Explore New Orleans

New Orleans Food Festivals to Keep You Sated Year-Round

A 12-month Crescent City culinary calendar

New Orleans boasts more than 130 annual festivals, many of them food-focused. Alligator, oysters, gumbo, mirliton—if it’s edible, we’ll celebrate it. Here, we’ve mapped out the best the city’s food fetes month-by-month. Dig in, y'all!


King Cake Festival: A Mardi Gras must-have, king cake comes in a variety of flavors, both sweet and savory. Local bakeries serve up their signature takes on the Crescent City confection during this Carnival season celebration at Champions Square.

Randazzo's King Cake
A fleur de lis king-shaped cake from Manny Randazzo's. (©Manny Randazzo King Cakes)


Soul Fest: New Orleans’ African-American influences are highlighted during this annual Audubon Zoo affair, which features a number of Creole and soul food vendors. Pork chop po'boys? Yes, please. 

Soul Fest New Orleans
Eating under the oaks at the Audubon Zoo. (©Bernie Saul/Audubon Nature Institute)


Top Taco New Orleans: This offshoot of the popular Top Taco Denver nods to NOLA's growing number of Mexican eateries. Chefs compete in a variety of categories (most creative, most traditional, fan favorite), while area bartenders battle it out for top margarita.

New Orleans Bourbon Festival: Brown liquor lovers, this one's for you. Delve deep into the wonderful world of whiskey during a weekend packed with boozy seminars, top-shelf tastings and bourbon-paired dinners.

New Orleans Bourbon Fest
Breckenridge, Knob Creek, Michter's and Woodford Reserve are just a taste of the many distillers featured at Bourbon Fest. (©Tracie Morris Schaefer)

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience: More than 1,000 vintages from world-renowned wineries, award-worthy cuisine by leading local chefs and dozens of restaurants offering vino-paired menus—that’s the recipe for success behind this foodie fantasy.


Louisiana Crawfish Festival: Mudbugs are the star attraction of this annual affair in nearby Chalmette. Crawfish pie, crawfish cake, crawfish bread, crawfish pizza, crawfish eggrolls; all hail the Crawfish Queen!

Crawfish (©Shawn Fink)
A seasonal staple of Louisana, crawdads get their due during the Louisiana Crawfish Festival. (©Shawn Fink)

Hogs for the Cause: What began as a small cook-off among friends has morphed into a wildly popular pork-a-thon. Close to 100 award-worthy barbecue teams compete while you pig out on the results.

Hogs for the Cause New Orleans
A taste of what's cookin' at Hogs for the Cause. (©Hogs for the Cause)

French Quarter Fest and Jazzfest: Most New Orleans food fetes incorporate music—and vice versa. But the two receive near-equal billing at the French Quarter Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. French Quarter Fest claims “the World’s Largest Jazz Brunch,” while Jazzfest counts 70-plus must-try food vendors.

Jazzfest New Orleans
Over the years, crawfish Monica has become synonymous with Jazzfest. (©New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)


New Orleans Greek Festival: The oldest Greek Orthodox congregation in the U.S. mounts this celebration of the city’s Greek culture. Stuffed grape leaves, fried calamari, souvlaki, goat burgers, feta fries and homemade pastries...Opa! 


New Orleans Oyster Festival: Bivalve lovers, come out of your shells. The city’s leading seafood restaurants serve up incredible oyster dishes while live acts perform along the Mississippi riverfront during this annual ode to ersters.

New Orleans Oyster Festival
The best of the best compete in the annual oyster-shucking. (©New Orleans Oyster Festival)


Tales of the Cocktail: Bartenders and distillers from around the globe take part in this annual booze fest. But you don’t have to be in the industry to get into the spirit of things; restaurants join in the fun with special “spirited” menus.

Tales of the Cocktail New Orleans
Thousands of bartenders descend on the city each July during Tales of the Cocktail. (©Tales of the Cocktail)


COOLinary New Orleans: With dozens of eateries offering specially priced prix-fixe menus throughout the month, this way-cool summertime dining promotion makes the dog days bearable.


We Live to Eat Restaurant Week: Hungry for a great dining deal? You’re in the right town at the right time. Numerous fine-dining venues offer budget-minded, two-course lunch and three-course dinner menus. Never eaten at Antoine’s? Here’s your chance.

National Fried Chicken Festival: Eateries from far and wide weigh in with their trademark takes on this deep-fried classic. Bone up for the chicken wing eating contest.

National Fired Chicken Festival
Blue Oak BBQ's spicy chicken sandwitch, winner of the National Fried Chicken Festival's 2018 "Best Use of Chicken in a Dish" award. (©National Fried Chicken Festival)


Crescent City Blues and BBQ Fest: This annual celebration of two Southern staples spotlights regional blues legends and local pit masters.

Beignet Fest: Can’t get enough of New Orleans signature pastry? This ones for you. A variety of vendors serve up both sweet (bananas Foster) and savory (bacon and cheddar with chipolte creama) versions while local bands perform. 

Beignet Fest New Orleans
Fried dough and powdered sugar; what's not to love about Beignet Fest? (©Zack Smith/NewOrleans.com)


Boudin Bourbon & Beer: Emeril Lagasse, local James Beard Award winners Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski and other top chefs from around the nation pay homage to the state's signature sausage with this perennially packed pork-out.

Boudin, Bourbon and Beer Fest New Orleans
The name says it all. (©Cheryl Gerber/Boudin Bourbon & Beer)

Carnivale du Vin: Named one of the Top 10 charity wine auctions by Wine Spectator, this tony affair, a fundraiser for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, pairs world-famous vintners with top-notch national chefs.

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival: Established in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in an effort to “preserve the po'boy,” this homespun happening draws thousands to Oak Street, where dozens of vendors vie for top honors.

Fete des Fromages: Debuting in 2018, this new offering, presented by the Gulf Coast French-American Cahmber of Commerce, promises to be a “wheel” winner for cheese lovers with tastings of more than 100 types, from French to Wisconsin.

Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival: All gumbos great and small are the focus of this deliciously fun event conducted by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Warm up and get down to live bands in Armstrong Park.


Reveillon Dinners: During the 1800s, locals would gather for multicourse meals following Christmas Eve Mass. Now they’re served throughout December at restaurants citywide. Restaurant bars make things even merrier with holiday drink specials.