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Where to find the best beignets in New Orleans

The best beignets in New Orleans are sweet, fluffy treats piled high with powdered sugar

Written by
Gerrish Lopez
Contributor
Jenny Peters
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Stroll down the top of Decatur Street in the French Quarter and you will likely see trails of white powder dusting the sidewalk. Baby powder? Hmm. Snow? Definitely not. It's sweet, sweet powdered sugar. No visit to New Orleans is complete unless one of your outfits is covered in the stuff. The beignet — a puffy, square doughnut that’s deep fried and piled high with powdered sugar — is a beloved New Orleans treat. Locals are loyal to their favorite spots, but the best beignets in New Orleans all offer the same thing: hot, chewy, sugary beignets, perfectly paired with a cafe au lait.

As iconic as the beignet itself, the green and white awning of Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter is equally iconic. Most visitors make a beeline here (it’s open 24 hours!) for an order of three and a cafe au lait, and are greatly rewarded, but there are plenty of other notable beignet spots around the city. Most serve up the treat in its standard form, while some offer variations of both the sweet and savory variety. Blue crab beignets, anyone?

A beignet can be the perfect finish to an fabulous meal at a top New Orleans restaurant, a surprisingly good cocktail pairing at a bar, or a hearty dish that offers sustenance to fuel a day of tackling all the amazing things there are to do in New Orleans. Here’s where to find the best beignets in New Orleans, and we won't hold it against you if you manage to get out there and try them all.

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Best beignets in New Orleans

Grabbing a table at Cafe du Monde for an order of these fluffy, square doughnuts piled high with powdered sugar is a must for any visitor. (Locals are fans, too.) It’s easy to fit into any schedule as the flagship French Quarter location stays open 24/7 (the City Park location is another pleasant spot to enjoy, surrounded by beautiful oak trees). Don’t forget to try a cafe au lait, and remember to peek into the back kitchen window to see where the magic happens.

Morning Call is another classic beignet stand with a long history (150+ years!) that also got its start in the French Quarter. Now located in Mid City on Canal Boulevard, the stand maintains its eclectic charm, serving up piping hot beignets and strong chicory coffee. Stop by on a weekend for live music.

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Cafe Beignet has been doing beignets proud since 1990, taking the Cafe du Monde model and ramping it way up. They do three beignets to a serving and chicory coffee extremely well, but that's only the beginning. At any of their three locations in the French Quarter, you'll find omelettes, waffles, po'boys, jambalaya, gumbo and a full cocktail menu, often accompanied by live jazz from afternoon until closing.

The Vintage on Magazine Street serves beignets (and more) all day long. Pair the pillowy delicacies with seriously good coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine or bubbly (whether cava or a splurge-worthy Veuve Cliquot) at night. Here you'll find  beignets of the elevated and ever-changing variety, which can mean s'mores beignets on one visit, king cake or matcha beignets on another. To put it another way, you'll want to stop by again and again to try them all.

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Along lovely St. Charles Avenue sits New Orleans Coffee & Beignet Co., a little bakery café that fries up not only traditional beignets, but also chocolate ones. Choose your favorite and pair it with one of the many coffee choices, or go for extreme decadence and enjoy a frozen creme caramel coffee (just pretend there are no calories in it): a sugary, slushy quaff perfect for those hot NOLA summer days.

To get a taste of chef Justin Devillier's blue crab beignets, one of the unique creations that have helped propel him to James Beard award fame, we'd advise making a reservation. Lunch is an easier time to grab a table, but no matter when you visit, the luscious combo of crab, pastry and a malt vinegar aioli will make you beg for more.

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Loretta Harrison began her praline company more than 35 years ago with her decadent French Quarter sweet shop and, nowadays, she's also serving beignets for breakfast and lunch at her café on North Rampart in the Marigny. And while she's happy to serve you the traditional sweet three-on-a-plate beignets, you really need to try her praline-filled beignets as well. For a savory option, sample the crab beignet.

Restaurant R'evolution has been doing everything right since it opened inside the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter in 2012. Under the helm of chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto, this fine-dining outpost offers delicately fried, beer-battered crab beignets as an appetizer at lunch or dinner, served with four deliciously different rémoulades for dipping. You won't find sweet beignets here, but if you're still hungry by dessert, go for the dark chocolate cremeux.

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SoBou is part of NOLA culinary history, a place created by different branches of the Brennan family, New Orleans' dynasty of wonderful food. When it comes to beignets, they are taking it to a whole new level: dig into the duck-and-sweet-potato beignets, topped with a chicory coffee ganache; once you dip them into the foie gras fondue and take a bite, you may just realize you've died and gone to foodie heaven.

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Luca Eats, a café in the Carrollton neighborhood, is known for its pressed sandwiches, like apples and brie for breakfast and the popular Cubano for lunch. No matter when you stop in, the Oreo beignets are always on the menu. How do they combine those two disparate elements into one famous dessert? You'll have to take a bite to figure that one out on your own.

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Known for its pasta, po'boys and pizza, Katie’s also makes a unique savory beignet that keeps people coming back for more. Katie's Taeyo's seafood beignet is a flavorful mix of shrimp, crawfish, onions, mozzarella, cheddar and jalapenos, served with a jalapeno aioli that adds even more spice.

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