Renowned globally for its rich history, vibrant culture, and distinctive Creole and Cajun cuisines, New Orleans has long been known for hearty dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and seafood boils. In recent years, the city has also been making waves for its growing vegan dining scene.
From vegan twists on traditional NOLA dishes such as vegan gumbo, po'boys, and étouffée to globally-inspired vegan cuisine, the Big Easy does not disappoint when it comes to plant-based food.
Ranging from casual eateries and cafes serving comforting Southern fare to upscale restaurants curating gourmet plant-based experiences, here are some of the highest-rated vegan restaurants in New Orleans.
1. Sweet Soulfood: A Vegan Haven
- Address: 1025 N. Broad St.
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Phone: 504-821-2669
- Website: sweetvegansoulfood.com
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Sweet Soulfood is a celebrated establishment serving authentic Cajun flavors with a vegan twist. Featuring soul food classics like jambalaya, yams and greens, vegan mac n' cheese, baked beans, potato salad, and BBQ cauliflower, Sweet Soulfood evokes the hearty and bold flavors of Southern cuisine infused with a modern touch.
"This food fed my soul for real," writes one user on Yelp. "Upon entering, I felt the great energy and the staff were excited to serve. The portions are generous, but more importantly, the food is delicious."
2. Breads On Oak: European Boulangerie with a Vegan Twist
- Address: 8640 Oak St., Suite A | 222 Carondelet St.
- Hours: Daily: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Daily: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Phone: 504-324-8271 | 504-841-9432
- Website: breadsonoak.com
Known for its wide selection of artisanal breads, this NOLA establishment boasts two locations in the city. Delighting patrons with an array of vegan desserts, pastries, baguettes, and sandwiches, Breads On Oak uses traditional European baking techniques to ensure a high level of quality and authenticity. Standout menu items include its vegan king cakes, which have become a popular treat during New Orleans' Mardi Gras season.
"Amazing vegan bakery! Staff is really friendly and the sandwiches are made fresh for you, and only take a couple minutes to come out," writes one user in a review.
3. I-tal Garden: Where Cajun Meets Jamaican
- Address: 810 N. Claiborne Ave.
- Hours: Friday — Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday: 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Phone: 504-515-7321
- Website: italgardennola.com
This family-run establishment is driven by a mission to curate organic dishes that aim to strike a balance between hearty flavors and nutritional goodness. Dispelling the myth that vegan, gluten-free, and other plant-based dishes cannot rival their traditional counterparts in taste, I-tal Garden serves healthy and flavorful Cajun meals with a Jamaican twist. Standout dishes include the coconut curry served with black eyed peas, cornbread, and cauliflower, and the restaurant's "crabless crab cakes" made from chickpeas, heart of palm, and artichoke hearts.
4. 2 Phat Vegans: A Soulful Vegan Experience
- Address: 3613 General Meyer Ave.
- Phone: 504-239-7801
- Hours: Daily: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
This exclusively vegan eatery serves up soul food classics with a healthier twist. Featuring favorites like po' boys, vegan mac 'n cheese, and jerk chicken wraps, other options include salads, soups, pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches. With both indoor and outdoor seating available, 2 Phat Vegans also has a juice bar that offers fresh fruit smoothies and juices. If ordering to go, users recommend calling the restaurant instead of ordering online.
"Five stars all the way. The food is absolutely amazing," writes one user. "I've been wanting a po'boy since we arrived here in NOLA, but until we visited 2 Phat Vegans I haven't found anything I could eat."
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5. Kindred: Modern Vegan Delights
- Address: 7537 Maple St.
- Phone: 504-841-9538
- Hours: Tuesday — Friday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Website: kindrednola.com
Featuring comforting Cajun classics such as po'boys, sides, and baked goods, Kindred opened its doors in early 2020. Standout dishes include the fried cauliflower tossed in Buffalo or house-made Kindred sauce, and the vegan mac n' cheese made with nutritional yeast-based cheese sauce. Kindred also offers a fully stocked bar and a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Must-try cocktails include the lavender-lemon frozen daiquiri and hibiscus breeze made with rum, pineapple, and hibiscus-infused syrup.
6. Lamara Coffee and Kitchen: Vegetarian Delights in the Heart of New Orleans
- Address: 1300 N. Broad St.
- Phone: 504-920-9991
- Hours: Monday — Friday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Website: lamaracoffeeandkitchen.square.site
Step into a haven of organic and vegetarian delights complemented by freshly brewed coffee at this popular cafe-style eatery. Beyond its brews, Lamara offers Cajun-inspired small plates, smoothies, acaí bowls, and freshly baked treats. Vegan enthusiasts can indulge in options such as the tofu sliders, lentil and tempeh burgers, tostadas, salads, and Mediterranean bowls.
"Lamara is my current favorite breakfast spot," writes one user on Yelp. "Very accommodating to vegetarians and vegans — there is something on the menu for everyone."
7. Sprouts Organic Cafe: Fresh and Wholesome
- Address: 1200 Henriette Delille St.
- Phone: 504-919-1221
- Hours: Monday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Website: sproutsorganiccafe.com
Following a philosophy of "great health being supported by great eating," Sprouts uses only locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients to make its wide range of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, immunity shots, and syrups, as well as organic coffees and teas. For those keen on following a plant-based or gluten-free diet, give its Beyond burger a try, or indulge in Sprouts' acaí bowls, sandwiches, and salads.
"Great owners and delicious food," writes one user in a review. "[The] avocado toast is great. Would definitely recommend and come back."
8. Sneaky Pickle: A Refreshing Vegan Stop
- Address: 3200 Burgundy St.
- Phone: 504-218-5651
- Hours: Thursday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Website: yousneakypickle.com
Nestled in NOLA's Bywater neighborhood, this unassuming eatery serves a fusion of contemporary, eclectic dishes and timeless Cajun classics. Standout dishes include the vegan mac n' cheese made with cashew chorizo, broccoli, and butternut squash, and small plates featuring seasonal assorted veggies, tofu tacos, and hand-cut fries. Known for its quirky and artsy ambiance, the place is adorned with plants and also offers outdoor seating.
9. Thaihey NOLA: Cajun Meets Thai-Inspired Flavors
- Address: 308 Decatur St.
- Phone: 504-354-8646
- Hours: Monday: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesday — Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Website: thaiheynolala.smiledining.com
Located just a few blocks from Bourbon street in the French Quarter, Thaihey NOLA dazzles with its array of Thai-inspired specialties. While not exclusively vegan, it offers many vegan and gluten-free options. At Thaihey, guests can indulge in vegan delights such as fried tofu and lotus root starters, or delve into the creamy tom kha vegan soup, made with coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, tofu, and locally-sourced mushrooms.
"Popped in here on a whim on a trip to NOLA and this Thai restaurant was phenomenal," writes one user. "It's a creole-Thai fusion in the French Quarter."
The Bottom Line
With its melting pot of cultures and flavors, New Orleans has embraced vegan and plant-based food — adding another layer to its rich and colorful culinary tapestry. While traditional dishes will always be central to New Orleans' identity, the vegan movement indicates a city that's evolving while still staying true to its roots.