My trip to New Orleans was met with a bit of skepticism — “Are you sure there are really vegan options there – Isn’t it meat-central?” a friend asked. My friend wasn’t alone; I was skeptical too. New Orleans was never high on my list because I thought I’d be left with a garden salad at every turn.
Thankfully, times are changing.
The vegan food scene in New Orleans is growing — sound the party horns and throw the beads! What was once an anomaly is now fairly common (there is definitely room for growth for any vegan entrepreneurs out there). Visitors can find traditional Southern favorites like collards, ribs, and cornbread all veganized as well as healthier fare — it’s all about balance, right?
So, if New Orleans has been on your travel radar, but you were hesitant, hesitate no longer. A trip to The Big Easy should be on everyone’s list (check out my vegan travel guide to New Orleans for everything you need to know)! When you go, be sure not to miss these spots in New Orleans for amazing vegan and gluten-free food!
Is this your first trip to NOLA? If so, make sure you prioritize these 10 things first-time visitors to New Orleans should do and see!
Where To Find Vegan & Gluten-Free Food in New Orleans
#1 I-tal Garden
810 N Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116
It’s not often that someone gluten-free gets the opportunity to go full bore on deep-fried goodness; well, my gluten-free and vegan friends, when in New Orleans, come here! Indulge in an order of fried oyster mushrooms (make sure to ask the chef for his favorite sauces to pair it with) and then lighten it up with an order of raw tacos — it’s all about balance, right!?
Aside from my favorite fried mushrooms, the Soul-inspired menu features loads of fantastic options—crispy cauliwings, avocado fries, jackfruit BBQ ribs, and more! Just make sure you save room for one of the chewy cookies. Oh, and I-tal Garden is only open Friday – Sunday, so plan accordingly because this is one spot you seriously can’t miss.
#2 Bearcat Cafe
2521 Jena St, New Orleans, LA 70115
845 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130
From the outside, this spot is unassuming — it’s easy enough to walk right past and not realize you’re missing out on some of New Orleans’ best vegan and gluten-free food.
Inside is a real “cool cat” vibe, complete with a gorgeous outdoor patio, perfect for weekend brunch! While their menu isn’t 100% vegan, it’s a close 50/50 and includes gluten-free options — they feel it’s important to be inclusive of all diners.
No matter what time of day, the entire menu looks fab —but don’t miss breakfast! Start with the fanciest of fancy coffees, a Barriquito made with rich coconut condensed milk and oat milk (it’s full-on creamy town!), then dive into the Mex-inspired ranchero bowl topped with delicious cashew cream. Oh, and don’t miss their breakfast potatoes!
801 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
It wasn’t in my plans to stop here, but due to Ash Wednesday, the other two places that I wanted to check out were closed — maybe it was a sign!? At any rate, I am glad I popped into this bright, modern café that is covered in greenery — I think if it gets any greener, it will be a greenhouse!
Its apparent love of all things green can be seen right down to its vegan and gluten-free friendly dishes. The menu isn’t 100% vegan, but there are quite a few tasty options for lunch and dinner (breakfast is only vegetarian-friendly). I checked out the Korean Noodle Bowl with sweet potato glass noodles — delicious!
Whatever you decide to dive into, make sure you wash it down with a glass of Kale Aid (kale, ginger, celery, apple, cucumber, and lemon) — perfect for a hot day in NOLA!
3200 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Is the Sneaky Pickle sneakily trying to make all of its diners vegan without them even knowing it!? The menu is almost entirely vegan, but to be honest, with food this good, no one is going to care if it’s vegan, gluten-free, or from Mars!
This laid-back Bywater spot is outside the hustle and bustle of downtown, which is perfect for a quiet lunch or dinner. Don’t miss the buffalo tofu salad — I know you’re probably thinking, is she really recommending a salad!? But, hear me out. While salad is in the name, it’s not the main event — the tofu and fried cauliflower smothered in creamy buffalo sauce are the stars, and the salad is just its sidekick. That is the perfect kind of salad!
8640 Oak St. Suite A, New Orleans, LA 70118
222 Carondelet St., New Orleans, LA 70130
You can’t leave New Orleans without visiting its only vegan bakery! Surprisingly, this spot wasn’t always 100% vegan, but a concern for sustainability helped make the change — hooray!
There are two locations for your eating pleasure — the location on Oak Street does have a more extensive menu, but if the downtown location is your only option, don’t skip it! Their menu includes house-made baked goods, bread, and excellent breakfast sandwiches. They also have a small gluten-free lineup, including brownies!
1025 N Broad St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Come hungry! Anyone who says they could never get full on a vegan diet must come here! Right in the heart of Treme, this little vegan spot is dishing up veganized Soul Food favorites like cornbread, collard greens, sweet potatoes, dressing, and so much more.
The menu rotates daily to feature a mix of classic dishes, so if you don’t see your favorite, try a different day! But don’t wait too late to visit because they close at 5 pm Monday – Saturday! Many of the dishes are gluten-free friendly!
#7 raw Republic
4528 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Tucked amongst the charming little boutiques on Magazine Street, this is the place you need to visit when you feel like you need a health jumpstart! The shop is always stocked with a massive lineup of fresh-pressed juices and a small section of pre-made meals, but you can also order superfood smoothies, toasts, acai bowls, and a variety of health’ed up coffees on the spot!
Don’t miss starting your day without the Acai it All bowl filled with seasonal fruit and house-made gluten-free buckwheat granola along with a latte loaded with all the ‘shroomy goodness you could need!
1000 Girod St, New Orleans, LA 70113
You know the feeling when you just need a little something? This is where you should go! The perfect place to kickstart your day or stop in for a healthy snack. It’s not 100% vegan, but between the huge lineup of smoothies, cold-pressed juices, bowls, toasts, and more, you’ll have plenty of options!
For something quick, you’ve got to try either the Starbuxx or PB & J smoothie— both are a delicious treat! There are two locations in the city, and the menu does vary just slightly at each (don’t worry, both of those delightful smoothies are at each spot!).
A Few More Vegan-Friendly Spots That I Missed, But You Need to Check Out!
If you thought, am I going to go hungry in New Orleans because I’m a vegan, think again! There are plenty of vegan and vegan-friendly spots throughout the city (double check for gluten-free options)!
527 Julia St, New Orleans, LA 70130
3726 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
7537 Maple St, New Orleans, LA 70118
3735 Ulloa St, New Orleans, LA 70119
2700 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117
4308 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
3141 Ponce De Leon St #1, New Orleans, LA 70119
Meals From the Heart Café
1100 N Peters St #13, New Orleans, LA 70116
601 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
3336 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
617 Piety St, New Orleans, LA 70117
G’s Tasty Pizza
833 Howard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113
4840 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119
More Vegan Travel Help?
Are you traveling anywhere else in the US, Caribbean, or Europe any time soon? If so, don’t miss our other vegan travel guides and mouth-watering food lineups! Here are just a few — if you’re looking for somewhere specific, be sure to do a quick search or peruse our guide section.
The Best Areas to Stay in New Orleans
Vegan Guide to Monterey, Pacific Grove, & Carmel
Vegan Guide to Chicago + 7 Can’t Miss Spots for Vegan Food in Chicago
10 Miami Spots for Vegan & Gluten-Free Food
Philadelphia Vegan Guide
Terrific Vegan Restaurants & Bakeries in Madison, Wi
Check out more vegan travel guides!