Veggie in New Orleans
I am seeking good vegetarian (preferably vegan--no dairy or eggs) in New Orleans. Does anyone have any suggestions? I will be attending a conference and need all meals covered for several days. I also need some "nicer" options to meet people for business lunches and dinners. Thank you! Everyone tells me that I will starve in New Orleans.
There are many posts on related topics, I would suggest you search "vegetarian" on this board.
For vegans specifically, it IS, of course, a bit more of a challenge. Your best bets will be Bennachin (delicious african food in a very casual and very slow quarter restaurant, if time is an issue, you might get a menu and call in your order ahead of time, seriously) and you will find a daily veg offering (typically a bean) at the Gumbo shop, also in the quarter. Praline Connection in the Marigny (on frenchman) will also have some sort of bean/rice dish that will service, and might have a no-meat green, I cannot remember. Cafe Bamboo is a recent arrival, 100% vegetarian restaurant on Esplanade, I believe it's totally vegan, anyway does a lot of faux meats, so might work for you. You are going to find a few bar type places on Frenchman you can eat in (the Marigny is also the local's quarter when it comes to music scene): Yuki (many japanese tapas-style foods) and 13 has a yummy bbq tofu poboy. Dunno about time/efficiency in these places, but again, best not to be in a super rush.
Fine dining is going to be a bit more of a challenge, much easier for lacto-ovo in this town of sauces. Rule of thumb for all vegetarians is to call and talk to the restaurant in advance, but in your case this is absolutely required, and you need to stress the vegan. Many chefs are happy to oblige, given the proper notice. I'm guessing your best bets will be to try places like Herbsaint or Bayona, (historically veg friendly) August or Coquette (master chefs who don't shy from challenges), and give them as much ahead of time as you can. You might ask them to speak with the chef and call you back, just to make sure. Add Bucherie (uptown) to this list, as they have a weekly vegetarian entree they offer, and some have been vegan. Slightly more casual than the others listed, but delicious food, and surprising for the name!
I've stressed restaurants with more localish type fair for a number of reasons. We have a few wonderful Vietnamese Restaurants that would work well, but they are not within easy access without a car and good directions. There is a thai restaurant or two, but the best, in my opinion is far out in the suburbs (there is a Thai restaurant in the Marigny that would work). And we have a few Indian food places, but I find better Indian food elsewhere. You will be able to grab perfectly acceptable middle eastern food at Mona's (various locations) or the better Lebananons, which is uptown by Bucherie.
If I think of any other options, I'll pass along.
We certainly can't have anyone starving in New Orleans!
I lived as a vegan in NOLA for 8 years and did just fine. Here are a few of my faves, but definitely check out the links below. My husband has a vegan restaurant review blog: vegannola.blogspot.com which will help.
For meeting work folks I suggest Lola's and Cochon. If you call ahead, Stephen can make you an amazing vegan meal, just be sure to give him notice because the restaurant is very popular and is usually packed.
For breakfast and brunch: Surrey's on Magazine.
Taqueria Corona is great and has vegan beans as does Juan's Flying Burrito. If you can get to the West Bank, Kim Son and Pho Tao Bay have great vegan selections. Bennachin is always good (slow service), and you can always get good sushi and Lebanese food all over town There's also a killer pupuseria on the River Bend that is pricey but so freakin' good.
All the suggestions on here have been great, in my opinion. Make sure you try a tofu Vietnamese po'boy! Wanted to add that Naked Pizza on Claiborne and Calhoun offers soy cheese [that melts!] and lots of veggie toppings. Call ahead, though--there's nowhere to sit inside. I believe they have a website.