It’s places like Café du Monde that prove even the most touristy places can be worthwhile.
According to its website, Café du Monde was established in 1862 in the French Quarter, but coffee’s unique relationship to NOLA goes back even earlier. The beans were first introduced to North America by way of The Big Easy in the mid-1700s. Grown in Martinique in 1720, the French brought coffee with them as they settled along the Mississippi.
Order the original coffee, consisting of dark roasted beans and chicory, a New Orleans favorite developed by the French during their civil war when they needed something to add to the scarce coffee beans. Coffee is served Black or Au Lait, meaning one part coffee, one part hot milk. Only in 1988 was iced coffee added to the menu. But even on a warm, humid New Orleans day, a 30-minute wait at the famous Café du Monde is worth a traditional cup of hot coffee paired with a fluffy beignet or a glass of fresh orange juice.
Horse-carriages roaming the streets and typical New Orleans buildings and balconies add to unique experience. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it a great spot to visit after a night on Bourbon Street. It is only closed on Christmas Day and other rare circumstances.
As Jimmy Buffett once sang in “The Wino and I Know”, “Coffee is strong at the Café du Monde…I’ll eat ‘til I eat way too much.” Good luck leaving Café du Monde anything but full and happy.