Best New Orleans King Cakes

It’s Carnival time again in New Orleans, folks. I don’t care much for parades. I don’t care much for peeing in port-a-lets. I don’t care much for overpriced street food. I only care about one thing: King Cake.

I grew up in New Orleans, and I’ve eaten a lot of king cake. I’ve eaten a lot of king cake. I mean. A LOT of king cake. Needless to say, I’m pretty passionate about  my king cake. I have a lot of opinions on things, but I have even more opinions on king cakes.

Recently, a friend asked me to review my top five favorite king cakes from New Orleans. I think she was joking, but I decided that the world needed to know my top five favorite king cakes from New Orleans.

5. Antoine’s

Relatively unknown on the east bank, Antoine’s is a west bank staple. They generally sell out of king cakes in a few of hours, so If you try to get one after lunch they’re usually gone.
Antoine’s king cakes are like a gooey, cinnamony, deep dish danish, and the’re amazing.

4. Randazzo’s

It’s a toss up between Antoine’s and Randazzo’s for #5 for me. They both have that thick white icing that I really enjoy. But Randazzo’s is a classic. My only complaint? Use a stupid fucking box, already. Digging in the plastic bag for the last piece of king cake is more of a hassle than finding a place to pee on Mardi Gras day. Similarly, both require immediate showering.

3. Blue Dot Donuts King Cake (plain)

It’s a god damn donut king cake made out of a delicious Blue Dot Donut. But it’s not JUST a donut, it’s an actual king cake made out of Blue Dot Donut dough.

2. La Boulangerie

La Boulangerie’s king cake is is hands down the absolute best king cake you will ever eat. It’s big. It’s moist. It’s fresh. It’s delicious.
La Boulangerie’s king cake’s have a slight hint of lemon, which is a unique taste that I really enjoy. Their cream cheese filling is absolutely the best tasting cream cheese filling I’ve had in a king cake.

Although La Boulangerie is hands down the best king cake in New Orleans, a regular sized king cake is $20. It’s not something a lot of people can get very often. They close at 6pm every day, and are closed entirely on Tuesdays. Additionally, If you don’t happen to live around the bakery, it’s also kind of a hassle to get there. We all know how much of a pain in the ass parking on Magazine st. can be.

While their king cakes are fantastic, La Boulangerie is somewhat of an inconvenience, which is why their king cake doesn’t get top billing.

1. Rouses

Rouse’s might not be the best king cake in New Orleans, it has four things going for it that make it my top choice:

  • It’s Good. It’s just a really good king cake.
  • It’s consistent. It’s consistently good. You can get a king cake any day of the season and it’s as good as it always has been and probably always will be, whether it’s from a store Uptown, Metairie, Kenner, or the CBD.
  • It’s inexpensive. At $7 for a plain king cake, and about $9 for filled, you can’t beat the price.
  • It’s close. Rouses stores are everywhere. You don’t have to travel to that one specific place to pick up one of their king cakes. There’s usually a Rouses within a 10 minute drive.

Those things combined make Rouses my top king cake choice.

All in all, Rouses is accessible for everyone, no matter their neighborhood or part of the city. A Rouses king cake is consistently good, inexpensive and close by. It’s what makes Rouses “The People’s King Cake,” and my top choice.

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