by Jaime Gelpi
New Orleans is a city that never stops, and our kind of energy requires a ton of boosting. How do we do it? The booming coffee culture, that is!
A proud barista myself, I’m never seen without a cup of joe. I’ve spent most of my collegiate years searching all the local spots for the creamiest iced soy latte (my daily choice, even in our “winter”). It’s not uncommon for me to get a text that reads, “I’m near a particular area of the city, where should I grab coffee?”
Still working on my latte art, though.
All jokes aside, let’s get down to it. Low and behold, here’s my top 5 New Orleans cafés:
Jaime’s Top 5 New Orleans Cafés to visit:
611 O’Keefe Avenue
Willa Jean serves up a craft favorite: their signature Iced Milk Money Latte (although a solo suggestion, it’s good enough to make this list). A portion of your tender will go to support farmers and allow them to do what they do best. What do I do best? Order coffee.
Pick up a pastry or loaf of bread while you’re there, or dine in to enjoy one of Chef John Besh’s impeccable restaurants. The bakery bar alone is completely Instagram-worthy, and the crisp atmosphere puts you in a seriously chic state of mind. And your latte? A perfect amount of sweetness, creaminess and caffeination. In other words, a vanilla-clad delight.
627 Saint Peter Street
While I wouldn’t want to stand here during a crowded morning rush (it’s a tight squeeze), this coffee is outrageously good. For fans of black coffee, get one of their many pour overs. For haters of black coffee, this place could change your entire outlook.
Minimal decor with maximum energy baristas, I’d recommend this place to anyone strolling along the French Quarter grid.
1829 Sophie Wright Place
For the edgier of heart and lover of all things LGD, Hi-Volt is a gem and a half. These baristas are dressed in the best vintage threads and could probably give you some solid recommendations on where they find their digs. Art lines the black and white decor, vegan muffins sit in the cooler and a solid lunch menu stands in front.
My favorite things? An iced soy latte (obviously) or a Cacao Smoothie. Their lattes are made with that third-wave, good-good coffee technology, leaving you energized all day long. For those who like their coffee with an extra something (like bananas, cacao goodness and sweet agave), their Cacao Smoothie could be a great breakfast option for those on the go!
Pulp & Grind
644 Camp Street & 5720 Magazine Street
My first experience at Pulp & Grind was after a morning at the neighboring Ogden Museum, with desperate needs of a sweet treat. I devoured a fruit tart, gushed over the modern layout and made a note to return back. I’ve been a loyal fan of this place ever since.
Need your greens? They’ve got a line of juices to keep you on track. Want to stay awake? Their iced lattes are so fresh and creamy, I’d dare to say it tastes as guilt-free as the juice. Near Magazine Street and can’t make it to the CBD? They just opened another location there (and the iced matcha will make you a newfound loyal fan, too).
Stumptown Coffee @ Ace Hotel
610 Carondelet Street
My personal favorite of New Orleans cafés is Stumptown. Stumptown’s coffee is well-known all around, but for very, very good reasons. Their coffee is just plain good. Drinkable straight to cocktail varieties, their roasts are the difference between a cup of coffee and a cup of coffee. Fellow barista friends, y’all know what I mean.
While it could just be the location or the slick wooden interior, their iced latte is an essential for an afternoon in the Ace lobby and impromptu photo booth sessions. Nestled in what is slowly becoming one of my favorite blocks in the city (saving that for another time), this place, above all, is my top choice for liquid life support.
Although this is a heavily curated list, there’s a coffee shop on practically every corner of the city. Where’s your regular spot? Who’s got the best beans? Let me know in the comments!
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