The 7 Best Beignets in New Orleans

Cafe Du Monde
Emmy Wildenberg / Getty Images

Although beignets have been the official donut of Louisiana since 1986, they have been deeply embedded in New Orleans culture for centuries. Their arrival to the Crescent City dates to the 1700s, when the Acadian people brought this sweet treat—a part of French Mardi Gras celebrations since the 16th century—from Nova Scotia to Louisiana. Since then, the beignet has grown to cult status, enjoyed not merely at Mardi Gras, but year-round.

The word "beignet" translates to "fritter" in France, and a perfect beignet is technically a type of donut, sans the center hole. However, it’s also something more. It’s a dessert, but there’s a savory situation afoot. These fist-sized, square-cut puffs are fried and then quickly dusted with white, powdered sugar, which clings gently to the edges. Each bite offers a crispy exterior, which complements the irresistible, puffy center. Combined with a warm coffee, it’s a sugary, pick-me-up in the morning or a delicious hug in the late afternoon.

Served classic or with a twist, with dipping sauce or straight out of a paper bag, beignets are a vital part of a day in New Orleans. Here's where to get them during your next trip to NOLA.

01 of 07

Café Du Monde

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Rob Carr / Getty Images
500 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Phone +1 504-218-7993

New Orleans has a lot of famous iconographies. Among her many symbols, the green-and-white awnings of Café Du Monde are ultra-recognizable, appearing on everything from airport advertisements to T-shirts.

Although the company is now global—with more than two dozen locations and worldwide shipping—the heartbeat of this powdered confection's popularity beats strongest at the original location in the French Quarter. This open-air market has served beignets and coffee, right on the banks of the Mississippi River, since the late 1800s.

The menu here is stalwart in its simplicity, which keeps the long lines moving fast. With crispy exteriors and cloud-like insides, the beignets—served three to a bag—arrive warm and plump. In the early mornings and late afternoons, a Jazz band strikes up on the corner, keeping hungry customers entertained as they wait to indulge in the NOLA specialty.

02 of 07

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

921 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Phone +1 504-524-1331

Although Café Du Monde is the most famous place to have a French, fried pastry. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is the most beautiful. In 2022, the hotel introduced a cart that serves free, classic beignets in the lobby. Surrounded by The Ritz-Carlton's trappings of white marble and glittering chandeliers, it’s a sugary feast for the senses.

To take advantage of the complimentary cart experience, drop in Thursday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Outside of these hours, guests can order beignets—with vanilla bean, caramel, and dark chocolate dipping sauces—from the on-site restaurant and room service menus.

03 of 07

Morning Call Coffee Stand

5101 Canal Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA
Phone +1 504-459-2086

Opened in 1870, originally at Decatur and St. Philip, Morning Call is now on the corner of Canal Boulevard in Mid City, close to City Park.

“Our beignets are hand rolled, and hand cut, using a sourdough recipe. No one does them like us,” owner Bob Hennessey told TripSavvy. “We let our customers put their own powdered sugar on, and visitors can also order a Slit. It’s a thinner version, where we roll the dough out and put little cuts in it, to make a crispier beignet.”

When visiting, be sure to request a hot café au lait. Served the same for nearly two centuries, it's made with French chicory and a unique brewing process. “We have handmade, stainless-steel kettles, and we pour each cup individually,” said Hennessey. “It’s an art to watch our staff do it.”

04 of 07

Café Beignet

334 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Phone +1 504-524-5530

Café Beignet has been serving its version of the beloved French fritters since 1990, its first location occupying a 19th-century carriage house. “Our city was heavily influenced by French and Spanish settlers. The owners wanted to provide a European café setting and tropical courtyard," marketing and sales manager Eugenie Stevens told TripSavvy.

Now, Café Beignet has four locations, and on a busy day, provides more than 7,500 beignets to the people of New Orleans. Each is delicately hand-rolled, precisely plucked from a fryer once golden brown, and dusted with sugar. For $4.25, you get three, but if you're coming with a group of friends, you can pre-order 20 or more.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

La Petite Grocery

La Petite Grocery

Courtesy of La Petite Grocery

4238 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115-2735, USA
Phone +1 504-891-3377

Dark-red drapery, Art Deco chandeliers, and pale yellow walls make La Petite Grocery a spot you want to linger longer. It’s also the ultimate place to indulge in the city’s best savory beignet: the blue crab beignet.

“Many years ago, I was combing through a Louisiana cookbook, and came across a recipe for salt cod fritters,” chef/owner Justin Devillier told TripSavvy. “I thought that the same method would work if I filled them with a creamy crab mixture, instead. So, I adjusted the batter, switched the brandade for mascarpone, and swapped cod for local blue crab. I originally used them as a garnish, but they didn’t stay that way for long. This is our bestseller.”

Equal parts crispy and gooey, the fritters come with a malt vinegar aioli, leaving a perfectly tart finish.

06 of 07

The Vintage

3121 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
Phone +1 504-324-7144

Hand-rolled from a dough no more than six hours old, The Vintage holds no punches when it comes to its beignets—and the menu has ample choices. If you're looking for a classic treat, try either the powdered or cinnamon sugar beignet, served individually for $1.75 each. For something lighter, the beignet bites are petite puffs that are cut one-fourth the size of a regular fritter. The menu also offers heavier options, including savory beignets slathered in bacon gravy and topped with a poached egg. The setting of penny tile floors and antique armchairs fits the name, but the seasonal beignet flavors, like peppermint bark and pumpkin pie, give a fresh reason to stop in The Vintage while shopping on Magazine Street.

07 of 07

Elizabeth Street Café

Elizabeth Street Café

Courtesy of Elizabeth Street Café

1507 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Phone +1 504-350-2435

Elizabeth Street Café has quickly been earning acclaim for its beautiful renditions of beef noodle soups, Bahn mi sandwiches, and bun bowls since it opened in the summer of 2021.

Playing up those French influences on modern Vietnamese pastry, the café created beignets that honor the city’s past and present immigrant populations. An order of three ($9) comes with house-made jams that incorporate flavors and ingredients one might find in Southeast Asia. Tangy, tart citrus cuts through the dough and sugar beautifully, and the chefs get creative, whether it’s raspberry-lychee or strawberry-guava.

Housed in a little building off the side of the Saint Vincent Hotel, you can order to-go at the counter or stay for a meal at one of the shaded, outdoor tables.

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The 7 Best Beignets in New Orleans