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Food, USA

Cafe du Monde: A Must Eat Experience in New Orleans – sugar coated beignets

A Must Eat Experience in New Orleans – sugar coated beignets at Cafe du Monde

Beignets, dusted in icing sugar, at Cafe du Monde, new Orleans

My trip to New Orleans came about at the last minute.  We are talking less than 48 hours from buying my flight to touching down in party central.  Needless to say, I immediately turned to social media to find out what I had to do on this trip!  Everyone said that I had to go to Cafe du Monde for their beignets!  It is considered a New Orleans icon!

Cafe du Monde reviews

Words like melt in your mouth, little pillows of heaven, coffee shop on steroids and a number of “must try”s from multiple people meant that I would be finding my way to Cafe du Monde on Decatur St during my stay.  I had visions of going for a morning run along the River Walk before indulging in a serving of deep fried goodness covered in powdery icing sugar.  Well…that never happened.  The place was packed.  Every time I went by, I looked in to see people everywhere….the wait staff quickly scurrying between delivering the beignets and clearing the plates.  I thought I could just pick a different time of day and it would quiet down.  I don’t think it ever does.

Crowds gather at the Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans

The French Quarter Cafe du Monde is open 24/7, however there is a total of eight locations to make sure you get your fix!  Regardless of all the choice and mixed reviews on service, I still had my heart set on the Decatur St location.  Opened in 1862, it is the original coffee stand and is right in the heart of all of the New Orleans action.  Roving jazz bands could be found serenading the crowds and not once did I see it anything less than packed.

waitress at the Cafe du Monde, New Orleans

I finally made my way over after a couple days in town.  Once again, the line outside the cafe was huge and momentarily, I was worried.  Would I get in?  Turns out, it wasn’t a problem at all.  I went straight in, found a table full of empty plates covered in icing sugar and sat right down.  They are not a please wait to be seated venue…just come on in and find a seat.

Eating beignets at Cafe du Monde

I have read a number of people’s complaints about the cleanliness of the place, but I really have to say – I didn’t see a problem.  A waitress came over right away and cleared my table, wiping down the icing sugar and taking my order.  Before I was even ready with my camera, my plate of beignets arrived.  It was faster than I ever would have guessed, especially given the crowds.

The beignets were everything I expected and more.  They were still warm and the icing sugar practically melted in my mouth as I dove in!  I had no problem devouring my plate of 3 squares.  A stop at the Cafe du Monde is a must do on the New Orleans Bucket List - there is a reason it has become so touristy!  I promised myself at least one more visit before I left…they were really that good!

servers at the Cafe du Monde, New Orleans

A little background on the beignets.

Beignets are square, French style doughnuts, generously covered in silky icing sugar. They are the official state doughnut of Louisiana (I didn’t even know states had an official donut!)  The ties between New Orleans and Canada are many, and the beignets are no exception.  In the 17th century, French settlers brought the beignets to the eastern coast of Canada, a region also known as Acadia.  The migration south of many of the descendants of these people is what brought this delicacy to Louisiana.

Beignet tips:

  • Bring the flavour of New Orleans home – the beignet mix is available at the cafe and gift shops around town!  The best price is at the take out window at the coffee shop
  • Don’t wear black.  Chances are, there will be a little icing sugar snowstorm to contend with.
  • Cash only – you don’t want to be caught out.  How embarrassing.
  • The standard order is the beignets and a cafe au lait.  You’ll get 3 beignets per order and you are not likely to want to share.
  • As a non coffee drinker,  I was out of luck – there was no tea on offer, however they do have decaf coffee, soft drinks, milk and OJ.  For hot summer days, they also have iced coffee on offer.

Beignet Mix - Cafe du Monde

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!

Discussion

39 thoughts on “Cafe du Monde: A Must Eat Experience in New Orleans – sugar coated beignets

  1. I remember going there once around 1 am, and it was packed then. I love beignets! Did you buy any at a shop? I love how they put them in the paper bag with powdered sugar and then shake it so the sugar sticks.

    Posted by Margaret | April 10, 2013, 10:10 am
    • Love them too! I had them in the cafe and brought home a box of mix to have at home! The mix is good…but the experience in the cafe was better! There was such a buzz about the place. Will be going back when I go back to New Orleans. No doubt about it.

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 10, 2013, 12:17 pm
  2. HI Anita
    I just saw this on tv this week and we were thinking that when we are in New Orleans, we are so eating a whole plate of this. I see from your review that you had a great time!

