Food & Drink

Where to find the best damn fried chicken in New Orleans

Published On 12/11/2013 Published On 12/11/2013
NOLA Fried Chicken
Jason Allen
Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Flickr user Kent Wang
Wikimedia Commons
Franky & Johnny’s
Wikimedia Commons
Flickr user SanFranAnnie
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1. Franky and Johnny's 321 Arabella St, New Orleans, LA 70115

This Uptown resto is typically touted for their fresh seafood, but their best-kept secret is their deep-fried, juicy chicken.

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2. Willie Mae's Scotch House 2401 Saint Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70119

The fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House is the best in the United States. No joke: it was dubbed such by the Travel Channel and Food Network, and also won the James Beard Award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region.” Tucked away the Treme neighborhood, the cozy spot features all the accoutrements of a beloved local haunt -- memorabilia mounted throughout, news clippings chronicling the success of the family-owned business (which has been open since 1957), homey environs -- and it’s worth noting that there’s always a line out the door, regardless of weather. It’s a walk-ins only spot, so be prepared to wait -- but the soul food here is so satisfying, and it’s entirely worth it.

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3. Dooky Chase's Restaurant 2301 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119-5025

The history of this cozy Treme spot is just as interesting as the authentic Creole flavors it serves up: perfectly crispy fried chicken, shrimp Clemenceau, and hearty, zesty seafood gumbo. Helmed by Chef Leah Chase -- known to locals and notable folk like President Obama and Beyoncé as the “Queen of Creole” -- the spot’s storied past covers its tenure as a po-boy and lottery shop in turned, as of 1941, beloved restaurant and community outpost for live music, local artwork, and civil rights. It’s the perfect option for a relaxed yet refined lunch during the week, and we suggest making a reservation -- it’s no secret that Dooky Chase’s is a Big Easy institution, and seating fills up fast.

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4. Jacques-Imo's Cafe 8324 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Jacques-Imo's Cafe in Uptown is home to authentic NOLA cooking, offering a menu loaded with Louisiana favorites like Creole jambalaya, shrimp & alligator sausage cheesecake, blackened redfish with crab-chili hollandaise, and its famous Godzilla Meets Fried Green Tomatoes (fried soft shell crab over fried green tomatoes with remoulade and a side of slaw). You can either grab a table inside the mural-lined space, on the sidewalk, or even on the bed of Jacques-Imo's colorfully painted truck parked at the curb. All three options are steeped in the friendly, community feel that defines this neighborhood spot.

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5. Lil Dizzy's Cafe 1500 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

This is a perfect spot for a variety of NOLA cuisine. They do a killer fried chicken, but you'd be advised to also try their bread pudding, gumbo, and catfish.

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6. McHardy's Chicken & Fixin' 1458 N Broad St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Located in the Seventh Ward, McHardy's might be a bit out of the way for most, but that's no excuse not to make the trip to sample their fried chicken, and of course, all the fixins'.