Café du Monde

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Café du Monde
Café du Monde is open 24 hours a day
Restaurant information
Established 1862
Current owner(s) Fernandez family
Food type Coffee & beignets
Dress code Casual
Street address 800 Decatur Street
City New Orleans
State Louisiana
Postal code/ZIP 70116
Country United States
Seating capacity 400
Reservations No
Night view of Cafe du Monde
Café du Monde placard
Café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde in New Orleans

Café du Monde (French About this sound  ) ; French for "Café of the World"), is a coffee shop on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It is best known for its café au lait and its French-style beignets. The New Orleans-style coffee is blended with chicory.


The French brought coffee with them as they began to settle along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River, circa 1700. During the American Civil War, the New Orleans Creoles developed the chicory-blended coffee (as there was a coffee shortage)—which has continued to be served at Café du Monde and other New Orleans restaurants. Chicory adds a chocolate-like flavor to café au lait.

The Acadians (Cajuns) from Nova Scotia brought other French customs, such as the beignet, to Louisiana in the 18th century. Unlike most doughnuts, beignets are squared pieces of dough with no hole in the middle and are most often covered with powdered sugar. Sometimes they are seen served with fruit, jam, maple syrup, or even savory items.[1] At Café du Monde, the beignets are served traditionally, with a thick covering of powdered sugar, in orders of three.[2]

The menu at Café du Monde is simple, as it only includes dark-roasted coffee with chicory, beignets, white and chocolate milk, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. The coffee is served black or au lait. According to the Café du Monde’s vice president, Burton E. Benrud, Jr., the beignets remain the only food item on the French Market location's menu; and Café du Monde is committed to “keeping things the way they’ve always been: recipes have gone relatively unchanged.”[3]

Café du Monde is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for Christmas Day and days when "the occasional hurricane passes too close to New Orleans",[4] and is patronized by both locals and visitors.


Due to Hurricane Katrina, the shop closed at midnight on August 27, 2005. Although it suffered only minor damage, it remained closed for nearly two months. Owners took advantage of the low-traffic interval afterwards to refurbish the eating areas and kitchens. Six weeks after the hurricane, Café du Monde began promoting its re-opening as a sign that the city’s recovery had begun. Over 100 news media outlets, including ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, reported on the event. The opening of Café du Monde post-Katrina gave the city of New Orleans the boost it needed following the natural disaster.[5] The French Quarter location reopened on October 19, 2005, to national media attention.[6][7]


“The Butcher’s Hall” is the name of the original building in which the café housed itself. It was built by the Spanish in 1791 on the site of the very first French Market building; however, it was damaged by a hurricane in 1812. A new building went up in 1813. Now, the Café Du Monde stands in the same location and has been there since 1862. [8]

The location at the end of the French Market was established in 1862.[9] For over a century it was one of two similar coffee-and-beignet places in the Market, the other being Morning Call, which was established in 1870 and moved out of the old French Market in 1974 to the suburban area of Metairie.[10]

Starting in the late 1980s, Café du Monde opened up additional locations in shopping malls. [11] There are a total of eight Café du Monde coffee stand locations in the New Orleans metropolitan area: the original located in the French Market at 800 Decatur Street, Riverwalk Marketplace, Esplanade Mall, Lakeside Mall, Oakwood Mall, Veterans Boulevard, Mandeville, and Covington. [12]

Japanese franchise[edit]

Beginning with the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans, Café du Monde was approached by Japanese businesses interested in expanding the brand to Japan. In 1989 the Duskin Company formally contacted Café du Monde, and a franchise agreement was agreed in time for Duskin to open its first Japanese outlets in 1990. The franchise expanded to a peak of 32 locations, and as of 2014 has 21 locations in Japan.[13]

For the most part, the Japanese Café du Monde franchise has kept the same aesthetic as the original locations: green and white color scheme and the style of French Quarter architecture. Unlike the Café du Monde stores in Louisiana, the Japan franchise expanded the original menu by adding different varieties of beignets, but the Café du Monde coffee with chicory stays the same. Along with their varieties of beignet toppings, the Japanese franchise also offers seasonal desserts, which are not offered at Café du Monde in Louisiana. [14]

Online café[edit]

Café du Monde also sells merchandise on their original website. This includes the Café du Monde beignet mix, coffee, apparel, mugs, accessories, sweets, books, art, and gift baskets. Each different gift basket is named after the streets of the different locations. One could also become a member of the Café du Monde Coffee club. This offers three different plans to receive cans of both regular and chicory coffee every three months for one year. These plans include the Loyola Ave. Coffee Plan, Napoleon Ave. Coffee Plan, and Louisiana Ave. Coffee Plan. [15] One could find step-by-step directions on how to make the Café du Monde beignets from the mix here.

In popular culture[edit]

Café du Monde has appeared in multiple fictional depictions of the city including the "Dave Robicheaux" series of novels by James Lee Burke, and novels by John Connolly, Adam Gnade,[16] Poppy Z. Brite, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Anne Rice, Kresley Cole and Nancy A. Collins. The café as it appeared in 1955 can be seen in an extended sequence in the William Castle film New Orleans Uncensored; and as it appeared shortly before Hurricane Katrina in two scenes in the 2003 movie Runaway Jury. The business is sung about in the Jimmy Buffett song, "The Wino and I Know."[17] In a 2009 episode of Man v. Food centered in New Orleans, the restaurant is visited by Adam Richman. In the 2013 movie Now You See Me, the character Merritt McKinney played by Woody Harrelson performs his magic tricks inside the café. In addition, it is featured multiple times in the TV series Tremé. Cafe du Monde is prominently featured in the 2014 film Chef, directed by and starring Jon Favreau.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beignets - From scriblita to the Big Easy". National Geographic Society. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "History". Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Dixler, Hillary. "Eater Elements: Café Du Monde's Beignets & Café Au Lait". Vox Media Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Original French Market Coffee Stand New Orleans - Our History". Cafe Du Monde. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  5. ^ "Café du Monde Re-opening Post-Katrina". Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "". USA Today. October 19, 2005. Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  7. ^ "". CNN. Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  8. ^ Roussey, Benjamin. "Historic New Orleans - Café Du Monde". City Story App. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "New York Food Journal Review of New Orleans Street Food". 
  10. ^ "Morning Call Coffee Stand, New Orleans’ "most famous coffee drinking place". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  11. ^ "". Deep South Jewish Voice. December 17, 2008. Retrieved October 12, 2010.  External link in |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Locations". Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Larino, Jennifer (October 6, 2014). "The untold story behind how Café Du Monde stands ended up in Japan". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2014-10-06. 
  14. ^ Morales, Daniel. "Café Du Monde Abroad - Beignets in Japan". Blank Slate Factory Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Café Du Monde Coffee Club". Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "The Wino And I Know | Jimmy Buffett Song - Yahoo! Music". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°57′27″N 90°03′43″W / 29.957515°N 90.061823°W / 29.957515; -90.061823