Oh, those beignets. I wished I had eaten them everyday when we were in New Orleans but would that be asking for trouble? Those deep fried dough sprinkled ever so generously with confectioners sugar are really something. I generally do not like to hype up touristy places and Cafe du Monde certainly does not need any additional hype but dang, those beignets were good.
We arrived at 9:10am on a Friday and saw that there already was a long line. Uh oh. I insisted we wait. Cafe du Monde currently has a whopping 1512 reviews (and counting) on Yelp so that had to mean something. To our surprise, the line moved pretty quickly that morning and in about 15 minutes we were seated. It also helped that Cafe du Monde has a huge seating area. We looked at the menu and they really only serve the famous beignets and trademark coffee. That also explained why the line moved so quickly. With only these items on the menu, there was not much reason to linger at the table after scarfing down those beignets. And who wouldn't scarf down those delicious beignets?
The beignets were warm when we bit into them and they were light and fluffy. It was pure deep fried doughy goodness without any heaviness to it. Heavenly.
I was still dreaming of beignets on the morning of the day we were supposed to head back to Chicago and I told T that we must have another round of beignets but maybe this time we would find an alternative and skip the line. After doing a little bit of research we headed over to Cafe Beignet only to find that we were every bit wrong about not having to wait in line for beignets. We stood in line patiently like the others to order our food. Unlike Cafe du Monde, this place serves more than just beignets. They have breakfast items and pastries. The line moved slowly but one needs patience for beignets. I can see why some people prefer Cafe Beignet over Cafe du Monde. The former does not have as crazy a hype but surely it is popular enough that we still had to wait in line to order our food. But getting to the bottom of it, beignet is the star here and both places make their beignets a little differently.
Cafe du Monde
Light and fluffy
Puffed up in shape and size
Almost obscene amount of confectioners sugar sprinkled on top
Doughy in texture
Not as puffy and is a little flatter
Relatively less amount of confectioners sugar
I honestly think that the differences aren't a good or bad thing but they reflect the different establishments' own take on beignets. In fact, I would be hard pressed to decide if I liked one better than the other especially when I would definitely return to both places the next time we make a trip to New Orleans again. All I need is patience to stand in line and I will be rewarded with some deep fried dough.
Cafe du Monde
800 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
334 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130