If New Orleans Jazz Fest plans are in your future, your taste buds are undoubtedly watering with the anticipation of perfectly char-grilled oysters, cajun-spiced crawfish, savory po-boys, and all of the fried, doughy, intense, mouthwatering deliciousness your mind can conjure up. New Orleans is not just a city; it’s a lifestyle, fueled by one of the richest culinary experiences in the country.
Nearly half a million dedicated music lovers make the pilgrimage each year to partake in the annual celebration of New Orleans culture and heritage. The 48-year-old festival pays homage to its city’s history with a diverse array of music, food, and activities that represent the many cultures of the New Orleans gumbo.
The eats at the festival proper constitute some of the best the city has to offer, with a huge selection of traditional dishes and things you won’t find anything else. However, the city transforms into an entirely different world after dark when the late night music scene takes over. With shows going well into the wee hours of the morning, you’re going to want to make sure you fuel up. Here are some of our top picks for pre- or post-show eats, organized by the venues they’re near and brought to you by @EatHearNow.
Note: The term “Fine Dining” is used loosely here. Mostly everywhere in NOLA is relatively casual, especially during Jazz Fest.
At The Fairgrounds
Recommendations: Crawfish Monica, Soft Shell Crab Po-Boy, Crawfish Bread, Alligator Pie, Fried Oyster Po-Boy, Café Au Lait, Fried Sweet Potato Chips, Trio Plate of Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, and Crawfish Beignet
See a full list of the food available at the Fairgrounds here.
Warehouse District/Central Business District
Fine Dining: Compère Lapin, Cochon, Peche, Meril, Tommy’s, Herbsaint, Annunciation
Laid Back: Cochon Butcher, Lucy’s Retired Surf Bar, Auction House Market, Carmo
Laid Back: Dat Dog, Port of Call, Three Muses, Adolfo’s, Cafe Negril
Joy Theater/Saenger Theatre/Civic Theatre
Central Business District/Warehouse District
Fine Dining: Maypop, GW Fins, Domenica, Arnaud’s, Willa Jean, Borgne, Restaurant R’evolution, Luke
Laid Back: Johnny Sanchez, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Felix’s Oyster Bar, Cleo’s, Company Burger
Fine Dining: Boucherie, Dante’s Kitchen, Carrollton Market
Laid Back: Jaques-imo’s, DTB, Wayfare
One Eyed Jacks/House of Blues
Fine Dining: Bayona, Court of Two Sisters, Brennan’s, Sylvain
Laid Back: Felipe’s, Green Goddess
Fine Dining: Shaya, Dick & Jenny’s, La Petite Grocery, Saffron
Laid Back: Casamento’s, Nomiya, Magasin
We’re closing out Jazz Fest festivities on 5/6 by bringing everyone together for a vegan sushi pop-up dinner at Carrollton Market before the Herbie Hancock Tribute show at The Maison. Kelseay Dukae’s Veganori is pairing with Live for Live Music & EatHearNow to offer a bundle discount to the dinner + show. The four-course vegan dinner will include drink pairings with each course, including a sushi sampler of different types of vegan sushi rolls. Get more info & tickets here.
You can check out Live For Live Music’s full guide to Jazz Fest Late Nights in our guide here. See you down in the Crescent City!