Where to Eat Before or After NOLA's Spring Music Fests

A taste of pre- and post-festival dining options.

The dancing, drinking and are done … or are they next up? Whether heading to or coming from French Quarter Fest or the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the idea is to stay strong, stay fortified. Here’s the 411 for where to go before or after festivities.

Before the Festival: Breakfast in New Orleans

Get prepped for dancing, walking and all that comes with rocking a festival by digging into a pre-fest morning meal. Incredible breakfast plates, pastries and big cups of coffee are the order at New Orleans Cake Café. A little further downriver, Bywater Bakery gets festgoers going with Breakfast Go-Cups (bacon, egg, grits and cheese; sausage, egg and biscuit with country gravy; tofu scramble with veggies) and its take on Miss Linda Green’s yakamein.

Nearer to Jazzfest, Pagoda Café is a cool hang for cups of locally roasted French Truck coffee and breakfast tacos. In the French Quarter and in need nothing more than a boost of caffeine for breakfast? Hit Spitfire for a great homemade chocolate sauce mocha, or Arrow Café for a well-pulled double espresso.

By the Fair Grounds there’s a CC’s Coffee House and Fair Grinds Coffeehouse (which also a second location on St. Claude Avenue in the Marigny), where the house-made Chai is perky; make it “dirty” with a shot of espresso.

Arrow Cafe in New Orleans

Eating After the Festival

On the heels of it all and hungry, despite snacking all day? There are great places to have a post-fest feast.

1000 Figs' fresh take on Mediterranean food hits the spot with raw julienned vegetable slaw topping crisp falafel to drag through creamy hummus. Over at Toups’ Meatery, “Top Chef” star Isaac Toups cranks out phenomenal “Meatery Boards” of house-cured meats and condiments.

A little further away from the fests, popular restaurants for posh pizzas and snacks in the Marigny/Bywater include Paladar 511 and Pizza Delicious. Other delicious choices are tweaked Mediterranean (Kebab), giant burgers with pimento cheese (Shank Charcuterie), Kung Pao Pastrami (Red’s Chinese) or a bit of the fine-dining restaurant scene (The Franklin). In the Quarter check out Killer Po'Boys for unexpected takes on New Orleans' iconic sandwich.

1000 Figs restaurant in New Orleans

Before or After the Festivities

The vendors at St. Roch Market open early and keep serving until 11 pm, Morning Call in City Park is 24 hours (seriously) of sturdy coffee and crisp-yet-airy beignets and Whole Foods on Broad Street is great for prepped food, water and other necessary supplies. 

Part of the chic French Quarter brunch scene and beloved for their dinner services are Meauxbar, Angeline and Sylvain for upscale casual dining pre- or post-fest.

Angeline New Orleans