Recently voted the Best Food Festival in New Orleans by a local magazine, this salute to a signature sandwich is a deep dive into New Orleans food, music and culture. According to local lore, the first po-boys were created as inexpensive meals handed out to striking New Orleans streetcar workers in 1929. Today the po-boy takes its place as a cultural icon – with its very own festival.
On a weekend day in November (the exact date is determined only after the city’s football team, the New Orleans Saints, posts its fall schedule) local restaurateurs line up on picturesque Oak Street in Uptown New Orleans to create amazing sandwiches for a hungry crowd. The one-day event features live music, arts and handicrafts and every kind of po-boy imaginable.
Not to be missed are the Cochon de Lait Po-boy, the Pork and Slaw Po-boy, the Creole Stuffed Crab Po-boy and the Shrimp Remoulade Po-boy. There are vegetarian and vegan options as well. For those of you who’ve never ordered a po-boy before, getting it "dressed" traditionally means lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise. Some say, however, that a po-boy isn’t dressed until you shake some TABASCO® Sauce on it! Look for our bottles on the tasting tables along Oak Street or ask for it by name when you order.
New Orleans is known for its superior local musicianship, and this local festival brings it. Home-grown bands such as Los Poboycitos, Honey Island Swamp Band, Treme Funktet and The Iguanas have kept the crowds moving during past festivals. You can also join one of the many panel discussions on local food history and learn some quirky things. Here are some topics from past festivals: “Lost Restaurants of New Orleans,” “The History of Breweries in New Orleans,” “The Evolution of the Muffaletta: from Palermo to New Orleans,” and “Some Bakers Were Just Born Bad: Bread Ordinances in New Orleans during the Civil War.”
Designated as a National Main Street by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2006, Oak Street is an architecturally charming, artsy little shopping street. Most of its merchants open their doors during the festival to offer everything from vintage furniture shopping (at Rabbit Ears) to live local music (at the famous Maple Leaf Bar).
For more information, visit www.poboyfest.com.