• Vegan Field Report: Carmo in New Orleans

    May 4th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), new orleans

    hey everyone, time for another field report from vegan scraps! she brings us the lowdown on vegan eats in new orleans, so take notes.

    I’m a native New Orleans girl, so I was psyched to be able to head down to visit my family for a few days, although I was a little concerned about finding vegan food. Let’s be honest, “vegan” isn’t a word that is generally associated with Nawlins’, that is until now! I did my researched and couldn’t wait to try Cafe Carmo downtown. They are not a 100% vegan restaurant (in fact New Orleans doesn’t have a total vegan place, but some options) but they make most everything vegan, and even have some vegan dishes listed.

    Carmo is a multi-cultural culinary influenced cafe with different unique salads, sandwiches, international dishes, and soups of the day, not to mention some dessert and drinks!  On top of the food being crazy good, they use local organic produce, and are green certified! The staff is helpful and very friendly, gives off that ‘comfort of new orleans vibe’. Ok, enough chit chat let’s get to the good stuff shall we?

    My mom and I went in for lunch one day and decided to start with a cup of “Cacao Nectar Juice” ($1.75) Juice derived from the outside of the Cacao plant. Now I don’t know exactly what this is or if I have all of the information right but the server told us it was yummy and was called the “nectar of the gods” (who wouldn’t drink a juice that good??!). He was right it was really fresh and pure tasting!

    Then we split a cup of the “Lentil and Veggie Soup” ($4.95) Fresh Lentils mixed with fresh Vegetables. This was such a fantastic coup, full of lentils and tons of delicious vegetables! The portion was huge for a cup, but we enjoyed it to the last slurp! Everything sounded so good that we decided to get two dishes and split (ah the joys of eating with a friend..).

    We started with one of their most popular vegan dishes the “Carmo Salad” ($8.95) Rice, Pineapple, Avocado, Nuts, Raisins, Cucumber, Smoked Vegan Ham, with a Citrus Mango Vinaigrette. WOW- one of the best tasting salads I have ever had, from NY to LA this salad dominates! They were even sweet enough to split it for us and put it on two plates! My mom who isn’t even a big “rice person” was smitten with this salad! I cannot say how fresh and spectacular this salad was, a must have on your list of things to try!!

    Another dish that caught our eye was simply named the “Rico”($8.95) A grilled Plantain Patty topped with Melted Vegan Cheese, Spicy Smoked ‘n’ Pulled Vegan Pork, Salsa Fresca and their Tangy-Sweet-Spicy “Rico” Sauce.  Blown away again! What a creative and tasty dish! This dish is under their sandwich menu but it is SO much better than any sandwich! Perfectly cooked and seasoned, and I adore the dressing. This is one of my favorites!

    As if all of this wasn’t good enough they had a vegan dessert! That was a shock to me; vegan food AND dessert in New Orleans??!! We both got a piece of the ” Banana Bread” ($2.50) Fresh Bananas with vegan batter and Chopped Pecans baked to perfect.

    Win, Win, Win!! This was super moist and sweet tasting, love it! I cannot say enough good things about Carmo Cafe!! This place is worth making a trip to New Orleans for my vegan friends!! New Orleans, a city of Jazz, Culture, and Vegan Food!!

    Carmo Cafe
    527 Julia St.
    New Orleans, LA.
    Tuesday-Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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12 responses to “Vegan Field Report: Carmo in New Orleans” RSS icon

  • This looks incredible! And I just found out that I’ll be in NOLA in the fall for a work conference — I’ll be emailing you for dining recommendations! 🙂

  • New Orleans is amazing JL! So excited for you to go. you have to go by Carmo, it it just perfect!:)

  • Thanks for posting this. I live in New Orleans and just learned about this place – will have to get there stat!

  • Yep, I just checked Happy Cow, and there is NOT EVEN ONE vegan restaurant in New Orleans! Very sad, but also completely unsurprising. (There is one vegetarian COFFEE HOUSE, lol.)

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    Extremely appetizing photos, thanks for the review!!!

  • missesobvious

    All looks good, but I’m not even going to say what I was thinking when I saw that cacao nectar!

  • Fritz; I know it, I was so frustrated that there is not a 100% vegan place in nola, but I have to think baby steps so maybe one day there will be!!:) Carmo does have some great options though:)

  • Yes, VS, hopefully SOMEDAY there will be a market for vegan/vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans. I mean, we can certainly have HOPE for all such places (to me they are Pitiful Pseudo-Cities). And I am glad that you were at least able to find several veganizable dishes at Carmo Cafe. : )

  • Fingers crossed for a vegan joint in Nola !!:):)

  • There are a surprising amount of vegan options in NOLA, but obvious at first they are not.
    (Current as of a few years ago, I haven’t been to NOLA since 2007 – credit goes to Kittee.)

