Eating a king cake before or after Carnival is sacrilege here in New Orleans, which is why you can bet we really indulge from Twelfth Night right on through until Mardi Gras Day. Without further ado, where to get king cake in New Orleans, whether you crave something classic, creative, savory, or sippable.
Where To Find King Cake in New Orleans
If it ain’t broke…
Haydel’s Bakery — Their original cake comes in a variety of shapes and colors, but you can even get some innovative flavors like the Cajun Kringle with pecan-praline filling. Visit them at 4037 Jefferson Highway in Metairie, or check out their pop-up at Snow Wizard on Magazine Street (4001 Magazine St.).
Manny Randazzo King Cakes — Using an original recipe that dates back 50 years, Randazzo’s king cakes are a fan favorite. Pick up a cake (or three) at their outpost in Metairie, 3515 N. Hullen Street.
La Boulangerie — Arguably the most classic of the bunch, La Boulangerie‘s king cake takes it way back to the original French gallette des rois. No colorful frosting here (although they do offer those, too). Just buttery, flaky puff pastry with dense almond cream.
Bywater Bakery — This brand new (as in opened on Twelfth Night brand new) baker offers eight different flavors of king cake. There’s curb-side pick up every Friday until Mardi Gras, so you don’t even have to go in to get your fix. Flavors include a Creole cream cheese-filled cake, a chantilly-filled cake, and a cinnamon-apple variety.
Beyond cinnamon or cream-filled, these cakes are big on unique flavors.
Cochon Butcher — Try all the creative combinations in perfectly sized mini cakes with baby pigs tucked inside. Meyer lemon brings a bright flavor, or sample nutty options like chocolate pecan or almond. But what’s a king cake without The King? Their “Elvis” variety is a perennial favorite with peanut butter, banana, and house-cured bacon topped with marshmallow.
Willa Jean — Stop by Besh-owned restaurant Willa Jean for a piece their delectable new king cake: Valrhona caramelized milk chocolate and espresso. And if a slice won’t cut it? Buy the whole damn thing, where it’s available for online ordering and in-store pickup.
The Green Fork — Though the flavors are traditional, the preparations are thoroughly modern and ideal for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions. The king cakes at The Green Fork are both gluten free and vegan…they’re also delicious, we promise.
Shake Sugary — On St. Claude, this bakery turns out handcrafted king cakes in a bevy of flavors. First pick whether you’d like it vegan or traditional, and from there, select flavors like cherry almond and chocolate chip pecan (both vegan) or blueberry cream cheese and savory apple rosemary. The banana Nutella variety is divine (but not vegan).
Gracious Bakery — Soon to open a St. Charles Avenue location along the parade route, this beloved bakery delights with bright flavors. Their Meyer Lemon king cake is citrusy and just subtly tart, while their Nectar king cake riffs on a favorite snowball flavor.
Maurice French Pastries — Get your cake with a boozy kick: first, a creamy, chocolate custard-filled cake with Kentucky bourbon, and another with Bavarian praline cream and a splash of Southern Comfort. Keep the spirited versions going with cakes from…
Breads on Oak — This bakery features grown-up flavors like bourbon tiramisu, almond-orange champagne, and strawberry rum cream cheese.
Sweet Savor’s Bakery — Sweet potato-filled king cakes are unexpected, but totally comforting and packed with the flavors of fall. Head to this Gentilly bakery to give it a try.
Babka King Cakes — Shaya and Petite Amelie (the bakery spinoff of Cafe Amelie) are offering not-too-sweet babka cakes. Shaya’s is a cinnamon babka with sea salt caramel glaze; Petite Amelie goes the chocolate route with chocolate and nutella flavors.
King Cake Gateau — The Canal Street staple Palace Cafe invites you to stop in for their vanilla-orange chiffon creation with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Tres Leches King Cake — Emeril’s newest restaurant, Meril, puts a Latin spin on the traditional king cake with its tres leches iteration. Cinnamon sponge cake and whipped cream offer a sublime texture with familiar (and delicious) flavors.
Coffee, cocktails, or even a smoothie: have your king cake and sip it, too.
King Cake Smoothie at Smoothie King — Don’t worry, you won’t swallow a tiny, plastic baby in this creamy, cold take on the seasonal favorite. The flavor is sweet and a touch cinnamon-y… try one for yourself at local Smoothie King locations.
King Cake Bevvy at Bourbon House — A creamy, milkshake-like cocktail to get yo in the Mardi Gras spirit.
