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The Eater’s Guide to French Quarter Fest

French Quarter Fest is the largest free concert around, but New Orleans is known for food as well as music. Red Streetcar tells you where to find great New Orleans food at the fest.

Get ready. (Photo Credit: French Quarter Festivals Inc.)

April is newly upon us, which means one thing in New Orleans: French Quarter Fest is right around the corner. I’m going to let someone else tell you all about how French Quarter Fest is one of the largest free festivals around, that it has expanded to a fourth day, consists of 17 different stages and features every genre of music you can imagine. What I’m here to talk about is navigating the massive number of food booths and walking away with something tasty.

New Orleans Food and Music

FQF food stalls in the shadow of the St. Louis Cathedral (Photo credit: Offbeat magazine)

French Quarter Fest stretches from one end of the French Quarter to the other and somehow manages to fill in all the cracks in between. At last count, we saw over 65 food booths and almost as many unique vendors.

With three (although I’d say four) major food areas, a map of the festival food spots is an absolute necessity (the official French Quarter Festival map can be found here.) The good news is, there will be good eats where ever you happen to find yourself.

With so many booths to choose from, and Cupcake and I only being two people, we haven’t been able to taste every last dish from every last vendor. We are, however, able to give you the list of dishes that wowed us in years past (in no particular order).

Best of the French Quarter Fest

Crescent Pie and Sausage Company: This Mid-City jewel shines with Bad Bart’s Jambalaya. The secret ingredient? Beans.

A Vaucresson po boy (Photo credit: Vaucresson)

Vaucresson Sausage: A New Orleans fixture since 1899 and an original vendor of pretty much all of New Orleans’ great festivals, Vaucresson has seen it all. While the crawfish sausage is great, the Creole Hot Sausage Po Boy is their standout.

Jacques-Imo’s: This Oak Street dive is a tourist favorite and often packed to the gills. Skip the waiting and get in on the action with a slow roasted duck po boy, with excellently tender shreds of duck and tasty coleslaw.

Boucherie's 12 hour roast beef (Photo credit:

Boucherie:This local shooting star started its meteoric rise as a purple truck called The ‘Que Crawl. Boucherie’s 12 hour roast beef po boy, with pickled onions and horseradish sauce is sure to be a crowd favorite.

And for those of you who like it rich, the Krispy Cream bread pudding will satisfy your dessert cravings.

With all this info, you’re definitely going to be prepared. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Which French Quarter Fest dish is your favorite? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

French Quarter Fest
April 7-10

For more fun with food and drink in New Orleans, be sure to join us Just Off the Red Streetcar Line!