10 Best New Orleans Beignets: Fried Goodness That's Sweet and Savory

In New Orleans, there isn’t another sweet better loved than a beignet, fresh fried dough served with a healthy dusting of confectioners’ sugar.  Although many cultures adore fried dough – think churros in Mexico, fritters in the UK and zeppole in Italy – the French beignet is the treat of choice in New Orleans, a throwback to the city’s French roots.

Brought to New Orleans in the 18th century by either French Acadians or Ursuline nuns, depending on who you ask, beignets were adapted into the evolving Creole diet, sometimes spiked with bananas or plantains, both popular imports in this port city. 

In the French Quarter, Café du Monde is the gold standard when it comes to beignets, fresh fried in the original French Market location since 1862.  The Café’s menu is short and sweet: dark-roasted coffee with chicory, served black or au lait with steamed milk, beignets, white and chocolate milk, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.  It’s a common sight to see folks sitting along the river walk, clouds of powdered sugar giving their breakfast of choice away.

Beignets are adaptable, with fried dough working as well as a savory vehicle as a sugary treat.  Creative New Orleans chefs are known to incorporate cheese, seafood and duck debris into the fried goodness. 

Photo courtesy of SoBou Restaurant

Pull up a stool at stunning SoBou (south of Bourbon) in the W, from the Commander's family of restaurants. Here, a team of crackerjack bartenders create fab original cocktails and chef Juan Carlos Gonzales serves modern fare that is downright...  Read More

Commander's Palace
Photo courtesy of Commander's Palace

Answer the siren call of the green and white signature awning to dine at Commander's Palace, the must-eat restaurant housed in a beautiful Victorian mansion in the Garden District. Chef Tory McPhail is always up to something startling, as his...  Read More

La Petite Grocery leaves the sugary powdered beignets to the Cafe du Mondes of the world, taking its own approach to the beignet. La Petite stuffs their doughy morsels with blue crab and serves them with a tangy malt vinegar aioli. These are a...  Read More

The New Orleans Coffee & Beignet Co., located in Uptown New Orleans and in the suburbs of Metairie, is a swell spot for breakfast, whether you're craving a beignet, yogurt parfait or egg white mini casserole. As long as the beignets are...  Read More

It's been 25 years (in 2015) since Susan Spicer opened Bayona in the French Quarter in its centuries-old cottage with its romantic courtyard. A doyenne of all things culinary in New Orleans since the 90s - and now an inductee into the James...  Read More

Bouligny Tavern

Chef John Harris opened Bouligny Tavern in 2010 in a century-old New Orleans cottage just next door to his wildly popular Lilette. Bouligny Tavern is a sleek and elegant space, a backdrop of mid-century modern with an eclectic menu of fine wine,...  Read More


Open on Magazine in the Garden District since 2008, Coquette is known for its innovative take on modern Southern fare. Pastry chef Zak Miller, who prefers no more than three elements on a plate to keep the focus on fresh ingredients, plays...  Read More

You don't have to go to the 'burbs to check out this popular 24/7 coffee and beignets spot now that there's a location in the heart of City Park. Morning Call actually got its start in the French Quarter on Decatur Street in 1870, a spot for...  Read More

French Quarter
Cafe Beignet

Cafe Beignet, with locations on Bourbon and Royal Streets in the French Quarter is the clear number two to Cafe du Monde as far as beignets go. A bit less hectic than Cafe du Monde, where a line of hungry folks hang out like vultures waiting for...  Read More

Café du Monde

Cafe du Monde is the beignet mecca of New Orleans and number one of "The Big 3" on this list. Situated in the heart of the French Quarter, Cafe du Monde is a must visit location for most tourists who venture to the Big Easy. The cafe features a...  Read More


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

After spending years flying in regularly to research stories,...  More About Beth

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