Three spots worth the visit.
Deep-fried, pillowy doughnuts served underneath an avalanche of powdered sugar, beignets are as essential to New Orleans cuisine as gumbo and po-boys or red beans and rice. Served in the French Market during the 1920s, the rectangular goodies became popular with visitors who came from every social strata and background. Although there’s confusion over when and how they became referred to as beignets, everyone has an opinion on where to find the best ones.
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Here is where our editors head for the best beignets in New Orleans.
With the lines and circus-like environment under its outdoor awning, deeming Cafe du Monde a tourist trap would be easy. Aside from the fanfare, this institution persists not only because it’s been serving chicory-spike coffee long before the iconic cans showed up in grocery stores, but because the beignets are just as good at 9 a.m. and they are at 3 a.m. after a long night of sazerac sampling. Pro tip: don’t wait in line. Chances are confused tourists have formed three of them at various entrances, but locals know that it’s seat-yourself and a dirty table is fair game.
Away from the hustle of the French Quarter and downtown, Morning Call sits in the serene, junglescape paradise of City Park. The most recent incarnation of the 142-year-old Morning Call beignet stand, which first started serving beignets in the French Market, it’s a peaceful place to enjoy a plate of piping hot, powder-sugar dusted doughnuts with a large iced coffee.
Tucked away on Royal Street, Cafe Beignet's arched shotgun space and courtyard can get crowded, but the eponymous treats are worth waking up early. The beignets here are a little bit more crispy and dusted with a little less powdered sugar, and the perfect size for dunking in a cup of coffee.