Several years ago, I traveled to New Orleans for a week and experienced the most amazing beignets at Cafe Du Monde. I ate at least one beignet per day, Beignets are deep fried French pastries and are very popular in New Orleans. They are considered the state doughnut of Louisiana. I didn't think this would be possible in New York until I went to Ray's Candy Store, where I had the best beignets in New York City.
Cafe Du Monde (New Orleans)
The beignets at Cafe Du Monde were fluffy, hot, sweet, and served with a thick layer of powdered sugar on top. Traditionally, they're made on the spot as you order them, even at chain cafes like Cafe Du Monde.
Yelp: 4 stars
Google: 4.3 stars
Trip Advisor: 4 stars
Where to get Beignets in New York City?
Ray's Candy Store (East Village)
Ray's Candy Store, a small mom and pop deli located in the East Village that sells just about anything including New Orleans style beignets. For $5.00 my friend and I ordered a plate to share, which was made by Ray himself. The shared plate consisted of a large portion of fresh, hot, and fluffy, powdered sugar-y beignet goodness. Due to the space limitations seats are not available, most orders are made to go.
About Ray's Candy Store
Ratings:Yelp: 4.5 stars
Google: 4.6 stars
Ray's also sells soft serve ice cream to coffee, and Belgian fries. Known and loved amongst locals, in 2010, when Ray fell behind on the rent and faced eviction, friends, neighbors, and customers, quickly swooped in to help him out. Through hosting a series of fundraisers and starting a social media campaign meant to boost Ray's profile.
Caution: DO NOT wear dark clothing when you dig into these beignets. The powdered sugar got everywhere, it even ended up in my hair.
Despite the powdered sugar catastrophe, these beignets were one hundred percent worth it. I'm not a beignet expert but Ray's fluffy little pastries reminded me of authentic New Orleans beignets; this man clearly knows what he's doing. I'm willing to regularly make the trip halfway across Manhattan to treat myself to these Beignets, and that's how you know it's real.