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Food & Drink

Beignet to Z: The Best Spots for Beignets

If New Orleans had a totem, it would be the beignet.

beignets-cafe-au-lait
Beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

If there’s one food New Orleans is known for, it’s the beignet. So naturally, there’s a festival celebrating the iconic treat. In its second year, Beignet Fest moves from Lafayette Square to City Park, and will offer everything from sweet to savory beignets, including vegan options. All proceeds from Beignet Fest will benefit the Tres Doux Foundation, which supports children with autism and developmental delays.

Essentially deep-fried pâte à choux, the beignet works for any meal and any occasion. Iterations span from sweet to savory, available at everything from cash-only joints in the French Quarter to fine dining establishments. If you just can’t wait for the fest on October 7, or if you want to attend as a beignet connoisseur, we’ve got you covered.  Here’s 11 spots to get ’em in NOLA – plus a recipe at the end on how to make them at home!

Beignets and cafe au lait from Morning Call. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Where to Find Beignets

Sweet

Cafe Beignet on Royal Street. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Cafe du Monde — This French Quarter spot is both the prototype and the archetype for beignets. First opened in 1862 (and in its same French Market location), it’s a 24-hour, cash-only spot to indulge. There are three beignets to an order, liberally drenched in powdered sugar. Don’t forget to pair with a cafe au lait, coffee made with chicory — it’s a nod to local history, where the root was used to bulk up limited coffee supply. 800 Decatur St. 

Cafe Beignet — Should Cafe du Monde be absolutely packed (and it probably will), Cafe Beignet is a just-as-delicious and arguably a quainter alternative. Tucked into a small facade off Royal Street, Cafe Beignet has a modest courtyard to enjoy your traditional, powdered sugar beignets al fresco. They also serve beer and wine! 334 Royal St. 

Morning Call — Head to City Park for a quieter beignet experience at Morning Call. Similar to Cafe du Monde, it’s cash-only, and a cafe au lait is a must. Here, though, the beignets come scandalously naked. Accompanying shakers let you customize just how much powdered sugar you want. Pro tip: unscrew the lid for a hearty dusting. 56 Dreyfous Dr.  

Savory

Coquette — The menu changes regularly at this inventive (and gorgeous) spot on Magazine Street, but chefs Michael Stoltzfus and Kristen Essig regularly incorporate savory beignets. If you’re lucky, their incredibly light and crispy potato beignet will be in rotation: pair with gumbo for an elegant riff on Louisiana traditions. 2800 Magazine St. 

Trinity Restaurant — A new restaurant in the French Quarter, Trinity beckons with its crawfish and fontina beignets. Sauteed crawfish tails are folded into the batter, and the subsequent, deep-fried pillows of heaven come with tarragon aioli for dipping. 1117 Decatur St. 

Commander’s Palace. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Commander’s Palace — Another spot where the menu changes regularly, this venerable restaurant’s savory beignets have ranged from crawfish-spiked to foie gras-stuffed. No matter the variation, you can expect meticulous execution and incredible service. 1403 Washington Ave. 

La Petite Grocery — Chef Justin Devillier‘s blue crab beignets with malt aioli are a perfect appetizer. Heck, pair ’em with a side of charred cucumbers and you’ve got yourself a meal. 4238 Magazine St. 

Bouligny Tavern — Bouligny Tavern’s gougers aren’t technically beignets: they’re baked rather than deep fried, but the choux pastry base is the same. Add in creamy comte cheese, and you’ve got a small plate that’s just as decadent as the fried version — and still served warm. 3641 Magazine St. 

The beautiful dining room at Restaurant R’Evolution. (Photo courtesy Restaurant R’Evolution on Facebook)

Restaurant R’evolution — Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto’s beer-battered crab beignets are all about the dipping sauce: switch between four distinct remoulades to add a creamy, spicy kick to each and every bite. 777 Bienville St. 

Creative

Sobou — Foie gras fondue, duck debris, and chicory coffee ganache enhance the sweet-and-savory flavor profile of the sweet potato beignets from chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez. 310 Chartres St. 

Bayona — Part of chef Susan Spicer’s Saturday “light lunch” menu, the sweet potato beignets with ginger creme anglaise are a thoughtful finish to a meal leaning on Asian flavors (think Thai yellow curry mussels or grilled mahi mahi with muhamarra). 430 Dauphine St. 

Savory Potato Beignet Recipe

Courtesy of Coquette

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut to 1/8″
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 18 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 14 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Canola oil for frying

Recipe:

  • Place the potatoes in a sauce pot and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are tender. Strain potatoes and put through a ricer while warm. Transfer to sheet pan and smooth into a single layer. Set aside.
  • Combine the water, milk, and butter in a large sauce pot and bring to boil. Add flour to the boiling liquid, and mix with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until a crust begins to form on the bottom of the pan.
  • Transfer the dough to the work bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds. With the mixer running, add in one egg at a time until all are added. While still warm, fold the riced potato mixture into the dough.
  • In a double-handled saucepot, heat 2-3 inches of canola oil to 350 degrees. Using a small scoop, drop the beignet dough into the oil and cook for 4 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beignets and transfer to a wire rack or napkin to drain. Season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

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