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Posted: Monday, 29 July 2013 4:27AM

Bargain deals on dining for 'local' tourists

New Orleans area residents should plan to do lots of dining out in August.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau will be launching its annual 'Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown' campaign.

The highlight of the campaign is the COOLinary restaurant promotion.

"It offers three-course lunch menus for $20 or less, and three-course dinner menus for $35 or less at some of the city's most popular restaurants," says CVB spokeswoman Kelly Schulz.

And, they've assembled a record number of world-class dining establishments to participate.

"We have 50 COOLinary restaurants signed on so far, and we keep getting more each day," says Schulz.

It's an impressive list:

7 on Fulton, Antoine's Restaurant, Arnaud's Restaurant, Barcadia Bar & Grill, Bistreaux at the Bank, The Bombay Club, Bourbon Heat, Bourbon House, Brigtsen's Restaurant, Café Adelaide, Café Degas, Charlie's Steak House, Chef Duke's Café Giovanni, Coquette, Court of Two Sisters, The Crazy Lobster Bar & Grill, Criollo Restaurant & Lounge, Deanie's Seafood Restaurant, Desire Bistro & Oyster Bar, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Dickie Brennan's Tableau, Dijon, Dominique's on Magazine, Galatoire's Restaurant, Galvez Restaurant, Gordon Biersch New Orleans, Gott Gormet Café, GW Fins, The Irish House, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, Kingfish, Manning's Eat-Drink-Cheer, M Bistro, Martin Wine Cellar, Martinique Bistro, Morton's Steak House, Mr. B's Bistro, Muriel's Jackson Square, One Restaurant & Lounge, Palace Café, Pat O'Brien's Courtyard Restaurant, The Grill Room, The Landing Restaurant, The Pelican Club, Redemption, Roux on Orleans, Royal House Oyster Bar, Tivoli & Lee, Tujague's Restaurant, Vacherie Restaurant and more.

"Some restaurants may choose to create a new menu item for COOLinary, and some will feature their existing menu items," Schulz says.

And, she notes, "you can't get a bad meal in New Orleans."

She says they're encouraging locals to find out why folks come here from around the world to enjoy the renowned and authentic cuisine of New Orleans and its culinary community, which currently boasts nearly 1,350 restaurants.

Click here for more information on COOLinary New Orleans

New Orleans' cuisine, along with the many festivals and attractions, contributed to TripAdvisor ranking New Orleans in 2013's "Top 25 Travelers' Choice U.S. Destinations," then one month later, acknowledging New Orleans among the most affordable cities in the U.S. for domestic travelers based on one night's accommodation, dinner for two, cocktails and a taxi ride. Also in 2013, the National Tour Association awarded New Orleans a Gold award for Favorite Culinary Destination and AAA Southern Traveler named New Orleans the Best Large City in their Best of the South reader poll.

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