Beignets and Coffee Please: The Taste of New Orleans
It's no secret that if you go to New Orleans you should stop at Cafe Du Monde. They only make two things: beignets—a fried dough with powdered sugar, and coffee with chicory hints. When a menu has only two items and the tables are always full with a line out the door, then you know that they are doing those two things right. Do yourself a favor and don't miss this classic taste of New Orleans. I mapped this highlight to the original location that I visited, but there are other locations found on their webpage below.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
A New Orleans Classic
Cafe du Monde is a touristy but necessary stop for anyone who has never been to New Orleans--and for anyone who has. What to order: Cafe au lait and an order of powdered sugar-coated beignets. Don't even think about sharing.
You can find delicious doughnuts in hole-in-the-wall shops around the world (think Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland and even your local hot-and-ready Krispy Kreme), but there is just something special about the french beignets served with a piping hot cup of chicory coffee on the edge of New Orleans's French Quarter. Just make sure to finish your order off before the local pigeons make a lunch of your leftovers.
Beignets at Cafe du Monde is a must for any visit to New Orleans. The original cafe,located near the French Market, has been operating since 1862 and is known for two things – beignets (square doughnuts covered in powdered sugar), and coffee laced with chicory (served black or au lait). Lines can be long in the morning but you can get your beignet fix to go. A better bet is to head to Cafe du Monde in the afternoon or evening, grab a table and enjoy your bites of fried, airy deliciousness with a view of Jackson Square.
I couldn’t come to New Orleans without having beignets. Most people head to Café Du Monde for their beignet fix and chicory coffee, but I didn’t want to wait in a line. So instead as I was walking back from Frenchman Street at 1:30 in the morning – I was surprised and delighted to find Café Du Monde open! There was no wait – and I was sitting eating my beignets within 3 minutes from walking in the café!
Cafe du Monde is a classic tourist destination that serves top quality food, a combination that's rare in any city. Even if you normally avoid tourist destinations, make an exception for this place. Don't be put off by the long lines and crowded patio, put yourself into N'Awlins time and kick back. Everything takes as long as it takes. The chickory coffee comes with or without milk (order it with), the beignets come buried in powdered sugar ("dusting" isn't a word they understand in NOLA) and the whole experience gives you a chance to sit down, take a break from the heat and eat fresh hot donuts. What's not to love?
Since 1862, Cafe Du Monde French Market Coffee Stand has been churning out beignets as fast as the customers can devour them. Chances are you will have to wait in a considerable line to sit down at a table in their large outdoor cafe, but when you bite into one of the three squares of dough, fried in cottonseed oil and buried in mountains of sweet powered sugar, you will understand why. Combined with a fresh iced coffee, it's the perfect refueling stop either before or after a stroll along the Mississippi River, only a block away.
I have yet to see Cafe du Monde calm. Open 24 hours with waiters constantly on hand this place is perfect for some very entertaining people watching. Sit near the edge of Decatur and have young trumpet players lean in over the railing to serenade your table... or sit in the middle of the courtyard to zone out listening to the din of dozens of masticating and chatting tourists. Beignets: a must. Cafe au lait: Okay!
There is something so pleasing about the whole experience at Cafe DuMonde. The brass band street music, the striped awning with golden lights, the old timey feel of a place drenched in culture and history. The fact that they NEVER CLOSE yep they're open 24 hours 7 days a week, only closing their doors on X-mas day. Oh yeah and these tasty little dream pillows called Beignets. Little hot puffy French donuts that are quite a treat with your coffee that's half chicory root, or a cafe au lait. The Beignet pronounced (Ben ya) were brought to Louisiana in the 18th century by French colonists and later became a large part of the Creole cooking. Also in Creole cooking, they are made in different variations, savory, or stuffed with plantains, or meats, vegetables, or fruits. That sounds delicious and the reason why I bought a box of the mix. I am attempting to make a savory version, maybe with some collard greens, or a market fresh fruit reduction. However nothing beets enjoying the warm New Orleans night breeze, a cafe au lait, beignets and of course good conversation at Cafe DuMonde.
New Orleans may not have been my favorite city to visit, but as you can see it is amazing to photograph from the characters on the streets to the beautiful colors that decorate the city. We took some time to walk around the French Quarter with a stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets and the rest just 'observing'. I can see the appeal of New Orleans to some, but for me, I'm happy to say I've experienced it and have no desire to experience it a second time.
We did have a pretty great dinner at a little wacky spot called Jacques-imos. It is outside the busyness of the French Quarter, but if you don't get there early enough, you will wait. With no lack of color or decoration here, you will have the "real Nawlins" experience. I had seen this place on 'Unique Eats' and the one thing to try...Alligator and Shrimp Cheesecake. Now, when it comes to food, I like to consider myself pretty adventurous and willing to try anything at least once, but I think even to the normal person, that sounds like something you would have to try. This was my first real time trying New Orleans food, but I would say our meal encompassed those tastes completely. Definitely a must go for a real taste of the city!