New Orleans is oft talked about as a party city - and indeed it is - but it is also much more. We went armed with recommendations from some friends and co-workers, but without any solid plans - just a list of ideas of things to do or places to go. I wanted to put up my list of how those recommendations turned out, and the things we loved that we found on our own. There's so much, I could never cover it all, but maybe I can help you start your day off right, or find the perfect end to an evening.
Cafe du Monde - ★★☆☆☆ - Recommended by basically everyone who's ever been to New Orleans
Cafe du Monde comes recommended as the "must try" "original coffee stand" destination with "awesome beignets" (beignets are basically fluffy, friend donut holes covered in powdered sugar). I'm not a big fan of this place. Quick service, fairly cheap, cash only, good beignets, terrible coffee, long lines, extremely crowded.
Spitfire - ★★★★★ - Found near Jackson Square
After Cafe du Monde, Spitfire was heaven. They make most real (not invented by Starbucks for people who don't like coffee) espresso drinks, and their regular coffee is a pre-brewed cold-brew or brew-for-you pour over, with your choice of beans. The coffee itself was amazing, the pour over was done well, and the baristas genuinely love coffee, and can give you tips for taste and flavor. Very limited seating, and no pastries, but close to other pastry shops and the park, so it's great for walking coffee. We went here more than once, and saw more than one local getting coffee here, too.
Sucré - ★★★★☆ - Found walking
Sucré is a sweets and gelato shop, that also happens to serve good coffee. They have a pretty sweet setup for espresso and pour overs, and the coffee was almost as good as Spitfire. The owner was great, and recommended a chocolate to try that paired with the coffee. It was one $3 bite of chocolate.