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  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 33 reviews )
Contact 504-522-1230

1212 Royal St, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 70116

Serves meat, vegan options available. Cameroonian and Gambia cuisine in a homey setting. Most dishes can be adapted to be vegetarian. Offers a ginger drink, several veggie dishes. BYO. Open Mon-Thu 11:00am-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-10:00pm, Sun 11:00am-9:00pm.

Category: African, Non-veg

Reviews (33)

First Review by kilgore

Poor and the same experience someone else had in 2011! - Edit

My review is disappointingly the same as Posted by s_k_ on 31 Jan 2011.
check this out nothing to add!

Pros: Has vegan and veg options

Cons: Bland food

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fantastic - Edit

Cameroonian and Gambian food? Yes please! Bennachin is fantastic. They offer tons of veggie options, and everything I tried was nice and flavorful. I enjoyed the atmosphere as well. It is low-key and relaxed, and it feels like you are in someones home. They also allow BYOB.

Pros: delicious, many options, BYOB

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African food, veg options - Edit

Interesting French Quarter restaurant with mostly meat menu from Cameroon and Gambia. Good service. Small, quaint, dimly lit and well maintained room seemed clean to me. Several vegetarian choices. The black eyed pea fritters and ginger drink were very good. No alcohol. Not pricey.

Pros: uniquely seasoned african food, small but pleasant atmosphere, good service and prices

Cons: limited veggie options

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my favorite restaurant EVER!!! - Edit

We ate here twice in 24 hours, because it was so good we had to grab it to go again on the way out of town. The vegan food here is incredible! I've never had West African food like this before! The plantain fries are fabulous, but the cabbage with rice dish is something out of this world!!!!! I miss you Bennachin and New Orleans!

Pros: incredible West African spice, creative dishes, huge vegan variety

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Very good! - Edit

I visited Bennachin while shopping in New Orleans. I was anxious about how the food would be because of some of the reviews, but my mom convinced me to give it a shot. It is a very small restaurant, but the waitress was lovely and definitely knew what she was talking about. The food was amazing! We had the fried ripe plantain appetizer. So good! We ordered more of the sauce it came with later! The food was delicious, and lots of the meat dishes could be made without. We had a lovely time and would come again!

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Potential to be great - Edit

Started with the black eye pea fritters no season at all!!!! I wanted to like these after all the hype. My server is trying to hard to be nice. As a French quarter bartender this is easy to spot! Relax its just food be your self. She's not very aware of her surroundings I'm watching her sit at a table play on her phone besides taking care of our needs (FYI ) I am the only one here . A little confused on why it is may and Mardi Gras decorations are still up. I ordered the apricot lamb this is very yummy but once again server sitting at table on phone no check back I'm half way done now. Overall food was a B+ service a big F -

Pros: Cozy , Good food , Reasonable

Cons: Service , Noisy kitchen

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I really wanted to like this place but - Edit

The two veg. dishes that we ordered were not well prepared. Both of them tasted like soggy overcooked vegetables over couscous. I give them props for making the effort to serve veg. folks but I have a feeling that they do a much better job with meat. I'm glad we made the trip to check it out but there is no way I can recommend that you do the same.

Pros: Atmosphere, Friendly Attentive Staff

Cons: The food

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Excellent food! Reasonable prices. - Edit

Several of my friends and I were visiting for a conference and decided to try Bennachin since there were a number of vegetarian options on the menu. I ordered the veg dish with black eyed peas and my husband ordered a couscous dish with broccoli and cauliflower. We shared and both dishes were great! The food came quickly, was hot, and fresh.

They don't serve alcohol but you can buy wine or beer across the street to have with your meal. Would definitely recommend Bennachin!

Pros: Good variety, Fresh

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My first Cameroonian/Gambian food experience - Edit

A lot of vegan options - the plantain appetizer is amazing! My dish didn't quite live up to the expectations I had for it after trying the appetizer, but it was a good meal!

Pros: Unique food, Everything homemade, PLANTAIN APPETIZER

Cons: A little slow - 1 waitress/1 cook

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Not bad at all! - Edit

Just about the only place you can get a veggie jambalaya in New Orleans. We had the black eyed fritters - good but the sauce with them was excellent. The veggie jambalaya, and the beans and rice dish were both huge! Interesting to have sweet plantains with savory / spicy beans.

Pros: Cosy, Good food, Huge portions

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good but nothing special - Edit

I would recommend eating here it is good but its not amazing food. The atmosphere is really nice but it is a little slow. I was on vacation so I really didn't mind. Go here later in the evening to take a break. Nice staff and they know what is and isn't began on the menu.

