With another Carnival season in the books, New Orleanians might be feeling the post-Mardi Gras blues — until they take a look at the upcoming festival schedule. Springtime festivals returned in 2022 after a few years off, and now New Orleans is entering another festival season with events on track. Below, a complete guide to the city’s most famous and cherished food celebrations as well as some lesser known events, from French Quarter Fest to Hogs for the Cause and NOWFE, arranged chronologically.
Did we miss one? Let us know; this guide will be updated through 2023.
Louisiana Crawfish Festival
March 23 — March 26, 2023
Crawfish Fest returns to St. Bernard Parish for the 47th time, taking over the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center over three days. Celebrate all things crawfish —think boiled crawfish, crawfish bread, crawfish pasta, crawfish pies, and crawfish jambalaya — to the backdrop of live music and kid-friendly, Cajun entertainment. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
New Orleans Bourbon Festival
March 22 — March 25, 2023
The fifth year of Bourbon Fest takes place throughout the city, kicking off with a bartender competition at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and culminating with two grand tastings at the Contemporary Arts Center. Tickets range from $79 to $379.
Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival/Congo Square Rhythms
March 25 — March 26, 2023
Louis Armstrong Park hosts the joyful dual festival Congo Square Rhythms and Tremé Creole Gumbo this weekend, featuring two stages with live music, African dance and drumming, an arts market, and tons of food vendors — think Cafe Dauphine, Miss Linda, and Soulé Cafe. Free to attend, but donations are a good idea.
Freret Street Festival
March 25, 2023
Three stages for live music anchor this one-day festival stretching between Napoleon Avenue and Valmont Street every spring, but food, both at brick-and-mortar businesses along Freret and from the many vendors, are central. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; entrance is free.
Eat, Drink SoFAB Writers’ Festival
March 26, 2023
This one-day event at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum brings New Orleans food buffs face to face with some of the city’s most celebrated culinary experts, including chefs and those that literally write the books on local food and drink. 1 to 5 p.m., free admission.
Hogs for the Cause
March 31 — April 1, 2023
Bacon night, a chicken wing competition, tons of live music, and one big barbecue cook-off are packed into two days at this annual charity barbecue festival and competition at the UNO Lakefront Arena. Gates open Friday at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m.; two-day general admission tickets go for $99, one-day general admission starts at $50, and kids 10 and under get in for free.
French Quarter Fest
April 13 — April 16, 2023
An annual favorite for its local food marketplace as much as its music lineup, the free, four-day French Quarter Fest has already announced some top local names joining the culinary roster this year.
SOUL Supper Club
April 16, 2023
Chef Maya Mastersson’s describes her SOUL Supper Club as a “culinary essay defining the food lineage of the African diaspora,” albeit one that aims to “change the narrative regarding ‘slave food.’” The next six-course tasting menu dinner is April 16 at 7 p.m., $99 per person.
The Recycle Challenge Parade & Festival
April 18 — April 23, 2023
Six nightly events lead to one full-day festival on Saturday, April 22, outside St. Roch Market with live music, speakers, food vendors, and kids activities, all in the name of encouraging art made from recycled materials. Performers include Senegal’s Ame Kora, Bryan Keith & Zydeco Legacy, Zahria Sims Collective, and more.
April 28 — April 30, May 4 — May 7, 2023
The grand dame of New Orleans’s festival scene for music and food return the last weekend in April and first weekend in May — though it will be missing one legendary food item this year: crawfish bread. Single-day weekend tickets start at $85.
NOLA Crawfish Festival
May 1 — May 3, 2023
This three-day music and crawfish party covers the days between Jazz Fest weekends to keep the festin’ going. Participate in the crawfish cook-off or eating contest or sample different vendors and catch music from George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Lost Bayou Ramblers, and more. Single-day general admission tickets start at $50.
Daze Between New Orleans
May 2 — 3, 2023
It’s the second year for this in-between Jazz Fest festival held at the kid-friendly, outdoor-centric Faubourg Brewery. Tickets start at $65 per day for a lineup of national and local music acts, local food vendors, and of course, lots of beer.
Cinco De Mayo Fest
May 5, 2023
Metairie Mexican hub Los Jefes is throwing its seventh Cinco de Mayo Fest, an evening festival from 4 to 10 p.m. Expect food trucks like Southerns, La Cocinita, Don Cruz Elotes; tons of margaritas; live music from Mannie Fresh and Honey Island Swamp Band; and lucha libre. Early bird tickets are on sale now for $15, and regular-priced tickets start at $25 and go up to $75.
May 19 — May 21, 2023
The annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo along the banks of Bayou St. John takes place over three days in May with live music, art, food, and more. There are $15 day passes and $35 weekend passes on sale now.
Food Fight Fest
May 25, 2023
It’s year two for this event from the producers of Top Taco, gathering dozens of restaurants at the Spanish Plaza to compete for Top Traditional Dish, Top Creative Dish, Top Classic Cocktail, and more. Tickets go for $55 to $100.
May 26 — May 28, 2023
This annual Memorial Day weekend festival celebrating the Greek heritage of New Orleans centers around food and drink — think pastries, souvlaki, gyros, and ouzo — but also features dancing, crafts, cathedral tours, and cooking demos.
New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE)
June 7 — June 11, 2023
The acclaimed NOWFE returns in June with seminars, wine dinners, brunch events, grand tastings, and the Ella Brennan Award Gala. Three levels of ticket packages range from the $258 tasting package to the $1000 VIP package, but tickets to individual events are available as well.
Essence Festival of Culture
June 30 — July 3, 2023
Early bird tickets are on sale now for the world-famous Essence Festival of Culture, with three-day weekend packages for events at the Caesars Superdome starting around $200 and topping $3,000 at their most expensive.
Tales of the Cocktail
July 23 — July 28, 2023
It’s the 21st year for this huge cocktail conference that descends on New Orleans every summer, with events and programming held throughout the city and at the Ritz-Carlton under the theme “Vitalize.” Tickets go live later this spring.
September 23, 2023
The 2023 Beignet Fest is set for Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Festival Grounds at New Orleans City Park. Early bird and VIP tickets will go on sale starting in May 2023, and the food vendor lineup and menu for the festival will be released a month ahead of the event.