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Feb 11, 2008 08:54 PM

Cafe Du Monde- Worth it?

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. 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. Jessie,

      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 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. 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

          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. 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

            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

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

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

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

                1. re: CEfromLA

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

                2. re: Hungry Celeste

                  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

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

            2. 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

                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.