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Dishes from Meals from the Heart Cafe
Meals from the Heart Cafe

A Guide to Vegan Dining in New Orleans

From food trucks and cafes to sit-down restaurants, here’s where to find the best vegan food in the city right now

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Dishes from Meals from the Heart Cafe
| Meals from the Heart Cafe

New Orleans has long been an eating paradise for nearly everyone except vegans, but non-meat eaters are currently enjoying a golden era for vegan options, with bakeries, soul food joints, and dim sum spots all taking root in recent years. And while the city has lost a few vegan powerhouses recently — Coalesce Goods, Vegan Wit’ a Twist, and Good Eden — others have come along to replace them, spots like I-tal Garden, Botanicals Nola, and food truck Original Thought. Add to that all the carnivore-friendly spots that now serve enticing vegan items, and options abound. For the purposes of this map, however, restaurants included are either all vegan or have a lot of vegan options.

On this list, you’ll find New Orleans’s longstanding vegan cafes, brand new health-focused juice and salad spots, vegan soul food kitchens, and a few restaurants that have made it a point to include vegan diners. If we missed your favorite local vegan destination, let us know.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Original Thought NOLA

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This food truck is one of the most exciting vegan options to hit New Orleans recently, serving a surprisingly vast menu of 100 percent vegan sandwiches (including the ultra-delicious Better Than Popeyes sandwich), burgers, gumbo, sides, and salads, as well as special items only available certain days of the week — most notably, a delicious vegan crunch wrap served on Tuesdays. The truck can be found Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the rear parking lot facing Florida Avenue, and can be booked for private events.

Original Thought’s vegan crunch wrap
Original Thought NOLA

Sweet Soulfood

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Sweet Soulfood has managed to swiftly delight and impress the New Orleans vegan community and those outside it with a mash up of vegan soul food and sweets. From vegan options like chicken fried cauliflower, eggplant lasagna and cheesy grits to bread pudding, potato salad, jambalaya, and ice cream, there’s plenty to choose from at this affordable, lively Treme eatery. Note: Open until just 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Vegan potato salad, chicken fried cauliflower, and red beans and rice at Sweet Soulfood
Sweet Soulfood/Facebook

Trilly Cheesesteaks

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Trilly cheesesteaks recently returned to New Orleans’s vegan scene in a new location, to the delight of the vegan and non-vegans fans that have been gobbling up the plant-based cheesesteaks since it started as a pop-up in 2017. While it also serves meat cheesesteaks, Trilly prides itself on using completely separate cooking equipment for vegan and non-vegan ingredients. You don’t miss the meat in the classic vegan Philly, with other favorites to include the vegan buffalo chicken and vegan Far East Philly.

Botanicals Nola

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Botanicals Nola is a new all-vegan smoothie and juice bar in a lovely storefront on St. Claude, and while it ‘s centered on health-focused products like sea moss and detox packages, the delicious smoothies and juices are also accompanied by a solid, if small, food menu. The airy, plant-filled cafe serves snacks like avocado toast, vegan Belgian waffles, an excellent chickpea salad sandwich, and vegan muffins and cupcakes — it’s even had vegan king cake on occasion this season.

Sneaky Pickle & Bar Brine

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Set up in a new location at the corner of Burgundy and Louisa Streets, Sneaky Pickle is back, serving both lunch and dinner through a separate, nighttime-only version of the restaurant called Bar Brine. Both menus offer a good number of vegan options, with favorites including the tempeh rueben and vegan mac and cheese for lunch, and new dinner dishes including tofu lettuce wraps; vegan bucatini with mushrooms; and grilled Romanesco with grits.

I-tal Garden

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I-tal Garden on Claiborne — “i-tal” being a play on “vital” — follows in the footsteps of Sweet Soulfood and Vegan Wit’ a Twist before it, serving creative, crave-able vegan soul food dishes heavy on vegetables, not to mention a robust breakfast menu. The build-your-own-plate lunch option offers plentiful combos of one or two veggie proteins with three sides for $14 and $16, respectively.

