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10 New Orleans Dishes for Raw, Vegan, Paleo, Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Diets

So you’ve promised yourself to eat healthier this year — now what? The first thing you should know is that there are more healthy dining options in New Orleans now than ever before. Avoiding meat, dairy, grains, or gluten? Trying to eat more raw veggies? If restaurants aren’t already accommodating to different diets, then they’re specifically set up to cater to those diets. Here are some fabulous New Orleans restaurants where you can find healthful dishes to satisfy all dietary restrictions — without sacrificing an ounce of flavor.

The multi-grain veggie burger with beet and onion jam at Sneaky Pickle
The multi-grain veggie burger with beet and onion jam at Sneaky Pickle. 

10 New Orleans Dishes for Every Diet

Raw

Seed — This eatery on Prytania Street that caters to raw, vegan, gluten-free and soy-free diets has a surprising menu of goodies like three-bean chili, nachos and beet carpaccio. We especially love their delicious raw, soy-free and gluten-free vegetable spaghetti with zucchini noodles, avocado pesto and a house-made puttanesca sauce with olives, capers and tomatoes.

Satsuma — A Bywater and Riverbend neighborhood favorite for lazy weekend breakfasts and lunches, Satsuma’s recipe for success is simple: give them good food. Even the ultra-healthy dishes, like their raw vegetable salad with seasonal veggies, arugula, sprouts, avocado, sunflower seeds and an apple cider vinaigrette, is just as satisfying as the roast beef with aioli on ciabatta.

Vegan

Sneaky Pickle – Tucked in the Lower 9th Ward is a vegan restaurant with a silly name but a seriously good menu. It includes tempeh flatbread with house-made slaw, sauteed farmers market greens, raw salads, and the incredible multi-grain burger: lentils, barley and millet are mixed together with rice flour to form a patty which is crisped on the griddle and served on a warm brioche bun with vegan aioli, beet and onion jam, local greens, and roasted butternut squash.

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Superfood Bar’s “PLT” sandwich on locally made bread

Superfood Bar – As a firm believer that there’s nothing more delicious than a classic BLT, Superfood Bar on Magazine features a “PLT” sandwich, which stands for patty, lettuce and tomato. The black bean and rice patty comes dressed with tomato, greens and vegan chipotle mayo for some smoky heat. The bread is from Made of Orleans, which uses cold stone ground grains, kosher salt, and traditional Roman and Greek bread-making methods to get a natural rise without the addition of sweeteners or chemicals. The result is a bread that is naturally low in gluten, crispy, and absolutely delicious.

Vegetarian

Cauliflower tacos at Johnny Sánchez
Cauliflower tacos at Johnny Sánchez

Johnny Sánchez – There are plenty of meat options on the menu at this new Mexican restaurant on Poydras Street, but perhaps one of the best taco options is one involving cauliflower, not carne asada. A flour tortilla is spread with a delicious house-made pecan romesco sauce, filled with cauliflower florets and topped with citrus segments, cilantro and some thin-sliced red chilies for heat.

Pizza Domenica – Vegetarian pizzas aren’t usually difficult to find at various local and chain pizza joints, but Pizza Domenica’s roasted carrot pizza with goat cheese, red onion, Brussels sprouts, beets and hazelnuts is a hearty and filling step up from the usual suspects.

(Also, be sure to check out our list of the top vegetarian sandwiches in New Orleans.)

Gluten-Free

HiVolt – Not just a place to get an excellent cup of coffee, HiVolt on Sophie Wright Place in the Lower Garden District has a menu featuring lots of gluten-free baked goods and salads, like the Chimi Beef salad with mixed greens, shredded slow-roasted chuck, poached egg, tomatoes, avocado and chimichurri sauce. Hivolt also has a rotating selection of sweet and savory vegan options, and raw items like fudgy brownies and filling breakfast bars.

Paleo

Rosemary Lamb Chops at Lebanon's Cafe
Rosemary Lamb Chops at Lebanon’s Cafe

Lebanon’s Cafe – You might think nixing the warm pita bread at this popular Carrollton Lebanese restaurant would cause the meal to feel incomplete. But once you feast your eyes on the six rosemary lamb chops nestled on top of a bed of sautéed onions, tomatoes and green beans, your bread-yearning days may come to screeching halt. And if you’re following the paleo diet in its strictest form (meaning no chickpeas), then simply sub your side of hummus for double salad.

La Boca – Perhaps the best part of following the paleo diet is that a fatty, juicy steak is totally game-on. At La Boca on Tchoupitoulas, you’ll find hanger, skirt, bone-in filet and ribeye varieties, among many others. Make sure to order a side of grilled asparagus!

All photos by Emily Smith

Emily Smith is a native New Orleanian and Uptowner who loves sharing her passion for food with others. When she’s not blogging about culinary adventures, she can be found snapping food photos, running alongside the streetcars on St. Charles Avenue, or hovering over a steaming hot bowl of phở at her favorite Vietnamese restaurant. She also firmly believes that nothing says, “I love you” like a dozen... donuts. Follow her on Instagram at @fleurdelicious_nola

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