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A soft shell crab po’boy in the foreground of a general view of the food area at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on April 24, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A soft shell crab po’ boy from Galley Seafood Restaurant.
Josh Brasted/WireImage

How to Eat Your Way Through Jazz Fest 2023

The best food, drinks, and sweets at New Orleans’s Jazz Fest and where to find them

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is perhaps the most famous Louisiana music festival to become equally valued for its food, introducing Creole and Cajun specialties like shrimp and andouille pies, crawfish strudel, and oyster patties to the national palate. It returns Friday, April 28 through May 1, and Thursday, May 4 through May 7 at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course, and while several festival staples will be missing this year — most notably crawfish bread — the festival’s famous food lineup remains mostly intact.

Aside from no crawfish bread for the first time in 35 years, there is one other major change at Jazz Fest: the entire festival is cashless. Attendees can use cards, of course, but also digital payment methods like Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay, and there will be cash exchange stations located throughout the grounds. Food costs, in turn, are higher than ever, so it’s important to choose wisely. Below are Eater’s picks for nearly 40 items to eat and drink this year, both sweet and savory, and where on the grounds to find them.

For a full list of this year’s Jazz Fest food vendors, see here.

Congo Square

Gambian Foods: Dibbi, couscous with yogurt sauce

Keyala’s Pralines: Chocolate mocha cupcake

Palmer’s Jamaican Cuisine: Curry chicken pattie

Strawberry lemonade

Food Area 1

Catering Unlimited: Jambalaya

CCI Catering: Duck and shrimp pasta

DiMartino’s Famous Muffulettas: Muffuletta

Gallagher’s Grill: Fried crab cake with smoked tomato tartar

Love at First Bite/Walker’s: Cochon de lait po’ boy

Ms. Linda’s Catering: Yak-a-mein; Huckabuck frozen cup

Papa Ninety Catering: Boudin balls

Patton’s Caterers: Crawfish sack, oyster pattie, and crawfish beignet plate

Smitty’s Seafood Restaurant: Crawfish etouffee

Stuf Hapn Event Catering: Creole stuffed crab

Vaucresson Sausage Co.: Hot sausage po’ boy

Vucinovich’s Restaurant: Fried oyster spinach salad

WWOZ Community Radio: Mango freeze

Mango freeze
Josh Brasted/New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Food Area 2

Ajun Cajun: Yakiniku po’ boy

Big River Foods: Crawfish Monica

Caluda’s/Cottage Catering: Crawfish strudel; white chocolate bread pudding

Galley Seafood Restaurant: Soft shell crab po’boy

Loretta’s Authentic Pralines: Crab beignet

Mrs. Wheat’s Pies: Spicy meat pie

Prejean’s Restaurant: Pheasant, quail, and andouille gumbo

TJ Gourmet: Chicken and tasso with Creole rice

Heritage Square

Ba Mien Vietnamese Cuisine: Banh mi xiu mai

Baquet’s Li’l Dizzy’s Café: Trout Baquet; crawfish bisque

Café du Monde: Frozen cafe au lait

Down Home Creole Cookin’: Meaty white beans; peach cobbler

Around the Grounds

Carmo/Fowlmouth at the Cultural Exchange Village: Pastelillo de pollo guisado

United Houma Nation at the Native American Village: Fry bread; corn maque choux

Jumbo Peanut Company: Glazed pecans

Mr. Williams’ Pastries: Cherry pie; sweet potato pie

Roman Chewing Candy Company: Roman candy

Sunshine Concessions: Rosemint tea

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