Small Mart

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Small Mart on Chartres Street specializes in vegan and vegetarian street food (and is one of few local destinations for NYC bagels). Owner Bryant Wilms’s wide-ranging takeout menu offers a well-priced daily curry, veggie samosas, and vegan po’ boys.

Meals From the Heart Cafe

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This counter and table service spot in the French Market is a gem. They aren’t all vegan, but Meals From the Heart has the much-sought-after Beyond Burger, meatless “bleeding” patties (recently embraced by the White Castle chain, FYI), and that’s worth a trip alone. Known for having one of the best crab cakes in the city, Meals From the Heart also serves a vegan version, a rare beast for sure. Other great options include vegan cheesesteaks and vegan okra gumbo.

Vegan gumbo made with Impossible Meat
Meals From the Heart Cafe/Facebook

Thaihey NOLA

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A good number of local vegan-friendly restaurants are casual, breakfast and lunch-only spots — not so for Thaihey, a nice new sit-down Thai restaurant in the French Quarter. While it’s not strictly vegan, it offers a full, separate menu of vegan items — options for salad, soup, starters, and entrees. Certainly try the pumpkin curry, one of the restaurant’s specialties, as well as the fried tofu and lotus root or spicy eggplant.

Breads On Oak (Multiple Locations)

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Oozing Old World appeal, this beloved Riverbend bakery is now 100 percent plant based. In addition to vegan baked goods like cinnamon rolls, Breads on Oak dishes out a hefty sausage biscuit, a “muffanada” version of the New Orleans staple; a TLTA (tempe, lettuce, tomato and avocado); a “live food” veg sandwich; and a substantial simply Impossible burger. There’s now a second location in the CBD on Carondelet.

The Daily Beet (Multiple Locations)

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The Daily Beet first landed in St. Roch Market in 2015 as one of its first vendors, eventually moving on with restaurants in the CBD and Irish Channel since. The menu is feel-good — salads, smoothies made with almond or oat milk and toasts with avocado, tomato, and chili flakes; roasted beets, eggs, and harissa, and quinoa bowls served on beds of greens. The Magazine Street location is open until 8 p.m., allowing for a nice grab-and-go dinner. CBD oil in smoothies is a $3 add on.

Curried butternut squash soup from the Daily Beet
The Daily Beet/Facebook

This lush, cheery “tropical” cafe nestled behind frosted glass garage doors on artsy Julia Street hits all the right notes. Its menu includes plenty of plant-based food (like vegan ceviche with mushrooms, beans, cucumber, aji limo, red onion, choclo, sweet potato, avocado and cancha) but the cafe will satisfy anyone in a party of meat eaters too with items like Brazilian chicken salad. Points for all vegan menu options being clearly labeled.

Carmo’s vegan broken noodle salad (rice noodles, bean sprouts, cabbage, tofu, cucumber, peas, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, scallions, cilantro, and peanuts)

Kindred

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At the industrial-chic all-vegan Kindred on Maple Street, expect vegan comfort food like quinoa salads and bowls, vegan nachos, quesadillas, po’ boys, as well as high-quality, no-mix daiquiris and a full cocktail program. Diners can also count on Kindred for brunch and special holiday menus, a seriously rare find in a vegan restaurant.

Bearcat Cafe

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There are three locations of the adorable Bearcat Cafe which splits its menu into “good cat” and “bad cat” sections, depending on how much you want to indulge your inner beast. Most of the vegan items appear on the “good cat” side. It serves breakfast and lunch with vegan rancheros and quesadillas, chia pudding, vegan grilled cheese, vegan portobello Philly, and vegan queso, to name a few.

Vegan queso at Bearcat
Bearcat Cafe/Facebook

Max Well

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Max Well’s menu offers small and large plates, bowls and sweets. Try veggie gyoza, birria tacos made with smoked jackfruit, and filling bowls with rice and beans. The Sparta bowl comes with greens, smoked white bean hummus, chickpea fritters, marinated olives and tabouli. The interior is funky, with computer discs as drinks coasters and big windows overlooking Magazine Street.

