To start, I'd like to share what it's like being a vegetarian in New Orleans. In a nutshell: It's not hard to find something to eat, but the locals will laugh at you once you tell them you don't eat meat. We're foreigners to them, and rightfully so - almost every menu we glanced at included mufalettas, bacon, and/or alligator. However, almost every menu we perused also included at least one or two vegetarian options, if not more - you just need to go to the right places.
We stayed in the French Quarter, and Z's family stayed in the Garden District, so most of the restaurants we tried were in those two areas. Here are some of the best spots we tried on our trip:
Turtle Bay New Orleans
Let's be honest: Turtle Bay had few vegetarian food options, but they did have good beer on tap (such as NOLA Hurricane Saison). We did try their French fries, which were wonderfully crispy and salty, although obviously pre-frozen. The main reason - besides the beer - we returned to Turtle Bay on several evenings was because of the Photo Hunt at the bar. That game is addicting, and nearby patrons joined in the fun on more than one occasion.
This place was recommended to Z for their impressive beer list, but their food was also decent. Their vegetarian entrees were basically non-existent, but we did share an order of their Homemade Hummus ($6) and their St. James Cheese Plate ($11.50). The hummus was perfectly smooth, and I loved the crumbled feta and fresh tomato on top. The cheese plate was also impressive, consisting of more than enough cheese to share among two people.
This spot was again recommended to Z for their beer list, but we stopped in for lunch one day and had a great salad. I believe it was the Beer Garden Salad, but regardless, it was fresh, tasty and not overly dressed (like many salads we had in New Orleans were).
If you're looking for a slice in the French Quarter, this is probably the only place to get one (their is allegedly one other place, but we never found it). Boston pizza definitely has them beat, but after a few daiquiris on Bourbon Street, a slice of cheese definitely hit the spot. (They also offer a vegetarian pizza, but were out of slices the night we visited).
Hands down, the best breakfast/brunch we had in New Orleans was at Stanley. Our neighbor for the week recommended this place, and we were so glad we went. Their peppery Bloody Marys ($8) are garnished with pickled green beans and olives, and we paired our Bloodys with the egg sandwich (it's not listed on their online menu, so I don't have the price). We ordered our egg sandwiches without the bacon, but they were still piled high with fresh eggs, spicy mayonnaise, sauteed onions and cheese. This was the ultimate Hurricane hangover cure.
Other notable places we dined at include Domenica (best meal of the trip, by far - I highly recommend ordering their Wild Mushroom Pizza ($13), without the bacon), and Verti Marte Deli, for their breakfast sandwiches. Upon walking into Verti Marte Deli, you might be hesitant to order there - but I swear, their egg sandwiches were incredible, and only $3 a pop.
One final note: Every place we went to was willing to tweak a menu item to make it vegetarian (one place, in the NOLA airport, even made us a vegetarian sandwich on the spot, because they were out of veggie burgers). So, don't be afraid to ask!
Early next week, I'll share with you some of the other places we saw and tours we took while in New Orleans. Until then, have a great weekend!