Beignets Not a Laughing Matter!
Updated: Aug 19
The Beignet Fest returns to New Orleans on Sept. 23, 2023.
There’s a rule in New Orleans when eating beignets, those delicious puffy pastries lightly fried and doused with white confectioner’s sugar that is served with the city’s signature coffee and chicory.
The secret? Don’t laugh!
For if you do, all that soft white sugar goes everywhere and it’s a devil to wipe off your clothes.
Now that you know the rule, you’ll undoubtedly laugh every time.
If you love beignets as much as we do, you won’t want to miss the Beignet Fest, which returns to New Orleans Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in beautiful City Park.
We couldn’t agree more that beignets are as part of the city as Mardi Gras. This square piece of dough that’s fried and sprinkled with sugar has been a mainstay of New Orleans for decades, served up hot at Café du Monde in the heart of the French Quarter. Café du Monde doesn’t close (only on Christmas and possibly during a hurricane), so it’s the late-night spot for those needing a slice of heaven. Do try the coffee and chicory, the perfect accompaniment for the doughy goodness. But for those who throw their hands up at java (mon dieu!), there’s white and chocolate milk and orange juice.
But back to that festival. All proceeds from the event benefit the non-profit, Beignet Fest Foundation which aims to "celebrate, embrace and enhance the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities by presenting them as whole beings, and to support organizations that do the same."
As for the food, the festival serves a wide variety of beignets, some sweet and innovative and some savory. The menu includes more than 80 menu options with nearly 50 unique takes on beignets, including last year’s winners, Loretta’s Praline Beignet and Crabmeat Beignet as well as Old School Eats’s Blackberry Cloud Beignet. New this year are vegan and gluten-free beignets, ice cream stuffed beignets, Bananas Foster beignets, Ruby Slipper Café’s sweet potato cheesecake and espresso praline beignets, and PJ’s pizza beignets.
“This year we’re showcasing a menu that promises one-of-a-kind beignets from vendors across south Louisiana and neighboring states like Texas and Alabama,” says Beignet Fest Foundation Executive Director Sherwood Collins. “We feel a renewed energy and momentum with more food options than ever before.”
The full Beignet Festival menu includes:
Afrodisiac NOLA: Jerk chicken beignets, Jamaican beef patty beignets, spinach and artichoke beignets.
Any O' Cajun: Crawfish and corn beignets with signature son-in-law sauce, crab slider, seafood stuffed pistolette.
Big O's Original Pops: Cafe au Lait, strawberry lemonade pop, vanilla custard pop, "Popsicle Po-Boy"
bof bars: Ice cream-stuffed beignets, fleur-de-lis popsicles (vegan), ice cream bars.
Café Beignet: Traditional beignets with sugar.
Chubbie's Fried Chicken: drummettes, whole wings and chicken and sausage gumbo.
Diva Dawg: Crawfish etouffee beignet fries, crown apple pie beignet, crabmeat grill cheesy, crawfish etouffee dawg.
Happi Pappi: Assorted flavor beignets, vegan beignets.
The Howlin' Wolf: Award-winning cheddar bacon beignets with chipotle crema, chicken and sausage jambalaya.
Loretta's Authentic Pralines: Praline beignet, chocolate praline beignet, The Famous crabmeat beignet, burger beignet, peanut butter and jelly beignet.
Meals from the Heart Café: Vegan beignets, gluten-free beignet donuts, gluten-free traditional gumbo, vegan gumbo.
Nobull Kitchen: Classic beignets, vanilla beignets, chocolate beignets.
Old School Eats: Blackberry Cloud beignets, No Brainer beignets, beignet Ole', Trinity (sampler).
Oh, Taste and See: Beignet bread pudding, shrimp pasta, shrimp and crab beignet rolls.
PJ's Coffee: Traditional beignets, beignets with caramel, pizza beignets.
Ruby Slipper Café: Tasso cream cochon beignets, sweet potato cheesecake and espresso praline beignets, Very Berry lemon beignets.
Sno-La Snoballs: Chantilly snoball, beignet snoball, super strawberry lemonade, traditional snoballs.
Sweet Legacy: Fried chicken & beignets, honey pecan beignets, bourbon brisket beignets, huckabucks.
Valerie's Snoballs: Snoballs.
The Vintage: Beignet bites, crawfish beignets, pear and brie beignet, Parmesan truffle fries.
Other festival attractions include the Abita Beer Garden, an Artist Market and a VIP tent with exclusive access to private viewing near the stage, bathrooms and complimentary beverages.
There will also be live music throughout the day on two stages.
Black Magic Drumline (10:15 a.m.)
Imagination Movers (11 a.m.)
New Soul Finders feat. Marilyn Barbarin and Marc Stone (12:30 p.m.)
Mia Borders (2 p.m.)
Flow Tribe (3:30 p.m.)
Flagboy Giz (5 p.m.)
If you go…
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Date: Sept. 23, 2023
Where: The Festival Grounds in New Orleans City Park.
Admission: $20 per person, children 12 and under admitted free with a paid adult. VIP tickets are $50 for adults in advance. Ticket prices increase on the day of the festival.
Social: @beignetfest on Facebook and Instagram
Weird, Wacky & Wild South is written by New Orleans native Cheré Dastugue Coen who will always take time out for beignets and coffee au lait.