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La Boulangerie’s king cake
La Boulangerie/Facebook

Where to Get King Cake This Carnival Season

So many king cakes; so little time

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La Boulangerie’s king cake
| Photo by La Boulangerie/Facebook

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — Carnival, aka King Cake Season. While traditionalists usually flock to the brioche-based king cake— ring-shaped and laced with cinnamon, covered in icing and purple, green and gold sugar, with a plastic baby hidden inside— these days there are plenty of twists on the original, plus a growing appreciation for the elegant French puff pastry and almond cream version. This season also brings an official king cake hub to Mid City, centralizing some of the area’s most coveted offerings under one roof.

This map reflects king cakes in the Greater New Orleans area and is sorted by neighborhood, not by ranking.

Know of an outstanding king cake Eater should try? Send us a tip or leave a comment below.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dong Phuong Bake Shop

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14207 Chef Menteur Hwy
New Orleans, LA 70129
(504) 254-0214
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Dong Phuong had quite a 2018, winning a James Beard award smack in the middle of king cake season, leading to unmanageable demand and cake scalpers, and starting out the summer with a federal order to pay nearly $130k in backpay to employees. This year, the bakery’s famous cinnamon and cream cheese options are again only available at its location on Chef Highway, maximum two cakes per customer, and for ordering online to pick up (shipping dates are fully booked). With just the right schmear of cream cheese frosting and densely crumbed, these beauties are worth the trip East.

Dong Phuong’s King Cake
Yelp/Nicole D.

2. Manny Randazzo King Cakes

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3515 N Hullen St
Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 456-1476
Visit Website

Manny Randazzo’s king cakes generate a cult following each year, with the Carnival season-only bakery (in operation since 1965) even opening up a few days before the official start to Carnival to accommodate the sugar-hungry crowds. The version here is a sweet, braided brioche topped with icing and colored sugar. The brioche is always moist and the icing is always well-balanced. To some, it’s the only king cake that matters, but perhaps they haven’t seen this list.

3. Maurice French Pastries

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3501 Hessmer Ave
Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 885-1526
Visit Website

So many king cakes to love at Maurice French Pastries. The bakery serves a great traditional and superb French style cake, but Jean-Luc’s specialty cakes are really swoon-worthy. The Pontchatoula king cake is filled with Bavarian cream, fresh strawberries, Chantilly cream, and toasted almonds. The Bourbon Street is filled with a bourbon and toasted pecan flavored chocolate cream. Southern Comfort and pralines meet Chantilly and Bavarian cream in the Woodland Plantation king cake, while the General Foster explores the bananas Foster dessert with the help of New Orleans dark rum.

Ponchtaloula king cake at Maurice French Pastries
Linda V./Yelp

4. Gambino's Bakery

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4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA 70006
(504) 885-7500
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This old-school New Orleans bakery, which opened in 1949, is famous for its doberge cake throughout the year, but come Carnival season the king cakes ship around the globe, with fillings aplenty (almond wedding cake, bavarian cream, blueberry, chocolate cream cheese, pecan praline, and more). The filling is not woven into the Danish bread, but piped into a tunnel. The bakery will even toss in some doubloons, beads, a poster, and a package of king cake babies (in case you need extra?) if you’re willing to spend upwards of 60 bucks.

5. Sucre

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3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA 70003
(504) 834-2277
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Sucre’s shimmery king cake is known mostly for its looks — the icing looks almost metallic. The less sweet, buttery, brioche-based dough is layered with Creole cream cheese before being braided, baked, and topped with the opalescent icing. This year Sucre teamed up with Tabasco as part of the hot sauce brand’s 150th anniversary, debuting a cake with Swiss chocolate whipped cream cheese filling and a taste of habanero sauce.

6. The Sweet Life Bakery

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6268 Vicksburg St
New Orleans, LA 70124
(504) 371-5153
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The Sweet Life’s king cake enjoys a split identity between a classic French almond king cake and the brioche-based New Orleans king cake. Fashioned into the round shape New Orleans king cakes are known for and topped with purple, green, and gold sugar, the interior of this cake is filled with delicate layers of puff pastry laced with almond cream. 2019 brings a new flavor, cherry almond apple cream cheese. Fun note: You can get these king cakes delivered through UberEats, Waitr, and GrubHub.

