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Take pity on a poor vegetarian soul!

Folks,

I am coming to New Orleans from Chicago for a fun-filled weekend. Now, I already know this is sacrilege, but I can't do anything about it (I've been vegetarian since I was 13 and I just can't stop now!) so I have to ask: what are some great vegetarian options in New Orleans?

I'm not asking about vegetarian restaurants necessarily--one, I'm traveling with a non-vegetarian friend and I fear if I drag her only to veggie restaurants, we may not leave NOLA as friends ;), and two, veggie/vegan restaurants rarely offer dishes that actually taste good. (FYI: notable exceptions in the Chicago-area include Mana Food Bar, Green Zebra, Karyn's - all absolutely delicious as affirmed by numerous meat-eaters).

So while I would happily take any recommendations for delicious veggie restaurants if you have them, I'm also asking whether there are some great restaurants that offer sufficient vegetarian options (entrees or sides - I've been known to make up my own tapas-style menu) so that I could leave feeling happy. I confess to being a bit of a "foodie" - so I'd be grateful for suggestions for awesome cheap eats as well as for fine dining.

Yes, I know that I will be missing out on some of the best food New Orleans has to offer, and I am sad for it. But I would greatly appreciate your help to still make it a memorable dining trip!

Thank you so much for your time -

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  1. If you do a search with "vegan" you will find several recent threads. As you will see most of the places are "ethnic", Middle Eastern or African.

    I do think that if you want to go to one of the name restaurants you could contact them ahead and get something set up for yourself. If they aren't slammed the chef can probably do something for you on the fly with no warning.

    I'd say go for the red beans and rice but I've yet to eat any that didn't have ham in the base. But there must be a place or two that does a vegan version. Maybe someplace in Bywater?

    1 Reply
    1. re: collardman

      Thank you! I know that calling ahead works at a few spots in Chicago, but it's definitely not standard practice. I will give this a try and see what happens!

    2. Good luck with your affliction.

      1 Reply
      1. Some of the po boy shops - Mahony's on Magazine Street does for sure - offer fried green tomato po boys - that might be an option for you. It looked pretty good when I was there.

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        Mahony's
        3454 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Celery

          This is exactly what I wanted - recommendations on how to do New Orleans' classics, which tend not to be veggie-friendly. Thanks so much!

        2. What's up doc?

          The fried green tomato po boy is delicious at Mahony's. Worth a trip.

          Also at The Commander's Palace, you can have a great vegetarian lunch with 25 cent martinis in one of the city's best restaurants. Don't even need to call ahead. Sunday brunch is also an option, as well as dinner, there.

          At Stanley in the Quarter you'll find great breakfasts and lunches without meat. Muriel's will also make you something great--a vegetarian I know said their off-the-menu choices made the best meal she'd ever had.

          Also, check out Domenica's pizzas, half off at happy hour. Bennachin African, also in the Quarter (and BYOB), Red Fish Grill's butternut squash soup (actually worth a stop, just for a snack), no kidding), Mimi's in the Marigny, the vegetarian selection at Irene's or Meauxbar, Juan's Flying Burrito, Mike's on the Avenue (pretty much lunch only, as I remember it), and Dick and Jenny's. Don't miss Dick and Jenny's. So good.

          Just off the top of my head, there. You're going to be just fine. And very happy, besides. If I think up some more, I'll come back to you.

          -----
          Commander's Palace Restaurant
          1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Mahony's
          3454 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA

          Red Fish Grill
          115 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Bennachin Restaurant
          1212 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

          Juan's Flying Burrito
          2018 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Domenica
          123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

          2 Replies
          1. re: hamsoda

            I actually requested an account to answer this question. I have vegetarian and vegan friends who live in NOLA. They eat quite well.

            Many great restaurants have vegetarian options on the menu. A review or restaurant websites will help determine if items might be appealing but you might try:

            Dante’s Kitchen
            Mat and Naddie’s
            Green Goddess
            Feelings

            Other restaurants have always made my friends items that suit their dietary needs. Calling ahead is a great idea for these but options include:

            Coquette
            Ste. Marie
            Boucherie

            Some casual vegetarian pop-ups may be appealing:

            Wandering Budha (in the Hi-Ho Lounge)
            John Morales and Paige Vann (Grits Bar for vegan Sunday brunch)

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            Green Goddess
            307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

            Hi-Ho Lounge
            2239 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

            Boucherie
            8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

            Ste. Marie
            930 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70113

            1. re: AmuseWord

              Awesome, you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time to give such thoughtful responses. If you're ever heading to Chicago I'll be sure to return the favor!

          2. It's my impression that most of the more upscale places can and will be very accommodating if you call ahead.