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Beyond the Fairgrounds: Finding Festival Food Favorites Year Round

The New Orleans Jazz Fest is known as much for the food as it is for the music. Regulars have their favorite dishes, top 10 picks and there are even t-shirts declaring your culinary commitment. People wait all year to enjoy the festival foods. But, did you know that you can find some of your favorite New Orleans Jazz Fest dishes outside of the festival grounds?

Here are a couple of Jazz Fest food favorites that can be found throughout New Orleans.

Cuban Sandwich

These are the perfect combination of Cuban marinated pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, & mustard, served hot and crispy. You can get these delicious pressed sandwiches any day of the week from Canseco’s Market in Mid City on Esplanade, just steps away from the Fairgrounds..

photo from WWOZ

Mango Freeze

Started in the 80’s on the top floor of legendary music club Tipitina’s, WWOZ is a listener-supported, volunteer programmed radio station that broadcasts live from Jazz Fest. Proceeds from the sales of the mango freeze contribute to keeping the station playing and streaming  jazz and heritage music throughout the year. After the fest, you can continue to support a local New Orleans institution while satisfying your sweet tooth at the French Market.

Jama Jama

Benachin means one pot in West Africa. At Congo Square it means delicious jama jama, a sautéed mixed green and spinach dish served alongside sweet plantains and a skewer of Poulet Fricasse. You can visit Benachin in the French Quarter to re-live your Jazz Fest revelry or try any number of African and Louisiana inspired dishes.

Shrimp Flautas

Stuffed with shrimp, cheese and spices, then fried to a deep crispy brown, these flautas, from Taqueria Corona, will melt in your mouth. The best thing about Taqueria’s flautas is that they fold the ends in keeping the grease from touching the shrimp ensure the shrimp are moist and delicious. For under $5 you can get them at Taqueria Corona in New Orleans and sample some authentic South American delicacies including a beef tongue taco.

Lemon Ice

Angelo Brocato’s is a New Orleans institution famed for their Italian ice creams and deserts. Lemon Ice is the quintessential cool down treat for Jazz Fest. But just a few miles away in Mid City you can enjoy Spumoni, Torroncino, Cannoli and Sciallotti in an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with lilting ceiling fans and multiple generations behind the counter.

When the Neville Brothers perform that final song on the Acura Stage Sunday, May 2nd, take heart that there is always good music and great food to be found year round in New Orleans.

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