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Eater's Guide To All Things Jazz Fest Food & Drink 2015

From the cost of crawfish to the best (and worst) new foods, here's all you need to know about Jazz Fest food and drink 2015.

Weekend one of Jazz Fest has come to a close, and New Orleans is now in full-fledged fess mode. All anyone will be talking about this week are the pressing Fest matters like: Where do I find draft beer at the fess? What is the best food this year? Is the sweet potato turnover really worth it? (Answer: hell yes.)

Of course, the sheer quantity of food coverage is pretty overwhelming, so again Eater is here to help. Here, now, is all you need to know about pressing Jazz Fest food and beverage matters to plan to the get good times rolling for your second weekend.

Fried chicken and jambalaya at Food Area 1 [Photo: Paul Broussard]

Best bets by Food Area: Judy Walker's list of best bets including cracklins and the soft shell po boy in Food Area II, the trout bacquet at Heritage Square, and more. []

What Ian McNulty likes to eat: McNulty weighs in on newbies and classics, citing J&M Seafood's crawfish roll and Vaucresson's Sausage Co's Italian chicken sausage po-boy as new favorites and waxes rhapsodic about the classic options like pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo and crawfish bread, as well as more recent additions that are fast becoming classics, specifically the shrimp and duck pasta, which, now in its third year at Jazz Fest, is "a perpetual favorite for the way its radiator pasta shapes collect the meaty, garlicky jus." [Advocate]

Plan ahead: Here's the link for food booths and both food demo stages, so you can plan ahead. []

Cost of crawfish at Jazz Fest: In Food Area I, Smitty's is turning out big, spicy mudbugs for $6 per serving, which Todd Price and co. have determined is about $4.86/lb. []

Every new food at Jazz Fest: The hottest new food items include Squeal Barbecue, a grilled cheese for kids, and praline-stuffed beignets. [Eaterwire]

Best of the new foods: Ian McNulty reports that Squeal's brisket sandwich is legit with "large, rough-hewn chunks" of meat on oversized French bread, but the chicken sandwich was a tad too sweet for the critic's liking. The Times-Pic's top six newcomers include Vaucresson's new Italian chicken sausage po' boy. [Advocate,]

Best new sweet stuff: The sweet potato turnover "is ridiculous," and the praline stuffed beignets are "outrageous" according to the Times-Pic tasting crew. For kids, the new cupcake is a hit too.  []

New foods that disappoint: The grilled cheese is for "out of town" kids.  The shrimp remoulade po boy could use more depth and crunch, and the crawfish roll's bun could use a toasting, according to the Times-Pic tasting crew. []

The classic sweet stuff: Roman candy, coconut macaroons, sno-balls, chocolate dipped strawberries and more ways to satisfy your need for dessert. []

Where to find draft beer: Pilsner Urquell fancies up the Lagniappe stage, and Abita sets up outside the Blues tent. [Eaterwire]

All thing crawfish: If you've never been to Jazz Fest, let alone New Orleans, come hungry and make sure to try crawfish in all its glorious forms, from boiled mudbugs to crawfish bread, strudel, pie, beignets and more. [Paste]

The story behind Miss Iva's perfect fried chicken: Judy Walker reports that Iva and Ernest Jones have been making their impeccable fried chicken at the fest for 28 years, piling up legions of fans ranging from Quint Davis to Chaka Kahn.  Huge portions make the chicken and jambalaya the best bang-for-your-buck item. []

Third-generation vendor Vance Vaucresson on being at Jazz Fest since day one: "When I was 2 years old, my parents brought me to the first Jazz Fest. My dad was running the business then, and our company has always been here. Never missed a year. I grew up and older here." [Advocate]

The Arkansas brothers behind all that iced tea: Here's an article from the archives about Ben Childs and John Edelen from the Ozarks, who have brewed "thousands of gallons of tea from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. every night before and every morning of every Jazzfest" for the past ten years. []

The mastermind behind the Mango Freeze: Here's an interview with Dale Koehl, whose family has been slinging the mango sorbet at Jazz Fest for 20 years, and rhave aised more than half a million bucks for WWOZ while doing so. [Gambit]

What Brett Anderson eats at Jazz Fest: While The Times-Pic critic's favorite items include the cochon du lait po boy, jama jama, and raw oysters, "this year I have no specific plan other than to eat what my appetite desires." []

What WWOZ DJs like to eat: Crawfish enchiladas, Vietnamese spring rolls, jama jama, and trout bacquet are just a few of the items that OZ DJs like the enjoy. [WWOZ]

What health freaks like to eat: Fish tacos, jama jama, spring roll and raw oysters and more healthy faves from local health pros. []

Jazz Fest feasting on a budget: Pack some food and forget the booze. Get food that delivers like the ribs or turkey leg (both available at Heritage Square). [WWLTV]

Mango Freeze vs. the rain: Apparently nobody likes to get WWOZ's sorbet, the Mango Freeze, when the rain comes and the temperature drops, because the bad weather "killed sales" for them the first weekend. [Advocate]

How to eat in New Orleans like a local: Here are some locals suggestions for dining out and soaking up entertainment in town during Jazz Fest. Kingpin owner Steve Watson suggests Cochon and Patois and chef Tory McPhail is down with R Bar and Tan Dinh. [Advocate]

A great new post-fess spot: Mid City businesses are hoping for lots of foot traffic when the fest lets out, including including the hot new falafel hub 1,000 Figs now open next door to Swirl in Bayou St. John. [WWLTV]

Late night dining during Jazz Fest: The Marigny and Quarter are two great spots for late night dining with Verti Marte, 13, Coop's, Buffa's and St. Lawrence all serving into the wee hours. [Gambit]

Brett Anderson's 7 Favorite New and Reader-Suggested Dishes: Check out Eater's rundown on Anderson's new faves. []

Droolworthy photos of the best crawfish dishes: These 12 dishes are all crawfish, and all look amazing. []

What the folks at Southern Living like to eat at Jazz Fest: Hannah Hayes lists her nine favorite dishes, including red beans and sausage and the neighborhood saints outside the festival grounds who sling sangria to departing fessers when the music's over.