A common question I get from tourists and locals is, what are some healthy restaurants in New Orleans?
Say what? Eating healthy in New Orleans?
That is a hard question to answer.
Throw in diety restrictions like eating gluten-free, Vegetarian, or Vegan while living or visiting in New Orleans, and y’all are trying to throw me into a pickle.
But to make sure I gave y’all what yall wanted and spent some time trying out healthy food and tasted the best salads in New Orleans.
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Eating Healthy in New Orleans
First, we all know that going out to eat is not the healthiest thing, but when looking for healthy food to eat in New Orleans, I am here to help.
Every single restaurant in New Orleans offers tasty, rich dishes, but trying to stick to a diet while in this foodie city is hard.
Salads are usually bland, but not when you have a New Orleans Local that’s been running around the city to exercise her right to healthy eating in New Orleans.
Usually, when I’m sticking to some sort of healthy eating, I eat salads in New Orleans. Still, this list of seven delicious restaurants does have a few surprises that are not salads hidden in my recommendations.
So if you are looking for something a little fresher than fried okra and lighter than a poboy, keep reading my favorite restaurants that I frequent while dining out in New Orleans.
This blog post is updated for 2020, if you would like to be included in a future update, please reach out to me.
Even though I do not eat vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, I get a lot of questions about where people can go out to eat with these dietary restrictions. Many of the dishes either come vegetarian or vegan-friendly and will have an asterisk* if it is gluten-free according to the restaurant’s menu. Please visit the restaurant’s website for the most up-to-date information about your particular food allergy or lifestyle.
Eat Fit Nola
If salads are not your thing, one way to opt for healthier items while you are visiting New Orleans is by downloading the Eat Fit Nola App.
This app, offered on Android and iOS, is in many more restaurants than those that are listed below and will help you make wiser choices while dining out.
Eat Fit Nola has over 75 restaurants and even gives you options of things to eat at famous restaurants like Commanders Palace and world-famous festivals like French Quarter Fest.
Since I am not a huge seafood person, the Eat Fit Nola suggestions usually do not work for me – but if you are a fish-eating fan, you will love the options on this healthy app.
Eat Fit even has their own King Cake!
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Eating Salads in New Orleans
Before we get into some of my favorite healthy restaurants in New Orleans, you have to know that when I order a salad from a restaurant, it has to be delicious.
I’m not looking for your basic Ceasar salad; I’m looking for a salad with some extra pizzaz in it. Give me all the vegetables, some additional toppings, and protein, and that is a salad!
1. Daily Beet
A local chain!
3300 Magazine St, 2381 St. Claude Ave, 1000 Girod Street
The Daily Beet was one of the first restaurants in the Central Business District that allowed me to feel like it was okay to skip my bagged lunch and eat a large, well-made salad.
Every time I bring a friend to the Daily Beet, I forget to tell them that they do not serve meat. Yup, you heard me correctly – this restaurant doesn’t have any meat, so it is perfect for your vegetarian friends! Heck – even your Vegan and gluten-free friends can easily find something to eat off of the menu.
What to order: Advocado Toast, Salad or Bowls
Avocado Toast – I know, of course, you have to order the Avocado Toast for breakfast (or as an appetizer). This Avocado Toast is the toast that turned me on to creating my avocado toast for myself.
Super simple with mashed avocado, cherry tomatoes, sea salt, chili flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil – this breakfast staple will find a way to sneak into your lunch or dinner.
Rainbow Bowl* – I love it when my food is beautiful! No seriously, the more color in my dish, the better, which is why I love the Rainbow Bowl. Quinoa, avocado, carrots, beets, bell peppers, and more! This bowl is gluten-free, Vegan, and Eat Fit Nola friendly!
Mexicali Blues* – There is one thing you need to know about me – I love Mexican food. So when I spotted the Mexicali blues salad on the menu, I had to get it. The combination of the avocado, black beans, corn, and tomatoes with the corn chips and cotija makes me not even miss tacos (well most of the time).
