Travel

New Orleans Specialty

Specialty neighborhood
Café Beignet
334-B Royal St. & 311 Bourbon St., French Quarter
Come to this French Quarter standby for the beignets (they’re slightly crispier and less doughy than others in town), and stay for the classic Cajun breakfast and lunch. Crawfish omelets, roast beef po-boys, and jambalaya are served on paper plates but easily rival their fancy restaurant counterparts when it comes to taste. There are two locations, one on Royal Street and a second on Bourbon Street. The latter is famous for daily, live jazz shows and the impromptu dance parties they incite.
Café du Monde
800 Decatur St., French Quarter
Café du Monde is one of those special places that totally lives up to the hype: The beignets (a powdered sugar-dusted cross between a fritter and a donut) have been made the same way since 1862—when the café first opened—and are best enjoyed with a cup of chicory café au Lait (the flavor has a hint of chocolate and is especially smooth). Smaller outposts are sprinkled throughout New Orleans, but first-timers should really make it a point to stop by the original French Market café, which is open 24/7 and has a partially exposed kitchen so patrons—kids in particular love this—can watch their beignets being made from scratch. Grab a seat in the cafe to avoid the line.
District Donuts & Sliders
2209 Magazine St., Garden District
Add this cool little spot to the lengthy list of reasons to spend an afternoon traversing Magazine Street. While the rotating roster of from-scratch donuts (everything from classic glazed to slightly out-there savory, bacon-topped versions) is the obvious draw, it’s the small-batch coffee (cold brews are available on tap—yes, really—or in giant glass jugs to take home) that has folks flocking here in droves. And it’s not all carbs and caffeine either: The seasonal slider selection (pulled pork, fried chicken, shrimp Rangoon), which goes into effect at 11 am daily, is pretty impressive.
Drip Affogato Bar
703 Carondelet St., Warehouse District
While most of us are familiar with affogato—the Italian pick-me-up of ice cream “drowned” in hot espresso—we’ve never encountered a café solely dedicated to this one thing. The flavor combinations here are endless, though we especially love the bananas Foster, the tiramisu, and the matcha (but you can’t go wrong with the classic vanilla-and-espresso combination). Ice cream aside, the coffee holds its own. Skip dessert at whatever restaurant you’re eating dinner at and come here.
Fat Boy Pantry
1302 Magazine St., Lower Garden District
Fat Boy Pantry curates everything we ever want to eat under one roof…in sandwich form. Ice cream (served in sweet buns), fried oysters, and ground lamb all get sandwiched between two carb-y slabs. The clean, all-white décor, La Marzocco coffee machine, and scoops of homemade ice cream all contribute to the modern soda fountain feel. Come for breakfast, come for lunch, come for dessert—the juice is always fresh, and the vibe fun.
French Truck Coffee
1200 Magazine St., Lower Garden District
Each location of French Truck—there are three, though the Uptown outpost is our favorite—is wonderfully cheerful, decked out in bright shades of yellow and blue. The coffee is directly sourced from farms throughout Africa and South America, the fresh beans are roasted in small batches for better flavor, and the milk comes from a local dairy. Every detail of the experience is carefully considered. Pick up a few bags of beans to stash in your freezer on the way out—it makes a great memento of your trip.
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