The Big Easy, or at least that’s what New Orleans is nicknamed, is a thriving and vibrant haven on America’s Eastern Coastline. It’s known worldwide for its raucous nightlife, especially the Mardi Gras celebration. Because of this, it has become a hotspot for bringing unique and interesting cultures together.

And that influence displays itself in many ways around the town. Not only has the interesting history of New Orleans contributed towards a thriving dark tourism industry (think witchcraft and ghosts), but it’s also influenced their cuisines.

Whether you’re strolling through the French Quarter or making your way down to the Warehouse district, you’re surrounded by restaurants with their own special gimmicks. The culinary world of New Orleans is as vibrant as its people and the only place to get some genuine Creole cooking.

As a result, it’s no surprise that the creative chefs that call this patch of Louisianna home have devised ingenious ways to fuse plant-powered menus with global cuisine.

So, if you’re a vegetarian, you’re in luck; there are plenty of options to suit your dietary needs.

And we just so happen to have the list to guide to help you find exceptional vegetarian-friendly and vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans.

selection of vegan food
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Istock.com/Katarzyna Bialasiewicz

The Eight Best Vegetarian-Friendly & Vegetarian Restaurants In New Orleans

1. Sweet Soulfood

New Orleans flavors meet the creativity of plant-based eating at this unassuming Cajun restaurant.

When it comes to that known and much-beloved taste of New Orleans comfort foods, look no further than Sweet Soulfood for your fix. First opening its doors in 2018 in the Tremé neighborhood, the much-anticipated Vegan restaurant was such a hit it ran out of food on its first day!

Its reputation precedes it, and they continue to pump out exquisite, mouth-watering vegan dishes that the community can’t get enough of. From humble beginnings as a Vegan catering company, they’ve spread their wings and become a shining example of the versatility of vegan cuisine.

Their menu rotates every week, with new dishes being prepared specifically for each of the 6 days a week they’re open. It’s also predominantly gluten-free and packed with organic ingredients that have been expertly crafted to resonate with those classic New Orleans favorites we’ve grown to love.

Vegan Jambalaya, Okra Gumbo, and plant-based Mac’n’cheese are just a few tempting choices on the menu. And, to end your meal, you can order one of their delicious desserts. Rumor on the street is they sell the best homemade vegan ice cream in New Orleans.

The venue itself is simple and understated, reminiscent of childhood days waiting in the queue in the cafeteria. But that’s part of soul food cooking. They haven’t done anything in excess and placed all their bets on quality, unforgettable food. It’s down-to-earth, calm, and a casual spot you want to take advantage of.

  • Opening Hours: 11 am to 5 pm Mon-Sat; Closed Sun
  • Location: 1025 N Broad St, New Orleans
mac and cheese with fork
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/DronG

2. 1000 Figs

A vegetarian-friendly Mediterranean restaurant with simple, down-to-earth food and decor.

1000 Figs offers a breath of fresh air to the usual thoroughfare found in New Orleans. It introduces the complex flavor palates of deep, rich Middle Eastern cuisine to the bustling food scene.

It’s the product of a food truck concept, once known as the Fat Falafel, that has set down its roots and offers guests a more intimate dining experience.

This vegetarian-friendly and vegetarian restaurant in New Orleans is a quaint, cozy little venue with viridian walls and natural wood finishes. It’s classy and understated, with very limited seating. Occasionally, you’ll find a little set-up curbside, so you can dine under that baking New Orleans sun.

Like the venue, the menu is also a cozy feature and doesn’t offer an abundance of meals like other restaurants. Instead, the limited offerings are delicately prepared slices of Middle Eastern cuisine.

While the restaurant offers a small selection of meat dishes, the standout Vegetarian options keep the crowds coming back for more. Perfectly spiced Falafels, wonderfully creamy hummus, and delicious vegetable dishes are sprinkled throughout the menu, ripe for the picking.