611 O’Keefe Avenue
Your local Neighborhood Deli & Bar with the cutest murals all over the restaurant. I used to say that this place was my little lunch secret but the more and more people I tell about it, the more crowded it gets! If you are looking for a yummy place to eat with lots of options, Aglio if the place for you!
What to order: A salad or half soup half salad
Compost Salad – I know what you are thinking, why does this salad have popcorn on it? Strange right? Well, it is a compost salad, and popcorn is something that needs to but composted – by your tummy!
When I order this salad, I skip the popcorn and love everything else in it, mixed greens, avocado, marinated tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, and more – this salad has enough variety and protein that you will not become bored.
Tostone Salad – a massive stack of fried plantains on top of a salad? And You are calling this healthy.
Now everything on this list might not be the healthiest, but if you are looking for a delicious salad, the Tostone Salad with fried plantains, corn, and black beans, seasonal pico de gallo, avocado and hot sauce hits the spot.
Every time I order this salad, everyone is in awe when a giant, seasonal salad comes from the kitchen with a decoration of plantains.
Halfsies – not necessarily healthy, but a smaller portion, I love getting the Halfsies with a ½ grilled cheese salad and a cup of tomato basil soup. The small soup and half a sandwich is the perfect size to satisfy the old school craving for tomato soup and grilled cheese without filling up.
3. Good Bird
503 Freret Street (with a new location opening in Baton Rouge!)
You know when you go to Sam’s or Costco and buy a rotisserie chicken, and it is so delicious you think, “I could eat this every day.”
Well, Good Bird is that, but even better. Squeeze into the tiniest space on Freret Street; this restaurant will deliver on the fact that it is a healthy restaurant in New Orleans.
And for those meat eaters out there – the chickens are free-range and hormone and antibiotic-free.
You can get your selection of sandwiches, bowls, salads, or smoothies. The choice is yours!
What to Order: Bowls or Salad
The Hummingbird: Mixed greens, diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, Verde, and lemon vinaigrette, and hummus is exactly a salad I would make for myself for lunch. The fresh ingredients
Sunrise Bowl: Tossed Quinoa, mixed greens, corn, avocado, tomato, cotija, pumpkin seeds, and jalapeno-lime dressing – why yes, thank you!
Toss an egg or chicken on top to add some healthy protein, and this bowl is enough to keep you full.
527 Julia Street
Vegan-friendly food that appeals to meat-eaters – Sign me up!
Stepping foot into this place, you would not assume that it is vegan-friendly. All of the foods look, smell, and taste delicious.
This New Orleans based tropical restaurant opened in 2010 and became one of the first places to purchase healthy lunch and dinner options for people of all dietary restrictions!
Sustainability is their businesses, and the restaurant prides itself on obtaining the freshest ingredients.
What to order: Salad or sandwiches
Broken Noodle Salad* – If you are seeking a delicious noodle dish that is also combined with a healthy dose of vegetables, look no further than the Broken Noodle Salad. Rice noodles, sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, and more all tossed with peanuts in a citrus ginger chili vinaigrette; this is one of the salads I will write home to.
I added a chicken to this dish, but it can be vegetarian or vegan and is gluten-free!
Rico – a breadless open-faced sandwich made of grilled plantains, melted cheese, spicy smoked pulled pork, avocado, salsa, and a bed of greens. Oh. My. Goodness.
When trying to broaden my horizon but still wanting to stay in the healthy realm, Rico was just screaming, EAT ME when I read it off of the menu. With a few adjustments, Carmo can prepare the dish as a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free menu item.
5. Blue Line Sandwich Co
2023 Metairie Road
Farm to table freshness is something that all restaurants should strive to have, but not all restaurants can achieve. Blueline does just that.
With an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, it’s a shame to say I’ve only had a few of the salads on the menu.
What to Order: Salads for everyone!
Roasted brussels sprouts – I have a slight addiction to blue cheese – so this salad with baby lettuce, bacon, pecans, and blue cheese tossed in a sugar cane vinaigrette is one of the best salads I’ve had in the Metairie area.
