We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Must For Vegans/Vegetarians Visiting New Orleans”
Review of The Wandering Buddha - CLOSED

The Wandering Buddha
Dining options: Delivery
Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery
Reviewed January 22, 2013

I dread going to New Orleans because it's not a city for vegetarians. But, on my most recent trip there earlier this month, I was shocked to discover that The Wandering Buddha, an all-vegan restaurant, had opened up...serving Korean food in a place not known for having a thriving Korean community. In fact, the Wandering Buddha may be one of only 3 Korean vegan restaurants in the United States--the others being HanGawi and Franchia in NYC. Pluses and minuses of my visit:

Pluses

* It's a Korean vegan restaurant in a very meaty town. If you're a vegetarian or vegan visiting New Orleans, you MUST make the trek and support this bold initiative.
* The food tasted authentic. The cuisine wasn't clearly watered down for American or local tastes. Everything was fresh and good (not great, but good). We tried almost every dish on the menu and there were no standouts, but no clunkers either. On the plus side, perhaps I liked the side dishes to the braised tofu the best, and on the minus side, the lettuce wraps were so leafy that they were more lettucy than wrappy. The owner sold the scallion pancakes highly and my dining companions loved them. I thought they were fine but not hype-worthy.
* The bar was surprisingly clean and not too scary.
* We went on a Sunday evening and were entertained by two surprisingly excellent bands. No cover charge or drink minimum! It wasn't my kind of music (the first was zydeco and I'm not sure how to describe the second), but the performers were quite talented and overall I enjoyed the music a lot. With a full belly and good tunes in a completely unexpected location, for the first time I could almost understand why people liked vacationing in New Orleans.
* Prices were fair and I'm pretty sure we were undercharged.

Minuses

* The neighborhood is sketchy.
* The restaurant faces out of the back of a dive bar, the Hi-Ho Lounge. There are a few tables outdoors. Alternatively, there are a few tables in the bar itself where the restaurant will serve food, but most drinks are ordered from the bar and are on a separate check. The arrangements were a little confusing.
* Though the bar was clean, like most New Orleans restaurants, it was smoky. The bar had high ceilings that prevented the smoke from being too oppressive.
* While the bands were great, there were some dramatic performers that acted out bizarre scenes in between the music. I had absolutely no idea what was going on or why they were there. And there was really no audience (the place probably had about 30 people in the joint, over half of whom were the band, the dramatic performers or the waitstaff) so I really didn't understand who they were performing for. Themselves, I guess. It was all too high-concept for me.

Overall

If you can handle the cigarette smoke and the sketchiness, go ahead and order in and enjoy the music. If not, order to-go and take it back to your hotel room if the weather doesn't permit outdoor eating. Either way, recommended.

Thank ericgoldman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (9)
There are newer reviews for The Wandering Buddha
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

3 - 7 of 9 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2013

While my wife is on a gluten free and dairy-free diet, I'm still eating everything. So.. let's be honest, a vegan restaurant is not always high on my "must eat" list. However, as great restaurants do, Wandering Buddha proved me wrong. The beansprout soup was great, really tasty, think of a good miso soup, but with more flavor. The stir-fried glass noodles were really the highlight of our day, real tasty with good texture.
To top it of, there delivery was perfect! I called an hour ahead and asked to be here at seven-ish. However, at 7:00PM exactly the doorbell rang. What a great service!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank frankandsofie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

I can only speak for the delivery service. I've never actually eaten there... but I should. Highly recommend the lettuce wrap appetizers For entrees, try the stir-fried cake, stir-fried glass noodles or the braised tofu. Also try the chai iced tea... maybe best I've ever had. I am not a vegetarian/vegan but I appreciate these meals. Everything's always really tasty and fresh. They are always friendly on the phone - and fast with the delivery. Other NOLA establishments might take notes.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank James G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

This Korean vegan hidden treasure in the back of the Hi-Lo Lounge (a real dive) on St. Claude is a vegetarian’s paradise, but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy the succulent braised tofu, crispy fried dumplings, sticky brown rice, vegetarian sushi, scrumptuous onion pancakes, or the out-of-this-world dessert pancake. The chef here knows what she is doing; every dish is done to perfection and elegantly served. Prices are very reasonable. You can get drinks at the bar in front and bring them back to your table. Dining is outdoors behind the bar.They also deliver to your hotel; a cyclist brings your order direct to you. Link: http://thewanderingbuddha.com.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jeff1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

This place is simply wonderful. Not fancy decor but delicious food in an area of New Orleans that is undergoing a lot of re-vitilazation. Very inexpensive, young hip-sters wandering in, outside dining, the Hi Ho Lounge provides the drinks and you can watch Treme there on Sunday nights. Very friendly staff and quick service. I highly recommend the Wandering Buddha.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank nhemeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Wandering Buddha also viewed

 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing