It is no secret that New Orleans is home to some of the best food culture in the United States. Restaurants like Brennan’s, the Court of Two Sisters, and Commander’s Palace are world-famous. Unfortunately, college students can generally only afford restaurants like these when Mum and Dad come to visit. Here is a list of 6 more affordable options for students that still provide the quintessential taste of New Orleans experience.
It is often argued that New Orleans is more of a Caribbean city than a southern one. The city’s brightly infused architecture and creole culture has more in common with Havana and Port-au-Prince than with any other stateside city. Rum House’s island-inspired food celebrates the Big Easy’s Caribbean heritage. Located on the foodie’s paradise that is Magazine Street, the restaurant especially excels with its wide variety of island-inspired tacos. Plus, every Tuesday is “Taco Tuesday”, which means all Tacos on the menu are only two dollars! The restaurant’s chill vibes and quality food are definitely something worth checking out.
Few people would immediately associate New Orleans with Vietnamese food. The city’s West Bank however, is home to one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the United States. This area was ravaged when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. In a testament to their strength and resilience, Nola’s Vietnamese community was one of the first to begin reconstruction efforts following the storm.
Mint is a delicious reminder of the important contributions Nola’s Vietnamese community has made to the city’s culture. Its menu includes traditional Vietnamese fare, such as a variety of Pho dishes. It also offers more American infused options like the savory Banh Mi Burger. Plus, Mint is conveniently located on Freret Street, just a short walk away from both Loyola and Tulane University. With a vibe that perfectly walks the line between formal and casual, it is by far the best place on this list to take a first date!
St. Roch Market embodies the cultural melting pot that New Orleans truly is. Established in 1875, but abandoned for a decade following Hurricane Katrina, the market re-opened in 2015. It now contains nine different stalls that serve everything from traditional New Orleans fare to Korean BBQ. If you’re not in the mood to chow down, the market also has a full service bar with a happy hour on Mondays through Thursdays, from 4pm-6pm. The market is located in New Orleans’ historic St. Roch neighbourhood. It is a tasty testament to the culinary revival New Orleans experienced following Hurricane Katrina. Stop by after work, grab a po-boy and a Sazerac and bask in the knowledge that even a storm the size of Katrina can’t keep New Orleanians from doing what they love most, eating good food and drinking strong alcohol.
Favori is the destination of many students on Saturday and Sunday mornings following late nights out at the bars. The Deli has authentic New Orleans-style food perfect to cure any hangover. The restaurant is unassuming. From the outside, it looks like little more than a convenience store, which it also is. On the inside however, it becomes clear that serving delicious fried food is what Favori does best. The fried oyster po-boy is a particular stand out on the menu. It is a tradition for students to take their Favori meals to go, and eat them at The Fly. The Fly is a small park located on the Mississippi River, behind Audubon Zoo. There is no better way to spend a lazy afternoon in New Orleans than lounging around at The Fly sipping on Daiquiris, eating some unhealthy but oh so delicious Favori, and watching the oil tankers slowly float by.
If you enjoy a cocktail with your meal, then Samuel’s Blind Pelican is the place for you. Samuel’s Blind Pelican is conveniently located on New Orleans’ historic St. Charles Ave. It is just a short streetcar ride away from both Loyola and Tulane University. The bar has a variety of traditional New Orleans-style fare and makes a mean cocktail. However, people tend to come to the Blind Pelican for one thing and one thing only, oysters. Happy hour is from 4pm-8pm every day. For happy hour patrons, raw oysters only cost 25¢ and chargrilled oysters are 75¢. The raw oysters are good, but the chargrilled oysters are out of this world. It is worth the extra 50¢ to get the chargrilled ones. The butter and garlic sauce the chargrilled oysters come in could be a meal in itself. Plus, the bar provides free refills of bread to help you soak up and enjoy every last drop of sauce. Lee Circle and the French Quarter are only a few streetcar stops away. The bar is a great place to stop off and load up on food before heading downtown for a night of debauchery.
The Blue Tomato is the definition of a hole in the wall. You aren’t likely to find many tourists here. It is a little too far off the beaten path for anyone but locals to know about. There is guaranteed to be something for everyone on this restaurant’s menu. Blue Tomato serves Italian, Mexican, and American cuisine. It represents a variety of flavours and cultures, just like the city it operates in. New Orleans is so different from the rest of the South, it is easy to forget that it is even located in this region of America. The Blue Tomato is a nice reminder of the city’s southern roots. It’s the kind of family place where people will hold the door for you and call you “sugar”. It provides a small snapshot of the southern way of life to anyone not from the region. Make sure to come hungry, because the portions here are huge.
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