Cafe du Monde
This post will give you information about visiting Cafe du Monde. In addition to providing details about the kinds of food they serve, we will also include info about the history of this New Orleans landmark, best times to visit, and nearby attractions you may want to check out.
- Plan Your Visit
- Beignets and Other Menu Items
- Nearby Attractions
- Other Places for Beignets
- 13 NOLA Foods You Must Try
- Free Tours By Foot
The following section will help you plan your trip to Cafe du Monde. We will go over information such as how to get here, best times to visit, and what to expect while you’re in the area.
How to Get Here
Use this map for specific directions to Cafe du Monde.
This historic restaurant is located in the heart of the French Quarter, right across the road from Jackson Square at 800 Decatur Street. Due to its central position in the heart of the French Quarter, Cafe du Monde is easy to find no matter how you plan to visit.
In fact, several of our pay-what-you-wish walking tours begin from the other side of Jackson Square, so Cafe du Monde is a logical place to come for a snack and coffee before your tour.
If you are considering a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, keep in mind that there is a stop a short walk away from Cafe du Monde. If you take the local bus service, you’ll find nearby stops at Decatur & St. Peter or Decatur & Dumaine which service lines #5 and #55.
Visitors who plan on taking the streetcar will want to take the #2 (Riverfront Line) down to Dumaine Station. This stop is a 2-3 minute walk from Cafe du Monde.
Best Times to Visit
The most important thing you should know about visiting Cafe du Monde is that they almost never close. This restaurant is open 24 hours a day, and they only close up shop on one day of the year – Christmas. That being said, there are going to be times when this coffee shop gets a little busier than usual.
If you want to avoid the crowds, consider a visit either very early in the morning or later at night. In fact, eating beignets at Cafe Du Monde is one of our top suggestions for things to do at night in NOLA.
Cafe du Monde receives a lot of business from about 9 am – 9 pm, so you may have to wait a bit in order to make an order. Make your trip between the hours of 6 am – 9 am or 9 pm – 12 am for a quieter experience.
In addition to these factors, you may also want to consider visiting on a weekday instead of the weekend. Due to the history and notoriety of Cafe du Monde, there are a lot more customers on Saturday and Sunday than there are Monday – Friday.
Even if you do decide to come here on a weekend, you can still expect the busiest hours to run from 9 am – 9 pm. No matter when you plan to see this restaurant, make sure to visit either earlier or later for a more quiet outing.
What to Expect
Although locals note that lines at Cafe du Monde can get pretty long, they also point out that there is plenty of seating and it probably won’t take too much time to get your order. Even if you decide to come during the day, chances are that you won’t have to wait in line very long.
If you’re planning to come just for the food, make sure to set aside at least 15-30 minutes to see Cafe du Monde. Depending on when you visit, there’s a strong possibility that your experience at this restaurant could be as short as 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, visitors who want to take their time and experience the history of this location may want to spend up to an hour at the coffee shop.
Their menu includes beignets, coffee and a variety of other drinks. Make sure to read our menu section for more information. In addition to the food, you can also get gift packages, t-shirts, keepsake mugs and other souvenirs. Best of all, you can actually take some beignet mix home with you and try your hand at recreating their famous treats!
If you’re in a hurry, stop by their take-out window instead. This window is found behind the main building, facing the Moonwalk Riverfront Park and the Mississippi River. Although you won’t get the full experience of seeing the historic coffee shop, you can grab a quick bite and get on with your day.
Cafe du Monde tends to keep things simple when it comes to their menu. Rather than offering a plethora of different foods, they focus primarily on two menu items: coffee and beignets.
These deep-fried pastries are very similar to doughnuts, but there are a few differences between the two treats. While a donut is typically iced and often eaten cold, beignets (particularly those found in New Orleans) are covered in powdered sugar and meant to be eaten hot.
Cafe du Monde serves up some of the most popular beignets in New Orleans. A plate of three is served for less than $3, making this one of the most affordable treats you will find in the French Quarter.
Needless to say, Cafe du Monde is at the top of our list of the best beignets in New Orleans.
If you’re planning to take a tour of the French Quarter, it’s worth noting that Take Walks offers two tours which include a free beignet from Cafe du Monde!
Unlike all of the modern cafes that sell several different flavors and variations of the drink, Cafe du Monde offers only two types of coffee: cafe au lait and black coffee + chicory. Both are also available in decaf, but there are no other variants offered at this coffee shop.
