup cocktails and Muffaletta sandwiches. We recommend ordering both when you stop in the French Quarter watering hole for a mid-day break.

While Napoleon House didn’t invent the Muffaletta, it took the sandwich to the next level by serving it warm. This extra step sounds simple but it’s a game changer for those who like their cheese melty and their bread crunchy. Plus, as a bonus, solo diners can save calories and dollars by ordering a quarter-sized sandwich here.

Pro Tip
Check our upcoming New Orleans drinks guide to learn more about the Pimm’s Cup cocktail.

Napoleon House is located at 500 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States.

13. Lunch at Cochon Butcher

Muffaletta Lunch at Cochon in New Orleans
This lunch of two sandwiches and two sides was more than enough to satisfy us at Cochon Butcher. Pictured here are the restaurant’s Buckboard Bacon Melt and Muffaletta sandwiches plus Marinated Brussel Sprouts and Mac & Cheese.

Sometimes we want a full-on meal experience like we ate at Cochon during our first trip to the Big Easy together in 2010. Usually, though, we prefer great food served in a casual setting at a reasonable price. That’s why we love eating at 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. This is a spot where diners can peruse different kinds of cochon (i.e. pork) before ordering sandwiches and sides at the counter.

Sausage at Cochon Butcher in New Orleans
Cochon Butcher is a casual New Orleans restaurant where you can eat your sausage and buy more to enjoy later.

Plan to eat modern versions of traditional sandwiches like Cochon Butcher’s gussied up muffuletta and its grilled BLT with butcher bacon (cut from the shoulder). Satisfying sides like mac and cheese and brussels sprouts complete the meal.

Pro Tip
Go early or late for lunch to avoid the lunch rush since Cochon Butcher is often crowded with locals and conventioneers who flock to eat at one of the best lunch spots in New Orleans. Get a seat at one of the high-top tables. Better yet, go in the evening and splurge on a nice glass of wine and a charcuterie plate.

Cochon Butcher is located at 930 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States.

14. Lunch at Turkey and the Wolf

Queue at Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans
Locals and tourists queue at Turkey and the Wolf for quirky lunch dishes.

With menu items like Fried Bologna Sandwiches with the potato chips inside the sandwich and Wedge Salads with everything bagel ‘crunchy stuff’ on top, Turkey and the Wolf is easily the quirkiest New Orleans restaurant in this guide. It’s probably also the quirkiest restaurant ever named Bon Appetit‘s Best New Restaurant of the Year, which happened in 2017.

We specifically went to Turkey and the Wolf to try the Lower Garden District restaurant’s insta-famous Deviled Eggs with Fried Chicken Skin. However, that appetizer wasn’t on the menu during our visit. Quickly regrouping, we ordered a Fried Pot Pie from the menu’s ‘Not Sandwiches’ section instead.

Fried Chicken Pot Pie at Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans
We only planned to take a couple bites of Turkey and the Wolf’s Fried Pot Pie until we tasted it.

Served with tarragon buttermilk dressing and filled with slow cooked chicken and vegetables, the Fried Pot Pie was unlike anything we had eaten before. The dish, which reminded us of Thanksgiving, was a crunchy, rich, flavor-packed, fried hot pocket filled with yum.

Pro Tip
Turkey and the Wolf serves cheap drinks in addition to cheap eats. Cocktail prices topped out at $8 at the time of our visit.

Turkey and the Wolf is located at 739 Jackson Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States.

15. Burgers and Tiki Drinks at Port of Call

Mushroom Hamburger at Port of Call in New Orleans
It’s easy to order at Port of Call since the hamburgers and baked potatoes are practically the only things on the menu. The big choice is what toppings to add. We chose a mushroom cheeseburger and a baked potato topped with even more mushrooms.

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, this restaurant has been in the burger business since the 1960s.

Port of Call’s burgers are serious business – each starting out with a half pound of ground beef – and served with a big baked potato. You’ll want to 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.

Cocktails at Port of Call in New Orleans
We walked the plank to drink these Neptune Monsoon cocktails at Port of Call. Made with passion fruit, tropical juice and two kinds of rum, they’re ideal for both pirates and cocktail connoisseurs.

The joint may not be fancy and there’s often a line to be seated since many people consider Port of Call to be one of the must eat New Orleans restaurants. Hang in there though – it’s worth the wait to enjoy a reasonable meal that will satisfy your taste buds and fill your stomach.

Pro Tip
Do not drive to Port of Call if you plan to drink cocktails with your meal. 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.

