[Gustavo Escanelle, Where Y'at Staff]

Best French Quarter Fest Food | 10 Dishes to Try This Year

07:00 April 09, 2024
By: Eliana Sarfati-Magill

Best French Quarter Fest Bites

French Quarter Fest is a free spring festival in the French Quarter. There will be stages set up along the River Walk, in Jackson Square, and other spots nearby in the Quarter. New Orleans has a rich a diverse food scene, and French Quarter Fest is a perfect representation of what the city has to offer.

From traditional local dishes to international bites, the festival has it all. Head to the French Quarter from Thursday, April 11 through Sunday, April 14 to taste what NOLA is serving up. Here 10 of the delicious and unique dishes available at French Quarter Fest this year.

1. Jollof Rice

Addis NOLA, Spanish Plaza

[Courtesy of Addis NOLA's Facebook]

Addis NOLA is a favorite local Ethiopian restaurant in Gentilly serving classic Ethiopian dishes and unique cocktails. They will be serving a plate of jollof rice at the fest, calling it the original jambalaya.

They will also have several other options including meat and veggie hand pies, sweet African chicken, and an "I want it all" plate for those who simply cannot decide. Check out Addis at the fest or any other day for their delicious cuisine.

2. Chicken Samosa

LUFU NOLA Indian Kitchen, Jax Lot

[Courtesy of LUFU NOLA's Website]

LUFU NOLA is another local favorite serving upscale twists on Indian classics. They are known in the city for having won Food Fight NOLA with their inventive dishes.

They will be serving a chicken samosa, perfect for anyone wanting a light bite before heading back out to dance. Check out their aloo tiki chaat and keema rolls for some other great options. LUFU is bringing the more fine dining experience to Indian food in NOLA and is sure to wow all festival goers with their selection this year.

3. Chef Jeff's New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp

Heard Dat Kitchen, Jax Lot

[Courtesy of Heard Dat Kitchen's Facebook]

Heard Dat Kitchen is located in Central City and serves delicious Louisiana Cuisine. At the fest, they will be serving Chef Jeff's New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp, which is plated over fries with blackened shrimp marinated in their signature BBQ shrimp sauce.

They will also be serving a "crawdat" version of the dish also over fries with cheddar cheese and creamy crawfish sauce. Both of their dishes are great Creole influenced twists on soul food classics, making them the perfect Louisiana plates.

4. Beef Yakamein

Miss Linda the Yakamein Lady, Jax Lot

[Courtesy of Chef Linda's Facebook]

Yakamein is a Creole noodle soup and a NOLA favorite at every celebration or day of the week. Miss Linda Green is aptly named the Yakamein Lady and will be serving hot and delicious noodles and beef all weekend long.

She will also be serving a shrimp and beef version, crawfish mac and cheese, and a fried pork chop. Chef Linda is known as the Yakamein Lady throughout the city and is loved for her delicious soul food.

5. Fried Chicken Cracklins

Fatty's Cracklins, Woldenberg Riverfront Palm Lawn

[Shardar Tarikul Islam, Unsplash]

Fatty's Cracklins will be serving up fried chicken cracklins at the fest for anyone craving rich and tasty fried chicken done right. They will also be serving their voodoo pepper jack boudin balls, which are sure to be a hit.

Fatty's is a NOLA festival favorite every year, loved for serving audibly crunchy and delicious food. Don't miss these two classic Southern dishes at the fest!

6. Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake

Crabby Jacks, Jackson Square

[Courtesy of Crabby Jacks' Facebook]

Crabby Jacks is a Cajun favorite serving crave worthy lunch items with festive counter service. Their French Quarter Fest options will be no different.

The shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake is a unique and delicious dish. This is a savory cheesecake with a parmesan crust and Creole tomato cream sauce. Crabby Jacks will also be serving a duck po-boy with apple slaw, citrus crab and artichoke salad, and a dirty mac and cheese.

7. Grilled Shrimp Pikliz

Fritai NOLA, Woldenberg Riverfront Park - Kohlmeyer Lawn

[Courtesy of Fritai's Facebook]

Fritai is a Haitian restaurant that serves well-seasoned and exciting dishes. They will be serving their grilled shrimp pikliz, in which shrimp are tossed in the spicy pikliz sauce with citrus and avocado before being plated over plantains.

They will also be offering their appetizer of corn ribs with Creole sauce and coconut lime cream, as well as oxtail hand pies. Fritai's menu is sure to be a hit at the fest, just like they are every day at their brick and mortar on Basin Street.

8. Duck and Brie Spring Roll

Couvant, Woldenberg Riverfront - Palm Lawn

[Courtesy of Couvant's Facebook]

Couvant is a restaurant in the Eliza Jane Hotel that serves French classics and Southern charm. Enjoy their duck and brie spring roll with duck confit, green apple, and pepper aioli for a memorable and delicious bite.

They will also be serving crispy chickpea fries with tomato aioli and Wagyu sliders with bacon jam, tomato confit, and arugula. Couvant is proving that fine dining level foods have a place at festivals, and people are happy for it.

9. The Lambeux

Smoke and Honey, New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint

[Courtesy of Smoke and Honey's Instagram]

Smoke and Honey is a brand-new restaurant in Mid-City serving Greek and Jewish fusion food. At the fest, they'll be serving the Lambeux, which includes a slow braised lamb leg with whipped feta, onion garlic jam, red onions, and cumbers, served on French bread.

They will also have chicken souvlaki, tzatziki with smoked eggplant, and a veggie sandwich on the menu. Each sandwich is also being offered as a half order for those not as hungry or looking to taste a bit of everything.

10. Jambalaya Arancini

Chef Shonda, New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint

[Courtesy of Chef Shonda's Website]

Chef Shonda Cross will be cheffing up some uniquely exciting jambalaya arancini at the fest this year. These are jambalaya rice balls tossed with cheese and Creole vegetables served with a Creole yumyum sauce.

Arancini is a classic Italian dish and people are sure to be pleased with this Creole twist. Chef Shonda will also be serving crawfish queso and blackened salmon sliders with Creole slaw. And finally, for dessert, grab a key lime mousse tart with a gram cracker shell.

Foodies Festin' in the French Quarter

Come to French Quarter Fest for the music and stay for the food. This year is no exception with a wide range of delicious dishes from local businesses. Grab a drink and a tasty treat, even a or three course meal, before finding a spot to sit and enjoy the music!

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