Fun Summer Culinary Festivals in New Orleans You Don’t Want to Miss

Despite the soaring temps, summer in New Orleans is packed with festivals. While you won’t go hungry at any of this summer’s music and culture festivals like Satchmo SummerFest, here are five summer events that focus on local food and drink specifically.

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

Wednesday-Sunday, June 5-9, 2024

In its 32nd year in 2024, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE) is a smorgasbord of food and wine tastings, tours, master classes, and the annual champagne-soaked burlesque brunch. Each year, hundreds of wineries and restaurants participate, offering menus featuring local flavors and innovative new creations inspired by diverse cuisines. Top chefs from around the city create unique culinary experiences, so much so that the event regularly makes a few national “best of” festival lists. The organization behind this popular event is a nonprofit that donates 100% of its proceeds to beneficiaries ranging from food banks to culinary schools. You can see all the events and get tickets online.

French Market Creole Tomato Festival

Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9, 2024

Traditionally held on the second weekend of June, the annual French Market Creole Tomato Festival welcomes the arrival of Creole tomatoes that Louisiana loves to incorporate into many local recipes. The French Market location and the food offerings make this a popular festival among locals and visitors alike.

Celebrating its 38th year in 2024, the festival features live music at the market and in Dutch Alley, kids’ activities, and a second line. There are cooking demos in addition to an extensive menu of Creole tomatoes incorporated into gelato, crepes, crawfish pies — you name it. (Here’s the 2024 food vendor list). Of course, you can also get Creole tomatoes from the participating farm stands.

Kick off the Creole Tomato Festival with the Ripe & Ready second line featuring a Jazz Band, The Baby Dolls, and the Amelia Earhawts on Saturday, June 8, at 10:30 a.m. It’s open to all, and you’re encouraged to wear “your favorite tomato attire.” The second line will form at Oscar Dunn Park, 700 Decatur Street across from Jackson Square, and walk to the French Market festival location.

The festival is spread out between the tents and the stages located at the Farmers Market, the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint (this one is indoors), and Dutch Alley. The live music schedule never disappoints.

Restaurant Week New Orleans

Monday-Sunday, June 17-23, 2024

During this time, you can enjoy multi-course, special menus and dining deals in numerous participating restaurants, from upscale Creole eateries to neighborhood bistros. Keep up with this year’s list of participating restaurants and their menus, and don’t miss a chance to try a new spot or revisit your favorite.

Tales of the Cocktail

Sunday-Friday, July 21-26, 2024

This cork-popping annual industry gathering keeps expanding to include more wine and spirits tastings, tours, parties, seminars, book signings, bartender contests, and more, every year. The event draws the worldwide cocktail community with its packed schedule.

Tales of the Cocktail was conceived as a bar industry networking and education event targeting bar owners, mixologists and other pros, but its focus on celebrating not just trends but history and culture has made it popular with the general public and cocktail enthusiasts from all walks of life.

The “best of” Spirited Awards, and the prix fixe tasting menus and food-pairing dinners are especially popular. The tours and cocktail-themed parties also tend to sell out quickly, while the opening night street party is free and open to everyone. Tickets for events are sold individually, so you can build your own itinerary).


August 1-31, 2024

There’s no better time to try out an award-winning restaurant during your visit than in August. For the whole month this dining program offers discounted dining deals at participating restaurants located all over the city, and even stretching as far as Harvey and Kenner. Orchestrated by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, it was conceived as a promotion to attract diners to local restaurants during the slower summer months.

In over a decade, COOLinary kept growing in size and popularity, with over 100 restaurants participating in the past couple of years. Those run the gamut from the iconic to the smaller, more casual ones. The list includes the famous Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Bayona, Commander’s Palace, Domenica, Tujague’s, and Galatoire’s.

Coming to New Orleans this summer?

Check out our guide to where to stay in the French Quarter, and be sure to check out our resource for French Quarter Hotels. Also, consider booking a guided tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to experience the hauntingly beautiful past of New Orleans.

For easy, informative sightseeing, we recommend the City Sightseeing New Orleans city tour on the open-top, double-decker bus. It runs every 30 minutes through the Garden District, French Quarter, and CBD. You can hop on and off anytime!

Happy summer!