16. Hot Dogs at Dat Dog

Dat Dog in New Orleans
The original Dat Dog location is both colorful and fun. Plus, it has a parking lot.

Dat Dog isn’t your typical hot dog joint. The colorfully decorated hot dog shop serves a full menu of crazy hot dog combos in New Orleans as well as at outposts outside of the city.

Sides are equally inventive with a selection of loaded fries and tater tots. Plus, Dat Dog has a full bar featuring craft beers, daiquiris and specialty cocktails.

Hot Dog at Dat Dog in New Orleans
We shared this Rougarou hot dog at Dat Dog. It came loaded with alligator sausage, grilled onions, Creole mustard, tomatoes, jalapeños, barbecue sauce and bacon.

Hot dogs can be a guilty pleasure but there’s no guilt here thanks to Dat Dog’s fresh ingredients. You can customize your toppings or order house specials like the Bacon Werefolf and the Crawfish Etouffee Dog. The menu even has a Sea Dog Special made with battered cod fish.

If you must, there are meat-free options like the Vegan Banger. Whether you’re a carnivore or vegetarian, Dat Dog is a great option when you’re craving quality fast food in New Orleans.

Pro Tip
Choose your toppings wisely, Dat Dog offers dozens of toppings that you can mix and match to create a unique hot dog masterpiece. We say go for it!

Dat Dog has multiple New Orleans locations. We’ve eaten at the Garden District location as well as the original location on Freret Street.

17. Bratwurst and Beer at Bratz Y’All

Musicians at Bratz Yall in New Orleans
We can’t think of a better to spend a sultry New Orleans afternoon than chilling at Bratz Y’all.

Just because New Orleans is over 5,000 miles from Berlin doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy German food in a beer garden without paying for an expensive plane ticket. We say skip the flight and walk over to Bratz Y’all in the Bywater neighborhood instead.

Plan to order a loaded Bratwurst or another German specialty like Schnitzel, Currywurst or Apple Strudel after you choose from eight German beers on tap. But this isn’t the best part about eating at Bratz Y’all…

If you time your visit right, you can enjoy live music in Bratz Y’all’s outdoor biergarten. During our visit, a ragtag duo sang songs like Jambalaya (On the Bayou) while we drank German beer and chowed down on a Drunk Pig Bratwurst topped with sauerkraut , caramelized onions and mustard. We might have stayed all night had it not start raining torrentially mid-song.

Pro Tip
Schedule a weekend visit if you want to try Bratz Y’all’s Schweinshaxe (i.e. pork shank) served with potato dumplings and gravy.

Bratz Y’all is located at 617-B Piety Street, New Orleans, LA 70117, United States.

18. Snoballs at Hansen’s Sno-Bliz

Strawberry Snowball at Hansens Sno-Bliz in New Orleans
Although we were tempted to try popular Sno-Bliz flavors like watermelon and satsuma, we kept our Snoball simple with bright red strawberry shaved ice and creamy milk.

Don’t confuse Hansen’s Sno-Bliz with typical snow cones stands and ice cream shops. The Hansen clan has been shaving ice at Sno-Bliz and topping it with homemade syrup since 1934. Now operated by the family’s third generation, this shop is a James Beard prize-winning local institution.

Syrup flavors run the gamut from classic strawberry and orange to more modern options like honey lavender and satsuma. There were more than 30 syrup flavors on offer when we visited – and that’s not counting the 14 cream flavors and 10 extra toppings on the handwritten menu.

Pro Tip
Don’t order a small Snoball if you’re on the go. The medium size comes in a go cup. Either way, you’ll get a spoon and straw with your frozen treat.

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz is located at 4801 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, United States.

19. Banh Mi Sandwiches at Banh Mi Boys (Pre or Post Airport Stop)

Banh Mi Boys in New Orleans
Banh Mi Boys has been serving Banh Mi sandwiches next to a suburban gas station since it opened in 2015.

With a long history of immigrants, New Orleans food combines elements of French and Italian cuisines in addition to its distinctive Cajun and Creole flavors. In recent years, NOLA’s food set has expanded to include Asian flavors and none more so than the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. This evolution makes sense since New Orleans has one of the largest and most vibrant Vietnamese communities in the country.

Adventurous diners who want to explore this trend will find Banh Mi Boys a great spot to sample the confluence of New Orleans and Vietnamese cuisines. Located next to a suburban Texaco station, this casual eatery serves both Banh Mi sandwiches on Golden Bakery bread and Po Boy sandwiches on Liedenhiemer bread.

