Vegan Traveler: New Orleans

Ella Magers, vegan traveler at UFC New Orleans

I took a birthday trip to New Orleans last weekend to see UFC Fight Night (my birthday gift from my boyfriend) and wow, as a pro at traveling on a vegan diet plan, this city is what I would call, “a great challenge!”

First off, I’m relatively easy to accommodate in that I’m happy with simple meals containing popular ingredients. I don’t need my vegan diet plan to be fancy. Give me a salad with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and some chickpeas and I’m a happy camper. I generally travel and go to restaurants, bars, and other hot spots more for the atmosphere than the food options anyway, but that’s just my personality. In New Orleans, there is no shortage of awesome venues to hear great live music, meet interesting people, have drinks, people-watch, and learn about the city’s history. But when it comes to eating, unless you like jambalaya, gumbo, po-boys, or deep fried food, you have a challenge on your hands. 

Here are some recommendations for places I enjoyed:

  • For a local sports bar vibe with great craft beer: The Bulldog
    • The hummus is home-made, FANTASTIC., and you can get it with raw veggie sticks!
    • Great selection of craft beer (The Unibroue Trois Pistoles is a strong, vegan-friendly Belgium beer that’s not served at many bars… loved it!).
    • vegan beer
  • For a local bar with a good beer selection and live jazz: d.b.a.
    • They do not serve food, but let you bring in food from elsewhere and chow there. 
    • The bartenders are experienced and super friendly.
    • d.b.a.-new-orleans
  • For a 100% vegan restaurant: Seed
    • Awesome high-quality menu with tons of variety, but all “nola style” so you still get a taste of traditional food.
    • Perfect brunch spot (pictured are the bloody marys, grits with seitan and mushroom gravy, chocolate chip pancakes, tofu scramble, and fresh squeezed orange juice).
    • An amazing, creative cocktail menu.
    • Modern, cool design.
    • Location is not great (only down side).
    • vegan-bloody-maryvegan-grits,-mushroom-gravy,-homemade-seitanvegan brunchvegan bloody mary
  • For a fun tourist bar with live music: Famous Door
    • Great cover-bands almost always on stage
    • Cheap drink prices
    • Perfect for letting loose and laughing at/with drunk tourists.
    • famous-door-new-orleans
  • To learn about history: WWII Museum 
    • ww2-museum

Then, of course, the UFC Fight night, the real reason we went, was at the Smoothie King Center, and we were incredibly lucky with the card. Almost every fight ended in a knock-out or submission! We were in the third row for these exciting fights, and through a friend, I was able to say what’s up to Bruce Buffer who is not only a talented entertainer, but also a super nice guy! I was happy the veteran Dan Henderson came away with a well-earned victory 🙂

Ella-&-bruce-buffer dan-henderson-ufc-winner ella-rob-ufc-fights

All in all, a fantastic experience. Thanks Rob for making it happen.

I’d love to hear comments about other tips and hot spots so please comment!



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A passionate vegan for the last 28 years, Ella Magers, MSW is a leading voice for revolutionary transformation in the fitness industry. Ella connects people with the information, tools, support, and guidance they need to develop holistically healthy habits, claim mental and emotional well-being, and live more fulfilling and fiercely compassionate lives. Ella is a professional speaker, published author, and coach. She is the spirited host of the inspiring Rise & Thrive Podcast and the Vegan Life Coach Podcast, founder of Sexy Fit Vegan®, and creator of the 22Reboot total transformation system. As a plant-based athlete and former bodybuilding champion, Ella was recognized as one of the world's top personal trainers by and Shape Magazine. Having healed from her own struggles with disordered eating, Ella Magers shows people that there are alternatives to crash diets and excessive workout regimens, and how to align their lifestyle with true health by using compassion as their compass. Ella is on the founding board of Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with the mission of creating the best possible life for farm animals while inspiring compassion for all living beings.

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