7. Tastee Donut

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816 Clearview Pkwy
Metairie, LA 70001
(504) 885-7566

Each king cake season, Tastee brings back a favorite king cake from a beloved bakery that New Orleans lost — Mckenzie’s. John Folse’s bakery supplies the cakes and Tastee sells them. Unlike many king cakes, this one comes without accoutrement. No cinnamon woven through the dough, no filling, no icing. What it does have is purple, green, and gold sugar on top.

8. King Cake Hub by Pizza NOLA

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4800 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 483-2350
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The biggest development for 2019 is the new Mid City king cake hub by the former Pizza NOLA folks, who closed their Lakeview restaurant and seasonal king cake distribution center after a disappointing Mardi Gras last year. The hub, located in the Mystere Mansion, will feature over 28 flavors of king cakes from around New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana including Gambino’s BakeryCannata’s (out of Houma) Hi-Do Bakery, Bywater Bakery and Girls Gone Vegan, among others.

9. Shake Sugary

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3304 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 355-9345
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This sunny, lime green Bywater bakery does a brisk king cake trade, thanks in part to interesting savory fillings (savory apple cheddar rosemary - yes please!) and of course the traditional cinnamon, brown sugar, and spices. The braided cakes are sweetly homespun - nothing prefab here - and there is even a vegan and a gluten-free option to please all eaters. Like most small shops, this one sells out fast, so order in advance to be sure you get what you want.

10. New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery

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2440 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 943-0010
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This sweet Marigny breakfast and luncher, much loved for its only-a-buck-extra-to add-a cupcake option, gets nutty busy with king cake business come Carnival season. Owner/head baker Steve Himelfarb puts out a fine cake, with his signature goat cheese and apple-filled a crowd pleaser.

11. Bywater Bakery

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3624 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 336-3336
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Pastry chef/owner Chaya Conrad hits it out of the park at this homey neighborhood spot with her Chantilly filled king cake — light, toothsome, and shot through with either blueberries or strawberries. The former bakery director at Rouses dishes a fine traditional version as well, along with fillings including pecan praline, a Cajun bouille custard, and strawberry cheesecake. The bakery rolled out new flavors of savory cakes, including crawfish, boudin, and spinach and artichoke, this past King’s Day. Drive-up pickup of pre-ordered cakes is available Kings Day, Lundi Gras and on Fridays throughout Carnival.

12. Caluda's King Cake

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1536 River Oaks Rd W
Harahan, LA 70123
(504) 218-5655
Visit Website

Caluda’s serves up a king cake with exceptionally moist brioche and a thick layer of sweet icing, as well as some notable variations. Each week during the season, the king cake shop has a “flavor of the week.” Eater tried the chocolate chip cookie dough king cake, which was an addictive, chocolate chip studded version of the classic with cookie dough stuffed inside the brioche. See the website for the full rundown of 2019’s flavors. And, announced today (January 15), both locations of Liberty’s Kitchen will be selling Caluda’s mini and regular size king cakes.

13. Haydel's Bakery

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4037 Jefferson Hwy
New Orleans, LA 70121
(800) 442-1342
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Haydel’s serves an outstanding version of the classic New Orleans king cake, and now has a location on Magazine Street for those city-dwellers who can’t make the trek to Jefferson. Sweet and topped with lots of icing and colored sugar, it’s the brioche king cake that many New Orleanians grew up eating.

14. Willa Jean

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611 O'Keefe Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 509-7334
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Pastry chef Kelly Fields of Willa Jean in the CBD dazzles with her uber-moist caramel crunch king cake, swirled through with cinnamon and drizzled with a cream cheese glaze. Her cakes are artfully finished, possibly the prettiest in town. Available to order online for in-store pick-up; no shipping.

15. La Petite Sophie

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9047 Jefferson Hwy
River Ridge, LA 70123

French darling La Petite Sophie stormed onto the scene this winter with heavyweight chefs like Frank Brigtsen singing her praises. The bakery is serving a gorgeous brioche king cake filled with cream cheese dotted with fresh strawberries, as well as the traditional French king cake, a galette with flaky layers and almond cream. The bakery is located in River Ridge, but it’s well worth the very short drive from New Orleans.

