Have you ever dreamed of visiting a place and it’s EVERYTHING you had ever hoped it would be, and maybe a little more? This is just about how I felt on our recent trip to New Orleans. On our radar for our first trip to New Orleans was finding where the locals go. The first place we scouted out was Café du Monde, the best spot for beignets in New Orleans. For someone who has never had this powdered French pastry, I found them to be very tasty and exactly what I was expecting. This is THE place to go for beignets and their unique chicory café au lait is the icing on the cake. In fact, if you are ever in New Orleans, you must make this a stop, as in you can’t leave without visiting this place.
Café du Monde has been around for over 150 years and is a popular hangout for locals and tourists; evidenced by the floods of people in and around the surrounding streets. It can be a bit frustrating, walking for blocks, only to find standing room only or lines out the door. But don’t give up! It is worth the wait and with a bit of planning, you can actually avoid the crowds all together! Here are some simple things to avoid for a successful and fun visit to Café du Monde…
Use Rideshare (Uber or Lyft)
This will prevent you from having to locate parking. Your driver will drop you off and pick you up curbside so you can enjoy your beignet and then walk it off before it’s time to go. Trust me; you’ll appreciate the walking time.
Avoid Peak Times
Breakfast time is the most popular time with waits being 20 minutes or longer. If you or your traveling buddies are like me and my family, waiting for food feels like eternity and I’m pretty sure someone starves until our food is delivered so wait times are definitely not an option. If you can wait until mid-morning or early afternoon or even later at night (we visited around 9:00 p.m. local time) then the odds of walking right in and getting a table without a wait are much higher.
Don’t wait for a hostess to seat you or greet you. No one will say ‘hello’ or ask if you need anything. They are too busy taking orders and powdering beignets to worry about finding you a seat. Just grab any empty table, even if it’s dirty, the servers will come and clean it for you when they come to take your order. The locals don’t wait in line and will likely not even act like you’re standing there if they see an empty table. You won’t look rude if you just go in and find a table and sit. The locals and servers won’t say a word or give you the side eye.
Be Ready to Place Your Order
It’s a simple menu; beignets and coffee. That’s it. Basically you order a plate (3) of beignets either per person or if you’re coming for dessert, you can share. Want coffee? Great. Grab the café au lait. It’s coffee with chicory and milk or if you prefer something else, you can get bottled water, orange juice or hot chocolate. If you ask the server to come back, it’s likely they will get busy with other tables that have been seated and they won’t be back quickly, plus the menu is LITERALLY just beignets. I recommend you dunk your beignets in your café au lait. Go ahead. Dunk. You won’t be sad.
Do not expect to use your credit card for miles here. This is a cash only experience and they tell you via signs all over the place and mention it at the table when they take your order. They bring you the bill when they bring your food and they expect to be paid when the food is delivered. Have your cash ready to go along with anything else you may need from the server because it’s likely you won’t see them again, ever.
Lastly, hold your breath when you bite down on your beignet. Hopefully you’re not wearing a black shirt or black pants. You’re welcome. Follow me over on Instagram to grab a glimpse of the rest of the NOLA adventure!