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Eater Nola's Guide To Jazz Fest Guides 2016

We seek out the local guides so you don't have to

Paul Broussard

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival starts this Friday, April 22, kicking off two long, expensive weekends of a whole lot of music, and almost as much food and drink. The Fess takes over the Fair Grounds, spilling out into the Faubourg St John, but it's big enough that the entire city shifts into Jazz Fest mode for these two weeks. This poses a number of (good) problems for visitors and locals alike. People can be left overwhelmed with the options, wondering what the best bets are both during the Fest and across town.

Luckily, everybody and their mawmaw is out with guides to help answer these questions. Of course, the sheer quantity of them is rather daunting, so to help sift through them all is Eater NOLA's Guide to Jazz Fest Guides 2016. Do check back for frequent updates.

Brasted/Eater NOLA

[Photo: Brasted]


The cheapest eats at Jazz Fest []

Best vegetarian dishes at Jazz Fest []

Jazz Fest debuts bleacher seating for crowd control [Advocate]

Here's every parking ticket you could get during Jazz Fest []

How neighbors are handling the parking situation near Jazz Fest [WWLTV]

5 cooking demos not to miss this weekend []

Every food demo at Jazz Fest []

Best Jazz Fest dishes for first timers []

Jazz Fest Bible 2016: Offbeat offers its overview of the entire fest, from the musical lineup to Allen Toussaint tributes to interviews galore. [Offbeat]

General Fest Info: What you can and cannot bring, how to get there, and more important info to know about Jazz Fest before you go. [Gambit]

Behold the food areas of yore: This is what the Jazz Fest food situation looked like in the 1980s and 1990s.  []

How to experience Jazz Fest like a musician: Grace Potter, Mark Mullins and more musicians share their favorite Jazz Fest memories including this juicy tidbit from Big Sam Williams— "It was packed out at the Fairgrounds and I could smell all the different foods out there - meat pies, crawfish bread, crawfish Monica, soft shell alligator Poboys and beaucoup more." [Glide]

How to survive Jazz Fest and New Orleans if you've never been before: Trips to Barrel Proof, Cure and Gene's Daquiris, dinner at Compere Lapin and Peche, and recommendations to blow the fest off at least one day to head to Mardi Gras World and Frenchmen make this fest guide a winner for tourists. [Paste]

Quintessential Jazz Fest eats: Here are 17 Jazz Fest foods beloved by locals and tourists alike, including Prejean's gumbo and Galley's fried softshell po boy. We can all agree that these dishes rule. []

Critics favorite Jazz Fest eats: The Times-Pic rolls out its best bets including Ms. Linda's fried pork chop sandwich, Liz Dizzy's trout bacquet and much much more. Also, some dishes have gone up a whole $1, so be forewarned. []

This year's newcomers, returns, and food dat ain't dere no more: Newcomers include a new bacon pecan square from sweet-potato turnover faves Marie's Sweet Dumplings (at Congo) and a yogurt and fruit trifle in the Kids Area from Fireman Mike. Squeal's barbecue brisket sandwich will return this year as well (despite the restaurant's shuttering on Oak last year). [Eaterwire]

Where to get a free and delicious taste of Belize: Ann Maloney reports that Belize will be in the spotlight at Cultural Exchange Pavilion, including demos of two dishes unique to the Garifuna culture— Cassava bread, which will be made from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday outside the tent, and hudutu, "a Garifuna seafood coconut soup with green plantain" made at 3 p.m. at the Cajun Cabin Stage area. []

After hours shows to know: Lucinda Williams at the House of Blues, Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair at The Saenger, The Roots at The Orpheum, DJ Snoopadelic  nd Mannie Fresh at The Carver Theater and more hot after-hours shows to hit up during Jazz Fest. []

More fests to visit during Jazz Fest downtime: Save the dates...Bywater fave Chaz Fest returns for its last year at the Truck Farm on St. Claude, April 27. The first-ever Nola Crawfish Festival lands at Nola Brewing's Taproom April 25-27,  and Fiya Fest hits Mardi Gras World on April 27. [Offbeat]

Jazz Fest cold drinks by the numbers: Offbeat notes that over 1,500,000 pounds of ice and four million coffee beans are used up at Jazz Fest on iced and frozen drinks alone each year. [Offbeat]

Feast (and drank) after Jazz Fest: These casual Mid City spots will do the trick if you're still hungry and/or in need of a cocktail, beer or wine after the festival. [Eaterwire]

Food demos not to be missed: Mother's owner/chef Jerry Amato, who sadly passed away in March, will be the subject of a demo on Thursday, April 28 at 2:30 p.m. in the grandstand.  Longtime Mother's employees will tell stories and make Amato's famous Shrimp Creole. []

How to fess clean: Five healthy dishes to be on the lookout, including Bennachin's poulet fricassee and jama jama, Ba Mien's shrimp bun, Jamila's Tunisian salad and more. []

For those observing Passover: "While most foods at Jazz Fest are out, offerings such as the fruit salad, spinach and artichoke casserole and Caribbean fish might be options." [Advocate]

How to get it while you can: Ian McNulty writes that "plenty of vendors have been at it for more than 20 years, others more than 30 years," so "the next decade is likely to see a lot of change" in terms of food offerings. [Advocate]

How to show some love to the food vendors: "Gratuities at the food stands are welcome, appropriate and appreciated; these folks are working 10 to 12 hours a day... and showing your respect for what they do by passing a buck across the counter will reserve you a special place in Jazz Fest heaven." [WhereYat]