Carnival Cocktail at Arnaud’s French 75 — Subtly referencing king cake’s citrusy notes, bartender Chris Hannah whipped up this Carnival Cocktail featuring Hennessy, Dubonnet, angostura bitters, wine syrup, and lemon sherbet.
King Cake Milkshake at Frey Smoked Meat Co. — This Mid-City eatery prides itself on its barbecue plates and hearty sides, but their seasonal king cake milkshake is a showstopper. Yes, there’s a slice of king cake on top.
King Cake Latte at Community Coffee — Get really meta and eat a slice of king cake with a king cake latte, featuring whipped cream, caramel, and brown sugar-cinnamon. Saving calories? Try their king cake coffee blend instead, black. Plenty of locations.
King Cake Soda from Abita — Pure, Louisiana cane sugar (lots of it) and artesian spring water are the basis of this caffeine-free soda from Abita. The taste is reminiscent of frosting and cinnamon dough. Pick up a six-pack at any local grocery store.
King Cake Snowball at Sno-La Snowball Lounge — A year-round snowball stand is a beautiful thing, and so is a cheesecake-stuffed king cake snowball. Get it in Metairie at 2311 N. Causeway Blvd.
King Cake Old Fashioned at SoBou — Rougaroux Praline Rum takes the place of Bourbon in this non-traditional (but so delicious) Old Fashioned. House-made cinnamon syrup, chicory bitters, and gin-soaked raisins sweeten the deal… plus the baby frozen right into the ice cube.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? Neither does this king cake.
Boudin and Bacon King Cake at Cake Cafe — The name kind of says it all. With boudin and bacon, this is a delicious, single-serving breakfast option with enough heft to carry you nicely through a parade or two.
The “Mardi Foie” at Kingfish — With duck fat brioche and icing made from saffron, beets, and arugula, this savory version is certainly unique. There’s also a seared piece of foie gras on top: sumptuous and fit for a king.
A Cake by Another Name
Sweet samplings ideal for the non-traditionalists.
Doberge King Cake — The New Orleans-style layer cake from Debbie Does Doberge dons a special king cake update during the season. Get it at Toups Meatery, and savor every layer.
King Cake Cupcake — Teddy’s Cafe inside the Roosevelt Hotel serves up a king cake cupcake with an inventive flavor: honey almond thyme. The size is right… but surely you’ll want more than just one. Pair with a seasonal “Vive Le Reine” cocktail from the Sazerac Bar, just a couple doors down inside the expansive hotel lobby.
King Cake Eclair — No need to share at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, where the perfectly sized king cake eclair beckons with cinnamon-almond Bavarian cream.
King Cake Donut — District Donuts is the place to try a dressed-up donut during Mardi Gras. Pairs well with the shop’s excellent coffee selections.
King Cake Monkey Bread — Bourbon House delights diners with Bourbon-glazed king cake monkey bread through Lundi Gras (closed for Mardi Gras day). Emeril’s New Orleans also features king cake monkey bread and a similar schedule (closed on Mardi Gras Day).
King Cake Macarons — Sucre serves up its signature macarons in king cake flavors this time of year.
King Cake Cannoli — Arabella Casa Di Pasta in the Marigny adds new textures to king cake flavors with its crisp on the outside and custard-y on the inside cannoli. No baby, but an elegant dusting of purple, green, and gold sugar will do just fine.
King Cake Sundae — Emeril’s Delmonico tempts with its king cake sundae, featuring pecan ice cream, Chantilly cream, toasted pecans, and bananas foster sauce.
King Cake Croissant — Even lighter and flakier than a traditional king cake, in a convenient, single-serving size. Available at Salon by Sucre.
King Cake Bread Pudding — Emeril’s NOLA serves up a decadent king cake bread pudding with featuring strawberry compote and pecan ice cream. Toasted pecans add crunch on top.
Because there’s nothing wrong with picking up a king cake when you’re making groceries.
Breaux Mart — This locally owned and operated grocery store on Magazine Street offers different types of king cake, from unfilled to praline-covered. Pick one up as you make your way down the storied street.
Whole Foods Market — Even if it isn’t healthy, you’ll at least feel healthy indulging in this (probably) GMO-free king cake. Locations in Mid-City, Uptown, and Metairie.
Rouses Market — An affordable way to please a crowd! Pick up a packaged cake at your nearest Rouses, but remember to hide the baby inside before you dig in (it hangs out, totally naked, in the center of the cake to avoid any choking hazards).