CLOSED: The Wandering Buddha - Pop-up

  • Catering Catering
  • Vegan
    ( 11 reviews )



various locations, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

A pop-up service offering all vegan Korean cuisine, previously at The Hi Ho Lounge bar. Check its website for locations & dates. FEB 2016 WEB AND FB BOTH GONE.

11 Reviews

First Review by vegbaker

We LOVE The Wandering Buddha! - Edit

We first became acquainted when located in the back of the Hi Ho Lounge. Now whenever we are in New Orleans, we make a b-line for the pop-ups at the Bridge Lounge. The Vegan Korean menu is our favorite. The Bridge Lounge is dog friendly and our dogs love to go with us. Even our dogs give it 2 PAWS up. They would give it a higher rating, but they would fall over.

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A Must If You're in New Orleans - Edit

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. Pluses and minuses of my visit:


* 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.


* 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.


If you can handle the cigarette smoke and the sketchiness, go ahead and order in. If not, order to-go and take it back to your hotel room. Either way, recommended.

Pros: Food, Live music

Cons: Sketchy neighborhood, Smoky, Not much seating

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Unusual vegan restaurant - Edit

This restaurant is at the back of the Hi Ho Lounge bar. Their seating is outdoors, with the order place at an outdoor counter. However, if there are tables free in the bar, you can eat and order there. Another party was finishing and were gracious enough to vacate early and let us sit.

At this time, I think this is the only vegan restaurant in NOLA. The food is excellent. We had the gimbap (seaweed and rice rolls) as appetizer, japchae (glass noodles with vegetables) and braised tofu. All were excellent. For dessert, all that was left was black sesame ice cream - again delicious. We left before the evening's entertainment started.

It will be great when they find a larger venue.

Pros: all vegan, excellent food

Cons: indoor seating not guaranteed

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Awesome, Friendly, Tasty! - Edit

As a gluten-free vegan, it can be tough to find tasty meals that I don't make myself. Wandering Buddha had multiple options for me, which I really appreciate, and when I went to pick it up, they gave me lots of great info on the veg scene in NOLA (when I asked for info). The owners were great, the food was great, the kitchen looked super clean... What else is there?
They did forget my ice cream, but so did I, and I know they'll make it up to me... :)
The only con is that they use Bragg's liquid aminos in their gluten-free sauce, which is delicious, but also natural MSG. Maybe they will jump on the wheat-free tamari band-wagon soon.
I will DEFINITELY be back, and bring some friends. I really want to try their braised tofu, as I hear that the tofu chef is very picky about tofu, so it should be really good!

Pros: Food, Service, Food

Cons: Bragg's

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  Contributions +125

Hi Ho - Edit

awesome Korean food out the back of the Hi Ho Lounge bar, which has music every night. if you're not from New Orleans and you're on foot walk through the side streets of the Marigny neighborhood, they're beautiful and St. Charles is a bit sketch between Frenchman and the restaurant.

Pros: friendly, lettuce wraps, rice cake dish

Cons: Hi Ho is pricey drinks

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vegan Korean - Edit

On our first night in New Orleans, we wanted to stay in at our hotel and since Wandering Buddha delivers, it was an easy choice (they delivered right outside the hotel as they couldn't come inside). For the three of us to share, we got the bibimbap, rice cakes with veggies, and the buckwheat noodles for entrees and an order of scallion pancakes for an appetizer. The pancakes were fabulous as were the rice cakes. So tasty. The noodles were served cold, but still good. Parts of the bibimbap were good, but others were a bit too spicy for my taste although someone else may think it was fine. Everything came with kimchi too. We would definitely order from them again.

Pros: delivery, all vegan Korean, scallion pancakes

Cons: a little bit too spicy for me

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Delicious Korean Oasis in NOLA - Edit

I knew it was going to be hard to find Vegan food in NOLA, but armed with the internet, I knew I would be okay. This place was a bit hard to find for an out-of-towner (it's attached to the back of the Hi-Ho lounge) but wow was the food amazing. The server and his girlfriend who co-own the place were super kind and enthusiastic about the food.
We had the bi-bim-bap and the stir-fried rice cakes and both were amazing. Plus there was some flavored Iced tea to go with the dinner. As others have said, it is all outdoor seating unless you eat inside the Hi-Ho, but don't let that stop you. These guys know what they're doing and are super awesome. Go support the best Vegan Korean food I've had in my life!