    Bennachin/ 1212 Royal Street New Orleans, LA (French Quarter/Marigny)

    Asian: Ask for brown rice if you want it, many places have it down here.
    August Moon/ 3635 Prytania Street New Orleans, LA (Uptown)
    Doson’s Noodle House/ 135 N orth Carrollton Avenue New Orleans, LA (Mid City)
    Five Happiness/ 3605 South Carrollton Avenue New Orleans, LA (Mid City)
    Frosty’s/ 3400 Cleary Avenue Metairie, LA (Metairie)
    Hana/ 8116 Hampson Street New Orleans, LA (Riverbend)
    Horinoya/ 920 Poydras Street New Orleans, LA (CBD)
    Kim Son/ 349 Whitney Avenue Gretna, LA (West Bank)
    ISKCON Temple (Hare Krishnas)/ 2936 Esplanade Avenue New Orleans (Mid City)
    Mr. Bubble’s Tea House/ 925 Behrman Highway Terrytown, LA (Westbank)
    Pho Tao Bay/ 113 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, LA (West Bank)
    Sake Café/ 2830 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Garden District/Uptown)
    Tandoori Chicken/ 115 University Place New Orleans, LA (French Quarter/CBD)

    Coffee: You should be able to pick up a free Gambit in any of these shops and get soymilk, too.
    Z’otz/ 8210 Oak Street New Orleans, LA (Riverbend)
    CCs/ 2917 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Garden District)
    CCs/ 900 Jefferson Avenue New Orleans, LA (Uptown)
    CCs/ 941 Royal Street New Orleans , LA (French Quarter)
    CCs/2800 Esplanade Avenue New Orleans , LA (Mid City)
    Fair Grinds/ 3133 Ponce de Leon Street New Orleans, LA (Mid City)
    Marigny Perks/ 2401 Burgundy Street New Orleans LA (Marigny)
    Mojos/ 1500 Magazine St, New Orleans (Lower Garden District)
    Rue de la Course/ 1464 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Garden District)
    Rue de la Course/ 1140 South Carrollton New Orleans, LA (Riverbend)
    Sound Café/ 2700 Chartres Street New Orleans, LA (Marigny)

    Fancier Stuff:
    Lola’s/ 3312 Esplanade Avenue New Orleans, LA (Mid City)
    Table One/ 2800 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Irish Channel)

    Coco Hut/ 2515 Bayou Road New Orleans (Mid City)

    Local Flavor ‘n Stuff:
    Bacchanal/ 600 Poland Avenue New Orleans, LA (Bywater)
    The Blessed Seelos Shrine/ 2030 Constance Street (St. Andrew and Constance) New Orleans, LA (Irish Channel)
    Crescent City Farmers’ Market/ Magazine and Girod Saturdays from 8-12PM (CBD)
    Crescent City Market/ River Road and Uptown Square Tuesdays from 9-1PM (Uptown)
    Crabby Jacks/ 428 Jefferson Highway Jefferson, LA (Jefferson)
    George’s Produce/ 129 Terry Parkway Gretna, LA (West Bank)
    Hansen’s Sno-Bliz Shop/ 4801 Tchoupitoulas Street New Orleans, LA (Uptown)
    Parasol’s/ 2533 Constance Street New Orleans, LA (Irish Channel)
    Vertimart Deli/ 1201 Royal New Orleans, LA (French Quarter)
    Zapp’s Potato Chips-

    Mexican: Mexican food used to blow hard here, but it’s steadily getting extremely tasty and more common.
    Juan’s Flying Burrito/ 2018 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Lower Garden District)
    Juan’s Flying Burrito/ 4724 S Carrollton Avenue New Orleans, LA (Mid City)
    El Tapatio/ 400 Wright Avenue Terrytown, LA (West Bank)
    Taqueria Jalisco/ 1160 Terry Parkway Terrytown, LA (West Bank)

    Middle Eastern: I’ll never understand why Middle Eastern restaurants outweigh Indian joints 20:1 in New Orleans.
    Casablanca Restaurant/ 3030 Severn Avenue Metairie, LA (Metairie)
    This is an Israeli kosher restaurant that serves meat, which means that there is no dairy anywhere in the kitchen.
    Kosher Cajun Deli & Grocery/ 3520 North Hullen Street Metairie, LA (Metairie)
    Lebanon’s/ 1506 S Carrollton Avenue New Orleans, LA (Riverbend)
    Byblos/ 3218 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Irish Channel)
    Mona’s Café/ 3901 Banks Street New Orleans, LA (Mid City)
    Mona’s Café/ 4126 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Uptown)
    Mona’s Café/ 504 Frenchmen Street New Orleans, LA (Marigny)
    Mona’s Café/ 1120 South Carrollton Avenue New Orleans, LA (RiverBend)
    Babylon Café/ 7724 Maple Street New Orleans, LA (University Area)

    Sandwiches and Scramble:
    13/ 517 Frenchmen Street New Orleans, LA (Marigny)
    Slim Goodies Diner/ 3322 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70115 (Irish Channel)
    Surreys Juice Bar/ 1418 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Lower Garden District)
    Whole Foods Market/ 5600 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA (Uptown)

    Sorbet and Dessert:
    Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream/ 214 North Carrollton New Orleans (Mid City)
    La Divina Gelateria/ 3005 Magazine Street New Orleans, Louisiana (Garden District)

    Snowball Stands:
    My favorite are the snowballs from Hansen’s–they’re unlike anything else you’ll find (see under local flavor), but you can get a decent snowball from any stand in the city.
    Vitality Juice and Smoothie Bar/ 1205 S.t Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA (Central City)

  • The list of restaurants above is great, but remember, this is a city where chefs take pride in their work. I have found that most restaurants worth their salt have one or two vegan/vegetarian dishes available by request. Always ask! (And if you know where you will be dining, call in advance.)

  • Hi y’all! I’ve been vegan for over five years, and I just moved back home to New Orleans. I have a blog dedicated to sharing all the vegan happenings in New Orleans – and there are many! The blog also has a page listing everyplace I know of that a vegan can get a decent meal around town. This list is constantly growing! You can find it all here: http://NewOrleansinGreen.blogspot.com. It should be a good resource for anyone planning to visit. Hope you enjoy!

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