Think of a traditional New Orleans po-boy and you probably think of a French bread sandwich overstuffed with meat or seafood: roast beef and gravy or pork boudin, fried catfish or grilled shrimp.
But at a number of New Orleans restaurants, vegetarians looking to try the city’s signature sandwiches don’t have to feel left out. Here’s a list of some of the veggie po-boys around New Orleans.
This French Quarter sandwich shop’s standalone location (219 Dauphine St.) and its kitchen in the back of the Erin Rose bar (811 Conti St.) both offer a po-boy stuffed with soft, roasted sweet potato. The sandwich is dressed with braised greens and a savory black-eyed pea and pecan spread.
It’s rare to find good food in a music venue. And it’s probably even rarer to find one that serves asparagus, let alone puts it on a sandwich. But Kukhnya, the “Slavic soul food” kitchen in the back of Siberia (2227 St. Claude Ave.), offers an asparagus “polboy” that also includes spicy cabbage, tomatoes, pickles, and provolone, optionally dressed with spicy mustard and Russian dressing. The grilled asparagus is also available as a standalone finger food, and the restaurant offers other non-carnivorous options, including veggie burgers, pierogis, and a variety of salads.
Tucked away near City Park and Delgado Community College at 4840 Bienville St., this neighborhood pizza shop offers a po-boy stuffed with cheese and tasty vegetables that wouldn’t feel out of place at a cafe in California. The Hippie includes red pepper, tomato, spinach, avocado, and fresh mozzarella, all served on white or wheat French bread and dressed with a pesto sauce.
Despite the name, not everything on the menu at this French Quarter restaurant (307 Exchange Pl.) is vegetarian. But among the items that are, in fact, meat-free is the grilled local lemongrass tofu po-boy, made with pickled sesame carrot, napa slaw, fresh greens, and mirliton squash. The sandwich, which is only available at lunchtime, is dressed with a sweet soy sauce.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern
This Mid-City institution (538 Hagan Ave.), steps from Bayou St. John, offers a handful of vegetarian options in addition to its signature meat-stuffed sandwiches. An Italian caprese po-boy is made with fresh sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, topped with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Fried potato or sweet potato po-boys are also available, with optional roast beef gravy for those who don’t mind eating meat. And for anyone who wants just the basics, the restaurant also offers a simple lettuce and tomato po-boy, available with or without pickles and mayonnaise.
This 24-hour French Quarter diner (121 Chartres St.) and its satellite locations offer a po-boy heaped with generous portions of fried green tomatoes, the classic Southern comfort food. Like all the restaurant’s po-boys, it’s served dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions, with mayonnaise and mustard available on the side.
This Frenchmen Street late-night spot (517 Frenchmen St.), from the team behind Molly’s in the Market, offers a variety of vegetarian options steps from the area’s famed music venues. Among these is a classic caprese po-boy with mozzarella, tomato, basil, and pesto; and a barbecue tofu po-boy topped with tomatoes, pickles, romaine lettuce, and barbecue sauce. A Vietnamese-style tofu banh mi is another option that we think certainly qualifies as a po-boy, with carrots, pickles, red onions, fresh jalapenos, cucumbers, and cilantro, all topped with soy sauce and a spicy sriracha mayo.
This Uptown sandwich shop (3454 Magazine St.) offers an eggplant parmesan po-boy featuring the vegetable fried in seasoned Leidenheimer bread crumbs, topped with marinara sauce and provolone. Standard “dressing” options like mayo, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce are available. Leidenheimer, the century-old French bread baker, also makes the bread for the sandwich itself, which is available in a small or a large.
Acme Oyster House
This local chain of seafood restaurants, including its flagship French Quarter location (724 Iberville St.), isn’t all oysters and fried shrimp. Acme offers a veggie burger, featuring a half-pound patty made from brown rice, oats, mushrooms, onions, mozzarella, and cheddar, served either on a po-boy roll or a classic hamburger bun. It comes with fries.
Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar
This pair of breakfast and lunch spots (1418 Magazine St. and 4807 Magazine St.) offers a roasted veggie po-boy including zucchini, squash, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions topped with pesto and melted goat cheese, all served on Leidenheimer bread. An eggplant flatbread sandwich and a classic grilled cheese are also options, though they’re not served on that po-boy loaf.
Okay, it’s technically not a po-boy, but we’re willing to give an honorable mention to the veggie muffaletta at this Mid-City neighborhood haunt and sports bar/restaurant (141 N. Carrollton Ave.). The unique take on the classic New Orleans sandwich replaces its many meats with artichokes, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, full cloves of garlic, spinach, and feta cheese, dressed with a pesto mayo and served on classic muffaletta bread.