Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Shutterstock

Indulge in the best beignets in New Orleans

From classic sweet to over-the-top savory, the best beignets in New Orleans are sure to please.

Written by
Gerrish Lopez
Jenny Peters

Who doesn’t like fried dough? From donuts and funnel cakes to churros, buñuelos and zeppole, there’s nothing like this hot, fluffy treat. In New Orleans, the iconic beignet is the fried dough delicacy of choice. In their original and simplest form, the fried, pillowy squares are piled high with powdered sugar, producing a cloud of sweet joy with each bite (if you’re not covered in white powder, you’re doing it wrong). The best beignets in New Orleans include this traditional version as well as other creative interpretations both savory and sweet.

From an order of three and a chicory cafe au lait at the famous Cafe du Monde to delicate, blue crab-stuffed versions at white tablecloth establishments, beignets are served at restaurants throughout the city. Innovative options include tantalizing, praline-filled beignets or indulgent beignets bursting with the likes of crawfish etouffee. You can sample some of the best and most creative versions at the annual Beignet Festival in October, or work your way through this beignet bucket list, one by one. You’ll definitely want to try them all.

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.


Cafe Beignet has been doing beignets proud since 1990, taking the Cafe du Monde model and ramping it up. They do three beignets to a serving and chicory coffee exceptionally well, but that's only the beginning. At any of their three locations in the French Quarter, you'll find omelets, 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.


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.


The name says it all: this Gentilly takes burgers and beignets and stuffs them with even more tasty stuff. Beignets are fried to order, with your choice of fillings. Savory options include the likes of Creole crawfish, shrimp and crabmeat, Philly cheesesteak or barbecue beef. Finish with a traditional beignet or go for one stuffed with cheesecake, strawberries or sweet potato.

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.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Luca Eats (@lucaeatsnola)

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 out yourself.

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 crawfish beignet is a flavorful mix of shrimp, crawfish, caramelized onions, mozzarella, cheddar and jalapeños, served with a jalapeno aioli that adds even more spice.


    More on iconic eats

      You may also like
      You may also like