Pros: vegan, korean, delicious

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the wandering buddha - Edit

My boyfriend and I were on holliday in New Orleans, and found this place on Happy Cow. New Orleans isn't an easy place to eat for a vegan, so we decided to try it out. It's a little out of a tourit's way, but after a good walk we arrived at the adress. First of all, it's hard to find because it's in this strang bar. When we walked in, we felt like turning back and leaving: the bar was nearly empty, and very strangely decorated. The place needed some fresh air, and smelt like it hadn't had any in a while. The restaurant is in fact a couple of tables in the bar. Never the less, we stayed, having walked all this way. The waiter, who is also the cook I think, came to take our orders. He was very friendly and enthousiastic. We both ordered a dish, and soon the smell of cooking food drowned out a little the dusty smell of the room. My dish (the rice cake dish) was quite nice, although there was a little too much sauce. However my boyfriend's dish (the tofu dish) was salty - and we both tend to put too much salt on our dishes normally! Finally, I'd say that the fact the bartender was washing Scareface just next to us while we were eating didn't help - specially since my dish came just as the chainsaw scene started, not very appertizing. I appreciated the cook's enthousiasm, but he needs to find a real room, and cut back on the salt.

Pros: rare vegan place in NO

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Saintly Vegetarian Fare - Edit

First thanks to Happy Cow for steering me to another golden pasture of food on a business trip. I did the typical pre-trip search, print, and highlight of establishments before getting on the plane. Once in NOLA I decided to go ahead and make my first dinner a stop at the Wandering Buddha. I have limited experience with Korean food but was excited by the prospect. I had a little trouble finding the spot as it is up a side street (Marigny Street which is one way) off of St. Claude. For you GPS enabled, it is -90.055529, 29.968992. One of the owners graciously answered the phone spotted me and guided me in for a landing. The beginning of great service. As discussed in previous reviews, this is an outdoor/take out place but this is NOLA so this is what you want! One of the staff took the time to educate me on the menu and made a recommendation - the gungjung tteokbokki which is stir-fried rice cake with vegetables and I added the braised tofu to the meal. Cooking took about 10-15 minutes which was quickly passed listening to what sounded like great polka music from the lounge next door. The staff brought the food out and I scurried off to my hotel to eat. I felt like the Pied Piper returning through the hotel with strangers noses turning toward and leaning as the smell of the food passed by them. I should have grabbed a handful of menus to throw at them.

Finally, I made it to my room and unwrapped the food and dined. The dish was simple and elegant in composition with wonderful flavor. Lightly stir-fried carrot, zucchini, and onion with hints of garlic and sesame in a lightly sweet soy sauce base were intertwined with deliciously chewy rice cakes. This was topped with a braised tofu and chopped scallions. A side of wonderful kimchi balanced the sweetness and nutty flavors. There was no wandering around the plate for me and it quickly disappeared!

There is a lot of talent in the kitchen and I hope that you will visit and give them a try. I know where my first stop will be next time I go to NOLA and the food won't be in a bag with powdered sugar.

Pros: Taste, Quality, Service

Cons: Having to share my food

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You have got to try the Wandering Buddha - Edit

At at the Wandering Buddha last night with a friend. This is the back yard of the Hi Ho Lounge. While There are 5 tables in a very crude setting. However, The food is anything but crude. It is exceptional. We had the Rice Cake Stir Fry entree and the Braised Tofu entre. It was fresh, unique and filling. And the price was right. The bill for the 2 of us was under $24. They don't sell alcohol but you can go next door to the Hi Ho lounge and buy a drink to bring in. But be aware of the weather. This is an all outdoor restaurant. If it is too hot, too cold or raining, get something to take home.
Right now this is the only all vegetarian restaurant in the New Orleans area, so people need to promote healthy, socially responsible eating by keeping this place alive. Try it. You will like it.

Pros: Uniqueness, Flavorful, Cost

Cons: All outdoor seating, Rustic environment, Limited space

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Delicious! - Edit

Finally got to try The Wandering Buddha last night and I loved it! Very good and it's nice to have a whole menu full of things I can actually order/eat :) I also like the pictures of the food on the menu, made the tough choice slightly easier! The delivery minimum is only $10 so if you don't want a big meal you can do what I did and get two delicious and filling appetizers!

Pros: Reasonable prices, Friendly, Good portions

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vegbaker 02 Mar 2012 - Went again the other day and got a full meal (well, not dessert because I stuffed myself!) and if you haven't been, what are you doing??? Get over there!!! SOOO GOOD!!!  

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