clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Coffee Science’s chocolate espresso king cake
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Where to Get the Best King Cakes in New Orleans This Carnival Season

Even when Mardi Gras looks different, you can always count on king cake

View as Map
Coffee Science’s chocolate espresso king cake
| Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

You can’t cancel king cake. That’s one thing New Orleans learned in 2021, when Mardi Gras looked very different: no parades, no fancy balls, no crowds. But Carnival is always the most wonderful time of the year and king cakes are a totem everyone can celebrate, and that’s just what the city did — bakeries, restaurants, and pop-ups stepped up their king cake game like never before, flooding the market with creative, unexpected, and gorgeous cakes to enjoy at home, gift a neighbor, or bring to work.

Beginning January 6, options abound, from traditionalists staying true 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 — to the many twists on the original, plus a growing availability of the elegant French puff pastry and almond cream version.

This map reflects the king cakes in the Greater New Orleans area that will be available on a regular basis for the 55 days of the 2022 Carnival season. For Eater’s guide to this year’s best king cake pop-ups, see here.

Did we miss an outstanding king cake available in New Orleans this year? Let Eater know.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

La Petite Sophie

Copy Link

Beginning January 6, French darling La Petite Sophie serves 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

Caluda's King Cake

Copy Link

Caluda’s serves up a king cake with exceptionally moist brioche and a thick layer of sweet icing, as well as some notable variations. LSU fans will love the traditional tiger version. See the website for the full rundown of 2022’s flavors. Order online and shipping is also an option.

Gambino's Bakery

Copy Link

Gambino’s is an old-school New Orleans bakery famous for its Doberge cake year round. 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 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.

Haydel's Bakery

Copy Link

Haydel’s serves an outstanding version of the classic New Orleans king cake, and 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. An un-iced version is also available.

Maurice French Pastries

Copy Link

So many king cakes to love at Maurice French Pastries. Beyond the traditional, chef Jean-Luc’s specialty cakes are really swoon-worthy, with flavors that have included the Pontchatoula, filled with Bavarian cream, fresh strawberries, Chantilly cream, and toasted almonds; and the Bourbon Street, oozing bourbon and toasted pecan flavored chocolate cream.

Wishing Town Bakery Cafe

Copy Link

Wishing Town has emerged as one of the most exciting bakeries in the area in the last few years, selling show-stopping desserts like green tea, durian, and taro crepe cakes; the playful Wishing Cake; and a gorgeous tiramisu, among other creations. It’s the first year the bakery is doing king cakes, and they promise to be as uniquely delightful as its other offerings — the dough is Asian milk bread style; it’s topped with a glaze made from housemade cream cheese; and comes with coconut, pumpkin, or sweet red bean paste fillings. Preorder is required, call or visit the website.

Manny Randazzo King Cakes

Copy Link

Manny Randazzo’s king cakes generate a cult following each year, with the Carnival season-only bakery (in operation since 1965) legend for its sweet, braided brioche topped with icing and colored sugar. You can have this definitive king cake shipped anywhere, with beads and doubloons part of the package.

Joe's Cafe Coffee and Donuts (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link

Joe’s knows King Cakes — this family owned business consistently offers high quality cakes in a range of flavors — and this year they start shipping on January 10. Besides flavors like cream cheese, triple berry and fillings like Bavarian cream, Joe’s offers the only fried king cake we’ve seen, a fitting twist for the much-loved doughnut shop.

The fried king cake from Joe’s
Joe’s Cafe

Breads On Oak (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link

You won’t miss anything with the king cakes from the all-vegan Breads on Oak — these cakes are delicious, even without eggs and milk. In addition to a traditional, the bakery nails Bavarian cream, praline pecan, almond cream, and an unexpected chocolate tiramisu, delicious. Order to pickup on the original location or downtown or ship.

Tartine

Copy Link

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. King cakes are wonderful, brioche 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. Pickup, local delivery, and shipping offered.

Maple Street Patisserie

Copy Link

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. The bakery does a brioche cake as well, and last year offered mini cakes, a rare but highly-sought offering.

