I'll be the very last person to declare myself a connoisseur of anything. A hobbyist in the least and an enthusiast at most, but never an expert. But, I will say that being a creature of habit makes me objective with recommendations. I won't easily sing praises unless I've tried the same thing at five hundred other places. Case in point: my five favorite baguettes, which I've thoroughly researched for the past twenty-something years. The best friend of a baguette? An iced vanilla latte.
In my second attempt to simplify your search for some of New Orleans' Bests, I think something as simple as coffee can start your day off on the right foot, but if it falls flat, so can the rest of your day. I love Starbucks as much as the next person, but I think they make the worst iced vanilla lattes because their vanilla doesn't taste anything like real vanilla. If I'm going to shell out $5 on coffee, it had better be made with real vanilla! Depending on the day, I might veer towards the sweeter side in which I'll turn to Mojo's Coffee House or hop to Spitfire Coffee in the French Quarter when I need an extra jolt to wander the city. There's no perfect iced vanilla latte but hopefully these notes will help guide your next coffee trip! And now that New Orleans has a legitimate craft coffee community, there's no reason not to try all these gems.
1. The Orange Couch (2339 Royal Street) - Sweet with a wonderfully unique velvety texture.
2. District Donuts (2209 Magazine Street) - Made with homemade vanilla bean syrup and strong 1000 Faces espresso
3. Mojo's Coffee House (1500 Magazine Street & 4700 Freret Street) - Silky smooth texture and sweet vanilla flavor
4. Spitfire Coffee (627 St. Peter Street) - Clean vanilla and not too sweet, followed by strong cinnamon notes
5. Merchant (800 Common Street) - Subtle vanilla flavor and bold espresso