Solo Traveler’s Jazz Fest Guide - Food and Drink

Jazz Fest in New Orleans kicks off every year during the last week in April. For those solo travelers who have never treated themselves to coming to the Big Easy during this iconic jazz event, make this year the year.

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Jazz Fest Food Basics

Jazz Fest spans two weekends which features international music, musicians and bands, a plethora art, and most importantly, food! Jazz Fest boasts more than 70 food vendors offering dishes and drinks that reflect our city and its shared heritage. Menus feature classic Creole dishes as well as food that is flavored by our varied cultural influences from African to Cajun to French to Native American to Vietnamese. Here our some tips on the best and most delicious dished to graze on at the Fair Grounds. 

What should I try?  

The food is wonderful. Many folks say they would come to Jazz Fest just for the food.  Some personal favorites:

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  • Crawfish Monica

  • Cochon de Lait Po Boy

  • Nacadoches Meat Pie

  • Pheasant, Quail, and Andouille Gumbo

  • Trout Baquet

  • Cracklins

I'm picky. Any more ordinary food?

A little.  For less spicy or less exotic tastes, try the Poulet Fricassee, grilled chicken on a stick or the Cochon De Lait Po Boy. The fried chicken at the Fest is excellent.  Also available:  fried shrimp, sausages.

Popcorn, peanuts, and ice cream are available from carts scattered around the Fairgrounds.

Any vegetarian food?

There is no reason for vegetarians to worry about what to eat when they walk onto the Fair Grounds. Here are some dishes without meat.

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What does the food cost?

The most common price point is about $5-$7. Many po boys were a little more. A few items were cheaper, and some combo plates were more.

Jazz Fest Drink Basics

Any drinks?

Yes! The beverage booths, scattered throughout the Fairgrounds, sell Coca Cola products for $4; water for $3; plus beer: Miller Lite, High Life, Coors, and Coors Lite at $6 for a 12 ounce can; and Blue Moon, Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy and Redd's Apple Ale in 16 ounce cans for $8.  

You'll also find roaming vendors selling 16 oz plastic bottles of Miller Lite & Coors Lite for $7.

For wine drinkers you can find Mark West pinot noir, Estancia pinot grigio ($6) and prosecco ($9). You can even get a mimosa to kick-start your morning!

Do they sell margaritas, hurricanes, or anything else stronger?

There are Daquiri booths selling frozen Daquiris (red), plus frozen margaritas. $7 for a 12 ounce cup. That's the only hard liquor drink available at the Fairgrounds.

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Do the food booths sell drinks?

Not soft drinks or alcohol.  A few sell their own specialty drinks, such as flavored iced teas or lemonades

Is there any free water available?

Yes. There are water fountains adjacent to the ponds at either end of the infield, but it's not real good.  In any case, it's not cold.  It's drinkable, but not too good. 

A better idea is to use the water fountains inside the Grandstand building.  The one near the mens room usually works. It's out of the way, especially if you're at the Acura stage, but the water is colder and cleaner tasting.

Can I bring in beverages?

You are allowed to bring in only factory-sealed bottles of water, in quantities for personal use. Other than that, outside beverages are not allowed!

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Author: Astrid Clements

Astrid Solo Travel Advisor CEO and founder, Astrid, has spent over 40 years traveling around the world. She is passionate about embracing the world’s diverse cultures and sharing with others the global need and personal benefit of cultural literacy. Her focus is on affordable luxury travel that is both substantive and fun! To read more about her and each one of our Solo Travel Advisors, head over to theAbout page!