Likely the the product of many cultures and several centuries, it’s undeniable that the food in New Orleans has a certain original soul to it that you just can’t find anywhere else. While there’s a good amount of fine dining in the city, some of the best grub is cheap and quick. Choose any of these options and get out and back to the hotel for QAD Explore in less than an hour.
The French Market has existed on the same site since 1791 and actually began as a Native American trading post on the banks the Mississippi River and is America’s oldest public market. Take a stroll and check out the vendors and “farmers market” shops while snacking on some pralines or bread pudding, or if you’re hungry grab an alligator sausage and a cup of gumbo.
Time from Hotel: 5 min cab, 15 min walk Cost: $4-9
The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market and is a traditional coffee shop that’s open 24/7. Get the coffee “Au Lait” (half milk) and an order of beignets; square French-style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar.
Time from Hotel: 5 min cab, 10 min walk Cost: $3-5
From the outside Central Grocery is an unassuming grocery shop but it holds the secrets to one of New Orleans most unique sandwiches. The Muffuletta is a type of round Sicilian sesame bread on which a submarine-style sandwich is created from layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone. Wash it down with a birch or root beer!
Time from Hotel: 5 min cab, 10 min walk Cost: $8-10
One little diner, The Grill, can offer you all the comfort of your hometown greasy-spoon diner joint. Need a hearty breakfast or a great burger and fries? You’ll be greeted by a waiter wearing a white coat and bow tie and take a seat at the counter... as there is no other option.
Time from Hotel: 5 min cab, 10 min walk Cost: $7-9
Johnny’s Po-boys is the oldest family owned po-boy restaurant in New Orleans, serving everything from breakfast to their famous warm bun po-boys. Try the roast beef or fried shrimp po-boy or just get a half with the lunch special.
Time from Hotel: 5 min cab, 10 min walk Cost: $7-11 (cash only)
Maybe you’ve had all the po-boys, oysters, and jambalaya you can handle? A quick stop for Mexican at Felipe’s might be just what you need to get you out of that rut. Reasonably priced grub and margaritas.
Time from Hotel: 5 min cab, 10 min walk Cost: $6-9
A butcher shop, a sandwich counter and a wine bar all-in-one, Cochon Butcher was inspired by old-world meat markets. They specialize in house made meats, terrines, and sausage; try the BLT with thick cut bacon and a side of housemade potato salad.
Time from Hotel: 5 min cab, 15 min walk Cost: $9-12
If you’ve got a few extra minutes to explore, check out a couple options that are just slightly off the beaten path. You can still get back to your QAD Explore sessions within an hour, but you’d likely enhance your experience with a little extra time.
New Orleans Cake Cafe and Bakery offers a cozy spot for a breakfast, lunch, or dessert. The business actually began by selling homemade slices of chocolate cake door-to-door in New Orleans and over the years the bakery has developed a loyal following. Great spot to grab a pastry, croissant, or cupcake but they do offer great breakfast and lunch options.
Time from Hotel: 10 min cab, 25 min walk Cost: $7-11
The Joint is located just outside of the French Quarter in the Historic Bywater District. It has developed a national reputation for some of the best barbecue and has been in top 10 BBQ lists in publications from Bon Appétit to Zagat and was featured in Guy Fieri’s show “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” Excellent BBQ pulled pork and mac-n-cheese.
Time from Hotel: 10 min cab, 45 min walk Cost: $7-13
Slice brags a renaissance of pizza, New Orleans style. They use artisan water and specifically sourced flour in all their thin-crusted pizza dough, a recipe that took years to perfect and provides a new brand of pizza to the world. Grab a slice, salad, or calzone.
Time from Hotel: 5 min cab, 25 min walk Cost: $9-12
Having a hard time visualizing? Here’s a handy map of these locations! See you in New Orleans… and bring your appetite!
If you haven't registered for QAD Explore yet, it's not too late to take adavantage of the Last Chance Discount. Register now and save $500 before the cost increases to full price. Act soon — Explore is filling up fast!