The first Friday in June is the day to celebrate donuts. New Orleans has more to celebrate than most cities because they specialize in those delicious, sugar-dusted French donuts: beignets. Here are some of the best places to eat beignets and conventional donuts in NOLA.
District Donuts is a cute spot to get a freshly made donut, a coffee, and a delicious burger. There are six donuts on the menu weekly, but there are more than 100 options in the catalog that slip into the rotating menu. There are three donuts to expect on the menu, rain or shine: glazed, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate glazed. District Donuts makes everything from scratch (right down to the sprinkles!) and uses all-natural ingredients whenever possible. Specialty flavors include the decadent white chocolate with raspberry sugar and champagne pastry cream, king cake, and coconut-mango sticky rice.
Buttermilk Drop Bakery
Buttermilk Drop Bakery is famous for its king cakes, buttermilk drops, and melt-in-your-mouth donuts. Every year Buttermilk Drop celebrates National Donut Day with a special: buy a dozen glazed donuts and get a second dozen free! You'll need to invite over a few of your fully vaccinated friends to help you finish 24 donuts. Or maybe not (you're not a quitter!). Besides glazed, Buttermilk Drop also has cream and jelly-filled donuts, chocolate twists, and glazed twists.
Terrytown Cafe & Donuts
Back in 1991, Phillip Songy started his family-owned donut shop that has since blossomed into a full-service neighborhood restaurant, Terrytown Cafe & Donuts. In 2015, the signature glazed donut was voted "Best Doughnuts City Wide" in a local competition. The hand-cut classic donuts are incredibly affordable; a single donut is less than a dollar. Fifteen donut holes will run you less than three bucks. Try chocolate coconut, blueberry crumble, and the New Orleans staple, the king cake donut (complete with a terrifying baby figurine).
Hot, fresh donuts are served 24 hours a day at Gerald's Donuts. The family-owned and operated establishments (three locations in total) also make king cakes all year round, not just during Mardi Gras. Classic cake donuts come in flavors like powdered lemon, blueberry, maple, and strawberry cream. The specialty donut options include caramel apple, king cake, M&M, and even a flavor dedicated to the Saints. If you've got an appetite, get a "Big Donut," which is double the size of a regular one.
Cafe du Monde
Beignets are the donut style of choice in New Orleans, and nowhere is more iconic to get them than Cafe du Monde. The original Cafe du Monde Coffee Stand was established in the New Orleans French Market back in 1862. This tourist destination is open 24/7 and only closes on Christmas Day or during particularly nasty hurricanes. Beignets were brought to Louisiana by the Acadians, and these square, powdered sugar-covered pillows of perfection are what Cafe du Monde is known for (alongside its cafe au lait). Each order includes three beignets.
While tourists go to Cafe du Monde, locals come to Cafe Beignet to scratch that itch nothing but fried dough can cure. It won the People's Choice Award for best traditional beignet in 2017. There are four locations throughout New Orleans with a fifth on the way, but no matter which location you patronize, an order of beignets is less than five bucks. The beignets are fried to order with crispy, sugary outsides and sweet, soft insides. Takeout is available at the Canal Street location.