Vegan Favorites: New Orleans Edition

I am getting close to the end of my stay here in New Orleans, Louisiana. I have about five weeks left, and I will be spending one of them in South Beach, Miami. (That will be next week so stay tuned for some pictures of great food there!)

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While I spend most of my time on campus; going to classes and doing my homework, I’ve managed to find time to visit some restaurants with delicious vegan food. Some of my friends here actually introduced me to those restaurants. I went there with them and enjoyed good food and great company. I am so grateful to have found some wonderful vegan friends here!

To help other people that will be visiting New Orleans (whether for study, travel, or any other reason) I will list some of the restaurants down here. I will let you know beforehand that there is only one FULLY-VEGAN restaurant on this list. The rest are all “normal” restaurants with vegan options. Also; this list isn’t in any order of amazing-ness. I just put them in order of me remembering that I visited each.

  1. Dat dog
    Dat dog is a hot-dog/fast-food chain that can be found all over New Orleans. As a Dutch native hot-dogs aren’t that special to me. That are not as big a part of fast-food culture as they are here in the United States. Having said that: I still really like hot-dogs. I am not a big fast-food lover but I think this place have done the vegan hot-dog really well. It’s a cheap, easy, go-to restaurant when you need to eat something quick and have to satisfy some non-vegan companions.

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    Chipotle-dog at Dat Dog.

    So what can you get here? They actually have three different kinds of vegan hot-dogs. The spicy-Chipotle (as pictured left), the field-roast Italian (made from eggplant) and the smoked apple-sage. They are all equally delicious and it completely depends on what you prefer. Do not be misled by the “eggplant”-base. It tastes like a hot-dog. Not like some egg-plant-puree.
    You then get to choose however many toppings you want. Many of the toppings are vegan and the buns always are. My favorite combinations so far: Chipotle dog with guacamole and pico de gallo or apple-sage with mustard and pico de gallo. But whatever you want, whether you like ’em spicy or sweet, you can get your hot-dog fix at Dat Dog.

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    Breads on Oak.
  2. Breads on Oak
    I always like to try different sweet baked goods wherever I go.
    Finding Breads on Oak was like walking into heaven. The smell, the look, the customer service; I just love it there.
    I tried my first King Cake here (traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras-cake), had a delicious cinnamon bun and even had a very unique and delicious sandwich for lunch. At Breads on Oak they have really figured out how to make the best baked goods and most importantly: they’ve figured out how to make most of them vegan! You can even get vegan quiche here if you want.

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    Chocolate croissant at Breads on Oak.

    Despite vegan baked goods having a reputation of sometimes being crap, it is impossible to tell that Breads on Oak’s food is mostly vegan. You should definitely take your reluctant family or friends here to tell them afterwards. They won’t believe you when you tell them what they just ate was vegan.

    I have already made plans to go back here on my birthday and to get some more delicious sweetness to celebrate. I may even get this chocolate-croissant again!

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    Left: patatas bravas, right: pecan-orange-mushroom paté with bread and veggies to dip.
  3. Green Goddess Restaurant
    While most of the other restaurants are not in the heart of downtown, this one is. Green Goddess is a vegetarian restaurant with vegan options. I have only been here once, as I don’t really enjoy going to the city center that much, but the food that I had there was amazing. You can really taste that they like to use real, whole ingredients and the flavors they produce are extremely unique. Definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in town.We had happy hour snacks before dinner. With I friend I shared the patatas bravas (I got them without cheese) and the pecan-orange-mushroom paté. The last one was especially amazing. You should know that these portions were quite small. They were officially starters, but still. The taste makes up for the amount, however. Quality over Quantity, right?!
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  4. Seed
    Seed is the only completely vegan restaurant in New Orleans. I wanted to come here ever since I did research online back in the Netherlands. I’ve been here two times and both times I did not regret it. The first time I had a delicious lunch and the second I did happy hour with a group of people. Mind you, I heard they no longer have happy hour (but that shouldn’t keep you from going here!).

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    Brunch at Seed.

    The first time I went here for Brunch. I had a smoothie, a pecan-pancake and a tofu-poboy. The smoothie was very disappointing and I will not order one from here again. The food, however, was AMAZING. The pancake was perfect; light, sweet, soft. They have different kinds and I went for the pecan one because I love pecans. But if you prefer blueberries or chocolate, you can also get that. You have to try Seed’s pancakes if you’re ever in New Orleans. The poboy was also very good. It was huge, though (and that’s coming from me). Thank god for the American custom known as doggy-bags.

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    Happy hour at Seed.

