Being a vegetarian in New Orleans is almost shameful. New Orleans is known for its food! Po-boys, red beans and rice, gumbo, crawfish bread, jambalaya, crab cakes, and the list goes on for miles. Probably one of the reason’s New Orleans is also listed as one of Wallet Hub’s “2017 Fattest Cities.” Its no secret that New Orleans cuisine is NOT the healthiest, but what’s so interesting to me is that it actually takes an act of congress to even find healthy options on a menu or in the city in general! As a newly returned reside of the Big Easy, I’ve been trying REALLY hard to eat healthy and let me tell ya, its been Le Struggle. As a (part-time) vegetarian, I want to eat TASTY and healthy non-meat options that are not limited to a salad. In New Orleans, it seems to be pretty hard to come by. One of my favorite meals at a vegetarian restaurant here is a “fried eggplant po boy” – which is by NO means healthy! Le struggle! In an attempt to help out my fellow vegetarians in the NOLA area, or potential visitors, I’ve composed this list of the healthy dining options that I’ve discovered so far in my vast quest! Hope you enjoy and please share if you have any healthy NOLA dining “secret gems” that I should know about!
Sneaky Pickle 4017 St. Claude Ave. N.O.,LA
Its a quirky, counter-serve Vegan/Vegetarian restaurant in New Orleans’ growing hipster “Bywater” neighborhood. They even offer at least one or two meat items to satisfy you carnivores. Aren’t they sweet! The ambiance is quaint and comfy and there is even a really cute outdoor space with strung lights. My fav! Communal seating gives it a family style feel. The food is unique flavor profile combinations that I’d rarely imagine together, let alone that would actually taste good together! Produce is locally sourced. Staff is super cool and friendly. Sneak in and give them a try!
Seed 1330 Prytania St. N.O.,LA
This Lower Garden District vegan bistro gives their vegan take on comfort-food favorites like my favorite the “Eggplant Po Boy”, but they also offer a raw Pad Thai, a vegan okra gumbo and more! I really like their “chick” pea salad sandwich too! So many yummy options, plus cold-pressed juices as well. “The Standard” is my go-to juice choice.
Raw Republic 4528 Magazine St. N.O., LA
Don’t be fooled, Raw Republic is so much more than just juices! Although their menu isn’t listed online, they are home to the best açai bowl in the city! They also offer a variety of avocado toasts, wraps and other healthy vegan-friendly snacks. The “Bossy Balls” are really popular and tasty, but I think the name makes them so fun to eat! They also offer a really cute, clean and modern upstairs space for snacking, meeting, or working on your computer with free wi-fi! It’s easily become one of my favorite hang out spots.
Carmo Cafe 527 Julia St. N.O., LA
Carmo is described as “vegan friendly fare with tropical influences” and I would say that’s pretty accurate! The “Rico” is a taste of Costa Rica for sure! The whole vibe and atmosphere is as if you stepped onto an island in the carribbean. Very laid back and casual, with an open kitchen. My go-to for lunch is the Veggie King sandwich, but no visit here is complete unless I get the banquette bread! O-M-G! The creole is awesome (minus the shrimp for me) but I doubt you could go wrong with any of them! One thing to note, for lunch everything is self-serve style. Dinner is waiter service. Not sure if it matters to you, just be aware.
City Greens (Multiple Locations)
City greens is a healthy fast food option that boasts fresh soups, salads, wraps and pressed juices with greens grown from their own farm. I love their Southwest Salad and although it is “fast-food” they do have dine-in seating available and a cozy atmosphere.
There are a few others that I am aware of, but I either haven’t tried them yet, or I have tried them and wasn’t impressed. I am aware that I may have just ordered wrong – so I am open to trying them again, yet I didn’t want to put them on my list until I could recommend them or at least one menu item with full confidence. The journey continues, but these 5 healthy options are in constant rotation until I find more alternatives. Please share your finds and menu recommendations!