New Orleans is ‘wild’ city, known for its crazy festivals, Mardi Gras, great seafood and nightlife. It is here that you can find Café Du Monde, a classic coffee shop that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for its only closure on Christmas Day. This place has been open since 1862. Yes folks, that’s 150 years in the business. And all they serve are fried sugared donuts called beignets. For them to be open for 150 years is a staggering feat. Loved by tourists and locals alike, this is another institution that is deeply routed in the New Orleans downtown area.
Beignets in French literally means “bump”. In the USA, beignets are associated with the city of New Orleans where they are served at cafes such as Café du Monde. They are also the official state donut of Louisiana. Made as a pastry formed from deep-fried dough, these treats are much like donuts and come sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, or frostings.
It doesn’t take much to see that this place is a hit. Arriving at 11:30pm at night, I was suprised to see how busy it was. And from what I hear, it’s busy around the clock, everyday of the year. That’s amazing if you consider they only have a couple menu items, printed right on their napkin dispensers. You choose how many beignets you want, and then select a drink!
The ambience of the place is really something to behold. All the servers are dressed the same, wearing the same Café Du Monde caps. The workers tend to take shifts and you can often see big groups of them on a break, but I’m not sure how, as the place is always packed full of people to serve!
If you walk around the building you can see how these treats are made. A guy prepares the dough and throws it over his shoulder into the fryer! As there is a constant flow of customers here for the beignets, you can be assured your order of beignets come super fresh, right out of the fryer.
It’s no secret, upon looking at the photos, that this place must be one of New Orleans biggest consumers of powdered sugar! Personally, I don’t care for a lot of sugar, so I found myself dusting off all the excess sugar to enjoy the donut itself. I found the donuts pretty light despite their deep fried genesis.
The Café Au Lait was just average. It wasn’t anything special, and personally I think most coffee shops would have comparable coffee.
I would say that if you are going to New Orleans, this place is worth stopping by for sure, just simply for the atmosphere and the sheer number of people. It’s an institution, an attraction, a classic. Just be prepared for loads of powdered sugar.
After the beignets, there’s plenty of places to walk around in the French Quarter. This picture was taken just around the corner, along the river.
Overall:Classic New Orleans beignets, this place has been around since the 1860s. Loaded with plenty of powdered sugar, these treats are perfect after hours of partying or for any occasion you're craving for a sweet treat. A perfect spot for people watching too!
Ambiance: 2.5 (it was awfully dirty when we got there late night)
*Our scoring system is out of 5. With 5 being the highest score.