New Orleans recs please!
August 17, 2017 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I will be in New Orleans in October for a family wedding. I haven't been since 2006, when a lot of stuff was still closed. I am hoping Mefites can recommend some restaurants and shops and things bc I will have a bit of free time.

Hi Mefites! I will be staying at the Hilton St Charles, can you all tell me some vegetarian-friendly restaurants/cool shops/can't-miss stuff in the area? Like within a couple of blocks, we'll be on foot. I love knitting, books, tchotchkes, desserts, etc. Thanks!
posted by leesh to Travel & Transportation around New Orleans, LA (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My wife patrolled the fiber shops in NOLA and recommends The Quarter Stitch.
posted by ftm at 9:30 AM on August 17, 2017

Best answer: I am vegetarian and had a great meal at Galatoire's...fried eggplant, good salad and eggs Sardou I think...they have tons of veggie sides as well and were gracious and the service was impeccable. I also ate at Emeril's place and they were very accomodating. Seek out Meltdown for cool treats.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 9:38 AM on August 17, 2017

Best answer: Your hotel is in the CBD, so it's near a lot of stuff, but not like, within a couple of blocks. Plan on wearing comfortable shoes and walking a bit! And then plan a shower before any event where you have to look presentable, because even in October it's hot.

I was there in October a few years ago and there were couple different random festivals going on. Lots of fun vendors. Check out the festival schedule. Blues and BBQ was right in the CBD, not huge but we bought some cool stuff. Po' Boy Festival is incredible--bring your appetite! If there are any Halloween things going on, like Krewe of Boo or Anba Dlo parades, check those out.

Sucre is a fabulous fancy bakery. There's one in the FQ and one on Magazine St. The Magazine location is in a really fun shopping area.

If you like fun t-shirts, check out Fleurty Girl (Magazine and FQ).

Pro Tip: All the cheezy, touristy souvenir shops in the Quarter are owned by the same company. There's almost no variety between them, so don't bother trying to comparison shop. There's no shame in wanting a "Rue Bourbon" magnet or a St. Louis Cathedral snow globe or whatever, but don't waste time going to more than one store.

As for veg restaurants:
Green Goddess is known for creative selections, and has a really cool location
Juan's Flying Burrito is a sorta punk place that is very veg-friendly
La Crepe Nanou is a French restaurant Uptown, but has several great veg options. I took my mom there.
Port of Call is known for it's incredible burgers, but they also have delicious loaded baked potatoes. Pair one of those with a giant fruity adult beverage.
posted by radioamy at 9:47 AM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hi leesh (and hi radioamy too!)

Welcome to nola. I say go to the Music Box Village. Here's my pitch for it from an earlier query (plus restaurant options). It's worth a quick little lyft/uber/taxi/pedicab.
posted by umbĂș at 9:58 AM on August 17, 2017

Best answer: My blog post from our trip to New Orleans at Halloween last year.
posted by COD at 9:59 AM on August 17, 2017

Best answer: There's a bookshop you may find fun (although it isn't within a few blocks of your hotel, but it is an easy 20-minute ride on a city bus) - Kitchen Witch Cookbooks. It's a new-and-used cookbook store owned by the friends of a friend of mine, who opened it right after Katrina (and were very quickly besieged by people trying to replace copies of cookbooks that had been ruined in the flooding, so it was a great start for them).

They also have six spice blends they've made up and they sell that too (I've been using their signature "Kitchen Witch blend" for my red beans & rice for years now). The place looks like if your hippie aunt ran a used bookstore and just has a really fun vibe, too. And - they have a "pop up Vegan" cafe now and then on Saturdays.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:24 AM on August 17, 2017

Best answer: I haven't been in New Orleans in this millennium, but when I was there, I took a guided walking tour of the Garden District, which I thought was fascinating. A quick Google search shows me that there are several available, with or without the Lafayette Cemetery, so feel free to choose whichever sounds most promising.

Brennan's invented Bananas Foster... I don't know if that's vegetarian, but it is so, so delicious!
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 1:41 PM on August 17, 2017

Best answer: When my wife and I are trying to figure out where to eat we frequently refer to Eater. Fortunately they have a page of Essential Vegetarian Restaurants in New Orleans. Unfortunately it's a year old, and a few have since passed on. From that list, though, I would heartily recommend Shaya (get reservations NOW), 1000 Figs, Pizza Delicious, Green Goddess, Killer Po-Boys, and Juan's Flying Burrito.

There's not a lot near your hotel that I'm all like OH MAN YOU GOTTA VISIT but there is the Defend New Orleans store on Carondelet. That's a great place to pick up local-ish stuff that is not just dumb touristy nonsense. [full disclosure: I'm biased because they're the only retail store in town where you can buy a copy of my recent photography book.]

oh that reminds me of the restaurant Balise which doesn't concentrate on vegetarian BUT does give great respect to the veggies. Some of the best sides I've ever had were there, and they have an excellent bar as well. Might be worth popping in and treating the appetizers as small plates.

If you want to see something other than downtown, head to Canal St. and catch the red streetcar headed towards Mid-City - you'll want the one that says it's going to the art museum. There's an outdoor sculpture garden that's free and worth it, plus the rest of City Park is massive and beautiful. It's a worthwhile trip to escape downtown.
posted by komara at 2:01 PM on August 17, 2017

Best answer: Oh, hey, you like cheese? Everybody likes cheese. Go visit St. James Cheese Co - there's one not far from your hotel.
posted by komara at 2:02 PM on August 17, 2017

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