If you’ve ever had the chance to be in New Orleans’ French quarter, you’ll come across an old building with a massive lineup at all hours of the day. That building, friends, is the world famous and historic Café Du Monde.

But what makes this place so special? It doesn’t look particularly impressive from the outside save for the lineup…

Why is Café Du Monde so famous?

Why’s Café Du Monde so famous? The simple answer is it’s delicious and unique. What? Too generic? Ok let us elaborate.

In the context of the mid 1800s (CDM opened its doors in 1862), their signature chicory coffee blend was a wonderfully tasty option that saved on the short supply of coffee and added a dimension of flavor that became irreplaceable by competitors outside of Louisiana. Keep in mind that the café opened up 1 year into the start of the American civil war. Resources were scarce and at the time, coffee was still a bit of a luxury. Remember that whole tea in the harbor thing a couple decades back?

So at the time, a shop that was able to offer a quality brew at a lower price with no supply disruption was a major selling point. In fact it still is, we just happen to have a bit more disposable income to spend on more artisanal roasts these days.

Unique roast

Due to the Cajuns’ French influence, Louisiana offered a unique blend of deep, dark roasted coffee mixed with chicory. This gave them a uniquely quality brew that was more affordable than regular pure coffee roasts.

Later on, they would be one of the first roasters to distribute a quality dark roast in a reusable tin. This combined with their price point, gave them an advantage and made them a household name that continued to grow in acclaim over the nearly 200 years that the company has been in business.

If you grew up with the orange tin in your house, chances are you went back and bought a can to try out as an adult at some point. Maybe you liked it, maybe you didn’t. But you gave it a shot among the hundreds of other brands in the coffee aisle because it’s familiar.

Simple Menu

The menu at their flagship location

Not every shop can be like the Cheesecake Factory with their 250+ items. Louisiana’s finest has but a handful of options for you to choose from. Coffee, iced or hot, milk or none for the main beverage, and beignets or no. There’s a handful of other drinks that come in bottles but your choices are essentially beignets and a drink.

And what a shame it is to line up here and not get their coffee with the beignets. Even if you don’t like sweets.

Beignets and beignet mix

If you found your way here through your favorite search engine, chances are the query autocompleted to something like “cafe du monde beignets”. They’re awesome puffy crispy donuts covered in powdered sugar and are soft and doughy when you bite into them. The perfect coffee snack really.

Think back, when was the last time you had a freshly hot pastry with your coffee rather than some pre-made industrial donut or cake that’s been sitting in the display case all day? Can you even remember a time? Those display case pastries are fine, but this is great.

Once again, they stand out because they do a simple thing at a high level of quality when everyone else does everything at an average level.

One curious thing you might have wondered if you’ve been invited to a lot of Vietnamese households is why everyone has the orange can of coffee that’s got nothing to do with Vietnam in their homes.

The reason behind its popularity is simple, when Vietnamese refugees came to America, they of course tried to recreate the familiar taste of Vietnamese coffee. Because there weren’t any Vietnamese coffees on the market, they had to make do with whatever dark roasts were available on the shelves at the time. The best option being Café Du Monde due to their deep French style roast. And once you get into the chicory flavor. it’s hard to find an alternative that’s readily available.


Is Café Du Monde cash only?

Yes, make sure you have cash on hand before lining up at the shop.

Is Café Du Monde owned by Vietnamese?

Not at all. Café Du Monde is a New Orleans institution from all the way back in 1862 and has been owned by the Fernandez family since 1942. The reason many people think Vietnamese people own it is because it’s a classic pick for Vietnamese Coffee in America due to its deep, dark roast and familiar chicory flavor.

How much are the beignets at Café Du Monde?

As of 2024, a plate of 3 beignets at the café costs $3.85 and for the beignet mix to make at home, a 28oz box is $4.73 plus tax. Live prices here.