10Best places for gluten-free treats in New Orleans

Photo courtesy of Bertholf
3. Seed
Photo courtesy of Romel Sanchez
By Beth D'Addono, New Orleans Local Expert

New Orleans isn't exactly the epicenter of all things vegan and gluten-free, being the land of deep fried sea-food, buttery sauces and decadent desserts.  Chances are "let's go on a cleanse in New Orleans" isn't the motivation for many visitors as they head into town. But there has been plenty of progress made in the area of healthful dining in recent years, as newly minted residents from places like California and New York clamor for more veggie options. 

When it comes to baked goods and sweets, there are a handful of mindful baking operations that supply breakfast shops and coffeehouses with gluten-free treats sweets and sometimes even breads.  Some always have GF baked goods for sale, while others you should plan to call ahead of time to confirm or pre-order. 

Establishments on this list sell everything from gluten-free bagels to cupcakes to brownies to cookies. If you have a concern whether something is gluten-free or not, the staffs at any of the places on this list will be happy to double check and confirm with you. 

Eating gluten-free in New Orleans, by choice or by dietary necessity is a challenge, but can be done. Stick to this list of the 10Best New Orleans gluten-free bakeries to help guide you on your quest.

10. St. Roch Market
Photo courtesy of INfrogmation of New Orleans

Located at the corner of St. Claude and St. Roch avenues, across from the bright orange Healing Center that includes the New Orleans Food Co-Op, the St. Roch Market first opened in 1875 as just one of the city's many public markets. Restored in 2012 with $3.7 million in public funds, the market now includes 13 vendors including two that offer gluten free baked goods. The Market is an easy walk or bike ride from the French Quarter, and it's just across the street from the Marigny. Open daily at 7 for coffee and pastry and food service starting at 9 am, the market stays open til 10 Sunday through Wednesday and till 11 Thursday to Saturday.

9. Fair Grinds Coffeehouse
Photo courtesy of Fair Grinds Coffeehouse

Fair Grinds in the Mid-City section of New Orleans is the go-to spot if you are looking for 100 percent fair trade coffee house. They also offer a great tea selection and casual options for breakfast and lunch. Fair Grinds takes the whole fair trade thing super serious. Fair trade blends include Mexican, Peruvian and Colombian beans. Check out the breakfast quiches or pressed sandwiches for lunch. Fair Grinds has a great setup, perfect for meeting with friends, doing work or just chilling. Check them out when you are in Mid-City for a great blend and a PBH sandwich (pear, brie and ham). A new location just opened at 2221 St Claude Ave, open at 6 am 7 days a week.

8. Satsuma Cafe
Photo courtesy of Bertholf

Green is beautiful at Satsuma, a fetching dining spot with locations on Maple Street Uptown and on Dauphine Street in the Bywater. Yard eggs scrambled with basil pesto and shaved Nueske's ham, free trade coffee and freshly made juices concocted in their industrial juicer behind the bar are just a few of the daily specials. Vegans are in heaven here, thanks to dishes like the tofu scramble and black bean burger with avocado mash. Eat indoors or out, and definitely plan on trying some of the green juice blends. Satsuma uptown is in walking distance to the universities and Audubon Park.

7. Breads on Oak
Photo courtesy of Breads on Oak

Breads on Oak is a full service bakery serving Uptowners on historic Oak Street, steps away from the mighty Mississippi. Though only open five days of the week, Breaks on Oak are a favorite thanks to a menu of fresh bread and pastry offerings, including a line of vegan and gluten free treats. There is indoor and outdoor seating, where you can enjoy one of their specialty lunch sandwiches and a chicory coffee. The staff is helpful and friendly and happy to advise on sandwich and break options. Locals come here on Sundays to pick up discount specialty loaves for use during the work week.

