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The Best Cheap Eats in New Orleans

New Orleans is undoubtedly one of the most fun and soulful cities in America. This bayou town is the birthplace of jazz music and it has an incredible arts scene. However, if there is one thing that people celebrate New Orleans for the most, it's probably the food. The Crescent City is home to countless celebrated restaurants that serve unforgettable Cajun-style meals and more. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Lucky for diners in New Orleans, many of the best restaurants in NOLA aren't only delicious—they're also affordable. Here are some of the best places in New Orleans to eat and drink on the cheap.

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The OpenTable Team
18 Restaurants
Updated October 01, 2021
Restaurants:Meril, Ye Olde College Inn, Superior Seafood
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, Creole, Seafood
Neighborhoods:Warehouse District, Carrollton, Uptown
A photo of Meril restaurant

Meril

$$$$
Contemporary American
Warehouse District
4.6
5062 reviews
One of the best places to eat affordable but gourmet food in New Orleans is Meril, Emeril Lagasse's fourth and most casual restaurant in the city. Meril is in the warehouse district, and they feature a bustling brasserie atmosphere and an open kitchen. The concept behind Meril is that the menu features the chef's favorite foods. So, diners can find a wide variety of things that Emeril likes, which includes dishes like spring rolls, croquettes, deviled eggs, and fried chicken. For Emeril tastes without Emeril prices, Meril is the best bet.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Ye Olde College Inn restaurant

Ye Olde College Inn

$$$$
Creole
Carrollton
4.7
1400 reviews
Go to Ye Old College Inn in New Orleans for cheap eats and a bit of history. The restaurant has been around since 1933. Today, they are focused on being a real farm-to-table restaurant, and they actually have their own farm where they grow much of the food that they serve. One of the best parts about Ye Olde College Inn is that the portions are huge, which makes eating there an even better deal, and diners can enjoy fairly-priced heaping plates of crawfish Delacroix, breaded veal cutlet, or grilled chicken and orzo.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Superior Seafood restaurant

Superior Seafood

$$$$
Seafood
Uptown
4.6
3692 reviews
There is no shortage of seafood restaurants in New Orleans, a town on a bayou, river, and ocean. But, for one of the best cheap places to eat high-quality seafood in NOLA, go to Superior Seafood. The atmosphere is more casual cafe than fine dining institution, and it has both a raw bar menu and a full menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Try specialties of the house like the Fried Oyster Salad, Shrimp Andouille Brochettes, and Salmon Lafitte. Superior Seafood also has a completely gluten-free menu, for grain-free versions of favorite dishes.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of NOLA Restaurant restaurant

NOLA Restaurant

$$$$
Creole
French Quarter
4.3
11121 reviews
NOLA Restaurant is another one of Emeril Lagasse's casual outposts, located in the heart of the French Quarter. Its menu features traditional Louisiana cooking with a contemporary, updated twist. Diners can go to NOLA for cheap eats at lunchtime or dinnertime, and they should enjoy the three house classics: Barbequed Shrimp, Gumbo, and Miss Hay's Stuffed Chicken Wings.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Mr. B's Bistro restaurant

Mr. B's Bistro

$$$$
Creole
French Quarter
4.6
4434 reviews
Mr. B's is a true classic when it comes to New Orleans dining staples. Long considered a local favorite, Mr. B's is in the heart of the French Quarter and offers a dress code-free dining experience. For cheap eats from Mr. B's, order off of the appetizers menu. It's full of delicious items like crispy fried oysters and jumbo lump crab cake, all at extremely reasonable prices. Diners may also want to order the Gumbo Ya Ya while they're there: it's a unique country-style gumbo with chicken and sausage, and it's one of the restaurant's best dishes.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Desi Vega's Steakhouse restaurant

Desi Vega's Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
Warehouse District
4.8
2155 reviews
Wine lovers can enjoy delicious cheap eats and an exceptional wine list at Desi Vega's. Desi Vega's is also in the French Quarter, but they're a little different than most of the Creole staples in the neighborhood, since they have a steakhouse menu with Louisiana flair. Expect dishes like Who Dat Shrimp (bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with crabmeat in a sweet Thai chili sauce) and Mrs. Barbara's Meatball Po-Boy, an Italian meatball sandwich served on hot garlic French bread. The menu is all over the place at Desi Vega's, so expect everyone to be able to find something to order.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
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A photo of Emeril's Restaurant restaurant

Emeril's Restaurant

$$$$
Contemporary American
Warehouse District
4.7
9970 reviews
This is the flagship restaurant for Emeril Lagasse. It opened in 1990, and since its debut, has become legendary for offering outstanding Creole cuisine. Diners can find dishes like blue crab stuffed top neck clams, andouille crusted gulf drum, and Emeril's "Who Dat" Burger on the menu. Dessert can be the star at Emeril's, since his sweets are unforgettably decadent. Try the Red Velvet Doberge Cake, Sticky Toffee Bread Pudding, or Sweet Potato Custard Tart. The only dress code at Emeril's is no sleeveless shirts for men, so make sure to put on a short sleeve when going to Emeril's on a very hot day.