Thai Chicken Quinoa Salad – grilled sesame-ginger marinated chicken breast on a bed of quinoa, edamame, mandarin orange, kale, carrots, and tomatoes tossed with a ginger-soy vinaigrette.
Probably one of my favorite things about this salad is the considerable portion. Ask for the dressing on the side and pack up the second half for later!
6. City Greens
A local chain!
5001 Freret street, 5161 Citrus blvd, 600 Metairie Road, 909 Poydras St and the new MSY
Over a decade ago, I did an internship in New York City, and my favorite treat yourself meal was a fresh salad from one of the hundreds of salad places around the city.
Then came City Greens, fresh, healthy fast food with transparent calorie counts, a new concept to Nola in the early 2010s.
After their first two locations had a substantial following, they owned up a location in old Metairie, in Freret, and, most recently, the new MSY airport.
One of my favorite things is you can turn any salad into a wrap and any wrap into a salad.
What to order: Any of the Salads or warm bowls (Warm bowls only at the Freret location)
Quinoa, Kale, and Corn* – A delicious combination of all my favorite things. This salad was the beginning of me becoming a salad snob when I went out to eat. I love adding bacon to this salad to give it an extra crunch, but if you order as is – it is vegetarian-friendly. There is another item on the menu that ditches the feta for tofu and is vegan-friendly.
Thai Peanut Chicken – Roasted chicken, basil, cilantro, carrot, cucumber, peanuts, spinach, all tossed in a spicy Thai peanut sauce. This specialty usually comes as a wrap, but I like to get it as a salad to give it some extra greens.
Warm Ginger Teriyaki Chicken Bowl* – When the Freret location opened in 2019, the newest edition to their menu was the warm bowls. The ginger Teriyaki Chicken bowl was outstanding with edamame, roasted peppers, cilantro, sliced almonds, Mississippi brown and red rice all on a bed of mixed greens tossed in a miso ginger dressing.
A local Chain!
845 CARONDELET street; 2521 Jena street
Are you a good cat or a bad cat? Well, at BearCat, you can be both good or bad!
BearCat has two menus, one for when you are feeling healthy and another one when you want to be just a little bit bad – but still eat some great food.
What to order: anything off of the good cat menu!
Trumpet Scallops – one of unique dishes on this blog post is the trumpet scallops made with seared trumpet mushrooms on a bed of hummus with cauliflower grits with a preserved lemon vinaigrette. You won’t even know that you are eating Vegan and Gluten-free while eating this delicious dish!
Healthy Eating in New Orleans
As you can see, eating healthy in New Orleans doesn’t have to be hard, but you do need to be a little creative in what you order.
Salads do not have to be boring, but with Eat Fit Nola and delicious local restaurants, you can find places to stay healthy.
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Tuesday 16th of August 2022
[…] Honestly, I love both sides of their menu. […]
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Monday 27th of January 2020
[…] Girod St. The Daily Beet is a delicious, vegetarian lunch option if you are looking for salads, bowls, or […]
Monday 20th of January 2020
Honest Mary s just opened in North Austin but I already love this fast-casual eatery that serves fresh, healthy grain bowls made from an all scratch kitchen. Everything is just so good. My game plan is to order several bowls for pick up to eat throughout the week! Freshly pressed juices, smoothies, grilled sandwiches, and soul warming soups. One of my favorites when I want a soup sandwich! Try the love cleanse juice for a burst of veggies.
Sunday 12th of January 2020
These places all look so good! I'm planning on going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year so I will definitely pin this post and save it for a reference. I'm going to be traveling in the south quite a bit the next couple of months so by the time I get to New Orleans I will appreciate these healthier options for sure!
Monday 13th of January 2020
They are! Mardi Gras is such a fun time to go but also a time when your diet is mostly King Cake and Fried Chicken!! I hope you have fun and let me know how your trip goes!
Saturday 11th of January 2020
I love going on vacation and trying all the new food, but I hate how gross I feel after eating out for that long! Thanks for sharing this list, I'm hoping to go to New Orleans over Spring break, saved for later!
Monday 13th of January 2020
Thank you! I hope you do make it down here for Spring! It is such a lovely time to visit!