We love the food in New Orleans, but there are only so many po' boys and bowls of gumbo one can consume before things start to expand, literally. Finding a decent meal in the Big Easy if you are gluten free, a vegan or vegetarian is a real challenge. Although most restaurants claim to cater to these diets, you'll likely be served iceberg lettuce topped with carrot shavings and doused in oil and vinegar.
Understanding the problem firsthand, The Sweat Social team has been on the hunt to find you delicious, nutritiously balanced gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options in New Orleans.
We recently sat down with Chef Dana Honn, the creative force behind Carmo Cafe. Carmo is an eclectic tropical cafe, so don't expect to find beignets here. With strong influences from South America and Southeast Asia, prepare your tastebuds to experience tantalizing ingredients and exotic fresh juices brimming with antioxidants. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are abundant and nutritionally balanced. Thankfully, they don't just remove the non-veg protein and give you what's left, each dish is purposely designed for the customers' eating preference.
Enter Chef Dana Honn
Testing his chops at his first cooking contest when he was 6 years old, Chef Dana has been cooking, growing his own food and working in kitchens for practically his whole life. He’s lived all over the world learning indigenous cooking techniques and familiarizing himself with beneficial tropical ingredients from Mexico, Laos, India and Brazil, to name a few. His passion for native nutritious foods and talent for balancing exotic flavors is remarkable.
Carmo aims to cook food in a way that stays true to where it comes from. Chef Dana is deeply educated and committed to preserving cultural foods and cooking techniques. He buys local organic produce and sticks to what’s in season. Food is sourced responsibly, leveraging nearby farms and using methods that emulate cultures that pride themselves on leaving little or no food waste. It's no wonder that Carmo is a 3 star certified green restaurant. In addition, Chef Dana only uses whole fresh fish sourced daily and Carmo is certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium for sustainable seafood. If you are a meat-eater, you'll be happy to know that all meats are certified humanely raised and organic. If there is a phrase to describe the food at Carmo, it's "responsibly fresh."
With many of the dishes catered towards vegetarians and vegans, it’s no surprise that Carmo has become the go-to spot for non-meat-eaters in New Orleans. Chef Dana wants customers of Carmo to know how deeply he cares about the ingredients he uses and provide foods that are as delicious as they are nutritionally balanced. Don't expect rabbit food here. What's truly amazing is that Chef Dana is able to use gourmet ingredients and offer his creations at incredibly reasonable prices. Expect to pay only $8-15 dollars for your meal!
Our Must Try at Carmo Cafe:
Quinoa, black beans, corn, peppers & cilantro. Tossed with coconut chili lime vinaigrette & topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and cotija cheese. Vegan version served with vegan cheese. Served on a bed of organic lettuces. EatFit NOLA Certified!
vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free
Carmo Cafe is located on 527 Julia Street in the Warehouse District, a short and worthwhile walk from the French Quarter.
Enjoy a break from beignets and po' boys and try Carmo Cafe!
THE SWEAT SOCIAL TEAM