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Must-Visit Fall Food Fests

While any local fest features food, these upcoming fall festivals take it to the next level.

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

New Orleanians love a good festival. Whether you live in the city or are just visiting, you can almost guarantee a fest on any given weekend. Now the home of approximately 133 such events throughout the year, certain sub-types of festivals have emerged: most notably, food-based festivals. While any local fest features food, these upcoming fall festivals take it to the next level.

Come hungry: Foodie Fall Festivals

Lafayette Square is home to several fall food fests, including Crescent City Blues & BBQ and Beignet Festival. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Gentilly Fest

  • When: Friday, Oct. 7 (6:00 to 10:00 p.m.), Saturday, Oct. 8 (12:00 to 9:00 p.m.), and Sunday, Oct. 9 (12:00 to 7:00 p.m.)
  • Where: Pontchartrain Park at Press and Prentiss streets
  • Details: Free admission

Gentilly Fest, a fundraising festival presented by Capital One, helps support the Gentilly neighborhood. Food vendors will be selling crawfish bread, soft-shell crab po-boys, fried catfish, crawfish pie, stuffed peppers, hot tamales, crawfish nachos, pralines, and other local cuisine. Local crafts will also be available for purchase. Leo Nocenteli of the Funky Meters, Kermit Ruffins, and James Andrews headline the musical acts.

A thirsty visitor fills his stein at the Oktoberfest event in Kenner. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)


  • When: Fridays (4:00 to 11:00 p.m.) and Saturdays (1:00 to 11:00 p.m.) from Oct. 7-22
  • Where: Kenner’s Rivertown (415 Williams Boulevard)
  • Details: $8 admission (ages 12 and under are free)

Oktoberfest, presented by the Deutsches Haus, is a local fall favorite that celebrates German culture and heritage. The festival takes place in Kenner’s Rivertown until the new Deutsches Haus opens in New Orleans. A wide variety of German food will be on sale, including Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Knackwurst, Sauerbraten, pretzels, desserts, and Bavarian nuts. German beer is also on sale, including the Deutsches Haus’ own Oktoberfest Bier. Musical acts include The Bräts, Prost, and the Bayou Bavarians. Other events, including a Dachshund Dash, the Chicken Dance, and Masskrugstemmen– a beer stein holding contest– occur throughout. A historical exhibit and a gift shop are open to festival goers too. Come as you are, or show up in your lederhosen.

Beignet Fest

  • When: Saturday, October 8 (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
  • Where: Lafayette Square (540 St. Charles Avenue)
  • Details: Free admission

Beignet Fest, New Orleans’ 133rd festival, debuts on Oct. 8 and finally gives the beignet its moment to shine. Food vendors, including Cafe Beignet, Ruby Slipper, Ye Olde College Inn, Loretta’s Authentic Pralines, and Cafe Reconcile, will be selling seafood beignets, cheese beignets, and of course, sweet beignets. In addition, there will be contests for best savory beignet, best sweet beignet, and most innovative beignet. Musicians include Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Los Po-Boy-Citos.

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

  • When: Friday, Oct. 14 (5:00 to 8:30 p.m.) and Saturday & Sunday, October 15-16 (11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.)
  • Where: Lafayette Square (540 St. Charles Avenue)
  • Details: Free admission

The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, now in its 11th year, takes over Lafayette Square for the Oct. 14-16 weekend. Numerous food vendors feature local and regional barbecue cuisine, and options are available for vegans and vegetarians as well. Top-notch Louisiana musicians— like Tab Benoit, Walter “Wolfman” Washington & The Roadmasters, and Little Freddie King— are also scheduled to take the stage (of which there are two). An arts market rounds out the festival with a couple dozen artists selling their wares.

