on June 27, 2004
Cafe du Monde is a New Orleans tradition. This French-style cafe was opened in 1862 and is famous for the beignets and coffee. Beignets are square-shaped donuts with powdered sugar. They are served in groups of three for around a $1 or so. Although mighty tasty with a cup of coffee, or steamed milk in my case, I would recommend sharing two orders among three people since the third beignet is very difficult to eat unless you have a very big appetite. Their coffee and beignets are so popular that you can actually buy the coffee and mix to make your own beignets at home in their shop or online.
When to go:The cafe is, surprisingly, open 24 hours, seven days a week except on Christmas Day (and in case of hurricane). We enjoyed going in the late afternoon so that we could sit in the outdoor seating under the canopy. From here we could enjoy the pleasant weather and the comings and goings of people in the French quarter. There are often street musicians performing on the sidewalk outside the cafe and the horse and buggy rides go by the cafe contributing to the wide variety of street traffic and opportunities for people watching.
The service was generally good but could be a bit slow if you order something other than coffee and beignets, which are being prepared continuously. They have other menu items including ice cream and entrees but few people come here for a real meal. Also, apparently they don't accept credit cards so bring cash--although this shouldn't be too much of a problem since you are likely to spend less than $5/person.
Location: The cafe is in the French market, which is on the southern border of the French Quarter along the river. From the convention center you can take the Riverfront streetcar line. Either get off at Toulouse and walk up about 3 blocks or Dumaine and walk back 2 blocks.
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