Getting a good meal deal in New Orleans doesn't have to mean paying big bucks. If you’re a foodie, you want to pick one or two must-eat experiences at the fancier restaurants, and book lunch, not dinner. A two-course lunch special at Commander’s Palace, for instance, runs in the $20 range, and might dish up Parmesan crusted oyster salad and a cup of turtle soup. Drink a $.25 martini – three is your limit – or a glass of $5.99 wine and you’ve dined well for not a lot of scratch in an iconic New Orleans restaurant. Another great bargain is the daily 3-6 pm happy hour and half price pizza deal at the bar at Domenica in the Roosevelt Hotel. Chef co-owner Alon Shaya rocks thin-crust pizzas topped with the likes of spicy salami, buffalo mozzarella and arugula. You pay half price for the pizza, wines by the glass, well cocktails and beer. Best bet is to show up early – the place gets nuts by 5.
For casual eats, bargains abound. Po’boys, the city’s official sandwich, are usually big enough to share and almost always in the $10 range. Bar food is not always a good idea, but in this town, don’t be afraid to order chow when you’re taking in live music at a place like Siberia (rib-sticking Russian food), Lost Love Lounge (Vietnamese) or Snug Harbor (good burgers).