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On your next bout to the Big Easy, don’t be intimidated by New Orleans’ historically rich culinary legacy. You can easily score authentic and inexpensive fare on almost every corner. Because let’s be real, some of us are still ballin’ on a budget. From sticky-sweet snowballs to savory turtle soup, here are the 10 best meals you can grab in NOLA for under $10.
You just can’t go to New Orleans without eating a po-boy. Marie Laveau would call that bad ju-ju. If it’s not the best thing you’ve tasted since sliced bread, you can hold us personally accountable. Whether you want to go with a salty fried seafood po-boy, sloppy roast beef po-boy smothered in gravy, hamburger po-boy or French fry po-boy (you read that right), you really can’t go wrong. If you like all the fixins (lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, etc.) on your crunchy French bread, go ahead and ask for it dressed. Take it from us, these are the best places in and around town to get New Orleans’ quintessential sandwich: Crabby Jack’s, Verti Marte and Parkway Bakery & Tavern.
Powdered-sugar-covered and fried to fluffy perfection, beignets are one of the city’s most famous food staples. This sugary treat is best enjoyed when accompanied by a café au lait or iced coffee. Affordable New Orleans beignets can be found at the following spots: Cafe Du Monde, Cafe Beignet and Morning Call. For more sugary sweets, check out the best bakeries in New Orleans.
Birthed at Brennan’s Restaurant by Chef Paul Blange in an attempt to include bananas in a new dessert, Bananas Foster is one of New Orleans’ most decadent desserts. Does it get any better than bananas, vanilla ice cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum and banana liqueur? Often prepared as a flambé tableside performance, the city’s affordable sweet treat can be found at Brennan’s, The Court of Two Sisters and Commander’s Palace.
When you combine butter, evaporated milk, sugar and homegrown pecans, you’re bound to come up with something tasty. Just don’t go overboard, or you’ll have a sickly sweet stomachache. Not only are these delicious treats totally affordable, but they make the best souvenirs. Your friends and family will be thrilled to see these pralines arrive safely in baggage claim. No offense to your luggage. Seen today as one of the city’s can’t-miss sweets, these are the best spots in NOLA to try pralines: Loretta’s, Southern Candymakers and The Praline Connection.
No doubt jambalaya is at the top of the list of traditional cajun dishes you need to try. This classic Southern dish is the OG of mashups, inspired by both Spanish and French flavors. This Cajun dish, typically served with sausage, chicken or shrimp, is easy to find and in high supply. Here are the best joints in town to score this tasty fare: Mother’s Restaurant, Coop’s Place and Cafe Maspero.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can but it can buy snowballs, and that’s basically the same thing. From your basic flavors to the more decadent cream options, you can now have your snowballs stuffed with ice cream or even cheesecake. Take your FitBit off and opt to add whipped cream or condensed milk. Whether you get it in a takeout pail or in a giant bucket to share (or not), the hardest decision you’ll have to make is what flavor to choose. Our favorite places to get this flavorful frozen treat? Head to Hansen’s, Plum Street or Sno-La.
If you find yourself in New Orleans during any month that includes an “r,” get yourself some oysters ASAP. Though these salty sliders can be pretty pricey when chargrilled or Rockefellered, you can find plenty of places to score some fresh on the half shell during happy hour. Our top picks? The Blue Crab and Cooter Brown’s. Order an ice-cold draft for the perfect pairing.
If you can’t make it to New Orleans for either weekend of the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival, make your way to Morning Call in City Park to score some Mango Freeze. With the heat and humidity, the tangy-tart flavor of this ice-cold dessert is the perfect thing to keep you refreshed.
Just like Lorelai Gilmore, the people of New Orleans only like their coffee with their oxygen. Served piping hot on those rare winter weather days that come our way and ice cold the rest of the year, coffee with milk is a must-have New Orleans drink at any hour of the day or night. Our go-to places for a cup of caffeine? Royal Blend, Mojo and French Truck.
Vivienne Westwood said, “Buy less, choose well.” If the restaurant has a dress code, keep this motto in mind. The good news is that lots of New Orleans swanky staples (Commander’s Palace, Mandina’s) have seasonal lunch menus. Some of them even come with the option of ordering 25-cent martinis. Served with sherry, this savory soup is a must-try on your next visit to NOLA. And lucky for you, a bowl won’t set you back too much. If you can limit yourself to only one…