Cooks & Cocktails: Food Events in New Orleans This Summer

There’s never a bad time to eat in New Orleans, but summer is quietly among its strongest seasons. From the world’s greatest cocktail event to festivals spanning the city’s diverse culinary heritage, July and August in the city have plenty of reasons for travelers to come hungry.

Tuesday to Sunday, July 18-23: Learn everything about cocktails at Tales of the Cocktail ... Have you ever wondered what the ideal pH level of limes is for your gin and tonic? Any interest in discovering cocktails created by a WWII bartender/spy working against Nazis in an occupied French hotel? There is simply no more useful, nerdy, or wonderful cocktail conference in the world than Tales of the Cocktail 2017. Whether you’re in the industry or simply just a fan of cocktail culture, there’s plenty to learn and sample during the booziest New Orleans week this side of Mardi Gras. 

All of August: Take a Coolinary tour of all the New Orleans restaurants you’ve been salivating over ... During Coolinary, more than 80 local restaurants offer fantastic specials on price-friendly prix-fixe menus. So whether you’ve been dying to dine at classics like Commander’s Palace or John Besh’s Luke or try something from beloved younger tastemakers like Chef Jason Goodenough at Carrollton Market, you’re only limited by how quickly you can make reservations.

Thursday to Sunday, August 3-6: Save time to snack at Satchmo SummerFest ... Technically, Satchmo SummerFest is a music event honoring the great Louis Armstrong through over 100 local performers and panels of experts. But don’t get it twisted—any festival in New Orleans has a strong food component and Satchmo is no exception. Some of the finest restaurants in the city set up shop on the grounds of the historic U.S. Mint — home to a newly opened jazz museum, offering both classics (red beans and rice, buttermilk drops) and new favorites (jerk chicken, Saints’ inspired Black & Gold Nutella and banana crepe). Come early to get a good spot at one of the stages. Hint: you can cool off at the air-conditioned indoor stage which features a dance floor.  ... and then stay through two meals.

Tuesday, August 15: Explore the French Quarter's hotel bar scene with Sake Hop ... Not your ordinary bar crawl, this five-stop tour of French Quarter hotel bars involves sake sampling and Asian-inspired cocktails and appetizers. Purchase your ticket here.

Saturday, August 19: Taste the new era of Louisiana at Brewsiana ... The House of Blues’ Brewsiana Fest brings together cold crafts from across the state. More than 15 area brewers will be in attendance alongside ample pub fare and live music that includes the best yacht rock cover band in the city. Plus, if you sample all the beers, you’re entered into a raffle for two passes to Voodoo Fest this October, which will feature headliners like Kendrick Lamar and LCD Soundsystem.