This post is a month or two late--- but it's well worth sharing! I think so anyway. Delicious sharing is delicious caring.
It's not a big shocker that people travel to New Orleans to discover and indulge in food. What turned out to be shocking, to us anyway, was the amount of delicious vegan food that is readily available in New Orleans. Now, you may not find a lot of it on the main tourist strip of the french quarter (there's at least one place though!), but just a few short blocks or a quick jump in a cab ride, and really amazing vegan food is everywhere.
I'm always a bit nervous about my food expectations vs. the reality of being vegan while visiting new places. I've learned many hard and devastating times, that it's better to not get my food loving hopes up. Not once was I disappointed in New Orleans--- and that's pretty impressive considering we ate a lot. Not every place on this list is exclusively vegan--- actually come to think of it, I don't think any are. We don't really visit exclusively vegan restaurants in our everyday non traveling lives, so we see no point in doing it on vacation either. Some places on this list will appear to be very disappointing via an online menu, but I can assure you, there are unseen options--- and no, I'm not talking about watery lettuce and tomato salad, don't worry! So maybe you're vegan and you've thought about New Orleans, but you're scared you'll go hungry--- don't worry, I assure you, you'll leave a few pounds heavier and happier.
LILLY'S CAFE: this will be the first place we visit next time we head to new orleans. The bahn mi was delicious (I skipped the mayo and added a sirracha sauce). The egg rolls were one of the best things I ate the whole trip. The spring rolls were good. The coconut water (juice) was great. Marlowe ordered a noodle tofu soup. We were all happy.
BORGNE: Don't look at the menu, you won't find anything. I was instantly skeptical about this place (sorry Chef Landry). Seafood places don't always have the most to offer vegan diners. But we were convinced to try it out and told we would have a vegan gumbo lesson that day. The gumbo was fantastic. Afterwards we tried a whole bunch of other food (vegan for me, non vegan for Alex). Nothing felt heavy and weighted (like how I imagine most food at seafood places feels-- again, sorry Chef Landry). Everything was refreshing and had a wholesome warming feel. We asked, so how does it work on the daily for vegan diners (since we hadn't seen anything) and were told that everyday there is at least one veg*n entree and a few starter options that are easily made vegan.
dreamy weenies: well, you know we're not big mock meat people, but this place was totally great--- our junk food fries and hot dog escape. There's A LOT of different vegan options. Not into mock meat either? There is falafel (hooray!), but I mean, you're at a hot dog place, just get the hot dog. The service here? amazing.
bhava: okay, so I lied. Bhava is the one all exclusively vegan places we went to. And maybe one of the most delicious--- though its hard to tell since, everything was so good. But if you're vegan and want a good amount of choices, this is a good spot. The vibe here is perfect. Moody, a bit dark, definitely tropical too, perfect. The chocolate cake is something you want to leave room for. And it's upstairs from the feelings cafe, which isn't all vegan, but has a separate vegan menu. hooray!
surreys cafe and juice bar: I'll be honest, I was a little bummed to see not a lot of things I could or would order. And then even more sad when the food came out I was like "mehhh this isn't what my hungover self wants"--- but then I actually tasted my meal (it was a savory breakfast bowl with rice, potatoes, peppers, etc), it was actually really delicious! If I could go back in time, I would ask for everything in a tortilla though--- cause that's how my burrito loving self rolls. (get it?) Marlowe got oatmeal. There were juices and smoothies too.
I didn't notice this place until after we came home and I was looking through places, but I think it's worth mentioning that this was in the more touristy part of the french quarter---- with vegan, organic, and gluten free options. I can't confirm it was delicious, since I didn't try it, but maybe! meals from the heart cafe
the superfood bar: this was the healthier place on our list. They had a few vegan menu items--- we all got smoothies as our lighter "holy wow, I ate too much" breakfast treat.
August: our indulgent treat. We're not usually the type to fine dine with a child, but hey, when in rome (nola), then yes. There's a five course vegetarian tasting menu on this. I ordered this and asked if it could be vegan. Most of the stuff could. They made Marlowe a simple red sauce pasta. And brought us sorbet for dessert. For once course the chef subbed out eggplant for the cheese-- I've never had eggplant so creamy and delicious before. We left (drunk) and happy.
Breads on Oak- we stopped in here before heading home. There were vegan sandwich and dessert options. Actually there were probably a lot more options than just that--- just when I see things like vegan cookies and large delicious loaves of bread in front of me--- why look for me? Need dessert? Heres a good spot.
Live in Nola or have visited nola? Have more places that you need to add to the list? Please share in the comments below. Never been, but curious to visit? I'd say it's totally worth the delicious trip, bookmark the post for later :)
Dear New Orleans, you are delicious.