It also has an elaborate wine list that features imported bottles from across Europe, full-bodied and perfect to pair with your meals should you choose.

It might be tiny, but 1000 Figs is mighty and definitely one of the best vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans.

  • Opening Hours: 11 am to 9 pm Mon-Sat; Closed Sun
  • Location: 3141 Ponce De Leon St #1, New Orleans
Photo for illustration purposes only: iStock.com/jchizhe

3. Sneaky Pickle + Bar Brine

A pet-friendly vegetarian inspired restaurant with a cute little courtyard and happening bar.

If you find yourself wandering along Burgundy street, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Sneaky Pickle. It’s unassuming and blends into the scenery with ease. That’s likely how it earned its name. But all jokes aside, if you’re looking for a hidden gem, you’ve found it, and you won’t be disappointed.

This cafe by day and bar by night hides a surprising little twist. Externally, you’re looking for the pastel pickle color and their quintessential logo on the door. But, internally, it opens into a trendy and vibey little venue that’s as upbeat and playful as its name.

A sweeping, colorful bar comes to life at night, where guests are invited to dine inside at their small tables. Or move out into their back courtyard, where lanyards of lights and cutesy couches await them.

The Sneaky Pickle menu is predominantly dedicated to the fine art of vegetarian cuisine. We’d recommend the Tofu Taco which consists of chili, onion, cashew cheese and cilantro to start. But for mains, you can’t go wrong with the Cashew Chorizo Mac’n’Cheese.

And at night, when the Sneaky Pickle transforms into Bar Brine, you can still find ample delicious vegetarian dishes to choose from. Eggplant pasta, a mouth-watering King Trumpet main, washed down with a delightful cocktail from the bar.

If we didn’t mention it already, it’s a pet-friendly venue, and you know what they say about people who love dogs? They’re the best, and it’s true, Sneaky Pickle & Bar Brine is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans.

  • Opening Hours: 11 am to 4 pm (Lunch: Thurs – Mon) 5:30 pm to 9 pm (Dinner: Thurs; Sun; Mon) 5:30 pm to 10 pm (Dinner: Fri & Sat)
  • Location: 3200 Burgundy St, New Orleans
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Istock.com/count_kert

4. I-Tal Garden

Vegan Soul Food served with our favorite New Orleans flare all wrapped up in a simplistic loft-style venue.

I-tal Garden is a family-owned restaurant that aims to break the stigma that healthy, vegan meals can’t also be packed with flavor. Instead, they specialize in Soul Food, which means you can have all those home comforts to make your heart and stomach happy, and it’s good for you.

They bring a bit of NOLA flare to hearty and unforgettable meals and add all the flavor they need without compromising their values. Instead, they’ve creatively devised a well-established menu that their regulars love and continue to draw in vegan foodies from far and wide.

Start your day bright and early with a Pancake Platter accompanied by a chickpea scramble and seitan sausage, and pair it with their famously delicious Hibiscus tea.

For late risers, you can still get your fix of incredible meals with lunch. Avocado fries, Crabless Crab Cakes, and Okra file’ Gumbo are merely a few of the seemingly endless choices. Or why not go for their Vegan Rodeo Burger Meal which is prepared with a plant-based patty, topped with vegan American style cheese, seitan bacon, crispy fried onion rings, bbq sauce, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and veganaise.

And if you’re looking for something to really kick your hunger, you can Build-Your-Own with a choice of 2 or 3 Proteins and sides!

There’s no denying that I-tal Garden is a down-to-earth venue. Their simple and casual dining room puts the focus where it truly matters, the divine food. But all around, there are good vibes and a sense of homeliness, just like visiting family for special occasions.

From the loft-style dining room to the friendly faces of staff and guests, I-tal Garden offers one unbelievable experience.

  • Opening Hours: 10 am to 7 pm; Fri-Sun; Closed Mon-Thurs
  • Location: 810 N Claiborne Ave, New Orleans
display of burger
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Istock.com/Darya Arnautova

5. Botanicals

Inspired by the power of plant-based diets, this hole-in-the-wall is changing the way we think about vegan food.

