By Jhesika Menes-
In a city as well known for its cuisine as New Orleans, I was quite surprised at the lack of zeal folks had on the topic of ‘best coffee in town’. Of course, spouted across everyone’s lips were the famous words Cafe Du Monde, that wondrous tourist stop under the white and green awning in the French Quarter. Agreed, it’s the best place for fluffy powdered sugar doused beignets and chicory sippings, but I’m talking coffee- just plain, simple coffee that’s so good it’s all you talk about despite whatever accompanies it on the menu.
I accepted the challenge the universe subsequently assigned me and here is what I discovered.
Cafe Du Monde, with locations throughout the New Orleans metro area, is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It’s benchmark location nuzzles cozily between the open aire French Market and Decatur street in the beloved French Quarter. If chicory coffee is not your thing, you won’t like the signature cup here. Chicory adds a strong, bitter flavor and what feels to me like 3x the amount of caffeine.
My rating: ★★
Morning Call, located in Metairie, is another hot spot for beignets and chicory coffee. There’s no real difference here, other than the temperature of beignets and higher quality of table service (for which I’ll rate them an extra star). I suppose it’s easier to serve fresh from the fryer when there aren’t gobs of tourists in line demanding a sugar coma.
My rating: ★★★
Attiki Bar and Grill , a Mediterranean hookah bar, is not the candidate I was expecting in this venture. By pure happenstance I ended up there for lunch, not anticipating anything too stellar from a bar located across the street from the House of Blues. I ordered a coffee to enjoy before my plate of falafel and kibbeh arrived and was shocked at the presentation. A tall, daintily handled glass cup was placed before me and in it a deep brown liquid. Swirls of steam danced around the glass rim while a small caddy of fresh cream was situated nearby. I jazzed my drink and in one sip was sold.
My rating: ★★★★
Molly’s (At the Market), is one of my favorite French Quarter bars. From their website: ”Founded in (19)73, Molly’s has long since been a mandatory stop for all flavors of people, at all times of day. Open at 10 a.m. Molly’s is a great place to recover from last night – our Frozen and Hot Irish Coffees and Bloody Marys are infamous (that means more than famous).” Enough said. Trust when I say best frozen Irish coffee I’ve ever had, even though it’s the ONLY frozen Irish coffee I’ve ever had!
My rating: ★★★★
And lastly, my tip of the day – for those of you coffee hounds with lactose intolerance or dieting woes, try adding coconut milk to you cup o’ joe instead of milk. It adds an exotic creamy flavor and a miniscule amount of healthy fat.