Not only does this time of year mean parades, Popeye’s, and finding a place to pee, it also means king cake. Like any good New Orleanian, I have sacrificed my blood sugar levels in search of my favorite. This is one of my favorite parts Carnival season, and there always seems to be king cake every where I go (gosh, darn it). We decided to poll friends and readers to see which ones takes the crown (pun intended). New Orleanians are nothing if not passionate and opinionated about food, and this was no exception. King cake is like gumbo: everyone has a favorite, every family has a tradition, and many people won’t veer from the familiar.
The Best King Cakes in New Orleans
I will forever be a Vietnamese bakery fan and my top two for quite some time have been Hi-Do Bakery and Dong Phuong. These two are not really comparable, as the king cakes are very different styles. These were the top suggestions when I polled people for their favorite king cakes. Hi-Do is more of a bread dough with colored sugar. You can order these in any color and filling you like (I love the Bavarian cream). While you’re there, pick up a few croissants- you won’t be disappointed. Now for Dong Phuong: scoring one of these is like the Hunger Games. A guaranteed way to secure one is to order on their website for pickup at their location in the East. If you’d rather not make the drive, I find Zuppardo’s in Metairie to be a solid bet. Just arrive early, as they always go quickly. This king cake is a solid round, with no hole in the middle. The icing is a cream cheese buttercream and frankly, I could bathe in it. Channel your inner Katniss and volunteer as tribute to get this one.
While I couldn’t possibly name all the places people love, the other bakeries most often mentioned were Haydel’s, Antoine’s (grab some of their glazed beignets while you’re at it), and Randazzo’s. For all the flavored king cake fans, look no further than Brennan’s Bananas Foster king cake. I don’t know what voodoo they used to make it taste exactly like their famous dessert, but this one is perfection. A newcomer to Chalmette is Rebouche’s Cafe, who offers a wide variety including king cake bread pudding.
Lending itself to a true King’s Day tradition, the ‘La Galette De Rois from La Boulangerie will change your life. This is baked throughout France in January and considered the origin of king cake.
If you’re on the hunt for vegan, gluten free or sugar free, check out Maya’s post, A Cake for Every Queen. And if you just can’t pick one, visit King Cake Hub on S. Broad and please everyone’s palate.