Pros: knowledgeable staff, nice atmosphere, different food choices

Cons: short staffed, good but not great food

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Good Ethnic Cuisine - Edit

I read the other reviews and it almost seemed like I was in a different restaurant. We checked the place out last night, encountered very friendly staff, so we came for lunch today. In fairness, I suppose it is off season, but the staff was very helpful with suggestions and recommendations. Service was good, food was great, good sized servings. Never had West African cuisine, but enjoyed Ethiopian and East African food on several occasions. We will definitely return. Especially since there are not many vegan offerings in the French Quarter, this is a particularly good one.

Pros: Good food, Good selection, Large servings

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Disappointing - Edit

The menu looks great. I got the black-eyed pea fritters to start and a broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot in light ginger sauce, over couscous, as my main. Mild, medium, or spicy, she asked, and I told her to go with spicy.

The fritters were fresh, hot, fluffy, and fried. And that's about it. If you like that kind of deep-fried goodness, they were great. But about two fritters in (six a plate -- definitely not designed for singles) I was ready to move on. Props, though, to the marinara sauce that accompanies them, which was excellent.

That marinara prepared me poorly for the disappointment that followed. I got a plate of watery couscous over which were heaped a few chunks of boiled vegetables. (To their credit, they weren't boiled too much -- the broccoli still held their color and texture.) As for the spice, they'd sprinkled a chili power over the vegetables. And that was that. No flavor cooked in, no blending, nothing.

Oh, and there was a sweet bread roll on the side. Sadly, that had more flavor than everything else I'd eaten.

It's also not cheap, but I'd gladly pay these prices, or even twice as much, if the food were any good at all.

One of the joys of eating out is getting a whiff of flavor and trying to guess what it was. Here, even though I knew what flavors to expect (black-eyed pea, ginger) I never found them. Everything was bland, bland, bland. (I could complain that the chili power wasn't particularly hot, but that doesn't bother me much, and anyway, that was way down on my list.)

I went early, so didn't experience the service problems others report.

As I was leaving, I saw another person had ordered a dish that looked like a spinach sauce over rice. I sure wish I'd ordered that. Or anything else.

Pros: pleasant space, promising menu

Cons: very bland food

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so good - Edit

I have eaten at Bennachin three or four times now. It's so great. I love the cozy atmosphere and African decor. The staff there are very friendly though they are usually short staffed. This is common in New Orleans so it isn't really that big of a deal to me. Yes, you may wait a little while for your food but nobody is in a hurry in New Orleans so you shouldn't be either.

As for the food - I've loved everything I've had. I've had the Black-Eyed Pea Fritter poboy dish twice. I LOVE IT. I have also had both the plate with black eyed peas, rice and fried plantains and the spinach, rice and fried plantains plate. I know they sound sort of boring - they are not. Fantastic food. Also, I was told every non-meat dish in the restaurant is vegan as they use no dairy or eggs.

I highly recommend going here for lunch during the week as each of these dinners is only half their regular price of about 16 bucks (so 8 dollars). This is my favorite place to dine in New Orleans.

Pros: delicious food, great atmosphere, friendly staff

Cons: short staffed

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love love love it - Edit

Totally beautiful. They looked a bit short-staffed-- there was a full house and only one waitress/hostess/busgirl running around taking care of everything, and it looked like there was only one chef in the back, so it was definitely a wait to get our food. But it was completely worth it. Everything was absolutely delicious. Let me know if you find out the secret for the ginger drink/gingero; it was nothing short of divine. I've found my soul drink! It's very gingery and fiery but perfect if you love ginger. I also ordered spinach, coconut rice and fried ripe plantains. The spinach was glorious and the plantains were sublime. I wasn't entirely sure that the coconut rice was vegan though-- I assumed it was but then it tasted kind of buttery. I also tried a bite of the black-eyed pea and stewed tomato dish; it was a tad salty for me but still very tasty. Definitely the best place at which I ate in New Orleans. If I lived here I would be a regular!

Pros: YUM, gingero, omg

Cons: sorta out of the way deep in fr. quarter, long wait (but worth it)

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Delicious - Edit

Great food and friendly service. I got the eggplant and mushroom with couscous -- wooo spicy but good. I will definitely return again to try the fritters (the neighboring table was raving after I had already ordered!)

Pros: comfortable, great food, nice decor

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A rare treat - Edit

I love new Ethnic food, this place was a warm, orange welcome from the windy cold night following a 4 hour Voodoo tour. Many options, all wonderfully strange to me, the waitress was a doll! An EMT from CA with a resume like an olympic professor! I had the black eyed pea fritters, coconut rice, plantains and eggplant and Red Zinger tea (to die for) even though 'Miss California' had never heard of drinking it hot, ha ha! She worked hard for us. Loved her. Bro had lentil soup, we were well chuffed, and thawed. Exotic young African women moved about in the background, on cell phones. Authentic and gorgeous!

Pros: ethnic and unusual, lots of options, great ambience

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Yummy! - Edit

I went with a bunch of friends, including one vegetarian and a few omnivores. Loved it! And most of the omnivores got one of the vegan options and were very happy. All the vegetarian options are vegan (and the veggie entrees have a whole section). Delicious, well-made, real food.

