No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Cafe du Monde.
Originally opened in 1862 and located on Decatur Street in the heart of New Orlean’s French Quarter, the city’s infamous coffee shop is best known for its epic lineups where food fans eagerly wait for authentic cafe au lait and French-style beignets.
The day of my visit I arrived shortly after 9am to find a lengthy line-up which snaked down the street towards Jackson Square. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day and rarely ever offers guests a quick grab and go experience so be prepared to wait patiently. Enjoy the local buskers who entertain the cafe crowd with live jazz and magic tricks…it’s all part of the experience!
The French originally brought coffee with them to the US as they began to settle the Mississippi, developing a chicory style of coffee during the civil war which adds an almost chocolate flavour to du Monde’s famous cafe au lait. And we can thank the Acadians from Nova Scotia for bringing their beignet recipe to Louisiana in the 17th century. Unlike most doughnuts, beignets are squared pieces of dough with no hole, fried and covered in icing sugar. Crispy on the outside and light and fluffy in the inside. A bundle of sweet heaven in your mouth (perfect for dunking into your coffee).
Once inside Cafe du Monde’s busy-as-a-beehive dining room one can see a thin coat of powdered sugar, everywhere. Each order includes a pyramid of three beignets served on a wee plate which arrives at the table covered in a mountain of sugar. A quick breakfast at du Monde is the perfect way to start off the day, a sweet tooth’s finger-licking-good time.