The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival spans two weekends in 2023: April 28-30 and May 4-7. The week in between gives you the perfect opportunity to explore all that New Orleans has to offer: great cuisine, historic neighborhoods, and lots of live music. Read below for our picks for the week.

*Editor's Note: Jazz Fest is slated to return from April 26 - May 5, 2024. Book your stay now!

Monday, May 1 

Rest easy on the Monday after the first weekend of Jazz Fest while still making the most of your time in the city. Many restaurants  are closed on Mondays, but plenty are open for you to enjoy. Surrey’s Café and Juice Bar and Birdy’s Behind the Bower are both open on Mondays and located on Magazine Street, positioning you well for your day exploring the shopping corridor. Near the Fairgrounds in Mid-City, Monday Restaurant + Bar has an all-day happy hour on—you guessed it—Mondays! 

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You can do it all on the six-mile-long Magazine Street: shop til you drop, get a massage, take a yoga class, or eat and drink to your heart’s content. Discover Magazine Street here and plan your day.

Stay Uptown until Shorty Fest, an annual event at Tipitina’s put on by local artist Trombone Shorty. This year’s event features Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave, Galactic, and more, plus a free block party featuring performances from brass bands, local high school marching bands, and food from Jacques-Imo’s. It’s a party you won’t want to miss.

Also kicking off on Monday, May 1 is NOLA Crawfish Fest at the Broadside. From May 1-3, enjoy unlimited crawfish from 3 p.m. on. There are live performances each day, with Porter Batiste Stoltz headlining Monday. The NOLA Crawfish Fest annual crawfish eatin’ competition is also on Monday. 

Tuesday, May 2

Plan to explore City Park on this day. The Besthoff Sculpture Garden has free admission and is the perfect place to start your morning. Grab a coffee and pastry from Café NOMA and take a stroll around the garden, but you’ll want to save some energy for even more festin’ later.

Daze Between New Orleans was created specifically for those “days between” Jazz Fest weekends. On May 2 and 3, head to Faubourg Brewery for this festival featuring lots of live music: two nights of Goose, and performances from Tank and the Bangas, Honey Island Swamp Band, and more. There will be several food vendors on site plus lots of great local brews.  

If choosing to take a “rest day,” wind down from the busy day by tasting some of the city’s delicious Asian cuisine, at Café Minh, Phở Tầu Bay, or one of these spots in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Wednesday, May 3

Backatown Coffee Parlour is the perfect place to start your morning. Go for a hearty option like the crawfish quiche or banana nut coffee cake while sipping cold brew on the outdoor patio. Take a 15-minute stroll to enjoy the French Quarter in the quiet morning hours, exploring sights like Royal Street, Jackson Square, and St. Louis Cathedral.

Enjoy a muffaletta lunch from Napoleon House. You can get takeout and walk to Woldenberg Park to watch the ships pass on the Mississippi River. You’re in the perfect spot to visit a museum, perhaps the Historic New Orleans Collection or the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Take your pick and spend the afternoon exploring.

Head downtown at 5 p.m. for Wednesday at the Square, a free concert series held in Lafayette Square throughout spring. This Wednesday, The Soul Rebels and Tanya Boyd-Cannon will take the stage. Food and drinks from various vendors are available as well.

For a more formal dinner, or post-concert cocktails, you have several options within walking distance: Seaworthy, Pluck Wine Bar, Mother’s, Pêche…the options are endless!

Thursday, May 4

Thursday is Local’s Thursday at Jazz Fest, with Santana, Leon Bridges, Hot 8 Brass Band, and more on the schedule. But if you’d rather explore New Orleans, why not explore Bayou Road and historically Black Tremé, located not far from the Fairgrounds where Jazz Fest is held. Dine at Dooky Chase, where presidents and dignitaries have tasted the late Chef Leah Chase’s gumbo and fried chicken. Shop along Bayou Road, take a walking tour of the area, or enjoy coffee (and a sno-ball) on Esplanade Avenue at the Flagpole. Louis Armstrong Park and Congo Square are not far from the area and are definitely worth checking out for a little New Orleans culture.

Thursdays at Twilight is a concert series in City Park, and on Thursday, May 4 you can expect to hear Patrice Fisher and Arpa with special guests from Brazil. Food and drink are available as well. 

Friday, May 5

It’s the second and last Jazz Fest Friday, with a lineup including Jon Batiste, Kane Brown, Ludacris, Irma Thomas, and more. Gates open at 11 a.m. - get to the Fairgrounds at your leisure for a day full of food, music, and festing.  

For even more music, check out the Avett Brothers at the Saenger Theatre or Gov’t Mule with George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners at the Orpheum. House of Blues, Tipitina’s, Toulouse Theatre, The Fillmore, Howlin’ Wolf, and the Joy Theater each have Jazz Fest After Dark shows featuring local musicians during the nights after Jazz Fest. Check our Live Music Calendar for more.