New Orleans is a serious foodie city – from the Creole to the Cajun to the Vietnamese and French and everything in between; if you love #alltheeats, you’ll love New Orleans. Along with gumbo, jambalaya, po-boys and bananas foster; one of the dishes you have to try in New Orleans is a beignet. “Beignet” translates directly as “bump” and is a fried dough/pastry that is traditionally made to order, served hot and topped with powdered sugar. Essentially, a beignet is what would be produced if a French pastry and an American donut had a baby and then doused it with sugar.
Ever since Café Du Monde opened their doors in 1862, beignets have become kind of a big deal in New Orleans and while Café Du Monde indefinitely has the title of “the best beignets in New Orleans” – there are still some beignets worth mentioning. Chefs all over the city are putting fun twists on the traditional treat and from sweet and savory to stuffed and fluffed – this is the ultimate guide for your beignet fix in New Orleans.
Café du Monde
As I mentioned above – Café du Monde holds the gold when it comes to beignets. They’ve set the bar and it’s far from being reached. Some things to know: it gets PACKED. But, to accommodate the crowds – they’re open all day, every day (with the exception of Christmas and on an occasional threat of a hurricane). Also good to know: the beignets are the menu. Aside from beignets you can also get a coffee, milk (or chocolate milk), and fresh orange juice. But, there are no other consumable items to be ordered. Lastly, just know you will be covered in powder after eating your beignets….and it will be all worth it.
Who doesn’t want to pose with a beignet?
The beignets at Du Monde are hands down the best in the city! Look at all that powdered sugar.
Another establishment that has made a name for itself in the New Orleans beignet scene is Café Beignet. Their small flagship shop in the French Quarter is an instagrammers dream location – super cute, with palm prints on the walls, heaps of cute pastries, bloody Mary’s, and lots of breakfast menu items to choose from. They also have a few other locations if the wait at the original is too long.
(left) Café Beignet has the cutest tables – perfect for a flatlay! (right) the décor in the shop is also perfect for a photo op.
“Sophisticated southern”, Atchafalaya is known to “embrace the New Orleans culinary traditions while pushing boundaries”. As such, seeing a boudin stuffed beignet on their dinner menu just feels right. Boudin is a sausage typically found in Creole and Cajun dishes (staples in New Orleans!). Paired with pepper jelly, sweet pickles, radish and amaranth – a boudin stuffed beignet is definitely a twist on the typical beignet.
La Petite Grocery
With a history and story as captivating as the culture in New Orleans itself – La Petite Grocery should be on your “must visit” list in New Orleans, regardless of the beignets. But, with a constantly changing craft cocktail, brunch, lunch and dinner menu – the blue crab beignets with malt vinegar aioli won’t be the only reason you want to return to La Petite Grocery.
I dined on delicious sweet potato beignets with a foie gras reduction at Sobou back in 2015 and as such, it was on my list for my recent trip to New Orleans. I was a little bummed to find out that they’re no longer on the menu but elated to learn that Chef Juan Carlos changes up the beignets on the menu quite often and the specialty beignet as this article goes to publish is an andouille sausage and apple beignet that comes served on top of a rum and chicory coffee ganache.
The andouille sausage and apple stuffed beignets from Sobou.
Located in the French Quarter, with great outdoor seating for people watching, Trinity pays homage to the history and future of New Orleans cuisine. Their doughy crawfish and fontina beignets come with a side of tarragon aioli and are also on the happy hour menu!
Trinity’s crawfish and fontina beignets.
The Country Club
So much more than a restaurant – The Country Club is also a country club with a pool, hot tub and an overall “elegant escape from everyday living”. The fact that it’s one of the prettiest, most perfectly curated spaces I’ve experienced in a while is just a giant bonus because the food is also to-die-for. Make sure to order their crab beignets that come stuffed with blue crabmeat and sofrito mascarpone with a side of saffron aioli. *insert drool emoji*
The crab stuffed beignets with saffron aioli from The Country Club.
Serving up “imaginative reinterpretations of classic Cajun and Creole cuisine” Restaurant R’evolution is the blended child of two world famous chefs with two very different backgrounds and it can be seen throughout the entire menu. Whether dining for brunch, lunch or dinner the beer-battered crab beignets are on the menu and served up with four rémoulades.
They say to save the best for last and while no beignet can steal the title of “best” from Du Monde, the team at The Vintage definitely has the best collection of beignets on their menu. They even do seasonal and specialty beignets! Some staples that you can almost always count on them having are their beignet bites (in traditional powdered sugar or tossed in cinnamon sugar) a raspberry jelly filled beignet, a matcha filled (and topped!) beignet, and a s’mores beignet. The seasonal specialty when this article went to publish was the pumpkin spice and it was far from basic. They also have a savory beignet topped with bacon gravy and a poached egg! If you’re looking for a good latte, a bit of a hipster scene, and a quality Instagram shot of a trendy beignet – this is definitely the place to go.
(left) The Vintage offers the perfect selection of beignets for a flatlay. (right) And when you have that many beignets – you have to selfie with them.
The Vintage can also serve your beignets in a cone – to go! Perfect for a “cute New Orleans home” photo op!
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Disclaimer: I was hosted in New Orleans as a guest. My opinions, as always, remain my own.