At the Café du Monde, a lively café on Decatur Street, on the corner of Jackson Square in the French Quarter – just steps away from the Mississippi river and the farmer’s market – the tables are always full. The morning breakfasts are simple and fast: a cup of coffee and a doughnut.
But it’s not the same coffee and the same doughnuts that you’ll find anywhere else in the U.S.: here, they serve chicory coffee and French beignets, in the tradition of the past colonial times. The custom of drinking chicory coffee arrives straight from 18th Century France, when high taxes on coffee beans were imposed, and it was brought to New Orleans by the first French colonialists who originally settled in what today is Quebec.
It was also the Acadians who brought over the beignets: square pastries, fried and sprinkled with a generous portion of powdered sugar – sometimes filled with jam. Founded in 1862, Café du Monde specialises in French breakfasts, and serves it 24 hours a day, seven days a week – save for Christmas and hurricane days, of course. Sit down and order a “coffee and beignet”.
The chicory coffee is best taken “au lait”, and a serving of beignets will get you three little pastries. The only drawback? The queues. After 9am on weekends, you’ll never find a seat.
Café du Monde 1039, Decatur Street - New Orleans Tel. +1 800 772-292, Website
Now a three-Michelin-star restaurant, Noma has changed, but not necessarily on the plate. According to Kenneth Foong, it's all about the way the team works, which is closer to a tech company than a traditional restaurant. Read our exclusive interview with Noma's head chef.