New Orleans, The Big Easy, Chocolate City...now add Home of Super Bowl 47. Hosting this year's big game, fans witll be pouring into the city in droves and bringing an appetite. If you happen to be one of those fans and are looking to steer clear of greasy, fattening food, be sure to check out some of these places I found that offer up healthy, vegan and even gluten free options!
If you happen to wander the French Quarter in search of some southern delights, make a pitstop at The Gumbo Shop. This quaint eatery has been around for some time and specializes in southern cajun cooking. But what to do as a vegan? Order up a delicious veganized special.They have a vegetarian special that changes nightly on the menu. It comes with salad and a tasty side (I had this crazy yummy corn dish) with the main dish being a rice an beans stew with some cajun kick. It is fantastic and I highly recommend The Gumbo Shop for veggies and omnivores alike. Great food and sweet southern hospitality!
Looking for breakfast at dinner? Grab a hearty dinner/breakfast at Slim Goodies Diner. It's a good 5-10 minutes outside of downtown but in the super cute Garden District. They have something for everyone including the hungry vegan. I had the Garden Slammer -- a pile of hash browns, veggie bacon and veggie chili with lots of yummy veggies mixed in. Check out the creative menu at Slim Goodies.
One thing that is hard to find is something quick and healthy off of Bourbon Street. It's jam packed with bars, strip clubs and pizza joints but that's about it. I hunted and I found The Royal Blend on Royal. Just a blockaway from the madness, I got a tasty veggie sandwich that was made completely fresh. They have a cute courtyard, coffee, soups, salads and pastries and is a great place to get a quick and healthy bite while hangin' out near Bourbon.
A cuisine that you don't often see is African. And having been to Africa myself, I have to say, it's delicious! I was so excited to find Bennachin and even more excited when they had vegan options. I indulged in the "KONE NI MAKONDO" which is black-eyed peas in tomato and onion stew served with fried plantains and coconut rice. Awesome! Bennachin is definitely worth the stop.
Latin food is always on my mind so I was excited to stumble upon La Macarena. A latin eatery that features veggie and vegan options! Bringing me back to my childhood were the platanos and yucca tapas. And I thoroughly enjoyed the vegan pupusa! Fabulous for an on-the-go snack during sight seeing.
Yet another locale with tropical flair is Carmo Cafe. They LOVE their veggie and gluten free diners as they get to show off their fantastic array of tropical produce. My personal fave is the Esmerelda Salad with a slice of vegan banana bread.
So amidst the booze and beignets and football, New Orleans has a great amount of healthiness to go around.