French Quarter Specialty
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.
622 Conti St., French Quarter
The macaron craze sweeping the nation is undeniably best represented in New Orleans by Sucre, a burgeoning local chainlet that turns them out in every conceivable shade and color. They haven't abandoned their local heritage, though, because they also do a mean King Cake, made from Creole cream cheese and Danish pastry. If you need more of an incentive to stop by, little ones go nuts for their gelato, and they make great coffee. There's also a location in the Garden District.
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