The Best Beignets in New Orleans
No visit to New Orleans would be complete without indulging in the time honored tasty tradition of beignets and cafe au lait. Beignets, the French word for “bump”, are deep-fried pastries, normally served piping hot with powdered sugar on top, and are as associated with this region as Mardi Gras is. Most visitors to New Orleans will make the obligatory pilgrimage to Cafe du Monde on Decatur Street in the French Quarter, but there are many other places, both within the French Quarter and without, that serve up these delectable treats in many different variations of sweet and savory. Below is our list of some of these beignet varieties and the places where you can find them. You could also watch this video from GoNola TV on how to make them.
Cafe du Monde – Quite possibly no other place in New Orleans is as well known for its’ beignets, cafe au lait, and chicory (a root of the endive plant which, when ground and added to coffee, adds an almost chocolate-like taste) as Cafe du Monde. Located in the French Market, it is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week, closing only for Christmas and the occasional hurricane. Lines can get long at peak hours, and tables are “seat yourself”, so heed the locals’ advice and sit inside (most visitors are unaware of the indoor seating area, making it easier to snag a table) or visit later in the evening. Please note – Cafe du Monde is cash only. http://www.cafedumonde.com/
- Cafe du Monde 800 Decatur Street New Orleans, LA 70116 (map)
With 2 locations both in the heart of the French Quarter, Cafe Beignet is a favorite among locals, and a visit to one or both is a must. In addition to beignets and au lait, they also offer an extensive breakfast and lunch menu. Read enough reviews, and you will start to realize that there is a rivalry between Cafe Beignet and Cafe du Monde. Many people swear that Cafe Beignet offers the best beignets in New Orleans. Make sure to visit their website – they offer a printable coupon good for one free cafe au lait! http://www.cafebeignet.com/
- The Bourbon St location is open from 8 am – midnight, and offers live jazz in the outdoor courtyard. The Steam Boat Willie Jazz Band, a local favorite, takes the stage nightly starting at 6 p.m. 311 Bourbon St New Orleans, LA 70130 (map)
- The location on Royal St is housed in a renovated 1800s carriage house and is open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily. It features both indoor and courtyard seating and offers a great chance to people watch. 334 Royal Street New Orleans, LA 70130 (map)
Located inside City Park, this is a great alternative for families, who may be looking for a great way to burn off the sugar after indulging in the beignets and au lait offered here – there is a playground adjacent to the restaurant, and Storyland is just a short walk away, so this is a great choice particularly for families with small children. Open 24 hours (so it’s good for night owls as well), Morning Call also offers traditional New Orleans fare, such as jambalaya and gumbo, as well as ice cream and other treats. Morning Call is cash only, but does offer an ATM on site.
New Orleans Coffee and Beignet Co.
Located off St Charles Avenue, in the heart of Uptown, this is a easy stop off the St Charles Streetcar line. Serving pastries, muffins, and other desserts in addition to beignets and au lait, this place is a nice break from the crowds in the French Quarter, and a favorite among locals who live in the area. Order the chocolate beignets and take a relaxing stroll or streetcar ride. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and until 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. http://www.nocbc.com/
- 4141 St Charles Ave New Orleans, LA 70115 (map)
For a truly decadent appetizer or dessert, the sweet potato beignets at SoBou are a must! Located in the heart of the French Quarter, and winner of USA Today’s “10 Best Beignets in New Orleans” (September 2015), SoBou offers an impressive menu and a fabulous Sunday Brunch option. Open 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. – reservations recommended. www.sobounola.com
- 310 Chartres St New Orleans, LA 70130 (map)
Bayona – Located in the French Quarter, Bayona has mastered the art of taking beignets to the next level with two sumptuous offerings smoked salmon beignets, which make a fabulous starter, and their sweet cinnamon banana beignets for dessert. Open for lunch and dinner, as well as a special Saturday Light Lunch, reservations are highly recommended and dress is business casual. The menu does change daily, so a quick call to the restaurant may be a good idea. www.bayona.com
- 430 Dauphine St New Orleans, LA 70112 (map)
Nestled in the Garden District is this quaint 2-story restaurant and bar that specializes in taking Southern Cuisine to a whole new level, including their famous carrot cake beignets. Open for lunch, dinner, and brunch, as well as private parties, reservations are recommended. As they emphasize using local and in-season produce and goods, their menu changes daily. www.coquettenola.com
- 2800 Magazine St New Orleans, LA 70115 (map)
- Please call ahead to inquire, as this beignet is not always on their menu.
Considered one of the best restaurants in New Orleans, Commander’s offers an exquisite menu that varies monthly. If you are fortunate enough to find their spicy wild crawfish tail beignets on the menu, order them. These are a must and a local favorite! Commander’s Palace is open for Lunch Mon – Fri 11:30 – 1:30, Dinner starts at 6:00, and Jazz Brunch is offered on weekends. Business Attire is required, as are reservations. www.commanderspalace.com
- 1403 Washington Ave New Orleans, LA 70130 (map)
La Petite Grocery
Another great gem on Magazine Street, don’t let the name fool you – La Petite Grocery is a full service restaurant and bar, offering lunch, dinner, and brunch. Be sure to order the blue crab beignets, served with malt vinegar aioli, as a great way to start your meal. Your taste buds will thank you! www.lapetitegrocery.com
4238 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (map)
Basin Seafood & Spirits
Located off of Magazine Street, and in the heart of the Garden District’s shopping district, Basin features some of the best seafood dishes in the area, including a very tasty crab and crawfish beignet with remoulade sauce. Open for lunch and dinner, 7 days a week, Basin’s is a great way to enjoy a relaxed meal in a casual atmosphere. basinseafoodnola.com
3222 Magazine St New Orleans, LA 70115 (map)
Bouligny Tavern – This beautiful tavern is nestled warmly right outside the Garden District, and specializes in wine service, cocktails, and small plates. Locals are known to gather here for a great drink and Bouligny’s signature gouda beignets. Open from 4 pm – Midnight, Monday – Thursday, and until 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and is an easy cab ride from the French Quarter. www.boulignytavern.com
- 3641 Magazine St New Orleans 70115 (map)
If you are headed out of town by plane, you will have one last opportunity for tasty beignets – West Beignet offers hot, fresh, made-to-order beignets in Concourse D of the New Orleans International Airport.
Already home, but craving a little taste of New Orleans? Try one of these recommended recipes for homemade beignets: