500BestSquareCafe Au Lait @ Morning Call Coffee Stand

The most distinctive beverage in New Orleans is not the Sazerac, Barq’s Root Beer, or Dixie 45. It’s cafe au lait. For a century and a half before Starbucks got the rest of the country to drink latte, we in New Orleans enjoyed an even better cup of coffee in the same style. It starts with a very dark roast coffee, blended with only a slightly smaller amount of roasted, ground chicory root. This is drip-brewed to make an opaque, deep mahogany brew. It’s poured into the cup at the same time as hot, whole milk. This is is truly the flavor of New Orleans. The argument goes on as to whether the Cafe du Monde or the Morning Call makes the better cafe au lait. I say it’s the latter, but it’s not a big enough difference to get worked up about. As long as it lives on. Which is not a foregone conclusion these days. The number of restaurants serving chicory coffee declines with each year.


Morning Call Coffee Stand. Metairie: 3325 Severn Ave. 504-885-4068.

This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.

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