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Brunchfaced: Jazz Fest Edition

I can’t think of any better way to help celebrate Jazz Fest’s 50 years of joy than with something else that brings me joy: BRUNCH.

by Angelique Dyer
April 13, 2022

There are a lot of things I missed the most during the lockdown and the restrictions that followed. My family. The movies. Traveling. And two things I missed the most? Brunch and Jazz Fest. For the last two years, we have resorted to “festing in place,” a concept that in theory is rather delightful but in reality, it just made me miss the joy that is Jazz Fest. 

For two years, I spent my time inside instead of at the Fairgrounds, playing WWOZ and ordering Jazz Fest food. And finally, in just a few weeks, we’ll be back out there, experiencing the joy that is Jazz Fest. I honestly can’t think of any better way to celebrate the triumphant return of Jazz Fest than with brunch. I celebrate everything with brunch!  

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I know what you may be thinking:

“Angie, you’re reaching, sis. Brunch at Jazz Fest? Ain’t no waffles out there!”

But! Brunch is what you make it and Jazz Fest has endless dishes to make the perfect brunch-esque experience. I did the work to put a little list together for you, so you just need to get out there and get your brunch on!

Want to know more about the best places to stay, joints to eat, and activities to discover on a weekend getaway from New Orleans? Click here to watch our original show, Eat, Play, Stay!

The Dishes

Fried Chicken and Beignets – Catering Unlimited & Café Du Monde (Food Area I & Heritage Square)

Let’s start with a combo you’ve probably never thought about…chicken and beignets! It’s a fest take on chicken and waffles, get it? The fried chicken, forever hot and juicy, comes from Catering Unlimited, also in Food Area I, and the beignets come from the classic, Café Du Monde tent in Heritage Square. Imagine a little bit of the powdered sugar getting on the fried chicken. It’ll make you want to do a praise dance in the Gospel Tent.

Crawfish Enchiladas – Prejean’s Restaurant (Food Area II)

If you’re looking for a spicy twist to your Jazz Fest brunch palate, look no further than the crawfish enchiladas by Prejean’s Restaurant in Food Area II! Two enchiladas stuffed graciously with cheese and crawfish are a Jazz Fest favorite, and are a perfect way to complete your brunch experience. 

Draaanks for brunching

Now, brunch is really only made possible by the drinks we sip (or chug, choose your fighter, fam) to wash all that good food down. Jazz Fest is the place to be for food, music, art, and drinks. And over the years, the offerings have expanded.

Mango Freeze Mimosa – (WWOZ Special)

I’ll start with my all-time favorite — the undefeated Mango Freeze Mimosa. At the wine booths across the fairgrounds, there’s sparkling wine and rosé. Go ahead and get that famous WWOZ Mango Freeze, eat a little or create a little tunnel with your spook and let the bubbles take a swim. I usually go with the rosé because why not? And boomshakalaka — you’ve got a refreshing Mango Freeze Mimosa.

Wine – CD Tent (between Economy Hall Tent & Kids Tent)

If you’re looking for the real deal, word on the sand track is that the CD Tent located between Economy Hall Tent and the Kids Tent has a wine bar with red and white wines, carafes of wine, prosecco and a brunch staple, mimosas. You can also score yourself a bloody mary over at the New Orleans Original Daiquiris tents.

Iced Café Au Lait – Café Du Monde (Heritage Square)

For those who don’t want to drink but still want to keep the brunch feelings alive, I cannot leave without recommending the iced cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde and the forever refreshing iced teas that are Jazz Fest staples — mandarin orange, rosemary mint and good ol’ regular tea.

Whatever you choose, I hope this Jazz Fest brunch brings you joy … that real Jazz Fest kind of joy.

Happy Festin, y’all!

Angie Dyer, a lady who brunches from New Orleans East, is award-winning digital producer, fiction writer, and public relations and brand strategist working in higher-education. She is a board member of the BeyHive since 1998, is constantly practicing her NPR voice, and can be found taking over for the '99 and the 2000.

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