Three Sandwiches at Banh Mi Boys in New Orleans
Our trio of Banh Mi sandwiches at Banh Mi Boys did not disappoint.

Beyond basic Banh Mi sandwiches, specialty Banh Mi options include Bang Bang Shrimp and Braised Pork Belly which we ordered as well as others like Bulgogi Beef and Char Siu Rib. Regardless of the choice, each Banh Mi comes dressed with pickled carrots, pickled daikon, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, cucumber and butter spread. Beyond sandwiches, The Banh Mi Boys menu features salads, rice bowls, wings and loaded fries.

Is the Metairie sandwich shop worth a special trip? We say probably not unless you have a car. But, if you happen to rent a car or if you’re on a road trip, this stand is convenient stop on your way in or out of town.

Pro Tip
Stop at Banh Mi Boys on your way to or from the airport if you don’t have another reason to visit nearby Metairie during your trip to New Orleans.

Banh Mi Boys is located at 5001 Airline Drive, Suite B, Metairie, LA 70001, United States.

20. Afternoon Treats at La Boulangerie

Pastry Counter at La Boulangerie in New Orleans
La Boulangerie’s pastry selection is both comprehensive and tempting.

You may not have heard of La Boulangerie even though the Uptown cafe has been open since 2000. You also may be unfamiliar with the Link Restaurant Group that started managing La Boulangerie in 2015. However, you probably know some of the management group’s restaurants like Cochon, Herbsaint and Peche. They’re some of the best restaurants in New Orleans.

As for us, we discovered La Boulangerie the way that we discover a lot of great spots – during a conversation at Cherry Coffee Roasters, a local third wave coffee shop. Once we got the recommendation, we hightailed it over and promptly ordered a cinnamon bun.

Cinnamon Bun on Checkered Mat at La Boulangerie in New Orleans
This glazed cinnamon bun provided us with a jolt of sugar in a colorfully tasty package.

Choosing a cinnamon bun shouldn’t have been easy considering the array of croissants, turnovers, muffins and cookies on display. However, the cinnamon bun spoke to us with its shiny white glaze and colorful sprinkles. Okay, it mostly spoke to Mindi since she’s a sucker for white icing and happy colors.

To be clear, La Boulangerie is more than a bakery. The cafe offers a full slate of savory options including salads, sandwiches and quiche. It also has a serious bread program for those with access to a kitchen.

Pro Tip
Don’t hesitate to order coffee at La Boulangerie. The cafe was serving locally roasted Congregation Coffee coffee during our visit.

La Boulangerie is located at 4600 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115, United States.

Donuts at District Donuts and Blue Dot Donuts

Smores Donut at Blue Dot Donuts in New Orleans
Do not skip the donuts in New Orleans.

For some people, donuts are an inexpensive sweet treat but for us they’re a bit of an obsession. We always seek them out when we visit any American city in our ongoing quest to find the best donuts in America.

These are our favorite donut shops in New Orleans:

21. District Donuts

Coffee and Donut at District Donuts in New Orleans
District Donuts’ coffee and donut combination is match made in breakfast heaven.

If we had to count the number of people who recommended District Donuts to us, we might have run out of fingers. But we’re no fools. We followed the advice and ended up eating what may be the best donuts in New Orleans if not the country.

Not your average donuts, District’s rotating beauties change daily and come in unique flavors. Sure you could order a simple Glazed, Cinnamon Sugar or Chocolate Glazed donut. Then again, you could order something more substantial like a Banana Pudding, Berries & Cream or Cookie Butter Brudder donut. We ordered one from each category.

While our Cinnamon Sugar donut was solid, our Berries & Cream donut reached next level status. Not your typical donut, this one was glazed, filled with cream and topped with both Chantilly cream and fresh berries. District Donuts also serves a full lunch menu if you’re feeling peckish.

Pro Tip
Pair your donut with a cup of coffee. District Donuts roasts its own beans and sells them under the Cool Kids label. If you buy a bag of beans, $1 will be directed to local nonprofit organizations.

District Donuts has multiple New Orleans locations. We visited the Magazine Street location.

22. Blue Dot Donuts

Donuts at Mid-City Blue Dot Donuts in New Orleans
We were warmly greeted and guided by employee Amy Guidry during our visit to Mid-City’s Blue Dot Donuts.

Opened by expert, donut-eating police officers, Blue Dot Donuts serves all kinds of donuts from simple yeast, buttermilk and cake versions to fancy varieties like maple bacon bars.

