Widely recognized as one of the top culinary destinations in the world, New Orleans can be a wonderland for foodies, including those with restricted diets. Vegans fear not; while there are a handful of vegan-only eateries here, you can also find a truly memorable vegan dining experience at a wide variety of establishments, from French Quarter po-boy joints to Garden District landmarks. We’ve listed a few of our favorite spots below, but note that many New Orleans restaurants will do their best to accommodate vegans - especially with a little advance notice.

 

Image courtesy of I-Tal Garden
I-Tal Garden

All-Vegan

As of this writing, every menu item at these places is vegan.

I-tal Garden

A local favorite, I-tal Garden serves up an impressive breakfast menu with options like avocado toast, fresh fruit parfait, steel-cut oats, and a fluffy double-stack spelt pancake platter which comes with a chickpea scramble and seitan sausage. Their lunch and dinner menus have something for everyone, from crabless cake appetizers and vegan burgers to their I-tal plate with coconut curry black-eyed peas, Creole greens, crispy cauli-wings and cornbread. 

Sweet Soulfood

Don’t let their cafeteria-style ordering setup fool you; everything behind the counter at Sweet Soulfood is delicious. Staples include their popular mac n’ cheese, jambalaya, collard greens, and okra gumbo, all of which are available most days of the week, but their weekly menu makes it easy to plan ahead for specials like red beans on Mondays, eggplant lasagna on Tuesdays, and stuffed bell peppers on Thursdays.
 

Kindred

Kindred’s got a great selection of comfort-food options that’ll satisfy any appetite, including a “meatball” sub, mushroom-based “shrimp” po-boy, eggplant burger, mac and cheese, and tofu scramble with hash browns. But it’s their fried “chicken” sandwich, featuring their house-made seitan, that really stands out. They also host a popular weekend brunch featuring dishes such as French toast, gluten-free cinnamon buttermilk waffles, and breakfast sausage patties.

Rebecca Todd
Breads on Oak

Breads on Oak

Nestled along Oak Street, this plant-based bakery and cafe is known for its wide selection of organic, artisan baked goods. Their all-day breakfast menu features housemade specials like the Pumpkin Cheddar Biscuit with a tofu scramble, as well as vegan andouille sausage and vegan quiches, while their sandwiches range from housemade burgers and BLTs (with house-marinated tempeh instead of bacon) to chickpea “eggless” salad and a twist on the classic New Orleans muffaletta. Remember that this is a bakery, so you’re gonna want to save room for some of their amazing pastries.

Botanicals NOLA

This all-vegan smoothie and juice bar’s motto is Heal Yourself, and that’s evident in their menu offerings of healthy drinks, organic bowls, fresh salads and sandwiches, and breakfast items like avocado toast and vegan Belgian waffles. They also have a variety of supplements and skin care products. Customers love the family-like atmosphere and the owner’s commitment to promoting health and wellness throughout the community. Drop in and grab their popular Big Zoe® smoothie and anything else that catches your eye. You’ll be glad you did.  

Image courtesy of Jack Rose
Eggplant Teriyaki - Jack Rose

New Orleans Restaurants with Vegan Options

Upscale

Jack Rose

This gorgeous, popular Garden District restaurant in the Pontchartrain Hotel consistently knocks it out of the park thanks to vegan sous chef Takara Hein, who creates scrumptious, flavorful dishes that tempt even the most passionate veggie-haters. Options include brussels sprouts roasted to perfection and topped with harissa (easily veganized with the removal of honey), a saffron orecchiette pasta with butternut squash, walnut pesto and coconut, and an eggplant teriyaki with black rice and pickled radish salad.

Gianna

This James Beard-nominated rustic-Italian-meets-Louisiana restaurant brings locally grown organic produce, house-made pastas, and a nice selection of easy-to-veganize sides together beautifully to accommodate vegans. Their menu changes seasonally so everything is about as fresh as it gets.

Jeremy Cooker
Vegan Shakshuka - Saba

Saba

Several delicious vegan options grace the menu at Alon Shaya’s Uptown Mediterranean restaurant. While their melt-in-your-mouth fluffy house-made pita and hummus are worth the trip alone, starters like the lutenitsa, roasted beets, and tabouleh are a lovely way to kick off your meal, the broccoli salad and green salad are both excellent, and the shakshuka, sans eggs, delivers just the right amount of spice, and is perfect for dipping any pita that may miraculously still be on the table.

Commander’s Palace

Widely recognized as the grand dame of Creole cuisine and fine dining in New Orleans, vegans will be pleasantly surprised at this esteemed Garden District culinary landmark. Chef Meg Bickford and her talented kitchen staff will happily accommodate vegan requests with something spectacular that will have other diners asking their servers what you ordered.

Luvi

LUVI caters to the vegan community with a lovely selection of Chinese and Japanese dishes. Start with an appetizer, like the smashed cucumbers or five scented edamame, before diving into the vegan lover dumplings with pan fried bok choy, mushrooms and green bean noodles, or the spicy stir-fried napa cabbage with ginger and garlic.

