Fench Quarter Fest. It's FREE. It starts today, April 7, and goes to Sunday, April 10. Now in its 33nd year, the festival has morphed into a huge draw for locals and tourists alike, meaning there are some things you should know if a.) you've never been before and b.) you've been, but want to plot your day around exactly what food you'll be trying. Again, there are tons of local food vendors this year.
Here now, Eater offers a guide to all things food and drink at French Quarter Fest... We've rounded up all the latest local coverage, and included some other recommendations. So happy fessin' and keep it safe out there.
For those in search of something new: There are 30+ new dishes to try at FQF this year, Ann Maloney reports, including ribs and pulled pork sandwiches from Whoo Doo BBQ, a slew of grilled cheese variations from The Big Cheezy, crab cakes from The Blue Crab, a softshell po' boy from Jack Dempsey's, 'dirty' mac and cheese from St. Roch Market vendor Dirty Dishes and more. Here's what they all taste like. [NOLA.com]
For those in need of a caffeine fix: Ian McNulty reports that the Petite Rouge espresso truck will be parked by the Natchez steamboat wharf with iced and frozen coffee drinks. [Advocate]
For sugar fiends: Loretta's Pralines will have a praline beignet and Galatoire's will debut its highly-anticipated fried sweet potato and pecan pies. [NOLA.com]
For those who love to suck da heads: Rouses will be back at the Old U.S. Mint offering boiled crawfish and fixins for $10 or a family crawfish platter for $40. [Official Website]
For those who are gluten-free or vegetarian: FQF has eats for folks with dietary restrictions, including Mona's falafel sandwich, Three Muses' feta fries, Ninja's seaweed and cucumber salad, and more. [Official Website]
For the grown up snoball lover: Plum Street Snoballs will again be selling boozy icy treats, with your choice of Chambord, Southern Comfort Caramel, Finlandia, Jack Daniel's or Herradura tequila. [Official Website]
For the growup milkshake lover: Recently-opened Belle's Diner (1122 Decatur) does boozy milkshakes to-go with flavors including strawberry, thin mint, and The Brooke—which has pecan pie, Piehole whiskey and vanilla bean ice cream in it. [Eaterwire]
For those hoping to escape the fest for a bit: Helen Freund has the low down on the best places to eat near the festival, including Warehouse District newcomers Josephine Estelle and Compere Lapin, Quarter newbs Killer Po' Boys, Salon By Sucre, and more.
For a refreshing cocktail to go: Salon By Sucre teams up with DP Spirits to offer a to-go beverage, the Ponchatoula Rum Cooler, made with local strawberry-infused Sugarshine Rum, basil and lemon served on the rocks and topped with a splash of soda. Available April 7-10. [Eaterwire]
For dining out in the Quarter: Brett Anderson's Quarter faves include Angeline, Bennachin, Brennan's and more. [NOLA.com]
For the full food vendor listings: A list of all food at French Quarter Festival by stage area. [Official Website]
French Quarter Fest, Non-Food Related Coverage
For movie buffs: Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre hosts FREE documentary film screenings during FQF, and Will Coviello has the scoop on the best films to watch, including A Tribute To Toussaint, Friday at 11 a.m. [Gambit]
For a list of new offstage highlights: Chris Waddington reports that Jackson Square will be non-smoking for the first time this year. Also new— beefed up security, $30 parking shuttle busses running from the convention center and more. [NOLA.com]
For those who like to Uber: Anticipate surge pricing and be aware that there is a no request zone around the fest, so you should head to Poydras, [Canal, Rampart or Elysian Fields for a pick up. [NOLA.com]