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Jun 8, 2009 05:57 PM

Best Veg-friendly options in NOLA

Dear Hounders-

My bf and I are headed to new orleans tomorrow for a week long holiday. Would love to get the inside scoop on some excellent vegetarian restaurants and/or places that have quality vegetarian options (as my bf is not vegetarian).

We'd ideally love to dabble in all the authentic flavors that new orleans cuisine has to offer, but have found it hard to find places that accommodate a vegetarian diet. we're staying in the French Quarter but would travel to any part of town!

We live in Los Angeles and some of our favorite places to eat are little hidden haunts with great food. Please help us find some veggie spots in nola!


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  1. Same question asked a little while back.

    There ain't much in the way of vegetarian options and even fewer "authentic flavors" that don't involve meat.

    1. Bennachin on Royal Street in the Quarter is an African Restaurant that has delicious vegitarian options, and a menu that speak to the roots of a lot of New Orleans cuisine. I'm a vegitarian and it is one of my stand-by favorites. My meat eating friends love it too, but it is definitely a "laid back/slow service/funky" little place. Cash only. You can also get some adequate vegetarian "soul food" (i.e. beans and greens and rice type fare) at the Praline Connection in the Marigny (frenchman street), though I find the atmosphere to be a bit lacking. Both of these are reasonably priced. You can have the Central Grocery make a vegitarian version of the Muffaletta as well. have yet to try the Green Goddess, but I am looking forward to it. As stated in the link posted above, almost all of the "finer" establishments will either have or create something for you, but advance notice is very recommended, This is one of the best means to get a great food experience as a veg here. Susan Spicer has always been known to cater to the veg, diet, but I've had equally satisfying meals over the years at Brightsens, Gautreaus, Dick & Jenny's, Lilette, Coquette and recently Boucherie (YUM! my new favorite, pleases the carnivores too, need a reservation) I have heard incredibly things about the August vegetarian tasting menu, though I have never tried, and it's a splurge. A plethora of yummy tapas/small plate style places have been popping up that will have options for you (Rambla/Mimi's/Cafe Granada/the Delechaise) but I would not consider them to be "authentic" local flavors.....So though it is not an effortless endeavor, eating well and vegitarian in New Orleans can be done, and when all else fails, you shouldn't notice the trouble as you heartily enjoy our many fabulous (if potential dangerous) cocktails!

      2 Replies
      1. re: swampsue

        Very helpful, will use the "call ahead" rule of thumb for the finer establishments.
        Looking forward to trying some of your other options.
        If we go to green goddess we'll report back :)

        Thank u!

        1. re: laboutiquedungeons

          Yeah, I second swampsue. Few places are designated "veggie only," but ALL of the restaurants of the type that require reservations would be able to accommodate you. I would recommend Rio Mar, which is a Spanish seafood restaurant that has a lot of veggie tapas. Pretty much any of this caliber restaurant will have a menu available online.

          I also warn you that a lot of the traditional dishes that *seem* vegetarian were prepared with animal products. Things are often fried in lard or bacon fat, and smoked or pickled meat is used as a seasoning for beans, greens and such. You're probably used to this in L.A. with Mexican, but be careful and don't be afraid to ask.

      2. Haven't been, but just saw an ad for a new veg restaurant, Cafe Bamboo. Here's a review:

        And it looks like that blog may have other helpful suggestions.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JGrey

          I've only been there once and had one dish, but I really enjoyed my curry from Cafe Bamboo. My vege friends swear by it, plus they deliver!

        2. Green Goddess. Very vege friendly, even has a vegetarian tasting menu. Along with non vege foods. Go there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lyonola

            Haven't been for dinner, but in two lunches I didn't find Green Goddess to be particularly vege friendly. I'd say they have about the same amount of vege dishes as anywhere else: salads available with or without seafood toppings, one vege special of sesame crusted tofu, and a crudite platter. Not exactly breaking new vegetarian ground. Again, this was lunch, and the dinner menu does have more options.

            I found Green Goddess to be generally good but pricey. One day I had the Green Goddess salad, which was good. The dressing is distinctive and tasty. Another day we tried a cold watermelon soup with avocado and crab, which was great. Very refreshing. The duck fat potatoes were not good. Thin slices of potato soggy, limp, and swimming in grease. The "Cuban" sandwich didn't bear much resemblance to its namesake but was very tasty and I ate every bite with relish. My friends had the above-mentioned sesame crusted tofu, which they said was good but was a small, appetizer-sized serving for $10. I'm looking forward to having dinner there and trying some of Chris's dishes.