    Posted by Michelle | April 10, 2013, 10:15 am
  3. The expression on their faces is priceless lol
    What yummies! :)

    Posted by andy1076 | April 10, 2013, 10:52 am
  4. I am so jealous right now – love those – like bliss with powdered sugar! Have a Great Day:)

    Posted by cravesadventure | April 10, 2013, 11:26 am
  5. I just fell in love with New Orleans this last visit. I am glad you insisted on the Decatur Street one as the atmosphere can’t be matched!

    Posted by jodysjourneys | April 10, 2013, 1:44 pm
    • Couldn’t agree more! Loved the energy at the Decatur St cafe…everyone was laughing, smiling – it was loads of fun! People were passing around cameras and taking eachothers photos…I have to say thanks to the anonymous person who took my photo for me! It was a fun outing!

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 11, 2013, 9:31 am
  6. I agree 100% and now my mouth is watering, thinking about those delicious beignets! You are right that tourists wait in line forever, when in reality you just walk in and sit down. When we were in New Orleans for a week last summer, I think we went to Cafe Du Monde 5 times!

    It really isn’t very busy at 3 or 4 in the morning. There are still people there, but you have more than your pick of tables. It’s a great way to end a night of drinking on Bourbon St!

    Posted by wanderoneday | April 10, 2013, 1:50 pm
    • I don’t remember where I read that you didn’t need to wait to be seated, but I am so glad I did. I found an empty table covered in sugar powdered plates and empty coffee cups, and it was only a moment before someone came to clean my table and take my order! I would have been standing outside for ages otherwise – so many people were dong just that! It pays to be in the know!

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 11, 2013, 9:35 am
  7. They sound just delicious – wonder if I can get these in the UK?

    Posted by The Travelbunny | April 10, 2013, 2:34 pm
  8. Only time I’ve been here and there not been a wait was 3 a.m. on a Tuesday in mid-December. I’ve been many times and it’s almost always packed. But that December night, we walked right in and there were plenty of empty tables. It’s good stuff!

    Posted by tripsbylance | April 10, 2013, 2:45 pm
  9. well written review Anita… got me craving them badly and I’m not that much into sweets!! I want to try them :)

    Posted by Bashar A. | April 10, 2013, 4:01 pm
    • Thanks Bashar…it was a tough review to write! I had to stop and make myself a batch because just thinking about them created a giant beignet craving!!! :) I couldn’t concentrate until I had a plate of fluffy goodness in front of me.

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 11, 2013, 9:41 am
  10. Sounds like a place I should check when I plan a trip to NOLA!

    Posted by flaneriefeminine | April 11, 2013, 2:16 am
  11. They are so delicious – one of the highlights of my trip there!

    Posted by megtraveling | April 11, 2013, 9:55 am
  12. Anita, You are to be complimented on such a wonderful photograph of the young couple…very engaging and fun!

    Posted by Michael Doran | April 11, 2013, 12:17 pm
  13. its like Beaver Tails of Montreal

    Posted by larkycanuck | April 11, 2013, 1:44 pm
  14. I wonder if they have gluten-free versions of the beignets? They sound divine!

    Posted by Tricia A. Mitchell | April 14, 2013, 6:16 am
    • That’s a good question. Somehow, I don’t think they do. I am guessing you would have to only partake in their cafe au laid. Same could be said for diabetics….there is enough sugar in there to wreak havoc.

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 14, 2013, 7:36 am
  15. How funny – I wrote about New Orleans and a stop at Cafe du Monde this week also. I didn’t stop to make beignets though…just doesn’t live up to the real thing. :( Truly, one of my Happy Places! Can’t wait to get back for a dose.

    Posted by RobRob | April 16, 2013, 6:30 pm
  16. Love your post! These beignets are the best and if you can’t make it to NOLA, the mix will certainly do at home!

    Posted by Sweet Tooth Travels | April 26, 2013, 7:32 pm
  17. Hey Anita
    I was thinking of New Orleans – do you think visiting in December is a good idea or will it be overcrowded?

    Posted by Michelle | June 7, 2013, 12:55 pm
    • I can’t imagine a time when New Orleans isn’t busy – but then again, that might be part of their appeal. I was there for St Patrick’s Day weekend, which also coincided with spring break. Even though the city was full, I didn’t feel over crowed. I would just recommend having a room booked before you go. I managed to get a room with only a days notice, but if you have your heart set on something particular, you may want to have it pre-booked. I am sure New Orleans in December would be awesome. Have a great time!

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 7, 2013, 3:34 pm

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