There’s no denying the incredible health benefits associated with plant-based diets and green eating habits. The genius, and owner of Botanicals, learned this through his own journey into new culinary depths and has since made it his mission to introduce New Orleans to a greener way of life.

They are one of the only places in Louisiana where one can get their hands on a Sea Moss smoothie. We know you might be cringing at the idea. We were too, but it’s surprisingly one of their most popular menu items, and you’ll be hooked once you taste it!

Their specialty is juices and smoothies, quick, simple, and delicious in all forms of flavor combinations. They’re packed full of nutrients, and while you may question whether a smoothie can really sate your appetite, you’d best put your money where your mouth is.

But you’ll be satisfied knowing that they also serve some delicious vegan meals. For example, you can tuck into some Belgian Waffles, completely vegan, or if you prefer, a Chickpea Salad Sandwich on organic bread.

For your sweet tooth, you could order a cupcake or two, which are also completely plant-based. Or indulge in a thick, well-portioned smoothie bowl topped with delicious, fresh fruits.

The venue is cozy and quaint, creating an intimate experience. With limited seating, Botanicals is better suited to on-the-go dining. But you should still pick up your favorite snack and sit beneath the weeping willows in City Park. After all, it’s not always the place that matters but the soul they put into excellent vegan meals.

  • Opening Hours: 8 am to 5 pm Mon-Fri; 9 am to 3 pm Sat; Closed Sun
  • Location: 3726 St Claude Ave, New Orleans
Photo is for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/nerudol

6. Bearcat Cafe

Vegan and vegetarian restaurant serving soulfully cooked comfort foods in quirky cafes in Uptown and Central New Orleans.

Bearcat Cafe has made quite the name for itself, so much so that what started as a single venue has branched into two independent sister restaurants. Found both in Uptown New Orleans and the local CBD, both restaurants carry the same principle: Good food, good people, and good vibes.

They have an all-inclusive approach and always carry various meals on their menus, allowing them to cater to anybody. This includes, you guessed it, vegans and vegetarians.

Even better, on each menu, there’s ample choice for vegan and vegetarian meals, whichever venue you choose to visit. As a cafe, they’re open for breakfast and lunch with separate menus for each occasion.

For breakfast, we can’t recommend the Vegan Bearcat highly enough. Every element of the dish is a highly thought-out tribute to the incredible versatility of vegan ingredients. Plus, if you’re feeling for something spicy, you could always order Vegan rancheros to brighten your day.

Lunch opens up room for a creative and globally inspired menu. The most popular choices include the Xiao Ming Noodles and the Trumpet Scallops. One hundred percent, guilt-free vegan cuisine, cooked to perfection.

Both venues are cool and refined. There’s beauty to the simplicity they offer. It’s trendy and modern without being overbearing. Everyone is made to feel at home and bring their own color and ambiance to the restaurants, which can seat plenty of guests.

It’s hard to argue that Bearcat Cafe is one of the best vegetarian-friendly and vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans.

  • Opening Hours: 8 am to 2 pm Tues-Fri; 8 am to 3 pm Sat & Sun
  • Location: 2521 Jena St 2nd floor, New Orleans (Uptown) & 845 Carondelet St, New Orleans (CBD)
Noodles with vegetables and chopstick
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Olga Mazyarkina

7. Breads on Oak

A quirky bakery and cafe that serves vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals on home-made breads and biscuits.

If there’s ever a place to indulge in everyone’s favorite carb, Breads on Oak is it. This organic cafe is a social hub that is completely vegan and ready to serve up some of the tastiest meals you’ve had!

In 2021, Yelp even listed them as one of the Best Vegan Restaurants in New Orleans. So by popular vote, the locals clearly love it here, and they say as much in their reviews! This popular little bakery opens up to include two outdoor dining areas and seats guests inside. They have a thrifty chic quirk, with old bookshelves serving as display cases for their freshly baked loaves.

