A delicacy in New Orleans, oysters have found a special place in the hearts of locals, visitors and foodies around the world. As the city has some of the best seafood in the world, it’s no surprise that New Orleans is also home to some of the best oysters and oyster dishes. Test your palate on some of this year’s New Orleans Oyster Festival favorites while enjoying the beautiful—but hot—New Orleans summer weather this weekend, June 1st and 2nd.
Oysters are obviously the star of the show, and they are prepared in both traditional and unique ways. You’ll always be able to find classics like oysters on the half shell, fried and BBQ oyster po-boys, charbroiled oysters and oyster dressing. But there are also new and inventive ways local restaurants have explored to highlight the distinct qualities of this inimitable seafood. Antoine’s has Oyster, Scallops and Petit Pois Pears over Garlic Cheese Grits, Elizabeth’s has Oyster Fois Gras, Grand Isle has Oyster Gazpacho Shooters, Royal House has Oyster Pastries and GW Fins has an Oyster Cocktail Veracruz. The possibilities are endless—if you love oysters, you’ll have your fill of options.
But the fun doesn’t stop at the food. Like any other New Orleans festival, Oyster Fest will feature one stage of performers from 10:30am to 6:30pm both days of the fest. You can find the Stooges Brass Band and Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs on Saturday and Brass-A-Holics and the Revivalists on Sunday.
And finally, there are also quintessential oyster contests that cannot be forgotten. On Saturday is the P&J Shucking Contest where oyster shuckers go head to head to see who can be the fastest and cleanest (without slicing up their hands). Sunday is the Acme Oyster House Oyster Eating Contest where you’ll find a dozen major league oyster lovers stuffing their faces with shellfish—dozens a minute! And the New Orleans Fish House presents the Largest Oyster Contest featuring farmers from throughout the state whose prized oysters will be judged for length, height and weight.
Don’t miss this year’s New Orleans Oyster Festival, and be sure to come hungry!