Café Du Monde is the classic New Orleans institution for beignets and coffee. It is open 24 hours a day in the French Market area adjacent to the French Quarter. One can buy the beignets at a little take out window, but to get the full experience one should sit at one of the café tables to leisurely sip on coffee while enjoying the delicious, airy, freshly prepared beignets, buried under a mound of powdered sugar. They sell some popular souvenir items, including coffee mugs, beignet mix, and coffee at a slightly lower price than at some of the nearby souvenir shops. Everything is cash only.
The French Market has a large farmer’s market selling all sorts of foodstuffs and a flea market. Southern Candymakers sells supposedly Bon Appetit magazine’s #1 praline. Try a free sample to decide for yourself (it was pretty good, even though I am not a big fan of pralines in general). Coop’s Place (found through Yelp) is a dive bar that also serves a full menu of New Orleans food. Their gumbo (thick and flavorful with shrimp, crab, and oyster) and fried chicken (spicy, much better than Popeye’s) were outstanding, but the rest of the items I had on the sampler platter (shrimp etouffee, jambalaya, red beans and rice) were just OK in my opinion.
Café du Monde website here
Southern Candymakers website here
Coops’ Place website here