Jazz Fest Food: New food items to try in 2023, where to find them

NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - Each year, Jazz Fest turns the Fair Grounds into a playground for foodies. Once again, festival-goers should bring their appetite, but look out for several menu changes at this year’s fest.

Festival producers add more than a dozen new dishes to this year’s menu lineup, including at least two new food vendors.

One new vendor, Keyala’s Pralines, brings some sweet new additions to Congo Square, including key cake with bourbon praline sauce, chocolate mocha cupcake and mixed nut brittle.

In the Cultural Exchange Village, new food vendor, Carmo y FOWLMOUTH, presents samplings of Puerto Rican dishes. The street food purveyor FOWLMOUTH collaborates with Carmo Restaurant for the festival’s spotlight of Puerto Rico’s vibrant music, food and culture for 2023.

Along with new vendors, some longtime food vendors freshen up their menus with additions.

Among those vendors, the festival’s oldest vendor, Vaucresson Sausage Co., is back with a new jerk chicken po-boy. Plus, Caluda’s, the popular food vendor known for attracting crowds for its crawfish strudel, adds shrimp and grits to its menu this year.

Some of this year’s food changes also signal the absence of some popular food vendors, including the iconic crawfish bread.

For more than 30 years, crawfish bread has been a fixture at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, but creator John Ed Laborde, also known as the “Crawfish Bread Man,” announced he would not return to the Fair Grounds.

For the first time, Jazz Fest also goes cashless, marking another major change in how food vendors will operate this year. Festival-goers can now only use credit cards, debit cards and other digital payment options -- such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay -- to purchase food and other items around the grounds.

For festival-goers who come to the event with only cash, the festival will offer cash exchange booths near key vending locations for prepaid cards.

Here’s the list of new food items for 2023:

Food Area 1

Vaucresson’s Sausage Co.

Jerk Chicken Po-Boy

CCI Catering

Turduckin Po-Boy (Turkey, Duck & Chicken)

Smitty’s Seafood Restaurant

Gulf Shrimp Pasta Salad

Ten Talents Catering

Sunflower Green Salad

TCA Brocato

BBQ Oysters, Buffaleaux Oysters

Food Area 2


Shrimp & Grits


Grilled Shrimp, Grilled Veggies, Rojos Refritos w/Fresh Chips

Congo Square

Keyala’s Pralines

Key Cake w/Bourbon Praline Sauce, Chocolate Mocha Cupcake, Mixed Nut Brittle

Heritage Square

Down Home Creole Cooking Sweets

Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake, Lemon Layer Cake, Pecan Rum Cake


J&M Seafood

Gulf Shrimp Pasta Salad

Cultural Exchange Village


Trifongo (Cassava, Plantano Verde y Maduro) w/ Pernil (Roast Pork), Camarones (Shrimp), Vegetales (Veggies), Pastelillo de Pollo Guisado (Stewed Chicken Turnover), Pastelillo de Guayaba y Crema (Guava & Cream Turnover)

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.