Casual

Meals from the Heart Cafe

This French Market gem has vegan options for breakfast and lunch that have earned it nearly perfect reviews from customers. Chef Marilyn Doucette serves up delicious vegan versions of New Orleans classic dishes like gumbo, po-boys, and crab cakes, and according to their Facebook page, she “hand selects every ingredient, every day, [and] maintain[s] one of the cleanest kitchens in the industry, 98% of what you order [from the restaurant] is made from scratch.”

The Well Cafe at Spyre

Part of a beautiful health collective space in the Garden District that includes a meditation space, gym, pool, sauna, and health practitioners offering a number of services from Ayurveda and Acupuncture to Light, Sound, and Vibrational Therapy,  the Well Café offers breakfast, antioxidant-rich fresh juices, soups, salads, and protein snacks, all of which are lovingly crafted with the idea that food is medicine. Try the Young and Wild salad with fresh herbs, dried fruit, toasted pepitas, citrus garlic vinaigrette, and grapefruit, and just ask them to hold the feta, and wash it down with a Golden Years antidote juice, made with fresh carrot, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, and ginseng.

Lilly’s Cafe

Vegan options abound at Lilly’s, a quaint Vietnamese cafe that’s built a strong local following with their friendly service and consistently excellent dishes. Their vegan pho, bahn mi, and garlic tofu over rice or vermicelli are all standouts, though meeting Lilly, who is there almost every day, is worth the trip alone.  

Banana Blossom

Local vegans rave about this Westbank Vietnamese bistro’s vegan offerings which include kimchi tofu and ramen tofu dishes. They also serve a vegan chocolate sorbetto for dessert from local Italian gelato shop, Piccola Gelateria.

Zack Smith
Green Goddess

Lamara

A beautiful little cafe tucked into a renovated century-old Mid-City house, Lamara was founded as an extension of the studio next door where stars like Eric Clapton, John Legend, Willie Nelson, Katy Perry, Mary J Blige, Common, and many others have recorded albums. Their West Coast-inspired menu is plant-based, health-focused, organic and full of color and flavor.  Vegan breakfast options include their La Brea burrito with potato-poblano-chickpea hash, avocado, purple cabbage and chipotle mayo, and a variety of vegan bagels. Their lunch menu is full of vegan goodness like their black bean sweet potato quinoa-based Lamara burger, rainbow tostadas, jackfruit carnitas, and Gracias Madre salad, with raw walnut taco meat, local greens, purple cabbage, watermelon radish, pico de gallo, and guacamole. They also have a serious selection of organic coffees and teas, and protein-packed superfood smoothies.

Kat Kimball
Addis NOLA

Addis NOLA

This authentic Ethiopian restaurant loves catering to vegans, and its veggie combo is an out-of-this-world delicious assortment of perfectly prepared red lentils, collard greens, yellow split peas, beets, cabbage with green lentils, potatoes and carrots,  served with injera. Owners Dr. Biruk Alemayhu and her son Prince will make you feel right at home. If you’re wondering why the place smells so wonderful, it’s because they roast their own coffee beans in house, in true Ethiopian tradition.

Bearcat Cafe

This popular breakfast and lunch spot offers the best of both worlds with its good and bad cat menus. While both equally delicious and freshly prepared, the good cat menu offers full flavor with no regret. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu items include pancakes, tofu scrambles, black bean sausage, ranchero and much more. Pair your meal alongside one (or a few) of their specialty bottled kombuchas, teas, lemonades, limeades, and cold brews. 

Paul Broussard
Daily Beet

Daily Beet

Looking to start your day on a lighter note? Look no further than the Daily Beet. The Daily Beet serves a variety of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and light breakfast bites. Try their house acai bowl topped with goji berries, coconut flakes and a drizzle of honey, or opt for something more savory with their avocado toast made with cherry tomatoes, sea salt and chili flakes. Their rainbow bowl is perfect for lunch.

True Food Kitchen

Founded by renowned doctor of integrative medicine, Andrew Weil, True Food’s philosophy is good food creates a good mood, and practically everything they serve is carefully crafted with health and well-being and flavor as top priorities. As a vegan, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by their menu, which is an embarrassment of riches from starters to desserts. We love the Korean noodle bowl and butternut squash pizza, but honestly, every vegan item on the menu is a winner. 

Rebecca Todd
Carmo

Carmo

Pulling inspiration from Southwest Asia to East Africa, Carmo is a tropical cafe with an extensive selection of vegan eats and treats. Try one of their fresh salads, sandwiches, and housemade bowls, or opt for baked goods during an afternoon in New Orleans’ Arts District.

Sneaky Pickle/Bar Brine

Although the menu has expanded to include some meat and non-vegan options, vegans still love this place for its fun and funky vibe and tasty comfort foods like vegan egg rolls stuffed with black rice, mushrooms and sweet chili aioli, a Reuben with smoked tempeh, creamy mac n cheese, and buffalo tofu and cauliflower salad. At night, the restaurant transforms into Bar Brine, with housemade pastas, heartier mains, and a wider selection of starters. They also have a truly excellent cocktail program, with one of the best martinis in town. 

