Beer and Beignets in New Orleans: A Divine Pairing

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Advisor - Rachel Larson
Curated By

Rachel Larson

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Active Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • New Orleans

  • Louisiana

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Entertainment

A picture of a dessert on a paper bag.
Curator’s statement

Visiting New Orleans has been a bucket list trip for me since 2010 when a friend posted on Facebook a photo of a quant looking coffee shop with a pastry mounted with white sugar almost as tall as their coffee cup. Almost 10 years later, I finally had the opportunity to indulge myself in a New Orleans food and booze journey that could only be summed up as voodoo magic for the soul. The trip had one goal: to eat beignets daily, if not twice, and try local breweries. After a rocky start getting late to our hotel the day we arrived and local eateries mostly closing, I started the trip with some leftover plane snacks and a glass of wine for dinner dreaming of the culinary journey to come. Early to rise the next morning we set out on our first stop of the many to the heart of the French Quarter, which housed the mecca of pastry perfection: New Orleans world-famous beignets. Having tasted and sipped my way through the city, the following is my list of the BEST beignets and beers in the city.

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Where to stay in New Orleans

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Things to do in New Orleans

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Other Incredible things to do

  1. Take a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking - You will learn how to cook with the “Holy Trinity” of Creole cooking and sample some of the best southern seasonings, along with prep hacks and create the best pecan pralines you will ever make. Oh, and you get to eat what you make.

  2. Swamp tour - Get your fears in check if you don't do reptiles, snakes or alligators because this swamp tour is chock full of all of the above and then some all while on a high-speed airboat that only skims the surface of the swamp habitat.

  3. Ghost and cemetery tour - New Orleans wouldn't feel right without a good scare from the other side, your host prepares you for some dark and blood curdling tales from history as well as modern day haunts that are sure to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck all while walking the French corridor at night.

Places to eat & drink in New Orleans

Picture of food on a plate

Top 3 Beignets

  1. Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarte r- The OG, where it all began and hands down the best beignets in New Orleans. The hype is worth it. My hopes, dreams and inspirations met in the first bite of the white powdered sugar mountain and perfectly crispy yet slightly chewy dough. Just. Plain. Nirvana. Complete with a jazz band to serenade, the waiting crowd lines up outside the door. I will admit we went every single morning to start the day.

  2. Cafe Beignet on Royal Street - It felt like walking into a 1950’s soda fountain, but instead of ice cream sundaes they were serving up hot powdery beignets. We ate at two French quarter locations. The location nearest the train station featured a magic piano playing classic barber shop tunes, but I liked the Royal Street vibes best. The beignets were great, loaded with powdered sugar, which is my measuring stick now for beignet deliciousness, but I missed the doughy texture, which is what I loved about Cafe Du Monde’s beignets.

  3. Brennans New Orleans: Bananas Foster Beignets - When Disney wants in on the recipe to serve in the Disney parks, you know these beignets pack a punch and they did not disappoint. The ooey gooey caramel meshed with the flakiness of the beignet dough is pure magic. However, I stand by my #1 pick Cafe Du Monde as the best classic beignet. There is just something altruistically pure about fried dough loaded with powdered sugar and nothing else.

Napoleon House - Honorable mention, not only were the beignets lovely, but the environment also pleasant and welcoming with an indoor open atrium garden room; the food was phenomenal and the Pimm's Cup so delicious with house made lemonade and a cucumber slice, we dined here four times during our trip because we could not get enough.

Top 3 Beers

  1. Abita Brewing Company - My top pick for overall beer choices in totality. However, the caveat here is that many Abita beers are widely distributed because they are good. Therefore, when in New Orleans, ask for seasonal offerings that you may not get elsewhere. Best beers always on tap: Amber Lager (#1 beer), Turbodog Brown Ale and Wrought Iron my personal favorite (IPA).

  2. Brieux Carré Brewing Company - Beer to try: Nank Dugs Double IPA -Because I am crazy about IPA’s and beer tends to fill me up easily, a rolling in at 8% ABV is a boozy pack for the punch. Perfect blend of citra notes and that fragrant dankness, an IPA’s true signature. Another solid choice is the Falcon Warrior, also an IPA. Because again, I love IPA.

  3. Urban South Brewery - Try their sours, whatever is on tap. They do some crazy milkshake style beers that are thicker than a Louisiana swamp, but my shining star is the crisp New England IPA. See a recurring IPA theme happening?

Honorable mention to NOLA Brewing being the oldest craft brewery in the city and churning out some session able light options to pair with flavor packed NOLA creole dishes and Port Orleans Brewing Company however Abita has my heart which is truly a fan fav in not only New Orleans but microbrewery fans at large.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Summerlin Holzhalb’s guide, The Perfect Girls Weekend in New Orleans.

Advisor - Rachel Larson

Travel Advisor

Rachel Larson

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to New Orleans.