Brioche and strawberry king cake
La Petite Sophie/Facebook

16. Bittersweet Confections

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725 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 523-2626
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Bittersweet Confections has chocoholics covered with its much-lauded chocolate cream cheese-stuffed king cake. The brioche dough gets laced with cinnamon sugar, stuffed with chocolate cream cheese, and drizzled with more chocolate. Excitingly, while the St. Roch stand is no more, Bittersweet opened just opened a second location in Mid City (639 S. Hennesey) where people can get king cakes as well as full brunch.

17. Maple Street Patisserie

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7638 Maple St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 304-1526
Visit Website

Chef Ziggy bangs out stunning French king cakes at the European Maple Street bakery each year. Layers of puff pastry laced with almond cream seem refined compared to the decadent icing and sugar topped puffy (and often filled) brioche versions, but there is a good measure of sweet decadence tucked within the delicate layers of the French king cake.

French king cake at Maple Street Patisserie
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18. Tartine

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7217 Perrier St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 866-4860
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Tartine flies under the radar for many, hidden near the river in the Black Pearl neighborhood, but it is an excellent choice for king cakes and a quiet lunch. For these, brioche is rolled with brown sugar and cream cheese, baked, and topped with the traditional icing and colorful sugar. It’s at the top of the list for many. Its sister restaurant, Toast, is well-known for breakfast and also carries the king cakes.

19. Gracious Bakery

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4930 Prytania St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 300-8135
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For the 2019 season, the always-impressive Gracious Bakery is debuting a Saints King Cake with dulce de leche, Valrhona chocolate, and lots of gold on January 16. Additionally, Gracious has king cake cookies, a queen cake (filled with frangipan), as well as a traditional French king cake with a classy, porcelain feve in lieu of the plastic baby, all of which top-notch.

Saints King Cake
Gracious Bakery/Facebook

20. O'Delice French Bakery

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6033 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 895-2144
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Another bakery that flies under the radar, O’Delice is nestled next to a Jefferson Feed on Magazine. Owner and chef Nancy Nguyen worked as the pastry chef at the Windsor Court hotel before opening this spotless French bakery Uptown, known for perfectly executed buttercream cakes and chicken salad sandwiches. Her superior king cakes are traditional, laced with cinnamon, and topped with thick granules of sugar.

21. La Boulangerie

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4600 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 269-3777
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Pastry chef Maggie Scales cooks up two new this year at the Magazine Street bakery: blueberry cream cheese and chocolate hazelnut. A fan favorite returns to the shop (and to the fellow Donald Link-owned Cochon Butcher) — the “Elvis,” filled with peanut butter and banana and topped with bacon, marshmallow, purple/green/gold sprinkles. Notably, the basic king cake at Boulangerie balances all that sweetness with a little salt plus a tangy cream cheese icing, making the whole thing much more palatable. In lieu of a king cake baby, there’s a tiny pig included.

22. Hi-Do Bakery

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439 Terry Pkwy
Terrytown, LA 70056
(504) 366-6555
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Plain, doughy and not too sweet, the Hi-Do king cake is for the traditionalist. It’s reminiscent of the McKenzie king cakes in its simplicity — no icing, just sugar on top. The bakery also offers various filled versions. This year, Hi-Do cakes will also be sold at the Mid City King Cake hub for those who can’t make it out to Terrytown.

1. Dong Phuong Bake Shop

14207 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70129
Dong Phuong’s King Cake
Yelp/Nicole D.

Dong Phuong had quite a 2018, winning a James Beard award smack in the middle of king cake season, leading to unmanageable demand and cake scalpers, and starting out the summer with a federal order to pay nearly $130k in backpay to employees. This year, the bakery’s famous cinnamon and cream cheese options are again only available at its location on Chef Highway, maximum two cakes per customer, and for ordering online to pick up (shipping dates are fully booked). With just the right schmear of cream cheese frosting and densely crumbed, these beauties are worth the trip East.

14207 Chef Menteur Hwy
New Orleans, LA 70129

2. Manny Randazzo King Cakes

3515 N Hullen St, Metairie, LA 70002

Manny Randazzo’s king cakes generate a cult following each year, with the Carnival season-only bakery (in operation since 1965) even opening up a few days before the official start to Carnival to accommodate the sugar-hungry crowds. The version here is a sweet, braided brioche topped with icing and colored sugar. The brioche is always moist and the icing is always well-balanced. To some, it’s the only king cake that matters, but perhaps they haven’t seen this list.