6. Simply Sweet Shop
Photo courtesy of Simply Sweet Shop

Simply Sweet Shop is a labor of love, a bakery with a focus on custom and specialty baked goods for parties and events. Cupcakes can be bought day of, or ordered in advance for larger groups. They do wedding cakes, cupcake towers and dessert tables (gorgeous presentation!), with prices available on their website. Cecelia and her team are happy to accommodate guests requesting vegan or gluten free options, offering a wide range of choices including vegan breads and a rotating selection of gluten-free cupcakes. The Simply Sweet Shop bakery is located on the West Bank in Marerro and takes custom orders for delivery and pick up.

5. Shake Sugary
Photo courtesy of Shake Sugary

Shake Sugary is a locally owned creative bakery located on the buzzing St. Claude Avenue corridor that flanks the Marigny/Bywater neighborhoods. The love child of owner Dawn Snead, who earned her degree in Baking & Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University, this bakery is known for inventive sweets like chocolate bourbon pecan pie and Bailey's chocolate chip cheesecake. The shop also sell cupcakes, cookies, tea breads, brownies and scones and serves savory options for breakfast and lunch. Also count on interesting vegan/gluten-free choices like coffee cake, seasonal tarts and macaroons. If wedding plans are bringing you to New Orleans, Shake Sugary creates elaborate custom cakes, cupcakes and other festive desserts.

4. The Green Fork
Photo courtesy of Joanna Slodownik

Craving a little green in your world? If a few days of fried seafood and rich Creole sauces is wreaking havoc on your constitution, head to The Green Fork in the Lower Garden District, a stone's throw from Seed, another healthful eatery. The Green Fork specializes in fresh juices amped up with the likes of bee pollen and hemp protein, all designed to do a body good. Nibble on healthy snack options like kale chips hummus and chick pea salad. There's a line of vegan and gluten free sweets from Girls Gone Vegan and baked and raw treats like brownies and a paleo blueberry lemon muffin

3. Seed
Photo courtesy of Romel Sanchez

The food is so pretty at this at this airy restaurant dedicated to vegan, vegetarian, raw and gluten free dishes you may be tempted to eat your plate. Local, sustainable ingredients power a menu with a surprising number of New Orleans specialties, tweaked but not torked. If you want to eat dessert first, try the gluten-free raw cupcake or the creamy chocolate mousse. Then tuck into comfort foods like nachos and chili cheese fries - made with cashew quesa, to New Orleans favorites like "inspired by "gumbo, a tasty simmer made with traditional roux , okra, green and red peppers, collard greens, mushrooms and spicy seitan if you're feeling frisky. This food is so good you won't miss the meat.

2. Crescent City Farmers Market
Photo courtesy of JodiMichelle

This Tuesday farmers market uptown is one of three locations in New Orleans, with a Wednesday market in the French Quarter in the French Market, a Thursday market at 3700 Orleans Avenue in Mid-City and a Saturday market in the Warehouse District at 700 Magazine Street, all of which offer beautiful assortments of local produce, seafood and baked goods, including fantastic gluten-free treats from Girls Gone Vegan Bakery. In addition to fresh seasonal items, the markets feature year-round regional delights like alligator sausage, Creole cream cheese, handmade chocolates and pralines. Depending on the season and location, you may also find interesting art and gift items, music from local musicians and cooking demonstrations.

1. Whole Foods Market
Photo courtesy of Masahiro Ihara

The store spotlights local products and artisans, and its 365 brand is priced on par with groceries available at other locally owned stores - although you can still get pricey gluten free pancake mix and other higher priced goods. There is a barbecue counter for takeaway as well as a daily blue plate special and a salad bar. The bakery offers gluten free sweets like cake and cookie dough bites and fresh puddings and chocolate mousse. The Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Planet Foundation underwrite a slew of local programming, including health fairs at places like the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club and a summer camp for kids on the onsite ReFresh Farm. Whole Foods anchors the Refresh Project, a fresh food hub that includes on-site tenant partners Liberty's Kitchen, The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University, FirstLine Schools' central offices, Boystown center for children and families, Crescent City Community Land Trust and an on-site teaching farm in partnership with SPROUT NOLA, Harambee Gardens of New Orleans, and Faubourg Farms.