Of course, if you’re looking for some incredible bread, you can grab it and go with the helpful clerks behind the counter. But we know you’re here for a good meal, so sit back and let their friendly staff cater to your every need.

Their concise menu covers everything you could crave in your plant-powered diet and that’s what makes Breads on Oak some of the best vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans.

They have all-day breakfasts, where you can tuck into a Pumpkin Cheddar biscuit or enjoy a simple Avocado toast on homemade dough. Their specialty is bread, and they won’t let you forget it!

The sandwiches roll out for lunch, with a selection of handhelds, too, like their famed Big Daddy Burger. Each meat substitute is a carefully crafted recipe that makes the best look-alike plant protein you could dream of.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. As a bakery, we’d expect nothing less than to satisfy our sweet tooth with home-baked goods, and Breads on Oak does not disappoint. Cookies, Brownies, and even Eclaires are available to further tantalize your tastebuds!

We can certainly see why the locals are so in love with Breads on Oak. They have it all!

  • Opening Hours: 7:30 am to 3 pm Daily
  • Location: 8640 Oak St Suite A, New Orleans
Healthy homemade vegan burger with beetroot-quinoa patty, top view
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Foxys-Forest-Manufacture

8. Carmo

A tropical and diverse menu that’s suited for vegans and vegetarians with ample delicacies to pick from!

Founded over a decade ago, Carmo became a means of introducing the intrinsic cultural cuisines of tropical regions across the globe. But, when it comes to sustainability, you won’t find a more dedicated pair of restauranteurs than Donna and Christina, who have initiated their own project, “Origins: Amazonia.

They’ve taken influences from worldwide and mastered recipes and techniques that rarely get the praise they deserve. As a result, Carmo is a taste of cultural cuisine unlike any other. Moreover, it offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to explore their flavors.

The menus differ from breakfast to dinner. All breakfast options are vegan and vegetarian, and a majority are gluten-free. But lunch and dinner are when the flare of international inspiration awakens.

You can choose from a variety of flavor profiles from across the world. Asian-style Tiradito, Indian-influenced curries, Brazilian dishes, New Orlean’s creole. They’ve dedicated time to each recipe and perfectly crafted a substitute to match your needs.

In addition, they showcase incredible local ingredients and bring light to the origin stories of your meals. For something super filling, we recommend going for their nice portion of Farmer’s Market Salad which is prepared with local organic greens and many other nutritious ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, red onions and avocado.

The restaurant is part of the Warehouse District and brings that urbanized industrial chic the area is known for. The high ceilings and exposed brick faces are all opposed by more subtle textures, and the large venue offers ample space for big groups. Plus, they have a colorful dining space upstairs. If the weather is good, they also have curbside dining available so you can soak up the sunlight.

They’re one of the top vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans, and it’s easy to see why. Carmo is a new and unique dining experience that offers a diverse array of cuisines. It brings a global taste adventure to your plates and truly shows its guests that just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s bland.

  • Opening Hours: 9 am to 10 pm Tues & Wed; 9 am to 11 pm Thurs – Sat; Closed Sun & Mon
  • Location: 527 Julia St, New Orleans
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Atstock Productions

Conclusion

New Orleans is a paradise and a party town that attracts walks of life from all across the world. It’s a party hub full of vibrance and culture that make the city thrive as a tourist destination.

Their cuisine is famous worldwide, flavorful and impactful, and there’s no doubt that New Orleans produces some incredibly ingenious chefs! It’s only fair to say that the combined minds of some incredible cooks would find a way to bring the taste of New Orleans to Vegan and Vegetarian cuisine.

So if you’re ever craving a bite to eat and don’t know where to find the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans, know we’ve got your back. By visiting any of the places on our list, you’re sure to find your new favorite spot.