Well known and loved, Café Du Monde is a must visit while in New Orleans. As the anchor of the French Market, this charming open air cafe is known for beignets and coffee.
Open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, it’s usually just as packed at 10pm as it is at 10am.
As I sit down with Jay Roman, member of the family behind Café Du Monde, I’m fascinated by his story and how this uncomplicated coffee shop stands the test of time.
Café Du Monde was established in 1862 as a traditional coffee shop at the corner of the French Market, known then as The Butcher’s Hall.
“My grandfather bought it in 1942 and our family has operated it ever since”, Jay explains. “About a dozen of us are still involved”.
As anticipated, each person that I interviewed in New Orleans was pivotally impacted by hurricane Katrina. Jay Roman was no different.
He tells me that Café Du Monde was closed fewer days from 1942-2005 than it was after hurricane Katrina. After the hurricane “we were closed for 36 days…a greater amount of time than we had been closed in our history”.
The grand reopening of Café Du Monde was a symbol in history—filled with live jazz, coverage from the TODAY show and lots of locals. As Jay says the reopening was “a sign the city was back and that it survived.”
To be inspired by an establishment that has weathered many storms, put Café Du Monde on your list of places to visit before you die. Order a plate of beignets and a café au lait.
To follow Jay Roman’s tasty New Orleans recommendations, click his Chef Rec.
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