Everybody wants to try a beignet here and rightly so. Café Du Monde is large and open 24 hrs so there really is no excuse. But be warned - three beignets are enough for two - we bought three more to take home and eat later. Still good, but not the same. In April 2013, two café au laits and six beignets cost under $12.
Great place to people watch - especially the "Leaving ritual" - stand up and proceed to rub yourself down, generating a cloud of powdered sugar that envelopes those around you. Wear white !
I wouldn't consider a trip to New Orleans complete without a visit to the Cafe du Monde. It's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, closed only on Christmas and during hurricanes, so it's a great place to get a late night snack.
I've heard that they sell sandwiches here, but I've never seen anyone order one! Everyone comes for the beignets and the cafe au lait, which is made with chicory coffee.
It's a great place to sit outside and people-watch at any time of the day.
Only two caveats:
1) Don't go on Sunday morning -- there's always a huge line,
2) Be prepared to leave with powdered sugar all over your clothes! The best way to avoid "leaving white" is by eating the beignets over the brick floor.
Related story: A young man I know, who grew up in a suburb of New Orleans, said that he and his buddies used to sneak out at night and go into the city to hang out. His mother, however, noticed the powdered sugar on his clothes the next day, and he was grounded. :) The moral of the story, as he told it: When you're sneaking out to go to the Cafe du Monde, don't wear dark clothing.
Favorite Dish: Cafe du Monde is famous for its beignets -- BEN-yays -- which are small rectangular pieces of fried dough, served warm and dusted with powdered sugar. They come three to a plate. Even those who are not fond of doughnuts like beignets.
At the eastern corner of Jackson Square, you will find the famous Café du Monde. A must experience for visitors to New Orleans, though it can get pretty crowded here. You can also find their Coffee and Chicory blend to purchase in many shops and stores in the French Quarter, New Orleans as well as all over the U.S.
Favorite Dish: French-style beignets are excellent, though probably not the most healthy for you.
Cafe du Monde is one of the most famous and popular must-do's in New Orleans. Located right at the edge of Jackson Square, this local bakery/coffee shop is always hopping. It's hard to resist stopping here every time you hit the French Quarter. It's crowded and noisy with tiny birds hopping around the patios looking for dropped morsels and getting covered in icing sugar in the process, but the servers are fast and efficient at keeping everyone happy. It's a great location for people watching and taking a break from walking around exploring the neighbourhood.
Favorite Dish: Definitely their flagship item is the beignets! Round donuts served in sets of 3 and covered in icing sugar. They are served hot out of the oil and are positively addictive. If you're a coffee drinker as well then you'll need to have a cafe au lait which is likely their second most popular menu item.
Stopped here for the usual coffee and doughnuts---great coffee and good donuts---MMMM, donuts.
Very busy and crowded most of the time----we sat and got served pretty quick...long line for takeout...
Favorite Dish: black coffee
Right on the edge of the French Quarter rests this very famous little cafe. A great place to just sit and relax for dessert, or just to watch the world go by. Grab a table, and there are little menus there which discuss the offerings. Make sure you know what you want, because this place is bustling, and once your order is taken, you may not see a waitress again. The order of the day, of course is the beignets - for $2.50 you get three of the french donuts, doused in powdered sugar. They are light and delicious! I also noticed that the "to-go" window line was packed and much slower than just grabbing a table, so if you aren't in a hurry - table service is definitely your best bet.
A wonderful place to sit and sip while relaxing your aching toes from a day of touring or a night of debauching.
The latte with it's chickory is a delight. The beignets are a soft sugared donut like creation.
Favorite Dish: Latte
Still on our quest to sample most - or if possible all - of the local food available in New Orleans, we made the obligatory stop at Cafe du Monde. This little coffee place has been around since 1862, and they're mostly known for their "beignets". "Beignets" is the French translation of doughnuts, but I've never come across anything like it in French cuisine. In fact, the recipe was brought to New Orleans by Acadians (later to be known as Cajuns in the U.S.), and I'd describe it as fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar (and in case you're wondering why they give you a small glass of water, it's actually so you can wash the sugar off your fingers once you're done eating!). I'd be scared to find out how much fat these little square pastries hold a piece, but this is definitely the kind of food you need to enjoy without thinking about calories. You can get an order (3) of beignets for $2.50, and to go with it Cafe du Monde serves fresh orange juice, regular or chocolate milk, or their famous cafe au lait. That's all there is on the menu but really, what else would you want?!
Cafe du Monde is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except on Christmas Day).
Favorite Dish: We tried beignets at a couple more locations in New Orleans but quite honestly, my favourite ones were at Cafe du Monde.
...and doughnuts are not even their specialty. Opened in the French Market (now more commonly known as the French Quarter) in 1862 this is America's oldest doughnut destination. On Decatur Street it is just steps from Jackson Square. Today the French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans entertainment and partying but in 1862 (the second year of the US Civil War) the French Market was the creme de la creme of New Orleans shopping centers.
Cafe du Monde has a unique atmosphere of pandemonium and enjoying a relaxing homage to your sweet tooth. There are about 100 tables and it is not entirely unusual to feel that you are being hovered over as you eat your beignets. The noise level is probably the worst aspect of this place as it can get quite raucous but there will also be people reading papers while sipping their coffee and/or carrying on very deep conversations.
Cafe du Monde is open 24 x 7, it is an official New Orleans Landmark (complete with Historical Marker), and the beignet was officially named the state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986.
Favorite Dish: Their menu is basically coffee, milk, and beignets (pron. ben-YAYs). Beignets are square, puffy and very light fried dough, thus the reference to doughnuts. The word "beignet," though effectively co-opted by the beautiful French language was originally a Celtic word which meant "to raise" but in France it means "fritter." At Cafe du Monde, the standard order is three beignets with, or without, powdered sugar. Texans like to refer to beignets as "mini-funnel cakes." There is considerable controversy as to haw they came to be a New Orleans delicacy but the two most popular theories seem to be that they were either brought down the Mississippi River by French-Canadian traders or that they were brought by a group of Ursuline nuns who migrated from France in 1727.
I've been to New Orleans several times and each time I have to make an early morning walk along the river with Café du Monde as my destination. The beignets are wonderful and always fresh and hot when you get them. I'm not a coffee drinker so what I do is get an order to go. I have never had to wait for my order that way. I just stand at the window, pay and am on my way. I find a bench in a nice spot and enjoy! It's a nice experience watching New Orleans wake up. Just make sure you take some napkins with you! Like others have said it's a must when visiting New Orleans.
Favorite Dish: The beignets of course!!
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