    At the happy hour I had what everyone else was also ordering: chili cheese fries (first time for me, ever) and nuggets. The nuggets were the same ones they used for the poboy and the chili cheese fries were amazing.
    While Seed definitely isn’t a healthy option, it is a great place to try some American and New Orleanian vegan food. When you’re going to a restaurant, sometimes this is a thing you have to accept. I will repeat: if you ever visit New Orleans, you HAVE to visit Seed.

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    Vegan rice bowl at HK NOLA.
  5. HK NOLA
    HK NOLA is a restaurant that’s officially part of the Tulane University campus. It is open to outsiders, though. As it is located within the Jewish-studies building the restaurant is completely kosher and has many vegan options. There’s a lot of seating available so you shouldn’t be afraid of taking students’ seats. In addition to that, one Sunday each month the Green Wave market is also hosted here. It is a very small market with some organic farm-food, books, thrift clothes and more. All from local businesses. You could make it a small excursion: visit the Green Wave market and have lunch at HK NOLA.

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    Foccacia with chickpea salad and greens at HK NOLA.

    From hummus sandwiches to vegan chocolate chip cookies to chickpea salad to rice-bowls. I love their chickpea salad so much that I even asked them to put that on foccacia with some lettuce. It was no problem for them and definitely one of the best meals I’ve had here. It always makes me happy to be able to eat somewhere and still be relatively healthy. HK NOLA has delicious food that is mostly whole-foods and definitely healthier than your average American restaurant. If you’re near there I would recommend getting lunch or dinner here. You will not regret it.

  6. Lily’s cafe
    Lily’s cafe on Magazine street is one of New Orleans’ hidden gems. This Vietnamese restaurant has many vegan options. If you are like me – you love Asian food – this is a great place to visit. Pho, rice, noodles, tofu, whatever you want. The flavors are very good. When I got spicy tofu they weren’t lying. It was great. In addition to that: the food was really quick and relatively cheap. I hadn’t been there for ten minutes after ordering and my food was already done. For a big bowl of rice, veggies and spicy tofu I paid about 10 dollars. Definitely worth it.
    Unfortunately I don’t have any photos as it was too dark when I was there. But the food also looked amazing. Lily even stopped by our table to chat with us. It was a great experience.

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    Little piles of food at Cafe Abyssinia.
  7. Cafe Abyssinia
    I had never in my life tried Ethiopian food before. I had always wanted to. So when a friend told me about an Ethiopian restaurant that served vegan food here I told here I just had to go there. So the four of us went there to try this delicious food.
    When I got there it looked kind of shady. You don’t expect a restaurant to be where it is. It is hard to explain. But imagine a mid-level busy road, houses and some stores, and then there’s this part where you go between two buildings to find this little gem of a restaurant. We were actually able to sit outside and enjoy the weather. Much quieter there than you would expect. So when you go there don’t be scared of by it’s appearance. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover (to keep the book-theme of my blog).First great thing: CHEAP! The food was cheap. We ordered two veggie platters for two people and since we were still hungry we ordered another one to share. In the end I only had to pay 15 dollars. That’s not a lot of money for that much food.
    It’s also a great experience. Ethiopian food is served in little piles; spicy lentils, potato-carrot dish, baked collared greens, other lentils. You get these little sourdough-tasting pancakes that you use to pick up a little bit of the food and then eat that together. If that doesn’t tickle your interest I don’t know what will.
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  8. Sukho Thai
    Sukho Thai is a Thai restaurant that is perfect for vegans. They have a normal menu but in the back there is an entire vegan menu! I have tried their vegan pad thai and the papaya salad, both incredibly delicious. It is not the healthiest meal you can get but definitely good. It is also great to go here with non-vegans (as I have done both times I went).
    There are two Sukho Thai restaurants in New Orleans, one in Uptown and one in Marigny. There’s not much more to say. Sukho Thai is just a great option for Vegans in New Orleans, whether you’re with other vegans or with omnivores.
  9. Blaze pizza
    blaze pizza.pngDuring my final days here in New Orleans I was suddenly craving pizza. So a friend and I decided to try Blaze pizza. I’d heard something about this place and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out, this place is amazing!
    Basically, you can build your own pizza for 7.95. This includes as many toppings as you want. That’s right. No extra costs after 3 toppings. And even more exciting: They have vegan cheese and it doesn’t cost anything extra either! (and they keep it with the veggies rather than the cheeses, so no danger of getting puss on your pizza 😀 ).
    Just look at this beauty.

I hope these tips have helped some of you figure out where to eat when you’re visiting New Orleans. Of course it is always safe to go to sushi-places, so I did not include those. These restaurants all offer a different kind of food and are all worth a try.
Definitely let me know if you try any, and let me know what your experiences were.

love, isabelle

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