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.

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