Café du Monde

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Café Du Monde
Café du Monde Wordmark.png
Café Du Monde is open 24 hours a day
Restaurant information
Current owner(s)Fernandez family
Food typeCoffee & beignets
Dress codeCasual
Street address800 Decatur Street
CityNew Orleans
Postal/ZIP Code70116
CountryUnited States
Seating capacity400
Night view of Cafe du Monde
"Original French Market Coffee Stand"
Café au lait and beignets at Café Du Monde in New Orleans

Café du Monde (French for "Café of the World" or "the People's Café") is a renowned open-air coffee shop located on Decatur Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It is a New Orleans landmark and tourist destination, known for its café au lait and beignets.


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 with a thick coating of powdered sugar and sold in orders of three.[2]

The menu at Café Du Monde includes only dark-roasted coffee with chicory (served black or au lait), beignets, white and chocolate milk, hot chocolate, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.[3] 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.”[4]


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 re-opening.[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 at the French Market site where the Café Du Monde is located. It was built by the Spanish in 1791; however, it was damaged by a hurricane in 1812. A new market building went up in 1813.[8] The coffee stand was established at the upriver end of the French Market in 1862.[9]

For over a century Café Du Monde 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 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 2016 has 10 locations in Japan.[13] However, in the days immediately preceding the end of the franchise agreement, there was only one location remaining.

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] However, Duskin ended the business relationship in early 2018, closing all Café Du Monde locations in Japan on March 31st, 2018. [15]

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, David Morrell, 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 pre-Katrina in two scenes of 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. Café Du Monde is prominently featured as a destination spot 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. ^ "About Cafe Du Monde". Archived from the original on 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  4. ^ Dixler, Hillary. "Eater Elements: Café Du Monde's Beignets & Café Au Lait". Vox Media Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Café du Monde Re-opening Post-Katrina". Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. 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. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. 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.
  12. ^ "Locations". Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  13. ^ Our location Archived 2005-06-05 at the Wayback Machine - Cafe Du Monde Japan(12/01/2016)
  14. ^ Morales, Daniel. "Café Du Monde Abroad - Beignets in Japan". Blank Slate Factory Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  15. ^ Fujisawa, Bunta. "Café Du Monde exits Japan, contract with Duskin ended". Zaikei Shimbun. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-09. Retrieved 2014-03-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  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