Five Free NOLA Food Festivals You Can’t Miss This Fall
September 28, 2018
It’s no secret that New Orleans loves festivals almost as much as it loves food.
Here’s a roundup of the best free food festivals you can’t miss this fall. With sweet and savory options in both traditional and creative styles, there’s something for everyone in this delicious lineup!
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further – with over 30 different varieties of New Orleans’ favorite dessert to try, Beignet Fest has a treat for everyone. The festival, which offers free admission, will have sweet and savory dishes from 19 of New Orleans’ best restaurants and food trucks. While you sample, you can listen to a lineup of local live music or check out the artist market in gorgeous City Park. The best part? You can try as many as you want guilt-free, because a portion of all sales will benefit the Tres Doux Foundation, which supports accessible programs for children with developmental disabilities.
Nothing is better than a killer combination of music and food, and the Crescent City Blues and BBQ festival promises both. Among the slated free musical lineup is New Orleans’ beloved “soul man” Walter “Wolfman” Washington and world-renowned guitarist Jimmie Vaughan. Along with New Orleans’ newest additions to the scene, Barbeque in a variety of regional styles will be available. Even though it’s a BBQ fest, there will be vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options to ensure all can enjoy the best of what the city has to offer.
After tremendous success in its 2017 inaugural year, Mac N Cheese Fest is back and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Favorites like Superior Seafood, Oceania Grill, and the Big Cheezy will compete to be crowned the winner in several contests judged by a panel of local celebrities. Expect more than your typical pasta dish: last year, the festival saw variations including smoked brisket, fried pimento, and even mac and cheese cupcakes! In a true New Orleans style, there will also be free live music on a stage sponsored by the New Orleans House of Blues.
Few foods are as synonymous with New Orleans as the Po-Boy. PoBoy Fest, which takes over Oak Street on November 11, promises over 60 different kinds of the classic sandwich. While fried shrimp and catfish are the favorites, many other creative variations will be available to sample. Local Oak Street businesses will open their doors to welcome pedestrian traffic, welcoming attendees to look at kooky vintage clothing, records, jewelry, and art offered along the charming corridor. Accessible by both street car and bike, this is one festival you and your stomach won’t want to miss.
The 11th annual Creole Gumbo festival is New Orleans’ tribute to the music and food made famous in the historic Treme. It is by far the best free display of traditional and contemporary New Orleans brass band jazz the city has to offer. This year, Grammy-winning band Rebirth Brass Band will headline with Ashlin Parker’s Trumpet Mafia. In addition to an expanded food court serving classic and creative gumbos, Gumbo Festival will host four free cooking demos to show festival-goers how real chefs make their own takes on the dish. Few things represent the soul of New Orleans better than listening to a brass band in the French Quarter while eating a bowl of delicious gumbo!