I thought it was all about Bourbon Street and seafood. How silly of me.
Its about music, beautiful old buildings and courtyard cafes.
And vegetarian food. Oh, yes.
Here's our list of eateries in and around the French Quarter.
1. The Gumbo Shop. Right in the heart of French Quarter. They serve a vegetarian dish of the day (rice and beans) and a delicious green Gumbo Z'herbes.
2. Cafe du Monde. Cafe au lait (their signature chicory coffee with milk) and beignets, square french doughnuts, served with a heap of powdered sugar, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We tried the regular, iced and frozen versions of the coffee. All excellent. Their smaller riverwalk stand had better coffee than the main cafe in the French market.
3. Green Goddess. In a tiny alley in the French Quarter. Interesting drinks and a couple of delicious vegetarian options, including a Cuban collard greens sandwich and (egg-free!) sweet potato biscuits, served with lemon butter and hot pepper jelly.
4. Surrey's Cafe and Juice bar. Vegan friendly. We tried the tofu brunch platter, the roasted vegetable po'boy and the grilled portobello sandwich. All delicious.
5. Sukho Thai in Marigny. Spicy. Slow service, but completely worth the wait. BYOB.
6. Bayona. No vegetarian food on the menu now, but the chef will make you a dish to suit your food preferences. It was also the most expensive and underwhelming of the lot. We were served angel hair pasta with cauliflower, asparagus and tomatoes. The veggies and pasta were perfectly cooked, but the dish was smothered in olive oil, and insubstantial as an entree (Thank God for complimentary PBJ sandwiches at the hotel.) Excellent drinks.
7. Cafe Bamboo. On Esplanade close to the river. 95% vegetarian. We tried the sol chik'n dinner (soy chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies, cornbread), vindaloo curry and a triple rice sampler, with African mafe curry, Creole curry and red beans. I don't know if the soy chicken tastes like chicken, but it tastes darned good. Laid back atmosphere.
8. Central Grocerie, Decatur. Italian-style deli. Home of the muffuletta. They will make you a sandwich with olive salad and loads of provolone. One sandwich is more than enough for two people. There is a tiny counter inside, or you can take your sandwich to the park, or even to Cafe du Monde like we did. The server graciously let us eat our food with the iced cafe au laits, and its safe to say we were the envy of all the neighboring tables.
Vox won't let me upload any more pictures, but the one above is my favorite- the long wait outside Preservation hall for an evening of unforgettable music. If you don't go anywhere else, go there. Get in line between 7 and 7:15 and you have a fair chance of making it inside, maybe even getting a seat for the 8 pm show. Don't make a video of the band, don't use your flash, and buy the CD.