Cafe Du Monde beignet and latteThe original Café Du Monde Coffee Stand is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, snugly situated between historic Jackson Square and its adjacent row of Decatur Street restaurants on one side and the Mississippi River on the other (see map below). On the dark, rainy day when I recently visited, Café Du Monde reminded me of the cafe Hemingway wrote of in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. The large main seating area has no walls, but is covered overhead and well-lit and warm. There is one small indoor dining room that is even warmer because it shares space with the busy kitchen. But instead of glasses of brandy served on saucers that Hemingway wrote of, Café Du Monde offers the classic New Orleans combination of café au lait and a plate of three (always three) beignets dusted with powdered sugar.

When visiting New Orleans, sampling beignets around the city is as common a pastime as comparing Hurricanes and Pain Killers in the bars along Bourbon Street. Ask a local or try them yourself, the conclusion will be the same: Café Du Monde serves some of the best beignets in town. Opinions vary on what makes a beignet good, though it is basically just a square of fried dough covered in powdered sugar. Some like them a little thick and doughy, others prefer light and flaky. You might even find them with fruit or creme fillings. Café Du Monde has been making beignets on Decatur Street since 1862 and appears to have found the most widely-loved recipe – very simple, light and flavorful. Definitely the best of the three or four I tried on this trip.

The are now eight other Café Du Monde locations in the area. The original on Decatur Street is a favorite with the all-night crowd, open 24 hours every day except Christmas and located just three blocks from Bourbon Street. Stop in on your next New Orleans adventure.

Cafe Du Monde

800 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116