Take in the Tastes and Scents of Café Du Monde
The Café Du Monde coffee stand opened its doors over 150 years ago in 1862, right in the today’s French Market. They are open 24 hours a day for early risers and late-night revelers. In fact, the only day they close is Christmas Day. Well, that and for hurricanes!
In 2001, a kitchen fire broke out in this most historic location, leaving the staff to scramble to remove old posters and photographs before the firefighters came. That’s how important Café Du Monde is to our history. They reopened a week later.
Their menu hasn’t changed over the past century and a half- why change something if your are doing it right? The two main things people come for are the beignets and the chicory coffee. It’s almost a must that you try them while visiting here.
1800’s New Orleans was a major hub for the coffee industry, and you could find stands everywhere here. During the American Civil War, Louisianans started adding chicory root to their coffee when Union naval blockades cut off the port of New Orleans, making pure coffee very expensive.
Chicory comes from the root of a perennial blue-flowered plant. The taste of the roasted root is similar to coffee but without the buzz. So it made patrons’ coffee last longer, as well people loved the taste!
The beignets were originally just called doughnuts, but in 1958 they were rebranded as “beignets” to make them seem more like something special to New Orleans. And with the piled-on sugar, they are now a major reason people visit our city.