Blue Dot’s donuts are reasonably priced. Buy a dozen so that you can enjoy them in your hotel room after a night out at New Orleans’ best bars or the next morning.

Pro Tip
Be sure to buy 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.

23. Late Night Dessert at Bakery Bar

Rainbow Cake at Bakery Bar in New Orleans
We satisfied our rainbow dreams with this slice of Rainbow Surprise Wedding Cake with almond pudding and almond icing.

Located on the other side of the Crescent City Connection Bridge, Bakery Bar looks kind of bleak from the outside. But inside is another matter.

Colorful seven-layer doberge cakes brighten the room in flavors like chocolate, lemon and cookies ‘n’ cream. However, the best dessert may actually be the fried Chocolate Chip Beignets. Though not as visually appealing as the cake, these Beignets ‘with benefits’ take the classic New Orleans dessert to a different stratosphere.

Discover even more great desserts in New Orleans.

Beyond dessert, you can imbibe signature drinks or order from Bakery Bar’s full bar if you’re thirsty. Another option is to drink a cake shake with your favorite liquor added to the mix.

Pro Tip
Order a slice of Rainbow Strawberry Daiquiri Cake if you’re legal and want to enjoy your cake and cocktail in one tasty dessert.

Bakery Bar is located at 1179 Annunciation Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States.

Things To Do in New Orleans

Jackson Square Selfie in New Orleans
Don’t miss Jackson Square when you visit New Orleans. It’s a great spot for selfies in the French Quarter.

Since you’re saving so much money on food, you can splurge on some of the fun things to do in New Orleans, a true win-win situation. Here are five ideas to consider:

Don’t worry if you want to stay on a budget – some of the best things to do in New Orleans are free or dirt cheap. You won’t get bored walking around the French Quarter, taking cable cars and people watching. This is New Orleans after all.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

Troubadour Hotel Room 1 in New Orleans
We were happy to return to this room at The Troubadour Hotel after a full day of food tripping in New Orleans.

Staying at a comfortable, convenient hotel is a must in New Orleans. During our most recent visit, we stayed in the following two hotels that met these criteria:

Check back soon to read the article about our stay at these hotels. Spoiler Alert: We enjoyed and recommend both of them.

Planning Checklist

Hungry for More in NOLA?

Check out our articles about New Orleans food favorites, desserts, drinks, coffee shops and bars as well as the city’s best restaurants including Brennan’s Restaurant, Commander’s Palace, Willie Mae’s Scotch House and then read about the Bywater neighborhood.

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Pinterest image: grilled pecan pie with caption reading "New Orleans Cheap Eats"
About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosures

Sponsorship
We thank Visit New Orleans and its partners for their assistance to facilitate this and other articles.

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Important Update
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.

A traveler

Tuesday 18th of August 2020

all those places are pricey, $7 hotdog, retitled this article 'lets face it, food is overpriced in nola' only young professional(yuppies) dont know any better ..instead goto any of the many impoverished neighborhoods of nola(during the day) find a spot where a bunch of locals are just standing around and order there, you'll find more value and flavor than at any of the gentrified locations listed above..places that come to mind: 'Cajun seafood' off claiborne, 'southshore donuts n restaurant'($4 jumbo burger)next to the Lakeview airport and all the random locally owned gas stations that sell hot food..do yourself a favor and save your $ for the equally expensive drinks served on bourbon.

Stephen V

Friday 1st of November 2019

Bacchanal charges a $20 corkage fee. So that alone pretty much disqualifies them as a “cheap eat” in my book. Article probably should mention that.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Friday 1st of November 2019

The corkage fee only applies if you bring a bottle from outside the shop. This is from their website:

"Do you only serve wine?

We not only have a vast array of wine by the bottle and glass both in the wine room, up in the bar & in our B Bar, but we also serve a concise selection of beer, are able to custom build you non alcoholic beverages and fully craft cocktails in our upstairs bar. The bar opens at noon every day.

Do you charge a corkage fee?

Yes. If you bring a bottle of wine from outside, we charge a $20 corkage fee."

We don't think that it's unreasonable to for them to charge corkage for bottles bought outside their onsite store. However we will amend our article to note that fact.

Nolan Ever

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Thanks for omitting my favorite spots!

Stuart Forster

Monday 3rd of June 2019

There can't be many more foodie cities in the world than the Big Easy!

Angie

Wednesday 27th of February 2019

Agree with this list! Except I'm more of a fan of Cafe Beignet lately. Also, street cars are a cheap way to tour the city!