 

Image Courtesy of Cuñada
Cuñada

Cuñada

The brainchild of two friends from Mexico and the Czech Republic, Cuñada serves up authentic Mexican dishes and a rotating menu of Agave-based margaritas and craft cocktails in a friendly, colorful, and intimate French Quarter setting. Check out the portobello al pastor and the fiesta vegana, which features their nopal (cactus pad) taco, portobello taco, cauliflower ceviche, plus rice, beans, and avocado.

Trilly Cheesesteaks

These scrumptious seitan cheesesteaks are so good you’ll feel like you’re in Philly with every bite. They have a completely separate grill, oven, fryer, and cutlery for all their vegan options, so there’s no cross-contamination with animal products on their menu.

 

Photo credit by Randy Krause Schmidt
Barracuda Farmer Taco

Barracuda

A funky, casual taco stand with plenty of outdoor seating, Barracuda is adored by locals who line up regularly to indulge in some of the tastiest tacos and margaritas in town. In addition to their farmer taco and veggie bowl, they’ve got a delicious mushroom taco and often feature a seasonal special, both of which can easily be veganized. You order at the counter, but the line moves quickly and the kitchen and service staff are exceptionally friendly. It’s also a great spot to bring kids.

La Macarena Pupuseria

Just steps from the St. Charles Streetcar line Uptown in the Riverbend neighborhood, La Macarena Pupuseria and Latin Cafe specializes in authentic Salvadoran and Latin American cuisine, and they’ve got an entire menu for vegans (with a couple vegetarian items). Good luck deciding what to order; one glimpse of their vegan tostadas, pupusas, tamales, salads, and bowls and you’ll want it all. Note the restaurant is cash-only, as it’s been since they opened in 2008, but they do have an ATM on site. 

Slim Goodies

Hearty meets healthy at Slim Goodies. A classic diner, Slim Goodies prepares quintessential breakfast and brunch foods with a selection of plant-based adjustments. The Garden Slammer is a breakfast scramble served with hashbrowns, tofu Slimchili, vegan bacon, and their black bean burger hits the spot for lunch, with or without their veggie chili.

Tal’s Hummus

An Israel-inspired restaurant using only the best ingredients, Tal’s Hummus serves fresh and fulfilling Mediterranean cuisine. They’ve got a nice selection of vegan Israeli street foods including a flavorful Vegan Shawarma - available as a pita or platter and complete with seitan and grilled onions, hummus, fries, and Israeli salad, and a tempura fried cauliflower pita with kalamata olives, Israeli salad, green chili, and tahini.

Raw Republic

An ideal post-workout refresher or post-weekend detox, Raw Republic is a raw vegan cafe and wellness studio. No matter what you order here, chances are you’ll feel better and your body will thank you for it. Check out their impressive selection of cold-pressed juices, made-to-order superfood smoothies, and fresh breakfast bowls topped with house-made coconut buckwheat granola and activated pecan nut butter. Or treat yourself to their Truffle Mac Noodles made with cashews, truffle salt and kelp noodles and top it off with a salted cacao brownie.

Rebecca Todd
1000 Figs

1000 Figs

It’s no surprise that 1000 Figs is incredibly popular, even in a town with so many great restaurants, this darling Mediterranean eatery nestled in New Orleans’ trendy Esplanade Ridge neighborhood consistently gets everything right. You can pore over all the vegan options on the menu, but they’ve already done the work for you with their vegan falafel feast, which runs the (dinner) table with eight perfectly prepared falafel patties,  hummus, baba ghanouj, pickled veggies, kale and cabbage salad, seasonal vegetables, tahini, zhoug, toum, and freshly baked bread.

Vegan Pizza in New Orleans

Pizza Delicious

The name says it all. Pizza Delicious is just across the street from Crescent Park in the Bywater. It is loved by many not only for its delicious and ever-changing menu, but also for its wide range of dishes fit for any type of eater. Enjoy the vegan peppadew and arugula pizza (a house specialty), or ask for the seasonal vegan option, which at press time was their sinfully rich fettuccine with local butternut squash, but is sure to please no matter what’s in season when you drop in. 

Paulie Gee’s Crescent City Slice Shop

This Brooklyn-based pizzeria recently expanded to New Orleans, and they offer stellar vegan options. From the crust to the sauce, and the vegan cheese, this is about as perfect as you can get when it comes to pizza. 

G’s Pizza

A pizza joint in New Orleans with its own vegan menu? We’re here for it. And we’re also here for not one, not two, but the EIGHT vegan pizza options that grace their menu! A nice assortment of apps, salads, pasta, and burgers round out your choices but be warned, the pizza is amazing and filling, AND they also have a vegan key-lime pie for dessert so try not to get too carried away.

This is just a small taste of vegan eats in New Orleans (see our full list here). Make sure to call ahead to any of our local restaurants and bakeries to ask about vegan-friendly options that may not be listed on their menu.