Morning Call

Review by: Michael Stern

New Orleans’ Signature Pastry

Like ordinary donuts, beignets range from heavyweight to heavenly. Those served at Morning Call are divine. Lightweight and crisp-edged, they always come hot from the fry kettle. For a Crescent City snack at its best, you won’t do better than beignets and cafe au lait at Morning Call.

Sugar comes one of two ways: in a brown paper bag or in shakers. If you get the bag, it is your job to drop the beignet in it. Shake well, then I dare you to remove the sugar-covered pastry without getting powdered sugar all over your hands, clothes, and the table. More commonly, you will get the shakers, but even with them, sugar flies. Do not expect to go anywhere after Morning Call and not confess that you’ve been eating beignets.

A French Market Original

It has had its ups and downs and relocations over the years. But Morning Call is vintage New Orleans, having opened in the French Market in 1870. Urban renewal squeezed it out in 1974. It then moved to Metarie, and a location in City Park’s Casino Building. After that last place closed, fans thought it might be gone forever. But in March, 2021, the newest incarnation opened at Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue.

From the outside, it doesn’t necessarily look like an important part of New Orleans culinary history. But the moment you enter, you see that it is. Staff dress in crisp white uniforms and bow ties. Mirrors line the wall like at Galatoire’s (but at 1/10 the price). Lighting is vintage incandescent.

It’s Not Just Coffee With Milk!

Do note that Morning Call’s cafe au lait is not just coffee with a lot of milk. No, no, it is full-bodied French drip chicory coffee poured out of its pitcher in a long flowing stream. When the cup is about half full, warm milk is added so that both streams swirl together, filling the cup to its top and creating a frothy head. It’s an essential half of the classic New Orleans duet of beignets and cafe au lait.

Directions & Hours

What To Eat

Cafe Au Lait



Morning Call Recipes


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