3515 N Hullen St
Metairie, LA 70002

3. Maurice French Pastries

3501 Hessmer Ave, Metairie, LA 70002
Ponchtaloula king cake at Maurice French Pastries
Linda V./Yelp

So many king cakes to love at Maurice French Pastries. The bakery serves a great traditional and superb French style cake, but Jean-Luc’s specialty cakes are really swoon-worthy. The Pontchatoula king cake is filled with Bavarian cream, fresh strawberries, Chantilly cream, and toasted almonds. The Bourbon Street is filled with a bourbon and toasted pecan flavored chocolate cream. Southern Comfort and pralines meet Chantilly and Bavarian cream in the Woodland Plantation king cake, while the General Foster explores the bananas Foster dessert with the help of New Orleans dark rum.

3501 Hessmer Ave
Metairie, LA 70002

4. Gambino's Bakery

4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70006

This old-school New Orleans bakery, which opened in 1949, is famous for its doberge cake throughout the year, but come Carnival season the king cakes ship around the globe, with fillings aplenty (almond wedding cake, bavarian cream, blueberry, chocolate cream cheese, pecan praline, and more). The filling is not woven into the Danish bread, but piped into a tunnel. The bakery will even toss in some doubloons, beads, a poster, and a package of king cake babies (in case you need extra?) if you’re willing to spend upwards of 60 bucks.

4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA 70006

5. Sucre

3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70003

Sucre’s shimmery king cake is known mostly for its looks — the icing looks almost metallic. The less sweet, buttery, brioche-based dough is layered with Creole cream cheese before being braided, baked, and topped with the opalescent icing. This year Sucre teamed up with Tabasco as part of the hot sauce brand’s 150th anniversary, debuting a cake with Swiss chocolate whipped cream cheese filling and a taste of habanero sauce.

3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA 70003

6. The Sweet Life Bakery

6268 Vicksburg St, New Orleans, LA 70124

The Sweet Life’s king cake enjoys a split identity between a classic French almond king cake and the brioche-based New Orleans king cake. Fashioned into the round shape New Orleans king cakes are known for and topped with purple, green, and gold sugar, the interior of this cake is filled with delicate layers of puff pastry laced with almond cream. 2019 brings a new flavor, cherry almond apple cream cheese. Fun note: You can get these king cakes delivered through UberEats, Waitr, and GrubHub.

6268 Vicksburg St
New Orleans, LA 70124

7. Tastee Donut

816 Clearview Pkwy, Metairie, LA 70001

Each king cake season, Tastee brings back a favorite king cake from a beloved bakery that New Orleans lost — Mckenzie’s. John Folse’s bakery supplies the cakes and Tastee sells them. Unlike many king cakes, this one comes without accoutrement. No cinnamon woven through the dough, no filling, no icing. What it does have is purple, green, and gold sugar on top.

816 Clearview Pkwy
Metairie, LA 70001

8. King Cake Hub by Pizza NOLA

4800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

The biggest development for 2019 is the new Mid City king cake hub by the former Pizza NOLA folks, who closed their Lakeview restaurant and seasonal king cake distribution center after a disappointing Mardi Gras last year. The hub, located in the Mystere Mansion, will feature over 28 flavors of king cakes from around New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana including Gambino’s BakeryCannata’s (out of Houma) Hi-Do Bakery, Bywater Bakery and Girls Gone Vegan, among others.

4800 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70119

9. Shake Sugary

3304 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

This sunny, lime green Bywater bakery does a brisk king cake trade, thanks in part to interesting savory fillings (savory apple cheddar rosemary - yes please!) and of course the traditional cinnamon, brown sugar, and spices. The braided cakes are sweetly homespun - nothing prefab here - and there is even a vegan and a gluten-free option to please all eaters. Like most small shops, this one sells out fast, so order in advance to be sure you get what you want.

