Eat + Drink

Sweet Spots: Hunting the Best Desserts in New Orleans

Pralines at Southern Candymakers (Photo: Joshua Brasted)

As a food mecca, New Orleans knows how to wow visitors for every single meal — and dessert is no exception. Here are four local favorites to satiate your sweet tooth:

Café Beignet

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Beignets at Café Beignet (Photo: Joshua Brasted)

When it comes to sweet treats, beignets are a true New Orleans institution. These fried golden squares are heavily dusted with powdered sugar, and while they make an excellent dessert, locals and visitors eat them at any time of day. Instead of waiting in endless lines at Café du Monde and bumping elbows with a bustling crowd of tourists, head over to Café Beignet to enjoy a trio of crispy beignets in a more relaxed atmosphere. It has two French Quarter locations, though you may prefer the café on Royal over Bourbon Street due to the influx of crowds on the infamous thoroughfare.

Brennan’s

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Brennan’s Bananas Foster (Photo: Joshua Brasted)

Bananas Foster, another quintessential New Orleans dessert, was created by chef Paul Blangé at Brennan’s, which has been serving the city from its French Quarter location since 1946. This heavenly concoction starts with bananas sautéed in a sauce made with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and banana liqueur, flamed with rum (often tableside) and served over vanilla ice cream. Bananas Foster still tops Brennan’s dessert menu nearly 70 years later, and it can now be found at any number of restaurants across the city.

Southern Candymakers

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Southern Candymakers (Photo: Joshua Brasted)

Creamy pralines, a New Orleans classic, may be Southern Candymakers’ claim to fame, but this confectionery has plenty more in its arsenal of sweet treats. Its gooey, made-from-scratch caramel tortues, or turtles with a French twist, come in four flavors: chocolate, cashew, sea salt and peanut. This confectionery cooks its English toffees, which are created using a more than three-centuries-old recipe, over flame in a copper kettle to be light, crisp and buttery rather than sticky. Rounding out the decadent dessert lineup is an array of chocolates, from fudge, chocolate clusters and Mississippi Mud to chocolate-covered cherries, Oreos and marzipan.

Creole Creamery

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Creole Creamery’s Brownie Sunday (Photo: Joshua Brasted)

While it has some stiff competition, Creole Creamery is arguably one of New Orleans’ finest ice cream parlors. The creamery not only creates some of the best-tasting ice cream around, but it also fills its menu with unique and exotic flavors that change regularly. Over the years, flavors have ranged from Blackberry Mojito and Blue Cheese-Walnut to Cayenne Lime Butter and Lavender Honey. If you’re brave, the Tchoupitoulas sundae challenges you to finish eight scoops of ice cream with eight toppings of your choice — finish, and you’ll join the Hall of Fame.