Bridge City Gumbo Festival

  • When: Friday, Oct. 14 (5:00 to 11:00 p.m.), Saturday, Oct. 15 (10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.), and Sunday, Oct. 16 (11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
  • Where: Gumbo Festival Park (1701 Bridge City Ave.)
  • Details: $3 admission

Bridge City, just outside of New Orleans, bills itself as the “Gumbo Capital of the World.” Its annual Bridge City Gumbo Festival boasts more than 2,000 gallons of gumbo. Other Louisiana favorites like jambalaya and red beans and rice will also be available. No festival is complete without live, local music. Gumbo Fest will feature the Bucktown All Stars, Louisiana Leroux, Ryan Foret Band & Swamp Pop Players, and others.

Preparing food at Carnaval Latino. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Carnaval Latino

  • When: Saturday, Oct. 15 (6:00 p.m.)
  • Where: The Sugar Mill (1021 Convention Center Blvd.)
  • Details: Price varies

Carnaval Latino celebrates the many cultures of New Orleans’ Latino population. While not purely a food festival, various food vendors will be on hand selling favorite Latin American dishes. In addition, a parade— the Desfile de las Américas— will feature almost 20 floats with music and throws, each representing a single country.

Po-boys at the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

  • When: Sunday, October 23 (10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
  • Where: Oak Street at S. Carrollton Ave.
  • Details: Free admission

The poor boy sandwich– or as many New Orleanians call it, the “po-boy”– originated from a 1929 streetcar strike. Today, the sandwich is a community comfort food. The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival features dozens of food vendors with po-boys ranging from the common shrimp po-boy, to cochon de lait, oyster, and many more. This year’s food vendors have not yet been announced, however may include the likes of Boucherie, Crabby Jack’s, Jacques-Imo’s, Parkway Bakery, and more. Come hungry. Live music will also take place across several stages.

A food pop-up from the Old Portage during last year’s Faux/Real. (Photo via Faux/Real on Facebook)

Faux/Real Fest

  • When: Nov. 3-13
  • Where: Locations vary
  • Details: Admission price varies

Faux/Real Fest, now approaching its second occurrence, is the revamped and broadened festival replacing Fringe. Faux/Real may be known for its quirky plays and burlesque shows, however food is a purposeful component of the festival. Events are still TBA, though last year included pop-ups at local restaurants. Be sure to check their website for event listings and descriptions in the coming weeks.

Chef creations at Boudin, Bourbon & Beer. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Boudin, Bourbon & Beer

  • When: Friday, Nov. 4 (6:00 to 10:30 p.m.)
  • Where: Champions Square
  • Details: $99 admission (21+)

The Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s Boudin, Bourbon, & Beer festival is one of the more exclusive of the fall festival line-up, though the steep ticket price includes both food and drink. Dozens of local chefs– from the likes of Toup’s Meatery, Boucherie, Square Root, Commander’s Palace, Primitivo, and Compère Lapin– all feature their uniquely prepared versions of boudin. Wash down all that boudin with an Abita beer or Buffalo Trace Bourbon, straight or prepared as a cocktail. The Gris Gris signature cocktail of this year’s festival includes bourbon, blueberries, balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and several other ingredients. Live music will round out the evening.

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival

  • When: Nov. 12–13 (11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
  • Where: Armstrong Park (701 N. Rampart Street)
  • Details: Free admission

The ninth annual Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival presents two of New Orleans’ favorite things: gumbo and brass bands. Gumbo will be on sale from a dozen different vendors, each presenting their own interpretation of the classic dish. Gumbo Ya Ya (chicken and andouille) gumbo z’herbes, seafood gumbo, and even gluten-free and vegan options will be available. Brass bands, including the Grammy award-winning Rebirth Brass Band, Hot 8, New Breed, and more will perform. An arts market and kids section are also part of the festival.

Emily Ramírez Hernández is the child of New Orleans natives whose families have been in the city for generations. Emily's earliest memories of New Orleans include joyful car rides over bumpy streets, eating dripping roast beef po-boys at Domilise's, and catching bouncy balls during Mardi Gras parades with cousins. An urban planner by day and freelance writer by night, when she is off the clock she enjoys biking around town, belly dancing, and catching nerdlesque shows.

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The Saints at home in the Superdome. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)