Cafe’ Du Monde, known for its beignets as well as its coffee and chicory, has been open since 1862 and closes only for Christmas Day and the occasional hurricane. Located in the French Quarter, it is an essential stop if you travel to Orleans.
The place is always bustling with people who are eager to taste beignets and coffee and chicory. My typical order at Cafe’ Du Monde is a cup of cafe au lait with a order of beignets.
Cafe’ Du Monde serves coffee and chicory, which is a blend of regular coffee and ground up chicory leaves. Chicory was sometimes used as a coffee substitute in the old days when coffee was either really scarce or really expensive. Despite chicory’s humble past, Cafe’ Du Monde proudly serves coffee and chicory to this day.
I find that the chicory gives the coffee a hearty, earthy flavor that actually makes the coffee taste considerably stronger. This distinctive flavor provides a perfect foil for the sweet taste of the beignets, which are traditional French doughnuts topped with powdered sugar. They are thick, fluffy, delicate, and exceptionally delicious.