In August 2017 I was in New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) and had five wonderful days to sample the vegan deliciousness on offer in this beautiful, vibrant city. Because I always search online for city food reviews I figured it's my turn to pay it back and share tips with the Vegan Community. So let's not waste any time time - here are my top picks.
A perfect lunch and dinner spot. Lovely ambience with natural, light and airy decor. The menu is pretty big so there's room to come back several times (like us!). We ate, and can thoroughly recommend, the artichoke cakes, the mango, kale and walnut salad, the Caesar salad, the BBQ burger, the coconut burger (can't be sure on the name of this but there's a photo below) the cashew Mac n'cheese side and the wonderful Beignets - a wonderfully, warm and sugary New Orleans delicacy. I'd never heard of Beignets before I came to NOLA but my life is so much better for having discovered them. Apparently they were declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986! I wonder if every state has an office state doughnut...Mmmmm
Seed are located at 1330 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA and you can find them on Instagram @seednola
This is possibly the happiest Diner I have ever been to, in my life. The staff were the friendliest and danced as they prepared and served the food and drinks, I suddenly wished they would employ me so I could join them in the kitchen and shake it as the baseline dropped and the hot dogs were dressed. I could have stayed all night and listened to the 90's hip hop classics be pumped out, one after the other - in fact I seriously think they need a dance floor in there as I felt so awkwardly British as I tried to move as much as humanly possibly on tall bar stool. Now on to the food...The vegan hot dogs, of which there are three to choose from (vegans rejoice yet more NOLA choice!) are made by Field Roast and on account of the Chorizo being so delicious we revisited Dat Dog and tucked in twice. The toppings and sauces are endless and if you are stuck for choice just simply ask the chef to decide and you will not be disappointed! I was literally on cloud nine. I'm not drinking at the moment but as a Brit I can't help thinking that this would be the perfect late night, post bourbon, munchies stop. I know, you can take the girl out of Britain but you can't take Britain out of the girl. It's simply brilliant, just go! Seriously, just go.
Oh and by the way...Dat Dog is on Frenchmen Street and if you go to New Orleans this is the place you must visit. The music seeps out of the bars and on to the streets, the warm balmy air carries the sounds of trumpets, trombones and double bass' down the street. You'll be hard pushed to make a bad choice in any of the bars along this street.
There are three DatDog locations in New Orleans but we visited this one: 601 Frenchmen St.
NOLA 70116. Find them on Instagram @datdogus
Aside from the brilliant vegan choices there's another wonderful thing about NOLA and that's the friendliness of its people. Everywhere we went we struck up conversations with locals, people really wanted to talk and share and were so open, this made us feel ever so welcome in this lovely city. We will definitely be back. I say this now because Breads on Oak was not an exception...All the women behind the counter were genuinely adorable and it felt like I was coming home, in fact I was tempted to bed down amongst the cinnamon swirls, breakfast rolls and vegan quiche and stay forever.
Breads on Oak is almost entirely vegan and it's a perfect spot for breakfast, lunch or brunch - note that it closes at 3pm so don't leave it to late! Here are a few photos of what we had. The choice is endless and the staff's knowledge of veganism is second to none. We ate and can recommend the following - it's all vegan so the reference to egg and cheese are vegan versions:
- Pumpkin cheddar biscuit sandwich with organic locally sprouted tofu scramble and vegan andouille sausage
- Egg McVegan on a fluffy buttermilk biscuit with vegan egg, bacon & melted cheese
- TLTA (veggie BLT) with crispy tempeh bacon, mixed greens, fresh tomato, avocado and Vegenaise served warm on multigrain
- Peanut Butter Fudge Blondie
- Chocolate Ganache Cake
- Carrot cake
Their address: 8640 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA and you can find them on Instagram @breadsonoak
We were staying downtown in the French Quarter and so the best way to get to Breads on Oak is undoubtedly via the historic St Charles Street Street Car Line - only $3 for an all day pass. Oak Street itself is quirky and cool and thanks to recommendations from one of the lovely lady at Breads on Oak we visited Rabbit Ears and Blue Cypress bookshop. Rabbit Ears is a glorious thrift, antique and furniture store where we bought some classic soul vinyl and a 1960's American Automobile Association map of New York. Blue Cypress bookshop has a great selection of new and second hand books, much of which covers the local culture and history and the live-in cat just top it off. His collar says 'Bookstore Kitty' (his job title) but his real name is Kitty Mioaw. .
The best dish and something you cannot leave New Orleans without eating is Surreys' vegan French Toast. It's literally like biting into warm, soft, crunchy, sugary clouds topped with maple syrup. If I was passing through NOLA and only had time for one stop this would be it and this would be the dish I'd eat. It's heaven on a plate and we went back twice for this. I had a great juice and the Mexican tofu dish was great but oh my god the French toast was an outrage! Staff were friendly and the restaurant is buzzing so I'd suggest possibly reserving a table in advance.
This address is: 1418 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA and you can find them on Instagram @surreysnola
Of course restaurants open and close and so feel free to update me as and when things change. I did a hashtag search on Instagram and can recommend #nolavegans and make sure to follow @nolavegans too.
Here's the two best blogs that I found and followed when in NOLA - Ally Burguieres of Cocoally's,.Vegan Guide to New Orleans and, by Rebeca Trejo at the Culture Trip, The Best New Orleans Restaurants For Vegans And Vegetarians. Happy Cow is also a brilliant resource as always but to be honest I was a little overwhelmed by the choice! What a great problem to have right!?!
For our accommodation we stayed at the Hyatt Centric French Quarter, New Orleans which was wonderful because the rooms were large, there was a great gym and pool, the staff were all super friendly and they have a nice little cafe in the lobby that provides soy and almond milk.
I can't wait to get back and update this! Hope you enjoyed this! Include a comment, updates and feedback!