The Sweet Life Bakery

Copy Link

Now set up in its new Metairie location, the Sweet Life should have its delicate king cakes again in 2022 — one that enjoys a split identity between a classic French almond king cake and the brioche-based New Orleans king cake. Usually available for delivery.

O'Delice French Bakery

Copy Link

Another bakery that flies under the radar, O’Delice is nestled next to a Jefferson Feed on Magazine Street. The spotless French bakery is 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.

Gracious Bakery (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link

Gracious hits it out of the park with its specialty king cakes every year, with decadent and unexpected flavors like bananas Foster and a gorgeous nectar cream that are sometimes only available for days at a time. Luckily the almond filled queen’s cake, traditional, and chocolate versions are also noteworthy. Want to make your own? The bakery’s kit makes it easy.

La Boulangerie

Copy Link

Link Restaurant Group’s executive pastry chef Maggie Scales is at it again for Cochon Butcher and La Boulangerie this year, with repeat appearances of the “Elvis,” a brioche cake filled with peanut butter and roasted banana and topped with bacon and toasted marshmallows; the more traditional galette des rois, rounds of puff pastry filled with almond cream; and the pretty, tasty New Orleans version filled with chocolate, strawberry almond, or plain cinnamon. The Elvis and the galette both come in two sizes via preorder, and they’re all available on site by the slice.

The Elvis
La Boulangerie/Official

Tastee Donut

Copy Link

A New Orleans childhood favorite from back in the day, Tastee has four greater New Orleans area locations, and is well known for buttermilk drops, doughnuts, apple fritters, and maybe most of all, the McKenzie recipe-made king cakes in season.

Laurel Street Bakery

Copy Link

The king cakes at this Carnival season stalwart (which is located on Broad, not Laurel anymore)) are made from a light, slightly sweet dough, braided and topped with a not-too-sweet icing, with similarly balanced fillings — praline, almond, apple, strawberry cream cheese, and Nutella. Don’t forget to grab bagels while there.

King Cake Hub

Copy Link

What did New Orleans do before King Cake Hub? This year, it’s setting up shop at Zony Mash Beer Project on Broad Street, as well as in the French Quarter, at the Historic New Orleans Collection (520 Royal St.). Selling some 60 varieties from the likes Bywater Bakery, Sugar Love, Zuppardo’s, Brennan’s Restaurant, and Gracious Bakery, it might be most popular for its collaboration with the now-closed Cake Cafe, reviving its popular goat cheese apple king cake. Same-day pickup is available as well as local delivery throughout the New Orleans area via DoorDash.

Coffee Science

Copy Link

Coffee Science is a sleeper hit for king cakes — but the Broad Street cafe makes some of the best in town. This year, it’s Venetian creme, chocolate espresso, and berries and cream, all of which are topped with a thin, glaze-like icing, rather than globs of the white stuff. Order these seriously pretty cakes by Monday for Wednesday pickup and Wednesday for Friday pickup throughout the season.

Coffee Science’s chocolate espresso king cake
Randy Schmidt/Eater Nola

Norma's Sweets Bakery

Copy Link

Norma’s is loved for so many things — the affordable Bayou St. John market and bakery sells beautiful cakes and other sweets, as well as Honduran and Nicaraguan specialties, imported goods, and of course, its beloved guava and cream cheese king cake. The sweet guava filling is wonderfully balanced by the tang of cream cheese wrapped in crumbly dough, topped with light frosting and sprinkles.

Guava and cream cheese king cake from Norma’s Sweets Bakery
Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

Mayhew Bakery

Copy Link

Loyal fans have been buying from baker Kelly Mayhew since he sold king cakes at farmers markets and at his Old Metairie pop-up. Now, Mayhew Bakery on Orleans Ave. is the permanent home to his trademark cake, airy and light with a shimmery, airbrush-applied frosting that tastes as good as it looks. The traditional is excellent, with past years’ fillings including cream cheese, double berry cream cheese, and nutella cream.

