Short List: Beignets

Behold the beignet, the doughnut’s Southern cousin. These holeless fritters, made world-famous by Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, have pride of place a bit further up the Mississippi River, too, on menus at a passel of area eateries. At breakfast, dessert or – let’s face it – any old time, these locally perfected beignets bring a sugary smile.

Café Ventana
3919 W. Pine Blvd., St. Louis, 314.531.7500,
People come from near and far for Café Ventana’s authentic, New Orleans-style beignet: square, hollow and showered in a blizzard of powdered sugar. The cafe also offers them in chocolate-filled and Mexican (cinnamon- and honey-drizzled) variations, but the original classic endures. Pair it with a cappuccino or a rich, house-made hot chocolate to complete the sugary sweet experience.

2 Girls 4 Wheels

The grinning gals of the 2 Girls 4 Wheels food truck have a knack for comfort food, and their take on the beignet is a winner. Their serving of four – made with a denser, less sugary dough than the norm – includes two plain and two filled with blackberry jelly. The latter are particularly delish and all are coated in the requisite powdered sugar, transformed by the heat of the doughnut (and your fingers) into a truly messy delight. Consider ordering coffee to go with your beignets – these sweets and quality java have a symbiotic relationship.

Lucas Park Grille
1234 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.7770,

Available until the kitchen closes each evening, Lucas Park’s beignets are the perfect late-night nibble after a great evening out. They boast an eggy interior reminiscent of French toast, with a convoluted, flavor-grabbing texture on the fried exterior. Eaten with the caramel-sauce drizzle and molten white-chocolate dip, they’re utterly divine.