New Orleans is stereotypically known as a city of decadence, with self-indulgence a huge attraction for visitors to the Crescent City. When you think about the quintessential culinary cuisines associated with New Orleans, you are apt to mention delectable dishes such as Louisiana alligator, po-boys and of course the cajun and creole seafood extravaganzas that we all love to devour! But the beauty of New Orleans is that the amazing cuisine does not stop at the main course. Instead we are all presented with a number of iconic desserts and delicious sweet treats in New Orleans that will make you salivate just at the sound of them.
With such a plethora of desserts to choose from, there are a number of restaurants, cafes and local establishments seeking your business. During my recent visit to New Orleans, I stumbled across several locations that will entice you to sample their mouthwatering offerings.
Café du Monde
It’s all about the beignets when you are in New Orleans for breakfast! That’s the one piece of advice I was given by several people I spoke to prior to traveling south. If you are looking for the true, authentic experience of the New Orleans beignet, head over to the French Market district on Decatur Street and discover the original Café du Monde.
Early Sunday morning we left our hotel close to the Riverwalk district in torrential rain! Heading along N. Peters Street, we caught a glimpse of a line forming outside a cafe. We immediately knew we were in the right spot.
After a short wait, we were seated inside Café du Monde and in front of us was a short menu to choose from. If you are visiting Café du Monde, there are only a couple of options to choose from – beignets and a small beverage collection!
The original location of Café du Monde on Decatur is truly an experience with a really cool atmosphere typifying the French style coffee shop that we all love to associate with New Orleans. Aside from the beignets, coffee made with chicory and served either au lait (mixed half and half with hot milk) or black. You may be wondering what chicory is, because that is the question I was asking? A traditional favorite of New Orleans coffee, it is a ground plant that is mixed with coffee and served best with the au lait style.
Back to the beignets! If you haven’t figured out yet what a ‘beignet’ is, basically it is a square, French doughnut covered with powdered sugar and served warm. Trust me, the taste is just as good as the build up to this appetizing pastry.
I’m not sure if it is the powdered sugar or perhaps the uniqueness of eating a beignet in an authentic, French looking establishment. Either way, it’s worth the journey down Peters and Decatur to find the original Café du Monde!
If you don’t want to trundle all the way into the French Quarter to sample beignets, there are a number of other Café du Monde locations available throughout New Orleans, including several in nearby malls as well as the Riverwalk Outlet Mall.
Have you ever wondered how delightful a buttermilk drop tastes? The moment you experience this at the world famous Wink’s Bakery on Decatur Street, you will know exactly what it means to be in culinary heaven!
More commonly known for his role as a film star in the New Orleans favorite, Beasts of the Southern Wild, owner Dwight Henry shares his passion for creating culinary delicacies with visitors from all around the world with this amazing buttermilk drop.
So what exactly is the buttermilk drop? In simple terms they are a donut ball but the taste is very different to what you associate with a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts! Inside the ball tastes like cake batter, and combined with the golden brown texture and buttermilk icing, it is a perfect compliment to your morning stroll exploring the historical French Quarter.
Another New Orleans favorite sweet treat has to be the praline! What better way to sample some of Louisiana’s finest than by heading over to Aunt Sally’s. Here you can see the pralines created from scratch, taste a sample of the various flavors, and of course purchase a box or two to help reminisce your experience in New Orleans.
Pralines may not be the healthiest choice, but visiting New Orleans I highly doubt that watching your diet is a feasible option! A stereotypical ‘praline’ consists of almonds and caramelized sugar combined together to make a perfect sweet delight.
The history of pralines in Louisiana has an interesting twist to it. One of the most popular recipes dating back to the old French tradition, it soon became apparent that with such a shortage of almonds, an alternative substitute would be needed to continue the growth of the praline. With such an abundance of pecans, this became a natural alternative that soon became the modern day pecan praline!
The smooth, sweet texture of Aunt Sally’s pralines is a real mouthwatering treat. A variety of flavors including bananas foster, cafe au lait and triple chocolate are available, though at $14.99 for six pralines they may be a little expensive to purchase more than one of these.
New Orleans is famous for having a wide variety of savory cuisine options, but as you can see there is also a number of locations to meet the needs of those with a sweet tooth. Three unique establishments that offer a stereotypical New Orleans sweet treat! If you read our recent recommendations on where to eat in New Orleans, you will know that even the mainstream restaurants offer delicious desserts.
sWhether you want to try a caramelized bananas foster from Red Fish Grill, or an authentic powdered beignet from Café du Monde, New Orleans inspires visitors to indulge in this assortment of confectionery bliss!
I know of some people who go to New Orleans just to eat beignets. They are the best! I’ve also had them in some other places and they never taste the same as in New Orleans!
Cafe du Monde…Truly one of our favorite Happy Places! And truly, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a stop (or many) for Beignets and Lattes!
Definitely agree! My only negative comment with Cafe du Monde (the authentic and original location in the French Quarter) is that they only take cash, so would encourage everyone planning to head here to ensure you have $10 handy (it’s less than that for the coffee and beignets)
This makes me want to go to New Orleans right now! I have been a couple of times and always hit Cafe du Monde for some beignets. It is a truly amazing city and probably one of the most unique culturally in all of the US. Plus the food and drink scene is crazy and the people are so outgoing and warm.
Ughhh now I’m craving a Café du Monde beignet again! I went there 3 times (yes, three) during my bachelorette weekend in NOLA. I only wish I had known about the Buttermilk Drops – but maybe I don’t, because my wedding dress JUST about fit 🙂 Great article! I blame you for my next pound gained! haha