Beet and kale salad with quinoa stuffing
Max Well/Facebook

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Original Thought NOLA

Original Thought’s vegan crunch wrap
Original Thought NOLA

This food truck is one of the most exciting vegan options to hit New Orleans recently, serving a surprisingly vast menu of 100 percent vegan sandwiches (including the ultra-delicious Better Than Popeyes sandwich), burgers, gumbo, sides, and salads, as well as special items only available certain days of the week — most notably, a delicious vegan crunch wrap served on Tuesdays. The truck can be found Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the rear parking lot facing Florida Avenue, and can be booked for private events.

Original Thought’s vegan crunch wrap
Original Thought NOLA

Sweet Soulfood

Vegan potato salad, chicken fried cauliflower, and red beans and rice at Sweet Soulfood
Sweet Soulfood/Facebook

Sweet Soulfood has managed to swiftly delight and impress the New Orleans vegan community and those outside it with a mash up of vegan soul food and sweets. From vegan options like chicken fried cauliflower, eggplant lasagna and cheesy grits to bread pudding, potato salad, jambalaya, and ice cream, there’s plenty to choose from at this affordable, lively Treme eatery. Note: Open until just 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Vegan potato salad, chicken fried cauliflower, and red beans and rice at Sweet Soulfood
Sweet Soulfood/Facebook

Trilly Cheesesteaks

Trilly cheesesteaks recently returned to New Orleans’s vegan scene in a new location, to the delight of the vegan and non-vegans fans that have been gobbling up the plant-based cheesesteaks since it started as a pop-up in 2017. While it also serves meat cheesesteaks, Trilly prides itself on using completely separate cooking equipment for vegan and non-vegan ingredients. You don’t miss the meat in the classic vegan Philly, with other favorites to include the vegan buffalo chicken and vegan Far East Philly.

Botanicals Nola

Botanicals Nola is a new all-vegan smoothie and juice bar in a lovely storefront on St. Claude, and while it ‘s centered on health-focused products like sea moss and detox packages, the delicious smoothies and juices are also accompanied by a solid, if small, food menu. The airy, plant-filled cafe serves snacks like avocado toast, vegan Belgian waffles, an excellent chickpea salad sandwich, and vegan muffins and cupcakes — it’s even had vegan king cake on occasion this season.

Sneaky Pickle & Bar Brine

Set up in a new location at the corner of Burgundy and Louisa Streets, Sneaky Pickle is back, serving both lunch and dinner through a separate, nighttime-only version of the restaurant called Bar Brine. Both menus offer a good number of vegan options, with favorites including the tempeh rueben and vegan mac and cheese for lunch, and new dinner dishes including tofu lettuce wraps; vegan bucatini with mushrooms; and grilled Romanesco with grits.

I-tal Garden

I-tal Garden on Claiborne — “i-tal” being a play on “vital” — follows in the footsteps of Sweet Soulfood and Vegan Wit’ a Twist before it, serving creative, crave-able vegan soul food dishes heavy on vegetables, not to mention a robust breakfast menu. The build-your-own-plate lunch option offers plentiful combos of one or two veggie proteins with three sides for $14 and $16, respectively.

Small Mart

Small Mart on Chartres Street specializes in vegan and vegetarian street food (and is one of few local destinations for NYC bagels). Owner Bryant Wilms’s wide-ranging takeout menu offers a well-priced daily curry, veggie samosas, and vegan po’ boys.

Meals From the Heart Cafe

Vegan gumbo made with Impossible Meat
Meals From the Heart Cafe/Facebook

This counter and table service spot in the French Market is a gem. They aren’t all vegan, but Meals From the Heart has the much-sought-after Beyond Burger, meatless “bleeding” patties (recently embraced by the White Castle chain, FYI), and that’s worth a trip alone. Known for having one of the best crab cakes in the city, Meals From the Heart also serves a vegan version, a rare beast for sure. Other great options include vegan cheesesteaks and vegan okra gumbo.