3304 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

10. New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery

2440 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117

This sweet Marigny breakfast and luncher, much loved for its only-a-buck-extra-to add-a cupcake option, gets nutty busy with king cake business come Carnival season. Owner/head baker Steve Himelfarb puts out a fine cake, with his signature goat cheese and apple-filled a crowd pleaser.

2440 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70117

11. Bywater Bakery

3624 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Pastry chef/owner Chaya Conrad hits it out of the park at this homey neighborhood spot with her Chantilly filled king cake — light, toothsome, and shot through with either blueberries or strawberries. The former bakery director at Rouses dishes a fine traditional version as well, along with fillings including pecan praline, a Cajun bouille custard, and strawberry cheesecake. The bakery rolled out new flavors of savory cakes, including crawfish, boudin, and spinach and artichoke, this past King’s Day. Drive-up pickup of pre-ordered cakes is available Kings Day, Lundi Gras and on Fridays throughout Carnival.

3624 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70117

12. Caluda's King Cake

1536 River Oaks Rd W, Harahan, LA 70123

Caluda’s serves up a king cake with exceptionally moist brioche and a thick layer of sweet icing, as well as some notable variations. Each week during the season, the king cake shop has a “flavor of the week.” Eater tried the chocolate chip cookie dough king cake, which was an addictive, chocolate chip studded version of the classic with cookie dough stuffed inside the brioche. See the website for the full rundown of 2019’s flavors. And, announced today (January 15), both locations of Liberty’s Kitchen will be selling Caluda’s mini and regular size king cakes.

1536 River Oaks Rd W
Harahan, LA 70123

13. Haydel's Bakery

4037 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

Haydel’s serves an outstanding version of the classic New Orleans king cake, and now has a location on Magazine Street for those city-dwellers who can’t make the trek to Jefferson. Sweet and topped with lots of icing and colored sugar, it’s the brioche king cake that many New Orleanians grew up eating.

4037 Jefferson Hwy
New Orleans, LA 70121

14. Willa Jean

611 O'Keefe Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113

Pastry chef Kelly Fields of Willa Jean in the CBD dazzles with her uber-moist caramel crunch king cake, swirled through with cinnamon and drizzled with a cream cheese glaze. Her cakes are artfully finished, possibly the prettiest in town. Available to order online for in-store pick-up; no shipping.

611 O'Keefe Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113

15. La Petite Sophie

9047 Jefferson Hwy, River Ridge, LA 70123
Brioche and strawberry king cake
La Petite Sophie/Facebook

French darling La Petite Sophie stormed onto the scene this winter with heavyweight chefs like Frank Brigtsen singing her praises. The bakery is serving a gorgeous brioche king cake filled with cream cheese dotted with fresh strawberries, as well as the traditional French king cake, a galette with flaky layers and almond cream. The bakery is located in River Ridge, but it’s well worth the very short drive from New Orleans.

9047 Jefferson Hwy
River Ridge, LA 70123

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16. Bittersweet Confections

725 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Bittersweet Confections has chocoholics covered with its much-lauded chocolate cream cheese-stuffed king cake. The brioche dough gets laced with cinnamon sugar, stuffed with chocolate cream cheese, and drizzled with more chocolate. Excitingly, while the St. Roch stand is no more, Bittersweet opened just opened a second location in Mid City (639 S. Hennesey) where people can get king cakes as well as full brunch.

725 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130

17. Maple Street Patisserie

7638 Maple St, New Orleans, LA 70118
French king cake at Maple Street Patisserie
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Chef Ziggy bangs out stunning French king cakes at the European Maple Street bakery each year. Layers of puff pastry laced with almond cream seem refined compared to the decadent icing and sugar topped puffy (and often filled) brioche versions, but there is a good measure of sweet decadence tucked within the delicate layers of the French king cake.

7638 Maple St
New Orleans, LA 70118

18. Tartine

7217 Perrier St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Tartine flies under the radar for many, hidden near the river in the Black Pearl neighborhood, but it is an excellent choice for king cakes and a quiet lunch. For these, brioche is rolled with brown sugar and cream cheese, baked, and topped with the traditional icing and colorful sugar. It’s at the top of the list for many. Its sister restaurant, Toast, is well-known for breakfast and also carries the king cakes.

7217 Perrier St
New Orleans, LA 70118

19. Gracious Bakery

4930 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 70115