Mayhew’s 2019 king cakes
Mayhew Bakery/Facebook

Bittersweet Confections

Copy Link

Bittersweet Confections has chocoholics in bliss 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. Orders can be picked up daily at locations on Magazine or Hennessy St. or shipping 48 hours after orders are placed.

Brennan's

Copy Link

Brennan’s isn’t usually known for its king cake, but last year sparked a new Mardi Gras tradition, apparently. The restaurant is again selling and shipping three swank cakes nationwide — traditional brioche dough rolled cinnamon filling, bananas Foster, and the Pink Parade, with Ponchatoula strawberry jam, cream cheese, and glittery pink icing. They can also be picked up at Ralph’s on the Park.

Randy Schmidt/Eater Nola

Antoine's Famous Cakes (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link

With locations in Gretna and Metairie, Antoine’s Famous Cakes is a locals favorite for king cakes, equally for their “queen cake,” which are stuffed and topped with all sorts of flavors and goodies. Choose from a host of versions and fillings for in-store pickup at either location, or call to have shipped.

Bywater Bakery

Copy Link

One of the city’s newer favorites for king cake, Bywater Bakery chef/owner Chaya Conrad hits it out of the park with her Chantilly filled king cake — light, toothsome, and shot through with either blueberries or strawberries. Preorder king cakes with fillings like pecan praline, apple, azul dolce blueberry, and lemon cream, as well as special 2022 flavors, the brownie bomb and the Bywater bourbon cinnamon swirl, or stop by the bakery’s walk-up window to pick up.

Hi-Do Bakery

Copy Link

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. Hi-Do cakes are usually sold at King Cake Hub for those who can’t make it out to Terrytown.

Dong Phuong Bake Shop

Copy Link

Get your preorders in now — the famed Dong Phuong had to shut down sales at one point last year to catch up with demand. The bakery will offer its cakes in store this season, but stop to keep up with orders for delivery and shipping. Choose from the standard six flavors: cream cheese, pecan, cinnamon, strawberry, coconut, and almond creme.

Dong Phuong’s King Cake
Yelp/Nicole D.

La Petite Sophie

Brioche and strawberry king cake
La Petite Sophie/Facebook

Beginning January 6, French darling La Petite Sophie serves 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

Caluda's King Cake

Caluda’s serves up a king cake with exceptionally moist brioche and a thick layer of sweet icing, as well as some notable variations. LSU fans will love the traditional tiger version. See the website for the full rundown of 2022’s flavors. Order online and shipping is also an option.

Gambino's Bakery

Gambino’s is an old-school New Orleans bakery famous for its Doberge cake year round. 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 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.

Haydel's Bakery

Haydel’s serves an outstanding version of the classic New Orleans king cake, and 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. An un-iced version is also available.

Maurice French Pastries

So many king cakes to love at Maurice French Pastries. Beyond the traditional, chef Jean-Luc’s specialty cakes are really swoon-worthy, with flavors that have included the Pontchatoula, filled with Bavarian cream, fresh strawberries, Chantilly cream, and toasted almonds; and the Bourbon Street, oozing bourbon and toasted pecan flavored chocolate cream.

Wishing Town Bakery Cafe

Wishing Town has emerged as one of the most exciting bakeries in the area in the last few years, selling show-stopping desserts like green tea, durian, and taro crepe cakes; the playful Wishing Cake; and a gorgeous tiramisu, among other creations. It’s the first year the bakery is doing king cakes, and they promise to be as uniquely delightful as its other offerings — the dough is Asian milk bread style; it’s topped with a glaze made from housemade cream cheese; and comes with coconut, pumpkin, or sweet red bean paste fillings. Preorder is required, call or visit the website.

Manny Randazzo King Cakes

Manny Randazzo’s king cakes generate a cult following each year, with the Carnival season-only bakery (in operation since 1965) legend for its sweet, braided brioche topped with icing and colored sugar. You can have this definitive king cake shipped anywhere, with beads and doubloons part of the package.