Vegan gumbo made with Impossible Meat
Meals From the Heart Cafe/Facebook

Thaihey NOLA

A good number of local vegan-friendly restaurants are casual, breakfast and lunch-only spots — not so for Thaihey, a nice new sit-down Thai restaurant in the French Quarter. While it’s not strictly vegan, it offers a full, separate menu of vegan items — options for salad, soup, starters, and entrees. Certainly try the pumpkin curry, one of the restaurant’s specialties, as well as the fried tofu and lotus root or spicy eggplant.

Breads On Oak (Multiple Locations)

Oozing Old World appeal, this beloved Riverbend bakery is now 100 percent plant based. In addition to vegan baked goods like cinnamon rolls, Breads on Oak dishes out a hefty sausage biscuit, a “muffanada” version of the New Orleans staple; a TLTA (tempe, lettuce, tomato and avocado); a “live food” veg sandwich; and a substantial simply Impossible burger. There’s now a second location in the CBD on Carondelet.

The Daily Beet (Multiple Locations)

Curried butternut squash soup from the Daily Beet
The Daily Beet/Facebook

The Daily Beet first landed in St. Roch Market in 2015 as one of its first vendors, eventually moving on with restaurants in the CBD and Irish Channel since. The menu is feel-good — salads, smoothies made with almond or oat milk and toasts with avocado, tomato, and chili flakes; roasted beets, eggs, and harissa, and quinoa bowls served on beds of greens. The Magazine Street location is open until 8 p.m., allowing for a nice grab-and-go dinner. CBD oil in smoothies is a $3 add on.

Curried butternut squash soup from the Daily Beet
The Daily Beet/Facebook

Carmo

Carmo’s vegan broken noodle salad (rice noodles, bean sprouts, cabbage, tofu, cucumber, peas, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, scallions, cilantro, and peanuts)

This lush, cheery “tropical” cafe nestled behind frosted glass garage doors on artsy Julia Street hits all the right notes. Its menu includes plenty of plant-based food (like vegan ceviche with mushrooms, beans, cucumber, aji limo, red onion, choclo, sweet potato, avocado and cancha) but the cafe will satisfy anyone in a party of meat eaters too with items like Brazilian chicken salad. Points for all vegan menu options being clearly labeled.

Carmo’s vegan broken noodle salad (rice noodles, bean sprouts, cabbage, tofu, cucumber, peas, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, scallions, cilantro, and peanuts)

Kindred

At the industrial-chic all-vegan Kindred on Maple Street, expect vegan comfort food like quinoa salads and bowls, vegan nachos, quesadillas, po’ boys, as well as high-quality, no-mix daiquiris and a full cocktail program. Diners can also count on Kindred for brunch and special holiday menus, a seriously rare find in a vegan restaurant.

Bearcat Cafe

Vegan queso at Bearcat
Bearcat Cafe/Facebook

There are three locations of the adorable Bearcat Cafe which splits its menu into “good cat” and “bad cat” sections, depending on how much you want to indulge your inner beast. Most of the vegan items appear on the “good cat” side. It serves breakfast and lunch with vegan rancheros and quesadillas, chia pudding, vegan grilled cheese, vegan portobello Philly, and vegan queso, to name a few.

Vegan queso at Bearcat
Bearcat Cafe/Facebook

Max Well

Beet and kale salad with quinoa stuffing
Max Well/Facebook

Max Well’s menu offers small and large plates, bowls and sweets. Try veggie gyoza, birria tacos made with smoked jackfruit, and filling bowls with rice and beans. The Sparta bowl comes with greens, smoked white bean hummus, chickpea fritters, marinated olives and tabouli. The interior is funky, with computer discs as drinks coasters and big windows overlooking Magazine Street.

Beet and kale salad with quinoa stuffing
Max Well/Facebook

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