Ok, here’s where a small-town girl from Minnesota admits that she was raised with pretty strong biases against the South – all the way down to the food. And, my God, are Northerners wrong!
I spent a few days in my hometown last month and sent a request on Facebook for any recommendations on vegan/vegetarian food in the area. I got one suggestion – and it was closed on Sundays. Granted, my hometown (population 96,189) is certainly smaller than New Orleans (population 391,249) – but the food scene is night and day different.
Which is why we were so thrilled to discover such an incredible food scene – especially for vegans/vegetarians – in New Orleans. It has shattered all of my Northern prejudices.
Below I’ve listed all the amazing restaurants we ate at in New Orleans – a few are 100% vegan, but most simply have a vegan page to their menu. All are worth a visit : ) I’ve listed everything we ordered and italicized anything not pictured.
BEARCAT CBD – Vegan bearcat, chia pudding with fruit, blueberry short stack, biscuit sandwich, & blueberry lavender lemonade. This brunch spot was so good, we went back a second time! They have a huge vegan selection and the tastiest potatoes of all time. It’s a good thing we don’t live in New Orleans, because even the “Good Cat” portion of the menu is a far cry from healthy!
Breads On Oak – Pumpkin cheddar biscuit sandwich, avocado scramble toast, tea biscuit, baguette, & brownie. 100% vegan bakery? Yes, please! We were here time and again for breakfast, as well as quick snacks throughout the day. Warning: They close early, at 2:00pm.
Holy Crepes! – Le Amore crepe (strawberries, bananas, & nutella) & frozen basil lemonade. Located in the French Market, they stand out as a stand offering vegan/vegetarian options! There was quite a line, so you might have to be patient, but it provided a great late morning snack. They have a large selection of savory crepes as well.
Sweet Soulfood – Sweet potatoes, orange cauliflower, bread pudding, mac & cheese, jambalaya, creole curry, shepherd’s pie, & okra gumbo. The second 100% vegan restaurant on this list and it was absolutely incredible. We knew there was a lot of famous New Orleans’ food we were going to have to miss out on and Sweet Soulfood changed all that. As someone who (13 years after going vegetarian) still misses the flavor of orange chicken, the orange cauliflower was a life changer. Also super impressed with the shepherd’s pie & okra gumbo (and I hate okra!!!).
Dat Dog – Smoked apple sage ‘dog, vegan bratwurst, & spicy chipotle dog. Yum. Sometimes you just want a vegan dog, you know? These were delicious and I wish we had a Dat Dog in DFW.
The Daily Beet – Orbit bowl & southwest bowl. We felt that we had tipped into a fairly unhealthy food cycle in New Orleans. We appreciated the freshness and lightness of The Daily Beet, but definitely felt like the bowls were something we could have made at home (if we currently had a home to make food at!).
Killer Poboys – Roasted cauliflower poboy & whiskey grilled cheese sandwich. How can you not get a poboy in New Orleans? These were surprisingly fun. They had a number of other vegan/vegetarian options – more than any other poboy shop we looked at.
Thaihey NOLA – Siam mule, tofu satay, Thai herbs salad, pumpkin curry, & kraprow curry. This was another restaurant we loved so much, we went to twice. With an entire vegan page, there was so much to try. A warning, if you’re sensitive to spicy meals (like I am), none of the curries are mild (though they’ll claim they are!). But the satay and salad were both fantastic and easy on my stomach (and Chandler loved the spicy curries).
The Vintage – Apple brie flatbread, corpse reviver cocktail, cinnamon beignet, & veggie sandwich with truffle parmesan fries. This pick was the furthest from our hotel, down in the Garden District (everything else was in the French Quarter or Mid-City) and we are so glad we took the bus ride to get there! The main reason for the stop was the cinnamon beignet – but the flatbread and fries were incredible too!
We’re not much for sweets, so this was our only beignet stop, but I was also tempted by the Bakery Bar‘s chocolate chip cookie beignet & apple pie beignet. They close early on Sundays and aren’t open on Mondays, otherwise I probably would have stopped in for a comparison : )
Olive – Hummus, fattoush, & tabouli. I don’t have a photo of our final restaurant, because Chandler was the only one who ate there (I opted for a less healthy return to Dat Dog!). I’ve been giving Mediterranean food a wide berth since our return from Jordan, but I know I’ll return to it someday.
And thus ends our eating tour of New Orleans. We had such a fantastic time eating our way through the city – I can’t wait to explore more Southern cities now!