Beignets... the light, fluffy and oh-so-crispy dessert is as much a part of New Orleans's history as Jackson Square. In New Orleans, donuts take the back seat and beignets come front and center as the city's favorite treat. Here is our list of the top five spots to grab the doughy delight in NOLA:
Café Du Monde (800 Decatur St.)
There are several Café Du Monde locations around the city, but none of them quite have the charm of the Decatur Street location. A one of a kind place steeped in local tradition that makes any trip to NOLA incomplete without a visit. Plan ahead - the lines tend to be very long, but the beignets are definitely worth the wait.
Tip: It's right across the street from Jackson Square so it's perfect for people watching as you wait for a seat.
Café Beignet (Various Locations)
Located in the heart of Bourbon Street (as well as two other locations in the Quarter), this spot has all of the French Quarter charms without any of the madness. Known for its relaxing atmosphere and live music, it's a great place to grab a beignet and coffee without having the long lines of Café Du Monde.
Tip: Come early (before it gets too hot) and enjoy a quiet breakfast on its cute patio.
Restaurant R'evolution (777 Bienville St.)
Not a sweets person? Well, how about a savory Beer Battered Crab Beignet from this iconic NOLA restaurant. The dish comes with four light and fluffy beignets stuffed with crab and four different remoulades (sauces). The dish is superb and decadent as is the rest of the food on the menu. You'll leave the spot full and anxious to come back.
Tip: Sit at the bar and try one of the cocktails from one of their world-renowned mixologists.
Coquette (2800 Magazine St.)
If the rest of the list doesn't have your mouth watering, then how about Coquette's Carrot Cake Beignets with Bavarian cream cheese, Pedro ximénez, and pecans. Considered to be one of the hottest restaurants in New Orleans, this trendy spot is located on Magazine Street, which is perfect for strolling and window watching.
Tip: Go for the three-course lunch, which will leave your stomach and your wallet happy.
Atchafalaya Restaurant (901 Louisiana Ave.)
For another savory take on the beignet head over to Atchafalaya in Irish Channel. They offer a boudin and crawfish stuffed beignet, a Cajun take on the New Orleans classic. It comes with pepper jelly, hot mustard, petite greens, and sweet pickles.
Tip: It's a stone's throw from Magazine Street, which means it's a great place to cap off yet another window-shopping spree.
Bouligny Tavern (3641 Magazine St.)
If you're in the market for a nice cocktail and a couple beignets, look no further than Bouligny on Magazine Street. They offer a unique gouda beignet, along with other upscale small plate options, such as beef marrow, pork rillettes, blue crab claws, and, of course, caviar.
Tip: I'd ask your server which wine, beer, or cocktail to pair with your order of beignets; their selection is vast and there must be one that's tailor-made.
Loretta's Authentic Pralines (2101 N. Rampart St. & 1100 N Peters St., Ste. 17)
This Marigny stop is one of the more avant-garde options on this list. Loretta's sells four types of beignet: the traditional, the praline, the crab, and the burger. Yes, that's right, a burger with beignet buns. Comes fully dressed.
Tip: My advice, bring a few friends and get one of each to share. It's too intriguing to not try them all.
LUCA eats (7329 Cohn St.)
What's better than a beignet? Luca eats takes it up a notch with their Oreo beignet, reserved only for the meanest of sweet tooths. It's basically a take on the fried Oreo with a beignet twist, that's what's better than a beignet.
Tip: Get the burger beignet from Loretta's for dinner and the Oreo beignet from Luca's for dessert.
Katie's Restaurant & Bar (3701 Iberville St.)
Lastly, we have Katie's crawfish beignet. Adding to our list of classics, innovations, adaptations, Katie's offers a spicy crawfish beignet, complete with jalapeño, onion, cheddar, mozzarella, and a jalapeño aioli. Also, try the Seafood beignet, which has crawfish, crabmeat, and shrimp along with the ingredients found in the crawfish beignet.
Tip: If you're still in the mood for something sweet after that savory beignet, be sure to order Katie's house-made white chocolate bread pudding for dessert!