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My stomach is growling right now thinking about their black-eyed pea fritters! They are soooo good! For my entree I had a black-eyed pea stew type dish with coconut rice and fried plantains. Everything was amazing and there was a massive amount of it. Probably enough to split, which helps because it's a little on the expensive side. This was definitely my favorite place that we tried while I was in New Orleans. You must try the fritters!!

Pros: Amazing food, large amounts

Cons: a little pricey

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OMG the plantains! - Edit

Bennachins is one of the best veggie-option restaurants I've been to in New Orleans. They have large portions and I love their food. It's very much comfort food, and it has interesting flavors. And ohhh, the fried plantains!

Pros: yummy fried plantains, friendly staff

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Bennachin Restaurant in New Orleans - Edit

I opted to start with the Black Eyed Pea Fritters as the vegetarian waitress at the Sugar Shack (veg friendly) spoke very highly of them.

I thought they were a lighter version of say, falafel with a more neutral taste but they were served with a spiced onion and tomato paste sauce which I couldn't get enough of.

My entree, the Black Eyed Peas in Onion and Tomato Stew served with Coconut Rice and Fried Ripe Plantains was what I went for. I thought it would more or less come in a pot as a "stew" but it was more a rice and beans variant with stewed black eyed peas. I liked the flavor, mild and tasty but as I'm a hot sauce kind of guy, it was better, (as I think most things are), with a few shakes. I was in New Orleans...how could I not think, "BAM!"?

The coconut rice was flavorful, subtle, with a smattering of veggies. The plantains were fried but not overly sweet. Almost like a taste of young plantains that had just moved into the ripe phase...but as tender as they were in the beginning of the meal they were more of a sweet tostones.

And then there was this roll. I couldn't figure it out. It's like a kind of white flour, sweetish, supermarket thing. Give me a hunk of dark peasant bread and it would have been the perfect compliment.

I would eat here again and ask many more questions. I think this is the kind of place you can feel really comfortable with the food after ordering it a few times and know what things are.

Read my complete review at http://martysnycveggiereview.blogspot.com

Pros: tasty food, calming atmosphere, moderate price

Cons: Menu needs better descriptions, Ask detailed questions

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Yummy African food - Edit

We went to Bennechin's on our first night in NOLA last year and we were very pleased. We went kind of early, so there weren't many people. We had no problem with service or noise. We got the table looking out the front window and liked the people watching. We tried different dishes (tomato and spinach stews) and enjoyed both. My friend had a spicy dish and she wants it REALLY hot, so she was pleased with her food as well. We were grateful to have a place to eat!

Pros: African food , in French Quarter - easy walk

Cons: small space if crowded

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Quite a few veg selections but not great place - Edit

loud kitchen. many items on their menu were unavailable. poor service and sub-par setting. Yet if you are vegan or vegetarian in this carnivorous corner of the world, this would still be a great choice.

Pros: veg options, cheap

Cons: dim, service

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yes yes yes - Edit

this is a great place to have lunch or dine! there are vegan dishes- a great ginger drink- and the servers and super friendly. the location is ok... parking can be a pain. (i suggest biking there! the best way to experience the quarter is on bike) the food can be wooohooo spicy! so let them know if you are sensitive to 'hot' dishes.


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An oasis - Edit

We were 4 vegetarians in town for New Year's. My, but New Orleanians do love meat. This restaurant had great veggie options. The black-eyed pea and tomato stew was delicious, as were the black-eyed pea fritters. Others in the group tried various dishes, all of which were plentiful and tasty. We went there twice in the span of 5 days.

Pros: options, price, serving size

Cons: dark

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Consistently Good - Edit

Bennachin is always good and the vegetarian options are plentiful. I had a black-eyed-pea fritter po-boy (though I'm sure it wasn't called that) along with baked red potatoes with a tomato cream sauce the last time I went. It was amazing. The plantains are insanely good- addictive.

The atmosphere is small and cozy. Cash Only.

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  Contributions +16

The BEST vegetarian food in Nola! - Edit

Wow, this place is soooo good. Anytime I travel to NOLA, I will definately be eating here. Just a warning: the food does NOT taste like Ethiopian/Eritrean food, but it is still delicious. They use a lot of peanut in there recipes.

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Plantain heaven - Edit

Decent vegetarian food is a rare find in New Orleans, so what a pleasure it was to find Bennechin. It's not a very big place, so you may be wise booking or you may have to wait for a table, but it's well worth it. Though not 100% veggie, there are many varied veggie and vegan options, all reasonably priced. The staff are very friendly and helpful (trust them when they say the hot curry is, indeed, very hot !). I'd particularly recommend the fried plantain as a starter, or even an entree. They do not serve alcohol, but the ginger drink is lovely and very fiery.

Pros: Varied choice, Inexpensive, Friendly and relaxed

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