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Cafe Du Monde- Worth it?

jessierandall Feb 11, 2008 08:54 PM

I am going to Brennan's for brunch on Sunday and have Saturday open. Is there a better option than at Cafe Du Monde? (This board doesn't make me that excited about the place.) I'm looking for a good brunch- it could be anything from a sit down place to a bakery. Would I be better off just going to a farmer's market on Saturday?

Thank you!

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  1. Panama Hat RE: jessierandall Feb 12, 2008 02:37 AM

    I am from NO and have lived in the Quarter for about 20 years and still love to go to Cafe Du Monde. I just took my granddaughter there three weeks ago. They only have beignets but that is all they need. It's a classic, don't miss it, but go early. All you want is beignets and cafe au lait.

    1. m
      mgb RE: jessierandall Feb 12, 2008 05:07 AM


      Keep in mind what CDM is and what it isn't. It IS a long-time must do in New Orleans. It is a colorful and interesting place to visit. It is a place you will likely always remember visiting. It is cafe au lait, beignets, milk and water. It is people watching, waiting in line, marveling at the number of people who have sat in those powered-sugar covered chairs at those powdered-sugar covered tables. It is crowded, messy and not particularly relaxing. However, it is also very good at what it is. I will agree with some who say that it is not what it once was. But whenever a place can survive as long as CDM has with so few offerings it is obviously doing something right. The sum of CDM is more than its individual parts.

      CDM is NOT a breakfast place unless you want cafe au lait and beignets for breakfast. It is not Brennan's for brunch. However, it is laso not something to miss.

      My advice...don't plan for CDM as you would Brennan's or a breakfast place. You will likely pass by CDM several times during your visit due to the location. If you pass by some afternoon/evening and could use a refuel or snack and the line is not too long...stop by. The visit will be quick, the cost nominal and above all else, worth the investment.

      Now, for good breakfast places in the Quarter, try Petunia's or the Old Coffee Pot. If you want to venture out of the Quarter, Elizabeth's is a short trip away in the Bywater and a true New Orleans neighborhood joint...one of my favorites. Enjoy your trip and know that no matter what you do or where you go you are helping to ReNew Orleans (especially so if you frequent the locally owned businesses).

      1. s
        Shiloh RE: jessierandall Feb 12, 2008 05:55 AM

        to me, there's few things better in this world than an order of beignets and a cafe au lait from cafe du monde. i know your question of "worth it?" wasn't a monetary one, but it bears mentioning that you can be in and out for about five bucks. another good thing is to get your coffee and beignets to go and bring them up to one of the benches overlooking the mississippi river on the moonwalk. unless you are not into the idea of fried dough dusted with powdered sugar, i wouldn't miss it if i were you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shiloh
          Hungry Celeste RE: Shiloh Feb 12, 2008 06:34 AM

          My thoughts, too. "Worth" is a relative term. It is cheap, quick, offers some good people-watching, and it is an institution. Why skip it? It's not a tourist trap--although many of its customers are indeed tourists, it has a narrow, focused menu and does just what it has always done for decades. Not much changes--green vinyl chairs, sticky, sugary tables, pigeons hopping around, little kids making a sugar mess, grownups making a sugar mess...what's not to like? It is from an era before marketing & focus groups determined the look, feel, and offerings of an establishment.

        2. b
          bronwen RE: jessierandall Feb 12, 2008 06:15 AM

          It'll only take 20 minutes out of your life (if there's not a big line) so go for it.

          6 Replies
          1. re: bronwen
            jessierandall RE: bronwen Feb 12, 2008 06:42 AM

            I appreciate your words of wisdom. I am (sigh) limited to only a day and a half in New Orleans and really want to experience everything. I am beyond excited about my brief trip and hope it is the first of many. CDM seems like an institution not to be missed- very well worth the possible wait. Thanks for setting me right.

            1. re: jessierandall
              Hungry Celeste RE: jessierandall Feb 12, 2008 07:52 AM

              I wouldn't wait in line...just go at an off-time, like midafternoon, for a snack.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste
                CEfromLA RE: Hungry Celeste Feb 12, 2008 08:02 AM

                I agree! I like ending my evening there, with beignets and hot chocolate!

                1. re: CEfromLA
                  kkak97 RE: CEfromLA Feb 13, 2008 01:40 PM

                  Agreed CEfromLA. It is great way to end the day.

                2. re: Hungry Celeste
                  cajungirl RE: Hungry Celeste Feb 12, 2008 08:58 AM

                  Yes, I agree. Don't miss it, but don't wait in a long line. Check to see which of the lines is shortest (there's more than one). Also, don't wait for a maitre d' to seat you. I tried to convince some tourists once that they had to secure their own (uncleaned) table, but they didn't believe me.

                  1. re: cajungirl
                    jessierandall RE: cajungirl Feb 12, 2008 03:59 PM

                    Mmm...I didn't know about the hot chocolate! This is a must!

            2. c
              crewsweeper RE: jessierandall Feb 13, 2008 09:53 AM

              For the NOLA expereince you have to do CDM, at least once. Try it early and watch the river wake up from the levee. Then later go stuff a gut at the Coffee Pot or Petunia's, so you can skip lunch and save room for dinner. But if you want to stick with the brunch thing Court of Two Sisters used to do a brunch on Saturday. Local's, is it still offered?


              1 Reply
              1. re: crewsweeper
                redbeanz RE: crewsweeper Feb 17, 2008 06:03 PM

                Yes - Court of Two Sisters does a brunch EVERY day -- jazz musicians in courtyard, delicious huge shrimp, grillades and grits, gumbo -- a great way to taste a lot of local favorites.

              2. Uncle Bob RE: jessierandall Feb 18, 2008 04:22 AM

                My favortie time for CDM in the Quarter is early, early, early!!...before the late sleeping tourist arrive......It is "Worth it"

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