Louisiana is often referred to as the festival capital of the world, hosting over 400 festivals annually. With festivals spread throughout the state, New Orleans tends to be a hub for many of the most well-known festivals from the infamous Mardi Gras to the multi-week Jazz and Heritage Festival. Food and dining festivals in New Orleans allow the city to shine with two of its most celebrated offerings, food and festivals. The New Orleans Food and Wine Experience along with Tales of the Cocktail are the must experience for culinary enthusiasts, master mixologists, and anyone who likes to eat or drink.
The New Orleans Food and Wine Experience
Shortened by those in the know to NOWFE, this is the grand dame of New Orleans food and dining festivals that culinary connoisseurs wouldn’t dare miss. Four days of food and wine focused events start with wine dinners at the biggest names on the dining scene in New Orleans. These can sell out early so if you want to make sure to have a seat, reserve your spot in advance. Seminars allow attendees to learn techniques, history, and the latest trends, but if you are all about eating and drinking then the Grand Tasting is your event. With 2 days to choose from, this is the highlight of the festival. The focus is on the wine tasting, so don’t set out to drink all the samples. Tickets can be purchased in advance and attendance is limited to the 21 and over crowd.
Tales of the Cocktail
Two months after the indulgence of NOWFE, Tales of the Cocktail celebrates the cocktail culture of New Orleans every July. Not simply the premier cocktail festival in New Orleans, but globally, Tales of the Cocktail now stages festivals around the world. Leading cocktail industry experts from around the world flock to New Orleans for an impressive array of educational seminars, tastings, spirited dinners, and incredible parties that are the natural result of pairing the best of the cocktail world with a city that loves to celebrate. Spirited dinners on Thursday night are the Tales version of the wine dinners that accompany NOWFE plus the cocktail pairings with the city’s famous cuisine offers a unique dining experience.
While these are New Orleans premier food and dining (and drinking) festivals, every festival in this city has an incredible array of food offerings that put the carnival food of other state’s festivals to shame. No matter when you are in town heading to a festival is a sure bet on getting to sample loads of New Orleans dishes, often from the best known restaurants and chefs.