If you’re wondering about the chicory, you wouldn’t be the first. This plant has historically been used to make the coffee supplies stretch, but Cafe du Monde keeps it on the menu as part of their tradition. Although there isn’t any caffeine in the plant, it does produce a similar flavor to coffee.
TIP: They serve iced coffee variants of both cafe au lait and black coffee + chicory. This could be a great option during hot summer days.
If you’re not a coffee fan, you’ll be happy to know that Cafe du Monde also sells a few other drinks. Their only other warm drink is hot chocolate, and it is the same price as their coffee. Alternatively, you can also get orange juice, cold milk, bottled water, Coke, Diet Coke or Sprite.
Many visitors have suggested that their hot chocolate is absolutely amazing. Some customers have even gone so far as to say that this menu item is better than their beignets. Sadly, there’s nothing particularly special about any of the other drinks you can get.
TIP: If you’re coming during the winter, consider grabbing a hot chocolate and some warm beignets at Cafe du Monde to keep you warm.
One of the reasons for the popularity of Cafe du Monde is its proximity to many historical landmarks in New Orleans. Not only is this coffee shop right next to the waterfront, it’s also within walking distance of several notable locations. If you’re in the area, you may want to make a stop at some of these attractions.
As we mentioned in the how to get here section, Cafe du Monde is located right across the street from this historic site. The monument at the center was placed not only in honor of Andrew Jackson but also with his help. To learn more, make sure to read our post about Jackson Square.
TIP: If you want to avoid the crowds at Cafe du Monde and visit at night, you might also want to consider keeping an eye out for the cats that often populate this park after dark!
You’ll find this historic location just north of Jackson Square. This is one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals in the United States, and they continue to provide services to this very day. Anyone is free to visit, but you can get a self-guided tour for $1 and learn a little bit more about the role of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans history.
For more details, make sure to read our post about St. Louis Cathedral.
Located to the left of St. Louis Cathedral, this building is full of history. The Cabildo the location where the Louisiana Purchase was signed. Almost 100 years later, it would also become the site where the Louisiana Supreme Court would make the landmark decision of Plessy v Ferguson. Today, the building is used as a museum which houses several interesting and historically relevant exhibitions.
If you want to know more, check out our post about the Cabildo.
Found on the other side of the St. Louis Cathedral, this building was designed to look almost exactly like the Cabildo. The Presbytère is also a museum, but they have exhibits focusing on different aspects of New Orleans history.
Two of their most popular galleries are about Mardi Gras history and Hurricane Katrina.
Consider reading our post about the Presbytère for additional information.
If you head just a few blocks northeast of Cafe du Monde, you’ll no doubt run into the golden Joan of Arc statue which sits in the middle of the historic French Market. In addition to local restaurants, there are also a variety of stores selling things such as fruit, souvenirs, and even artwork. Visitors looking for more attractions in the area may want to check out Dutch Alley as well. For a more in-depth look at the area, consider our self-guided tour of the market.
Read our full post about the French Market for more details.
You’ll find this incredible landmark at the north end of the French Market. Located inside the Old U.S. Mint, this building has since become used as a museum for jazz history in New Orleans. Today, they house several notable instruments, sheet music and other artifacts from throughout the history of this genre. As if that weren’t enough, they also provide free concerts on the third floor every Tuesday!
If you want to know more, make sure to read our post about the New Orleans Jazz Museum.
This coffee stand first opened up shop in 1862, making it one of the oldest cafes in United States history. As if that weren’t notable enough, it is also housed in one of the oldest buildings of the French Market.
The tale of this cafe is the tale of New Orleans. Coffee became popular enough to support such a business because of all the French immigrants who had moved to the area. Due to a coffee shortage, the Creoles made the chicory blend (still used to this day) to stretch their supplies.
Acadians brought the recipe for their beloved beignet with them when they were deported to the colonies in the 18th century. The beignets made at Cafe du Monde are very similar to those popularized by this new and vibrant culture which would eventually become known as Cajun. For more details about this food, check out our list of the best beignets in New Orleans.
Cafe du Monde is all about tradition. In honor of that, they have kept their menu more or less unchanged for several generations. Beignets are the only food they serve and you will find only two different types of coffee at the restaurant.