My NOLA Vegan Escapades
Have you ever been to New Orleans? Well, I hit up NOLA to visit my daughter and tried several vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. Here is a roundup of my eatery experiences.
Sweet Soulfood: This unassuming neighborhood spot was pickup only when I visited due to Covid, but is definitely worth the visit. I felt the southern hospitality as soon as I walked through the door. I ordered the 4 item plate with a stuffed bell pepper, mac and cheese, orange "chicken" aka cauliflower and greens. I also ordered a side of their regular fried cauliflower so I could try both of their cauliflower dishes. The orange cauliflower is a must and the regular cauliflower was so tantalizing too! I really enjoyed everything, but the mac and cheese was a bit too sweet for my liking. The portions are also pretty generous. I ate on my 4-item plate twice and still had leftovers.
Vegan Wit a Twist: This spot is conveniently located downtown and was the first vegan spot in NOLA I learned about. I was greeted as soon as I walked in. This spot offered dine-in, has a seated bar and they sell alcohol if you indulge. I ordered what they said was their most popular dish, their oyster mushroom burger, which was pretty good. I did find myself wishing it had more seasoning consistent to the New Orleans Cajun flair, but I would rate it a solid B.
I-tal Garden: This was by far my favorite dining experience while in Nola and the last spot I tried right before leaving. As soon as I walked in, the staff greeted me. The owner, Chef Ra came to my table with a kind genuine smile and we briefly spoke about our journey to the plant-based lifestyle. They have breakfast and lunch hours. When I visited it was breakfast hours, so I ordered the pancake platter with fluffy spelt pancakes, chickpea scramble and sausage. It was tantalizing and tasted flavorful yet clean and light. I also had the hibiscus lemon ginger tea that was refreshing. The food, vibes and service was all great and I'll definitely be back my next visit to try out some of the lunch items. This neighborhood spot is a community gem.
Lamara Coffee and Kitchen: This vegan-friendly, women-owned cafe in the mid-city area offers a variety of coffee, tea and eats. I got to chat with the owner, who previously lived in Chicago, so you already know she was cool as a fan! I had the La Brea Burrito South, with a potato-poblano-chickpea hash, avocado, purple cabbage, chipotle mayo filling and a side of their in-house made salsa verde. I upgraded for the gluten-free tortilla. It was so flavorful and had the perfect amount of kick! They also serve oat milk, so I ordered a cinnamon latte. I will go back to this spot every single time I'm in New Orleans because everything was so good and the decor was so my vibe with all the plants.
Nola Caye: This downtown spot was super good but they do not offer many vegan options. They accommodated me with no problems and I really enjoyed the food. Their guacamole and warm house made chips had me and my daughter tearing it up! I really enjoyed their veggie tacos, broccolini and spiral cut steak fries. Our server, Reed, was awesome too.
Overall, I had a pretty awesome foodie experience in NOLA in a very short time. I am looking forward to going back during the warmer months and trying out more vegan-friendly spots! Have you ever been to NOLA? Do you know of any must-try vegan eateries there I need to try? If you visit or have visited any of these spots, let me know your thoughts!