As a general rule in New Orleans, the longer the line, the bigger the tourist trap. Café du Monde in the French Quarter is one local institution that challenges this maxim. For nearly 150 years, visitors and locals have flocked to Café du Monde in the French Market for a beignet fix. The square, French doughnuts buried in a blizzard of powdered sugar and steaming cups of smooth, chicory-scented café au lait are as central to the city’s culinary DNA as gumbo and po-boys. The green and white-striped awning covering the shaded outdoor café is as much a New Orleans icon as brass horns and beads. The 24-hour café sits steps away from the Riverfront streetcar line and the Moonwalk, a walkway along the Mississippi River named for former mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu – an ideal location to snarf a bagful of beignets when the lines are too long to easily grab a table. The menu is strictly beignets, coffee and soda. You can avoid the worst of the line that regularly snakes around the cafe by arriving early on weekends (before 9 a.m.) or evenings for post-dinner coffee and dessert. You won’t find a better place in the city to relax, re-charge and people-watch, no matter what the hour.
As a general rule in New Orleans, the longer the line, the bigger the tourist trap. Café du Monde in the French Quarter is one local institution that challenges this maxim