The end of summer 2023 is quickly approaching, but before we make the full jump into gumbo weather, there are a few warm-weather festivals and events centered around food that dictate our cravings for the month.

First off, there’s the celebration of one of our very favorite sweet treats­­–the beignet. The must-eat, always-kills-it-on-Instagram staple of the NOLA food scene gets her own day in the sun at Beignet Fest on Saturday, September 23 out at the City Park Festival Grounds. Here you’ll find both sweet and savory varieties from all over the city, ranging from traditional powdered sugar-topped beignets to more creative adaptations, including Afrodisiac NOLA’s Jerk Chicken Beignets, The Howlin’ Wolf’s Cheddar Bacon Beignets with Chipotle Crema, Pear and Brie Beignets from The Vintage. Can’t make it to the festival? Try a few of our favorites around town, including the Blue Crab Beignets with Malt Vinegar Aioli from La Petite Grocery, the Praline-Stuffed Beignets from Loretta’s (also available at the festival), or the O.G. herself–Café du Monde.

Paprika Studios, Image Courtesy of Mister Mao
Kashmiri Fried Chicken - Mister Mao

Then at the end of the month, another favorite food gets its weekend-long celebration at the National Fried Chicken Festival (September 30-October 1). While the fest highlights some of the best of the best out at the lakefront festival grounds, there’s no shortage of great fried chicken to fill the void before and after the festival weekend. Some of our top picks for fried chicken include the traditional fried chicken at Dooky Chase’s, the crawfish-boil-spiced chicken at Picnic Provisions and Whiskey, the spicy Kashmiri Chili Fried Chicken from Mister Mao, or the legendary fried chicken platter at Coquette, but be warned – the chicken is only available as part of their casual Sunday lunch menu, and you’ve gotta get in there before September 23, when the restaurant will be taking a quick break to restructure their menu. And finally, say what you will, but Popeye’s holds a special place in all New Orleanians’ hearts, especially during Saints Season. Maybe we’re crazy, but locals swear it tastes even better when eaten in New Orleans. Bring it to a tailgate or a picnic and you’ll make instant friends.

Augusta Sagnelli, Barracuda

September also means the return of NOLAxNOLA, a citywide celebration of the sounds, artists, and venues that make New Orleans’ music scene one of the most famous in the world. If you’re out dancing, you’ll need your fuel, which is why we always like to stake out good options for a pre-show meal. Barracuda, Hungry Eyes, Port Orleans, and the aforementioned Mister Mao are all good options near Tipitina’s, or if you’re headed over towards Gasa Gasa on Freret, you can grab dinner or drinks at Vals, Pigeon & Whale, High Hat, or Cure. For shows in the Quarter, we’re partial to Will & The Way (with a kitchen that stays open fairly late), or Palm&Pine.

Where to Eat in September 2023

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Where to Eat in September 2023