Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vegan-friendly New Orleans coffee shop

Okay, mine was admittedly a mean April Fool's joke! But surely one day, a vegan diner will grace this great city of foodies. And maybe that's not so far off in the future -- it IS amazing to see how quickly the vegan scene is expanding here in New Orleans! Since I haven't been out and about much lately, I've had to settle for experiencing it in my imagination as I scroll through Facebook postings of decadent meals and desserts...what torture! However, I'm happy to report that I have recently had a couple of real life experiences at a new coffee shop in town, one that is welcoming us vegans with open arms, Krewe du Brew.

It's a lovely place owned by Eugene Anderson, Adrian Guy, and John Hagan.

My first visit was a few weeks ago, and this was the treat that awaited me that day:

Apricot-Almond Streusel Bar

It was a corner piece, so I got some crusty, some chewy, some gooey, and all delicious.

John said that if there's enough demand, they'd like to start carrying gluten-free options as well. So far, though, no one is asking for it. So if you'd be into that, please mention it when you go in! The pastries at Krewe du Brew come from Shake Sugary, a new bakery on St. Claude Ave. that is open to the public on weekends.

I let a couple of weeks go by, then dropped in at Krewe again this past Friday. I was really excited to find not just one, but THREE vegan options:

Top to bottom: frosted banana chocolate chip bread, brownies, chocolate salted pecan bars

Showing immense self-discipline, I ordered only two of these, a chocolate salted pecan bar and a piece of banana bread. The banana bread was good -- it had chocolate chips and icing, which were a nice touch. But the bar was out of this world! It deserves an up-close shot:

Gooey, crunchy, sweet, salty, chocolaty, nutty, caramel goodness. Why am I not eating one of these right now?!

Krewe du Brew gets props for always having at least three vegan options -- What is this word, "options"? the vegans among you may be wondering. Like me, you're probably used to being surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth, non-vegan pastries which could have easily been made vegan. "Um, we have a plain bagel and you can put jelly on it!" ...or worse, "I'm sorry, we just sold our last plain bagel. If you call ahead next time..."

Speaking of which, I stopped by Velvet (on Magazine) the other day, without calling ahead, for one of their much-talked-about vegan pop tarts. As luck would have it, all they had was non-vegan ones that day. And it doesn't look good for the future; the guy said the vegan pop tarts just don't sell all that well. Funny how people will get turned off by the mere idea that no eggs or milk are involved in a dessert. If they'd just try it, most wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Go get one of the treats pictured above if you don't believe me!

Krewe du Brew ~ 1610 St. Charles Ave. ~ NOLA 70130 ~ 504.522.1530


  1. Thanks so much for this Erin - I didn't know about this coffee shop at all! I'll have to check it out and add it to my listings. Hooray! :D

  2. Thanks Melissa,
    I'm glad to spread the news about this place!
    The owners are super nice....another plus. :-)

  3. We will also be carrying gluten-free items in the very near future so be sure to stop in. We use a small, local bakery so as her gluten-free items increase, so will our offerings!

    -John at Krewe du Brew

  4. Just to let you know, Krewe du Brew just got in some fresh vegan goodies! Vegan banana bread; chocolate, caramel, pecan bars; raspberry chocolate streussel bars, and Vegan and gluten-free peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies!

    We ordered the gluten-free selection b/c your readers requested them. One of the benefits of store ownership is that I get to "taste test" the products...the gluten free cookies are YUMMY!

    1. Aaagghhh! My sweet tooth is excited; my waistline is not! :-) ...You know I'm going to have to stop by for a gluten-free experience in the next few days! I'm so glad readers responded! Thanks for having a coffee shop that's hip in all the right ways.


    I thought you’d be interested to hear about the upcoming community event, Dinner and Bikes, a month-long bike tour of the southeastern U.S. in April and May, 2012. Joe Biel, founder of Microcosm Publishing, and Elly Blue, author of Everyday Cycling: How to Ride a Bicycle (Whatever your Lifestyle), engage guests in discussions about bicycling as an inspirational lifestyle, hobby and alternative means of transportation. They offer dishes from Joshua Ploeg, vegan chef and author of the popular adventure cookbook, In Search of the Lost Taste. The evening will Dinner and BIkes will be in New Orleans at The Dragon’s Den, 435 Esplanade Ave., at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 22nd. Tickets are on a sliding scale from $7-$20 and can be reserved online in advance or at the door, and there is an optional RSVP on Facebook. Would you be interested in trying some of the best vegan cuisine in the states and writing about this event on your blog?
    Please see for more information.


    Nicole Lynch
    Microcosm Publishing

    1. Thanks for the info, Nicole! Unfortunately I can't make it out, but it sure looks like a great event. I wish I could be there!

  6. I just picked up some vegan banana nut bread from there! Can't wait to try it....

  7. Hey Erin,
    I was wondering if you've heard of O! Vegasm! by chance? Bc you mention Nola not having a vegan diner. This place is amazing and there are even incredible menu items to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours! :)

    1. Thanks Jillian -- I have had O!Vegasm! take-out, as well as done brunch, and the food is indeed delicious. I wish it were in a smoke-free location (and closer to home, while I'm at it :-)). When I get misty-eyed about an actual vegan diner, though, I am thinking back to my stint at Spiral Diner in Dallas.

  8. Cool, I will have to stop in there next time I'm in NOLA :)

  9. Hi Erin! I JUST found your blog and I was wondering if you have any good resources to finding out where all the vegan friendly places are in Baton Rouge? I grew up in Metairie/New Orleans, but have been living in BR for 2 years now and so far I've heard of 1 place that's pretty good (Truly Free Bakery). I'm trying to slowly get myself into a vegan diet. Thanks! And I love the blog! My family is still in NOLA so now I'll have some ideas on new places to try when I go visit them! :)

    1. (I just realized I replied in the wrong place a couple of weeks ago, so you probably didn't receive notice of my reply. Sorry -- here it is.)
      Hi Gabrielle! I'm sorry to say I'm not very familiar with Baton Rouge... apart from a couple of salsa nights I attended there, I haven't spent any time in our capital. I'd love to hear about anything you find! I'll be sure to check out Truly Free Bakery next time I pass through. Thanks!

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  11. Hi Erin,

    I came across your blog as I was hunting for information about the veggie population in NOLA, and I'd be super-grateful if you could help or point me in the right direction. I'm a decades-long vegetarian and a chef who is moving to NOLA in a few months, and I am toying with the idea of starting a food cart and/or farmer's market stall selling seitan and seitan dishes. I was wondering if that's something that would be a positive addition to NOLA? I don't know if such already exists, if it would be welcome, etc. Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Laura

    1. Hi Laura,

      A seitan-based food cart or stand would absolutely be a positive addition to our city! I think you would do really well. You would be starting it at a great time, since the veg scene here is suddenly taking off! Bakeries and coffee shops are offering more vegan options, and there's a fairly new restaurant ("Carmo") in the business district that offers vegan versions of its dishes, in which they use faux meats. I am a huge fan of seitan... I love making my own, and I've been really surprised how delicious it is (a thousand times better than store-bought!). That said, I know a lot of people are interested in staying gluten-free, so if there were a way to keep your seitan-making contained and offer a gluten-free option as well, you'd have an even broader customer base. Not that it's necessary, but it's just a thought. Feel free to e-mail me @ if you have any more questions! Thanks for writing.

  12. Erin and all,

    Just wanted to let you know that Krewe Du Brew now offers vegan cream cheese to go with our yummy bagels.

    Adrian from Krewe Du Brew