Nestled near the Lagniappe stage are two incredible secrets: #1, real bathrooms, and #2, raw oysters. We snagged a dozen ($14) and upon first bite—a plump, salty, cocktail-lemon-horseradishy bite—these snuck to the top of our list. Bonus points for being on the lighter side of the daily options.
Pork and Sausage Jambalaya
We couldn't leave the festival without trying the jambalaya ($6) and boy were we glad we did. There's some serious rice in that cup, plus, generous pieces of pork and sausage.
Possibly Jazz Fest's most famous food, this pasta dish ($7) named after chef Pierre Hilzims’s wife is sought after by jazz fans every year. It's a creamy, cheesy seafood pasta dream.
Despite its grungy appearance, this calzone-like cheesy crawfish bread ($7) was one of the best things we ate the whole weekend. Warning: you will fight over the last few bites.
Rosemint Tea with Honey
The ultimate thirst-quencher: this 32-oz'er of rosemint tea ($5). Minty-fresh with a slight hint of rose, cut perfectly by a touch of honey, we could guzzle this all day. Also available unsweetened.
Sweet Potato Pie
This cute little pie ($5) was a huge hit. Even our helpful hand model couldn't resist diving in before the camera got there! With a flaky crust and lovely mushy sweet potato filling, this pie disappeared quite quickly.
Cajun Chicken and Tasso with Creole Rice
This cuppa warm, flavorful chicken with tasso ham and rice ($7) gets topped with a smattering of scallions.
Definitely not a dessert strudel, this savory strudel ($7) was quite savory and creamy, with not only crawfish but onions, celery, and a sour cream-pepper jack cheese sauce.
Cajun Duck Po-Boy
One of the more expensive Jazz Fest items at $12 but our neighbor told us it's the first thing he eats every year, so we had to try it. Served next to a giant jug of horseradish sauce to DIY, it's a wonderful vehicle for eating fatty duck.
We spotted everyone clutching these giant 32-oz cups of pinky-lemon ($5) and had to try it for ourselves. While it's certainly not too sweet, and the small chunks of strawberry were a pleasant treat, we did end up diluting it with water to make it last longer.
Fried Sweet Potato Chips
A perfect side dish to a brass band: a trayful of fried sweet potato chips dusted in powdered sugar ($5). Fun munching for the whole family.
Fried Oyster Po' Boy
Even the po' boys for sale inside the Fest are awesome. The oysters are appropriately fried in cornmeal and served with pickles and hot sauce on the side.
Seafood au Gratin with Spinach Artichoke Casserole and Sweet Potato Pone
This combination plate included all three items, all delicious. But our favorite was the rich and melty seafood au gratin. The sweet potato pone was a desserty thick bread (that we can't wait to recreate at home) and the spinach artichoke casserole gets bonus points for being the greenest thing we ate at the Fest.
A shot of the bustling lines at peak lunchtime, around 1 p.m. Pro tip: eat around 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to avoid the crowds.
These three fried sausage orbs ($7) are tossed in a spicy mustard. Not our favorite boudin balls in the world, but Cajun cooking for sure.