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A photo of Mr. John's Steakhouse restaurant

Mr. John's Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
Garden District
4.8
2570 reviews
To find the best cheap places to eat in the Garden District, head to Mr. Johns Steakhouse. The menu at Mr. Johns is a typical steakhouse menu, but most dishes have a New Orleans twist. Diners can choose onion rings and shrimp cocktail to start, or go more Creole with Who Dat Shrimp or Shrimp Remoulade. Mr. Johns serves USDA Prime steaks, so expect high-quality meat no matter what cut.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Muriel's Jackson Square restaurant

Muriel's Jackson Square

$$$$
Creole / Cajun / Southern
French Quarter
4.7
8560 reviews
Muriel's Jackson Square has long had the reputation for being a great choice for casual, affordable dining in the French Quarter. Muriel's sits right off of Jackson Square, making them a perfect spot to enjoy cheap eats while taking in the spectacle that is New Orleans. Dine in the courtyard or the balcony to see more of the Vieux Carre. At Muriel's, make sure to try the house specialties like shrimp and goat cheese crepes, cajun demi-poulet, or wood-grilled gulf fish. When the meal's done, head to Muriel's Seance Lounge in the restaurant for an otherworldly experience. People believe that a ghost haunts Muriel's and hangs out in this lounge space that features couches, curtains, coffins, statues, and more.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of GW Fins restaurant

GW Fins

$$$$
Seafood
French Quarter
4.9
16146 reviews
Opened in 2001, GW Fins is a restaurant that specializes in fish. The restaurant itself buzzes with energy, so it's a fun place to go for a meal that feels enlivening and electrifying. Go to GW Fins for excellent fish dishes that are especially affordable when ordered in an appetizer portion. The menu changes daily at GW Fins, but expect to find things like Local Drum, Sea Scallops, and Scottish Salmon.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of Ruth's Chris Steak House - New Orleans restaurant

Ruth's Chris Steak House - New Orleans

$$$$
Steakhouse
Central Business District
4.3
2504 reviews
People might not think of cheap eats when they think of Ruth's Chris Steak House. However, when it comes to upscale dining in this town, Ruths Chris offers options that won't break the bank. Ruth's Chris in New Orleans has all of the steakhouse favorites, like petite filet, lamb chops, and lobster tail. They also have smaller, more affordable portions on the appetizer menu for cheap eats, like barbecue shrimp, blue crab cakes, and mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat. Ruth's Chris is one of the best places to eat in the Central Business District, so plan to eat there when not spending time in the Quarter or Garden District.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of La Boca Steakhouse restaurant

La Boca Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
Central Business District
4.6
1874 reviews
La Boca Steakhouse is another one of the top steakhouses ins New Orleans. This place has an Argentinian flair, with a large menu of meats and a selection of salads, pasta, and sides. La Boca has an excellent cocktail list, so enjoy a festive beverage alongside an outstanding steak.

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A photo of Restaurant R'evolution restaurant

Restaurant R'evolution

$$$$
Creole / Cajun / Southern
French Quarter
4.8
6004 reviews
People looking for cheap eats in New Orleans that are also inventive should check out Restaurant R'evolution. The menu here boasts both classic takes on Creole fare and inventive new twists. Diners can choose from a host of meats on the menu, including alligator, crawfish, andouilles sausage, shrimp, oysters, beef cheek, and frog. Restaurant R'evolution also serves up unforgettable brunches, featuring beer-battered crab beignets and fried quail with waffle, which is just what the doctor ordered for a classic NOLA hangover.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Lilette restaurant

Lilette

$$$$
Contemporary American
Garden District
4.5
1878 reviews
Sometimes the hustle and bustle of New Orleans can get overwhelming. For something more intimate and quiet, have a meal at Lilette, on Magazine Street. For the cheapest eats at Lilette, dine at lunchtime. Some of the best deals on the menu include a chicken soup with a poached egg and an order of sizzling shrimp.

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A photo of The Pelican Club restaurant

The Pelican Club

$$$$
Creole / Cajun / Southern
French Quarter
4.6
3564 reviews
The Pelican Club has been a lively and happening place in the French Quarter since 1990. The restaurant boasts a Creole menu with Asian influences, and it has a reputation for being a place that is as fun as it is delicious. For affordable options, order a la carte. Diners can enjoy small dishes like escargot in a casserole, seafood martini ravigote, and tuna poke. For a bigger meal, get the Prix Fixe option, which is a four-course menu that includes dessert.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Galatoire's Restaurant restaurant

Galatoire's Restaurant

$$$$
Creole / Cajun / Southern
French Quarter
4.4
2611 reviews
For a truly authentic traditional New Orleans cuisine experience, try eating at Galatoires. Galatoires isn't fast food cheap. But, they do offer the opportunity to sample the most classic Cajun fare at prices that are reasonable. Get a taste of New Orlean's best culinary delights without breaking the bank. When at Galatoires, try the crabmeat sardou, which is the specialty of the house.

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A photo of Restaurant Patois restaurant

Restaurant Patois

$$$$
French
Uptown
4.5
1401 reviews
One of the best cheap New Orleans restaurants is Restaurant Patois. Patois is a Louisiana restaurant with a "French Accent," so there's a good blend of classic French dishes with typical New Orleans fare. The menu is inventive, with choices like heirloom pumpkin and crab soup and lobster spaghetti. Patois is open for lunch, brunch, and dinner.

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A photo of Bayona restaurant

Bayona

$$$$
Contemporary American
French Quarter
4.5
3786 reviews
Bayona is another New Orleans staple, and it's a good choice for cheap eats. Since their opening 26 years ago, Bayona shined for having an affordable, global menu. At Bayona, try dishes like veal sweetbreads, Homeplace Pastures pork chops, and eggplant caviar. Bayona is centrally located, which makes it a convenient restaurant choice.

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