If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a new Mexican restaurant on Freret Street. Many first notice this unusual building because it is a stark white, standalone building with refurbished picnic tables outside, as opposed to the street’s other small restaurants and stores that are connected to each other. 

Val’s menu is categorized into “tacos” and “not tacos.” The simple menu and inexpensive prices are what first attracted me to this restaurant. However, this is the same reason for many others’ attrition, and the wait times can be overwhelming. My friends and I arrived at 8:15pm thinking that there wouldn’t be as long of a wait, but we still ended up with a 40 minute wait.

Val’s has done an amazing job with social distancing and keeping to the New Orleans health and safety measures. You are given a paper menu when you sit down; and you circle the item that you want and write the quantity next to it. I was very impressed by this because you limit close interaction with the waiter. 

The Lowdown on the Food: 

“Not Tacos”

  • Salsa Tatemada: very good, your classic restaurant-style red salsa
  • Salsa Cremosa: very spicy, I could only take a bite when it was barely on the chip without burning my mouth
  • Queso: not your typical queso, it came in a pan with chorizo and small corn tortillas on the side as a make your own taco. It tasted amazing, but if you’re expecting regular queso, this is not for you


  • Crispy Beef: this was my favorite, you won’t be disappointed
  • Green Mole Chicken: this was my second favorite, it was shredded chicken which is my personal favorite taco filling
  • Fried Fish: this was the favorite among my friends, but my least favorite. It is a small ball of fried fish with coleslaw

Picture credit: Zoe Kaplan

Overall Rating: 

You are going to Val’s for the overall vibe and the company that came with you. The atmosphere is very relaxing, especially when the sun has set. Overall, I give Val’s on Freret a 7.5/10. 


About Hannah Gruber

Hannah Gruber is a freshman originally from Bernardsville, NJ but has been loving New Orleans and wanted to write about it! She can’t wait to get more involved at Tulane and get to know the city more!