Happy (travel) Monday! I’m heading down to Florida today and I can’t say I’m sad to trade in this frigid CT weather for some 70 and sunny days on the beach!
Back in December my family and I went to New Orleans for a couple of days and it was a blast! We hit up a ton of tourist attractions along with discover a few gems off the beaten path. In case you haven’t heard- one of the most iconic places in New Orleans is Café Du Monde, world-famous for its beignets. Here’s a quick guide of everything you need to know before you go! Trust me, you’re going to be so glad you read this!
If you think I’m a bit ridiculous for telling you what to wear to Café Du Monde, well, you’d be wrong. As a general rule, just stay away from anything black. Black suede boots (oops, I wore mine!), black jeans, a black sweater…all of these pieces stand no chance around the mountain of powdered sugar that towers atop your beignets.
Instead, opt for white jeans or a light-colored pair of jeans. If you don’t have either of those to work with, how about a pair of distressed denim? What’s the worst thing that happens, you get some powdered sugar on yourself and it adds to the distressed look? Exactly.
As for a top, opt for something light (preferably white) or something that powdered sugar can be easily wiped off of. Strange to think about, I know. For instance, my cream-colored faux-suede jacket was the perfect piece to be wearing! Anything that I did get on my jacket was easy enough to brush off/blend in. Of course a little powdered sugar never hurt anyone, but I’m going to guess you’ve planned to go to Café Du Monde at the beginning of your day so wouldn’t it be better to be prepared and plan accordingly so you don’t end up walking around the rest of the day with white-ish splotches on your dark denim?
I’m not sure why, but I just assumed Café Du Monde would be something like Ladurée in NYC. I was wrong. Café Du Monde lacks the same kind of charm that Ladurée has (IMO), but also really lacks the same kind of class. Did I enjoy Café Du Monde? Yes. Was my waiter friendly and was the service amazing? No.
The actual inside space of the cafe is teeny tiny. You can walk in there, but I’m guessing there won’t be a table free. Instead, you’ll find your own empty table (hopefully) right outside the cafe in their gigantic outdoor patio space. It’s very jam-packed and kind of chaotic, but I guess that’s part of the charm?
Your waiter or waitress will most likely come up to your table, hand you a “menu,” and expect you to order right on the spot. That’s not too surprising though consider the fact that the menu consists of less than 5 items: beignets, coffee, and hot chocolate are what I remember being on it.
SUPER IMPORTANT TO NOTE: This is a cash only place. It’s probably best to come with singles and 5’s that way you can give your waiter exact change. I’m not sure how helpful a waiter would be to helping you break a $20 bill, so just keep that in mind.
I hope this hasn’t seemed like I’ve just been bashing Café Du Monde this whole time, because honestly it was a fun experience and it is definitely a must-do while in New Orleans. With that being said, my parents have been twice and their first experience wasn’t great. On their first visit to Café Du Monde they were served sub-par beignets. I don’t think they would have gone back a second time if not for my sister and I insisting on going. It’s a good thing they did though because the second time around was a much better experience! The beignets were really quite delicious. No complaints there on my part!
Ah! Now this is a hard one to answer. I would say the earlier you get there, the better chance you have at there not being a line. If you go on the off-season (like my family did, in December) then you probably won’t have to wait on a table. The first time my parents went there was a bit of a line, but it moved quickly. Again, this is one of those must-do things when you’re in New Orleans, so just game plan ahead of time and go in with the right mindset!