Beignet Fest Returns in 2023
Almost any identifiably New Orleans menu item has a corresponding festival, but up until a few years ago, one of the city’s most iconic culinary treats was left without its own party. We’re referring to the beignet: little fried pockets of doughy goodness ideally dusted with alpine levels of powdered sugar.
Well, the beignet — the official state donut of Louisiana, if you were wondering — is no longer going without its own celebration thanks to the annual Beignet Festival, which returns on Saturday, September 23, 2023.
The daylong party will take place at the Festival Grounds in City Park (4 Friedrichs Ave.) and admission is $20 for adults and children under 12 with a paid adult are free. Feel free to bring (along with your appetite, of course) blankets and chairs, and don’t forget sunscreen and maybe a hat as the Festival Grounds doesn’t offer a lot of shade.
As you may expect, there’s going to be a whole lot of delicious sweetness going on (and a fair bit of savory too). The festival benefits the Beignet Fest Foundation, which funds programs and services for families impacted by autism. Beignet Festival founders Amy and Sherwood Collins created the foundation, and it uses the proceeds from the festival to create grants.
From traditional sweet treats swimming in powdered sugar to savory options bursting with seafood and cheese, Beignet Fest will feature more than 30 beignet dishes from some of New Orleans’ best restaurants and food trucks. Like most New Orleans festivals, the festival also features live music, a kid’s village, and an artist’s market.
The fest offers more than just sweet donuts, of course. The past year’s favorite, The Ruby Slipper Cafe, for example, had been offering cochon beignets smothered in pork debris (gravy), and bananas Foster beignets along with Vietnamese coffee beignets. Katie’s Restaurant has been doling out its delicious and generously sized crawfish beignets, while Loretta’s Authentic Pralines featured BBQ chicken beignets and crabmeat beignets stuffed with lump crab meat (voted the Best Overall Beignet in the past). Fear not, however, Loretta’s always brings its famous praline and chocolate praline beignets to the fest as well.
Oreo beignets from Luca Eats were the “Best Sweet Beignet” winners for two years in a row, while bacon and cheddar beignet from Howlin’ Wolf Den was one of the past winners in the “Best Savory Beignet” category.
There will be vegan and gluten-free beignets to accommodate every diet, and awards will be given in four categories once again: the “Best Sweet Beignet,” “Best Savory Beignet,” “Most Original Beignet,” and “Crowd Favorite Beignet.” Don’t forget to vote for your pick!
You can park along perimeter streets and anywhere in the park that isn’t labeled “No Parking.” Blue Bikes will have a docking area located near the main entrance to the Festival Grounds if you’re considering biking. You can also hop on the Canal St. streetcar line. Get off at the end of Esplanade Ave. and Carrollton Ave., and follow the signage leading you to the entrance of the Festival Grounds.
Need somewhere to stay during your visit? Book a stay at a historic French Quarter boutique hotel at FrenchQuarter.com/hotels.