The French Quarter’s famous Café Du Monde may not serve nitro-infused cold brew or specialty pour-overs, but there are good reasons that its place has been cemented in the New Orleans coffee culture since 1862. The family-owned café—renowned for its fluffy, powdered beignets and eyeopening café au laits—has been with New Orleanians through thick and thin, serving its wares 24 hours a day, 364 days a year (they close on Christmas Day and for the occasional hurricane).
New Orleanians’ taste for coffee with chicory (the bitter root of the endive plant) stretches back centuries. In Europe, the herb was added to coffee as a flavoring agent and dietary aid, and that custom traveled with the immigrants who would eventually settle in the Crescent City.
Café Du Monde’s café au lait is a comforting and slightly bitter balance to their signature beignets, which come topped with a mountain of powdered sugar. The menu is centered around those items, but has grown in recent years to suit modern tastes—now iced and frozen versions of the café au lait delight customers on sultry days.